Interactive Workshop (*Up to 40 Participants)

Ending discrimination: the journey towards an inclusive workplace

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Discrimination has always been a deep-seated issue in our society and the change isn’t coming nearly as fast it should. Workplaces aren’t exempt from this issue either. Employees are being mistreated —  consciously or not — every day based on their race, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, or status of their mental health.

Statistics show that 62.5% of people with Major Depressive Disorder from 35 countries have anticipated or experienced discrimination in the work setting. In another study, 11% of people with mental disorders felt their colleagues were avoiding them. Experiencing aggression and prejudice because of who you are also aggravates existing mental conditions or causes them to develop.   

Too often we participate in this process without realizing we’re complicit, just like too often we’re intimidated by something we don’t understand. Masawa, the mental wellness impact fund, proposes this session to highlight the stigma of mental disorders in the workplace, heavily touching on race and gender-based discrimination, as they can’t be separated.

This workshop will consist of four parts, the main one being a simulation conducted in smaller groups. Each participant will represent a character of varying gender, race, mental health status and will role-play in a workplace meeting based on predetermined prompts. The goal of the exercise is to get a sense of discriminatory behavior exhibited in the workplace and understand how the system continuously disadvantages people with any characteristics that set them apart from the ideal it favors.

And it doesn’t end there – a problem requires a solution. We’ll also discuss how to create a better, more inclusive workplace where everyone is treated with equal dignity and respect, and what can be done to turn the unfortunate numbers reflected by statistics around and make sure everyone gets access to the services they need and the compensation they deserve?

Join us to uncover the answers to these pressing questions and learn to build a better workplace together.

Confirmed Panelists

Joshua Haynes

Joshua is founder + managing partner at Masawa, the mental wellness impact fund. After a long journey learning to approach his own issues of depression, anxiety, and addiction, Joshua founded Masawa to help address mental illness, a silent epidemic that is the leading cause of disability worldwide and costs, in the EU alone, €600 billion a year.

Over the past 20 years, Joshua has focused on the intersection of innovation, technology, and social impact. He has worked for both the US and Swedish governments, managing a portfolio of $190 million in innovative grant funding in emerging and frontier market countries targeting poverty alleviation, civil society, human rights, and technology. Joshua has degrees from Boston University and The Fletcher School, Tuft University, speaks seven languages well, has worked in 35 countries, and lives in Berlin with his husband and their two children.

Gabija Vilkaitė

Gabija is responsible for Masawa’s communications, working to develop its connections with investors, founders and community members who share the vision of making mental wellness accessible to billions. She hopes to see a world where everyone can have the tools they need to improve their mental state – a goal only a combination of impact investing, bringing mental health into the focus of health care systems and reducing stigma can achieve.

Gabija began her professional journey as a freelance copywriter / communications consultant, working with a variety of companies in the private and public sectors. She also contributed to the projects of several local non-profits. Gabija holds a Business & Economics degree from Stockholm School of Economics (in Riga) and currently lives in Marseille, where she moved half a year ago after backpacking through Europe for several months.

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