Promoting diversity and inclusion in workplace settings

Wednesday 08th May 2024 06:26 EDT

Mamta Saha, a business psychologist, diversity and inclusion consultant, TEDx speaker, and accredited somatic coach. She is also accredited by the British Psychological Society and the International Coaching Federation. Mamta drew inspiration from her grandmother's serene demeanour and mindfulness cultivated through meditation. This influence led her to pursue psychology, with occupational psychology standing out as her primary focus.

Emphasising on diversity and inclusion within the workplaces and organisations, Mamta said, “Diversity and inclusion ( D&I) for me is defined as a fair and inclusive playing ground for all despite overt and covert diversity. Creating psychological safety is paramount for people to feel safe and thrive. In all behavioural workshops I conduct, diversity and inclusion are integral topics that need to be addressed. I feel we need to do better to address the racism towards black people in the Asian community.”

Mamta discussed effective strategies necessary for fostering diversity and inclusion within the corporate environment. She said, “It is better to have a zero-tolerance policy for bullying in the workplace. Invest in behavioural training and development across all levels. This is something I see a lot of Asian business leaders not prioritising as they are more focused on commercials as opposed to investing in the culture, climate, and development of their people. Fostering an open culture with focused groups on mental health, disability, race, ethnicity, religion, neurodiversity, and global inclusion can help with diversity and inclusion. Through events and collective celebrations, we honour the diversity each individual brings.” 

Diagnosed with disability, Mamta reflects on influencing her work as a business psychologist especially in terms of diversity and inclusion. She said, “Asking for what I need and working for success is crucial. My unique approach fosters empathy, a skill many leaders lack. I advocate for neurodiverse individuals, identifying potential biases in coaching sessions with clients facing relationship challenges. This insight broadens my clients' perspectives, allowing them to embrace perspectives beyond the standard norms.”

Sharing a success story from her work, Mamta Saha recounted her collaboration with a blue-chip French company in the Middle East aimed at enhancing inclusivity and diversity within their teams. She said, Despite their business success, diversity wasn't fully embraced. After focus groups, I identified staff feeling undervalued. I designed and delivered five custom workshops, impacting the entire organisation. Staff lacked adjustments for Ramadan, Diwali, and Christmas. To promote cultural inclusivity, we introduced a monthly "celebrating all cultures" day. In the future, we risk becoming complacent about prioritising diversity and inclusion in organisations. To seize opportunities, we must engage in difficult conversations with open minds and hearts.”

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