Inclusion / Exclusion: Three Scenarios

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Women Excluded:

When I worked in banking, there were several times where a “team dinner” was followed by a trip to a karaoke bar. Not the usual kind of karaoke bar, but the kind that involved hostesses who were actually sex workers. I went once. As the lone female in the group, I felt very uncomfortable. Perhaps I was projecting, but I got the impression that the women there who were working, really did not want me there – it made it harder for them to make any money. Plus it involved me seeing my male colleagues either acting “badly” or wanting to but not being able to because I was there. I never went a second time. But my boss kept organising these events knowing full well it meant I would be excluded. The male bonding sessions carried on and I went home.

Is this exclusion acceptable?


Tamil & Malay Excluded

A small organisation put on a variety show near an HDB block in the heartlands. The event was funded by a large foundation backed by Chinese donors. The show was conducted in Mandarin and English. Those who only spoke Malay or Tamil were therefore excluded.

Is this exclusion acceptable?


Deaf Excluded

A charity involved in helping children organised a seminar on urban poverty. The charity had a small budget and some supporters chipped in extra to cover some costs. A few days before the event, a deaf person wrote asking if there would be interpreters for sign language at the event. The cost of such interpreters was prohibitive to the group so they said no. The deaf person was therefore excluded.

Is this exclusion acceptable?