Ambassador Q&A: Jag Dhaliwal
White Ribbon Ambassador Jag Dhaliwal hopes to inspire change and stand up to violence against women in his workplace, cultural community and beyond.
What is your day job?
I am a Senior Product Manager working for BT Financial Group (BTFG) in Superannuation and Insurance. BTFG is the wealth management arm of Westpac Group. The Westpac Group has been named to the inaugural WGEA Employer of Choice for Gender Equality, building on being the Employer of Choice for Women.
How long have you been a White Ribbon Ambassador?
I have been a White Ribbon Ambassador for around three months, and I am truly appreciating the beneficial value that White Ribbon brings to developing a sustainable Australian community that is unified in preventing men’s violence against women.
Why did you decide to become an Ambassador?
I decided to become an Ambassador after attending a White Ribbon Australia discussion group in late 2015, which raised the concerning prevalence of domestic violence in the Australian community.
Being originally from an Indian background, I saw this as a tremendous opportunity to get involved with an organisation whose purpose not only resonated with me, but also holds the potential to transform the lives of people of Indian descent living in Australia, as well the wider Australian community.
I truly believe in White Ribbon’s inspiring message and I thought that by aligning myself with such a worthwhile cause, I could start making a real difference in confronting issues within the community – domestic violence against women and children being one of the most prevalent.
In what ways have you been involved in the White Ribbon Campaign?
Through my role as an Ambassador, I believe in order to prevent men’s violence against women, we need to partner with other recognised organisations such as GOPIO to get our message to the wider community.
As the Vice-President of GOPIO Sydney, I attended radio interviews for our annual signature event, GYAAN 2016. During this interview I called upon listeners and the 400 strong audience to recognise the prevalence of domestic violence in the Indian community and the need for everyone to be advocates for domestic violence prevention.
Previously, GOPIO has raised considerable funds for AFFIRM, a mental health research institute, but next year, I will encourage the organisation to support a charity that is extensively involved in counselling and providing financial support for women and children who have been injured, abused and possibly become homeless due to domestic violence.
Why is Gender Equality important to you as an Ambassador?
In Australia, we recognise that equal rights should exist between men and women. Recently the government has introduced regulations intended to fight discrimination in our workplaces. However, the fact remains that women have fewer opportunities than men to benefit from career and financial development, with lower participation in the labor force due to the additional responsibilities of rearing children.
While the principle of gender equity in the workplace is generally accepted, discriminatory practices persist in many organisations despite regulations to the contrary. It is important to create an open and friendly atmosphere to address gender discrimination issues. Gender biases may sometimes be embedded in our cultures, so it is very difficult to eliminate them without having a holistic view and involving men as a part of the solution.
What goals do you hope to accomplish as an Ambassador in the future?
As a White Ribbon Ambassador, I intend to continue to encourage men of all ages to live a life where maintaining and developing respectful relationships with women is paramount. Also, we cannot disregard the effect that domestic violence can have on children, their mental state, safety and possible future attitude towards the spread of violence in society.
Importantly, being an Ambassador is about being a role model by giving someone the reassurance and motivation to make a difference, or just by changing someone’s thinking so they understand how domestic violence can adversely impact their family, and ultimately society as a whole.