Embracing cultural diversity and inclusion

October 26, 2020

On Saturday, October 24, 2020, the NDEB opened its Annual Meeting with keynote speaker Jas Kalra, inspiring attendees to cast a lens on identifying intercultural notions within their workplace.

An Ottawa-based professional coach and facilitator, Jas is committed to promoting respect, intercultural leadership, diversity and inclusion competencies to individuals, professionals and leaders who work in a diverse and multicultural environment.

Her keynote addressed how our perceptions around cultural differences, which can be challenging and if not decoded, turn into bias and prejudice.

Weaving through the cross-cultural competency model, Jas guided the meeting attendees to gain insight into broadening their cultural lens to better prepare them with different ways of interacting and relating with others.

Her presentation opened the door to self-reflection and to taking different approaches within our workplaces.

This model rests on the notion that what we pay attention to dictates our behaviour, values, reactions and commitments. Only through an understanding of what we pay attention to, can we begin to affect change.

About Jas Kalra

Jas Kalra is the President and founder of Jas Kalra Consulting. Jas is a professional coach and facilitator with a deep background in intercultural, diversity and inclusion competencies. She has lived in Ottawa for more than a decade and understands deeply the challenges we all face in being open and welcoming to others who look and behave differently from us.

Jas has worked with federal departments, and Canadian forces for the past 15 years. She draws her expertise from her lived and professional experience as an immigrant to Canada and Interviewing executives and managers for multinational and government organizations in India, North America, Singapore and Nepal as an HR professional. Jas facilitates Diversity & Inclusion and intercultural effectiveness for Global Affairs of Canada, Department of National Defence, Conference Board of Canada, IBM, American Express, Siemens and Bank of America etc. She has been coaching staff and at an executive level from United Nations, Oxfam, Statistics Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada to effectively meet stressful situations and bridge intercultural communication challenges at work. She has a comfortable way with people and knows how to build bridges between people.

Her educational background includes master’s degree (M.SC) in Biology from India and certification in Adult Education by St. FX University, Nova Scotia. Her Coach certification is from New Ventures West (leaders in training coaches), in California. As a licensed practitioner and administrator of Intercultural Readiness Check, IRC (a psychometric assessment tool), she has gained insights into building cultural bridges and finding a balance in opposing views.