About Equality Consulting and Sonali D’silva

Sonali D’silva is the Founder of Equality Consulting – a Leadership and D&I training, consulting and coaching practice based out of Adelaide, South Australia. Sonali’s is a Certified Professional in Inclusive Leadership from Catalyst Inc. US, and tailors actionable learning and coaching solutions to develop inclusive leaders and inclusive team cultures. 

Sonali has been described as an inclusivity expert by LinkedIn, she is part of the HBR Advisory Council, and has contributed to Forbes Australia on D&I and leadership themes. 

In her consulting capacity, Sonali delivers projects through her unique 5-stage advisory process, and offers structured, consultative and informed support to organisations.

She is a valued facilitator and coach in navigating the challenges and demands of a modern and diverse workplace.  Sonali uses her own frameworks and self-assessments on Leading with Inclusion and Creating Team Psychological Safety to make this practical for leaders. 

She has widely travelled for work, delivering 500+ workshops across 13 countries, helping bring a wide range of culturally diverse perspectives on leadership.

Over her two decades plus career, Sonali has served in management roles in learning and leadership development in the Information Technology and Healthcare industries, including steering leadership development for Asia Pacific for a Fortune 500 Company. 

Sonali is a passionate writer, and her articles are published in reputed management publications. She also volunteers her time as an industry mentor for business schools. 

Education and Credentials

  • Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Human Resources
  • Certified Inclusive Leadership Professional , Catalyst Inc. USA
  • ICF Certified Coach – ongoing
  • Inclusive Behaviours Inventory (IBI) Certified, Aperial Global. 
  • Inclusive Leadership Certified, University of Colorado at Boulder. 
  • Women in Leadership Certified, Weatherhead School of Management. 
  • Inspiring Leadership Through Emotional Intelligence, Case Western Reserve Univ. 

About Sonali D’silva

Sonali D’silva is the Founder of Equality Consulting, an inclusion and leadership advisory and training practice based out of Adelaide, South Australia, Sonali is a Certified Professional in Inclusive Leadership from Catalyst Inc., a Forbes Australia contributor and Member Harvard Business Review Advisory Council. Sonali is a valued coach and facilitator, and has been described as an engaging storyteller and inspiring and on-point speaker who truly connects with her audiences. She has delivered 500+ workshops and presentations across countries and continents to leaders and their teams. 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 leading a Fortune 500 organisation’s leadership development framework for the Asia Pacific region. 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 the MBA program at the University of Adelaide and at the Griffith University, Brisbane. You could download Sonali’s Leading with Inclusion Self-assessment by clicking here

Education and Credentials

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.

How Sonali Partners with Organisations


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 Masterclasses and longer workshops on inclusive leadership, psychological safety, bias interruption and women 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 D&I 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.

What Motivates Sonali’s Work

Somewhere in my mid-20s, I found a book by the legendary leadership thinker and writer, Warren Bennis. That day, I discovered leadership! He made a big impact on my mind. I knew, sitting in a hot and towering library back in India 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 – and the journey continues. What helped was taking on leadership responsibilities at work and teaching leadership as part of my work. That proved the training ground to listen to the many leadership challenges experienced by leaders. And what they thought they needed to get through those challenges. I had found my passion in leadership development.

Two decades ago, I began travelling extensively around the world to US, Europe and Asia, teaching team leaders what I knew of leadership and what could enable them to become better leaders.  

Those enlightening first-hand cultural experience started my diversity and inclusion journey! It wasn’t possible to teach leadership without also talking about who was being led, what they needed from leaders and what could help people experience inclusion at work.

My biggest leadership test was when I became a team leader myself. That raised my awareness, challenged hidden assumptions and elevated my understanding of inclusive leadership. I can safely say that when I chose to improve my own leadership, I also became a better facilitator and person. 

I am continually inspired by the transformational and career-changing impact inclusive and effective leadership can have on teams. I am a firm believer that without leaders working on themselves first, putting pressure on teams to do any better is mostly unproductive. Most leaders 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. I feel energised about going further along on this path through my dedicated work in leading with inclusion and creating safe, respectful and caring work cultures where people can belong and do their best work.

