The Greenville Chamber recently hosted the April Greenville Women at Work lunch and multicultural panel recently, featuring a thought-provoking panel of multicultural women professionals who shared their personal backgrounds and compared them to the Upstate work culture.
Ava Smith of Flat Fee Recruiting moderated the panel, which included Mavis Nakuma, a registered nurse originally from Africa; Elvia Pacheco-Flores, an HR professional and nonprofit founder originally from Mexico; Sima Patel, an attorney and first-generation Indian-American; Anita Tam, an assistant professor, faculty adviser and first generation Chinese-American; and Nazanin Zinourit, a data scientist originally from Iran.
The panelists shared some of the cultural shock they encountered in Greenville. While the residents seemed warm and friendly, some became distant as time passed. The assumption that everyone is a Christian was also a surprise to several of the panelists.
The panelists also shared some dos and don'ts with the group. Assumptions were addressed, such as expecting everyone from a particular culture is the same and assuming that associates don't want to socialize after work. Remember that people are more alike than different; don't point out differences. Instead, ask sincere questions about culture and invite colleagues to business and social events. Spending time together builds an inclusive community.
Marion Mann's post concluded, "And as always, the main takeaway from every Greenville Women at Work event -- build each other up. Be the women who pave the way for more women to be included and successful."
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