Expanding Cultural Connections at Covance: A Diwali Celebration

Employee Resource Groups at LabCorp and Covance are just one example of how we celebrate diversity and develop an inclusive culture in the workplace. Our ASCEND young professional resource group recently sponsored a Diwali celebration in partnership with the Covance Princeton (NJ) Site Council.

Diwali is a significant Indian festival celebrated mostly by Hindus but also by Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists. Also called Deepavali, or the Festival of Lights, the national festival is celebrated in different ways but mainly signifies the victory of good over evil. Many traditions are part of the five-day celebration that include, lit oil lamps, fireworks, feasts with family members and beautiful patterns made of flowers and colored sands, called a rangoli.

At the start of this year’s Diwali, more than 130 Covance team members gathered in Princeton for lunch and an opportunity to learn about this important cultural celebration. Led by Indira Ashara, Senior Grant Payment Associate, and Payal Arora, Senior Financial Analyst and head of the ASCEND Princeton chapter, participants enjoyed traditional Indian food such as saag paneer (Indian cheese and spinach), chicken makhana (butter chicken), daal makhana (stewed lentils or beans), and gulaab jamun (a sweet and spongy syrup-soaked dessert). In addition, volunteers hosted a photo booth, dressing attendees in traditional Indian clothing for pictures, and led rangoli art competitions.

“Our Diwali celebration was a great example of how we can embrace the tremendous cultural diversity within Covance,” said Payal Arora, head of the ASCEND chapter in Princeton. “When you bring your authentic self to work, you open the door for dialogue and understanding which are the hallmarks of what makes Covance such a rewarding place to work.”

ASCEND, which stands for Achieving Success through Communication, Engagement, Networking and Development, is an employee resource group which promotes a multigenerational environment within Covance and LabCorp. This internal young professional driven organization aims to bring opportunities and visibility to a growing sector of the workforce, and help bridge generational differences through effective communication. Employees have formed ASCEND chapters at LabCorp and Covance sites in Princeton, NJ; Indianapolis, IN; Madison, WI; Nashville, TN and Maidenhead, UK.

“As a global company, we benefit greatly from having a diverse workforce,” said Nancy Marte, Associate Director, Inclusion and Diversity. “Celebrating Diwali was a great way to raise awareness and educate our colleagues about an event important to many of our team members. We hope to do more events like this in the future.”

Learn more about how we celebrate unique perspectives and harness our strength in diversity.