UK DIVERSITY LEGAL AWARDS 2019 Page 14 - 15
PREPARING FOR YOUR JOB INTERVIEW Page 22 - 23
SOCIAL MEDIA TIPS FOR JOB SEEKERS Page 18 - 19
Exclusive interview with Tim Campbell, the 1st winner of the BBC UK Apprentice
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I am pleased to welcome everyone to the third issue of BAME Education and Careers Guide. Throughout the first and second issues, there have been constant changes in the growing opportunities for young people, especially from a BAME background. This guide will again introduce new further education, apprenticeship and career prospects available. We have been greatly encouraged by the reception the guide has received from employers, trade associations and educational institutions and we are delighted to be able to publish this 3rd edition. BAME workers still face obstacles in their efforts to journey through education, training, employment and management at the same pace and with the same ease as their white colleagues. Race diversity must continue to be championed by leaders everywhere and seen not only as a recruitment issue but also of relevance to economic productivity. It is our belief that all students and young adults â&#x20AC;&#x201C; irrespective of their ethnicity or cultural background â&#x20AC;&#x201C; should be given access to the same opportunities to realise their full potential in their chosen careers.
We have chosen to focus on how young people are able to understand where they can find the opportunities they seek. We have several interview features of individuals from a BAME background, explaining their personal circumstances and how they grew into their role as leaders of today and giving advice on how young people can help themselves become leaders of tomorrow. In this BAME Education & Careers Guide, we have included practical tips on searching for job openings and preparing for interviews, as well as insights into working in different sectors and industries. You will also find guidance from HR managers and Diversity & inclusion managers and there are several case studies from young people who have just started out. As with previous editions, we have arranged the guide by selected industry sectors and we are happy to include a new Energy section for this issue. I would like to thank all our sponsors and editorial contributors for their enthusiastic support and commitment. I also want to thank you, the readers, and hope that you find this edition both enjoyable and inspirational.
Welcome Welcome to BAME: The Education & Careers Guide 2019/20
Dr Cordella Bart Stewart LLB(Hons), DUniv, FRSA, CCMI Solicitor Co-founder and director Black Solicitors Network, Judge of the First-tier Tribunal, UK Council member of the Law Society of England and Wales
Almost from junior school we are constantly asked what we want to do when we grow up. This guide is written for young people at a time when they are expected to make very difficult decisions that may impact their life chances and future success. It is specifically written for young people at the stage where they are considering their career options and how to get there. As well as giving insights into a range of career options and development opportunities, including further and higher education and apprentices, the ambition of this guide continues to be to inform, inspire and raise the aspirations of young people from all backgrounds. There are very many young people who do not have the knowledge or support at home or maybe in school, or the social capital and contacts to help them to make informed choices.
The guide hopes to continue filling that gap and expanding the vast range of career and development opportunities available. The content is relevant not just to young people from black or minority ethnic backgrounds, as we all share common characteristics. It is also a publication that we hope leads to greater social mobility and a more open, diverse and inclusive society, respectful of all. It is however only a guide and it is important to also bear in mind that whatever decision is made, or may have been made, it is always possible to have a change of heart and reconsider options. As ever, we welcome comments and feedback, in particular on how the guide can be improved.
About This Guide The aim of the guide is to provide young people from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds with relevant information and guidance to gain the confidence they need to think of themselves as the leaders of tomorrow.
by Paulette Mastin, Chair, The Black Solicitors Network
The Black Solicitors’ Network (BSN) was formed in 1995 by four solicitors who ran their own successful firms and shared a vision of a dynamic body that promoted and represented the interests of black solicitors across England and Wales. In the early years, BSN focused on sharing information and ensuring that the voices of solicitors of African and Caribbean background were heard on issues affecting them and their practises, particularly around the provision of legal aid. BSN challenged disproportionate practices and regulation, and promoted (and continues to promote) equality of access, retention and promotion within the profession. BSN continues to be the primary voice of black solicitors in England and Wales. It is a not-for-profit organisation and relies on volunteers to drive its mission and objectives forward. BSN recognises the importance of inclusion within any organisation (itself included) and attracts and welcomes members from across the cultural and diversity spectrum. BSN is supported by key stakeholders in the legal sector, including The Law Society, the Solicitors Regulation Authority,
the Bar Council and the Legal Services Board as well as many law firms, Chambers and corporates. BSN’s mission is pursued through its many initiatives and programmes, some of which are listed below. These present exciting opportunities to get involved with BSN’s unique platform of services which benefit its members and stakeholders alike. Regional groups: BSN has a broad reach through its three region specific groups: BSN City Group (in London), BSN North (based in Manchester) and BSN Midlands (based in Birmingham). Careers: BSN has developed and regularly hosts, in conjunction with leading firms and corporates, interactive Careers Workshops for its undergraduate and graduate student members. These workshops provide insights into the recruitment process and tailored advice on applying for training contracts, with measurable success. BSN North’s ‘Grassroots’ programme supports and develops student members to achieve their potential. For more information, contact BSN North at: email@example.com
Judicial training: BSN developed with the Law Society a training programme for aspiring judges from underrepresented groups and is also working with other stakeholders on similar crossprofession initiatives. Mentoring: BSN City Group provides network support and professional developmental opportunities to a growing number of black corporate/ commercial lawyers in the City of London. One of its initiatives is the Creating Pathways through Mentoring and Sponsorship programme which aims to develop and promote cross-firm mentoring relationships between senior and mid-level BME lawyers. For more information, visit: www.creatingpathways.co.uk BSN’s Diversity League Table: Launched in 2005, this groundbreaking publication is widely considered to be the legal profession’s leading diversity reporting initiative. It reports annually on the diversity of the largest UK law firms and Chambers covering gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and disabilities, with social mobility introduced for the 2011 report. The results are presented as a series of
organisational profiles and league tables ranking participating firms and Chambers in key areas, as well as presenting an overall ranking – the Diversity League Table (the DLT). The DLT has led to greater transparency around diversity measures in the legal profession. After 10 successful years of the DLT, BSN plans to focus its DLT reporting on diversity and inclusion outcomes and best practice among those firms which are leading change in this space.
cover one, some, or all aspects of diversity, including gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, social mobility, access to justice and mental health and wellbeing.
Solicitors Regulation Authority and other regulatory, parliamentary and government bodies and seeking the views of BSN’s membership through our focus groups.
Nominations for 2020 will open in the Spring. Further information may be found at:
To participate in these initiatives, please contact:
Watch out for DLT2020!
BSN Jobs Board: This is a platform for jobs and career opportunities from employers who want to reach out to a truly diverse pool of talent. The BSN Jobs Board is for those looking for a new role or career opportunities. It is for employers who are committed to recruiting and providing opportunities based on fairness and equal access.
UK Diversity Legal Awards: In 2009, BSN launched the UK Diversity Legal Awards which are the only industry awards in the UK which focus solely on recognising and promoting diversity, inclusion and equality across the legal profession. Nominations and submissions are invited from firms, Chambers, in-house legal teams (private and public sector) and suppliers to and individuals within the legal profession. For supporters and winners of a UK Diversity Legal Award, this provides a platform from which to raise the profile of the excellent work being done and to demonstrate a proactive commitment to this important area of the profession’s development. Submissions may
or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit: http://jobs.blacksolicitorsnet work.org/ Consultations: BSN advocates on behalf of BME solicitors and aspiring lawyers. This includes responding to consultations initiated by The Law Society, the
To join BSN as a member or for more information about BSN, please visit our website at: www.blacksolicitorsnetwork.co.uk or email us at: email@example.com or BSN City at: firstname.lastname@example.org or BSN North at: email@example.com As a non-profit organisation, BSN relies on sponsorship to fund its extensive servicing offering. Please contact BSN to hear more about our exciting sponsorship and alliance opportunities. We value your support in our work towards an equal profession.
DIVERSITY WITHIN THE CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE
The CPS prosecutes cases that have been investigated by the police and other investigative organisations, makes sure that the right person is prosecuted for the right offence and brings offenders to justice wherever possible.
. Over the past few years the criminal justice system has come under increasing pressure and scrutiny on how the treatment of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals compares less favourably with the white majority, leading to the Lammy Review, which was published in September 2017. How does the CPS ensure that there is no discrimination on any grounds in the process of reviewing cases under investigation? We are aware that some communities have low levels of trust in the Criminal Justice System (CJS) and this can lead to communities with low trust, for example BAME communities, children in care and the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller community, being less likely to support the prosecution process. In order to increase transparency and in line with recommendations from the Lammy review, in March 2018, the CPS published its data on the decisions to charge by the protected characteristics of gender, age and ethnicity. The data found
that although there are clear differences in the charge rate, conviction rate and rate of dropped cases across ethnic groups, there is little evidence for disproportionality. The CPS also engages with BAME communities through Local Scrutiny Involvement Panels and National Scrutiny Panels. By reviewing finalised cases and providing input into policy development, these panels help communities have a better understanding of how decisions to prosecute are made, and assist the CPS in improving their awareness of community issues. These panels support the CPS in making improvements in the quality of our casework, including support for victims and witnesses. These panels include community members, voluntary sector organisations and academics.
. What role does the CPS have in bringing about trust and confidence in the criminal justice system amongst the BAME and diverse communities and do you have an example of how it has strived to do so? The CPS continuously strives to increase trust and confidence in the CJS. There is a strong link between a diverse workforce and inclusive culture, and public trust and confidence in the CPS. In 2018, after extensive consultation, the CPS
published its Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy. This strategy supports the delivery of the Public Sector Equality Duty and includes a number of activities to increase trust and confidence. One of these activities is ‘Community Conversations’, which are led by senior leaders in each CPS Area. These Conversations provide an opportunity for senior leaders to engage in honest dialogue with BAME and diverse communities in relation to community concerns. They enable the CPS to explain the prosecution process and what factors are taken into account when making a decision to prosecute. The CPS reviews local CPS area employment data to look at whether or not workforce is reflective of the communities it serves. Where there is an underrepresentation of BAME staff, the CPS will target work experience programmes and engagement with diverse schools, colleges and universities to talk about the work of the CPS and encourage young people to apply to the various pathways for work experience and employment with the service. The recently published ‘One Year On’ report provides examples of how the CPS seeks to build confidence with BAME and diverse communities and some of the tangible outcomes. The CPS also has a number of staff networks, including a BAME staff Network. The National Black Crown
Prosecution Association proactively engages with BAME communities, to talk about the work of the CPS and the opportunities available for work experience and employment.
. As one of the pillars of the criminal justice system, how has the CPS embraced making sure it is able to recruit from a more diverse talent pool? The Lammy Review praised the CPS for its diverse workforce, stating other parts of the CJS should learn from it. The CPS has a strong track record of recruiting from a diverse talent pool, offering entry into the legal profession via its well established Legal Trainee Scheme which enables those seeking to become barristers and solicitors to complete their training and become Crown Prosecutors. Apprenticeships are primarily targeted at school leavers and they give the opportunity to gain valuable work experience whilst gaining a level 3 qualification. They also allow access to the various ‘prosecutor pathways’ we have in place for internal staff – which lead all the way to becoming a fully qualified lawyer. The CPS ensures it promotes its opportunities as widely as possible and carefully monitors and evaluates its recruitment processes to ensure there is no disproportionate impact on people from any given part of the community.
. How do you go about ensuring that BAME individuals and gender parity targets are met within the CPS and do you have any defined pathways to promotion and success within the CPS? The Crown Prosecution Service is an employer that is committed to benefiting from a diverse and inclusive workforce. For the third year in a row, we have achieved a top 10 statuses as one of the UK’s best employers for working families, and have consecutively been listed as one of the top employers for ‘Race by Business in the Community’. Our representation rates are 20% for those from a BAME background, 10% above the Civil Service average and 8% above the UK population that is BAME. We are pleased that our Senior Civil Service BAME representation has increased to 12%.
We are committed to investing in our people, actively encouraging and supporting employees participation in other Civil Service development programmes, such as Positive Action Pathways, Future Leaders Scheme and the Senior Leaders Scheme. We also work with others across the Civil Service on projects such as the Cabinet Office’s ‘Race to the top’ programme. As a result of our ‘Leading your career’ conference earlier this year, we have created a BAME Role Model and Development group, where from across the CPS champion, empower and support BAME staff.
As a result of our ‘Leading your career’ conference earlier this year, we have created a BAME Role Model and Development group, where colleagues from across the CPS champion, empower and support BAME staff. The group supports the CPS in identifying talent amongst BAME colleagues and facilitates their development, whilst advising on CPS policy regarding BAME issues and acting as a mechanism for change. Our work within the ‘gender’ arena sees the CPS working to close the gender pay gap by encouraging women to enter our Senior Civil Service cadre, and making our operational recruitment process more appealing to male recruits entering the service at administration grades. We have active ‘Gender’ groups that focus on specific issues faced by each gender and provide peer-to-peer support. December will see the first CPS Women’s conference, organised to provide inspiration by showcasing the career journeys of positive female role models and to shine a spotlight on the development opportunities available to colleagues within the service.
. What advice would you give to any aspiring student incorporating diversity and inclusion who may be tempted to apply to join the CPS or the legal industry in general? The CPS receives a high volume of applications for the legal trainee opportunities it advertises annually and was recently rated number 1 in Universum UK’s Most Attractive Legal Employer 2019 rankings. We seek to attract those that are motivated by public service and who are driven to deliver justice to the society it serves. Our advice is ensure you understand what skills and knowledge are required to become a lawyer and establish where you have gained these from, these maybe from a part-time job or volunteering in addition to more traditional forms of work experience or internships. Where you have gaps in your knowledge and/or skills look for opportunities that will help you to be able to address them. Be able to put into words the relevant skills and knowledge you have, so that you can demonstrate how you’ve put them into practice and how you believe they would be of use once you achieve your aim of becoming a Crown Prosecutor. Thoroughly research the CPS and its key priorities. This may seem an obvious thing to do but many of our candidates still fail to do this.
The Crown Prosecution Service cps.gov.uk/careers-cps
CELEBRATING EQUALITY, DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION IN THE LEGAL PROFESSION This year marks the 10th anniversary of the UK Diversity Legal Awards. An initiative of the Black Solicitors Network, these Awards remain the only industry awards in the UK which focus solely on recognising, promoting and celebrating outstanding achievement in equality, diversity and inclusion across the legal profession. 2019 is a bumper year for these Awards with the following 19 Award categories and a stellar line-up of finalists representing a broad spectrum of diversity and inclusion: 14
• Recruiting Diverse Talent • Managing Diverse Talent • BSN Rising Star (Chambers) • BSN Rising Star (Private Practice) • BSN Rising Star (In-house Legal) • BSN Rising Star (Entrepreneurship) • BSN Sole Practitioner/Small Law Firm of the Year • Diversity Champion (Private Practice) • Diversity Champion (In-house Legal) • Chambers Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of the Year • Law Firm Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of the Year
• In-house Legal Diversity and Inclusion Initiative of the Year • Access to Justice • Mental Health & Wellbeing (Law Firm) • Mental Health & Wellbeing (In-house Legal) • Outstanding Multi-cultural/BAME Employee Network • BSN Lawyer of the Year (Chambers) • BSN Lawyer of the Year (Private Practice) • BSN Lawyer of the Year (In-house Legal)
The Awards ceremony and ball will be held at the prestigious Royal Leonardo Hotel, St Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s London on Thursday 28 November and will be hosted by barrister and TV personality, Shaun Wallace. Guest speakers on the night include David Greene (Vice President of The Law Society of England and Wales), Amanda Pinto QC (Chair Elect 2020 of The Bar) and Anna Bradley (Chair of the Solicitors Regulation Authority), as well as other special guests. We are looking forward to celebrating excellence in diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and hope you can join us to share this special occasion with us and the opportunity to network with over 300 professionals from across the legal sector. For booking details and information about these important Awards, visit: www.diversitylegalawards.org or email: enquiries@ diversitylegalawards.org. Details of our 2019 finalists can be found here: http://diversitylegalawards. org/latest-results/-2019 finalists/
FUTURE FACING LAW WITH CMS signatories to the Race at Work Charter and we are working hard to deliver on our commitments especially around BAME representation at the senior level. So if you meet us on campus and we are still not as ethnically diverse as we want to be, please do not let this stop you from applying to CMS, you can help create the change we want to happen!
Head of Diversity & Inclusion
We are pleased with the progress we have achieved to date and it is very good to see that the next generation of CMS lawyers is getting more ethnically diverse with over 18% of our trainees identifying as BAME. The CMS Academy is the main route to a training contract at CMS and offers a unique launch pad for your career in law. The scheme is split into two parts: one week of training on the business of law, and a two-week internship. During the programme, you will meet with clients, network with lawyers at every level of the business, work on projects and debate with thought leaders in the legal and industry sectors. To join us keen intellect is critical, but we are looking for much more than just your academic qualifications. Whether you are a law or non-law student, or if you are looking for a career change, there are several qualities we look for in our future trainees. We are seeking people who can drive our future-focused business forward and successful applicants will demonstrate a passion for CMS and the opportunities we offer. Make sure that your application also showcases your research into the firm and your commercial awareness. CMS is genuinely committed to creating change but change takes time. CMS was one of the first
‘‘AS A GLOBAL, FUTURE-FACING LAW FIRM DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION ARE NOT JUST ASPIRATIONS FOR US, THEY ARE AN IMPERATIVE.’’
out to law firms? How do I get noticed? Don’t worry. I’ve got you covered! Firstly, to ace the process, you have to use your initiative. Your university will put on events with law firms and you will undoubtedly attend plenty of recruitment fairs. This is a great way to meet lawyers from the firm. However, you shouldn’t rely solely on these events. You can use these interactions as foundations, but there are plenty of ways you can engage with CMS. Embark on the ‘CMS First Steps’ programme, reach out to lawyers from the firm on LinkedIn, and read about the work that the firm does online. If you take the same route as everyone else, you may get the same result. Be different! Secondly, to improve your chances in the application process, make sure you can demonstrate what you have to offer. Coming from a Black, Asian or ethnic minority background, it is important for you to take pride in your experiences. If this means that your best example of commercial awareness is organising an R&B event night for your society on the social committee then use this to your advantage! Don’t shy away from talking about experiences that are personally important to you, and show off your personality, so long as you can justify why it relates to your career here at CMS. Be yourself!
Before my training contract offer at CMS, I got rejected twice. Yes, you read right! It didn’t happen overnight. But going through the process made me a better applicant and my advice will make you a better one too.
Finally, I recommend that you build relationships with people at CMS to help with research. There is no better way to be a lawyer than talking to a lawyer at the firm you want to work at. I made a conscious effort to speak to lawyers at CMS after my second rejection to really understand CMS’ culture, the firm’s ambitions and the people. There is only so much you can find out on the internet. Be proactive!
So, you want to join CMS? Great choice! But I bet you have a whole host of questions. How do I make a great application? How do I reach
Be different, be yourself and be proactive! If you follow these tips you will be well on your way to joining me at CMS!
Nottingham Trent University, Future Trainee, Be different, be yourself, be proactive!
the qualities that the firm was looking for in its trainees. Having something extra to talk about always comes in handy if you feel like the answers you have given to more technical questions were not your best. It enables you to build a rapport with your interviewer and ensure that by the end of the interview they know more about you and your motivations.
University of Leicester, Future Trainee, Create your own opportunities
When I graduated in 2015, I still had not secured a training contract and it wasn’t until a year later that I decided to embark on the LPC without the promise of a training contract. For many, self-funding the LPC isn’t appealing due to financial pressures or the possibility that their employer won’t be accommodating to flexible working hours. These are valid concerns but they shouldn’t dwarf the great benefits self-funding can have for the careers of aspiring lawyers, especially those from BAME backgrounds. It is no secret that despite students from BAME backgrounds obtaining the grades, joining societies and attending open days, they are still underrepresented in trainee intakes year after year. Although there are many programs that are dedicated to exposing BAME students to international law firms and helping them refine their applications for vacation schemes and training contracts, many BAME students still feel that they need something to give them an extra edge. For me this was the LPC. I embarked on the course on a parttime basis, which enabled me to take evening classes and work full-time to pay my fees. I developed skills of financial management, time management and overall discipline and organisation. These are all skills that firms like CMS look for in their trainees. To have lived examples of these skills, gave me the confidence to apply for the CMS Academy and also provided talking points at the assessment centre. When asked, I was able to explain why I chose to self-fund and could relate it back to
My top tips for being successful during a vacation scheme are firstly to stay true to who you are. As much as the firm wants to know if you are the right fit for them you should want to know if the firm is the right fit for you. Secondly, trust in your capabilities because that is why you secured the vacation scheme in the first place. Finally, enjoy the process by getting to know other students, trainees, your supervisors and future colleagues.
University of Nottingham, Future Trainee, All personalities can rise and shine
On the first day of the Academy, CMS emphasised the individual merits of everyone in the room. Panel discussions with esteemed individuals, including Duncan Weston were hugely insightful, and allowed us to see that CMS wanted us to just be ourselves. It was refreshing to see people from different backgrounds and races, putting to rest any sort of imposter syndrome I may have felt, that is all too common amongst certain candidates. Throughout the Academy week, we were taught the importance of collaboration, communication, and innovation, in a highly stimulating environment. In such a big cohort (over 100 students), I feared being
lost in the crowd, however, being seated with different people everyday meant that we were able to get to know each other quickly, making the daily activities easier. The collaboration game required teamwork and understanding, the simulation game required co-operation and resilience, the client visits required professionalism, and the presentations required confidence. Having a strong network across the Academy participants proved to be hugely beneficial during all these challenges, and was a key to success, as well as having confidence in yourself and your contributions. The Academy week is tailored to both introverts and extroverts. As more of an introverted personality, I found the splitting off into groups hugely beneficial, as it meant that my voice was heard, and by the end of the week, I had managed to speak to the room of more than one hundred people! For the work placement, I sat with the Real Estate Disputes Team in London, and had a chance to apply the skills I had developed during the Academy week. My skills gave me the confidence to build relationships, and make valuable contributions to the team. My supervisor and trainee buddy were more than welcoming and allowed me to get involved in some hands-on work. During the second and third weeks of the internship, I found that no question was a stupid question; everyone was more than willing to share about their work, and involve me in their matters.