I make a daily effort 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, the discomfort of raising your leadership awareness is temporary, and gives way to renewed leadership fairly quickly.

Through my work in leadership and inclusion for over two decades now, I have been on a journey to interrupt biases, challenge assumptions and undo unhelpful conditioning, so we can ask ourselves tough and important questions as leaders. When a small voice inside nudges you to rationalise and move on, keep persisting and do what aligns with your chosen leadership values and not your borrowed beliefs from the past.

I am passionate and inspired about helping leaders and businesses navigate the modern workplace, so everyone can benefit and create a more fulfilling, inclusive, safer, equitable and respectful work environment. You may agree, everyone deserves and needs that at work.

Key Themes of Sonali's Work

Internal Conferences, Short Presentations and Keynotes

Sonali’s work is valued by organisations on themes of inclusive leadership, psychological safety and women at work. Expect to hear actionable insights to thrive in a changing and complex work environment through inclusive practices and instilling a safety. Sonali is an engaging speaker and storyteller who genuinely connects with her audiences. Her talks give people credible reasons to practice inclusion and value diversity.

Masterclasses and Senior Leadership Workshops

Senior leaders are not only stretched for time, but also attention. To commit to learning for them has to mean maximising their time in learning. Sonali designs and delivers tailored and focused Masterclasses and interactive leadership sessions to help raise awareness, elevate attitudes and help connect people leadership and culture with business outcomes. Engaging with leaders and their dilemmas is at the heart of this work.

Leadership Coaching and Individual Consultations

Sonali describes coaching as having a conversation with someone you would have a hard time having with yourself. She makes her years of corporate experiences count as she gets to the heart of what challenges leaders in being effective, inclusive and relatable to teams. Her coaching has been called clarifying, reassuring, actionable, inspiring and impactful as she takes leaders through a 6-month learning journey.

Recognising and Interrupting Leadership Biases

Bias at work can be swift, invisible and hard to catch. Leaders can learn to recognise decision-making biases and stereotypes, and do something about them. Sonali helps leaders to get better at catching their bias and using science-backed tools to interrupt unconscious biases. Without this, leaders don’t do as well in a diverse set up, and hidden biases get in the way of leading with inclusion, fairness and belonging.

D&I Projects, Employee Consultations and Planning

Sonali is a strategic advisor to HR leaders and diversity & inclusion leads on creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. She focuses on employee consultations and leadership involvement to co-create tailored D&I related programs and plans. This is based on her unique 5-phase consulting framework. Which offers structure, transparency, cadence and tangible outcomes. Her approach involves deep listening inclusion for everyone.

Advancing Leadership Equality and Visibility for Women

Gender diverse and equitable leadership improves organisational decision-making, retention and reputation. Sonali facilitates her Visible Women Leadership program for women at work which addresses the different challenges and stereotypes women face compared to men. Her participative, experience and evidence-based approach gives women a pathway to amplify their leadership influence and impact.

Raising Diversity Awareness and Inclusive Practices

Diversity awareness is often contingent on an appreciation for what co-workers bring to the team. Sonali believes education and awareness are at the heart of seeing differences as strengths and not obstacles at work. She helps raise diversity awareness and inclusive practices in a non-judgemental and safe space for teams. This raises team confidence to respond to diversity with awareness, empathy and inclusion.

Creating Psychological Safety and Belonging in Teams

Psychological safety allows teams to take interpersonal-risks without fearing judgement or rejection. Sonali helps leaders and teams to learn and adopt practices that help instil psychological safety, so people can confidently bring their differences and initiative to work. Without safety, teams underperform despite having significant talent and experience. Psychological safety is the differentiator that makes diversity fruitful.

Leading with Inclusion and Belonging in Diversity

Inclusive leaders activate diversity and help everyone to bring their unique strengths to the team’s biggest problems and highest goals. Sonali helps develop inclusive leaders who can lead with awareness, inclusion and accountability, so everyone can experience respect, empathy and belonging. Inclusive leaders significantly raise productivity and retention in diverse teams. This improves collaboration and better decision-making.