Shani Dhanda is a multi-award-winning inclusion specialist and social entrepreneur listed as one of the UK's most influential disabled people by the Shaw Trust and BBC's 100 Women List 2020.
As a practitioner for inclusion across business, government and broader society, Shani helps organisations break barriers and integrate inclusion into their business frameworks.
As a South Asian woman who experiences disability, Shani has taken the change she wants to see in the world into her own hands. She has founded numerous organisations to improve representation and challenge social inequality globally; the disruptive platforms are united by the common purpose of empowering underrepresented communities:
1. Diversability is the world's first inclusive platform for disabled people aimed at reducing the financial pressures from the unavoidable extra costs of living with a health condition or impairment.
2. Asian Woman Festival is the world's first-of-its-kind annual festival empowering South Asian women and underrepresented genders to be activists of their own future, reaching over two million people online across more than 38 countries.
3. Asian Disability Network is an educational and support platform for people who experience multiple types of stigmas due to their ethnic and cultural identities, reaching over 100,000 people online.
Shani is also a broadcaster bringing diversity and accurate portrayal of intersectionality to wider society. She has presented and contributed to programmes such as Loose Women, Jeremy Vine on 5, and Rip off Britain, whilst regularly commentating in the press on inclusion matters. Shani was the face of LinkedIn's first-ever TV ad, featured across digital, print and radio channels with over 17 million views. She is a LinkedIn changemaker and sits within the top 0.09% of most influential members in the UK, using her platform to make work more accessible for all.
Shani is the youngest ever trustee of global disability charity Leonard Cheshire and Vice-President of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce. As a subject matter expert, Shani brings the voices of disabled people and their organisations to policy development for the Government's Disability Unit, the Cabinet Office. She is a Cultural Advisory Council Member for ITV, providing advice and challenge to ITV on its inclusion and diversity activities. An advisor on disability screen representation at the British Film Institute and an ambassador at Scope, Valuable 500 and Parallel London.
As a keynote speaker, Shani has spoken at events across the world and has shared speaking stages with Michelle Obama, Hilary Clinton and has spoken at the United Nations and at World Expos.
“Authentic, Warm, Personable and Funny! Shani shared her personal experiences of disability to a large global audience and engaged the room from start to finish. She brings her own personal style using fun & impactful storytelling that's natural to her. Participants loved it and despite being virtual this made no difference to the energy and connection she was able to create with our staff. Thank you Shani!”
“Shani is one of the most impressive speakers I've had the pleasure of working with. At the British Paralympic Association we hosted a panel event reviewing the likely positive impact of the film 'Rising Phoenix' and just how important embracing diversity and inclusion is in business, as well as more generally in society. Shani speaks with such credibility and passion that she captures a room be that in person, or via an online platform.”
“It was an absolute pleasure to work with Shani on this years Equality Summit. Shani is an excellent public speaker and tells her story in a way that resonates with so many people. Her testimony at this years Equality summit brought hope to so many and encouraged everyone who listened. The audience feedback was positive and Shani truly is a change maker of her generation. It’s was a delight to work with her.”