‘‘AT CMS, EVERYONE JUST WANTS YOU TO BE YOURSELF, AND HAVE FAITH IN YOURSELF. THE FIRM TRULY EMBRACES THE DIVERSITY OF ITS INDIVIDUALS, GIVING EVERYONE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHINE.’’
For further details about CMS, including how to apply, visit: cmsearlytalent.com An early application is advised as we operate a first come, first served recruitment process. 17
Social Media Tips for Job Seekers Social media has become an integral part of our everyday lives and for anyone searching for a new job or career path, it is essential to build an online profile. Investing time in social media can expand your business network and boost your future opportunities. The number of digital platforms continues to grow to almost bewildering levels. But it is important to keep on top of your online profile and to remember that other people can easily find your profile. Here are a few pointers to help you make the best use of social media:
LinkedIn is widely considered to be the best and most effective business social media tool. It is used by companies and individuals alike and has grown from humble beginnings in 2003 to become the world’s largest professional network with more than 610 million users worldwide. Hundreds of companies use LinkedIn to seek potential new employees, either individually or through LinkedIn’s ‘Talent Solutions’ that helps to find people with the relevant skills for the company’s needs. So if you are looking to promote yourself and to find your next career move, or you want advice from other professionals to help you find what you are looking for, you need to be on LinkedIn. Sign up to LinkedIn If you haven’t already done so, you need to create your own LinkedIn account, which is free and simple to do. All you need is to register your first and last name, enter your email address and create a password to sign in with each time you visit the site. Take a selfie Your profile is visible to other LinkedIn users and to any recruiters who may come across your profile. What they will see initially is your name, your photo and a short statement or headline. Bear in mind that this is a business networking site, so you should select a photo of yourself, preferably a simple headshot that reflects how you want to present yourself for employers.
Create your profile In creating your profile, you should include the same information as used in your CV, i.e. your past and present employment, education, any volunteer experience, and your skills. Don’t just copy and paste your CV onto the website but think about detailing your skills and experience as concisely as you can. The more sections completed in your profile adds to your profile strength, increasing the chances of being noticed by managers and recruiters. Write a headline You need to decide on a short statement that will appear under your name. Rather than write a full sentence, think of this as your brand message as you seek to create an online brand for yourself. Just use a few key words and capitalise your heading like a newspaper headline so that it stands out more. Keep information up to date It is important to make sure your profile is current and regularly updated. If you are looking to change jobs, you may want to amend your headline to reflect the direction you wish to move in, or to emphasis different skill-sets or experience. Remember too that you can change your photo at any time.
As you start to build your online brand profile, it is a good idea to have consistency across your professional and social networking sites. Create connections Connecting with industry professionals will help to illustrate your experience and desire. Make connections with people who work in the same industry and with personal academic contacts. It is a good idea to include a message as to why you want to connect with them. Take time to gather recommendations from people you have worked with as this will help employers to understand your achievements from previous roles. In return, give appropriate recommendations when asked. Recommendations are like references in advance for potential employers, so don’t ask for recommendations for skills from people you don’t know. Join relevant groups This will allow you to expand your networks and to follow topical discussions online. This may even extend to invitations to professional networking events such as local business groups or job fairs which may be beneficial to attend if you are looking for employment.
As with all job interviews, first impressions matter, so you want to look professional and dress appropriately. Avoid having clutter background – ideally you should simply have a solid light-coloured background – and smile; this will help you come across as friendly and accessible to others who may want to connect with you and to check out your full profile.
FACEBOOK Facebook is used by most people for keeping in contact with friends and family and for sharing photos, memories and funny stories. But it is also used by many companies for promoting their brands and posting job opportunities. Facebook has many more features than LinkedIn enabling you to create event pages, fundraisers and tools for other countless applications, but you have to be diligent about how you use Facebook, especially if you want to use it for both social and professional networking. Keep your private life private Make sure you check your privacy settings on Facebook and especially for tagged photos. Many recruiters also look at Facebook profiles to see if a person would fit in with the culture of their organisation. So if you are using Facebook as a professional networking tool, you should ensure that those drunken beach party photos are not publicly accessible! Be selective of the companies you ‘like’ If you are looking for employment on Facebook, try to avoid a scattergun approach to selecting which companies to follow, and make sure there is an element of similarity in the type of companies you ‘like’. If you are looking to join a particular company or have a job
interview coming up, having a look at the company’s Facebook page (as well as their own website) can help you with your background research. Follow leading recruitment agencies If you are looking for a job, make sure you follow the leading recruitment agencies within the sector(s) you want to work in, as they can help you find your ideal job. Join groups that reflect your interests As with LinkedIn, this will show that you are genuinely keen about your chosen profession. Be selective in what you post Facebook can be used tactically to promote your own professional ‘brand’ (i.e. your business self) by posting or sharing informative articles and videos. If you are aiming to start your own business in the near future, creating a page or group for your business can help to separate your personal and professional life and build business relationships. To do this properly takes time and diligence, but the rewards can be very fulfilling.
YOUTUBE If you are looking for a career in the Arts, or you want an accessible platform for showcasing your creative ideas, designs and communication skills, then loading video samples of your work onto YouTube can be an excellent way to get noticed by potential employers. You should link your YouTube videos to your other social media sites and in any communication with recruiters.
TWITTER Twitter is another great way to search for vacancies. For example, using search hashtags like #jobpostings, #employment or #careers can let employers know that you are looking for opportunities. Twitter can also be an excellent networking tool, in that it allows users to post items (‘tweets’) of interest on current affairs relating to their areas of work. If you want to work in a particular sector, follow the companies you are interested in and try responding to and retweeting their tweets. However, Twitter on its own will rarely get you noticed by potential employers; it needs to be linked ideally to a blog or your LinkedIn profile. Rather than retweet a plethora of news articles, better to have one or two a week with links to an insightful piece on your blog.
SNAPCHAT With over 203 million people using Snapchat globally, it is now one of the biggest social media platforms where you can reach out to people, keep up with what is going on in the world and live in the moment together. If you are looking to find a job, you can find potential employers on the Discover section. You can create a snap story of your portfolio and follow the company’s media feeds on Snapchat to keep yourself up-to-date. Snapchat is now taking the lead in promoting individuals, especially for businesses. Similarly
to Youtube, if you are looking for a career in Arts, it is the platform where you can promote yourself. You can create a campaign for marketing in Snapchat’s ‘Ads Manager’ and that can be arranged according to your budget. You also have the option to keep your stories private and for your friends only, but if you are looking to promote yourself you can make your story public and have all the right people look at your snaps, be it promoting a product, an event or having your own Snapchat channel.
Of course, there are many other ways of searching for job opportunities online.
INSTAGRAM The popularity of Instagram has been growing rapidly over the past six years and is used primarily as a photo and video-sharing service amongst friends. However, with due care and attention, Instagram could also be used to demonstrate your social media skills and promote your own digital brand. If you are already using an Instagram account for sharing selfies and party photos, you should definitely consider
creating a separate account if you want to use Instagram as part of your job search or personal brand building. If you do decide to create a business account, then the three things you need to consider before posting on Instagram can be summed up in the acronym APP: 1 . A - is it Appropriate? 2. P - is it Professional? 3. P - should it be Public or Private?
You should regularly check or register with recruitment sites such as Indeed, Gumtree, Monster, Reed and Jobsite. In addition, you should check newspaper websites such as Guardian and Telegraph as well as checking your local newspaper for locally advertised vacancies and job fairs. But remember that around 90 % of employers will look up a candidate’s social media profile as a routine part of their hiring process. So if you are currently searching for a new job, take time to Google your own name to see what company HR executives may find, then decide whether you need to rethink your privacy settings or start to create an online brand.
Preparing for Your Job Interview Congratulations – you have been selected to attend an interview. Now you need to make sure you are fully prepared. These tips will help you shine and hopefully secure the job! Now we have got to bear in mind that although most job roles require only one interview to land the job, there are instances where you have to go through different stages of interview before you successfully complete the process. BEFORE THE DAY Research the company Knowing a few things about the company before the interview will give you a good head start. Check out the company’s website and do a Google search to see what others are saying about them. Make sure you know exactly where the interview is to take place and how to get there. Re-read the job description Look for specific skills that the employer is looking for and think about examples from your past and current work/experience that
align with these requirements. Be prepared for questions such as “Tell me about yourself” and “why you are interested in this role” and practise how you would answer these. Practise It’s a good idea to practise your answers out loud to yourself or with a friend to gain confidence in saying the words. Remember that when giving examples of things you have done in the past, try to be concise with a clear Situation, Task, Action and Result.
ON THE DAY Appearance First impressions count! Most businesses expect smart dress code, but even if the working environment is more relaxed about its attire, it’s a good idea to look smart, clean and professional for the interview. This includes having clean shoes – and positively NO TRAINERS! Be early If you are travelling by public transport, make sure you allow plenty of time and have a back-up plan if there are any unexpected delays. Aim to arrive at the interview 10-15 minutes early. Arriving early in many companies allows you to sit in a reception area, to compose yourself and to observe some of the dynamics of the workplace. What to bring Make sure you bring several copies of your CV to the interview and a copy of your covering letter.
There may be someone else in the interview who hasn’t seen your CV yet or who wishes to discuss part of your CV in the interview. Bring a notebook and pen. It is always good to make notes during the interview as these will help you in any followup and demonstrates that you are paying attention.
DURING THE INTERVIEW Switch your mobile phone off! Stay focused The senior person in the interview will greet you with a handshake. Be firm and decisive with your handshake without crushing any fingers, look the person in the eye and SMILE! Sit up straight during the interview, try to maintain eye contact and especially when you are talking. Smile frequently as this will convey that you are relaxed and have a friendly disposition. In answering questions, take a little time to consider your answer, keep your replies brief and focused. Remember that the time for each interview is limited, so try to stick to the question being asked without rambling. Ask something Remember that an interview should be a two-way process. Having nothing to ask the interviewer conveys disinterest, so aim to have one or two questions ready to be able to ask the interviewer about the company or the job, such as how performance within the role would be measured, or how does the role
End positively You should ask for a business card of individuals at the interview, or at least make a written note of their email address, and leave the interview with a positive manner, such as “I look forward to hearing from you.”
AFTER THE INTERVIEW Send a follow-up email You should send an email to the interviewer within 24 hours, thanking them for their time and reconfirming your enthusiasm for the job. If you haven’t heard back from the company after a period of time, you may want to send another email to check in with the employer and to reaffirm your continued interest. Keeping in touch with the company shows initiative and can sometimes put you in the frame should another role become available.
VIDEO INTERVIEW Some corporations might request for a video interview first and foremost, especially for graduate scheme applications. Now what do you have to do to prepare for this:
Note: The video interview can last up to 30 minutes depending on what the employer requires. This can be pre-recorded or even live. It is important to know whether this will be a live interview or prerecorded, as you will have to prepare accordingly and it will be very different from each other.
LIVE If it is live, this will be similar to a face-to-face interview. You can use the tips provided above (‘Preparing for your interview’) to prepare for the day. Now this will be conducted through a video connection such as Skype or Google hangout or they might even use Messenger or WhatsApp. You would treat this interview exactly as you would if you went to an interview at the employers’ office. Therefore do all the necessary research, be confident and look sharp!
PRE-RECORDED This experience will be completely different from a real life interview and the good thing is you can do a retake! You might be given written questions or even pre-recorded questions from the interviewers.
You will have the opportunity to respond by recording your answers within a limited amount of time; that could be 20 or 30 minutes. You might feel a little awkward at first but you will get used to it through practice. Best part is you can do the interview when you want (within a specified deadline) and where you want as long as it is a clear space with no background noise. Similarly to a normal interview, you should finish in a mannerly way and on a positive note. Thank them for their time and say that you look forward to hearing from them. Don’t forget to email them within the next 24 hours as a courtesy. There are occasions where you will have a brief telephone interview; don’t be nervous, be confident and you should get to the next round with flying colours. For a group interview, it is always a little more tricky as your competitors are right in front of you. You have to make sure you stand out positively and make an impression that will last. The more you know about the company, what they do and the job role, the more chances you will have of standing out.
UNDER-REPRESENTED GROUPS SHOULD BE SUPPORTED TO PROGRESS THEIR CAREERS We must encourage and promote those around us, regardless of their background, colour, sexuality, disability, gender or age.
The first time I heard a female chief executive speak about her career path sticks vividly in my mind. It made me realise there were real opportunities for women to lead in our male-dominated sector; that was nearly 20 years ago. While we have made some progress, I am disappointed that 20 years later our leadership teams are nowhere near as diverse as the tenants and communities we work for. And it’s not just a lack of women in leadership roles. Inside Housing’s research demonstrates that the most senior positions are still saturated with older, white men, with underrepresentation of BME people, LGBT people and those with a disability. A recent study titled ‘Race in the Workplace’, led by Baroness McGregor-Smith, revealed that BME individuals make up only 10% of the workforce and hold only 6% of the top management positions. It further finds that the lack of BME talent in
executive positions could be costing the economy £24bn a year. This figure alone should be enough to push us into action. As chair of CIH Futures, I am acutely aware that there are very few young people in senior positions. This is often because organisations focus heavily on experience rather than potential – having to ‘earn your stripes’ before you are promoted. While I don’t advocate giving any old Tom, Dick or Helen a role, we are in danger of overlooking some of the best talent in our sector, by not modernising our approach to talent management.
‘we are in danger of overlooking some of the best talent in our sector’
by Elly Hoult Business Improvement Director, Notting Hill Housing
In my opinion, one of the key barriers to diversity in the workplace is the way in which under-represented groups are supported to progress their careers. I am fortunate to be a coach and mentor, and I cannot stress enough the benefit of coaching and mentoring an individual to progress their career. More often than not, taking the time to coach somebody to improve their self-confidence and recognise their own talent is enough to help them realise their full potential. At my workplace we have made great efforts to promote gender equality, with the majority of our senior leadership team being women. I head up the equality, diversity and inclusion strategy group at Notting Hill Housing; we recognise we still have lots of work to do on promoting other under-represented groups to a leadership level.
To address this, we introduced networking events for mentors, ensured our emerging leaders programme has diverse membership, and we encourage internal recruitment where possible, which can be great for supporting those who might lack confidence to apply for roles outside of Notting Hill Housing. We are planning to merge with Genesis Housing, and working to combine two different housing associations will be a fantastic opportunity for a fresh perspective on diversity, combining the best of both of our approaches to being an inclusive and fair employer. Not challenging and addressing diversity issues is a key barrier to achieving true equality. My mum always told me: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” However, when it comes to diversity and inclusion, saying nothing is actually saying something, and it’s the wrong thing. We only have to open the newspaper to see the
power of a challenging voice; take Carrie Gracie at the BBC as a recent example of pushing back against an embedded cultural norm. It’s arguable that it is easier to do this when you have access to a public platform; but, while we work hard to challenge government and push for change, do we do enough to challenge ourselves and others?
“Creating a diverse organisation is the right thing to do and creates a stronger and more successful organisation.”
Working in London - one of the most multicultural cities in the world - it would be easy to assume discrimination is a thing of yesteryear. It’s clear, however, that it’s ever present. We must do everything in our power to educate, encourage and promote those around us, regardless of their background, colour, sexuality, disability, gender or age. I was thrilled to see that Inside Housing is campaigning for diversity in the workplace; put simply, creating a diverse organisation is the right thing to do and creates a stronger and more successful organisation. If we all take action, rather than just create plans and strategies, it should be easy to implement the Inclusive Futures campaign pledges, setting us in good stead for the future.
Elly Hoult Business Improvement Director, Notting Hill Housing
RISKS BRING REWARDS Timothy (Tim) Campbell was the first winner of the UK Apprentice in 2005, winning the opportunity to work alongside one of the UK’s most prominent entrepreneurs Lord Sugar. Tim’s continuing drive and enthusiasm for business subsequently led him to co-found ‘The Bright Ideas Trust’ charity and become the Head of Global Citizenship at Alexander Mann Solutions.
Obviously everyone knows part of your back-story being the very first winner of the Apprentice. What inspired you to go to the Apprentice and how has this helped to forge your business future since? The whole thing around the Apprentice was a relatively mercenary move to secure more income for my family and me. Seeing an advertisement where somebody came along to me with a good job and opportunity to work with one of the UK’s greatest entrepreneurs was incredibly alluring. But what I subsequently learnt from going through the
whole experience (which was transformational, inspirational and put me in a very different position than I was in before) is that the focus on just the enumeration whatever career choice you go forward with - is not sufficient when making a decision around what you invest your time into. So a lot of people who are hopefully reading this interview will be making interesting decisions about their next career steps, whether that is going to university, getting an apprenticeship, making a career move either vertically or horizontally within the organisation they are
working in, or stepping outside of working 9 to 5 and moving onto entrepreneurship for themselves. It’s really important, as I now look back, to focus on what’s going to challenge you and fulfil some of the passion that you might have because, although I went into the Apprentice with the idea of obviously winning and securing the money, what I got out of it was confidence, learning about myself and actually realising that I was better suited to work independently. The vast majority of people who will read this interview will not have been exposed to a reality
TV show and I don’t see why they should be aspiring for that. I now realise that if I had made wiser choices when I was younger, in terms of focusing on my passion in fulfilling my time with securing more knowledge and building up a network to make sure I had more contacts that could assist me through difficult and positive times, I probably would not have needed a reality TV show to compel me to take the direction that I have subsequently travelled. Having met a lot of individuals and peers who look like me and from a similar background as me, they have gone on to be very successful without appearing on a television show; they have gone about their journey through their hard work and determination and sealing opportunities. I think the thing that allowed me to get on - both on the show and subsequent - is the investment that my Jamaican disciplinary of a mother put in me. She had a number of rules such as ‘don’t come home with a ‘B’ if you could have got an ‘A’’. I used to find that very disconcerting and disheartening, but what she was saying was ‘fulfil your maximum potential because I believe that you‘ve got what it takes.’ That belief that she had in me was very important. So, utilise your network, learn from the mistakes and opportunities of others, but then really put your own stamp on that and finally do not be afraid to take risks. What advice would you give young BAME candidates who look up to you, who want to start their own business, but do not know how or are apprehensive to do so? Firstly, I think there is a cultural collateral in candidates, not just necessarily from a BAME background but also immigrant communities. There is almost like an innate determination, which is set down from their parents who have had to overcome huge obstacles in terms of setting up and relocating into different territories. I think that as a mindset it is often passed down to the second or third generation immigrants within that household
and environment. A lot of my African-Caribbean colleagues, my Eastern-European colleagues and the next generation of immigrants have come into the UK with that built in them. The important aspect for anyone would be selfbelief, not making any excuses around what opportunities are afforded to people, and making their own opportunities. The advice and guidance that I would give to someone thinking of starting up their own business or enterprise is ‘first start small’. The big thing at the moment is the conversation about side hustle. Will Smith, Warren Buffett and a number of other different entrepreneurs have come out and said ‘listen start small and fail fast; if it doesn’t work, move on from it quickly and move to the next thing’.
“Start something small, grow it organically, build up momentum and then adapt to what your customers need”. I think when you are younger and you do not have as many risks and responsibilities, it is easier to start something and test the market to see if it actually works. So if you have got an idea about something, rather than thinking only about ‘taking over the world’ and becoming the next ‘Zuckerberg’ or ‘Oprah Winfrey’, think about starting something that is really small that you can own, just like people like Jamal Edwards did. Start something small, grow it organically, build up momentum and then adapt to what your customers need. Focus on something you can control and deliver a solution to a problem, where it meets the customers’ needs. Practical things – go and download the ‘business model canvas’, understand how a
lean start-up works and utilise that methodology to work out how your business makes money. What I don’t want people to be left with from this interview is that entrepreneurs or business owners are on a different level than people who work for themselves. My mother has always worked for herself and she has had her side hustle in property and other things on the side – that’s entrepreneurial activity. There are people who work within organisations: I know lawyers who earn over £2million a year who are not classed as entrepreneurs but are really good about delivering and making things happen. For me it is about a sensible balance for what actually works for you. You are one of the founders of The Bright Ideas Trust and the co-author of ‘What’s your Bright Idea?’. What inspired you to write this and have you seen any tangible results? What inspired me to write and start The Bright Ideas Trust was that I was very aware that I was not unique. I know it sounds really weird but when you have a look at the Instagram overnight fame, where you get promoted to a position and people look at you as successful, you can buy into that you are unique and differentiated from other people. I wanted to dispel that by saying ‘actually I was really lucky’ and luck does play a few cards in a lot of people’s journeys and they seal the opportunity. Most importantly, it is about how you pass on the things that you have learnt to somebody that can be scarred from similar experiences to you going forward, because hopefully they can then run quicker than you did. This is really important as it allows passing on knowledge to the community, where everybody is able to take care of everybody. The catalyst for the book and the charity was all about empowering others to do what you did and do it better because then we all win. In terms of tangible results, over 700 companies have raised in excess of £2-3 million. We were part of, if not one of the first founders of a different model of investing into divergent communities.
