Head of EDI at Adidas talks to pupils

13 November 2020

Yesterday we were delighted to virtually welcome Asif Sadiq MBE to talk to Sixth Formers about EDI as part of the School’s Lookout Lecture Series.

Here Jack Feather (Year 13) provides a report on the talk.

Lookout Lecture report: Asif Sadiq MBE – Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Today the sixth form were privileged to welcome Mr Asif Sadiq MBE with whom we explored the importance of diversity and the need for greater inclusion in every facet of society. He told the story of his career, moving from the police force to roles as Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the Telegraph and EY Financial Services. He now finds himself based in Germany as Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Adidas. He explained his role alluding to the importance of the smaller details such as discrimination by enforcing dress codes and ensuring the correct pronunciation of one’s name. He then made us reflect on why being able to speak the English language is seen as a measure of intelligence for an accountant whose numeric skills should take precedence. He moved on to talking about the obligation of brands to ensure they have a diverse workforce and uphold inclusion polices. He mentioned that he made EY Financial pull-out of a lucrative deal with a client who refused to work with a female consultant who wore a headscarf, suggesting that firms needed to put diversity and inclusion standards before profit. His natural tone and structure meant the talk was particularly captivating and easy to follow, making the lecture itself informative and enjoyable for all. The second part of the lecture saw Mr Sadiq MBE answer a variety of students’ questions. He explained that positive action was key but differed from positive discrimination, which he did not agree with. When asked what made him ready to move on from a job, he mentioned the importance spending time with his family resulting in him leaving the police force, but in his later roles it was when he felt he was ready for a new challenge. He remains committed to improving diversity and inclusion and in the future,  he wants to make a real and direct impact in his home area. All of his answers were insightful but more importantly honest, providing a thorough insight into his award-winning career. Overall, a very topical and passionate lecture.