This week we meet Sonal Bharadva - EDI Advisor at UCL. Here, Sonal chats to us about her varied role, which has included organising UCL’s first ever Inclusion Awards and supporting projects such as BME-ntor and Fair Recruitment Specialists.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I’m an EDI Advisor and my role is really varied and included supporting EDI networks with events, leading on EDI comms, supporting projects such as BME-ntor and Fair Recruitment Specialists and being the lead contact for staff dyslexia queries and support as well.
How long have you been at UCL and what was your previous role?
I’ve been at UCL for 12 years now! Prior to that I briefly worked at the RNIB recruiting volunteers to support visually impaired people.
What working achievement or initiative are you most proud of?
My most recent achievement would be organising UCL’s first ever Inclusion Awards. It was a lot of hard work, but equally rewarding seeing all the nominations come through, particularly from colleagues we hadn’t worked with before. This year’s awards will be equally exciting, with lots more categories for nominations.
Tell us about a project you are working on now which is top of your to-do list?
I’m developing an EDI Comms plan to complement our new 12 month EDI Plan which launched today. I’ve just completed a specialist diploma in internal communications which has helped me a lot with learning about what good internal communication looks like and how we can support and engage with the UCL community better.
I’ve also been working on the new monthly equality, diversity and inclusion newsletter, which you can sign up to receive here.
What is your favourite album, film and novel?
Album: I like too many genres to name one!
Film: It’s a Wonderful Life - is it time for Christmas movies yet?
Novel: Not a novel, but His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman is my favourite trilogy. I love reading books that you can get lost in.
Who would be your dream dinner guests?
Beyoncé (for the dancing) Akala, (for the real talk) and John Lennon (for peace and love).
What advice would you give your younger self?
Life is too short, don’t waste it - and always take those risks!
What would it surprise people to know about you?
I’m a huge Beatles fan!
What is your favourite place?
My last trip before lockdown was a long weekend away in Florence - it’s one of the most beautiful places I have visited! My partner and I spent many lockdown Sundays planning trips away and look forward to visiting somewhere equally beautiful soon.