You will see that now there are funding circles and platforms where the investment goes into non-typical places - we started that when nobody believed it. We would invest in young people who would never consider starting a business as some of them have been in the criminal system and some have been kicked out of school. As a result, we were able to say and prove that it is not about someone’s box or label, it is more about the content of their character to build a frame of a very wellknown individual. So I think that, for me, this is one of the proudest moments of my life in terms of seeing how this has come around and materialised.
am really surprised by what you have done and what you have created. I don’t want anything, I just wanted to say that it was an inspirational story’.
Could you explain a bit about your role (Head of Global Citizenship) at Alexander Mann Solutions?
It’s really important to me how business can be a positive force for change and Alexander Mann Solutions is showing how that can work, with the brands that they work with and within their own organisation.
About 13 years ago, I had the privilege of meeting the Chief Executive of Alexander Mann Solutions, Rosaline Blaire, at an event where she was given an award as one of the 30 most powerful businesswomen of the year. That was a really inspirational thing for me because I have seen a woman who has built up a company and received an award for her authenticity and taking care of people. So I wrote her a letter saying ‘Hello Ms Rosaline, I
Right after then, we got on really well and we did a number of events together. About six years ago, she said ‘Tim! You‘ve got some fantastic stuff and got great ideas, but how about doing that on a bigger scale, with my company and me here at Alexander Mann Solutions?’ So I joined with Rosaline and now my role is to oversee all the engagement activities that happen across the company and what it does within the community.
Being from the BAME community yourself, how have you overcome certain challenges that have appeared in front of you? I see my BAME status as integral to the person and character of who I am. Having been brought up as a second-generation immigrant in this country, I think that gave me resilience of
“I think that as a starting point I see my background not as a hindrance but instead it puts me in a very strong position.” understanding of my place in the world and the reality that I couldn’t take things for granted, so I have to work hard for the things that I wanted to achieve. That has given me in good stead a methodology that many people, who are BAME and otherwise, will see as a successful criteria in overcoming difficulties. I think that as a starting point I see my background not as a hindrance but instead puts me in a very strong position. In addition to that, there has been times where people have judged me in regards to where I come from and what I will be able to do. However, instead of seeing that as a negative, I converted that to a positive light and I saw that as an opportunity to survive. If someone has a low rating of me and what I am able to do, I am empowered by that and they’re shocked. I realised from very early on, that I cannot do anything about someone’s impression of me apart from what I am in control of: my behaviour and how it will dispel and eradicate others’ viewpoint. The way to bring that change is to model the behaviour you want others to see. You use the term ‘risks brings rewards’, something I am sure you utilise throughout your business life. How would you advise young people the benefits of taking calculated risks to bring the rewards they seek? It is a simple thing for me. If you look at your current situation and you’re not happy, you have two choices; you either do nothing and expect the same thing to happen… or you have to do something different which involves taking
risks and stepping outside your comfort zone, which is doing something different in order to potentially bring about the change that you seek. Now, this is not a guarantee, it’s not a formula, but it is a strategy that has proven to work for a lot of people. To me that short succinct sentence is incredibly simple but really difficult to actually apply. You’ll hear a lot of people talking about ‘do you know what, by next summer I want a bigger chest and I want bigger calves, I’ll go to the gym,’ or people who say ‘I want to be more clever or I want to earn more money’, and you ask them what they have done about bringing that about. The answer is usually nothing and it ends up with them wondering why the change has not happened. The main thing is you have got to put yourself in a different position if you want to get different results and - as clichéd as that sounds - it is actually very very true. Do you have any future plans/ projects that you are currently working on to promote opportunities for young people? In terms of new projects, at the moment the answer is no. However, I have chosen to focus on more local issues, in that I now sit as chair of governors in a local
school in East London. In addition to that, I sit on the City of London Education and Corporation board, focusing on helping employers provide the path from education to employment for young people specifically. Working here alongside the great team at Alexander Mann Solutions, we support a number of initiatives, one of which is called ‘Tech She Can’. This is all about getting young women to explore the opportunities within the technology sector and really to dispel some of the myths around ‘women don’t do STEM or tech-based projects’. We will show through role modelling, events in schools and talks from inspirational leaders, that there are no boundaries apart from the ones that you formulate in your head. If these can be dispelled, this will be really empowering for the next generation of leaders who are going to come from a different place with different thoughts. That diversity of thoughts is incredibly important. So those are the main things I am focusing on in regards to young people, as well as being the best dad that I can be. I am trying to make sure I do that within my own home so that I can have a right to talk to others and give them advice on what they could do.
Last Bit of Advice The last thing I want to give to the readers is that the realms of possibility are unlimited, but it is really important to find the realms of your reality, in terms of what is right for you. In this age of (almost) depression amongst a lot of young people and the Instagram generation, it can often look like you are failing compared with everyone who has this idealised view of what success looks like or what their life is in the moment. I think what’s important, other than turning off Instagram and getting away from some of the social media pressures out there, is to stay in your lane. What I actually mean is, what is it that identifies you? What is that one thing you have that nobody else has that you can bring and use to add value to something? Take time to read as much as you can. If we spend as much time reading as we do watching things, I think we would be much better and with the imagination we have, we can neutralise the pressures. Just be kind and authentic Kind as in – if you see someone in need, go and help them and don’t say negative things about people, because that karma will come back around. As for authentic – just remember that you as an individual, be it BAME or otherwise, your core is valuable in its own way. You don’t have to create an artificial you or copy somebody else. You have to just be about who you are. You have to bring people to you and your value to them.
SOLVING THE ISSUE OF A LACK OF INFLUENCERS AND ROLE MODELS IN SOCIETY FOR BAME STUDENTS ABOUT EQUALITY GROUP Equality Group harnesses the power of diverse leaders for Finance, Technology and Social Impact. They change the business landscape by widening the range of exceptional candidates and offering them unique leadership opportunities. Their consultancy service helps companies attract, retain and develop diverse talent, which their Executive Search service headhunts. Research by the University and College Union has found that black and minority ethnic (BAME) academic staff at UK universities are paid less than their white counterparts. They are also considerably less likely to hold the most senior jobs - the data demonstrated a pay gap of 9% for BAME staff, compared with their white colleagues, and a 14% gap for black staff specifically. The research found that 84% of academic staff in UK higher education and 93% of university professors were white. White academic staff take home an average of just over £49,000 a year, while black academic staff average just over £42,000. The UCU research, based on analysis of the 2017-18 Higher Education Statistics Agency staff record, confirmed that British universities are still seemingly reluctant to promote black and other minority ethnic staff to senior positions, or to ensure pay equality amongst university staff. This isn’t just an issue in academia but also in business as 59% of the BAME workforce aspire to be on the board, but only 2% make it. At Equality Group, we’ve conducted nationally representative research which highlights the fact that, whilst improvements are being made to promote BAME equality at university and beyond, people from ethnic
minority backgrounds are still faced with additional challenges when securing a board-level job. Equality Group’s research has found that nearly two-thirds (59%) of BAME individuals aspired to secure a role at senior management, director and/or board level upon leaving school, but half of respondents noted that they had no professional role models of their ethnic profile within the UK’s professional landscape unsurprising given that the FTSE recently noted that there are less than 100 ethnic minority Directors across all upper-echelon professionals in the UK’s largest 100 companies. This suggests that the relative absence of professional role models for the BAME community is a key contributor to the underrepresentation of ethnic minorities in managerial positions across the UK workforce. These alarming statistics continue, as over half (55%) - almost 3 million - BAME citizens declared that they were advised to be more realistic in regards of their career goals by those who influenced their career, compared to only 19% of non-BAME citizens. This discrimination at early stages is a societal issue that stems from the early years of education and is perpetuated throughout some institutions and places of employment. To help break this, there needs to be greater representation of BAME citizens in these roles to help aspire and inspire students at this level. In fact, our own research showed that 46% BAME citizens stated they would feel supported if there were more BAME representation at board/director level, as it would be more likely to aid their career progression in a fairer manner. It is a shocking reality that in 2019, the workplace does not nurture or support BAME talent in a manner
that reflects the undeniable aspirations and talent which is prominent in this community. As a society of business leaders, decisionmakers, professionals and commentators, we have an obligation to ensure that intention is met with action to ensure the UK’s workforce - in its entirety - has access to a democratised career ladder that promotes inclusion for all at every level. That is why, at Equality Group, we are actively promoting and educating those at board level positions in the financial and tech arenas, some of the least diverse in the global economy. By working in tandem with other players and actors, we can influence every tier of society to change conscious and unconscious biases and promote greater equality at the top. Both universities and businesses need to do more to be better representatives of wider society to ensure that we have the best and widest talent pool possible when educating and recruiting the best minds and future business leaders and academics.
by Hephzi Pemberton, CEO and Founder of Equality Group
BE THE ROLE MODEL YOU NEED Lubna Farhan Qualified Chartered Accountant (ACA – ICAEW) I was raised on a Council Estate after my parents divorced, when I was too young to remember. I was the youngest of four siblings, I had a passion for learning and immersed myself in education and bettering myself. I was the only one of my siblings who enjoyed and did well at studies and did not even know anyone who had a professional job. It has been a steep learning curve with no immediate role models to guide me or to discuss my thoughts with in terms of educational choices and career path. I was not meant to become anything, and I did not study to ‘become something’ – I became something as a result of my hard work and I am now, a Qualified Chartered Accountant (ACA) through the ICAEW. Now that I am here, there is so much more I want to do, achieve and ultimately give back, to help others along the way - to be a role model for them – the role model I never had.
1. How was your experience on the BBC The Apprentice and what positive outcome did you get from that? I have been an avid viewer and fan of The Apprentice since I was a teenager. I used to watch the American version even before it started in UK more than 15 years ago. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to check online to see whether the next episode had been released – it became my obsession. I am extremely grateful for being one of the 16 candidates selected from a pool of almost 100k applications. I believe in the power of attraction and that the Universe conspires to give you what you want - if you want it strongly enough! Watching The Apprentice is very different to being on The Apprentice and it is extremely challenging physically, mentally and emotionally. I must admit that I struggled emotionally being away and not in contact with my two very small kids (they are only 2 and 1 year old). A positive outcome of being on the show is that it has increased my network both by the other candidates that I got to meet during the process – some of whom I would have never really crossed paths with in my regular life, but also the people, professionals, businesses that have got in touch with me since seeing me on the show. It has also reinforced the importance of self-
belief and that hard work does pay off. I feel very proud when I look back and see how far I have come. 2. As a Chartered Accountant what advice would you give to young BAME and female candidates that are looking to pursue a career in Finance Advice that I would give is to not be afraid to experiment and try to get out of your comfort zone, as growth happens outside of it. For example, I trained in Audit but then went on to working in Financial Accounting, Commercial Finance and now the Financial Planning and Analysis department. Each role was very different and was looking at business from a different perspective, but this is what has added value to my experience - the different perspectives that I am now able to see because of the diversity of my career in Finance. This has now set strong foundations for me to be an even stronger leader in the future. 3. As a BAME individual what was the main challenge you came across in your career and how did you overcome that? Coming from a very humble background, it has been a steep learning curve, not only in terms of studying for exams and working in a professional environment, but learning the basics of even how to socialise, work etiquettes, reading
body language and also reading between the lines. The main challenge I came across as a BAME individual balancing culture, religion and my profession. For example, where I came from it was frowned upon to go to the pub as it was assumed people only go there to drink. However, I learnt through experience and working in a professional environment that there is more to socialising in the pub to learn more about the people I work with (colleagues) and to building relationships with clients. Sometimes an informal environment helps people open up more and you gain an insight that you may not have had just by talking to them in a professional environment. 4. What aspirations do you have for your future career? I am currently working as a Finance Manager for the largest retailer in the UK but I am also in the process of starting a business and laying the foundations for that. My aspirations range from building a business empire, where I can help build the career of the people I employ, to writing a book (work in progress so watch this space!) and continue to be involved in social causes. I have been a School Governor and Trustee/Treasurer of a Women’s Charity in Luton and looking to get involved in anti-racism and rights for women.
Apprenticeships Apprenticeships offer a great way to acquire knowledge, work skills and experience needed to get into many careers. They enable you to earn while you learn without incurring student debts, as your training costs are funded by your employer and by the government. There are many different apprenticeship schemes available across a wide spectrum of industries and professions, ranging from engineering and construction to accounting and nursing. Once accepted, you will be spending at least 50% of your time at work learning from work colleagues and gaining the necessary skills to help you progress, whilst also spending time attending college, university or other training provider as well as online studying.
Apprenticeships are not right for everybody as youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll need to be committed in balancing your academic study with your work. But if you have a clear idea of the career path you wish to pursue, an apprenticeship can provide you with practical on-the-job training and substantially boost your longerterm career prospects and earnings.
In England and Wales, there are four levels of apprenticeships available, ranging from one year to five or six years to complete, with many employers offering the chance to progress through the levels.
Apprenticeship and Skills 5 cities The previous Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Rt Hon Anne Milton MP on 1st February 2018 launched a project to increase apprenticeships for the underrepresented. One of the aims of the government apprenticeship reforms was for businesses and individuals would have an opportunity to gain new valuable skills, creating the ideal workforce. There are a number of initiatives that are being delivered by the 5 Cities Greater Manchester, Greater London, Bristol, Greater Birmingham and Leicester to promote apprenticeships within the ethnic minority communities as well as those from disadvantaged backgrounds. This is being worked on by the ESFA Diversity & Equality Manager Zahid Nawaz. The project aims to achieve the following outcomes: ensure local buy-in from key local governing figures, for example, Local Authorities, Combined Authorities, Elected Mayors, Local Enterprise Partnerships and other relevant stakeholders and develop a suite of tangible best practice activities and actions that could be shared more widely to inform the work of other employers, providers and intermediaries in driving diversity through apprenticeships. The 5 Cities initiative are targeted at ethnic minority communities, such as: Greater Manchester: Employer Resource: To highlight the benefits a diverse workforce and the simple steps an employer can make
to increase diversity. They have developed a BAME resource, which sets out the business and personal case for being an Apprentice. Bristol: South Bristol Youth: The programme is delivering the ‘Insight into Apprenticeships’ programme to an inner city school. This is to help students better understand the range of apprenticeships available to them, how to access them and to develop some of the skills and attitudes employers require. The young people will take part in a yearlong programme of activities that includes speech training, team-building, personality profiling and a number of visits to employers. Parents are also involved in the process and will be invited to a celebration event at the end. Greater Birmingham: Birmingham Ladder: Birmingham LEP is part of the Birmingham Ladder Steering Group a project which aims to create 10,000 Apprenticeships nationally and has formed a media partnership with Birmingham Live (Media Partnership) with the aim of creating 1,000 apprenticeships. They hosted apprenticeship awards which took place on 4th July at Edgbaston Stadium to celebrate the best apprentices and their employers working across the Greater Birmingham area, acknowledging those up-and-coming talents working in fields as diverse as manufacturing, creative industries, finance and the public sector, who will be the next generation of leaders.
Sakheenah Khoyratty BLS Media
Background information: • Bristol have launched a programme named “Stepping up” which is aimed at getting employees from BAME backgrounds into leadership positions and have been linking them to programmes such as: MBA Apprenticeships. In 2018 21% of Bristol City Council’s starts were BAME. • Avon and Somerset Constabulary implemented its “Insight Programme, aimed at people from under-represented communities who are interested in joining. • 12% Lloyds Banking Group’s apprenticeship roles are held by BAME members of staff and they recently received a commendation at the Asian Apprenticeship Awards for one of their Apprenticeship Ambassadors for her school outreach work. • Siemens has an apprentice workforce of 483, 10% of whom are BAME, which puts them ahead of the national average in the engineering and technology space.
Information provided by Department for Education
‘CCEP’S AWARD WINNING APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME AIMS TO NURTURE AND EMPOWER PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE’ The last two decades has seen a shift in attitudes to employment, with new, dynamic career options emerging. In turn both employers and employees are exploring the different forms that roles might take in businesses’. With this, has come the opportunity to educate and engage people about alternative routes to develop professionally. Increasingly, we are seeing companies focus on apprenticeships as one such alternative. For many, it is seen as a valuable way to train new and existing employees on the job. This is exemplified in higher retention rates and a year on year increase in value added to the economy1. For some it is an appealing financial prospect to be paid whilst they learn.
Coca-Cola European Partners HR Business Partner - Early Careers
Sharon has been in the business for 24 years in a variety of functions and roles. She joined the business as part of the Cadbury Schweppes Finance head office team, then made the transition across to Coca-Cola and Schweppes and moved into the world of commercial field sales. Her third (and she says hopefully final!) career was a move into HR covering all elements of Supply Chain and now heading up the Coca-Cola European Partners Early Careers agenda for Great Britain. Having spent the majority of her career developing young talent at the start of their careers, her current remit fits perfectly with her passion to create opportunities to support the next generation of young leaders in industry.
At Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) we believe apprenticeships should be shaped around nurturing people to realise their potential. Fundamental to this is the need for inclusivity, with huge importance placed on the value that every individual brings to the business. Diversity is something we celebrate in all its forms at CCEP and as such we welcome individuals from all walks of lives regardless of background. As a company we are committed to increasing BAME representation, with a goal of 13% of the Coca-Cola GB workforce to be ethnically diverse by 2025. For us goals like this are vital, a workforce that is ethnically diverse, multi-generational and one which truly represents the communities we operate in, is of most value to us as a business. As such, last year we also set a goal of achieving a 50/50 gender balance for (2018) our apprenticeships. Whilst many organisations such as CCEP are taking positive steps, we must recognize as a society that BAME representation in our workforce is an ongoing issue. Statistics show that one in eight of the working-age population is from a BAME
background, but only one in sixteen occupy the top management positions2. Despite numerous recruitment programmes being implemented with a focus on BAME, barriers to successful employment remain. In turn it is estimated that if we were to achieve full BAME representation in our labour market, we would add £24 billion to our GDP2. There are clear reasons to invest time in understanding more about the specific challenges present. As such, CCEP is partnering with third party experts to not only investigate these challenges but to unearth potential solutions. CCEP believe all companies should look at how they can do better, which is why we have partnered with UK Youth to conduct research this Autumn, to understand more about current views of recruitment practices. We are also working with World Skills to dig deeper into topics such as why BAME applications are not higher and what causes the percentage progressing from application to interview to decrease significantly. Our ambition is to learn and evolve our recruitment processes to support individuals from BAME backgrounds in their path to a career with CCEP. On our journey to reaching a more diverse workforce, in 2018 we took the step to review our recruitment approach. We believe in the importance of direct feedback from our people, so we took the time to gather insight from our existing apprentices. This included a focus on their entry into employment at CCEP; such as the way we advertised our career opportunities. As a result, CCEP worked with a number of industry partners to elevate the tools we use to promote job roles. Central to this was a social media campaign across Instagram and Twitter, aiming to share our vacancies with a wider audience. We also increased reach to individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds
by drawing on CCEP’s established partnership with the BAME Apprenticeship Alliance (BAMEAA), elevating the company’s presence at local schools and community centres. We feel it is important for companies to work closely with relevant organisations such as these, to ensure both inclusion and diversity are being considered across any apprenticeship initiative. At CCEP we are closely aligned with the BAMEAA, regularly attending meetings to understand the latest insights and to align with industry standards. As a company we believe that by investing in apprenticeships, the business can drive progress and innovation from the inside out. This is part of an ongoing commitment to growing the future skills of employees, equipping them with the necessary tools to develop professionally. Since 2014, CCEP has recruited 72 apprentices, and with the apprenticeship levy we hope that we can continue to grow this number to encourage a diverse workforce in Great Britain. Our primary focus is always empowering employees to acquire new knowledge; it’s at the heart of all that we do at CCEP. This notion is the driving force behind our award-winning apprenticeship offering at CCEP, by dedicating specific budgets, time and effort, we have delivered an industry leading offering in the apprenticeship space, which saw our recruits increase by more than 50% last year.
Ali Samin, 4th Year Engineering Apprentice Apprentice of the Year Awards 2019 As a company we open our doors to potential new apprentices each September, with applications welcome via numerous platforms including at www.ccep.jobs/earlycareersgb.
Bolton, Yorkshire and Newcastle Shows www.nationalapprenticeshipshow.org
CCEP will also be present at career fairs across the year, where individuals can find out more about roles at the company. These will include:
What Career Live www.whatcareerlive.co.uk/london
Skills Scotland Glasgow www.prospectsevents.co.uk/whats-on-glasgow2019-
National Skills Show www.worldskillsuk.org/directions/worldskills-uk-live
The Changing Face of Apprenticeships CIPD Addressing the barriers to BAME employee career progression to the top
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When youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been searching forever, then suddenly find your dream apprenticeship! #omg
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To find out more, please visit www.ccep.jobs/earlycareersgb
REACHING NEW HEIGHTS WITH LLOYDS BANKING GROUP APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMME Interview with Sohail Khan, Project Manager, Major Core Programmes at Lloyds Banking Group Can’t decide between university and the world of work? Thinking about a career change? Earn, learn and make a real difference with a Lloyds Banking Group Apprenticeship, joining a diverse workforce that reflects that of our customers. Our Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for you to explore your
interests, discover new ones and make an impact on millions of lives, all while getting paid. Each one of our Programmes belongs to one of three job families; Professional Services, Financial Services and Digital and Technology. Take a look at our website to find opportunities for you.
