Alicia Hernández Lara
Hello Fran, please tell me why are you working for IN-VISIBLE?
As a freelancer I do a lot of different projects and work in different groups and teams. I work in the creative community – in film –. I also work in local Grass Roots Organizations with local activists and I feel like IN-VISIBLE ties them together. We think about: How do we work together and how can we work more efficiently as well as less violently. I always bring my work with IN-VISIBLE to my other jobs, because I am constantly thinking about these questions. At the same time, I can also bring back my other work into IN-VISIBLE. I really enjoy all three of these areas and as a sociologist doing things that makes society better is important to me and I am happy I can do that with IN-VISIBLE.
What are your responsibilities at IN-VISIBLE?
I am working on the English side of workshops and consultancy programs. From the developing of the workshops but also working as trainer and facilitator. Generally, I assist on any English-speaking side of the business.
What would you say is so important about IN-VISIBLE's systemic approach to achieving equity?
I think it’s quite revolutionary. As a sociologist it seems logical to me to have a systemic approach to a systemic problem. However, many people don’t think diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) systematically. They view it more on an individual level and traditional trainings view the individual side of DEI, but don’t go the next step. Nevertheless, even if many people change individually and are very self-reflected, they are still confronted with a team or system that is based on and built on principals that are influenced by bias. That is why IN-VISIBLE is so cool, because it does work with the individual side of DEI but also goes to the next step. Because we have to actually break the existing system down and then build it back up.
You are responsible for the English IN-VISIBLE workshops. Do you believe that you reach another range of people by not only offering German but also English Workshops?
Yes, I do think so. For example, Berlin is super international, especially the start-up scene and a lot of these work in English to also accommodate the international workforce. I believe that if you are working in an urban space, you need to obviously offer native language trainings. However, to work with companies with international workforces, which IN-VISIBLE wants to do, we have to offer trainings in a common language which at the moment is English. With a range of different people in an international workforce you also need more help communicating with each other.
Having the knowledge and theories that support IN-VISIBLE's work are important, but in what way is it applicable to the actual work culture?
I think that was the question which our founder Rea was tackling when she was starting IN-VISIBLE. We both met each other at Cambridge University and both were having the frustration that the theories that I was learning in Sociology and Rea was learning in Gender Studies, was not translating into the real world. And that is how IN-VISIBLE crosses this, because it doesn’t have a top-down lecturing style of consultancy. It’s a mutual exchange, which you need to be able to work together to achieve change. We look at what a company has and wants to do and then we do it together. That is how I think we get over this problem.
The interview was conducted by Alicia, in her first week at IN-VISIBLE, to capture what the team is moved by with her fresh perspective. She found it particularly interesting that despite very different backgrounds, the path of all team members at IN-VISIBLE leads to the same goal - to push forward gender equity.