October is Black History Month in the UK & Ireland. Established in the US back in 1970, it was first observed in the UK in 1987 which was also the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in the Caribbean. With the aim to challenge racism and celebrate the history of black people, Black History Month remains as important today as it was then.
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Nathalie Richards, CEO of SEO London
Expertise: Nathalie joined SEO London after a two-decade long career in the charity, education, and consulting sectors and is dedicated to transforming the lives of talented, underrepresented young people while simultaneously addressing the lack of diversity in certain career paths.
Prior to joining SEO London, Nathalie founded EduKit, a social enterprise dedicated to helping schools improve the mental health and wellbeing of their students.
Speak to Nathalie about: Why it can be hard for black people to make history as well as the barriers that hold them back in work and education. Other topics of interest to Nathalie are SEO London’s Theory of Change – why ‘Change’ needs to happen over ‘Checking’ (boxes); how being ‘woke’ could hinder progress in achieving true inclusion; self-belief: The critical part positive role models play in top professions to inspire young people; the ‘I’ in inclusion: The sense of belonging – what stops young people from considering the top professions and what employers can do about it; and the barriers that prevent individuals from ethnic minority groups from accessing the UK’s top professions
Why Black History Month is still so important: ‘Black History Month is a crucial time to think about the history, triumphs and contributions of people of African descent. But increasingly I think of it as Black Futures Month, where we can all think about how to inspire and create pathways for Black youth so that all children, irrespective of ethnicity, have access to MLK’s dream of equality and opportunity’.
Eileen Barnard, Diversity and Culture Expert at Babbel
Expertise: Eileen has practical experience of fighting prejudice, as she spent over ten years as a trade union activist with a focus on equality.
Speak to Eileen about: Cultural appropriation, the importance of overcoming unconscious bias, the racist roots of common English words and phrases, and the importance of inclusive language.
Nadeem Ahmad, founder of Templeton and Partners
Expertise: Diverse tech teams are vital in creating a future where tech is fair, accessible and beneficial globally. 27 years ago, Nadeem Ahmad founded Templeton and Partners as a diverse recruitment agency that places diverse tech specialists into the world’s largest companies, making the tech industry and the world more inclusive. Templeton has received over 20 accolades for our inclusive services, including the British HR Awards and Global Recruiter Awards, and Nadeem was named the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s Business Leader of the Year.
Speak to Nadeem about: Supporting Black staff during BHM and all year round. Nadeem is also interested in topics including facilitating allyship and creating allies for racial equality; genuinely supporting BHM as a business rather than just paying lip service; underrepresentation of Black women in senior leadership; and reasons behind low Black representation in the tech industry.
Why Black History Month is still so important: ‘In 2023, Black people are still underrepresented, under-supported and not sufficiently recognised across all industries and all areas of working life. Black History Month aims to address this lack of representation and opportunity by voicing the untold stories and successes of Black people around the world. Black History is all our history, and BHM exists to highlight and communicate this to everyone of all races, creating allies to join the fight for racial equality’.
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