When Manu Malhotra was 18 years old, the unthinkable happened. He had just graduated, and was on his way to start a career. But then he was diagnosed with cancer. He couldn’t help but feel angry. He thought, “Why did this happen to me?” But today, Manu considers this the turning point that turned his life around. What got him out of this rut and turned him to think more positively? His mother.
“While I was thinking negatively about my whole situation, I saw my mother, a single parent, managing everything. She was working, making sure I got the best treatment, figuring out finances. She was like a super woman. And watching her turned me from being extremely negative to extremely positive. It made me focus on what I could give back to the world.”
Today, Manu has been with our Adobe India office for 4 years, and is currently working as an Associate Manager for Advertising Cloud Services, and has dedicated his career to bringing more positivity and inclusivity to the workplace. “As a leader, I want to show compassion and inclusivity. I imagine that a lot of my team comes from many different backgrounds and experiences, which makes me think about how I can be more inclusive to them. It’s important to me to drive this sort of positivity in the world.”
And one of the many ways Manu does this is by being involved in Adobe’s Diversity & Inclusion programs. Most recently, Manu has been actively involved in the AdobeProud Employee Network in our India Office. On May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the AdobeProud India Network hosted a ‘Rainbow Library’ activity where external members of the LGBTQ+ community came to the office and shared their experiences and stories with employees. Manu, who volunteered at the event and made sure his team attended, was humbled by the comments he received afterwards. “An employee came up to me after the event just to tell me how deeply moved he was, and that this was the first time he’s experience such conversations and openness.”
To learn more about Manu’s thoughts on Pride Month and how to be an ally, we sat down with him to answer a few questions. Here’s what he shared.
What does “Better Together” and Pride Month mean to you personally?
To me, it means synergy. When your teams work with people who have different backgrounds and experiences as them, they create additional value. When we all start genuinely working together, that’s when people are moved to change their perspectives in life.
What can Adobe employees do to be allies to their LGBTQIA coworkers?
I believe in leading by example. The moment people see it, it makes a difference. And whoever the allies are, they should be very genuine in how the conduct themselves. Some people join these groups, but it’s not meaningful. They don’t live the brand. You have to be genuinely interested in the cause and driving the agenda of diversity and inclusion. When I do this, it makes me a better leader, and a better human being.
What inspires you?
The ability to express myself creatively inspires me. I look at how I can make work a more happy space for everyone. I get involved with cancer support groups, social impact initiatives, diversity & inclusion programs and I think about how creativity can be used to solve challenges in these areas. All of us seek joy and want to spread it. If we can spread that through creative solutions, we’ll have a better space to enjoy our lives in.
For Pride Month this year, we highlighted stories as part of a “Better Together” series. Read the stories below and hear the voice of our employees.
- Hear from J. Scott Evans, the AdobeProud Executive Sponsor, on what Better Together means to him.
- Read Kristin Griffith’s story about coming out and the importance of creating safe spaces.
- Marcus McBride shares his story about learning to celebrate himself.
- Find out how Nathalie Sauvaire learned resilience at Adobe.