Sabiha Patel, Head of Equality and Inclusion at University of Leeds | Career Stories

In my role… I am responsible for enabling senior leaders deliver our Equality and Inclusion Strategy and mainstream and embed equality and inclusion across all aspects of the University’s activities.

My typical day… No two days are the same, nevertheless, it could be a 1:1 meeting with a colleague on joining up and progressing our strategic efforts; attending a Faculty Equality and Inclusion meeting; and contributing to a strategy session on responding to national policy efforts to increase student diversity and help students achieve better outcomes.

I chose to be an AUA member… to recognise my role as a professional services leader and to provide a network of colleagues engaged in various discussions and aspects of HE Administration.  Having always been a part of the HE professional services community throughout my career to date, the AUA has been invaluable in supporting my professional and personal development and career journey.  An aspect of my payback is that I advise and assess universities striving to achieve the AUA Mark of Excellence.

The best part of my role is… the opportunity to engage with all parts of the University’s work, meet inspiring colleagues daily and working collaboratively to achieve our equality and inclusion and University goals.  The opportunity to make our university even more inclusive and see us achieve small steps towards this, is highly rewarding.

My back up career would be… My original aspiration was to be a physiotherapist, perhaps drawing connections with working with people in multi-disciplinary settings and making a difference.  But I have no regrets, my current role is both challenging and highly enjoyable and rewarding.