Today's episode is a conversation with the Shani Dhanda who founded the Asian Woman Festival a first-of-its-kind festival smashing stereotypes and stigma to empower and celebrate Asian Women. Shani is an award-winning international event manager, global voyager, disability role model and campaigner. I met Shani in London and was blown away with her attitude, energy and ability to empower others. If something doesn't exist, Shani creates it and that's how the Asian Woman Festival was born which saw over 1000 people attend.
Shani was born with a rare genetic condition called Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), more commonly known as Brittle Bones, affecting one in every 15,000 people in the UK. This condition is characterised by bones that break easily, often from little or no apparent cause. Though fragile bones are the hallmark of OI, other medical problems also stem from this condition, the most obvious being a short stature and Shani is 3'10''. However despite this Shani has thrived, travelling to over 28 countries solo and founding the Diversability Card, the UK's official
Recently she has been featured on Linkedin's campaigns across London and listed among the top 100 most influential disabled people in the UK.
Image by Charlie Bibby from Financial Times.
Ever hit rock bottom and feel like there's no way out? In this episode I share my story of finding myself in a place where I felt suffocated by the negativity of my own mind, about mental health and being so far gone that it feels like there's no hope. At 19 I ran off to the Himalayas and ended up spending 40 days in an ashram to learn how to meditate, I share how I came do this and the impact it has had on my life since. From being an atheist to becoming spiritual and living a more conscious life aligned with my values. This journey is what led me to start writing my book Quarter Life Crisis which I'm currently working on. Feel free to send any questions to me over at daizymaan.com under contact or via Instagram / Facebook and I'll pick a couple of questions to answer during the next podcast.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to make it in an industry where you’re an outlier? Ever felt like you need to conform to “fit in”? Wondered what it takes to make it to a leadership role but still maintain other responsibilities?
Today’s guest is a phenomenal woman who has paved a unique path in a stereotypically homogenous industry of publishing and literature. She was listed as the UK 1000 most powerful people and the Guardian’s 100 BAME leaders. She’s the CEO of a company with sales of 80 million pounds and over 300 staff in the UK- Bonnier Books. Perminder Mann is someone who has worked incredibly hard.
“I’ve made it my personal mission to talk about diversity and inclusion, it starts from people who are in positions of power and influence to set an example to demonstrate that they are themselves and being authentic gives people permission to be themselves too.” In today’s conversation with Perminder, we talk about
· How her love of books led to working in publishing and ultimately the journey to becoming the CEO
· We explore where Perminder’s pursuit of growth comes from and how it’s influenced by her upbringing by Punjabi parents.
· How having a dual identity of being Punjabi and British influenced her work ethic and decisions.
· The sense of liberation that comes with being yourself as opposed to conforming.
· The pressure we put on ourselves to be the best mother, daughter, wife and CEO and how to reconcile ambition with cultural expectations.
· Leadership – how to create a culture that’s not hierarchical, leadership that’s approachable and building trust with team members
· Advice for those wanting to enter the publishing industry or non-traditional industries.
This podcast is all about having meaningul conversations with bold entrepreneurs, leaders and change makers. I'll also explore ideas around what it means to live purposefully and with intention, why we behave the way we behave and how to understand yourself better. In this very first episode I share an special experiment which has a profound impact of visualising the lack of diversity of our imagination when it comes to entrepreneurs.