Sohail Khan is one of our young managers who has just completed his apprenticeship with Lloyds Banking Group. Here, he tells us about his apprenticeship journey. Please tell us a little about your role at Lloyds Banking Group and how long you have been there. I have been working for the bank since 2016 and I am currently a Project Manager on the Digital Colleague Journey Programme. I initially joined the Group in October 2016 as a Customer Service Advisor in Connect after deciding that University wasn’t for me. In 2017 I progressed on to the Project Management Apprenticeship scheme. I completed the scheme in 2019 before moving to my current role as a Project Manager. How did you decide that this is what you wanted to do? I don’t think anyone decides to be a Project Manager; I think it’s a career you fall into as opposed to setting out to become one! I initially left college and started studying for my Law Degree, but after completing my first year of the degree, I decided that University was not for me. Although I enjoyed the challenging aspect of University, I knew deep down that the academic route was not suited for my personality. Upon having this gut feeling, I spent the summer of 2017 researching and seeking out full-time employment within a company I felt I could
progress and develop within. In October 2017, I secured full-time employment within Lloyd’s Banking Group as a Customer Service Advisor and decided to drop out of University to concentrate on my new job. After spending 12 months in this role, I decided I was ready for a new challenge. I began to look further into the opportunities internally within LBG and came across the Apprenticeship programmes. This was really exciting as there were so many different apprenticeships to choose from. Management is something that has always excited me. I am passionate about working with people and creating an environment in which individuals and teams can reach their full potential, therefore the Project Management Apprenticeship was perfect for me. Following a selection and assessment process I secured a role on the programme in 2018. I went on to complete the programme this year, eight months early achieving a distinction overall. What initiatives does your company have in promoting Inclusion & Diversity at work? The bank is brilliant at promoting Inclusion & Diversity at work. Since joining the Group, I have taken part
in several events within the Race, Ethnic and Culture Heritage (REACH) network, helping to raise awareness of barriers and myths that BAME colleagues face. REACH aims to support colleagues to reach their full potential and achieve their aspirations at Lloyds Banking Group and promote an ethnically and culturally diverse workforce. The REACH network has provided me with networking, mentoring and access to role models, to help me focus on my career development and overcome challenges I have faced at work. I have also made some great friends through the network who are there if I need to talk in confidence. Do you have any advice you would give to any students from a BAME background who might be uncertain on what career path to follow? My advice to any students who may be uncertain on what career path to follow is to not worry – it all falls together eventually and it’s ok not to have a plan. My three top tips from my career so far would be to always have the courage to go against the status quo, to trust your gut (it’s always right!) and to always push yourself to continuously improve.
To learn more about our apprenticeship opportunities, please visit www.lloydsbankinggrouptalent.com 39
Construction If you are looking for a career path that has lots of available opportunities at all skill levels and you enjoy working in a team, you should consider looking at the Construction sector. The UK Government has launched its â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Construction 2025â&#x20AC;&#x2122; strategy in partnership with the construction industry and has pledged to bring in three million more apprenticeships over the next 2-3 years. The construction industry already employs over 2.3 million people and contributes around 7% to the UK economy. The new industrial strategy aims to put Britain at the forefront of global construction over the coming decade by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing construction time, improving safety controls and employing a more diverse workforce. The industry is also moving towards a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) and a minimum level 2 National Vocational Qualification for all workers in the industry.
By working in construction, you would be helping to change the environment. One of the most satisfying elements of the job is to see your work literally develop before your eyes. By being part of the building process, you will need to work closely with other members of the team, so good working relationships are vital. From plasterers and bricklayers to surveyors and project managers, the roles are varied and opportunities range from beginners to skilled professionals.
Company Bio JTL is one of the largest work-based learning providers in England and Wales. Working with over 3,000 businesses from large corporations to small local suppliers, it offers advanced apprenticeships in electrical, plumbing, engineering maintenance and heating and ventilating. Equality, diversity and inclusion are all core values at JTL, which actively encourage underrepresented people to consider trade careers. Its Equality and Diversity Officers work to promote diversity and reduce discrimination, making a better and richer working environment for everyone. They aim to create a workforce that reflects the community where they are based.
For more information about JTL’s apprenticeships opportunities and its commitment to creating a more diverse workforce, visit:
www.jtltraining.com Change does not happen overnight, but it is happening. Employers are seeing the value of having a more diverse workforce and Rachel Jagger Thomas, the Diversity, Safeguarding and Inclusion Advisor at JTL, discusses how this can benefit the building services engineering sector. Lack of representation It’s no secret that the building services engineering sector is primarily made up of White British males. A report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission found that in England in 2017/18, White British people made up 87.2% of those starting an apprenticeship. However, the UK’s population is projected to become more ethnically diverse. The CIPD found that around 14% of the UK’s working age population comes from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, and by 2030, this figure will be closer to 20%. This, combined with the fact that there is an ongoing increase in the proportion of BAME consumers within the UK economy, means that encouraging increased representation of people from BAME communities as employees is essential for the construction industry.
CHALLENGING PERCEPTIONS This change will also help to address the current skills shortage. The Open University’s 2018 Business Barometer discovered that the majority of organisations in the UK (91%) struggled to find workers with the right skills over a 12-month period. This is costing businesses an additional £6.33 billion a year in recruitment fees, inflated salaries, temporary staff and training for workers hired at a lower level than intended. Industry opportunities The UK Government’s apprenticeship taskforce launched a report with a target of gaining three million new apprenticeship starts by 2020. This includes a challenge within it to increase the uptake of apprenticeships by people from BAME communities by 20%. This isn’t just some sort of ‘hollow target’ either; industry networks such as the Apprenticeship Diversity Champions Network (ADCN), are actively working to support initiatives to encourage a more diverse and inclusive UK workforce, and apprenticeships at all levels are very much seen as having an important role to play in helping to make change happen. We live in a multicultural society where anyone seeking a career in the electrotechnical, plumbing, heating and ventilation trades has a real opportunity to do well and be successful. Simply put, a person’s race, gender or age should be immaterial – if you have the drive to succeed, then you will. Apprenticeships allow you to earn while you learn, gaining valuable onthe-job experience while studying for industry-recognised qualifications in a skilled trade. The earning potential is good. Heating engineer apprenticeships, for example, start at £15,000 per year on average and once qualified, you can earn between £25,000 and £35,000 per year, or even up to £50,000 for highly experienced engineers. For many, this is more desirable than accumulating a student loan of perhaps £30,000 after gaining a degree that may never be used. Alternately, completing an intermediate level apprenticeship may be the first step on a journey to further qualifications in the future.
Misconceptions and barriers There is clearly a demand for these roles. So, what’s stopping members of the BAME community from taking up a career in the skilled trades? Unfortunately, many young people are often told that becoming an electrician or a plumber “isn’t for them”. This is a common misconception – trade courses are highly academically challenging. Apprentices also need to be able to demonstrate good creative thinking and strong problem-solving skills when translating theory and techniques into actual practice. Women in the industry It’s not just the BAME community that is underrepresented. Despite industry progress towards gender and diversity in recent years, there is still a shortage of women becoming professional tradespeople. Studies have shown that less than 2% of women work in electrotechnical, plumbing, heating and ventilation trades. Some may ask – does the public even want women in the trade roles? The answer is yes. A poll by WaterSafe, the leading plumbing assurance scheme, found that 77% of the homeowners surveyed said the most important consideration is if the engineer has the skills to do a good quality job, regardless of their gender. Therefore, it’s vital that we work to eradicate gender biases and encourage women to take on trade roles. Benefits of diversity Having an ethnically diverse workforce can make a company not only more attractive to would-be employees, but to customers too. Recent FE News reports indicate that around half of all millennial jobseekers are prioritising a culture of diversity and inclusion when choosing prospective employers. Nearly half (49%) of employers surveyed for LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends 2018 said they focus on diversity to better represent their customers. Other key reasons given included ‘to improve company culture’ (78%) and ‘to improve company performance.’
Driving Industry Wide Change The UK construction industry contributes ÂŁ138bn annually to the national economy and employs over three million people. It is recognised as a diverse sector that delivers homes, services and vital infrastructure and impacts on the life of every person in Britain. However, the diversity of work carried out by the industry is not reflected in the diversity of the workforce. With an ageing and historically male dominated workforce, organisations in the construction industry need to rethink their people policies if they are to achieve true diversity and inclusion within their businesses. We take this seriously and believe that excellence will be achieved through recognising the value of every individual. We are committed to providing an inclusive culture that embraces diversity and provides a fair and respectful working environment. People from different backgrounds and with different experiences bring fresh ideas and innovation that contribute to the success of our business. Our vision is to create a business where everyone can thrive; where people are respected and treated fairly; where they are supported and rewarded for their efforts; where they have role models they can relate to; and where we proactively lead the industry on becoming truly
Senior HR Business Partner
equal, inclusive and diverse. We want to be the best place to work. To support this the Sir Robert McAlpine Executive Board has made its own commitment to inclusion, which is published in our Inclusion Policy. We also set out clearly what is expected of our managers, employees and supply chains so everybody understands our aim. At the start of 2019, we launched seven internal â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Affinity Networksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; to help us create a truly inclusive environment within Sir Robert McAlpine. Each network focuses on a specific area: gender, ethnicity, LGBTQ+, age, social mobility, working families, and disability. The aim of the networks is to bring together individuals who share similar experiences, interests and challenges, and foster a supportive culture within the organisation that attracts a diverse range of people. The groups present developmental opportunities for their members and provide senior leadership with the grassroots feedback necessary to shape our inclusion strategy. Key outcomes for the affinity networks will be the attraction, development and retention of underrepresented groups within the business. We have recently undertaken a survey to gather data on diversity and inclusion from all Sir Robert McAlpine
employees. The output will constitute a benchmark against which we can set targets and measure our progress. This survey told us that 69% of our employees agree Sir Robert McAlpine is an inclusive place to work, which is encouraging. However, 25% are not sure and 6% disagree with this statement. Our aim is to create an environment where 100% answer positively. Along with focusing on closing our gender pay gap, we have also recently enhanced and relaunched our family policies to further support working families and extended our flexible working policy, so that employees can strike the right balance between work and their lives outside of work. In order to help achieve the shift in diversity that is needed in the construction industry, we have implemented a number of initiatives such as school outreach programmes, inclusion workshops and training of all our people, increasing the visibility of our BAME leaders and challenging stereotypes. At Sir Robert McAlpine we want to inspire change across the construction industry through a genuine and honest commitment to inclusion that is embedded at every level of the organisation and promotes the diversity of the communities we work in.
Everyone is Welcome 1. Over the past few years, the Construction Industry has come under tremendous pressure and scrutiny to embrace a more diverse workforce, including recruiting more women to the industry. As one of the market leaders, what has Sir Robert McAlpine put in place to ensure you recruit from a more diverse pool? The construction industry has historically lacked diversity within its workforce. At Sir Robert McAlpine, we have been working tirelessly to be the best place to work by creating an inclusive environment that attracts a diversity of talent to our family. We have fostered a culture of inclusion throughout the workplace and manifested our vision to be a fully inclusive company where everyone is welcome. We have seen our female population increase to almost 23%, which is above the national average in construction. This year we implemented diversitydriven recruiting technology. We are using job description management software to create unbiased and gender-neutral job descriptions and ensure our adverts appeal to all groups of potential candidates. We recently introduced market leading accessibility software to help applicants with disabilities apply to us without any technological barriers. We have researched, and now utilise the job boards that
promote minorities and underrepresented talents, to expand on our talent pools and ensure we have inclusive shortlists. We are demonstrating and expanding our recruiting initiatives, by casting a wider net when recruiting through universities and colleges. Creating partnerships and leveraging talent from institutions that reflect the communities we work in. We have committed to employing 150 apprentices to celebrate our 150 years as a family business, thus creating opportunities with a defined career path.
Nadeem Mirza, Head of Resourcing Antony Childs, Head of People Development and Operations
roles. This allows routes for progression to be mapped out and development plans to be put in place, so that they can all achieve their potential. We have also introduced a new talent and succession-planning tool so that we can identify our top talents and focus on their development in the business. To further support women, we have an affinity group that focuses on gender equality within the organisation, as well as a plan to close our gender pay gap. This covers a range of issues including career progression for women at Sir Robert McAlpine.
Alongside these measures, we have launched a flexible working policy and family friendly benefits that are customised to individual needs.
3. Diversity is one of the key drivers of innovation across the board. Please share with us how having a more diverse workforce drives innovation at Sir Robert McAlpine?
Most importantly, we are helping our employees not only to recognise their own unconscious bias but also eliminate it through interactive workshops. This prevents any negative impact of unconscious bias during the recruitment process.
Diversity and inclusion are at the centre of our people strategy. We recognise that by embracing diversity and having a culture where everybody is welcome and feels supported we can tackle complex construction projects using diverse perspectives.
2. How are you ensuring that women have a clear and defined pathway to promotion and success within Sir Robert McAlpine?
As a family business with strong family values at our core, we pride ourselves on welcoming everyone and creating an environment where everybody has a right to be themselves at work, whatever their background, age, gender, ability, religion, and sexual orientation. Karen Brookes, Director of People and Infrastructure, recently spoke on this topic at the UK and Ireland Construction Forum.
In April 2019, we launched a new approach to reward and recognition. Our framework provides a structured and transparent system for career progression. Employees can see what is expected of them at their current level, and in more senior
4. The Construction industry faces many challenges going forward as set out in Construction 2025. Has Sir Robert McAlpine set any targets regarding BAME and dates of gender parity over the next six years? In April 2019, we created a number of affinity groups across Sir Robert McAlpine covering gender, working families, BAME, LGBT, age, ability and social mobility. The role of these groups is to review and discuss how we can ensure the company is truly inclusive and make recommendations to attract and retain employees in the areas that are underrepresented. We also ran an inclusion survey in July 2019 as a baseline to measure progress against our targets. 5. Construction is now seen as a very attractive and expanding industry. To ensure diversity and inclusion is implemented fully and not just a tick-box exercise how has Sir Robert McAlpine addressed its working culture and what policies have you implemented to increase retention?Â In 2019, we introduced a new approach to reward and recognition. As well as introducing a career framework, we also launched a new flexible benefits platform. The platform is based on the premise of one-size fits one; employees can create a benefits package that suits their personal circumstances. This can be changed as their needs change over time. We enhanced our family policies in
2019 to enable everyone to be able to take more time out of work with their families and we re-launched our flexible working policy so that anybody can apply for flexible working at any time. A new engagement platform will launch later in 2019, through which we will be taking the pulse of the business on a weekly basis. This will give us real-time feedback on the issues that matter to our employees. Our affinity networks will continue to work towards our EDI objectives and will use the feedback to help shape the focus of their activities. Culturally, our strong family values sit at the heart of the business. This helps to make Sir Robert McAlpine a welcoming and inclusive place to work.
and encourage those from different backgrounds to consider a career that incorporates STEM. Anyone looking to gain a career within construction and engineering, or STEM, should always focus on their passion for the industry and the skills they can bring to the workforce. Always be clear about your goals, think about how you want to achieve them and how the company you are applying for can support this. If you have the right behaviours and show enthusiasm for the role or discipline you are interested in, anything else can be taught; in an industry that has endless opportunities there really is something for everyone.
The introduction of a behavioural competency framework has provided a robust way of measuring and managing behaviours effectively. 6. What diversity and inclusion advice would you give to any aspiring student who may be tempted to join Sir Robert McAlpine or the construction industry in general? Companies and people within the construction industry recognise the benefits of a diverse workforce and continue to work to make the industry as inclusive as possible. With many initiatives including Go Construct, BITC and Women in Construction, everyone is working to change the image of construction,
Point of contact Nadeem Mirza Head of Resourcing firstname.lastname@example.org www.srm.com +44 (0) 333 566 1627
Creative, Arts & Media If you have a flair for design and creativity, or you are attracted by a career in the performing arts, then this could be the career sector for you. Creative, Arts & Media covers more than just television and theatre; it encompasses everything from film to fashion and music to gaming. The sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the UK and there are numerous roles and opportunities waiting to be filled. There are over 2 million jobs in creative industries, contributing an estimated 5.5% towards the UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s GDP, and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no sign of any drop-off moving forward.
Apart from actors, dancers and musicians, there are many more technically skilled jobs in production, lighting and sound engineering, not forgetting marketing, advertising and communications. The sector is very resilient and ever changing, even more so with digital technology. The UK has been at the forefront of the digital IT sector, but it needs more young people with the skills to future-proof the industry.
EQUITY AND EMERGING ARTISTS What is Equity? We are a union of more than 47,000 performers and creative practitioners, united in the fight for fair terms and conditions in the workplace. We are actors, singers, dancers, designers, directors, stage managers, puppeteers, comedians, voice artists, and variety performers. We work on stage, on TV sets, on the catwalk, in film studios, in recording studios, in night clubs and in circus tents. We are also performing arts students. Equity brings together entertainment professionals and students and ensures their demands are heard: whether these are for decent pay, better health and safety regulations, or more opportunities for all – regardless of gender, ethnicity, sexuality, disability or class. Even when our members perform solo, they are not alone. They are always part of the Equity community. A Voice for Everybody As the leading voice of professional performers in the UK Equity understands that it has an important role to play in articulating the concerns of those who face barriers in getting work, and advancing their careers. Equity has established committees, comprising members from across the sector, with a dedicated focus on the needs of minority ethnic members, LGBT+, women and d/Deaf and disabled members. Through these committees Equity develops policy, strategy and campaigns which seek to challenge discrimination and work with key organisations and employers to open opportunities for minority and disadvantaged groups. Recently, for example, Equity funded three awards at the Black British Theatre Awards. The union understands the need to support the careers of its black and minority ethnic members, and recognise their significant achievements in a challenging sector.
Fair and Equal Treatment The long-term focus on tackling inequality in the sector has enabled Equity to raise the profile of other key strategies to address discrimination, including those that affect black and minority ethnic performers particularly. A good example of this is the union’s Manifesto for Casting. This has sought to ensure that the casting process is as fair, open and transparent as possible. We have worked tirelessly with organisations including the Casting Directors Guild (CDG) and the Casting Directors Association (CDA) to create a set of standards within the Manifesto which offers our members fairness and equality in their opportunities to get work.
Equity and BAME Performers The fight against any form of bias or discrimination in the entertainment industry is a central focus of Equity’s day-to-day work. The focus on BAME performers is of such that the union has funded a major research exercise focused on the broadcast media which has revealed, for example, that British East Asian (BEA) actors comprise just 1.7% of cast appearances on primetime TV. The research was commission by Equity’s Minority Ethnic Members Committee (MEMC) and the Committee Chair, Daniel York, commented
“We are not only severely underrepresented, we are badly represented. East Asian actors are nearly always only on UK television playing foreign characters in foreign settings.”
The research forms the basis of long-term, constructive discussions with UK broadcasters on measures they can adopt to improve on the representation of BAME actors and performers. It is through this work, and similar work across the entertainment industry, that Equity monitors the opportunities for BAME members and continually seeks to improve upon these. Getting involved Equity has members aged from 10 years old and there are more than 5,000 student members who are studying performance related courses at a higher level e.g. a degree or a full time vocational course. Student members can become Equity Deputies in their training institution; join local Equity branches; come to meetings and events; raise issues; make suggestions; join campaigns. They can also make use of the union’s free business training resources and other information streams and they all get up to £2million in public liability insurance which is invaluable when putting on a gig or show. Find out more at www.equity.org.uk/students
Equity is fighting for better representation for actors, singers, dancers, stage managers, entertainers and more! Joining the union as a student gives you a kick-start into the profession. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll help you build networks and communities beyond your course, and give you access to advice on your chosen profession that you simply wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get elsewhere.
Join a community of creatives Industry partnerships & placements Specialist teaching from academic staff & visiting professionals A collaborative environment Three-year undergraduate degrees in the areas of: Acting (including Musical Theatre) Drama, Applied Theatre & Education Theatre Crafts, Design & Production
Apply for 2020 entry through UCAS WWW.UCAS.COM Further information www.cssd.ac.uk
Q & A WITH LIPA ACTING GRADUATE LAUREN FOSTER wasn’t as ready as I thought I was. I’m really glad that LIPA saw the potential in me and said, we know you’ve got it, we just need to hone your skills. 2. How is LIPA different to the other universities/drama schools you applied to? I felt some of the other drama schools were a bit elitist. They seemed very structured and rigid to me.
Lauren Foster started at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) in 2015, enrolling on to the Foundation Certificate in Acting, before getting a place on the BA (Hons) Acting degree. Graduating in July 2019, she has just finished performing one of the leading roles in Rebel Music at the Birmingham Rep, a play that highlights racial politics & social upheaval in 1970s Birmingham, while celebrating the region’s diverse musical heritage. Here Lauren, who’s from Birmingham, reflects on her time at LIPA.
