Div Pillay Book as a speaker/entertainer for your next event
Key Points for Div Pillay
- Div Pillay is an experienced and respected diversity and inclusion practitioner, leader, researcher, and advocate, for over 25 years, trusted by Board Chairs and executive teams to advise on sexism and racism at work.
- She is one of the 100 Women of Influence, named by the Australian Financial Review in the Diversity and Inclusion category, 2018. Div has influenced hundreds of leaders to prioritise and progress their efforts.
- Div is recognised by AACSB, the world’s largest business education alliance, as one of two Australians in a Global List of 25 Influential leaders in 2021. She was recognised for her social-business impact leading the conversation in diversity and inclusion.
- She is a lived experience researcher who has for 10 years listened to women and people of colour’s stories of exclusion in Australian workplaces. She has a depth of insights to share on what is working and what is not.
- Div is the co-host of the podcast, Business in Colour with Sadhana Smiles. Two women of colour in business leading 70+ conversations with top leaders in Australia about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
- She has contributed to the conversation around gender, race and cultural diversity for the last 10 years through her research and practitioner work. She has been invited to contribute her thought leadership to ABC segments, SBS, Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Financial Review, Women’s Agenda.
Topics for Div Pillay
- How to be an ally or advocate for change in diversity, equity and inclusion work as a board member and executive leader
7 Equality Principles, what allies and advocates can do to reduce structural barriers and biases to inclusion in systems at work.
- Gender equality in Australia and why we are lagging behind
A keynote that explains gender intersectionality, the difference between equality and equity, and what leaders can do to make change for all women in the workplace. Specific research on women of colour in the workplace.
- How do you measure change in diversity and inclusion work?
The conversation around targets, quotas, pay gaps, education, employee engagement and experience as effective or ineffective measures.
- How to make staff led networks with sponsors effective and efficient within organisations
There are so many volunteer groups in organisations, trying to advocate for more inclusion – e.g. women in leadership, Pride networks, People of Colour Networks. How effective are they really and how do you measure progress?
- Racism in Australian workplaces and society
Understanding migrant, refugee and asylum seeker professional’s experiences of racism in the workplace. Backed by hundreds of hours of listening sessions and research in the private and public sector.
- Psychological safety and why it is critical to know how to create and maintain it
Psychological safety, i.e. the fear of a negative backlash from being your authentic self at work is at the heart of all diversity and inclusion [D&I] work. If you don’t build this safety, all other D&I work is a sunk cost.
- Unconscious bias training and why it has not worked to make significant change
The difference between unconscious and conscious bias, how our brains work to feel, think and act in judgement of others.
- Inspirational talk
Div was taken by three black, young men for 10 hours in 1999 with her car, in Durban, South Africa. Her life was threatened, and she was beaten badly. She escaped only due to the kindness of a Black Elder and drove herself to safety. During and post this traumatic incident, Div learnt about her own personal resilience, ability to problem solve under extreme pressure, ability to hold no judgements of others, ability to find purpose and agency.
Testimonials for Div Pillay
For any organisation wanting to raise the bar as high as it can go for an event of great importance such as International Womens Day – you can’t go past Div Pillay. Div exudes charisma – she has genuine warmth, lived experience and incredible knowledge. You only need to google Div Pillay to find out how truly awesome she is. Div provided the keynote presentation for our 2023 International Womens Day event. She is able to convey the impact of intersectionality on inclusion - gender, culture and age. Her presentation was thought provoking, provided practical tips and generated lots of reflection about our own workplace practices. I highly recommend Div to anyone who wishes their organisation to become more inclusive even if you are already leading practice. You will be left in no doubt why she has received the accolades she has including being named the Top Linkedin Voice in Australia for Gender Equity.
Bass Coast Shire Council
Div recently helped us deliver our ASIAPAC International Women’s Day event. The preparation was proactively organised and guided by Div which made for a successful and smooth event. Run sheets and contributor briefings were provided / held by Div. The session was on the theme of allyship and Div structured the event to include active participation and contribution from attendees. This made for a very engaging and high energy session. After the event there was informal networking and many people stayed and engaged 1-2-1 with Div. This personal contact and touch really resonated with people. The impact of this session is really a catalyst for continuing to progress conversations and importantly actions around allyship within the organisation. Thank you Div, we would be delighted to work closely again with you in the future.
Prior to the event and during the prep phase Div Pillay was proactive, through and clear in all communication and engagement. The prep we did together made for a great event. During the session we collaborated seamlessly with Div - she really felt like an extension to our team / organisation.
Div Pillay is a an impactful speaker with a message of advocacy. Div's ability to tap into her sphere of influence to bring the right people together for meaningful conversations that inspire scalable change within the marketplace is a rare art. I reached out to Div with a request to speak and moderate a panel at Norton Rose Fulbright around the topic 'Fighting Racism and Championing Social Justice' (GCI 2021). Div organised the entire session which included NRF leaders and the Victorian Multicultural Commissioner. Div has a way about having serious discussions that result in valuable solutions to tackle the most complicated challenges. I, like many of my colleagues were grateful for the experience, and appreciative for Div's contribution. She was able to leverage the panel's lived experience to open up a dialogue within the global firm. This is only one experience of many that I have had the pleasure to watch Div deliver reasonable solutions to our most pressing and difficult work place conversations. Div is passionate about what she does, and it is evident by the lives that she impacts. I highly and confidently recommend Div Pillay as a speaker anywhere around the globe. She has exactly what it take to inspire meaningful and impactful action within any organisation.
