This is Aneela McKenna. She’s been working as an equality, diversity, inclusion (EDI) & wellbeing professional for over 20 years supporting businesses and organisations to develop inclusive practices where everyone can contribute and participate. She specialises in the design of bespoke training and innovative solutions to bring out diverse perspectives, new ideas and fresh thinking.
Her dedication to equality is reflected in her personal, academic and professional achievements. She is an expert in her field and a professional mountain bike guide & coach who’s worked in cycling and outdoors for over a decade. Combining this with a lifetime in the EDI field, Aneela’s uniquely placed to offer an original approach to delivery for clients across all sectors.
The Ordnance Survey consumer team had a fantastic and thought provoking talk from Aneela on diversity. Her talk helped us to reflect on building diversity into our thinking, to help us engage more effectively with our customers and with colleagues. I would thoroughly recommend Aneela to anyone who is looking to build their understanding of diversity in the outdoors. I have already put Aneela forward as an ideal speaker for a major outdoor trade conference later this year." Nick Giles, Managing Director
Association of mountaineering instructors
Aneela developed and delivered a tailored Equity and Diversity workshop for our members, and was excellent to work with from first contact, to info gathering, to facilitating the course. We've had wonderful feedback from our members, who have been inspired to adapt the ways they work and incorporate areas from the training. Aneela's years of professional expertise show through her work and ease discussing questions and ideas, while challenging our perceived status quo in a supportive and non-judgemental environment. Kirsty Pallas, AMI
Aneela worked with us on our Rider2Leader pilot programmes where we looked to encourage and build confidence in women aspiring to take on the very exciting challenge of mountain bike leadership in a field where women are underrepresented. With two very different audiences and only a short time to gauge them, she was able to tailor her workshops beautifully with a lovely combination of enthusiasm and honesty which can only be achieved by someone with considerable knowledge and understanding in her subject areas. I’ve continued to work with Aneela to increase diversity and inclusion within mountain bike leadership; she checks, challenges and motivates me every time.
Christine Fox, Mountain bike leadership development officer. Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS)
Working with Aneela was a great collaborative experience. She imparted her knowledge in an engaging and honest way that felt accessible and was inspiring rather than intimidating. She combines years of senior professional experience in the equality and diversity sector with a breadth of personal experience. It is clear from her own actions and achievements that she delivers and facilitates real change, and her advice to us was focussed on deliverable and achievable goals rather than just talk or policies without effect.
I would especially recommend Aneela to any organisation that wants its people to be inspired to improve. She will make you believe that change is possible and that you can be part of the solution. Hannah Dobson, Editorial Manager
Aneela worked closely with us on the development of a new diversity and inclusion champion role. She expertly produced a toolkit and delivered an insightful workshop in an accessible way to our affiliates.She's a pleasure to work with; the feedback from our membership has been exceptionally positive and we look forward to working with Aneela again. Alex Cuppleditch, Head of Volunteering
Women of Colour Cycling Group
Aneela has been indispensable in our process of setting up as a charity. She's brought experience, insight, and empathy to our meetings - dare I say she's made the process quite painless! We would've been much further behind without her assistance - thanks to her professionalism we got set up and formalised our structure in less than a year's time.
Jenni Gwiazdowski, Chairperson
We chose Aneela to deliver a keynote at our conference because we wanted a presentation that would both challenge and inspire our audience. This is a difficult combination to achieve but Aneela’s force of personality and passion combined with an in-depth knowledge of the subject, mountain biking and diversity, meant that it was a highlight of the conference. We know that several delegates have considered and changed their organisational policies or procedures as a result of her presentation.
Graeme McLean, Head of Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS)
Aneela has spoken eloquently and engagingly about diversity and inclusion, with a focus on cycling and the outdoor adventure world, both on IGTV and a Spindrift Podcast episode that I host. Not only did the audience learn a lot from both and enjoy them greatly, but I also learned a lot, and she’s been an invaluable source of information and guidance, helping me to ensure my future work is. Aiofe Glass, Founder Spindrift Podcast
THE BRAW AND THE BRAVE
Speaking to Aneela on The Braw and The Brave podcast her unwavering dedication, passion and drive to help and champion others was truly inspiring. Striving for inclusion and diversity Aneela is a real force of nature and her boundless energy and compassion exemplary. Lisa Kennedy, Founder, The Braw and the Brave
Some recent projects!
Be a Diversity and Inclusion Champion
A toolkit for leaders
Cycling UK is a national cycling body and has over 200 cycling groups affiliated with it across the UK. Their goal was to create a new D&I champion role within their clubs. Aneela designed a toolkit for leaders setting out the role of the champion to support Cycling UK's commitment to increasing diversity. This was followed up with a workshop facilitated by Aneela showcasing the benefits to having this influential role within a cycling group. A number of their clubs now have diversity champions leading the way.
An introduction to Diversity and Inclusion - a CPD module
The Association of Mountaineering Instructors is the representative body for professional qualified mountaineering and climbing instructors in the UK and Ireland. With the impact of Black Lives Matter, they have been concerned about the lack of diversity in both their membership and in the participation in the outdoors. To address this, their aim was to upskill their members on diversity and inclusion focusing on inclusive leadership, collaboration and empowerment. Aneela is currently delivering a 2 part CPD module for AMI members. Members have since been using positive action approaches to target people from diverse backgrounds.
A toolkit for the cycling trade
When Black Lives Matter became a global phenomenon in June 2019, Singletrack Magazine were quick to respond. They wanted to develop a toolkit for the cycle trade through their Singletrack trade division to help raise awareness of the lack of diversity in cycling and provide practical tools to retailers on how to actively build diversity into their working practices. The toolkit was created as a video - a conversation piece between ourselves and Singletrack exploring the important issues Black Lives matter had brought to light in the cycle industry. This has led to an increased commitment from businesses to take steps to address the lack of diversity.
Bothy Bikepacking for Young Girls
A leadership programme for young girls
This life skills and leadership programme is aimed at young girls between the ages of 9-16 to help build resiliences and confidence through mountain biking. In 2019, we worked with KICC, a local cycling club and a secondary school to target young girls to participate in a three month programme; using the bike as a vehicle to experience a range of activities including an overnight MTB adventure. By evaluating the process through personal reflection, the programme led to an increased confidence in the girls through building new friendships and learning to be self sufficient on a bike. This programme can also be aimed at adults.