Diversity

This is YOUR community!  We want paradiGM to be a space where you can be yourself and feel accepted for who you are. The purpose of our Diversity initiative is to cultivate an authentic sense of belonging by working to achieve a more diverse and welcoming community. We will champion diversity in everything that we do.  From our members, the organizations that we partner with, speakers and topics – we aim to be a community that is truly global and inclusive. 

What is Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are two interconnected concepts—but they are not interchangeable.

Diversity is about representation or the make-up of a community, business or group that can be used to differentiate people from one another.  Its importance relates to empowering people by respecting and appreciating what makes them different.

This can be in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education and national origin, but it is not limited to these factors.  While some differences might be considered to be more self-evident (such as national origin, age, race and ethnicity, religion/belief, gender, marital status and socioeconomic status) it is important to also consider what is less obvious (such as neurodiversity, educational background, sector experience, and even personality) about how people can be different.

Inclusion is about how the perspectives of different groups of people are valued and integrated into an environment.  It is an organisational effort in which different groups or individuals of different backgrounds are culturally and socially accepted and welcomed.  

Inclusive cultures make people feel respected and valued for who they are as an individual or group. People feel a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so that they can do their best to contribute to what they care about.

When people feel valued, they function at full capacity and feel part of the organisation’s mission.  This is why Diversity is an essential pillar of the paradiGM Community.

Why Do They Matter?

Diversity and Inclusion matter because it gives us a sense of belonging.  They pave the way for more creativity and innovation.  This is what we want to achieve for everyone who is a member of the paradiGM Community

The more people we have with unique experiences, beliefs, and perspectives the more opportunity there will be for us to generate new ideas together.

Secondly, a diverse and inclusive community means a respectful and tolerant space where members feel welcomed and accepted. This results in members who will align our mission with their personal goals.

Diversity Team

Ben

Ben Sookia, DIVERSITY Advocate and paradiGM Co-Founder, is proud to belong to a truly international family –  he is a dual Mauritian/UK national and his immediate family are from Australia, Poland and New Zealand.   Ben loves speaking different languages and learning about new cultures and you will generally find him wearing at least one item of clothing (usually red) associated to his favourite football club, Arsenal.

Fuller Bio is available on  the Founders Page

Anna

Anna Khan is an Australian immigration lawyer. Born in Sydney to Pakistani immigrant parents she has grown up learning two cultures and two languages simultaneously. She has spent her entire legal career working in immigration with multi-national businesses, individuals and refugees. Her passion lies in developing client relationships and understanding individual needs.

Anna has joined the paradiGM Diversity team in the hope of sharing stories of diversity and ensuring that all voices are heard, no matter where they are from or how loud they are. Within the team, her focus lies in the lighter side of diversity and creating easy and inclusive ways to welcome people into the paradiGM community. Most of her ideas revolve around the getting/making/eating of delicious meals.

Carine

Carine Elliott is a UK immigration lawyer born and raised in London, UK by Jamaican immigrant parents. She currently works at Squire Patton Boggs as part of their London based Labour & Employment team and has worked in a range of law firms throughout her career so far.

As a female, first generation immigrant and first generation university graduate, Carine holds diversity, equality and inclusion close to her heart. Having grown up in such a diverse place as London, she has developed a particular interest in increasing awareness of different cultures and practices and joined paradiGM with the view of doing just that. Carine is a proud member of the Diversity Team and cannot wait to share her experiences and learn from others. Carine believes that the key to positive relationships is authenticity and wants to bring a more genuine and authentic contribution to the world of Global Mobility.

Nouran

Nouran Zarroug is a Freelance Consultant within the Talent Mobility and Business Travel Sectors; working across the client/vendor eco-system supporting organisations with best practice on GM policy and strategy. She has previously worked with multi-national companies championing Talent Mobility as well as Worldwide ERC (an international trade association for the Global Mobility industry).            

Nouran possesses a huge passion for people and places which drives her perspective through both her work and personal life. Being a Third Culture Kid and an expat for most of her childhood, she has developed a strong appreciation for diverse cultures. Although British by citizenship, her parents are Sudanese and she has spent many of her formative years living throughout the Middle East and Europe, including, Saudi Arabia, The Sultanate of Oman, Sweden and the UK; so, continues to be fascinated by East/West nuances.

Nouran was excited to join paradiGM as she feels authenticity and vulnerability are frequently missing from our daily interactions and believes this community will be the paradigm shift. She is a proud member of the Diversity Group and will be working alongside Anna, Ben, Carine and Scherezade to create meaningful change around awareness, knowledge and perception of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion specifically in the work environment.

Scherezade

Scherezade Maestre is an immigration lawyer who has worked and lived in four European countries (Spain, France, Belgium and the United Kingdom). Fluent in English, French and Spanish, she has worked in global immigration law firms, as well as for international public organisations on policy and legislation. With a specialisation in EU legal migration, she published her thesis on the challenges for the posting of workers and intra-EU ICT mobility to achieve real pan-EU mobility. Her areas of expertise are multijurisdictional advisory services, work compliance and risk and policy.

Scherezade joined paradiGM motivated by the project of creating an inclusive community in which everyone could participate freely and on equal terms – in sum, belong to. Active in advocacy, she describes herself as a lesbian cis-woman, an immigrant, and a feminist. She now mainly focuses on LGBTQIA+, neurodiversity and language matters within the Diversity team, with a strong focus on gender issues.