WORD PODCAST: Women on Racism and Discrimination
Sarah Liu on Building Inclusive Environments and Empowering Marginalised Communities
In this enlightening interview with Sarah Liu, Founder and Managing Director of the Dream Collective, we explore the profound impact of systemic racism, socioeconomic disparities, and gender discrimination on individuals. Sarah shares her insights gained from working extensively in the field of diversity and inclusion. She also discusses the steps she has taken to drive meaningful change and highlights the importance of creating accessible resources and fostering a supportive community. Additionally, Sarah expresses her positive impressions of Maya Cares, a revolutionary chatbot launched by The Creative Co-Operative, designed to empower women of colour in reporting and recovering from racism.
Sarah Liu, a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion, is the Founder and Managing Director of the Dream Collective. With a strong global presence, the Dream Collective partners with multinational companies to cultivate best practices in diversity and inclusion. Sarah’s experiences and expertise provide a valuable perspective on the individual-level impact of systemic racism, socioeconomic disparities, and gender discrimination.
Systemic Racism and Identity Erasure:
According to Sarah, systemic biases and discrimination can erode an individual’s sense of identity. The resulting harm often leads to identity erasure, where people feel compelled to distance themselves from their culture, race, or heritage. This erasure has both short-term and long-term consequences on an individual’s self-esteem, self-confidence, and overall identity. It also hampers social connections, making it difficult for individuals to express their true selves and hindering their ability to form meaningful relationships. Sarah emphasises that when individuals are unable to bring their authentic selves to the workplace, society as a whole loses out on the diverse talents and economic power they can contribute.
Driving Meaningful Change:
Sarah recounts her journey of founding the Dream Collective, which was initially born out of her own experience of confronting the lack of diversity and inequity in the corporate world. Realising the need for systemic change, the Dream Collective shifted its focus to working with businesses to eliminate cultural biases internally. One practical example of this approach is the creation of She Dares, a free online initiative developed in collaboration with Amazon Web Services. She Dares aims to bridge the gender and cultural gaps in technology careers by providing training and job opportunities to women from diverse backgrounds.
Allyship in Action:
Sarah emphasises the importance of moving beyond belief and transforming it into behaviour. While many individuals express opposition to racism and sexism, true change requires tangible actions. The Dream Collective advocates for allyship not only among marginalised and underrepresented groups but also within the majority population. By creating an inclusive environment and actively involving everyone, companies and societies can foster real progress.
The Impact of Maya Cares:
Sarah shares her positive impressions of Maya Cares, an innovative chatbot developed by The Creative Co-Operative. She appreciates the accessible and interactive interface of Maya Cares, which normalises conversations about racism and discrimination. Sarah emphasises the significance of community support and dialogue in driving change. She commends Maya Cares for creating a platform that not only addresses specific incidents but also fosters a sense of community and empowerment.
About Sarah Liu
Sarah Liu, Founder and Managing Director of The Dream Collective, is an international thought leader, speaker, trainer and facilitator on next-generation leadership, DEI and the future of work.
Having represented Australia in the G20 YEA, Sarah also served as an APAC advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister’s Cabinet and sits on the judging panel for Forbes Awards. Sarah is invited to train leaders internationally across private and public sectors on leadership transformation and is an appointed regional partner for Google, lead trainer for National Women in Construction, Engineering, Media and Technology across AUNZ and a member of the UTS Industry Advisory Board.