Asif Sadiq MBE (Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, The Telegraph) joins Sam Tidmarsh for coffee to discuss childhood ambitions, career trajectory and the importance of embedding diversity and inclusion within eCommerce design processes.
What was your earliest childhood ambition?
I guess for me, as it is for a lot of young kids, I wanted to follow in the footsteps of my father and be a businessman. I loved the thrill of the life he had, jet setting across the world and dressing up in suits!
Tell us about how your career has developed.
My career has been an interesting one. I started off in the Police service, working as a police officer in various different departments from CID, Counter Terrorism, Business Policing to eventually heading up the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Unit. After which I joined EY as Head of Diversity and Inclusiveness and now the Telegraph as Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. So quite a journey from the public sector to the private sector and now the media.
What does inclusion mean to you?
Inclusion to me goes beyond your traditional understanding of inclusion. We all talk about diversity being the difference, and inclusion being the opportunity to be part of an organisation, or “being included”. Whereas to me, we need to go beyond inclusion – as inclusion alone doesn’t work. We need to create a sense of belonging for staff in order for them to be their authentic self and for organisations to reap the benefits of more productivity and innovation.
How can we embed diversity & inclusion in eCommerce design processes?
We need to think of D&I in its broadest sense rather than just sticking to traditional diversity boxes that don’t capture everyone. We also need to make sure we have diversity of thought and experiences within the design team so that we can get different opinions, views and ideas that create great output as opposed to getting it wrong, which could be very costly both from a reputational perspective as well as financial.
Which brands are doing this well?
I don’t think there is any one brand that is doing all of it well, there are of course some good practices out there and some brands that are leading on certain elements of diversity, however we are still to see one that can get it all right!