5 minutes with… Liliana Corrieri - Inclusive Employers

5 minutes with… Liliana Corrieri

'5 minutes with...' is our interview series that allows you to learn more about the Inclusive Employers team and other I&D professionals working to make inclusion an every day reality.

Here we learn more about Liliana Corrieri, Senior Inclusion and Diversity Consultant at Inclusive Employers.

1. Can you tell us how you came to be in your role

As a teenager, feminism and social justice began to ignite in me the desire to challenge systems of oppression, raise awareness, engage, and bring about change. Equal rights and equal opportunities, and human rights and human dignity, became my focus during my years at university, as a student and activist.

After my master’s degree in intercultural relations and some international human rights work, I saw the opportunity to transfer my skills and knowledge, and apply the very same principles of equality and social justice to diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I have worked in this space both at global and UK level for a number of years now, and it’s great to be able to bring together in my role at Inclusive Employers my overall experience and drive to make change happen. 

2. Can you share an ‘inclusion moment’ with us – a time when you have felt included either at work or in your personal life? 

I lived in Hong Kong for a couple of years and at the time I was working at a human rights organisation that operated at regional level and employed people from across the Asian continent, and beyond. I have very fond memories of my colleagues from Hong Kong who were conscious of the cultural differences in the organisation and were always trying their best to make us all feel part of the local culture and celebrations.

I remember in particular the mid-Autumn Festival on my first year there. I could see mooncakes being sold everywhere (without knowing what they were) and gorgeous lanterns exhibitions all around the city. This was all nice and colourful to watch as an ‘outsider’ from another continent, but it was only when my colleagues from Hong Kong organised an after-work celebration that I could actually feel somehow part of it.

This one evening we gathered in a park near the office, and had a lovely picnic with food, music, games … and of course delicious mooncakes and colourful lanterns! The festival was not just around me; I was made part of it. 

3. What do you love most about your role? 

The variety of the work, the diverse range of work and sectors across our members and clients, the breadth and depth of the topics covered, and the ongoing learning with and from each other.  

4. What is a typical day like for you? 

Every day is different but probably the bottom line for me is making sure that I keep on top of things, not just in terms of workload but especially in terms of quality, accuracy and thoughtfulness.  

5. What’s been you most memorable moment in your inclusion career? 

In my first ‘equality, diversity and inclusion job’, the organisation where I was working committed to providing work placements and internship opportunities to disabled people aged between 16 to 24. I was leading on the programme, and I remember feeling a bit nervous about it at the time because I didn’t have lived experience of disability, I was still self-educating and deepening my understanding on the subject, and the programme was a ‘first time’ for the organisation as well.   

In the 18 months I led on this work, I had the pleasure to support an extremely bright lad who was a wheelchair user with Cerebral Palsy, and two very smart young ladies with two very different ‘hidden disabilities’ (Crohn’s disease and partial sight loss). Understanding their needs and implementing relevant adjustments for them was truly eye opening. Seeing ‘my interns’ thrive, participate, learn, develop, and deliver work but also seeing other colleagues value their contributions, made me incredibly appreciative of how inclusion can unleash talent, and make a real difference on a personal and professional level for both individuals and organisations.  

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