"An inclusive society is equipped with mechanisms which accommodate diversity, and facilitate/enable people’s active participation in their political, economic and social lives (...), for all to achieve full potential in life (...) Such a society fosters, at the same time, emanates from well-being of each individual, mutual trust, sense of belonging and inter-connectedness"
I can help you with your business, workplace or learning setting, its culture, practices and working environment. I can add value to your project design through offering inclusion-focused insights and strategic support.
My skillset and experiences bring a more inclusive dimension to business, helping you to develop and improve your work/workplace, and/or helping your project engage with wider and more diverse audiences.
My consultancy is based on offering insight, information and inspiration through the combination of my professional skillset and personal experiences.
Professional experience: With a media (TV, news media) and media business development background, and an Enterprise Masters degree from Manchester Business School, I have an interest in supporting and championing minority-owned enterprises, and/or enterprises supporting minority communities. In 2017/2018, my Masters research and business design focused on LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs, and the results of this are my social enterprise work (see Somewhere), and a book contract with Emerald Publishing (my co-authored LGBTQ+ entrepreneurship book is due to be published next year).
I am also a Fellow of the School of Social Entrepreneurs, and a Fellow of the RSA. I have been an advocate for LGBTQ+ creative community activism for many years, co-Chairing the UK's largest LGBTQ+ choir when I lived in Manchester until 2016, for which I received numerous regional and national awards and nominations for my LGBTQ+ equality and anti-hate-crime campaigning work. I moved full-time to Scotland in 2017 and have continued my LGBTQ+ work as Founder of Somewhere, and through my 10 years of working in learning support, supporting FE and HE students with learning differences and disabilities, and Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC). I am also SRUC's LGBTQI+ Equality Champion, and one of the organisation's Disability Champions.
Personal lived experience: I am a cis-gender lesbian woman who has lived openly since 1996. I identify as neurodivergent and have invisible disabilities. I am happy to disclose more details as necessary.
I am based in Edinburgh, and I also work online over Skype.
Systemic barriers to inclusion exist for people from minority communities - such as people of colour, LGBTQ+ people, people with physical disabilities, people with learning differences, learning disabilities, and those who perceive the world in atypical ways, such as people on the autism spectrum.
Bias affects all of us. It colours our opinions, perspectives and experiences. It's part of what makes us unique and able to form an understanding of our own existence. However, without awareness of our own biases and privilege, it can also cause great harm. Unconscious bias creates structures and practices which exclude people, resulting in a workplace, a school, a society which is fundamentally unequal and unfair. This has a huge impact on the access to opportunity for all.
This four-step process to inclusion is based on a model used to approach exclusion in an educational setting, and explains how learning environments and teaching styles can alienate learners with differences and disabilities.
It is also a powerful way to explain how people with differences often face systemic barriers to inclusion within wider society, through restrictive and non-adaptable working practices, environments, cultures, processes and un/conscious bias.