Sonali D’silva is the Founder of Equality Consulting, a leadership advisory and training practice based out of Adelaide, South Australia. Sonali is a valued coach and advisor to people leaders navigating the challenges and demands of a modern and diverse workplace. As a Certified Professional in Inclusive Leadership from Catalyst Inc., she provides cutting -edge and actionable leadership advice that raises team engagement and inclusion.
Sonali is also an impactful workshop facilitator, and has been described as an engaging storyteller who deeply connects with her audiences. She has delivered 500+ workshops across countries and cultures, and this affords her a well-rounded perspective on leading.
In her consulting capacity, Sonali advises Boards and C-suite leaders on their inclusion strategy and leadership programs. This is on the back of a long corporate career, which includes guiding a Fortune 500 organisation’s leadership development framework.
Sonali pursues her passion for writing, and her articles are published in reputed business publications. She also volunteers her time as an industry mentor for business schools.
As a leader, you can begin to raise your awareness starting now. Download your copy of Sonali’s Leading with Inclusion Self-assessment by clicking here
Sonali is a Certified Inclusive Leadership Professional from Catalyst Inc., has an MBA in Human Resource Management and is an experienced leadership and executive coach.
She is also credentialed in ‘Inclusive Leadership & Workplace Diversity’ from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is an administrator for Inclusive Behaviours Inventory (IBI) through Aperial Global. Please head over to Sonali’s LinkedIn profile to view more of her certifications and educational credentials in her areas of work and leadership practice.
Sonali is a Certified Inclusive Leadership Professional from Catalyst Inc. and has an MBA in Human Resource Management . She is credentialed in ‘Inclusive Leadership & Workplace Diversity’ from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is an administrator for Inclusive Behaviours Inventory (IBI) through Aperial Global. Please head over to Sonali’s LinkedIn profile to view her certifications in diversity & inclusion, developing empathetic leaders, leading diverse teams and advancing leadership for women.
Sonali is an astute and experienced coach who helps senior leaders navigate diverse and challenging work environments. Her coaching process helps leaders feel more resourceful through gaining perspectives and expanding their leadership options.
Sonali delivers short training sessions on inclusive leadership, psychological safety and instilling inclusive practices and belonging at work. She offers a safe learning environment that helps participants challenge assumptions and raise inclusion.
Sonali is a valued advisor and consultant to organisations on DEI and people projects that help shape strategic direction and gain traction. Sonali has her own unique five phase framework for consulting assignments that deliver tangible outcomes.
Sonali is an energising and engaging speaker who deeply connects with her audiences. She does this through framing complex ideas as stories and practical insights. Her presentations help raise inclusion, leadership awareness and belonging.
Somewhere in my early 20s, I chanced upon a book by the legendary leadership thinker and writer, Warren Bennis. That day, I discovered leadership! He made a big impact on my young mind. I knew, sitting in a hot and towering library back in India all those years ago, that leadership was going to be my thing. I didn’t know how, but it was.
That didn’t mean I became an effective leader myself. That would take many more years as I began to take on leadership responsibilities at work, and continued to teach leadership across the organisations I worked for. That proved a great training ground to listen to the myriads of leadership challenges experienced by leaders and what they thought they needed to get through those challenges. I found my passion in that learning space.
For more than a decade, I also travelled extensively around the world to US, Europe and Asia, teaching team leaders what I knew of leadership back then, and what could enable them to become better leaders.
My biggest leadership test came around when I became a team leader myself. That opportunity raised my awareness, challenged my hidden assumptions and helped elevate my understanding of effective leadership and teams. I can safely say that when I chose to improve my own leadership, I also became a better educator and a better person. I learned that we are capable of difficult change if it serves a purpose bigger than hiding from our insecurities and flaws.
The process of unlearning and relearning continues, and I feel excited about going further along on this path through my dedicated work.
I do my best to be learning agile, stay open to new influences and deal with some of the discomfort that comes with it. I can tell you from repeated experience that the discomfort of raising your leadership awareness is temporary and gives way to new perspectives that open up leadership options.
Through my work in leadership for over two decades now, and the addition of inclusion, psychological safety and belonging to leadership excellence, I have been on a journey to interrupt biases, challenge my assumptions and undo ancient conditioning, so I can ask myself tough and important questions. When a small voice inside nudges me to rationalise and move on, I mostly succeed at persisting and doing what aligns with my chosen leadership values.
I am therefore, passionate, persistent and energised about helping leaders and businesses navigate the modern workplace, so everyone can benefit and offer each other a more fulfilling, inclusive, safer, equitable and respectful work environment. Everyone deserves and needs that at work.
Inclusive leaders activate diversity and help everyone to bring their unique strengths to the team’s biggest problems and highest goals. Sonali is keenly involved in developing inclusive practices that help leaders lead with inclusion, empathy and accountability, so everyone can feel included at work and experience belonging. Leading with inclusion raises a team’s performance and engagement, and encourages talented people to focus on work instead of trying to hide their strengths, differences and talents for fear of rejection and indifference.
Safety allows a team to take interpersonal-risks without fearing judgement. Sonali helps leaders and teams to define and adopt inclusive practices that help instil psychological safety and allow everyone to take interpersonal-risks. Which means, the team does not have to get pre-occupied with avoiding ridicule, rejection, isolation or hurt for speaking up or being different to the norm. Safety helps your people to be fully present and engaged at work instead of waste any time in looking over their shoulder or feeling disengaged.
Raising diversity awareness is important for inclusive workplaces. Sonali deeply believes in the idea that education and awareness are at the heart of voluntary behaviour change. Building awareness of workplace diversity in a safe and inclusive learning environment helps raise confidence to respond to diversity with accountability, empathy, engagement and inclusion. Sonali’s work enables greater awareness of both one’s own differences and choices and that of others. She believes in inclusion for everyone at work.
Gender diverse and equitable leadership raises an organisation’s decision-making abilities and reputation. Sonali consults and advises on gender equality efforts, processes and programs. She includes men in this conversation to find their voice in the gender equality space, learn how to be allies, act as mentors and help advance leadership for women. Through her Visible Women Leaders program, Sonali advocates for visible leadership based on contemporary research in gender, communication and equality at the workplace.
Sonali is a strategic advisor to Boards and C-Suite executives on leading a diverse workplace and cultivating an inclusive culture. She does this through consulting, designing and leading D&I related projects for organisations. Her work helps organisations address inequality at work and create more inclusion. She advises on processes and articulates the difficult matters of gender, race, culture and privilege with balance and empathy. Her approach considers inclusion of everyone and creating a safe space for deep listening.