Anjana Nathwani (CEO at Athena Business Psychologists) is a Business Psychologist with extensive experience in Leadership and Organization Development. Her experience in enabling leaders and organizations to manage change has proved to be invaluable in helping our clients to acknowledge the business benefits of equality and diversity.
She has led on several high profile projects and has worked with reputable clients. She specializes in diversity and cultural audits, policy reviews and development, building senior management commitment, employee engagement; public sector equality duties and impact assessments.
She is currently authoring a book on how senior female leaders can be successful by working with their own unique attributes. She is a yoga teacher and offers life coaching and yoga therapy to cancer patients. She has a passion for trekking and enjoys holidays in the Himalayas.
She agreed to give interview for ConnectMums and below is the transcript of the interview -
CM: What in a nutshell, is your role at Cherie Blair Foundation? What really is “business psychology”?
Business Psychology is what the two words means. In a nutshell, it is about the psychology of organizations and people who work for the organizations. It combines both the science and the art of leading and managing people. As Business Psychologist has both the breadth and depth of capabilities in the areas of assessment, talent development, organizational culture, happiness at work and the also the general wellbeing of employees.
I am Mentor for the Women in Business Programme for the Cherie blair Foundation. I will be supporting women from different parts of the world on how to take their business forward.
CM: How did you come up with the idea for such a service? Were there any worries before starting?
I have also worked for large organizations and my post recent job was with boutique consultancy. After 7 years with them, I decided, I wanted a change. After a six month break, I gave birth to Athena. Of course there are worries, when one is setting up a new business. Particularly when the global economy is volatile. I believe, for organizations to survive, thrive and succeed – they need to invest in the development of their people and their culture – hence I am planning to build the business with zest.
CM: What kind of people do you work with? What are the motivations that get them there?
I work with Clients from the Private, Public and NGO sector. Their motivation for contacting us are numerous:
CM: One aspect of ‘Athena Business Psychologist’ is ‘inclusion and diversity’, What do you think is the best way to gap the multi-cultural difference in work place?
There is nothing like allowing people to have healthy conversations on the multi-cultural environment in which they work. It is about appreciating and valuing the richness of the cultural mix in the working environment. This understanding leads to greater creativity, innovation and harmony in team working.
CM: How do you help people understand their true potential or dream career, especially in cases where they don’t have a clear idea of what they are looking at?
Everyone has a dream. Some people are aware of theirs and some people need support to realise their dreams. The process of coaching offers that clarity. I also use psychometrics, as the data opens up arenas for exploration and also helps to affirm confidence.
CM: Do you have any idea on how many of those who’ve taken your programs have made big changes to their lives or actually gone through a career change?
During my 25+ years career, I have seen many people grow and do wonderful things. Some have become CEOs, some have expanded their businesses, some have taken sabbaticals and come back refreshed.
CM: What next for ‘Athena Business Psychologist’?
We are still a young business. 2012/2013 is to do more projects relating to the development of women and also global leadership.