The unpredictability of the past year and a half has many of us feeling anxious about everything from school closings to vaccination status to what work may look like moving forward. An unexpected remedy for life’s stressors might not be in our medicine cabinets but rather on our bookshelves. Volumes of research have been dedicated to the link between reading and wellbeing. Just six minutes spent with a book each day is said to reduce stress levels by 68%. And a book that specifically talks about connection and wellbeing? Even better.
During such trying times, Anjali Patel, a lawyer, mom, military wife, and Diversity and Inclusion Strategist, geared herself to share her thoughts on the workplace culture. Her book, Humanity at Work, was released in 2020, comprising an in-depth account of her own experience in the corporate sector and her perspective on fostering sustainable change towards inclusion and wellbeing in physical and remote workplaces.
Before hashing out the details of this phenomenal book, let us take a glance at Patel’s past to understand her roots and what might have triggered her to address the need to create a workplace where everyone can thrive. Being a brown-skinned person in a predominantly white diaspora, Patel has always believed that genuine connection doesn’t have its basis in skin color, race, or religion because each of us is more than the sum of our parts. Within a work context, Patel likes to focus not just on the diversity between us but on the variety within us.
She discusses the importance of inclusion and how it’s a vision to aspire towards continuously, not a destination that we reach and relax. Having the same chain of thought, Patel, throughout her career as an attorney and inclusion strategist, has helped many organizations and people get that same sense of purpose and belonging for themselves and others. She has worked with many law firms, international NGOs, and tech startups to instill her perspective on what an active community with diversity, inclusion, and wellbeing can achieve.
Patel’s book is not only a representation of her high morals and worldview; it is a culmination of her vast experience with global industry leaders, all packed in one fine piece of a new vision for the future of workplaces. It is a step-by-step guide of the Whats, Whys, and Hows of creating a workplace where everyone can thrive, aimed at molding today to transform tomorrow for our future leaders and innovators.
When asked about her future plans, Patel speaks about a better future for her children and states: “ Maybe one day I’ll write a book called Humanity at School. I’ll seek interviews from governors like Nikki Haley and ask for input on forming a Model Student Bill of Rights to ensure equal access to quality education for our children. Governor Haley, if you’re listening, I’ll be seeking your help!”
Patel jokes that if you want something to happen, you have to manifest it into the universe first. Here’s hoping that the universe hears her loud and clear because we can all use more voices like hers.