How Staff Networks Create Value Through Inclusive Collaboration [Interview with Ajay Mistry]

This is the first of a special three part series based around the launch of ICAN, the Insurance Cultural Awareness Network. This is a group that promotes multicultural inclusion and progression within the insurance sector.

Today I’m speaking with Ajay Mistry, Ajay is the CoFounder of ICAN and Chair of the Multicultural Network at AON UK.

Ajay was recently recognised as a Future Leader by EMpower for his work promoting inclusion in the workplace. It was great to speak with Ajay so that he could share the benefit of his considerable experience with us.

In today’s show we discuss several things including

  • Why a single multicultural resource group was necessary
  • Why collaboration can lead to intersectional benefits
  • How resource groups can be used to develop the talent pipeline and much, much more

Here’s some of the wisdom that Ajay shared:

Clarity of Purpose

Ajay explains the need for employee resource groups to articulate the value that they provide and to establish why this is important to the host organisation:

“Know your value proposition and know why you’re doing it, you always get asked why is this important, if you can’t answer it, you switch that person off immediately”

Treat employee resource groups like a business

Ajay strongly believes that employee resource groups should be run like a business. He explains this by saying:

“There needs to be measurable impacts, you need to have outcomes, you need to prove why you’re doing what you’re doing”

Recognition matters

Ajay acknowledged that external recognition in the form of awards and other accolades are important because they allow you to achieve your goals in a more efficient manner:

“I would encourage anyone who is listening, at all, go for these awards, do these things, because it only helps the end goal and I think it’s every easy, especially with BAME people, not to put themselves forwards ”

If you want a quick snapshot of what the episode is about I’ve created some slides that you may find interesting


Proactively manage your stakeholders

Show notes

Here are some selected links to for the resources and reports I discuss in the episode.


AON Multicultural Network UK

Ajay’s Linkedin

Ajay’s Twitter

The Network of Networks

EMpower Future Leaders

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