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Asanka Wijendra


Thames Valley

Inclusion matters. Gender, ethnic and cultural diversity drives improvement in performance. A lack of diversity within our workforce marginalises and alienates not only the populations we serve but our potential future colleagues.

While there has been progress at more junior levels we must also focus on the leadership within our speciality. It will be this leadership that sets workplace cultures going forward.

As a BOTA culture and diversity champion, I would look to achieve two goals at a regional level.

The first would be to gain an understanding of the comparative rates of underrepresentation within our speciality. By defining the problem we can provide the drive required to address it.

The second would be to invite leaders in our region who are of ethnic, cultural, and gender minorities to share how they successfully navigated their careers in the NHS. As a second-generation immigrant, I have found that mentorship and guidance have often helped me when facing what can otherwise be alienating and unfamiliar situations as a trainee surgeon. By creating a platform where those relationships can be fostered in greater numbers, I would hope further progress can be made in the inclusiveness of our specialty.

Asanka Wijendra
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