Kalpna Mistry,  Staff Network Coordinator & Disability Advisor – Equality Diversity and Inclusion Centre, Human Resources Division 

“I help staff talk more openly about their disability needs and advocate on their behalf, and I also help managers who wish to support their disabled staff.”

Since joining the College as an administrator many moons ago, my role has grown to one that helps steer the staff networks. They have been an incredible source of engagement during lockdown and I am thrilled to see them flourish and deliver topical events pertaining to inclusion. The staff networks increasingly highlight and celebrate the many intersectional elements of diversity through their activities and campaigns. I’ve even taken part myself when I was interviewed on Imperial as One’s Belonging Series. 

I love seeing people develop and thrive and so I love being a co–facilitator on the Calibre and Impact courses where I facilitate training and the one-to-ones with the delegates. Being a College coach also feeds my desire to see others progress, as does being a staff disabilities adviser and Harassment Support Contact. 

I help staff talk more openly about their disability needs to their manager and advocate on their behalf. I also help managers who wish to support their disabled staff and are not sure how to go about implementing adjustments. Each individual is unique and has differing needs. Adjustments could include anything from flexible working options to buying specialist equipment, from altering or relocating where a person works to allowing assistance dogs on site.   

The impact of major world events such as COVID-19, climate change and the horrific events leading to the Black Lives Matter movement all increase the incidences of disability since people are affected both physically and/or psychologically for long periods of time.  As a Mental Health First Aider and instructor I embed such discussions into my courses. 

I am involved in charter work such as Stonewall and Disability Confident. I develop policies, guidance and case studies – my key piece is the Trans Staff Policy. I like stories and I developed detailed case studies for our online EDI course and recruitment courses. I would love to see these case studies acted out and filmed. Ah! Perhaps that’s a future project, do let me know if you want to audition! 

Outside work I enjoy reading, catching up with friends and doing random workshops such as screen printing or cocktail making. I enjoy visiting art fairs and at this time of year I love visiting Christmas markets. 

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