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Anisha Nandi: Creating Inclusive and Connected Workplaces Through Community

Anisha Nandi: Creating Inclusive and Connected Workplaces Through Community

Hi everyone, Spiffy here, your one and only interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth. I’m thrilled to be talking to Anisha Nandi, the co-founder and CEO of Verbate, and find out how she is working towards making the world a better place. Are you ready to be enlightened?

Spiffy: Hey there, Anisha. It’s great to have you here for this chat. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing at Verbate?

Anisha: Thanks for the invite, Spiffy! Verbate helps companies create truly inclusive workplaces by giving them an online tool to connect and build community.

Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?

Anisha: As a Trinidadian-Indian woman born in England and raised in New York, I know personally how important it is to be able to show up as my full self to work. In order to unlock your true potential, you need to feel represented and connected. That's why we built Verbate—so we can empower people's full selves to be at the center of their workplace.

Spiffy: What a lovely idea! Can you elaborate on your mission and how Verbate is working towards a more equitable world?

Anisha: Verbate's platform gives Employee Resource Groups, affinity groups, and other employee-based communities a way to more efficiently and effectively impact their companies. We believe that people should be at the heart of any workplace, especially in a world where we're working in a distributed or remote way—it's more important than ever to feel connected and seen in order to do your best work.

Spiffy: I couldn’t agree more! Is there a recent milestone or initiative you’d like to share, along with its impact?

Anisha: We launched the platform this year and on boarded our first customers. Immediately, we saw employee groups connecting, planning amazing initiatives and feeling empowered to share their unique perspectives. For example: women's groups were working with AAPI groups on our platform to plan responses to the hate crimes against Asian Women in NYC. 

Spiffy: Please share an experience when you faced failure and didn't give up. What did you learn from it?

Anisha: When I first began my career as a journalist (prior to founding Verbate), I faced a lot of rejection since I didn't know many people in the industry. I kept at it; meeting people and constantly building my skills. After a couple of years, it paid off and I was given a chance to work at CBS News and, later, NBC News. I learned to invest in my own growth and look for people who believed in my potential. Most importantly, I learned to pay it forward once the door was opened for me.

Spiffy: What is something you've unexpectedly learned from someone recently?

Anisha: I'm constantly learning from our partners and customers about the diversity and intersectionality of their teams. Recently, a customer of ours (Flatiron Health) taught me about all the amazing programming they were doing for South Asian History Month. Although I'm of South Asian descent myself, I learned so much about the culture of other South Asians from their initiatives and events.

Spiffy: Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience before we finish up?

Anisha: Stay curious! One of the most valuable things I learned as a journalist-turned-founder is the ability to ask good questions. From good questions come real answers and stories that help you build confidence and see unique opportunities.

Spiffy: Perfect words to end on. Thanks for speaking with me today, Anisha—it’s been an honor!

Anisha Nandi is the co-founder and CEO of Verbate, a platform that helps companies build resilient, inclusive workplace communities (i.e. ERGs, affinity groups). Previously, she worked at CBS & NBC News, helping launch digital networks and crafting company culture/strategy. She's Trinidadian-Indian, was born in England, and lives in NYC. (Nominated by Jing Herman at 28Muses. First published on the Ladderworks website on August 24, 2022.)

© 2022 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Corner here.