Book Anj as your Speaker

Photo of Anj Handa

Hi, Anj here, Founder of Inspiring Women Changemakers. In addition to running my social business, I Chair arts organisation Freedom Studios. I’m also a former university Independent Governor – as such I belong to only 1% of black and brown women in the UK holding Governance roles at this level.

When I started out on my changemaking journey in 2014, I had no idea that it would lead to my work being featured in national and international media, books and high-profile campaigns.

The most random accolade I’ve received has to be being described by i-news as ‘a bloody brilliant woman’! I’ve also been recognised in Forbes as one of the 10 Diversity & Inclusion Trailblazers You Need to Get Familiar With.

One of Grant Thornton UK’s 100 Faces of a Vibrant Economy in 2018, I was also honoured to win the AFSA Award for Positive Action in 2017.

How I got into changemaking

In 2014, my life changed when I was introduced to Afusat Saliu and her two daughters. I led a high-profile campaign on their claim for asylum based on the risk of Female Genital Mutilation to her girls if returned to Nigeria, at a time when Boko Haram had also hit the headlines. I pulled together a top legal team and started a petition which gathered 126,500 signatures.

The campaign attracted attention from the global media, MPs and even personalities such as Richard Branson! Unfortunately, the family were eventually deported but my fundraising campaign through a local charity secured their accommodation and schooling for a full year.

I learned that by gathering professional, motivated people together, it’s possible to make an impact on the lives of others on a massive scale. And that’s how Inspiring Women Changemakers came about.

Using story to teach and inspire others

I believe that the authority to speak on diversity within leadership must be reflected by my own example. So, in my talks, I teach the personal and professional lessons that I’ve developed through my career and my experience of leading a high-profile legal and media campaign to inspire others to make a change in themselves, their workplaces and communities, and the wider world.

As a Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts, charity Chair, former university Independent Governor and quango Director, I draw on my own experiences when speaking about diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership, covering little-explored themes such as cultural and psychological safety, emotional correctness, and healthy boundaries.

Multilingual (my second language is German), I also bring inter-cultural expertise, having worked both in and with global teams and on diplomatic assignments, advising organisations on how to attract and retain diverse talent and develop highly effective, globally savvy leaders.

My Specialist Subjects

I’m recognised as an authority on Good Governance and Inclusive Leadership, with a focus on people dynamics: effective communication, influence and impact, and navigating change. With in-depth knowledge of UK equality and employment policies and international best practices and as a professional lobbyist of almost 20 years, I have a wealth of social change practices to share.

My talks focus on three key areas and can be tailored to your objectives. These are:

  • Radical Self-Care for Changemakers
  • Navigating the Labyrinth: Shattering the Myth of the Glass Ceiling
  • Why you’re not harnessing diverse talent – and what to do about it

As a professional speaker, I have delivered keynotes for clients such as Sky Business, Innovate UK, Leeds Beckett University, Restless Development, and The Chartered Management Institute.

Additionally, I’m a skilled conference host and moderator. Conferences include ‘Disorienting Race’ by Carnegie School of Education, and annual conferences of grantmaker Rosa Fund and domestic abuse charity, IDAS.

Gary Hibberd

Gary Hibberd

MD of boutique Cyber Security consultancy, Agenci

Each year, Agenci hosts a ‘Cyber Security’ event, where we ask speakers from all walks of life to offer insight into our Digital world. We were delighted to have Anj speak and her presentation went down a storm!

She was articulate, funny, emotive and thought provoking - not easy to do in the time we gave her! I would highly recommend Anj to speak at your event. I have nothing but praise for her approach and her style.

Book Me

I am represented by Scamp Speakers and Inspirational Speakers. Please contact me with your enquiry in the first instance.

Within the IWC membership, we have a range of speakers who cover other topics, so get in touch with me to discuss your event.

Featured in Print

I have been featured in Generation Share by Benita Matofska and Sophie Sheinwald, a visual storybook featuring 200 global changemakers, and the largest ever collection of changemaker stories. My work on Female Genital Mutilation and asylum also been included in Eradicating FGM in the UK by Guardian writer Hillary Burrage, and Refugee Tales by Comma Press.

Banner image for Faces of a Vibrant Economy
Generation Share book cover
eradicating fgm book cover
Refugee Tales book cover