Interview at Asif Sadiq MBE - Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at The Telegraph

10 Jan 2020

By the Editorial staff

What were you like when you were younger? How were you educated? How did your parents' cultural diversity influence your growth?

I grew up in Nairobi in Kenya. It was a very multicultural environment and one that provided me with a great understanding of so many different cultures, ethnicities and backgrounds.

What did you study? Did you study in your country or abroad?

I did my primary education in Kenya and went to University in the UK, where I studied for a Bachelor's degree in Management and Human Resource Management and then went on to do a Master's in Counteering Organised Crime and Terrorism. 

What was your first role and what expectations did you have when you started there?

I first joined the Police as a Police Officer, after I graduated and I didn't have many expectations at that stage in my career apart from wanting to be treated fairly and have the same opportunities that anyone else had while making a positive contribution to society.

How have you seen the Diversity and inclusion change in the last 5 years?

I feel that diversity has come along way and we are finally starting to move away from box ticking diversity into understand true diversity and Inclusion and how it actually benefits companies profitability as opposed to being a nice to do.

What does Diversity stand for you?

For me, Diversity is about all differences and that fact that every single person is diverse because they bring something different to the conversation, whether that be lived experience or other experiences.

What are your key commitments?

My key commitment is to create a sense of belonging for all our employees and an environment where they can bring their authentic selves to work.

Why is Diversity a strategic lever for sustainable growth?

Diversity of thought only enhances sustainable growth and creates more innovation, better ideas and above all else long term employee retention and satisfaction. 

What are the issues that need to be resolved today and what positive changes does the near future bring?

How would you like to effect change? We need to start to understand intersectionality and what is important to staff as opposed to assuming their needs based on their visible diversity. We also need to ensure any diversity strategy is integral to the companies objectives in order for it to succeed in the long run. 

How do you define an inclusive workplace?

One where everyone can be themselves, have a voice and feel that they are part of a team, as well as where their individual needs are captured and their is an understanding from the organisation around how to create this environment.

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