"I see myself as an editor, accountant, academic and social entrepreneur. I originally took a doctorate in accountancy and finance at the London School of Economics (LSE). I studied it from the perspective of a social scientist and took a somewhat more holistic approach to my studies than people are used to in the UK. After my doctorate I took up several lectureship positions in various universities around the UK and America for about ten years. Towards the end of this time I started an international magazine on issues of diversity and ethics, which led up to the creation of my social enterprise.
"I came to realise how tricky the UK academic career ladder could be for people with an independent identity. Despite the fact that I was breaking new ground, and wrote several highly innovative research papers (several of which argued for greater international bank regulation) I was interviewed for but not offered, chair positions at a couple of major universities. I felt that I could only really satisfy my intellectual appetites and ethical conscience by moving out on my own.
"Originally from East Africa and a Jain, I lived in Kenya for 18 years and came here as an undergraduate student. I have first hand experience of life and work in the UK as a thinker and in a cultural minority. It is this background, together with my experience which has fed into the setting up of a social enterprise called Diverse Ethics. We provide an expert information, training and consultancy service for public and private organisations on diversity issues, especially focusing on culture change and leadership. I have set up a website which is a portal of information and resources on cultivating a diverse and ethical workplace. I am against the idea of glass ceilings, exclusive workplaces and selective leadership – drawing from my time in higher education.
"Diverse Ethics has been around for four years. Depending on who the organisation is, we will hold their hand to make necessary changes and transformations. We have an advisory board of three people and five associates, so depending on the project we can pull in all sorts of different skill sets. Challenging aspects have been selling what we do, this is tough because researchers tend to focus on complexity but selling requires a focus on sound bytes and practical aspects. Attending Business Link courses has been useful, but there has been a lot of self-teaching as well. I love the independence but it is also lonely, and I miss talking to people.
"‘Unlearning’ was an important feature of my doctorate. It helped me to understand the barriers to learning. When you are brought up in a very structured textbook-oriented method of learning, the doctorate frees you because you are to develop an independent voice and different method of thinking. This started me on a journey on revisiting the culture I came from where I discovered huge scientific wisdom."