The aim of the IWD 2023 #EmbraceEquity campaign theme is to get the world talking about why equal opportunities aren't enough. We know that challenges and opportunities vary and embracing equity requires considered action. Read more about Dee Parmar Life at IFM.
Female. Ethnic. Parent. These are labels Dee Parmar has encountered over the years, along with comments such as: “Dee’s energy is great, but I couldn’t put her in front of senior leaders, she wouldn’t be taken seriously.” “Where are you from? Your English is very good!” and “You already have more flexibility than others because you are part-time.”
“Every one of these 'labels' present obstacles,” says Dee. “A lot of the work I do at IFM is to foster conversations about equity. I like to hold up a mirror to the world and start respectful conversations about what we see.”
Dee's background in acting and her transition to a career in corporate learning have given her a unique perspective on the value of learning and development in cultivating transformation.
“I’ve always had a sense of the value of learning. I come from a family of teachers, including my mother who went back to studying after having us kids.” Dee adds, “She has always been an advocate for creating your own opportunities.”
This same ethos is reflected in IFM's Learning & Development team, which is committed to empowering and energizing people to reach their potential through their own learning journeys.
“When people are growing and learning, we are all better. Our job is to support people to do that,” reflects Dee. “Just as we invest in assets, we are committed to investing in our people.”
Likewise, Dee’s participation in IFM’s 'Breakthrough Leadership' program has proved transformative. Dee successfully applied for the program which supports the development of our prospective leaders, acknowledging that some of them may have faced inequity and bias in their careers.
Dee shares, “I’ve learnt that breaking through stereotypes takes courage and vulnerability. In doing so, I’ve gained self-worth and confidence.”
“Our systems and institutions don’t always create an equal playing field for everyone. Often you get put into boxes and those can become obstacles. I want to use my energy and efforts to make space for other people like me, who want to do what they love but may not see a space for them.” adds Dee.
Challenging gender stereotypes, calling out discrimination, drawing attention to bias, and seeking out inclusion is how Dee actively supports embracing equity.
Fortunately, IFM’s Cultural Foundations and Behaviours, especially the value of ‘Lead by Example’, resonates with her. “I am the change I want to see.”