In assembly this week, we were joined by Mo Kanjilal, co-founder of Watch This Sp_ce, who delivered a brilliant presentation on the work she is doing with companies in Brighton and beyond to encourage greater diversity in the workplace. As Mo pointed out, “by the year 2025, 75% of the global workforce will be made up of millennials, and 47% of millennials look for diversity and inclusion when sizing up employers”. Mo’s message is this: “if you don’t do something about it, you will miss out on top talent, you will miss out on all those creative ideas”. In keeping with this message, I offered the girls the opportunity to guest-write my blog this week, based on the themes from Mo’s assembly. I was delighted when Isabelle and Pearl, both in Year 7, contacted me independently to take up the challenge. To allow us to hear from them both, I have merged their blogs into one:

Isabelle: In this Monday’s assembly, we were lucky enough to be joined by Mo Kanjilal. Ms McColl asked her to come in to give us all a positive message about change, and about how people are now standing up to point out that some workplaces aren’t diverse and inclusive enough.

Pearl: In case any of you have forgotten who Mo is, then here is a quick biography just for you. Mo is an award-winning sales director; she has had experience of running large company teams, and delivering organisational change in many different companies. She is also a consultant to many sectors, including the digital industry, technology, healthcare and media.

Isabelle: Mo talked to us about her qualifications and what sort of thing we could do to help implement change. She worked with lots of technology companies which were male-dominated. That is what made her passionate about founding Watch this Sp_ce. Watch this Sp_ce helps companies rearrange their workplaces to make them more diverse, equal and inclusive. I think Mo’s work is very inspiring and we should hear more about people taking action instead of people just talking about it.

Pearl: Mo also volunteers in her spare time to mentor young people: she’s part of something called ‘The Girl’s Network’ – so Mo champions young women like us who need extra support and confidence boost to take the next step. And, it doesn’t stop there… she’s also a regular confidence speaker, a freelance Journalist and writer – and she is an alumna of Norwich High, GDST.

Isabelle: Mo said “Diversity is like being invited to the party. Inclusion is like being asked to dance and belonging is like dancing like no-one’s watching.” Belonging is what Mo is trying to make everyone feel with her company. With Watch this Sp_ce, Mo doesn’t just lecture companies with the negatives but encourage with the positives. Some of the statistics she showed were how much better and faster decisions were made with fewer meetings, and how better profits were made all when teams were more diverse. When it comes to diversity, she said that there are nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership and pregnancy and maternity.

Pearl: So, we are past the diversity bit because there are already so many kinds of people that are all invited to the party, but what happens when we are past that? What happens when we know that people are accepted in this world? Then, my friends, we include. Then, we add another step, which is belonging. Truthfully, we all belong in this world. So, this is the end my fellow friends – we stop here. But always remember, the next time you get invited to a party or a chat, be yourself.

And most of all… dance like no-one’s watching.