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Inspirational Female Founder Spotlight: Shereen Daniels

Shereen Daniels is the bestselling author of The Anti-Racist Organization: Dismantling Systemic Racism in the Workplace, x 3 LinkedIn Top Voice, former winner of HR Most Influential Thinker and Managing Director of award-winning HR advisory firm HR rewired  (whose mission is to transform the experiences of employees most impacted by racism, bias and discrimination). She is also Chair of charitable foundation The African Diaspora Economic Inclusion Foundation.

Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?

My background is in human resources, and I’ve earnt my strips with over seventeen years of experience working in risk management, publishing, fashion, retail and hospitality. After the birth of my second child in 2018, I decided to abandon the corporate world, partly due to burnout but also in recognising there was a limit to how I could progress my career, despite the experience and many qualifications I had.

A brief stint in politics followed, joining the Operation Black Vote scheme which aims to increase representation in the houses of parliament, however I quickly realised that my preference for autonomy and frustration with bureaucracy led to me establishing my own consultancy, and in 2019 HR rewired was born.

At that time, I was working with leaders to help redesign their teams in a way that led to better alignment with employee values and business objectives, and then it expanded to what we do now, which is to help organisations identify where racism, bias and discrimination show up and help them do something about it.

How did the idea come to you for the company?

The catalyst was my professional and personal experience, amplified by the impact of the murder of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd – and the societal impact following George Floyd’s murder. I recorded a 20-min video on my mobile in my bedroom talking about my experiences of being a Black woman in the world work within the UK. One video, became five, then ten and resulted in my recording a day for 100 consecutive day. My story was featured in Forbes and I was asked to be a keynote speaker for brands all over the world.

How did you achieve awareness?

Social media, particularly LinkedIn, played a crucial role in raising awareness about me and my company. I started with 3,000 followers in 2020 with barely anyone publicly engaging with my content about racism and discrimination, but I persisted and showed up every day. I went on and wrote a bestselling book – The Anti-Racist Organization: Dismantling Systemic Racism in the Workplace, and hosted a podcast series Advancing Racial Equity 4.0 which collectively resulted in accruing over 101,000 followers to date. 

Through my company we’ve supported the likes of Google, Nandos, Totaljobs, Prostate Cancer, Vodafone, Wagamama’s and many others who over the years were committed to converting their post 2020 pledges and commitments into some form of tangible action.

How have you been able to gain funding and grow?

HR rewired has been entirely bootstrapped, relying on reinvesting revenue for growth. We are fortunate that my strong personal brand consistently generates enough interest that means we do not need to rely on seeking external funding. I’m not opposed to it, however as a Black female owned business, it is extremely challenging to secure both venture and debt finance therefore I decided early on to avoid that stress!

What are the key successes?

Clarity on what success means personally and professionally has been pivotal in the growth of HR rewired. We are a mission-driven organisation however I want a fulfilling personal life for myself and my team. This has guided my approach, rather than conventional metrics of success.

What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?

Distinguishing personal brand from company identity and managing team dynamics have posed significant challenges for me personally. Addressing these involved clear role definitions, an appreciation of where my personal brand helps or hinders that of the company, reposition our products and services to meet market demands, and a willingness to take calculated risks. Learning to quickly adapt, setting aside of egos, and accepting that what makes logical sense doesn’t always align with customer demands.

What are your plans now/for the future?

Our goal is to deepen our impact, making it easier to partner with companies committed to genuine, inclusive change. We avoid working with organizations that want us to prove that they don’t have an issue, neither do we support those who want to do the work for optics alone.

What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?

For anyone considering entrepreneurship, it demands realism and a focus on solving genuine problems. It’s crucial to move beyond the allure of the title and concentrate on creating value that attracts customers. Understanding the difference between loving the idea of entrepreneurship and running a viable business is essential.

Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?

My top tips for achieving entrepreneurial success:

  • Embrace failure as part of the journey
  • Make decisive team choices and trust your instincts
  • Maintain a strong support network
  • Prioritise the needs of your business over the desire to please others.

Be bold in the pursuit of opportunities but execute with practical realism. Sometimes done is better than perfect.




Instagram: @shereen_daniels 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shereen-daniels/