A Few Words to Start off

It is no wonder that diversity and inclusion are two of the most prominent topics in organisations at the moment. If an institution wants to thrive in the 21st century, it is essential for it to incorporate these two values. As my bachelor’s degree at the University of Westminster is coming to an end, it is the perfect opportunity to reflect and share how I experienced it during my time at the university. I would also like to share what diversity and inclusion mean to me personally and how they have shaped me as a person.

Diversity in my Eyes is…

way more than just a concept; it is my way of seeing and going through life. To give you an example, my friend circle strongly reflects this. It is made up of unique people from different ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations, gender identities, religions, ages, and abilities. Now, why am I mentioning this, and why am I so grateful for it? I am constantly learning from them, and it’s been eye-opening! In fact, they have shown me viewpoints I never even knew existed, and I’ve been introduced to so many new and enriching thoughts. I especially enjoyed engaging in discussions around issues of race, gender, sexuality, and religion, through which we built meaningful connections. These people have brought an incredible amount of joy into my time at Westminster, and I couldn’t be thankful enough to have experienced three years at a university that fosters diversity and inclusion this much.

Inclusion in my Eyes is…

when all members feel confident in their ability to contribute and share their opinions and behaviours to the extent that everyone feels this sense of belonging and is comfortable with their presence. I strongly believe that inclusion is not just about recognising it but also about actively promoting and supporting it via events and behaviours that promote equal treatment and opportunities for all people.

My Perception and Experience with Diversity and Inclusion at University of Westminster

Diversity and inclusion are not just essential for one’s personal life but also play a major role with regards to their importance in academic and business environments. Creative ideas arise when experiences, opinions, and different perspectives are combined. I have encountered a very interesting article that highlights the significance of diverse teams in terms of innovation and decision-making, leading to improved performances. It also explains how it contributes to a more holistic educational viewpoint. An interesting aspect was pointed out, which suggests that it assists teams in avoiding groupthink, where individuals often agree to a consensus instead of considering different perspectives. I know for myself that when I feel included, I am much more likely to be actively engaged because I feel a sense of belonging and acceptance. I believe that other students share this view, which once again highlights how crucial the concept of inclusion is.

What particularly struck me in terms of diversity was the number of people from different regions and backgrounds. To give you a precise picture, during one of our marketing lectures, each student was asked about their country of origin. Not once was the same country repeated. Isn’t this amazing? There is also a much better global understanding, which is a vital factor in thriving in such an interconnected market world. One of the little things I enjoy since I started studying at the institution in 2019 is seeing the diversity of nationalities presented at universities increase. If you are curious to see this, you can do so at this link.

Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives on Campus

At the University of Westminster, a committee has been formed that ensures the institution is a welcoming space for everyone, regardless of their background and identity. They work towards achieving EDI goals and establish action plans to make them happen. What is also inspiring to me at Westminster is that you have a variety of societies and workshops, which all contribute to creating an open-minded environment for students and a more holistic education. These have been a huge help to me in forming my own worldview, as my peers have brought a range of viewpoints to the table.

My Advice for Students….

Be whoever, you want to be, and let others do the same.

I would like to encourage all fellow students to embrace diversity and inclusion. I strongly believe that everyone should recognise their importance in creating a welcoming and inclusive academic environment for all. I am aware that it is not solely the students’ responsibility to do so; it is first and foremost the responsibility of the university to encourage all members to foster a culture of diversity. I am very confident that Westminster will continue to join hands and work towards an academic environment that is reflective of the rich diversity of our society. Listening to enriching stories and experiences and challenging our beliefs is what makes us grow personally.

How has the Time at Westminster Shaped my Future Wants?

My time at Westminster has opened my eyes to the kind of company I want to work for. I know now that I only want to work for a company where there is not just one voice, but a company that values diverse voices and inclusive leaders. It should be an environment in which everyone’s unique perspective is welcomed and appreciated. As future professionals, it is also our responsibility to engage and foster inclusive environments in our communities where each other’s differences are celebrated.

In diversity there is beauty and there is strength – Maya Angelou