October 5, 2016 by Student 24/7 Blog
The Department of Labour Relations* on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal) recently celebrated diversity within the workplace through their annual Diversity Day.
The event is hosted by students currently completing the honours programme within the department and had two major aims: firstly to expose fellow students to the rich diversity within the world of work, and secondly to supply prospective honours students with information regarding the programme.
The day’s events consisted of an exhibition as well as a presentation done by the students. Upon entering, delegates were welcomed with exhibits representing different countries and their cultures. A vital part of every exhibit was the food that is traditionally enjoyed by the inhabitants of the country. Students chose the USA, France, Germany, Australia, Brazil and of course South Africa, with corndogs, French rolls, schnitzels, Lamingtons and Fajita’s on the menu to name a few. Before the cuisine was served, however, students participated in role play activities exploring issues such as gender inequality, racial segregation, religious bias and other forms of discrimination. Each group enacted a play with one scenario: dramatised a second time with an alternate ending. The audience was then invited to discuss the difference between the two scenarios.
The day was characterized by a feeling of camaraderie among students, learning and laughing together while seeing what they have learnt in the classroom come alive practically in the dramatized scenarios. The head of the department, Dr Leon Moolman, emphasised the importance of understanding and celebrating diversity in the workplace. “As labour relations practitioners, we need to facilitate employees to accept and respect other cultures in the workplace,” said Dr Moolman.
The day was ended with a tasting of foods originating from the different countries as chosen by the participating students.
*The Department of Labour Relations falls within the School for Behavioural Sciences in the Faculty Humanities on the NWU Vaal campus.