1. Why did you choose to study at LIPA? I originally gravitated mainly towards the London universities and drama schools. Because of what I’d been told at college in Birmingham, I believed that’s where you needed to be. LIPA was one of my last choices because I didn’t know anything about Liverpool. As soon as I arrived in the city though, I just thought ‘oh my goodness it is beautiful here’. There was something about the city that was almost calling me. I know it sounds like a cliché, but I just got a feeling that I didn’t get in London or Manchester. LIPA gave me a chance to be on the Foundation course, which the other schools didn’t, and I really thought that was right for me. Going through the audition process I discovered I
At LIPA, you’re given lots of different methodologies from different practitioners and told to find what works for you. I feel everyone’s allowed to find their own way of working, their own methods and that’s really liberating. You’re really allowed to be yourself and work in the way that you want to work. It means you’re not trying to become someone that you’re not. It really encourages you to have your own identity and I love that about LIPA. 3. What was the most challenging part of the course? In our second-year we collaborated with theatre company Slung Low on a huge piece of immersive theatre called Red and Black which took over the whole building. We were part of a company of 200 people with students from every course taking part. It was really intense, getting a production of that size to work, getting all the different elements working together. We also did a lot of performances over six days. It was really exciting to be part of though, working with external directors and experiencing different ways to work. I learnt so much, especially to think of the production as a whole and not just your part of it. 4. Apart from help from your lecturers what support did you get at LIPA? Student Support was brilliant. There were times when I was at LIPA that I
Lauren Foster in Rebel Music - Birmingham Rep Photograph by Graeme Braidwood
had to rely on their help. I went to a few sessions when I was struggling, and it really helped me. Just having someone to talk to who isn’t a teacher, your peers or a friend is so important. It really helped me get my mind back on track when I thought I can’t do this. It was nice to have someone who could reassure you that you can do it, you are here for a reason and then offer you support in the areas you need it. 5. Is Liverpool a good city for students? Liverpool’s an absolutely amazing city for students. There’s so much culture. Everywhere you turn, there’s something happening; theatre, music, festivals. It’s a beautiful place and the people are so warm. The Scousers are brilliant people, I just felt embraced as soon as I arrived. It’s a fantastic city and an inexpensive place to live. I wish I was still there.
The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts is a specialist university-level provider of learning, for performers and those who make performance possible. It was co-founded by Paul McCartney and CEO and Principal Mark Featherstone-Witty and is based on the site of the old Liverpool Institute – the former school of Paul McCartney and fellow Beatle George Harrison – and the Liverpool Art College, which a third Beatle, John Lennon, attended. It has recently expanded its range of both performing and making performance possible courses, with the addition of the BA (Hons) Acting (Screen & Digital Media), the MA Acting (Company), its new filmmaking and emerging technology course, BA (Hons)/MArts Creative Technologies & Performance and MA Costume Making. You can find out more about all LIPA’s courses at: www.lipa.ac.uk
Education Are you looking for a career that is genuinely rewarding and where no two days are ever the same? Do you want a job that can truly make a difference to peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives? Are you looking for the best place to inspire your further studies? Then maybe you should consider a career in teaching or mentoring. Everyone remembers a particularly good teacher who inspired them and made learning more enjoyable. There will always be a need for good teachers, but at the moment there is a shortage of skilled teachers in England, particularly in subjects such as Maths and Sciences.
However, whichever subject you are passionate about, you can use that drive to teach and mentor students, be it in Maths, English or Science, etc.
BLACK LAWYERS MATTER OUTREACH PROGRAMME An insight into The University of Manchester’s ‘Black Lawyers Matter Outreach Programme’ (BLMOP) with Catherine Amina Millan - Project Coordinator of BLMOP and Christina Naomi Millan - Solicitor at O’Connors Law Firm.
1. WHAT IS THE BLACK LAWYERS MATTER OUTREACH PROGRAMME (BLMOP)? Catherine: The programme is part of the Black Lawyers Matter scheme set up by The University of Manchester’s School of Law. It seeks to address the underrepresentation of black men working in the legal and criminal justice profession, by working directly with young black males in schools. The programme involves a series of workshops that gives advice and guidance on studying law and the variety of careers paths within the profession. It is delivered by Black minority ethnic Law students and Law professionals from across the North West. In addition to the workshops, we also deliver ExpLaw Days, which involves inviting black males aged 14-17 on campus to take part in a series of lectures and workshops. They then spend the afternoon with a panel of Black, Asian and minority ethnic professionals from the Law industry and other professions.
2. WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO DEVELOP THIS PROGRAMME? Catherine: In terms of the programme I wouldn’t quite use the word inspired, because to me I felt it was my duty and responsibility as a black person to have a project like this. My sister is a solicitor and we have talked about this issue for a number of years, so when the opportunity came to actually do something about it, I did. The development of the outreach
programme has been inspired from the pupils I work with and the Law professionals. After several consultations with a group of boys from a local high school, their feedback indicated we needed to do more early intervention work in order for them to choose this career path. It then became my mission to recruit Black professionals, to help put together a programme that was meaningful and would have an impact on the pupils. The response has been overwhelming and inspiring, so many Lawyers, Solicitors, Magistrates and other legal professionals have come forward with great ideas inspired by their own experiences. It feels great that the programme is structured by current Black professionals for the next generation of Black professionals.
3. WHAT IS YOUR ROLE IN THE BLMOP PROJECT? Catherine: My official title is the Programme Manager and the BLMOP is part of a wider scheme of work I oversee to encourage more young Black Asian Minority Ethnic individuals to consider higher education. I would like to say I am the glue that holds and brings everyone together. I recruit the schools and pupils that take part in the programme. I recruit and train the student ambassadors and I go out and find Black professionals who are passionate about this agenda, working in partnership with our School of Law. I also have the creative freedom to design the content of the programme,
which is always inspired and determined by the young people and professionals I work with. Christina: I am a corporate lawyer who has volunteered for the BLMOP, helping to deliver workshops on the ‘Explaw days’ and answering questions from students in the Q and A session. My work has subsequently led me to go on and partner with a number of the school’s careers advisors to deliver my workshop around different career paths and entry levels into law.
4. WHY DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN BLMOP? Christina: Law is a profession where BAME candidates are seriously underrepresented and whilst BAME representation has improved over recent years, there is still a long way to go, particularly at a senior level. I think BLMOP is an amazing opportunity to raise awareness of law amongst BAME candidates and it is more than just a token diversity campaign. Targeting a particular portion of BAME individuals (i.e. Black Males) who are underrepresented will start to improve the perception of law in schools and communities and hopefully inspire future generations. Being part of a campaign on a photo-shopped Instagram account is light-years away from the real thing standing in front of you. I didn’t want to just be part of a law society statistic. I saw BLMOP as an opportunity to stand up and be counted to show others what law is all about and that they could be a part of it too.
5. HOW WILL THE BLMOP PROJECT INSPIRE YOUNG BAME CANDIDATES TO FIRSTLY STUDY LAW & SECONDLY PURSUE THEIR CAREER PATH GOING FORWARD? Christina: BLMOP Explaw Days aim to level the playing field to equip young black males with the tools, information and insight they need to pursue a career in law. There is a whole host of different areas of law out there with opportunities and career paths that, without knowledge and understanding, young people from disadvantaged backgrounds will not be informed of. One of the keys to unlocking a young person’s potential is access to real and relatable role models, who they can look up to and BLMOP gives the pupils the opportunity to rub shoulders alongside professionals that they would otherwise not encounter. Hearing other BAME candidates’ stories and experiences will hopefully inspire young adults to seek a career in law or another profession that they are passionate about and that interests them.
6. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO BAME STUDENTS WANTING TO PURSUE A CAREER IN LAW? Christina: Aim high and think big. It is very easy to stand outside a profession, look in and see no one else like you. That unfortunately is a reality in a profession like law, where BAME candidates make up less than 16% of solicitors. Your mentality has
to be ‘I’m coming in whether you like it or not!’ Law as a competency-based profession means you need to ensure you tick all the boxes both academically, which is a must, but also that you are bringing something else to the table. I often say to students I come across who say they aren’t good at sport or musically gifted “Yes but Joe Bloggs has the same grades as you and has volunteered for two years every weekend at an old people’s home… what kind of person do you think that makes Joe Bloggs in my eyes?” There are so many skills that you need to be able to demonstrate to succeed, so you need to give yourself as much opportunity to show those skills.
7. WHAT CHALLENGES HAVE YOU OVERCOME AS AN INDIVIDUAL FROM A BAME BACKGROUND TO INSPIRE YOU TO WORK ON THE BLMOP? Christina: Quite often I have turned up at an interview and been the only BAME candidate in the room. The pressure that causes internally can catch you off guard, because you doubt yourself and lose confidence. You automatically think you don’t fit in and there are times that I have come away feeling quite deflated. I have come up against good candidates on paper similar to myself, in some cases arguably not as strong, but they have a sort of competitive edge that is hugely going to boost their chances e.g. they are a key client’s daughter, their father is a partner at the firm or even something as simple as family contacts have been able to secure
them prestigious work experience for their CV. As a BAME candidate without these competitive edges or advantages, I had to work hard to secure my own opportunities. I worked for free in areas I didn’t really like, I volunteered, I played sport, I interacted with as many different people I could across a variety of different sectors so that I could stand out from the crowd. I treated my CV like a story and without interesting parts it wasn’t going to make the cut in the legal pile.
8. WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR BLMOP? Catherine: The future plan is to get bigger and better. I want to take the project to every school in Manchester and then connect with schools across the UK. I want to create a safe space for BAME professionals and young people to come together to help make the change together. Christina: I am going to continue working with the BLMOP and continue to deliver workshops around entry into law. Hopefully, the young adults who are part of the programme will use the insight and knowledge they have gained, so that they can demonstrate they have the necessary skills and capabilities for whatever legal career path they undertake. www.manchester.ac.uk/blacklawyersmatter email@example.com 0161 306 0491
TRAIN TO TEACH WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE, FACULTY OF EDUCATION A message from our Head of Faculty and previous trainees
WHY CONSIDER A CAREER IN EDUCATION?
The University of Cambridge teaches Ofsted ‘Outstanding’ PGCE courses in a long-established and fully integrated partnership with a broad range of schools. We have thought a great deal about the PGCE programme itself, from Open Days that enable prospective students to explore options to the development of a highly supportive approach to training.
One of my key reasons for teaching is cultivating the unique abilities of each individual child and seeing them flourish.
The Cambridge PGCE has an exceptional reputation and leads to both QTS and an internationally recognised PGCE Masters level qualification. We all have our own stories of a teacher who has made a positive difference to our lives. For me, it was an enthusiastic young teacher of social studies who pushed me to ask different kinds of questions about institutional power and inequalities in societies. Without doubt, his passionate approach to teaching us was instrumental in paving an education road that took me on to university, and a successful career in education as a female academic, and now professor. As the Head of the Faculty of Education here in Cambridge, I am proud to say we are committed to encouraging BAME students into our teaching programmes and we are looking at how we can best support them so that they become inspirational teachers.
We strive for academic progress for our students but having an impact on the social development of a child is also hugely motivating – seeing a child hold their head up that little bit higher, having a little more confidence and resilience in themselves and their own ability, and knowing that you were the one who inspired it through your teaching.
Aliabbas, Primary PGCE During my time in sixth form and while I attended my local Mosque, I found that I loved teaching and mentoring students. My biggest motivator for getting into the profession was the lack of South Asian female teachers in my area, Cambridgeshire. From a young age, I often found myself asking the question - why aren’t there teachers who are like me? For me, representation is vital. Currently, as an English teacher and Bangladeshi British and Muslim woman, I am able to discuss and teach my students things that they might not know. Together we can also erase any misconceptions that they might have. I love that!
Rashida, English PGCE
WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE OF TRAINING TO TEACH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE? Choosing to do my PGCE at Cambridge is probably the best decision I have ever made. It is intense, but you are supported every step of the way. What made it special for me was the constant support I got from the Faculty. You spend most of your time on placement, but the Faculty remains very involved every step of the way.
Shola, History PGCE Every point of view was always regarded with respect and value, and everyone was made to feel equal and valid regardless of their background. I really think this enriched the entire PGCE experience, making all of us feel, as individuals, that we really had something valid and significant that we could bring forward into the teaching profession.
Aliabbas, Primary PGCE The Cambridge PGCE is more than just a course but a platform for professional and educational change, based on vision, support and trust. I believe that those behind the Cambridge PGCE truly care about the profession and the professionals they are training. I will always remember my partnership tutor visiting me and asking if I have asked for a space to pray in. This may seem small to someone else, but it meant the world to me.
Zara, Primary PGCE
As a sociologist of education, I know one thing that can make a difference to what we think is possible is that we recognise others like us who can act as an inspiring role model. In their comments below, we can see that this insight has not been lost on newly qualified teachers coming through our PGCE programme here in Cambridge. At our Faculty, we recognise that it is critical for education providers to actively tackle the lack of representation of particular social groups.
Head of Faculty, Professor Susan Robertson
DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR BAME PEOPLE CONSIDERING TRAINING TO TEACH? Go for it! You’re such a valuable resource as you bring a different life experience. Do not be afraid or think that you won’t fit in. This profession is about learning as well as teaching. Be willing to take risks and firmly take hold of every opportunity given to you.
Zara, Primary PGCE
To my BAME future teachers - we need more of us in this great profession. Representation matters and for those students who are of the same background as you, they will feel a sense of comfort and understanding that ‘Ah Miss/Sir, she/ he gets me’. I’ve experienced this in my first year of teaching, especially during the month of Ramadan. Aim high, look after yourself and always remind yourself that you can and will do this.
Rashida, English PGCE
As a male teacher from a minority ethnic and disadvantaged background, I experience first-hand the significance it can have for children to see a diverse collection of people make up the team of staff at their school; people who they feel they can relate to. Schools are so diverse now and it is incredibly important for children to see that diversity reflected within the staffing and power structure of the school, as an insight into the wider society that they will be integrating into as they continue to grow.
Aliabbas, Primary PGCE
MORE NEEDS TO BE DONE TO ENSURE DIVERSITY IS EMBRACED AS A MEASURE OF VALUE IN SOCIETY
Professor Trish Reid Interim Pro Vice-Chancellor for Learning and Teaching at Kingston University Professor Trish Reid is responsible for working with colleagues across the institution to ensure the university provides stimulating and inclusive courses for all its students.
At Kingston, we see diversity as a strength and have worked to create a whole-institution culture that is welcoming to, and celebrates, our diverse student population. Our commitment to diversity as a measure of academic quality is evidenced by our Inclusive Curriculum Framework, which builds on the inherent value of diversity by ensuring that students see themselves, their experience and backgrounds, reflected in the curriculum. Using robust data, we scrutinise our provision, employing students as ‘inclusive curriculum consultants’ to suggest changes that might improve the student experience. This might include suggestions to improve the way our courses are taught and assessed – for example, ensuring case studies reflect individuals from a variety of backgrounds, or introducing assessments which allow students to utilise their experience. As part of our commitment to an inclusive curriculum, we have developed a value-added metric that highlights unexplained gaps in attainment by taking into account both students’ entry qualifications and their chosen subjects, thereby providing a nuanced picture of unexplained gaps which we have then taken steps to address. As a proportion, 13 per cent more white students than BAME students graduating in 2017-18 achieved a first or 2:1 degree across the sector. This is clearly unconscionable. At Kingston we have made closing this gap an institutional priority. We have also shared our value-added approach with other institutions through a Catalyst project funded by the Office for Students. While senior leaders drive our approach to inclusivity, we are conscious of the need to enable academic staff to take ownership
of change in their subject areas. Our course dashboards allow attainment and progression metrics to be broken down by demographic, so that subject teams can identify problems and develop solutions. We provide additional support to address issues where staff identify them and are in need of additional advice and support. Kingston is on a journey and we acknowledge that work still needs to be done to ensure genuine inclusivity. Nonetheless, our students are responding positively to our efforts. The majority of improvements in this year’s National Student Survey at Kingston came from our BAME student population, with improved scores across most themes. We believe these results evidence the fact that our BAME students feel valued and part of the fabric of the university. Our experience over the past several years has taught us that institutionwide commitment is the only effective approach to promoting inclusivity. This approach allows us to recognise where structures, processes and policies may be inadvertently discriminatory. It also teaches us that it is not possible to decolonise one course. Students are students of the university and we need to adopt holistic approaches to their experience. We need to think about what the university website looks like and whether students can see themselves reflected in it, for instance. We need to think about what students encounter when they step off the bus or go into the canteen or the library. Moreover, this work needs to be approached proactively. We cannot reasonably expect students to continually advocate for change. To ensure fairness we — and the
sector more broadly — need to think about what the university experience is like for all students and challenge ourselves to think and act differently.
“NO UNIVERSITY EXISTS IN ISOLATION FROM SOCIETY” We also face challenges in thinking about what happens to our students after they leave us. As employers ourselves, we recognise the need to do more to diversify our workforce. We run a Beyond Barriers Mentoring Scheme, which enables BAME students to enhance their potential and develop new skills by working with mentors from a range of industry backgrounds. We also run a BAME leadership programme for staff and have offered PhD studentships explicitly targeted to bring underrepresented groups into postgraduate research. This last initiative is an acknowledgement of the lack of diversity in academia itself. All of these initiatives are carefully monitored. The resulting data helps us understand their impact in terms of progression, employment outcomes and promotion. In conclusion, we are very proud of the resourcefulness and resilience of our graduates, which we believe is enhanced by their having studied in a diverse learning community. We would like to see employers make greater efforts to recognise the attributes of students who are products of such educational environments in their recruitment processes. Having started students on their journey, we need employers to pick up the baton and embrace the benefits a diverse workforce, and a workforce capable of embracing diversity, can bring in today’s world.
LET’S TALK ABOUT RACE Robert Temowo Education Liaison Officer
Zion Sengulay Careers and Employability Adviser
Robert and Zion have been delivering workshops aimed at helping staff and students at Kingston University discuss their experiences and share their stories about race across the institution. What is your role at Kingston University? Robert: My job is all about helping widen access to and participation in higher education. The primary focus is to develop, coordinate and deliver high quality workshops, projects and events to help prospective students gain a thorough understanding of how to access university and provide an insight into the opportunities it can open up for them. Zion: I work with students on developing professional skills, navigating the job application process and preparing them for life after university. A lot of our work involves increasing visibility and representation – making students more aware of what careers are available and breaking down any barriers they may feel are there due to factors such as cultural backgrounds, perception and confidence. What was the reason behind setting up the workshops? Robert: During a Black History Month workshop I delivered, attendees discussed and debated sensitive issues surrounding their own experiences around race and higher education. On reflection, I realised I found talking about race-related issues very challenging. Unknowingly, I created sophisticated ways to skirt around topics. Many people at Kingston would not have known about my own personal difficulties so would have been unable to help, as I’d never spoken about it. I was encouraged by the Head of Access,
Participation and Inclusion, Jenni Woods to create a workshop to provide a space for staff and students to share their stories. Zion: Robert told me about the tensions he’d experienced when talking in a group about the concept of race. He realised he was finding some of the conversations challenging himself and we decided to develop sessions looking at terminologies and the perception of terminologies, how we can navigate that at university and increase the number of conversations being had in this area. How do you create an environment where you can talk about race? Robert: I think it’s all about believing and understanding how stories can impact lives. I, like many others, have experienced imposter syndrome- not believing that I belonged in certain environments, even with all my skills and experience. Unfortunately, being black contributed heavily to that narrative. However, I decided to use my own story to overcome those negative feelings to help fuel discussions, which really resonated with people. Stories are powerfulthey speak to all of us and can at times leave permanent footprints within our consciousness. I learned that by sharing stories we can work together to use them to drive change. Zion: Sometimes the biggest challenge is changing people’s perception of what university is about, creating an environment where we can facilitate active learning between
staff and students about how we need to change to be more inclusive and embrace our diversity. We want students to see themselves reflected in the curriculum and ensure everyone has a voice. If you perceive university solely as an academic institution, you miss the fact it is a holistic journey. Until our universities truly reflects the society we live in, we will always be striving to see change. How do you ensure students feel that all careers are open to them, whatever their background? Robert: Early intervention is key. When I visit schools, I share the quote ‘You cannot be what you cannot see’. Visual representation is so important. For many pupils we work with, going to university is a million miles away from their reality. Enabling them to meet industry professionals and successful alumni who look like them, who may even share similar life experiences, is essential. Many pupils I meet have experienced more losses and setbacks in life than they have wins. Organising programmes with sustained engagement as opposed to one-off activities is also important, as it helps to build confidence and create small wins they can build upon for their future. Zion: It’s an important question. I had one student come to see me who was concerned about whether someone like him would be taken seriously in the sector he wanted to work in. Because I looked like him, as a young black male, he felt I would be able to advise him. It shows the challenges and perceptions people are taking with them. We believe if you can dream it, why not go for it? Our role here is to be that guidance and support to help students navigate the decisions they are making and empower them to succeed in whatever they want to do. We work hard to ensure there is a strong relationship between careers, faculties and employers – creating an environment where all our students can aspire and achieve.
ST ANDREWS STRIVING FOR A DIVERSE COMMUNITY As a coastal town in North-East Fife, what challenge, if any, does the University of St Andrews face in attracting BAME candidates to the university? St Andrews is a thriving, diverse, and cosmopolitan community. Life in this town is enriching and enjoyable, but, as your question suggests, our location could pose an obstacle to individuals less familiar with the range of activities available to all who live here. The University of St Andrews is currently home to over 9,200 students and 2,800 staff, originating from over 130 countries around the world, who live and work in the town and the surrounding areas alongside a rich and welcoming local community. Our size is our strength; ‘community’ is an often overused word, but the scale of our university provides an intimacy that one doesn’t find in metropolitan environments or larger universities. Our students and staff thrive because they feel that they are a valuable and important part of the university, and this comes from the close relationships that our size enables them to make with one another. Anyone concerned with our location need only look at the statistics; we are, in 2019, ranked as the highest mainstream university for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey, and we have held this title for 11 of the past 13 years. And, this year, we are UK University of the Year in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide. Our students clearly enjoy their time spent here. And in the interests of dispelling myth, we are only an hour away from a major international airport – we are a global and international university, and our location and size should not be deceiving.
