In 1998, Michelle was the first black woman to successfully join the prison service graduate scheme, where she set up mentoring for black men in prison from black businessmen in the local community. She initially was approached by Sodexo to work at HMP Peterborough, the only dual gender prison in the UK, where she pioneered a gender inclusive service and received recognition for leadership and diversity. She sits on the Sodexo Origins network that represents people from diverse backgrounds, and broadcasted a podcast to inspire others within the business to be inclusive. Michelle has also set up an executive sponsorship scheme for female talent and a recruitment initiative to tackle unconscious bias. Externally, Michelle has worked with young ethnic minority people serving community sentences, focusing on role modelling and making them see how unique they are, and continues to mentor young black men.
Sajna is a natural networker, connector and champion of diversity and inclusion. With her enthusiasm and infectious personality, she uses every opportunity to promote the importance of this agenda. Sajna has been an active member of internal and external committee networks, where she has led various successful initiatives and events. This included encouraging several BAME and non BAME executives to share their career journeys and conversations via a podcast on the ‘importance of visible role models’. Having worked for Sodexo for the last 6 years, she has held diverse roles. In 2015, she launched an internal event ‘Get to know the SLT’, which brought talented frontline employees and the Senior Leadership Team together. This was a platform to help people to share their career aspirations in a relaxed environment. Passionate about developing a diverse talent pipeline, she later became the co-founder of ‘Tomorrow Meets Today’ an external annual event, where she uses her influence and extensive network to bring together today’s leaders and tomorrow’s future leaders, providing an opportunity for both groups to meet, develop and grow. Outside of work Sajna is often invited to speak at events and participate in round table discussions about diversity and inclusion’