13. December 2023

Tomorrow’s People: Atif Choudhury on work and inclusion

Tomorrows People_Season 2_Episode 2 Atif Choudhury

Tomorrow’s People is an HR podcast hosted by Perry Timms and powered by Personio. Every two weeks, Perry sits down with an expert to dive into a myriad of topics defining and redefining the way we work. The work of tomorrow, brought to you today. 

In this episode of Tomorrow’s People, Perry chats with Atif Choudhury to talk about Tomorrow’s Belonging and Culture…

What did we cover in this episode? 

Perry’s discussion with Atif Chouhury, CEO and Co-Founder of Diversity and Ability (D&A), focused on inclusion. More specifically, on welcoming people with different perspectives and needs. They discussed the concept of work, its future and how diversity plays into all of it.

The top three takeaways from this episode

Insight #1: The concept of “anticipatory welcome” and more inclusive work

Atif dove into the concept of “anticipatory welcome” as a way to foster more inclusive workplaces – a method for how organisations think about people’s unique needs and accommodate them even before their first day at work. 

As Atif deftly explains: “Diversity is about counting people, but inclusion is about insisting people count."

Insight #2: Recognising and accommodating hidden differences

Hidden differences – those which may not be immediately visible – are a massive challenge across any workforce. Atif argued that society, and organisations in particular, should work to recognise and accommodate these differences.

“The challenge then becomes, what is our intent? I think intent will come through when you've got curiosity, but the humility to say, ‘I haven't got this right. I'm not a good or bad person. I'm not a terrible leader. I want to know how to welcome this better.’”

A big part of this, as Atif highlights, is crafting a culture of sharing. One where individuals feel comfortable discussing hidden differences and their unique needs. 

Insight #3: The need for more inclusive and human-centred systems

To recognise the true diversity of human experiences and needs, Atif stressed the importance of understanding and accommodating neurodivergent individuals. More specifically, building a system to break out of more traditional frameworks. 

To hear him put it: “I am excited about the power of lived experiences. I'm excited about a conversation that moves these experiences to understanding."

Emphasising the importance of lived experiences can help organisations develop new frameworks which are more inclusive. And, ultimately, better for business. 

Tune in to this episode of Tomorrow’s People

"We are leaders that can have serious conversations because people are dependent on it." - Atif Chouhury 

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of inclusion, tune in today to this episode of Tomorrow’s People. And stay tuned for the next episode in two week’s time!

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