It was recently reported that 40% of the undergraduate intake at St Andrews is from independent schools. The number of BAME candidates from poorer backgrounds remains very low and, in 2015, you set the target of increasing this figure by 45%, equivalent to six more students per year. Could you give the magazine an indication of where you are today with these targets? Over 45% of our students originate from outwith the UK, representing 133 countries around the world; we are an exceptionally diverse community. For our home entrance students, 10% of our 2018/19 cohort declared themselves to be of BAME origin and, this year, that figure has increased to 11%. This is a small increase, but it is measured and consistent progress such as this that will transform our community and we are committed to building upon this. The Scottish Government does not specifically prioritise ethnicity in its widening-access targets; the university believes it is imperative to do so and we have therefore created our own targets and measures of success. However, the university does share the objectives of the Scottish Funding Council and the Scottish Government to increase the number of applications and entrants from the areas of highest deprivation in Scotland. We adopt a research-based contextual admissions process through which we ensure that no student with the potential to do well is disadvantaged; this process is not reliant on a single measure but uses multiple access markers to enable us to contextualise the achievements of all applicants and reliably to assess potential. Widening access is a primary focus for the university. In the 2018 admissions cycle, 50% of our Scottish domiciled entrants had
one or more widening access flag examples of which include: a careexperienced background, a young carer, attendance at a low progression school, residence in an area of socioeconomic disadvantage, or engagement through one of our outreach initiatives. In 2007, there were around 200 participants in our outreach programmes, and now that number stands at well over 1,000. Through our outreach schemes, we are expanding the number of inner-city schools and sixth form colleges in England that we visit in targeted areas (particularly in London, Manchester, and Birmingham). We are already seeing the results of this, and the proportion of applicants (UK domiciled) from a BME background has increased to 14.6% (from 12.6% last year). 13.8% of our PGT entrants in 2018/19 were from BME backgrounds, compared with 12.6% in 2017/18. For students from the most economically deprived areas of Scotland and the UK, there are a number of programmes on offer. The University of St Andrews has worked in partnership with the Sutton Trust since 2002 to deliver a free residential summer school to penultimate year students in state schools. The aim is to demystify elite universities and to equip students with the knowledge and insight to enable them to make high-quality applications to top universities. Applications for the Summer School open in January and close in March each year. Further information on the Summer School can be found online, including eligibility criteria. It is important that students beginning their journey into higher education receive the best start possible. The University of St Andrews has designed a range of ‘Gateway’ transition programmes to ensure that all students receive the appropriate level of academic and financial support to enable them to succeed on a level with their peers. Has the university set any new targets for the next 12 – 18 months in terms of attracting BAME candidates? We are currently beginning our self-assessment for the Race Equality Charter and are developing performance indicators to work
towards. A core part of our University Strategy for 2018 – 2023 is Diverse St Andrews and we are committed to further embedding diversity across our staff and student experience and seeing real differences during the strategy’s five-year scope. Further diversifying in terms of our BAME population and ensuring an inclusive experience for all is a key priority. What provision do you have in place for attracting post-graduates, in terms of, financial support and making them feel like they belong at the University of St Andrews? We established the Graduate School for Interdisciplinary Studies to create a vibrant community of postgraduate taught scholars across a number of different master’s programmes. We organise monthly social events for postgraduates and make funds available to support initiatives that will contribute to the University’s postgraduate community. In addition, we offer a range of financial support to postgraduate students, such as: the Accommodation Award (based on financial need); the St Andrews Sanctuary Scholarship (offered to asylum seekers and refugees); and, the St Leonards Master’s and Research Scholarships (fully-funded master’s and research degree scholarships to support students who originally joined through one of our access schemes). From reading the equality reports on the university webpages, it is apparent that the figures for BAME staff has been slightly increasing, can you comment on this positive trajectory? The university’s 6.9% BAME staff population is more than double than the figure of 2.4% for the county of Fife BAME population (which includes university staff and students) and is
also higher than the 4% BAME Scottish national census percentage. Grade 8 (the higher end of our occupational grading) has seen the largest increase in the proportion of BAME staff. The university is promoted as a diverse employer and place of study across many BAME community events across Scotland annually, and of course through different BAME specific media initiatives. We are committed to initiatives which will see this positive trajectory continue.
knowledge and good practice via networking; allows for engagement in policy planning and development; and increases the positive profile of BAME staff through events and initiatives. The network meets during lunch periods on a monthly basis with food and refreshments fully funded by the university.
Are there any ongoing initiatives that the university invests in to promote the careers of BAME staff?
My mission has been to ensure that diversity and inclusion are at the heart of the St Andrews experience and inform all that we do. Diversity is one of four pillars of our University Strategy for 2018-2023 and our ambition is to be an international beacon of inclusivity. Diverse communities are smarter and more dynamic, and we want to attract the best students and the brightest staff from across the world and to enable them to realise their full potential, regardless of identity or origin. We’re making good progress. The University of St Andrews has thrived for over 600 years because it is European, outward-looking, and international – and our increasingly diverse community will ensure it will go on being so.
Since 2015 we have partaken in the Advance HE Diversifying Leadership Programme, designed specifically for BAME staff in the HE sector. We support a BAME staff member every year to undertake the London-based programme, with a view to enabling them to develop leadership skills and to align themselves to adopt leadership positions in future. As part of the development of our People Strategy, we have undertaken a wide consultation, including with BAME staff specifically, to ensure we are clear about how they perceive their experience, where they feel they need more support in their careers, and where their ambitions lie. We are utilising this consultation to improve our support, policies, and processes, and to ensure that these provisions work for all members of our community. There is a ‘Staff BAME Network’ group at the university, please explain about what the network entails?
As the Principal of the University of St Andrews, what message would you like to send across to prospective BAME staff or students?
We are the first university to become a signatory of the Race at Work Charter via the Prince’s Responsible Business Network, which we have done to clarify our wholehearted commitment to supporting BAME members of our community and identifying where we can improve their experience going forward.
Our network was launched in June last year with a view to increasing the support offered to our BAME university staff. The group provides a confidential forum to share
Professor Sally Mapstone FRSE Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews
STEM STEM is an acronym referring to education and careers within the specific subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. These have always been important subjects, but now more than ever before, STEM qualifications are in high demand as the UK seeks to compete at the leading edge of digital Research and Development and cyber security. The UK has a long history of innovation and being a leader in cutting edge technology. One highly visible example of this can be seen in Formula 1 Grand Prix racing: 2019 saw Lewis Hamilton win his sixth world championship in superlative style to become one of the true all-time greats of Grand Prix racing. But it took the combined efforts of hundreds of people, both trackside and back in the factory and development centre in Brackley, to propel Lewis to his world title and for Mercedes-AMG F1 to win their sixth successive Constructorsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Championship, from race-car mechanics to engineers, designers, aerodynamicists, data telemetry analysts and precision manufacturing.
The UK government is looking to increase the number of students specialising in STEM subjects and is particularly encouraging girls and people from ethnically diverse backgrounds to enter these fields. From IT and engineering to environmental and health research, the career opportunities within STEM are varied and rewarding.
SHIFTING PERCEPTIONS: WHY STEM NEEDS TO ENCOURAGE DIVERSITY
Imran Hussain BLS Media
When you hear the abbreviation “STEM” (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), your mind will most likely conjure up images of elderly white men in lab coats, or the common caricature of an eccentric mad scientist with unkempt hair (we’re looking at you, Mr Einstein). These images are engrained in us from a very early age, and when we enter school they are reinforced in the classrooms we study and the textbooks we read. It is here that the unintentional subconscious training takes place, where BAME and female students learn that STEM subjects are not to be a significant part of their futures. It should come as no surprise, then, that there is a dramatic imbalance between students from a BAME background who go onto study STEM subjects, and even more so if the students are female. For example, only 10% of the current available jobs in Engineering are filled by women. The future of the sector appears similarly bleak for female participation, with currently only 14% of university engineering courses being undertaken by women. This is the lowest proportion of women in Engineering of any European country. Whilst the UK is going through the Brexit process, the future potential of its home grown talent becomes ever more vital for the UK’s tech and engineering industries, as there will be fewer skilled workers from other EU countries available to help pick up the short fall. If we continue to foster an exclusive environment and discourage young people particularly females and BAME candidates - from pursuing STEM subjects, then the future prospects of these industries in the UK could suffer. Not only do we need to encourage a larger participation in the STEM subjects, there are distinct advantages to having the participants be as diverse as possible. When we think of great scientific breakthroughs, we often picture a lone actor, racking their brains for a solution until an idea suddenly hits them, like Newton and the apple falling on his head
leading to his insights on gravity. But the reality is that each scientific breakthrough is the result of a diverse group of people combining their thoughts, research and intuition over the course of many years, leading to one individual collating all this information which leads to the breakthrough. It may seem like a sole person has made the discovery, but as Newton himself would say: “If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants”. Diversity is a vital component of this process. Incorporating the perspectives, experiences and cultural insights of a wide range of people leads to a broader vision, which leads to far more creativity than if we are to take all our information from a smaller pool of predominantly white males. The cultural change to encourage more BAME and female students to take an interest in STEM needs to start early, in the classrooms. Students should be educated about not only the work of past greats such as Ada Lovelace, George Washington Carver, Marie Curie, George Carruthers as well as modern day figures like Neil deGrasse Tyson, but also told about their backgrounds and their lives to help alter the perception that STEM is an area which is inaccessible for all but a few. Studying the works and lives of these inspirational figures would lead to the current perception of STEM to be white male-dominated to be challenged. It is only once this is replaced by a healthier, more inclusive vision of STEM that encourages diversity, that the passion to discover the next scientific breakthrough, to advance the state of technology and to build the structures of the future, can be nurtured before it is extinguished by arbitrary obstacles. It is up to you. Can you help to advance diversity in the STEM subjects through your participation? Will you be one of the next great, inspirational figures whose shoulders people from future generations are standing on one hundred years from now?
THE ‘NEW SPACE’ INDUSTRY Shefali Sharma Degree in Aircraft Engineering, Masters in Space Engineering and Astronautics Senior Commercial Strategist in the ‘new space’ industry Oxford Space Systems
Engineering plays a leading role in tackling some of the biggest challenges we face. Engineers play a key role in designing the infrastructure and technology that we all use on a daily basis. It is crucial that people of different genders, ethnicities and social backgrounds are part of shaping a world that works for everyone. The engineering sector is working together to show the vast opportunities engineering offers talented young people from different backgrounds to shape the world around them, and the different routes they can take into engineering careers. To find out more, go to www.engineering.gov.uk
• Finish this in your own words: “I became a senior commercial strategist… so I could learn the ‘dark-art’ of the business world by being a part of the aggressively developing ‘new space’ industry. New space entrants such as OneWeb and SpaceX plan to launch large groups of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites. OneWeb, for example, is developing a constellation of initially
648 satellites in LEO to provide broadband communications services globally. This trend is set to take advantage of the work done on satellite miniaturisation, digitisation of communications and a production line approach of spacecraft building by companies such as Surrey Satellite Technology Limited (SSTL) and Airbus. The space industry is moving into the ‘new space’ era and is characterised
by smaller, commercially-focused and aggressively-paced companies with an appetite for risk. The satellites that this industry is focused on are a lot smaller and of significantly lower cost, allowing for failure to be an option. Failure is actually expected as part of the test and validation process. This use of low-cost satellites was unheard of a decade ago and it’s exciting to be a part of this rapidly changing landscape.
• What was your career journey to this position? I completed my schooling in India and came to the UK in pursuit of higher education in engineering. Upon successful completion of my apprenticeship and degree in Aircraft Engineering in Scotland, I joined Cranfield University, Bedford, to pursue a Masters in Space Engineering and Astronautics. After my Masters, for almost a year I tried to push open a closed door to enter the space industry, but to no avail, due to visa and security restrictions. I was presented with an opportunity to work with a small mobile phone company called, DOGFI.SH Mobile. Like a lot of graduates, I took an offer of employment as a means to an end. I worked alongside the CEO as a market analyst and quickly became interested in the ‘dark-art’ of the business world. I refused to give up on my space career and changed my approach towards job-hunting. Initially, I only applied for jobs with large space organisations. I soon realised a ‘new generation’ in the space industry was emerging globally, known as ‘new space’. Companies such as SpaceX and Oxford Space Systems (OSS), Planet Labs were being founded to change the industry’s landscape and challenge its risk-averse approach to developing technology. I was inspired to become a part of this industry with the advent of new space, so I cold-called the CEO of Oxford Space Systems to find out whether there was an opportunity for me – and the rest is history! • What qualifications do you need? Do you need a degree? Yes, having a degree in engineering helps. That said, it’s not mandatory to have an engineering degree to work in a space company. The industry also welcomes applicants from different backgrounds (finance, legal, HR etc.)
• Were there any ways in which you think you/your CV stood out from the crowd to get the role? I never shied away from emailing/ cold-calling potential employers. I attended various industry events and successfully raised my profile in the space community. I’ve always been a strong believer of the fact that business is done between people and, as such, I treated job-hunting as essentially a sales job. • Why should young people think about getting into your industry? Things are getting really exciting; there’s a real growth taking place in the UK space industry. Genuine disruption in the space sector has begun, despite its notorious risk-aversion. This is mainly driven by the emergence of smaller satellites to replace part of the functionality provided today by large, expensive satellites. These small satellites continue to bring about a revolution in size and cost, cutting down the costs of some satellite capabilities from tens of millions of pounds to tens of thousands of pounds. This in turn has enabled startup companies like OSS to launch niche, disruptive technologies (tech that threatens the status quo) for the space industry. The technology is underpinned via a breed of entrepreneurs, some from non-space backgrounds, entering the industry. This is then attracting private investment money, so we’re now seeing well-funded entrepreneurs with a high-risk appetite chasing real commercial opportunities.
As such, change needs to happen at home and at school-entry level now to ensure we bring young talent into space engineering. Part of this drive is to encourage the mindset that ‘new talent must have women at its core’. There is a really substantial number of people required to pick up the baton from the retiring population in the industry, plus support arising from the UK Government’s desire to grow direct employment in the sector from around 38,000 to 100,000 by 2030. My advice for anyone who are looking to work in the space industry is: Don’t give up! If you don’t hear back from someone, follow up. If you don’t get a job, ask why not and keep applying. I can’t even imagine my life had I not been ‘ferocious’ in my approach to job-hunting. The space industry is very insular – we’re great at talking to ourselves, less so with the outside world. Last but not the least – consider starting your own space company if you have an innovative idea. There’s an unparalleled level of support in the UK for entrepreneurs from Government agencies such as Innovate UK, the UK Space Agency, the Royal Academy of Engineering, plus multiple opportunities to secure mentoring. The UK space start up scene is currently the envy of the world. In a nutshell, if something has caught your attention or you have developed a passion for something then you must give it a shot.
It’s worth noting that there’re a significant number of both men and women between the ages of 48 and 58 who are employed in the space sector right now. The industry is well aware that this could prove to be problematic, once this major age group retires.
STEM Ambassadors Making a Difference by Volunteering
TEM Learning is the largest provider of education and careers support in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). We work with schools, colleges and other groups working with young people across the UK. Supported by a unique partnership of Government, charitable trusts and employers, we are dedicated to raising young people’s engagement and achievement in STEM subjects and careers. We could not do this without the involvement of our STEM Ambassadors. They are volunteers from a wide range of science, technology, engineering and mathematics-related jobs and disciplines, who offer their time and enthusiasm to help bring STEM subjects to life. We 66
are proud to have over 30,000 STEM Ambassadors, representing more than 2,500 employers, working to support our vision which is to achieve a world-leading STEM education for all young people across the UK. Through a range of activities, including presentations, mentoring and careers talks, STEM Ambassadors play an essential role in inspiring the next generation with the world of STEM subjects and careers. Their support is not just limited to the classroom – they can be invited into your STEM Club, or youth and community group. STEM Ambassadors actively promote employability skills, which include valuing diversity and difference. In doing this, they are providing balanced careers advice to
young people from all backgrounds about the range of earn and learn opportunities available and encouraging them to study STEM subjects. STEM Learning is proud to be a member of The 5% Club, a dynamic movement of employer-members committed to driving recruitment of apprentices, sponsored students and graduates and progressing their careers through ‘paid-to-learn’ opportunities. Bethan Cornell is one of our STEM Ambassadors and the work she does challenges the stereotypes that exist in society about scientists and drives home the message that science is a career option for all young people, whatever their gender or ethnic background.
INSPIRING THE NEXT GENERATION WITH THE WORLD AND WONDER OF SCIENCE Bethan Cornell MPhys (Hons) is a PhD Student in Physics at King’s College London and a STEM Ambassador. Over the last year, she has delivered career talks for young people and supported their development of employability skills.
ethan is motivated to volunteer due to her frustrations about the stereotypes that exist in society about scientists. She says, “You don’t have to be stuffy, old and work on a blackboard to be a scientist.”
“[The activity] helped teachers show that creativity and ‘thinking outside the box’ is really key in science and gave them an opportunity out of the constraints of the curriculum to allow the students to play with scientific ideas.”
By engaging with young people, Bethan is able to break down stereotypes and challenge perceptions on what being a scientist means. “I wanted to show young people that being a scientist is the best job in the world and it is absolutely something that they can aspire to. It is important for all young people to feel included in science and know it is a career which is an option for them.”
The pupils developed their own way of testing and solving and created a poster to present their work. Bethan challenges the misconception that all scientists run experiments, when in reality some scientists only do theoretical work.
Not only does she break down stereotypes about the type of people that can be scientists, but also about the type of work scientists can do! Bethan uses computer coding in her day-to-day role but not everyone would expect coding to be applied in medicine. Bethan shows teachers and children that coding has a wide range of applications – including applications they would not expect.
Bethan also highlights the importance of communication skills for scientists and gave the pupils an opportunity to present their work. “We explained to the students that scientists who do work come together and tell each other about it at conferences.”
“[The activity] helped teachers show that creativity and ‘thinking outside the box’ is really key in science and gave them an opportunity out of the constraints of the curriculum to allow the students to play with scientific ideas.”
Being a STEM Ambassador also supports Bethan’s own skills development. “[Volunteering] provides you with a real sense of achievement and helps you develop your confidence and communication skills like nothing else!”
STEM Ambassadors are a valuable yet free of charge resource for teachers. Not all teachers have expertise or experience from different industries and fields. “STEM Ambassadors are working in STEM fields day-in-day-out. This puts them in a fantastic position to tell children what STEM is really like. They provide something tangible and makes STEM feel far more accessible to children than something they might read about in school.” In one day, Bethan engaged with every age group at St Stephen’s Primary School, from Reception to Year 6. Children in Years 5 and 6 used their creativity and scientific thinking to problem solve. 67
Engineering If you have a mechanical aptitude, love solving problems and you want to earn an above average salary, you should consider a career in engineering. The application of engineering is all around us, using knowledge of science and mathematics to help improve our lives. Engineers design, create, research and find alternative and better solutions. There are many different types of engineering, including civil engineering, computer software, electronic, chemical, medical and mechanical engineering. The skills you learn through study and experience are highly sought after by employers, especially analytical thinking, attention to detail, numeracy, communication and computer technology, all of which are highly transferable skills.
University graduates with a degree in engineering tend to earn around 20% more than the average graduate earns over their career. The industry is actively looking for over 200,000 new skilled recruits every year and is especially seeking to attract more women and students from BAME backgrounds.
BRINGING CONCEPTS TO LIFE Yusuf Muhammad MA (RCA) / MSc (DIC) Industrial Design Engineering MEng (hons) Mechanical Design, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering Design Director at Plumis Ltd
What exactly do you do? I’m a design engineer, inventor and entrepreneur. I specialise in user centred design which is an iterative design process in which designers focus on the users and their needs in each phase of the design process. In user centred design, design teams involve users throughout the design process via a variety of research and design techniques, to create highly usable and accessible products for them. I have worked on all sorts of things from designing ambulances to fire safety products. What made you get into the field of engineering? I have always been curious about the rationale behind the things that surround us. Art was by far my favourite subject at school and early on that’s where I found I could express myself the most. However it was when I learned that problem solving and creativity could be applied in engineering that it all came together. Engineering can be so useful as it can allow you solve today’s problems. It is crucial that people of different genders, ethnicities and social backgrounds are part of shaping a world that works for everyone. That’s why the Government’s Engineering Take A Closer Look campaign is so important – it is bringing the engineering sector together to create meaningful life changes. What do you find exciting about it and why do you enjoy it? I enjoy engineering because its tangible, it’s about applying theories and principles... concepts are brought to life. I have seen many of my designs, which started as an
idea on a piece of paper, make a positive impact in the real world. My fire safety product I developed called ‘Automist’ has already saved five lives. Why might you encourage others to consider it as a career? My job has had a huge impact on my life – from starting my own company to opportunities like the BBC2 documentary Big Life Fix. It has very much made me a believer in an individual’s ability to change things. I’ve met people who, as soon as you suggest things could be a different way, dismiss it for being too difficult. But as an engineer I’ve seen the difference you can make to the world around you. What are some of the really interesting designs you’ve worked on? Pollyanna, aged 12, lost her leg in an horrific accident when she was just two years old. In the last 10 years she has had 21 operations and been fitted with more than 20 different prosthetic legs as she has grown up. Despite the challenges she has faced, Pollyanna has a determination not to let her disability hold her back from achieving her goals, including her dream of becoming a ballerina. But the ballet world is unforgiving and Pollyanna has been marked down in exams for being unable to do moves that would involve her missing leg, including going up on her toes - or demi-pointe. I worked to create a working prototype leg that could perform this movement. Pollyanna continues to dance today and really enjoyed the custom leg we created.
