founders have been advising and supporting individuals from under
represented groups, informally, for a number of years. However,
DiPA recognised that while there were places individuals
could go for advice there was no dedicated organisation providing
a comprehensive service of practical assistance and encouragement.
So DiPA was set up in 2004 in response to the increasing
requests for support and advice on how to become active in public
With a core team of professionals (all of whom are career, networking
and coaching specialists passionate about diversity in public life)
DiPA aims to improve gender, ethnic, disability, age and
socio-economic balance in Public Appointments.
founder Shaama Saggar-Malik
Saggar-Malik founded DiPA in 2004. She is an Independent Organisational Performance and Executive Development Consultant and Coach, and a former director of HR.
is passionate about public services and the third sector and
believes that the quality of life in Britain can only truly be enhanced
through encouraging more diverse participation and representation
in public life. Shaama has published and co-authored several articles, training materials and books in her field. She herself holds several public appointments and combines these with the equally challenging demands of being a mother of two teenage children.
says: "The work undertaken by public bodies touches so very
many aspects of our daily lives. Participating at a level that suits
your interests and talents is a practical way of not only gaining
tremendous satisfaction but also of helping to make a difference."
public appointments I am involved in, give me an opportunity to
maintain and extend my professional skills, learn other things and
meet people that I probably would not have the chance to do otherwise." More about Shaama (PDF file)»
Shaama says: "Women often say to me I'd love to do something
similar but I'm not sure what I can offer". I always reply that a
good starting point is to go and ask your colleagues, friends and
family what talents they know you have and what they value about
your abilities. Start with that list, add your own self-assessment,
then stand back and be prepared to be amazed!
"Finally I would like to thank all our friends colleagues and clients for their encouragement in establishing DiPA and their on-going support in furthering its mission."