We’re shining a spotlight on Manjit Kaur Kang's tireless work as a champion of diversity and inclusion, which has been recognised with an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Wolverhampton.
Manjit, now a Real Estate Finance Manager, joined us from school aged 17, nearly 30 years ago. She's worked full-time throughout her career while raising a family and championing women in business and, more recently, black, Asian and minority ethnic leaders. She also co-chairs our Sikh Network.
Outside work Manjit is a familiar and admired figure in the Sikh and wider communities. She represents us as a non-executive director of the charity ART Business Loans, which supports West Midlands businesses. As a former vice-chair of the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce, Manjit helped to launch its inclusion pledge. She's also very involved with her local gurdwara – the Sikh place of worship.
As a Diversity Ambassador in Birmingham, Manjit has played a significant role in building our profile in the city, particularly focused on women in business and strengthening our links with the Asian business community.
Her drive to help people and to promote inclusion and equality comes from her Sikh faith, which underpins her life. She said: 'I practice the teachings in day-to-day life, and in every interaction with colleagues, customers and in the community. I try to stay humble and grounded too.'
'I'm passionate about an inclusive society and I try to practice that every day'.
Whether it's championing women in business or working in the community, she aims to be a sympathetic listener. 'People have all sorts of challenges and I hope I can listen and help. It comes from the Sikh faith; we aim to help others selflessly and not look for recognition. I'm passionate about an inclusive society and I try to practice that every day. We should appreciate each other's cultures and values, let individuals own their truth and create a safe space to share it.'
Manjit may not look for recognition, but others appreciate what she does, not least the University of Wolverhampton. She will collect her Fellowship at the university's graduation ceremony this summer, lockdown permitting. 'I didn't go to university or wear a gown so I'm looking forward to it. Being awarded the Fellowship was such an honour,' she says.
When she first started building a community network, she went to all sorts of events but says that now she's more selective. Social media is a huge help, she says, and a great way to share best practice and success stories.
'Being able to support and champion people is a privilege,' says Manjit. 'I like to listen to people, understand their challenges and help to make their lives a little easier. I also enjoy my job; I really love the real estate finance side of our business.'
How does Manjit juggle work, community projects and family? 'I think you always find time for the things you love. I'll read and work on community projects in the evenings and weekends to fit it all in.'
She enjoys yoga, long walks and cooking for her husband, daughter and son. 'It feeds the family and I find it relaxing,' she says.
Today is also a special day as Manjit celebrates her 30th year in the bank on this date. Congratulations Manjit and here’s to many more years with us.
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