What would you say is the greatest satisfaction you get from your career? I appeared on a BBC2 documentary, Big Life Fix - a transformational science series - as a part of a group of designers, engineers, programmers and tech experts challenged to find innovative solutions to help people in every day life. This really allowed me to apply all of my technical training to solve real life problems. Working in a team, we were able to help a boy with no hands and no feet ride a bike for the first time and help a disabled man snowboard again after his accident. Why do you think what you do is important in relation to shaping a world that works for everyone? If there’s something that you don’t like or doesn’t work... engineering is an opportunity to change it. Does your phone not recognise your voice? We need software engineers with different accents. Is your car creating pollution? We need mechanical engineers who are improving engine efficiency. Is your house too cold? We need material engineers developing new insulating materials. Is your office chair uncomfortable? We need designers creating chairs considerate of all body types. We need engineers helping shape the future!
The engineering sector is working together to show the vast opportunities engineering offers talented young people from different backgrounds to shape the world around them, and the different routes they can take into engineering careers. To find out more, go to www.engineering.gov.uk
Stephen Edwards BEng IEng MICE Principal Engineer Structural, Building Structures South East UK & Europe Engineering, Design and Project Management
PROUD TO BUILD THE WORKFORCE THAT MATTERS
. The drive from the engineering sector going forward is to become more inclusive i.e. to attract more applicants from a BAME background and to reach out to women. What strategies has Atkins implemented over the last 12/18 months to facilitate the above? Over the last year or so Atkins has initiated a UK and Europe Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Plan. Replacing previous commitments to Inclusion & Diversity, the idea behind the plan is to properly cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment. We, as a company recognise the value and strength of diverse teams and are committed to raising awareness and building a company that respects our differences. Personally, I am pleased to see this is being treated as more than a commercial activity and simply the right thing to do. The plan includes increasing representation of women and BAME intake across all staff levels and cultivating talents to progress within the company, while also continually attracting a diverse range of talented people. We have given ourselves set targets, which we are aiming to achieve, as otherwise these could be taken as nothing more than empty words. It feels challenging and maybe difficult but worthwhile if we are truthful about making a positive change. Most importantly this plan has been developed and shared with all our employees across our regions through a series of webinars, so rather than appearing as a corporate exercise we truly engage all employees. The idea is to regularly update this to ensure we are stretching ourselves and highlight where improvement is necessary. We are also highlighting internally and externally our diverse pool of
role models, which exist across the company. Several of my colleagues have talked about ‘you can’t be what you can’t see’ and in honesty it’s something that never occurred to me. But looking across the industry especially when I started, I can see how daunting it would appear and so I appreciate how massively important promoting our various role models is. This then goes further when we look at the STEM outreach work that Atkins and our employee networks are involved in.
. Analysts across the engineering sector have proclaimed 12% of women are engineers and substantially more women (18.5%) were in an engineering role outside the engineering sector. What advice would you give to women, particularly those from a BAME background, which are pursuing a career in engineering? I think the construction industry on a whole has been slow to truly diversify its workforce and maybe it’s way of thinking in general. However, it is clear that everybody acknowledges this, and I truly believe there is an emphasis and will within the entire industry to change.
“I would suggest now is the best time to be in an engineering role and a diverse perspective has never been more important”.
Stephen.Edwards@atkinsglobal.com +44 (0) 1372 752640 www.careers.snclavalin.com Follow us:
Companies are looking to redress the gender imbalance across the sector by trying to create a more supportive and encouraging industry. Atkins is partnered with Women into Science and Engineering (WISE) and are committed to increase gender balance and opportunities. Our Women’s Professional Network has been running for several years and looks to provide support for women in the company. Atkins also has the Women’s Development Programme, designed to help cultivate and advance women’s careers within our organisation. We have also introduced a Returners Programme to support those returning from maternity, adoption leave or from a significant career break, who now wish to return to the sector. I believe many other companies are employing similar initiatives however we are conscious that this is part of a journey and that no initiative in isolation will address the challenges we all face.
. How do you promote and encourage diversity amongst your workplace?
More and more of our employee networks are involved within Atkins. This year all networks will be represented at the graduate induction, taking place at an event in Birmingham in September. Our input is readily being encouraged by Atkins and with both senior sponsors and set budgets to spend on activities, it’s clear that our value is being recognised within our company and is a great force for change. I think it’s also important for us to acknowledge that there is a need to improve and as such we are experimenting with various courses both developed internally and those
provided by external companies. Finding the right balance of solutions can often be challenging but maintaining the status quo ignores the possibilities. Hopefully everyone can see that we are aiming for change, for the better.
. What advice would you give to young people, especially from a BAME background that is interested in design, engineering and project management? I have always loved what I do and growing up this has always been my dream. Apart from this what I can share is that I still love what I do but in all honesty it is nothing like I would have thought. The opportunities to work all over the world are incredible and the jobs and challenges never cease to amaze me. For those already interested in design and engineering, I would say the time has never been so important and so challenging. We are on the cusp of huge changes with technological advances coming at an ever-increasing pace, the world and ideas have never been shared at
such speed and in so many different geography’s, all of which can effectively happen instantaneously. Our world needs engineers and designers now more than ever, as we deal with global warming and an increasing population. Our cities are growing at an exponential rate and our need for energy never so great. We can make a huge difference in making sustainable changes. In terms of diversity and from being from a BAME background, there are still challenges but never before has there been such openness and a will to change as there is now. For me, my BAME background provides me with a slightly different perspective from many of my colleagues and as such I believe that’s an advantage. . What training does Atkins provide to ensure that candidates enhance their critical thinking and mental toughness in engineering?
I feel very lucky in my development within Atkins, where I was provided with a supporting team, where you
weren’t expected to know everything but rather if you ask questions and work hard your confidence builds and you develop as a person as much as an engineer. Apart from having some great teams, we have a graduate programme that has been developed over many years with various modules to help you acquire varying skills and have a well-established apprenticeship programme. Atkins provide workshops on building resilience and managing your personal wellbeing and further along in your career there are other courses to help develop your leadership, coaching and management skills. We’re piloting a two-year bespoke programme to provide career sponsorship for identified talent in diverse groups within the business. These groups can include but are not limited to women, ethnic minorities (BAME), those who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. We also provide mentoring and reverse mentoring programmes, which should complement the support you get in your team.
UK & Europe Equality Diversity & Inclusion Insight
BAME* Graduates 2013
STEM Ambassadors promoting STEM to underrepresented groups
10,346 UK & Europe Workforce
the Male Part Time Workers in 2018 versus 2013
STEM Returners programme launched
Engine Ears video launched
Building People Leaders programme enhanced
Introduction of 100 Mental Health First Aiders 50/50 gender split
Early Careers Intake: 31% female target met Significant growth in the size/activity from our staff networks
People Strategy: Proud to build the workforce that matters
Recruitment & Onboarding Develop strategic workforce plans with a focus on diversity
Apprentice intake targets exceeded Target Females
Development & Advancement Sign up to the Equality & Human rights commission campaign “Working Forward” and deliver on the actions associated with the campaign
Engagement & Sharing Identify & raise awareness of 10 role models who support D&I and raise their profile internally and externally
Diversity of background, education, gender, ethnicity, nationality, generation, age, working and thinking styles, religious background, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability, lifestyle, perspectives, work experience and technical skills.
Develop our Line manager/employee capability around D&I
Enable “Join the dots” – help everyone to see the connection between our D&I plan, our people priorities, our business strategy and link it all back to our core values
Increase in representation of females in Grade 14-16 (An addition of 142 staff)
Develop new and improved ways to sponsor talent from underrepresented groups ie. females/BAME*
year on year
Increase female and BAME* hires in our Grade 14 – 16 community (61 females, 55 BAME* hires)
Increase our female representation across our Early Careers intake
Increase our BAME* representation across our Early Careers intake
WEI Rank Increase by
Executive Sponsor: Philip Hoare
* BAME – Black, Asian and minority ethnic
If you are interested in finding out more about the opportunities available with Atkins/F+G/SNC-L then please use the link; www.careers.snclavalin.com/BAMEcareerguide
Water & Energy The Water and Energy sector is somewhere you should look into if you are looking for a broader level of opportunity, in a specific field of work. The Water and Energy sector can include electricity, renewable energy oil and gas companies. It allows the opportunity for roles in fields of engineering, finance, HR, information technology, marketing and PR, management, research, sales and trading. When you think of the Water and Energy sector one of the big suppliers might cross your mind i.e. British Gas, E.ON, EDF Energy, Npower, Anglian Water and Thames Water. Many graduates may apply for a position there, but there are also other great ranges of options available that young people should consider pursuing, especially those who have a keen interest in making a change through the renewable energy sector.
There are a growing number of companies that are diverting their focus to environmentally friendly renewable technology. There is a wide range of companies that are looking to hire young enthusiastic individuals. If you feel passionate about climate change and you want to make a difference to the environment then this sector may provide the opportunity you have been looking for.
Living our values
Love To Listen
Working together we...
What we do
Water is our is coming your waybusiness. 10-27 september 201 We handle with care, and Look out your invitation emailearth. and take part in our wefordon’t cost the confidential, independent survey.
Our Purpose Our purpose is to bring environmental and social prosperity to the region we serve through our commitment to love every drop. Our people told us that they want a single purpose and an overarching strategy we can all get behind – an unwavering definition of what we’re about as an organisation, what our priorities are and what values we hold ourselves accountable to. We’ve been working on this for a while. Public Interest is now enshrined in our constitution and we’re working on a social contract with our customers. This is the right thing to do, and it will give us a licence to get involved in those societal issues where we can and must make a difference. Our Purpose is about why we do what we do, and it will never change. It’s a guiding star – forever pursued but difficult to reach. That’s why it inspires change and drives us to find new and better ways to do things. What we do supports our purpose. It describes what kind of organisation we are now and what we’ll be in the future and it’s a way to align everybody in Anglian Water to that purpose. Our Values are the standards of behaviour we all aspire to. They help us support and challenge each other through good times through tough times too and they underpin our purpose.
“Inclusion is vital to the success of our organisation. Having a wealth of people from different backgrounds and with different experiences introduces new ways of thinking which in turn informs the ways in which we work. Challenging our thinking and decision making helps us to continually improve and outperform against our targets. It also better reflects our region and the customers and communities that we serve every single day.
For us, success is all about Being treated fairly, working on innovation – doing things a level playing field and being differently and doing them better valued for our individuality is what and we want people to join us who firstname.lastname@example.org we should all expect from ouris safe to open and you can complete want to make a difference, for our place of work.” it on any device customers and communities. Peter Simpson, CEO This means we need to be representative of our Diversity alone doesn’t communities. do much unless you have an We have a diverse organisation, inclusive organisation which is to say, we’ve got At AW we take an inclusiveemployees ranging in ages from approach to how we engage with 16 to 76 years old, from new our people. joiners to anywhere up to 60 years service with us. We have When we talk about diversity, people from all over the world. inclusion and equality, the conversation invariable turns to When we talk about inclusion, and demographics. in everything we do, we want all of our people to feel involved, to feel Do we have a problem? How they have a voice and to feel they many of this or that group do can make a difference. we have? Diversity is all about demographics and demographics are just numbers. Love To Listen .indd 12
They are facts about who we are, or at least what boxes we most conveniently fit into. Inclusion is a choice.
Love To Listen This year in our Love to Listen engagement survey, we asked more questions about how included and involved people feel. There were some similar questions in our previous surveys but now we’re able to combine the relevant questions into an inclusion score. Over 5,500 people took part, a response rate of 74%
We’ve done a lot to change how we work in the last couple of years and this is reflected in our ‘Love to Listen’ engagement survey. Some of the highlights;
80% of our people tell us that they are treated with dignity and respect at work
79% tell us they feel
comfortable voicing their ideas and opinions, even if they are different from others
72% of our people tell us
they feel valued for their contribution regardless of gender, age, race, religion, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation
We have an incredibly loyal workforce People join us and stay with us because we’re a good company to work for (Glassdoor Number 1). What we do in our Inclusion & Workforce Planning team is find ways to help people to work the way they want to for as long as they want to. We want to attract the widest range of people from all backgrounds to come to work here because a diverse workforce means new ideas and new ways of working to succeed in our purpose. There is a myth that
the East of England is not as ethnically diverse as other parts of the UK. In some areas this may be true but we also have the highest population growth outside of London and if we look a little closer at parts of our region, we see a massive range of ethnic backgrounds. Luton, Colchester, Peterborough, Bedford, Leicester, are all within or bordering our region and are some of the most ethnically diverse cities in the UK. Last year alone, 30 per cent of our total hires were women and 15 per cent were from a BAME background. What’s vital is that everyone who works for us already, or joins us in the future, feels valued. We can hire as many and as varied a group of people as possible but it’s no fun for anyone if you don’t feel valued, listened to and able to make meaningful contributions to interesting work – in short if you don’t feel included. Talk of diversity and equality leads people to think about minority groups alone, and of course we recognise that we need to level the playing field and we’ve got very specific initiatives on the go to achieve that. However, if everyone in the organisation isn’t on the same page they won’t be welcoming and engaged with the new ideas and backgrounds, experience and capabilities of the people coming in. That’s why we say, diversity doesn’t work if you don’t have inclusion and it’s why everything we do is about inclusion.
What we’re doing We’re educating people on what we mean by inclusion. We used National Inclusion Week to run events across our region – we’re starting small but planning to grow each year. We ran lunchtime learning sessions and market stalls to talk face to face with people about why inclusion is important and how they can do small things that make a big difference. This was organised in collaboration with some of our key supply chain partners including Kier, Clancy Docwra, Barhale and Skanska.
We’re changing our policies to suit how people want to work. I don’t believe in having policies for policy’s sake so we don’t actually have a diversity or inclusion policy as such any more. We talk about inclusion, equality and fairness in the places where they make a difference, like recruitment and dignity at work. We’re updating our holiday policy to better allow for swapping – if you want to work on Good Friday and have a day off for Eid, we’ll make it easier. We’ve also changed our flex working policy to make it clear that you can ask to work flexibly from day 1 (from offer, in fact). A policy should be there to guide and support, not put barriers in the way and we guess that 90 per cent of our flex working arrangements have been agreed between people and their managers without needing the policy anyway. We ran a fairly small communication campaign last year on Dyslexia Awareness week and the response we got from our people was fantastic. As a result, we’ve found new ways to gather information about our people so we can find the best ways to help various groups. We also introduced an e-learning module to increase awareness of learning difficulties and neurodiversity and we’re in the process of launching a piece of software that will be available to everyone, without them having to ask, which will help with reading and writing in all languages, help people who need more adjustments to see screens better and adjustments to help avoid headaches and migraines, amongst many other things. In the spring this year we ran privilege walks with all of our first line leaders, around 800 people in total, designed to help us recognise all of the many differences that make us unique and how all of them contribute to our success. Getting hundreds of people into lines was a challenge but it was a fantastic way to get people thinking and talking differently about inclusion. It’s not about someone else, it’s about everyone.
Hundreds of people right across our business from field colleagues, through to our Customer Care teams and back office colleagues, worked together to build our values. Our people absolutely love what they do, even if it means being outdoors in all weathers, in fact that’s what many of them enjoy the most. We wanted to capture what drives our people to be as committed as they are.
Our achievements & opportunities Being inclusive and representative means we can attract the widest range of talented people to work in our industry and this is vital since we know we have growing skills gaps in some areas. A lot of what we do is in engineering, the sciences and construction, all of which rely on continual improvement, innovation, and new ideas and ways of doing things coming through the door. A lot of people don’t know about what we do but we have a massive range of opportunities and getting involved in innovation that will change our industry. Here are just a few examples… We’ve currently got 261 apprentices across 23 different schemes, doing everything from engineering to communications to digital partnering and our apprenticeships are rated 7th out of 100 on the Job Crowd. Our graduate schemes have been rated 10th out of 100 by The Job Crowd.
We are the first UK Company to achieve ‘Approved Employer’ and Employer Champion’ status for Society For The Environment and The Science Council for our Chartered Scientist and Registered Technicians Programmes This summer we won the BITC Health & Wellbeing award for our research-based wellbeing strategy seeking to understand what our people think are the key issues, our rolling plan of internal campaigns, and the link we make between physical and mental wellbeing. A threeday event in early September, in partnership with Essex and Suffolk Water which attracted 1,800 people from 400 organisations.
Focused on four key themes Leakage, Natural Capital, Social Purpose and Digital Twins. Both Anglian Water and Northumbrian Water have contributed to the £100,000 fund and 10 projects have the go ahead to move forward with their ideas. The projects were chosen by a panel of people from Anglian Water’s Future Leaders Board and Northumbrian’s Innovation Ambassadors. We believe these projects will lead the way in doing things differently and more efficiently. Our approach to inclusion and innovation will help our industry become more attractive to the most talented and innovative people and we have opportunities to suit everyone. You could be the person to come in and make a difference so take a look:
Water Trading and WAT-CH: Developing a platform and the processes to enable all parties involved in the water cycle to rapidly trade water and best protect the environment while meeting the needs of all stakeholders. DMA DNA: Utilising data in novel ways to drive more granular understanding of the difference between leakage and usage in different District Metering Areas. Mobileye: Using image recognition and algorithms to detect above ground assets and features which then result in better understanding of those underground. The ARK and Benedict projects: ARK - creating a hub of resources for communities to pull on during extreme weather events. Benedict project - enabling homeless people into employment work via the joint support of utilities, charities and support agencies. Twinder: Enabling agencies with digital twins to share data and avoid duplication of work. Blockage Free Sewers and Green Communities: Incentivising food establishments to Keep it Clear through an accreditation scheme demonstrating their actions aiding the environment – and potentially turning their waste oil into biodiesel. Blue Dolphin: Mobile app and website to inform the public what skills are involved in the work taking place locally to them, sparking ideas for routes into the industry. Resilience asset performance – extreme weather: Using latest science to compare correlations with climate change projections to enable teams to provide an indication of how these links might change in the future and the impact they will have on water-industry assets. Eddy - digital water assistant: Utilising Internet of Things water quality sensors to drive a digital twin of the water network, mapping and protecting water quality in near real time. Temporary satellite stores: Creation of temporary ‘store units’ to house items such as barriers, salts and bottled water, assisting crews in preparation for extreme weather events to ensure customer service levels are maintained throughout.
UNDERSTANDING THE NEXT GENERATION
Deirdre Michie, CEO OGUK
“OGUK IS PROUD TO CHAMPION INDUSTRY EFFORTS TO IMPROVE DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION.” 1. The oil and gas industry faces tremendous challenges with regards to being more diverse. What strategies has OGUK put in place to ensure diversity from a BAME and gender perspective going forward? OGUK is proud to champion industry efforts to improve diversity and inclusion. We recently launched an industry-wide Diversity & Inclusion Task Group as part of our strategy to champion diversity across the oil, gas and energy sector. Our aim is to shape and drive efforts to improve the image of the sector as an excellent career destination – one that embraces a character of diversity and inclusion. The group is already developing at pace and will identify priorities to drive greater engagement, ensuring we share best practice and identify areas for improvement. OGUK will also be building a network of D&I champions to promote this agenda and to consider any gaps at an industry level, assessing the challenge of getting more people involved in STEM at an early stage and promoting our members’ work with schools throughout the UK.
“IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT OUR SECTOR OFFERS AN INCLUSIVE, WELCOMING AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES WORKING ENVIRONMENT FOR PEOPLE FROM ALL BACKGROUNDS AND CHARACTERS.” 76
2. The oil and gas sector is seen predominantly as a male-dominated industry. How are you looking to ensure your members attract and elevate women within the sector? Our industry supports around 270,000 skilled jobs, but with women representing only one in four of the talent pool, there is clearly still more work to be done. However, it’s not just about gender alone, it involves diversity of race and ethnicity, as well as skills and thought. The moral and business cases for better balance are clear and well established and we need to embrace them if we are to ensure this sector sustains and improves its competitiveness for the future whilst supporting the UK’s transition to a net zero economy. We welcome gender pay gap reporting because greater understanding around the differential will help tackle the issue. Like other STEM industries, there are fewer women in technical and senior management roles, which can be paid at a higher level. 3. As the Chief Executive of OGUK, what advice would you give to young BAME or female candidates looking for a career in the STEM and energy sector? The oil and gas industry is a great place to work, with extensive opportunities for development for people from a huge range of disciplines and backgrounds. With the challenge of the energy transition ahead, our sector remains an excellent career destination for a multi-generational, multi-skilled and multi-faceted workforce.
OGUK’s latest Workforce Report, which provides insight into the employment landscape across the UK oil and gas sector, anticipates that the sector will support around 270,000 jobs in the UK this year, a rise of 10,000 from 2018. This sector has thrived and survived because of our talented and pioneering colleagues. However, if our industry is to remain relevant in a changing and challenging environment, it will need to attract and retain a diversity of talent, skills, experience and thought, as well as ensure inclusive and collaborative ways of working to help realise industry’s overarching ambition, Roadmap 2035. 4. Why is it so important that oil and gas is diverse? A diverse and inclusive workforce is critical if our industry is to attract and retain exciting and fresh talent. We need to embrace it if the oil, gas & energy sector is to be seen as a great place to work by this generation – and the next one too. The world of energy is changing rapidly, and we need to change with it if we are to continue to attract the best people from around the world to work in our sector. Research has shown that diversity can be a key enabler of long-term business growth. Indeed, companies in the top quartile for gender or racial and ethnic diversity are also more likely to have better financial returns. Incorporating people of all ages and backgrounds into a workforce has been proven to not only improve employee satisfaction and decision-making, but to help drive stronger business performance and competitiveness.
