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By Sinem Ishlek

Natasha's passion for diversity at work

Despite never meeting Natasha in person, her warmth and enthusiasm was palpable through our interactions online.


As an avid LinkedIn user a few years ago, I stumbled upon Natasha’s page and realised that she was a fellow SOASian. Impressed by the variety of her experiences within the Civil Service, I decided to send her a request with a personalised note asking about her career trajectory and all things diversity & inclusion. At the time very few people accepted my connection request, let alone answered my questions - Natasha had done both, and I am eternally grateful for her transparency and kindness.


Her passion for diversity in the Civil Service became apparent very quickly; she touched upon the under-representation of Black and Asian individuals at senior grades, and how much D&I meant to her. She talked very fondly of her rewarding roles and supportive colleagues and also advised me on the multiple entry routes into the Civil Service. One year after our interaction, I was successful in my application to one of the competitive internships that Natasha had mentioned and the first thing that came to my mind was Natasha’s motivational messages. I’ve had moments where I’ve doubted myself as well as my potential during the internship, but reading Natasha’s messages instilled that confidence in me every single time. I would have loved to surprise Natasha in the office and thank her in person, but instead I will strive to continue Natasha’s legacy of championing D&I.


Natasha may no longer be with us, but her legacy will live on through the many lives she has touched, including mine.

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