DMU students discover how a mindfulness tech company's focus on diversity has made them global leaders

A company working to improve the mental health of people across the world has been telling De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) students how being a diverse and inclusive company has helped them to achieve international success in the world of technology.

Headspace, a meditation and mindfulness company, delivers guided meditations, animation, articles and videos online to millions of users in more than 190 countries. Students met with key people at the company as part of their visit to San Francisco.

Headspace main

They are spending a week meeting business leaders from top tech companies to explore opportunities for breaking into a career in the tech industry, which is heavily underrepresented by people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

The meeting was led by Jessica Salinas, social impact lead at Headspace. Jessica said the company’s mission to improve the health and happiness of the world means that they have to consider how to mindfully develop a product for all that everyone can access.

She said: “We’re a mobile Wi-Fi app, but not everyone in the world has access to the technology. It’s wonderful that Headspace has dedicated resource to address how we’re serving the populations that don’t have access and to help us find those answers.”

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Students also had the opportunity to hear from Headspace professionals from diverse backgrounds who are using their skills to get ahead in the industry. They shared their tips on how to carve out a career with a progressive organisation.

Mark Prescod, associate professor of marketing at DMU, said: “The students have helped Headspace with their research by going through the exercises they set for them. They now appreciate what mindfulness can mean not only for themselves, but when they go into industry or set up their own businesses.”

Final-year Psychology student Wilhemena Gilbertson-Davis said: “It means a lot for me to be on this trip. It’s opening my eyes to different business models and has made me look at meditation in a different light.”

The #DMUglobal trip has been arranged as part of DMU’s #DMUfreedom programme in collaboration with Colorintech, a not for profit organisation which aims to make Silicon Valley and the UK’s innovation economy more diverse and inclusive.

Posted on Wednesday 4th July 2018

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