Bringing yourself to work
Helen Choudhury introduces herself as the new Diversity and Inclusion manager for Choice Support and shares her passion for equality and respect.
I am delighted to be taking up this new position as Choice Support’s Diversity and Inclusion manager. Having worked in the human rights field for many years, I joined Choice Support because I share their belief in human rights and the idea that: “We value people for who they are, and we expect everyone we support to be respected in society”.
Growing up in a multi-heritage household, equality and respect were values instilled in me by my parents. They always treated boys and girls equally and taught me to respect others regardless of who they are, how they look, where they are from, and what they do.
With my passion for equality, it was only natural for me to move into a profession in human rights, diversity, and inclusion. After seeing both good and bad practices within the workplace I strive to create an inclusive working environment for everyone. Encouraging colleagues to have open and honest discussions and creating development opportunities allows seldom heard voices to be listened to. This raises awareness about diversity, making sure that nobody is left out.
Focusing on diversity and inclusion allows an organisation to help their employees more effectively. Our personal background has an impact on how we feel at work, how we feel we are treated, and how we can be supported. Creating a positive environment in the workplace can help to support colleagues who are going through a difficult time. Offering support creates healthy mental health and wellbeing and empowers colleagues to reach out to their colleagues/HR/manager when they need support.
Creating a sense of belonging is important. We have a collective responsibility to ensure that everyone feels welcomed and supported enough to bring their true self to the table. Until we fully understand what is standing in their way, we should not be surprised if people choose not to bring their true selves to work. It takes a lot of energy and emotional effort to mask part of our identity and full disclosure only happens when we feel safe. I look forward to working alongside my colleagues at Choice Support and to continue creating an environment where everyone can be their true selves at work.