Anj Handa is the Founder of Inspiring Women Changemakers, a community of changemakers who stand for fairness and safety for women. Named as one of Grant Thornton’s 100 Faces of a Vibrant Economy in 2018, described by i-news as ‘a bloody brilliant woman’ and winner of the AFSA Positive Action Award, Anj was recently recognised in Forbes as one of the 10 Diversity & Inclusion Trailblazers You Need to Get Familiar With.
She is recognised as an authority on diversity, equity and inclusion, with in depth knowledge of UK equality and employment policies and international best practice in leadership.
Anj is widely-travelled and multilingual and brings her inter-cultural expertise to bear in international settings. She has worked both in and with global teams and diplomatic assignments, advising organisations in how to attract and retain diverse talent and develop effective, globally-savvy leaders. Her clients including Sky Business, Innovate UK and Leeds Beckett University and the Halcyon Group.
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 ethnically diverse women holding such Governance roles in the UK. She believes that her authority to speak on diversity within leadership must be reflected by her own example.
Anj’s global change-making 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.
Her talks focus on three key areas and can be tailored to audiences
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- Introducing the labyrinth – an explanation as to why the labyrinth is a better metaphor than the outdated notion of the glass ceiling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
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)
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
Anj has also hosted conferences and events, acting as a facilitator and interviewing guests on stage for organisations such as Leeds Beckett University. She is also the organiser of her own annual awards event, Igniting Inspiration. Anj is an expert in the Equality Act and Public Sector Equality Duties. She has advised hundreds of organisations large and small in the creating of workplace programmes to recruit a diverse range of talent and develop effective, globally-savvy leaders.
Anj is multilingual, speaking five languages and has studied and worked in Germany for several years as well as in international teams. Anj is widely-traveled and brings her inter-cultural expertise to bear in international settings.
Anj is a skilled conference host and moderator. Conferences that she has recently curated and moderated include Disorienting Race, Carnegie School of Education and the annual employee conference for domestic abuse charity, IDAS.
During the pandemic Anj has been busy speaking at virtual events as well as devising online programmes and writing articles. These have included “Civic Responsibility” –what young people can do individually and collectively to make change and ‘Navigating Change’ – how to be resilient and manage your responses to change, and how to plan and prepare for a new way of working, with a takeaway tool based on the Change Curve.
For more details https://www.scampspeakers.co.uk//anj-handa-webinars-speaking-update/
Anj joined our Global Directors meeting to share her story around self care and how it is an essential – not just a ‘nice to have.’ Anj inspired our colleagues from around the world and her tone and pitch were spot on. There were so many useful takeaways for all of us. Thanks so much Anj -you are a true inspiration and we are really excited to connect with you in the future.
— Christina Lewis, Head of People at Restless Development
Anj was an absolute superstar, with a VERY short turnaround time Anj delivered a fantastic and tailored keynote at our International Women’s Day event. I’d highly recommend Anj and her approach to the glass ceiling. It was thought-provoking and really did fit the #choosetochallenge theme this year. Thanks for all your hard work and collaboration.
— Olivia Ogbomo, Senior Project Manager at Innovate UK
“Anj was our closing speaker at the 2019 Institute of Fundraising Yorkshire Conference. She was wam, funny, and likeable and brought a wealth of experience to share with our fundraising delegates. We were delighted to include her in our speaker line up and hugely grateful for her contribution”
— Kate Carroll – Chair of Yorkshire Committee at Institute of Fundraising
My group 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.
— Terry King OBE, Soroptimists International, Leeds