Get to Know the People Science Team: Sonya Bedi
Title: Senior People Science Consultant
Residence: South East London
Hometown: Luton, Bedfordshire
“There is no subject more fascinating than what motivates humans; how we form habits and set goals, what confidence stems from, how mental illness affects us, and the role of childhood in all of this,” says Senior People Science Consultant Sonya Bedi.
Originally, Sonya’s career focused on consumer research. She made the switch to employee insights after she felt drawn to study meaning and purpose at work instead of “why people prefer different brands of detergent.”
A meetup for coffee “somewhere near Buckingham Palace” with Glint’s Justin Black also helped bring her to her current role—working out of London and consulting with clients throughout Europe.
No doubt that first meeting allowed her to demonstrate her ear for language and listening. In fact, one of the delights of working at Glint is having conversations about … conversations.
“I love trying to uncover the root of a problem by actively listening and dissecting what people are saying, (or trying to say),” she says.
But there has been one big change since that fateful meetup: She no longer drinks coffee. The book Why We Sleep by Matt Walker scared her into giving up coffee and opened her mind to the benefits of afternoon naps—a valuable skill especially since she’s mother to a toddler.
Learn more about Sonya’s work and life.
What’s your specialty on the People Science Team? I was the first People Science consultant in EMEA, so I partner with some of our most tenured customers, many of whom come from rather traditional ways of measuring engagement involving long annual surveys and heavy reporting.
Together, we’ve increased the pace to deliver more focused, shorter, and frequent insights. I also have a focus on diversity, inclusion, and belonging, and I help design the onboarding journey for new People Science Consultants at Glint.
Any career goals you’re working toward? I wouldn’t say I’m working towards it, but I have quite a soft spot for wanting to help children and teens. One day I would love to help young people navigate their future world of work by addressing access and opportunities, as well as motivations and role-modeling.
Top tip: Question the language you use. I try my best not to rely on jargon, although it often sneaks its way in. There’s a huge satisfaction in intentionally selecting a sequence of simple or crisp words to explain an idea and feeling truly understood.
Where are you from? Ethnically, I am from Northern India—Himachal Pradesh (the home of the Himalayas and the Dalai Lama), and Punjab (the home of Sikhism and The Golden Temple). Physically, I was born and bred in less spiritual Luton, Bedfordshire (the home of Luton Airport).
Can you share more about where you live now? In a wonderful little suburb called Crystal Palace. It’s named after a huge iron and glass palace that was erected there following the Great Exhibition of 1851, but burnt down in 1936. We have a lovely big park that still contains the Palace’s original terraces, steps, and a pair of sphinxes, as well as a number of dinosaur sculptures (not from the palace, but from the same era).
What was your first job? Sunday quote writer at the made-to-measure curtain department at Debenhams department store. I was 15 or 16.
What do you like to do outside of work? Oh dear, this is the bit of your CV where you’re meant to list things like skydiving and mixed martial arts. My very honest, mother-of-a-toddler answer is: binge-watching shows with my husband with trips to the kitchen to collect tea and digestives. I also occasionally run.