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Ask Me Anything: DEI&B - How I Fostered a Culture of Belonging?
By fostering a sense of belonging, organisations can actively promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, leading to improved employee engagement and satisfaction. Whether employees truly feel like they belong to an organisation determines how committed and connected an individual can be. This DEI&B Ask Me Anything session will explore ways to create a workplace culture where all employees feel valued and included, regardless of their differences.

This forty-five-minute ‘Ask Me Anything’ session format will comprise of an introduction focused on what belonging means to both our panellists. We will then explore how they have made an impact on their former and current organisations. To close, the final 15 minutes will be used for a no holds barred Q&A so you too can spearhead a culture of belonging. This will ensure our panellists answer any pressing questions you may have.

This is why belonging is so important to both our panellists:

Simran has over twenty years of experience as a talent strategist specialising in inclusion & diversity (I&D), culture change, employee experience, people programs, change management, and leadership development. Simran stated that belonging is fundamental to human ingenuity. Feeling seen, safe, courageous, and connected allows humans to be their best selves, both personally and professionally. The best organisational cultures are those where beyond diversity and inclusion, people feel like they belong. This is a fundamental human need, to belong and feel part of something bigger than yourself.

Micaela has over twenty years of experience in external marketing, corporate communications, strategic development, and internal employee communications across broad and diverse audience groups. Micaela expressed that as human beings, we are driven by two fundamental conditions – we want to be around other people – and, that those people care about us. This sense of belonging is grounded in a primitive reason for survival.


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Simran Kumar Anand
Vice President - Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging @Accenture
Seasoned Talent Strategist specializing in Inclusion & Diversity (I&D), culture change, employee experience, people programs, change management, leadership development and coaching. Proven success working in highly matrixed and fast-growth environments with complex talent-related needs and challenges. Ability to transform ideas into action through critical thinking, creativity, communication, stakeholder consensus and courage.
Micaela Cook
Senior Director, Inclusivity, Diversity & Belonging @Ciena
Micaela Cook is Global Senior Director, Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Ciena. She has many years’ experience – ranging from her early career as an Electronic & Electrical Engineer through marketing, communications and ultimately turning her passion for diversity and inclusion into her full-time role at Ciena. She has delivered large scale, and sometimes tricky, employee engagement programmes to deliver business objectives. Micaela is also a director in her own consultancy business - Indigo Insight. She lives in London, UK with her husband and daughter.