Anj Handa

Anj Handa

Founder of Inspiring Women Changemakers, an inclusive community of changemakers who stand for fairness and safety for women
FEE : £1k – £3k+

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Anj Handa

Anj Handa is the Founder of Inspiring Women Changemakers, an inclusive community of changemakers who stand for fairness and safety for women

Anj is recognised as an authority on Good Governance and Inclusive Leadership, with a focus on people dynamics: effective communication, impact, and navigating change.

As a Non-Exec Director, she has Board level experience of the design and implementation of diversity, inclusion and social impact programmes. For the last two decades, she has worked with organisations in the UK, Europe, and the US, working collaboratively to create better opportunities for people in business and society and lobbying to change policy that hinders them She was recently recognised in Forbes as one of the ‘10 Diversity & Inclusion Trailblazers You Need to Get Familiar With’.

Named as one of Grant Thornton’s 100 Faces of a Vibrant Economy, described by i-news as ‘a bloody brilliant woman’ and winner of the AFSA Positive Action Award, Anj was also named in the UK Charity Times 2023 International Women’s Day list for the capacity-building she undertakes with organisations within the charity sector.

She believes that her authority to speak on diversity within leadership must be reflected by her own example. A Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, Commerce and Manufactures, Anj is an independent Governor of Leeds Arts University and Chair of the Board of Freedom Studios – as such, she belongs to only 1% of black and brown women holding such Governance roles in the UK.

In her talks, Anj draws on her own experiences when speaking about diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership, covering little-explored themes such as psychological safety, emotional correctness, and healthy boundaries.

She teaches the personal and professional lessons gained throughout her career and her experience of leading a high-profile legal and media campaign to inspire others to make a change in themselves, their workplaces and communities, and the wider world.

Her talks focus on three key areas and can be tailored to your objectives. These are:

  • Radical Self-Care for Changemakers
  • Navigating the Labyrinth: Shattering the Myth of the Glass Ceiling
  • Why you’re not harnessing diverse talent – and what to do about it

 

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Multilingual, she also brings inter-cultural expertise, having have worked both in and with global teams and on diplomatic assignments, advising organisations on how to attract and retain diverse talent and develop highly effective, globally savvy leaders. Her clients include Sky Business, Innovate UK, the NHS, Leeds Beckett University, Restless Development, and The Chartered Management Institute.

Additionally, Anj’s global changemaking work has been featured in Generation Share by Benita Matofska and Sophie Sheinwald, a visual storybook featuring 200 global changemakers, the largest ever collection of changemaker stories. Her work on Female Genital Mutilation and asylum also been included in Eradicating FGM in the UK by Guardian writer Hillary Burrage, and Refugee Tales by Comma Press.

SPEAKING TOPICS

Her talks focus on three key areas and can be tailored to your audiences

  • Navigating the Labyrinth: Shattering the Myth of the Glass Ceiling
  • Radical Self-Care for Changemakers
  • Why you’re not harnessing diverse talent – and what to do about it

Featured Topics Include:

1
Navigating the labyrinth: Shattering the myth of the glass ceiling
  • Anj’s journey and her ‘why’
  • Building your support network inside and outside work
  • Learning the ‘rules of the game’: Gender equality in the workplace and why gender pay gaps and other barriers to progression occur
  • Introducing the labyrinth – an explanation as to why the labyrinth is a better metaphor than the outdated notion of the glass ceiling
  • The masks we wear at work – why ‘covering’ holds us back and when we have imposter syndrome – or something else
2
Self-care for changemakers
  • The Power of Storytelling – Anj’s Story
  • Putting your own oxygen mask on first – why self care is essential, not a ‘nice to have’ if you are to show up as your most effective and engaged
  • The impact of change on our physical and mental wellbeing – introducing the concept of a double change curve using the pandemic as context
  • Build your resilience toolkit – tools and techniques to help you navigate change (e.g. Eisenhower Matrix)
3
Why you’re not harnessing diverse talent – and what to do about it
  • Why any diversity initiative must be led from the top
  • Intersectionality and the importance of understanding multiple characteristics
  • Why making your products and services accessible benefits all
  • The importance of inclusive language – are people deselecting themselves because of your communications?
  • Allyship v employee networks
4
Social action for young changemakers (tailored to youth programs)
1
Navigating the labyrinth: Shattering the myth of the glass ceiling
  • Anj’s journey and her ‘why’
  • Building your support network inside and outside work
  • Learning the ‘rules of the game’: Gender equality in the workplace and why gender pay gaps and other barriers to progression occur
  • Introducing the labyrinth – an explanation as to why the labyrinth is a better metaphor than the outdated notion of the glass ceiling
  • The masks we wear at work – why ‘covering’ holds us back and when we have imposter syndrome – or something else
2
Self-care for changemakers
  • The Power of Storytelling – Anj’s Story
  • Putting your own oxygen mask on first – why self care is essential, not a ‘nice to have’ if you are to show up as your most effective and engaged
  • The impact of change on our physical and mental wellbeing – introducing the concept of a double change curve using the pandemic as context
  • Build your resilience toolkit – tools and techniques to help you navigate change (e.g. Eisenhower Matrix)
3
Why you’re not harnessing diverse talent – and what to do about it
  • Why any diversity initiative must be led from the top
  • Intersectionality and the importance of understanding multiple characteristics
  • Why making your products and services accessible benefits all
  • The importance of inclusive language – are people deselecting themselves because of your communications?
  • Allyship v employee networks
4
Social action for young changemakers (tailored to youth programs)
Individual-Speakers-Quote

Anj was amazing when she spoke for one our Youth for Europe series, a large scale KA3 European youth project funded by the Erasmus plus programme and the European Commission. The project has brought together over 200 young people together from 6 different countries with European policy makers and inspiring people to create European policies to present to the EU on 3 main topics; education, media and the environment… Anj was very open to the project and really wanted to connect with and inspire the young participants. We kept in communication before the talk and she was professional, organised and nothing was too much for her. When it came to the talk Anj was great, she prepared an interesting topic that fit with the aims of the project that generated lots of discussion… From an organisational viewpoint it was great to have a speaker who really knew how to engage with the young people and from all the feedback everyone really enjoyed it and took lots of new ideas and inspiring thoughts away with them. We wouldn’t hesitate to work with Anj again in the future and we would recommend her work to everyone.

Ben Holland, Youth Development Manager at Momentum

Individual-Speakers-Quote

We had an hour of Anj’s time and the level of insight during that period was amazing. She posed great questions to make us think and that we need to answer before we can move forward. She also demonstrated that you can make fabulous things happen through your networks and collaboration with organisations that share your passion.
I would happily work with Anj again and recommend her to others.

Dr Shona Hunter, WhiteSpaces Initiative

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