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Meet the Author; In Conversation With... Priya Bates & Advita Patel

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Meet the Author; In Conversation With... Priya Bates & Advita Patel

I think we can all agree the year is flying by and with that, it was time for VMA GROUP’s 5th Meet the Authorevent last Friday (9th June) at the spectacular Hanover Communications venue. Hosted and organized by managing consultant, Crystle Pearce, this successful event series is designed for communications professionals to unite, listen and discuss ideas from some of the best wordsmiths in the field. With striking views over Southwark Bridge and drinks in hand, it was another wonderful chance to ‘meet the author’ with VMA GROUP.

So, What Was the Book?

Living in a truly multicultural world, organisations, big or small, are seeking to encourage and promote diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) within their workplace. With DEI being such a ‘hot topic’, it was great to welcome Priya Bates and Advita Patel, authors of 'Building a Culture of Inclusivity: Effective internal communication for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion'. As two well-seasoned IC professionals, Priya and Advita decided to write this book as an essential toolkit for IC professionals and business leaders to assist in the creation of truly inclusive workplace.

What Was Discussed?

Throughout the discussion between Priya and Advita, it was clear that the key to a successful diverse and inclusive workplace often lies at the core of the business. We need to ask ourselves if our leaders and decision-makers are representative of the diversity around us, be it visible or not, i.e., within the decision-making team, are there women of colour? Is there someone to represent the LGBTQ+ community? Is there a range of socio-economic backgrounds?

From the off, the chat between the two authors was greatly thought provoking, encouraging the room to consider how their companies may pride themselves on being ‘diverse’ and ‘inclusive’ and if their decision-makers are all one of a kind. In their words ‘diverse leadership teams [are needed] for diverse thoughts’. From here, the conversation moved to the intrinsic and often forgotten links between wellbeing and DEI… if our working environment is wholly inclusive and foolproof, surely there is no reason for minority groups to score low on wellbeing surveys and reports?

Having said this, establishing an organisation with ‘perfect’ DEI is no easy feat, and arguably not feasible – to that, I hear you ask, ‘is there such thing as ‘perfect’?’, and we aren’t going to always get it right. But, as IC professionals, we must encourage our organisations to provide sufficient budgets and open conversations to support the DEI strategy and make sure our actions are intentional to avoid DEI being a mere ‘tick box’ exercise. It is vital that leadership teams in organisations have the knowledge (such as demographic data and wellbeing insights) to make meaningful decisions around DEI and act upon it accordingly.

Wishing You Were There?

Thank you to all who joined VMA GROUP on Friday for this Meet the Author event and thank you to Hanover Communications for hosting us – we love meeting you all in-person and hope you find the events engaging and insightful. Don’t forget to save the date for the next MtA in conversation with Fiona Passantino on Tuesday 11th July. It really is an excellent way to network, gain knowledge and enjoy a free drink or two! We hope to see you soon.

Written by: Anna Newsome, Recruitment Consultant, Internal Communications


VMA GROUP is a leading international interim, contract, temporary and permanent recruitment and executive search specialist. We are specifically focused on providing support to the communications, marketing, digital and change communities.

Our specialist practice areas cover: communications, corporate communications, internal communications, change communications, PR, media relations, financial communications, CSR, public affairs, investor relations, marketing, brand, digital marketing and agency services.

We have a reputation for providing expert consultancy services and advice, supported by in-depth knowledge of the professions we recruit for. Our thought leadership and benchmarking studies have become go-to resources for the communications, marketing, digital and change industries, supporting planning and decision-making for organisations of all shapes and sizes.

In the UK, VMA GROUP has offices in London, Bristol and Manchester and in Europe, VMA GROUP has offices in Amsterdam and Brussels, but we work with organisations and individuals on a global basis.

VMA GROUP is committed to equal opportunities and is a Diversity Pledged Recruiter.