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WorkPride - Community-in-focus Panels for Ethnicity: South Asian

With the increasing awareness around intersectionality and its importance, this community-in-focus series of panels on ethnicity explores how our identity combines with ethnicity and the resulting challenges and lived experiences this creates. With a particular focus on South Asian communities, this discussion will cover topics including:

- What it means to be LGBTQ+ and South Asian

- Identity challenges faced by people of South Asian descent

- Challenges faced by the South Asian diaspora

- The impact of being out in a South Asian family

Sponsored by:


  • M
    Snehal Shende
    Snehal Shende
    Associate Manager
    I am a proud Ally of LGBTQ+. I am with Parexel for around 9.5 years and close to 13.5 years in Clinical Research Industry. Parexel is the organization in my professional journey who gave me this platform to express my strong ally-ship for LGBTQ+ and to help demonstrate “We care” and “With heart” attributes too. I started my journey at Parexel as an Individual contributor, then to leading and training people and groups, eventually shifting my gears to “People”. I find and believe Parexel as an Apple organization amongst rest of the ones. Things that keep my momentum high are the initiatives Parexel participates in, which adds value to patients, employees, and common people around. A step towards Gender Neutral Washroom at workplace is an extraordinary shift. You are in an ELITE journey working with Parexel, one should definitely experience it!
  • Suraj Bhanot
    Suraj Bhanot
    Communications Senior Manager
    Vertex Pharmaceuticals
    Suraj Bhanot is currently a Senior Manager in the Corporate Communications group at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Based in London, he joined Vertex in January 2020 and leads strategic corporate, brand and internal communications for our Northern Europe and Australia region, with a key focus on the Nordic region and our R&D site in Oxford, U.K. He has experience in global pharmaceutical corporate affairs and brings an in-depth understanding and execution of global, European, and U.K. brand launches in multiple therapeutic areas. Prior to Vertex, he worked at Celgene and at Weber Shandwick. Suraj is co-lead of the International PRIDE employee resource network (ERN) at Vertex, having assumed the role in 2021. He has led on driving and delivering the PRIDE ERN plan for the international region. For LGBTQ+ History month in 2022, Suraj delivered an all-employee panel discussion on the importance of learning about LGBTQ+ history. The event was held jointly with our VIBE (Vertex Includes Boundless Ethnicities) ERN to highlight the key themes of allyship and intersectionality for the PRIDE ERN in 2021. The event featured personal testimony from two senior leaders at Vertex, demonstrating the importance placed by the leadership on these important milestones for the LGBTQ+ community. Suraj continued to deliver educational speaker events for employees throughout 2021, with their corporate partner myGwork. As part of this role Suraj is a member of Vertex’s ERN Advisory Committee, which supports Vertex’s wider inclusion, diversity and equity (ID&E) initiatives. Outside of Vertex, Suraj served in volunteer leadership positions for Pride in London — initially as Public Affairs Officer and then as the Head of Political Engagement. Pride in London is a volunteer-based group that organizes the U.K.’s biggest, most diverse pride. They provide a platform for London’s LGBTQ+ communities — to raise awareness of LGBTQ+ issues and campaign for the freedom that will allow them to live their lives on a genuinely equal footing.
  • M
    Sabir Khan
    Sabir Khan
    Privacy and Security Counsel
  • Vipul Bhatti
    Vipul Bhatti
    UX practitioner
    LSEG (London Stock Exchange Gr
    Currently on a career pause - studying a MSc in Cognition and Computation.
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