‘Jumping to conclusion leaves no space for inclusion’ – An Interview with Adriana Morvaiova
Culture Genie, engaging people since 1984. Introducing Adriana Morvaiova, a creative who loves going beyond limits and being different. She is a keen culture bean and a non-conformist. Her passion lies within Diversity, Equality, Communication and people engagement and here is her story…
ADRIANA, LETS START OFF WITH FINDING OUT A BIT ABOUT YOU…
Ahoj, I’m Adriana and I was born in Slovakia with Hungarian roots. Moved to Northern Ireland in 2005 with my mother. One-way ticket, one suitcase each, with zero English and zero jobs lined up. I work as a team development co-ordinator for Sensata Technologies. I chair our D&I Council and race network ACE (Appreciating Cultural Exchange). I speak 3 languages fluently; I’m a qualified chef and I am currently studying part time with Open University – Open Degree in Philosophy and Leadership. In my spare time I love reading, gardening, networking and learning about new cultures. In 2020 I taught myself how to make macramé plant hangers. An amazing way to clear your mind and destress while you are concentrating on tying knots.
WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR 2021?
In 2020 I had the time and opportunity to go through radical self-discovery and deep dive into my personality, values, beliefs and goals. What a great reset! I tend to fail goals so for this year I am setting intentions. For 2021 my intentions are to continue my journey of learning, reading, networking and helping others. I accepted my first board position as a trustee with Mediation Northern Ireland, so I am excited to get stuck in and start serving my community.
WHAT’S THE BEST APPROACH FOR A BUSINESS TO TAKE WHEN BUILDING A D&I STRATEGY?
Engage and involve your employees from the start. Create space and opportunity for conversations around diversity & inclusion. When building a strategy, have a look at the demographics of your company, ask the people what matters to them but leave room for the underrepresented and the silent. Start with small ideas, find your champions and back it up with research. Some organisations take the route of HR driving the strategy. In my experience, employee led initiatives that form organically as affinity groups or employee resource groups have a bigger impact. People feel more empowered and being part of the journey. There is no right or wrong way of doing it, as long as you are doing something.
HOW CAN BUSINESSES DO MORE TO MAKE THE MOST OF OVERSEAS TALENT LOOKING TO MOVE TO THE UK?
Provide good support and as much information beforehand as possible, from relocation guides to linking people up with team members to financial support. Create a culture where everyone chips in with helping not just HR or the person doing the onboarding. Encourage people to create support networks to help new team members to integrate successfully into the local area and culture. Engage the new hires from the day of confirming employment and link them up with internal team members who are either local or familiar with the relocation process. Create links with local communities and support networks so you have extra help you can direct employees to.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE WORK YOU DO IN DRIVING DIVERSITY, WHAT AREA ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT AND WHY?
I equally love working on all areas of diversity and inclusion as the end goal is to create equal opportunities for everyone. I naturally have an interest in race and cultures as I’m an immigrant myself. I am fascinated by accents and how they affect our identities and people around us. Another area is cognitive diversity and how we engage with new, uncertain or challenging situations, for example different beliefs. To be truly invested in inclusion and for it to work, we need to be ready to re-evaluate our opinions, welcome discomfort of doubt and foster the attitude that every disagreement is an opportunity to learn something.
TELL US ABOUT A BOOK YOU’VE RECENTLY READ?
Rutger Bregman – Humankind
It’s a book that had a tremendous impact on how I see the World and the people in it. The author presents an argument that humanity and people are good. Our instinct is to cooperate rather than compete, trust rather than distrust. How we see people affects everything we do in life. The book presents a collection of research data, history and facts that backs up the author’s argument, and takes you on a positive journey to learn about humanity.
Thanks for sharing this with us Adriana. Keep rocking #womenrock
A voice for diversity in Tech & Engineering <3