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COO - Indus Community Services

Cultural Perceptions - How to Live Your Most Authentic Life While You Change the World

In this talk, Yvonne shares about the perceptions of the South Asian Woman and what is expected of her at work and in society. How such societal images and expectations limit the potential of what the BIPOC community brings to the table with respect to having diverse perspectives integrated in decision making at institutions and systems. So how does one break free from those societal and cultural expectations? How do organizations, people leaders and teams flourish by creating safe spaces for diverse voices?

During the Summit, Yvonne will share her lived experiences in the professional corporate environment, in her public speaking platforms and the South Asian community. Yvonne has also been featured on CBC, Huffington Post, OMNI and Rogers TV where she speaks about the taboos and stigma within the South Asian community and how one can break free and live a more authentic life personally and professionally. For the upcoming Summit, Yvonne will be able to share her insights on how changemakers today and in the future can live their true selves in a safe and impactful way as they make the world a better place to live in.

Speaker Bio

Yvonne Sinniah is driven to develop communities and individuals to thrive and live to their best potential. She is the Chief Operating Officer at Indus Community Services, a large not-for-profit serving diverse communities in the areas of seniors support services, newcomer settlement and employment supports and family/domestic violence supports. She was also a strategic leader for Community Development and Program Partnerships in municipal government in Canada, where she worked with community groups, government agencies and private organizations to develop collaborative partnerships to increase community connectedness and belonging. Previously, Yvonne was the Director of Health System Integration in provincial healthcare government, where she led Diversity and Health Equity, Women and Children’s Health, Telemedicine, Special Needs Strategy and Physiotherapy Reform. Yvonne is passionate about developing and supporting communities in multifaceted and meaningful ways that enable positive long-term and sustainable changes. Yvonne also volunteers as a Board Member for Halton Black Voices (HBV), an organization that amplifies the voices of Black communities in Canada while implementing community programs and initiatives to support individuals from racialized communities.

Yvonne’s commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) stems from her life journey as a Tamil refugee coming to Canada. Her family flee two wars and their final country of settlement was Canada. Growing up and facing racism herself is the reason Yvonne is passionate about helping organizations and communities face the realities of the inequities in society and be part of solutions to a better future. From individual mindsets to the treatment of vulnerable individuals due to historical policies and procedures that continue to cause disparities in marginalized communities, Yvonne works with leaders and teams to help breakdown system barriers. Her EDI work coupled with Yvonne’s strategic and operational management in provincial healthcare and municipal government has allowed her to support senior leaders and staff in developing and implementing multi-pronged strategies that improve business functions and service delivery to better serve diverse communities.

In addition to this, Yvonne has a background in management consulting where she has experience in strategy and action plan development, operational reviews, facilitation, community engagement and stakeholder consultation. Yvonne is delighted and motivated to work with organizations and teams that want to learn, improve and grow while actioning meaningful initiatives and strategies to improve the lives of those they serve.

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