Leyla Okhai

Director, Diverse Minds UK

Leyla Okhai is the founder and Director of Diverse Minds UK Ltd. Diverse Minds aims to create a positively productive workplace for all through training coaching and consultancy. The focus is placed on wellbeing, mental health and by understanding differences. Leyla has over sixteen years’ experience in developing and implementing diversity, inclusion and equality practices, with senior leadership teams. Leyla has worked with numerous organisations including EY, Innocent Drinks, Engineering firm WYG, Her Majesty’s Passport Office, University of Cambridge, University of London, Goldsmiths and NHS Trusts.
As a trained coach and mediator, Leyla’s coaching centres on how staff can navigate boundaries and reach their full potential whilst maintaining their wellbeing. Leyla has also spoken regularly on mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, and delivered training programmes and workshops these issues in the HE and private sectors.
Leyla was the Head of Centre for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Centre at Imperial College London, from July 2012-June 2017. She was is in charge of overall strategy and managing a team of staff working on various projects and initiatives. In this role she is also responsible for developing the College’s working relationships with Stonewall, Race for Opportunity, Business Disability Forum, Purple Space and WISE. She was shortlisted for the Race for Opportunity 2014 award in Race Equality: Transparency, Monitoring and Action category.
Prior to joining Imperial College, Leyla worked at the University of Oxford for over six years, firstly in student recruitment, specialising in increasing applications from underrepresented BAME young people. She went on to pioneer innovative race and religious belief equality initiatives at Oxford’s Equality and Diversity Unit from 2008-2012. She was the University’s first specific advisor for race and religion.