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia
Div Pillay is not only a leader in the field of D&I but an engaging, authentic and incredibly powerful story teller. A trail blazer in pushing for progress for culturally and linguistically diverse peoples, Div brings so much value to the table through lived experience and practitioner experience, I recently invited Div to join our Women in Business forum panel discussion where she captivated our audience shining a light on gender intersections and bringing a voice to migrant and CALD people. I highly recommended you engage Div in your organisations D&I and ERG strategic planning Initiatives.
State Manager, NSW and QLD
We were very lucky have Div as our keynote for IWD 2022. Our team are well educated in culture and diversity and it is something that is incredibly important to our firm, so we wanted someone who would push us and challenge us to think about what more we can be doing. Div took time to learn about us and to tailor her message to one that was appropriate for where we are, as a firm, right now. Div encouraged us to think big and framed our focus on being influential with our clients and stakeholders and taking a systems approach. This really resonated with our team and it helped that it came with practical suggestions of how we might start to do this. Div also took the time to answer a wide range of questions, her open approach and deep expertise meant that our team felt safe to ask many and varied questions.
I was thrilled to have heard Div speak at our IWD celebration. As always, Div challenges wisely, underpinning her voice of reason with just enough fact to make you reflect, reconsider, and lean in. Div's passion and deep understanding of inclusion, diversity, and bias are always balanced and delivered to enable others to engage. I am privileged to have the opportunity to learn from and, at times, be challenged by Div's thinking. Amazing work, always.
Senior HR Business Partner
Leadership Coach and Psychologist
Independent Broad Based Anti-Corruption Authority
We had the honour of hosting Div Pillay as a guest speaker for our International Women’s Day event. Her tailored session was impactful, thought-provoking and backed by meaningful data and research. Div is an engaging and dynamic speaker and storyteller. She was able to draw upon her lived experiences and weave in elements of education on bias through curated scenarios, driving the audience to reflect and think about actual steps that can be taken to combat bias. Div was extremely generous with her time and used her in-depth knowledge and expertise on gender and racial equality to answer challenging questions from the audience. I would highly recommend Div Pillay as a keynote speaker if your organisation is genuinely looking at taking positive steps to create a more diverse and inclusive workplace. Thank you, Div!
Special Counsel Fragomen
I would like to recommend Div as a keynote speaker. She helped us relaunch our DE&I messaging across the McCain ANZ business after we had some communication challenges through Covid. Div was very proactive in up front meetings to define the scope of the keynote speech. She directly connected with me and explained how she would like to involve me in the discussion with an aim to mutually engage the whole McCain audience. Div included a lot of provocations throughout the keynote which allowed for discussion, there were also live polls for the audience which also created open dialogue with the broader group. Div also went well beyond the remit of just the keynote. There were many questions that were unable to be answered due to time and Div provided answers after the session ended. Many people appreciated the honesty and sensitivity that Div brought to the discussion around DE&I and the challenges people face and the opportunity that we have as leaders to make a difference to peoples lives.
Australia and NZ
Dear Div Thank you for complementing a wonderful line-up of professional women from diverse backgrounds at our combined chambers International Women’s Day event this week in Melbourne. It’s a significant event in the city’s annual calendar and it was so good to have an audience of over 300 there in person to hear your message. Your knowledge of unconscious bias and inequality was beautifully presented and backed up with facts and statistics and you were a perfect foil for our multicultural presenters from the Arts, Sports and Political arenas. Thank you for being a valuable part of a very special celebration. Wishing you every success with your important work.
Australia China Business Council
Div Pillay is a an impactful speaker with a message of advocacy. Div's ability to tap into her sphere of influence to bring the right people together for meaningful conversations that inspire scalable change within the marketplace is a rare art. I reached out to Div with a request to speak and moderate a panel at Norton Rose Fulbright around the topic 'Fighting Racism and Championing Social Justice' (GCI 2021). Div organised the entire session which included NRF leaders.
Victorian Multicultural Commissioner.
Div has a way about having serious discussions that result in valuable solutions to tackle the most complicated challenges. I, like many of my colleagues were grateful for the experience, and appreciative for Div's contribution. She was able to leverage the panel's lived experience to open up a dialogue within the global firm. This is only one experience of many that I have had the pleasure to watch Div deliver reasonable solutions to our most pressing and difficult work place conversations. Div is passionate about what she does, and it is evident by the lives that she impacts. I highly and confidently recommend Div Pillay as a speaker anywhere around the globe. She has exactly what it take to inspire meaningful and impactful action within any organisation.
Norton Rose Fulbright Australia