In Dec 2019, my motto was New Year, New decade, New Opportunities, little did I know what a year 2020 will turn out to be.
I was looking forward to starting a new job at a Boutique Recruitment Consultancy in mid January. I was looking forward to the autonomy I would have, the difference I would make. Diversity and Inclusion was always at the forefront of the work I did and I often wondered why it was often a tick box exercise for a lot of organisations and as for Race, well it was the unspoken word for many organisations - it was never part of the conversation.
Slowly settling into my new role with a number of restrictions from my previous employer then lock down struck and I was put on furlough. The mental toll that Covid has put me under is unimaginable but I continue to be positive about the year.
With Covid still causing unthinkable heartache worldwide, the news is filled with global protests over the murder of an African American Man in police custody. For me this has opened up the injustices that Black and Brown people face on a daily basis. I look at my two teenage black sons and wonder if the workplace will look different when they start work or how society will treat them because of the colour of their skin. Just look at London firms - how many people who look like me are in positions of influence? How many people who look like me work in Recruitment Consultancies who are filling these roles? I need to take action.
A lot of my clients and candidates are reaching out to me - How can I take action? What difference can I make? What difference can we make together? I have decided that I am on a mission to use my platform, connections and influence to make a difference - I launch www.allyship.co.uk - a community for allies to connect, come together and take action.
Covid is still around, I go back to work 3 days a week but the recruitment market is still very quiet. Companies are reaching out to me for D&I consultancy work but I turn it down as I am still employed and I did not want a conflict of interest. However, I knew that it was important to make a difference and I continued to use my platform to amplify the voices of the unrepresented.
Covid is still very much around and so is my passion and purpose to create positive change and educate people and companies on the importance of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. I decide that in order to make positive change, I would have to focus solely on D&I. So I hand my notice in. I start the Allyship Workshops and a D&I Consultancy.
I feel excited, my head is popping with ideas and more opportunities are on the horizon. But for me it's all about ensuring that organisations and people understand the importance of inclusion, organisations and recruitment consultancies know where and how to recruit diverse talent and when diverse talent has been recruited, it is important that they feel like they belong within an organisation and can see leaders who look like them within the leadership team. This fight is not Black vs White, it's EVERYONE fighting against the injustices of racism. I set up the Allyship Book Club to learn together with a community of like minded people. We are reading book no. 2 - How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X Kendi. It's not too late to join! I do some work with a law firm and it is launched to read- click here.
So as 2020 draws to a close and 2021 is on the horizon, I want to ensure that I use my platform to make positive change and ensure that our children regardless of their colour - understand the importance of representation and inclusion and have many opportunities. I hope that organisations will start to offer opportunities to unrepresented talent - regardless of their colour, race, religion, sexual orientation or gender. Help me make it happen.
Please click here to read my latest newsletter and if you want to work with me, need further information or just a chat, do not hesitate to contact me. firstname.lastname@example.org