Shreya Khurana: Why I got involved with D&I10/08/2020
Shreya Khurana is a final year student at King’s College London who, after meeting our team on campus, has become an ambassador for our Academy and dedication to Diversity & Inclusion (D&I). Passionate about D&I, Shreya has taken part in some of our University engagement events and helped facilitate conversations around equal opportunities in tech. Having also visited our London Head Office to meet with the Talent Team and discuss our current initiatives, we asked Shreya to share with us why she chose to lend her support to Sparta Global and D&I.
Hi Shreya! Can you tell us a little bit about your academic background and what you’re currently studying at University?
I have always been intrigued by the complexity of human behaviour, which motivated me to study psychology in high school. After studying it for two years, my interest grew and I set off to pursue a BA in applied psychology at the University of Delhi, India. Currently, I am doing a Masters in organisational Psychiatry and Psychology at King’s College London. I am now writing a dissertation which aims to employ resilience engineering principles in psychiatry and mental health practices.
What are your thoughts on Diversity and Inclusion in business? What do you think companies should do to promote inclusive work environments?
As a female student in organisational psychology, I strongly believe that D&I is paramount to fuel the smooth functioning of organisations in every sector. It is no secret that diverse teams are beneficial for business. However, whilst employers often acknowledge the importance of diversity, the other side of the coin - cultivating inclusive environments - is more frequently overlooked. Organisations should support their employees to prosper at work irrespective of their circumstances, make them feel valued and accepted for who they are without having to conform or give up their identity. Companies can start by taking steps such as being aware of unconscious bias, acknowledging different religions, languages and cultures and offering D&I training to managers who will act as role models for other employees. Ultimately, D&I practices need to be embedded in organisational cultures and must become part of how companies operate in all their aspects.
As a graduate, do you look for D&I initiatives to be present with an employer?
Definitely! Before applying for a position, I always prioritise understanding the culture of the company through their D&I initiatives. I believe organisations that invest in making their workplaces more inclusive and diverse care not only about their employees’ performance but also their well-being. As a graduate, I want to be valued for what I can bring to a company, including my skills, thinking style, ideas and cultural perception. This can only be achieved if an employer can prove to have strong D&I mechanisms in place.
Why did you choose to work with Sparta Global in terms of D&I?
I discovered Sparta Global at a Female Networking Night at King’s College London, where I met Sparta Global Diversity & Inclusion Lead Gaia Caruso, who introduced me to the company’s vision. As a provider of both employment and education, Sparta Global strives to empower women and minorities from diverse backgrounds to thrive in the tech sector. After meeting Gaia, I was invited to visit the Sparta Global headquarters, where I was glad to see that diversity and inclusion truly are at the forefront of their community. I am particularly passionate about Sparta Global’s business model as they empower individuals from all walks of life to get into tech and provide an inclusive learning environment where its trainees undergo technical and business training. I fully embrace Sparta’s D&I mission and I can see myself working for the company after graduation. For now, I am thrilled to work alongside the Sparta Global D&I team as a student D&I ambassador to share research, knowledge and opportunities among student communities both within STEM and non-STEM degree courses. By doing so, I am happy to contribute to Sparta’s important mission in society and to set a positive example for other tech firms looking to engage and attract candidates in inclusive ways.