I am delighted to introduce you to the Diverse Minds’ Associates! As a microbusiness I wasn’t expecting to grow my business and felt I could do it all. However, due to workplaces striving to make mental health, wellbeing and race equality part of business as usual the work has expanded.
We all know, and studies tell us when staff are mentally healthy and happy at work they thrive. However, we also know that the behaviours needed for this to happen are easier to talk about or then embed at a deep, cultural level. Sometimes it can feel daunting for organisations leaders to know where to start to make this a reality, especially when deadlines loom and targets must be met.
In 2020, an alarmingly low 1.5% of senior roles were held by Black citizens in UK workplaces, and 39% of employees had experienced poor mental health. Stigma attached to discussing mental health is still a factor. In addition to the inequality staff from Global Majority backgrounds can face, means that unacknowledged instances make this number even higher.
The culture of any given workplace, its set of shared beliefs, values and practices can be changed. We recognise that wellbeing and mental health is the backbone of a positively productive workplace. At Diverse Minds we aim to support organisations to invest in their staff to create an open, healthy, happy, and productive workplace.
By upskilling staff, managers and senior leaders systemic change can be made that benefits everyone. Asking the tough and challenging questions with compassion and focused intention, we can support transformation of an organisation’s culture.
Why Diverse Minds’ Associates?
Our Associates recognise that each workplace environment has its own culture. They are skilled at recognising the relevant nuances within these cultures. Associates take a facilitative approach in training and workshops. Excellent facilitation is as integral a part of what Diverse Minds offers as the training content itself.
Diverse Minds Associates to take the following approach of active learning whereby:
- Participants learn through interactive discussion and activities that relate subject matter to the individual workplace so that it’s highly relevant.
- Activities are structured so that participants engage in solution-finding for any identified challenges.
- Delegates are guided to high levels of thinking around the subject matter.
- A variety of learning styles are used to best engage the participants. For example, some exercises may be auditory, some movement-based, others reflective in nature.
Who are the Diverse Minds’ Associates?
Our Associates are highly skilled professionals that have worked in a variety or organisations and have a wealth of experience. In this series of blog interviews you will learn more about each one.
Diverse Minds’ Associates believe that lasting change can be made. They play an important role in transforming the mental health, wellbeing and inclusivity landscape of the workplace.
Introducing Shazney Spence
Shazney is a personal coach and MD of Equanimity Lifestyle & Success Coaching Ltd, providing non-clinical mental health consultative support services to corporate organisations. She has worked with a worldwide range of clients from varied business cultures.
Previously, during her 10-year career at Accenture, she led initiatives around Human Capital and driving change in the way mental health is viewed culturally within the organisation. As Mental Health Lead for Accenture’s UK division, Shazney was pivotal in engaging employees and leaders, leading conversations around mental health & wellbeing, facilitating monthly calls for those affected by mental health conditions
Areas of expertise
Mindset Coaching, Non-Clinical Mental health consultancy, Public speaker & facilitator, Webinar delivery.
What’s one fact about yourself you would like to share?
I was a gymnast in my younger years. As a champion tumbler, I competed across the country representing my County and competed in Germany. The sport was a great teacher for me and embedded positive habits which stayed with me through to adult life. I attribute my level of self-discipline to my early gymnastic career.
What inspired you to join Diverse Minds as an Associate in 2021?
The ethos completely resonated with me, and I knew that Diverse Minds’ vision was in alignment with mine. My intention is to help people attain a state of mental, emotional stability and balance and to thrive as individuals. As an Associate, I strongly felt that I could add value through my skills and experience.
What is the one book that has greatly impacted what you do and why?
End The Struggle & Dance with Life by Susan Jeffers It was a deeply impactful book for me which I read when I was experiencing challenges. It raised my awareness about the state of my own mental wellbeing and empowered me to make choices about taking inspired, audacious action to improve the quality of my life. It remains a book which I still refer to and share with my clients.
How has not getting what you want immediately helped you to reach your career goals?
I have learnt to embrace unexpected outcomes and have built resilience. By not getting what I want immediately, it has helped me to be creative and flexible, whilst staying close to my vision as my passion has grown. Setbacks have created new opportunities for growth and self-development as well as discovery of ways to be resourceful.
What are your top three tips for looking after your mental health and wellbeing?
- Meditate daily whilst connecting with the breath. Creating time and space for stillness and silence helps focus the mind through introspection and promotes relaxation. Taking deep breaths aids the parasympathetic nervous system and allows the body to rest and digest.
- Get outdoors and connect with nature. It is excellent for the mind, body, and spirit.
- Be honest about how you are feeling. Check in regularly with yourself and if things are overwhelming, don’t be afraid to ask for help from a trusted source.
We are delighted to have Shazney as part of the Diverse Minds Team and we look forward to you meeting her and the rest of the wider team.