Being successful in my job gave me the confidence to come out.
Suki Sandu firmly believes that if you are successful at your job, it is no less than a superpower. There is always a chance that your family, friends, and society can reject you. However, if you have financial backing, you can sustain yourself. Despite having, as he said, "rehearsed" answers for why LGBTQ inclusion in professional spaces just makes good business sense, he still passionately stresses how safe spaces allow everyone to show up as their authentic selves and that automatically results in organizational growth and higher productivity.
What intersectionality means is working across demographics.
One of the other reasons that being successful at your job is important is that you can give back to society. As a proud out gay person happily living with his husband - Manuel, Suki is aware of the privileges that he holds. Understanding the situational intersectionality between the global south and north, Suki also started 'The Suki Sandhu LGBTQI Asia Fund.' This fund supports activists working across Asia to improve the lives of queer people. Setting up a philanthropic fund for Asian people also highlights Suki's efforts to connect with his native roots.
Suki is today a successful entrepreneur and a leader who has founded Audeliss, UK's top executive leadership firm, with the vision to incorporate more diversity in top-level leadership roles. He is also the CEO and founder of INvolve, a global network and consultancy firm advocating diversity and inclusion in business by helping organizations drive cultural change and create inclusive workplaces.
I have the privilege of being a man.
It is evident from the two companies he founded that he is passionate about creating future workplaces. But Suki's passion is not limited to advocating LGBTQ rights. He is also vocal about racism that takes place in the workplace. Even when we had a conversation with him, he told us how privileged he feels to be a brown person amidst the racism that black people have to face. His organization, Audeliss, has made many efforts to drive racial equity at work, including the breakthrough campaign for black employees - If Not Now, When?
She (his mother) thought if I could take some pills, then I would be okay. The doctor can fix me.
Suki laughingly told us about the typical Indian family that he belongs to. His decision to come out was through a movie night session with his mother where they streamed Dostana, a Bollywood movie about a fake homosexual couple. The plan, however, backfired, with his mother not accepting it. She also believed pills could cure his sexual orientation. On the other hand, Suki did not dare to come out directly to his father, so he wrote him a letter. Today, although the process has been slow, Suki says his parents are his biggest pillars of support. They still have concerns about having children, but Suki confidently waved that off saying, since he didn't want any children, that was fine.
As a community, we need to be engaged in politics so that we don't take our rights for granted.
Suki has often found himself in the limelight for his various efforts, and he does not shy away from sharing his political views. He knows that until community members can become a part of the policy-making process, their voices will always remain an outlier. His efforts have seen him bestowed with an OBE, Innovator of the Year (European Diversity Awards), and named "Most Inspiring Recruitment Leader" by The Recruiter Investing in Talent Awards. Suki's passion and determination have also resulted in him taking on the film industry, with The Wedding being his first title as an executive producer. Sitting in front of us surrounded by "a lot of pink," Suki's cheerful attitude was infectious, as was his desire to do good in the world.