Interview with Roy Gluckman
How did you begin your speaking career?
I began my professional speaking career while doing my legal internship at a corporate law firm in South Africa. I have always been a speaker, but got my opportunities in lunch hours of businesses around my law firm at the time. I have always spoken on matters relating to equality, diversity and inclusion – my material has just developed as I have. Most often my material grows as I am asked to speak more broadly on the matters.
What got you interested in Diversity & Inclusion?
My own personal transformation. I was studying law at the time. One of my courses, Constitutional Law spoke of human rights, equality, social justice and redress. I knew nothing of these concepts. In fact, my inherited perceptions were not in favour of these concepts above.
Through studying Constitutional Law, however, I was challenged to uproot my inherited biases and perceptions in place of a deeper understanding of the world, connection, compassion, diversity and equality. That subject changed my life!
The change was so drastic that I vowed to try and recreate that change for others. I have been doing this work every since. I aim to try and create the challenge and liberation that letting go of bias brought me.
Why do clients typically hire you to speak?
I offer a unique perspective. Being young, white, male and South African, my story and experiences provide me with an insight into how we communication around equality, diversity and inclusion matters. I am honest. I don’t beat around the bush. I create space where we have the tough conversation, yet in a loving and gentle way. I am an engaging speaker. Taking people along the journey with me.
Who or what inspires you most?
South Africa inspires me. Our history and what we have achieved humbles me, constantly.
What do you feel is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?
The biggest challenge I have overcome is my own mind. Coming to the realisation that my mind is flawed, that my beliefs are biased and that my perceptions are contrived was incredibly difficult. When you realise that everything you have been taught is a lie, your world rocks! Mine rocked. A necessary requirement for the new foundations I have rebuilt.
What would you like to achieve in the next 5 years?
I would like to be able to spread my message far and wide. I aim to challenge and inspire. TO show love, compassion and possibility of liberation.