Mandy Sanghera is an international Human Rights Activist and international motivational and Tedx speaker who has spent years supporting and empowering others to find their purpose and rebuild their lives after abuse.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
I didn’t ended up in human rights by accident. After seeing a friend being abused by those closest to her, I have always stood up for what’s right and I’ve always been led by my moral compass instead of the crowd.
Have you faced any challenges along the way and if so, how did you deal with them?
I have always been somewhat outside the bell curve. I have never conformed to stereotypes. In this socialisation process, children are introduced to certain roles that are typically linked to their biological sex. The term “gender role” refers to society’s concept of how men and women are expected to act and behave. Gender roles are based on norms, or standards, created by society.
I told myself don’t let someone change who you are to become what they need or what.
Sadly, growing up in the Asian community I was somewhat socially conditioned. In a forever changing society with many different cultures, our goal is to reduce all forms of racism and discrimination, to break down social barriers and to promote social inclusion.
It is important we empower girls to believe in themselves. I was lucky because my family have always supported me with my career choices.
What advice would you give someone who wishes to move in to a leadership position for the first time?
I would say find a mentor, look for opportunities within the organisation, be prepared for challenges, apply for jobs and believe in yourself. Also, don’t be shy to ask for a promotion. Often managers aren’t always aware of your ambition or goals, but it’s ok to make your feelings known
When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, how would you decide who should have the role?
I would look at other experiences, such as voluntary roles etc and I’d look at transferable skills. Ask for a second interview to see who’s the best person.
How do you manage your own boss?
I’m very assertive and confident in the past I have dealt with leaders who have had self-esteem issues and they have tried to bully me. I have always told myself that they’re the ones with the issues, and that I’ve had to challenge them. I always tell them that I am a team player and I have always been very supportive and respectful to leaders. Respect is earned and not demanded
On a typical workday, how do you start your day and how does it end?
I start with a positive attitude, put on a smile and focus on the day. At the end of the day I reflect and meditate. It’s all about a positive mindset.
What advice can you give to our members about raising their profiles within their own organisations
I am always nominating people for awards and promotions – supporting and empowering them to believe in themselves
I get people to try new things and think outside of their comfort zone.
How have you benefited from coaching or mentoring?
I have met some amazing people who have helped me with my career I’m now mentoring others. It’s so important we create ripples.
I am often asked why do you enjoy mentoring so much? The answer is simple – I love empowering and supporting others.
Young people feel inspired and hopeful after hearing powerful stories of teens whose lives have been changed by a single, caring adult.
I have met so many young people who have dreams and ideas. I know that mentoring is particularly beneficial to disadvantaged teens. Especially those who have fallen into the criminal justice system or substance misuse and have not gone on to further education. By having a positive mentoring relationship, mentors provide the relational support to help them believe in their abilities and overcome difficult life challenges.
I believe in the person and I generally take an interest. It’s important that I’m listening to the young person. Like any relationship it must be built on trust and respect. When you see people you have mentored doing well it’s incredibly rewarding.
Do you think networking is important and if so, what 3 tips would you give to a newbie networker
Networking is so important it helps you meet and connect with amazing people.
Networking builds relationships
Career networking, or “professional” networking, involves using personal, professional, academic or familial contacts to assist with a job search, and first impressions are lasting impression.
Networking can further your career
“Spending time on building a relationships could deliver results in the future,” I have learnt that people buy into people and I’m very lucky that I am head hunted for jobs globally.
Take compliments and don’t be embarrassed.
Don’t be shy
It’s all about confidence, so be prepared to speak with partners, contacts etc. If you believe in yourself so will others.
What does the future hold for you?
I often pinch myself as I can’t believe what an amazing life it’s been. I am hoping to continue with my charity work and mentoring the next generation.
Once you have smashed the glass ceiling it becomes a floor for others to walk on
My Tedx talk can be found here.