In this week’s Meet & Greet interview, myGwork member and CEO/Founder of Events Together Meena Chander shares how some of her biggest supporters – many of whom are from the LGBTQ+ community – influenced her to set up her own business. She also provides a glimpse into her work and social life.
myGwork: Why did you start this company?
Meena: I wanted a fresh challenge in my career and felt I had really hit that glass ceiling working for others. Opportunities were very limited, and I couldn’t spread my wings or really use my skills, following my Master’s degree. Working for myself, I’ve been able to work on some great projects and it use my skills and knowledge more.
myGwork: Have you always wanted to lead a company and why?
Meena: For me it’s very much a sense of personal achievement and making a difference. I wanted to make my own personal mark on something which I’ve achieved with producing my own Diversity & Inclusion conference.
myGwork: How would you describe your leadership style?
Meena: My leadership style is about letting people get on with the task in hand as an employee needs to “own” their part of a project. However, I am still very involved and like to have regular catch ups with the team so everyone knows what’s happening and also so that ideas and suggestions can be exchanged within the group.
myGwork: What attributes do you look for when promoting/hiring employees leaders in your company?
Meena: Passionate people. They must have a passion for what they do and bring their own quirkiness to a project – and their own knowledge and expertise.
myGwork: How do you successfully motivate your employees?
Meena: I employ freelancers and third-party contractors so I motivate them by letting them get on with the task in hand but communicate with them regularly in case of any issues that arise and so we can resolve any challenges along the way.
myGwork: How important is LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace to you?
Meena: Inclusion in general is very important to me. Being oneself in a workplace brings personal experience and attributes to a project which makes the workplace an interesting place to be. Having a very close friend who is a crossdresser, I really think they have helped me understand the challenges that LGBTQ+ people face in the workplace. They inspired me to produce my own conference in the first place, and for that I will always be truly grateful. As an LGBTQ+ ally, I’ve really supported them too. Jacqui Gavin, a Transwoman, has been my biggest advocate and supporter; and again, I'm truly appreciative of her help. So in essence, LGBTQ+ is hugely important to me.
myGwork: What was the last book you read? Any interesting take-aways?
Meena: Mindset by Dr Carol Dweck – one has to shift one’s own mindset in order to help oneself first; and mindset is a powerful factor of success and being happy.
myGwork: What's your all-time favourite movie/show – and how many times have you watched it?
Meena: The Proposal and Indian classic Kabhi Kushi Kabi gham – I've watch them both multiple times.
myGwork: What's your most favourite holiday destination to date?
Meena: Palm Springs as it’s quiet, relaxing and very scenic. It also has great designer shopping outlet.
myGwork: What do you do to unwind? Which drink/cocktail/tipple helps you unwind most?
Meena: I like to chill out on my sofa and watch TV. I love a Baileys with ice or Moët champagne.
You can connect with and find out more about Meena here.
Check out our past Meet & Greet interviews, including Swapi CEO Pete Howroyd who talks about workplace equality and LGBTQ+ inclusion, and the importance of ensuring that every voice is heard; Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s Co-Founder Tammi Wallace who shares her career journey and ‘passion work’ for economic equality for the LGBTQ+ community; and Rachel Scheel on how and why she supports diversity and LGBTQ+ inclusion as an ally, as well as workplace wellbeing, in her role as Criteo’s SVP Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.