“OUR AIM IS TO CREATE A MULTI-GENERATIONAL, MOTIVATED AND DIVERSE WORKFORCE WITH VARIED PERSPECTIVES.” It is about drawing on a broad diversity of skills, experience and thinking to ensure that oil, gas and energy industry reflects the wider society. It is about embracing people for who they are and what they can offer. 5. Can you tell us more about Roadmap 2035 and how it links to diversity? Our Roadmap to 2035 sets out five key themes requiring industry, government and regulator action, to ensure the sector can continue to provide the energy and industrial products that the UK needs to support net zero and remain a vital contributor to the UK economy.
6. How will improved diversity across the sector have an impact in developing new technologies, like low carbon solutions? Diversity and inclusion is about ensuring we create the best place to work, so we attract and retain the right people. By appealing to people from all kinds of backgrounds, individuals who offer a wide range of perspectives and skills and a diversity of thinking and experience, we will be best placed to develop new solutions, boost performance and enhance competitiveness.
“THE LATEST SKILLS REPORT FROM OPITO AND RGU ESTIMATES THAT THE INDUSTRY NEEDS TO ATTRACT 25,000 NEW PEOPLE IN JUST SIX YEARS – AND 4,500 OF THOSE WILL BE INTO COMPLETELY NEW ROLES THAT DO NOT YET EXIST IN AREAS SUCH AS DATA SCIENCE, AUTOMATION AND NEW MATERIALS.”
These are: supporting net zero, helping meet the UK’s need for energy and industrial products, developing people and skills, innovation, and growing the economy and exports. Everyone in the industry has a role to play to find the exciting and innovative low carbon solutions that will be required to meet our net zero ambitions.
7. You say it’s vital the sector continues to attract young talent to the industry. What is industry doing on this?
Above all, the goals of making this sector an inclusive place to work – and establishing its role in the transition to a net zero carbon economy – are inextricably linked.
The industry is – and has been for many years – active in attracting young people, through partnerships with schools, colleges and universities, participation in careers
Workforce Report 2019
The industry supports around
Total employment is expected to increase in 2019
- Facts and Figures
39% of jobs based in Scotland
events, and supporting programmes like Developing the Young Workforce.
“THE INDUSTRY’S OIL AND GAS TECHNICAL APPRENTICE PROGRAMME IS RECOGNISED AS ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL APPRENTICE SCHEMES OF ITS KIND, PROVIDING YOUNG PEOPLE WITH THE THEORETICAL AND PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE NEEDED FOR A REWARDING CAREER IN OIL AND GAS.” This year the scheme had almost 1,400 applicants indicating the industry continues to attract people. The people joining our industry today are among the most important voices in shaping the industry of tomorrow. The world of work is changing at a time when our industry is also looking to the future through the energy transition. Understanding how we can meet the ambitions outlined in Roadmap 2035 will require fresh thinking and OGUK is passionate about ensuring the voice of the next generation is not only heard but also acted upon. www.oilandgasuk.co.uk
Increasing focus on pay transparency
Industry’s gender pay gap in 2018 was 24.3%
The industry has the skills, experience and resources to help the UK economy achieve net-zero
Health & Social Care If you have a passion for helping other people and contributing to their health and well-being, then working in the health and social care sector could be your right career choice. You could be helping people suffering with physical and mental health issues and providing support in the local community to help protect and improve peopleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lives. There are many roles in the health and social care sector including care assistants, staff nurses, GPs, counsellors and medical researchers. The industry offers a wide variety of career routes for candidates from different backgrounds and qualifications. A career in healthcare may also lead to a mix of further study with on-the-job training and allow candidates to work towards obtaining professional qualifications at a later stage in their career.
Increasingly, there is an important crossover between working in health and working in social care. The social care sector alone currently employs 1.58 million people. Social care provides a whole range of services offering physical, emotional and social support to vulnerable and older people. Working in social care, you could be helping people in their own homes, or in residential care homes, sheltered housing or day centres. With an ageing UK population, the sector needs an extra half a million people to fill the job vacancies over the next ten years.
THE CARE QUALITY COMMISSION (CQC) ON DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Who are we and what do we do? We are the independent regulator of health and adult social care in England. This means that we make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve if they are not meeting the necessary standards. To do this, we register providers, and monitor, inspect and rate services. Throughout our work we are committed to protecting the rights of vulnerable people. We listen to and act on people’s experiences of services, as well as the experience of their friends and family. We involve the public and people who receive care in our national pieces of work, and work with other organisations and public groups. Why is Diversity and Inclusion important to us? As the independent quality regulator we set high standards on equality, diversity and inclusion for both the services we regulate and for ourselves as an organisation.
We require the organisations we inspect to provide the best quality of service to everyone, regardless of background and ensure they meet the needs of all our diverse communities. We also want to be assured that all the people they employ feel respected and valued.
It is equally important that we have a fair and inclusive culture for our colleagues, where individual contribution its valued, and diversity is seen as an asset. We want to ensure that our teams are diverse and reflective of the communities we serve at all levels of the organisation and that people report positive experiences of working at CQC.
• Better use of workforce data.
What is CQC doing to create a diverse and inclusive organisation? We are using a variety of different methods to create a more diverse and inclusive culture. We are working closely with our equality networks and people committees to agree on an approach, which will make a demonstrable impact to the culture for our people and also the people we serve as a regulator.
• A review of our HR People policies • Consistent application of equality impact assessments • Improving recruitment practices
One of the areas CQC is involved in is the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES). Since 2015, the Workforce Race Equality Standard (WRES) has supported NHS organisations to close the gap in workplace experiences and opportunities between black and minority ethnic (BAME) staff and white staff. In the latest report (2018/19) we present our WRES data and identify where we have made progress and highlight where there has been limited change. We do this to be open and transparent and outline our commitment to continue to strive for improvements to gain parity for our BAME colleagues. We are particularly focusing on increasing
representation of BAME people at senior levels in the organisation, as our current data tells us we are under-represented. Other key actions: - Taking targeted action to address the lack of BAME representation at all grades, paying particular attention to lack of representation at senior roles. - Development of robust inclusive recruitment training for all hiring managers including best practice examples. - Utilising our talent management programme delivered internally, to support the development of our BAME colleagues including exploring access to secondment opportunities and stretch projects. - Ensure that the skills acquired by our BAME colleagues who complete NHS Leadership Academies Ready now and Stepping up are recognised and utilised within CQC. A good practice example at CQC We have introduced the role of Independent Panel Member (IPM) to support recruitment managers at the interview process. The IPM sits on recruitment panels as an independent person to ensure that bias in the interview can be reduced as much as possible. The IPM role was initially piloted during the recruitment of senior level roles but is now being rolled out wider. The evaluation of the pilot demonstrated that the IPM role was very effective in supporting with decision making by panel members. Accountability is critical to driving change and we are currently developing a diversity and inclusion strategy, which will address these actions and set out our ambitions from 2020 to 2023. We want to positively impact collaborative working, innovation, diversity in teams and the way in which our colleagues register, inspect and regulate Health and Social Care services. Our people equality networks: CQC has a number of equality networks, led by staff, which support our people and work collaboratively with the organisation to drive change. This helps ensure we are inclusive in our practices and policies and challenge us to do more for our people.
The Networks attend monthly CQC Board meetings to contribute their expertise and knowledge. • Carers Equality Network • Disability Equality Network • Gender Equality Network • LGBT+ Network • Race Equality Network The CQC Race Equality Network is the longest standing equality network within CQC and in their capacity they work strategically with CQC’s executive leadership team and take an active role in shaping, informing and implementing CQC’s equality and human rights approach to regulation. The network promotes and influences race equality within CQC, aligning all of our work with our values and behaviours. We are absolutely committed to creating a culture where all those who work at CQC are valued, involved, feel safe from discrimination and have equal opportunities to progress.
Learn more about CQC and our vacancies CQC is committed to promoting a fair and inclusive workplace. We want all our staff to be able to flourish and reach their full potential. Our diverse workforce allows for a more creative and productive environment. It brings different viewpoints, knowledge and experience. If you’d like to learn more about the types of roles we advertise, click here: www.cqc.org.uk/jobs-cqc Watch our video to find out more about who we are and what we do. www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxCXNURV3DM#action=share For more information contact: Safina Nadeem, Diversity and Inclusion manager Safina.email@example.com
Legal If you have a strong sense of what’s right and wrong and want to have a real impact on society, then Law might be the profession for you. A good lawyer is not necessarily the loudest person in the room or the most argumentative. While most lawyers have studied humanities subjects such as History and English at ‘A’ level, people come into law from a range of backgrounds including science and creative subjects. There is a lot of reading and research, but you must be able to listen, understand and apply reasoning and you don’t ever have to set foot in a courtroom. A career in the legal sector will give you an interesting insight into how society works, how it is regulated and you can make a real difference to people’s lives. There are a variety of roles but the main professional roles are as Solicitors and Barristers. These require post degree study and each have separate requirements for qualification. You can also consider qualifying as a Legal Executive as an independent profession or as part of a non-graduate route to becoming a Solicitor. Ultimately, you might become a Judge.
The academic requirements are different depending on the particular branch of the profession that you enter. Taking a law degree is not essential and it is even possible to qualify through an apprenticeship. Lawyers work in the public and private sectors as well as in industry. There are many support roles such as IT, secretarial, human resources, business development, compliance and project management. Paralegals can have a fee earning role. An understanding of AI and Tech is increasingly important. As a lawyer, you have a great amount of flexibility. You can work independently, have your own firm, be a partner, or work in a larger organisation with others. In large organisations there is also scope to travel. The world really is your oyster.
HEALTH, SAFETY, FIRE AND ENVIRONMENT PARTNER – RUSSELL COOKE SOLICITORS
1. What inspired you to pursue a career in law and how did you know what field to specialise in? If I’m totally honest, I have known since I was 9 or 10 years old that I wanted to be a lawyer. When I was 5 years old, I wanted to be a bus conductor because of all the lovely places in London I would get to visit, but my parents weren’t too keen. Then at 7 years, I wanted to be a fashion designer, but quickly realised that I couldn’t draw! So, a couple of years later, I used to sneak downstairs after my bedtime at around 9pm to watch LA Law – where I saw lawyers being quite dramatic in court but also having fun in cocktail bars with their friends! It seemed like such a great job. I carried out some research into different areas of law while I was doing my GCSE’s and did a couple of periods of work experience with two predominantly criminal sets of chambers in Central London. I found out very quickly that I was cut out for the fast paced, gritty environment of criminal law. I qualified as a ‘dirty crime’ solicitor and practiced happily for around 6 years until my team were instructed to act on behalf of an engineer accused of manslaughter in the Hatfield rail crash. I loved the fact that this was largely a case that involved high profile corporate
NETWORKING, MENTORING AND SUCCEEDING entities allegedly in breach of their health and safety duties, but there was still a pure crime element with the manslaughter charge. At the conclusion of that case, after feeling great satisfaction in our client being found not guilty, I decided that it was time to explore the sideways step of specialising in the relatively new area of health and safety / criminal regulatory law. The rest is, as they say, history – I have enjoyed evolving within my niche health and safety practice for the last 14 years! 2. Being from the BAME community yourself what challenges would you say you faced in order to obtain the position you hold today, as a partner in a leading law firm?
thought I could handle the type of high profile, large corporate clients that they represent, given that I had been used to representing legally aided clients. This made me feel as if I wouldn’t be good enough to work there – potentially being discriminated against for my social background. I simply let them know that I was experienced in my area of law and I would always give the right advice for that particular client. After a few weeks, they were real ‘fans’ of my work and I stayed there for almost 10 years!
If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said that I hadn’t really faced any obstacles. I felt like I had made my way through my career, being promoted at the right time and being given the right opportunities at the right time. However, I have had a couple of real tests during my quest to become a Partner in one of the UK’s top law firms.
My second test came when I was looking for partnership. I had always been slightly concerned about my partnership prospects, since there were very few black or Asian partners when I joined in 2008 and therewere no black partners when I was ready for partnership almost 10 years later. However, I saw this as a key time for change – not only had the Partner that I was working for left the firm to begin his own practice, but I was told that I would be on the partnership track and they would not be replacing the partner that had moved on.
The first was when I wanted to move from a law firm that primarily specialised in criminal ‘legal aid’ cases to a top 15 UK law firm to practice health and safety defence work. I was asked during one of my interviews with the firm whether I
I had been instrumental in pushing their Diversity and Inclusion initiative, but it surprised me that the firm’s partnership – despite being a fantastic firm – didn’t accurately reflect the diverse graduate intake and make up of PA’s that we had. I
made the brave decision to have my second child at that point and I was fortunate enough to be headhunted by my current firm who were happy to hire me whilst pregnant, wait for me to conclude my maternity leave and to allow me to build up a relatively new health and safety practice from scratch in Central London. I still do not believe that I have had as hard a time as some others have had in their road to Partnership, but for those of us that do get there, it can be lonely ‘at the top’. The aim is to get many more Black and other minority lawyers to Partnership status as a norm, not an exception. 3. What advice would you give to young adults that are pursuing a career in law, especially candidates from a BAME background, who let’s face it, are going to face certain obstacles in their career path? I think we are at the stage where the obstacles, while they might be smaller or a different ‘shape’, are still there. There is no reason why young aspiring BAME lawyers cannot succeed in the legal environment, but culture and methodologies around recruitment and promotion must change, particularly within the Magic and Silver Circle firms. Firms that have proactive diversity, equality and inclusion initiatives are heading in the right direction, but it is about more than just having good policies – the firms have to subscribe wholeheartedly to those policies and be seen to actually effect real change within their organisations. I always remember that my parents used to tell me I had to work twice as hard as non-minority students, which seemed unfair, but even now, I still find myself ‘going the extra mile’ to make sure that I stand out in whatever I do. One of the things that helped me was to find ways to set myself apart from other candidates – BAME or otherwise. I chose to specialise in a field of law that was relatively unknown and certainly wasn’t a ‘sexy’ subject like intellectual property or fraud. I took a risk and, for me, it paid off. I also chose to qualify as a Solicitor-Advocate, to give me the flexibility of doing both the client facing role as a solicitor and the advocacy role (like a barrister) in court.
Find areas of law that others are not yet focusing on and see if and how you can sell that offering. Even if you choose an area of law that is already popular, be the best you can be in that area of law. Networking – and networking in the right circles – is key to making and maintaining relationships with people that you might need to work with in the future or that can help shape your career. Have a good mentor or two, as you may need to lean on them during your career. You would be surprised where you can find a mentor – they don’t always have to be professional legal mentor. It could just as easily be a friend, relative or someone you don’t know very well, as long as they are able to advise you and share experiences that can help you along your own journey. Keep learning – we can never know it all and you will establish yourself as one of the best lawyers in your field if you can maintain a high level of knowledge and competency in your field, no matter what your ethnic background or race may be.
4. You were nominated for the Precious Award; you were a keynote speaker at the Women in the City Afro-Caribbean Network Law Annual Conference 2018 and hosted the Women in Law Summit. What advice can you give to young female lawyers regarding being determined to not just be a lawyer but to reach the level of a senior partner? Do a little more than the ‘average’... and remember those that are yet to come up after you. Being a good Partner isn’t just about being a great lawyer, or even a great manager. I believe it is about giving back to the profession and also trying to effect change where necessary. Despite an extremely busy and demanding workload, I seek to address the ‘intersectional’ challenges that face many women in the legal profession. Some of us are affected by several of the diversity characteristics. I have always thought that I could probably cover most diversity categories – black, female, older (although I found out the other day that I was almost a millennial!), social mobility (being state school educated) – I’m perhaps just missing the LGBT and disability categories! If we can continue to ensure there is an awareness of intersectionality and the fact that women (particularly women of colour) can suffer from combined discrimination because of their diversity characteristics, then we can better acknowledge and address the differences among us and pave the way for more women in senior positions. 5. Are there any events or conference that you will be attending/hosting in relation to diversity and inclusion in the near future? I am planning to host an event with Women in the Law at the end of the year, focusing on women in the judiciary, particularly solicitors and how we can continue to encourage women to apply for judicial roles.
attended by over 600 lawyers and legal professionals and allows them to promote such discussions through a combination of inspiring keynotes, panel discussions on how to solve industry challenges, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities. I often work with WCAN (Women in the City African Caribbean Network), particularly during their annual Law Conference, to mentor and provide advice to young black female graduates and lawyers that wish to enter the legal profession through keynote panels and ‘lunch and learn’ sessions. At the end of this month, I will be on a panel for ‘Women of The City’ at a Central London venue to discuss how senior lawyers and those in the corporate world can ‘send the ladder down’ to those about to enter the profession. The Women Of The City conference is designed to bring together Britain’s most inspiring female leaders from the legal profession during a day of empowering talks, thought-provoking panel discussions and unmissable networking opportunities. I’m returning to the Precious awards next month after being nominated for the Outstanding Woman in Professional Services category. I’m sure there are other events planned for next year – check out my LinkedIn page (Kizzy Augustin) for more details!
Kizzy Augustin Health, Safety, Fire and Environment Partner – Russell Cooke Solicitors Kizzy.Augustin @russell-crooke.co.uk
I am also hoping to chair the Women in Law Summit again for the third year in early next year – again, it will be another opportunity to discuss openly how we can work towards both equality and equity by sharing and learning from one another and supporting each other during our careers. This conference is usually
Make the difference to your career in law At Ashurst you’re encouraged to ask questions. You can ask a colleague, and they always help or guide you to someone who has the answer. You will be given responsibility to work on important, complex, industry leading projects, which will bring challenges, rewards and success. Through our global network, we connect you to the right people, so that you learn from the best, and gain all the skills and international experience you need to become a successful lawyer. It’s the essence of our culture, the way we treat and respect each other and those we work with.
Sayo Ogundele, Senior Associate, Corporate Transactions How and why did you choose law as a career? For my undergraduate degree, I studied law at the London School of Economics. I chose this because I enjoyed the academic study of law and related social sciences, as opposed to having a concrete idea of what it would be like to be a corporate lawyer. During my first and second years at university, a large number of international law firms gave presentations on campus to explain what a career in law would entail. It was by attending these events that I gained an understanding of what it would be like to work as a corporate lawyer. I was attracted to the idea of building on the legal knowledge that I had obtained during my degree and applying this in a practical commercial context. During my second year at university, I applied for vacation schemes at several international law firms. I was successful with most of my applications, and in the summer of my second year I participated in vacation schemes at three international law firms. The vacation schemes were each 2-3 weeks long, and I was able to experience what it would be like to work as a lawyer at an international law firm across different departments. I also understood that each firm has a unique culture, so it was as much
about finding out more about a firm as the firm finding out more about you.
‘‘The vacation schemes are a key part of the recruitment process’’ Thankfully, I received several offers and one of the hardest moments was deciding which firm to eventually choose! Were there any challenges (from your background) that you have faced and how did you overcome them? If you are a BAME person (particularly from a non-privileged background), you probably will face challenges which will be unique to people from your background and which most of your colleagues may not have any experience of facing. I was lucky in that I had a number of informal mentors who had been through some similar experiences. As a result they could easily relate to any challenges that I discussed with them, and it’s generally nice to know that you’re not the only person who has experienced a particular type of situation.
What could others (or your younger self) learn from your experience? Firstly, the importance of networking. Unfortunately there are certain “softer skills” that are not taught at state schools, and networking certainly falls into this category. Be proactive in seeking opportunities to meet new people. This would include attending as many events and open days as you can. Get to know the lawyers (and graduate recruitment) at the firms that you may be interested in applying to. There’s only so much information that you will be able to gain from a firm’s website or through more formal channels, but if you’re able to speak to someone, you will be able to obtain information that would not otherwise be available to you. And ultimately, the more informed you are, the more likely that you will be able to make better decisions. Networking also gives you the opportunity to make a positive first impression on what could turn out to be your future employer. I’ve helped countless numbers of students who were at the start of their legal careers, but in most cases I was only able to help them because they took the time to initially reach out to me. At the start of your career, you will not have the luxury of having a senior lawyer provide you with whatever bespoke advice you need on a silver platter. No, you have to make the first step!
Secondly, learn to feel comfortable standing out. If you look different, sound different, or have had a less privileged background compared to the majority of your peers you may feel a natural inclination to “hide in the corner” because you don’t feel like you fit in. But the cure for this “imposter syndrome” is not to hide away as, whether you like it or not, this attitude may give others a false and misleading impression of you. In my experience, I have found this to be euphemistically couched in the language of “confidence”, e.g. “you’re doing great work but sometimes you come across as lacking confidence”. To be clear, the person providing such feedback only has the best intentions, but it’s regrettable that before making these types of statements, the person evaluating your performance may not have taken a moment to step into your shoes and look at things from your perspective as an ethnic minority.
The majority of your colleagues will also not care if you’re the only BAME person in the entire firm, or if you went to a below-average state school when most of your colleagues went to high-performing private schools. Their main concern is that you are able to do the job that you were hired to do to the highest standard possible. I think that people generally produce their best work when they are able to be themselves and are comfortable in the environment that they’re in. That’s why you learn to be comfortable in your own skin and don’t mind standing out. What attracted you to Ashurst and how has the firm supported you? I have been fortunate in my career so far to have worked on many transactions that have an emerging market focus, particularly in subSaharan Africa. In my opinion this is
one of the fastest growing and exciting areas of law to be involved in.
‘‘One of Ashurst’s strengths is that it has a market leading project and infrastructure practice’’ I joined Ashurst because I think it provides me with a great environment to continue to learn and develop as a corporate transaction lawyer. In the longer term, I think that the firm shares my ambitions to grow its Africa practice, particularly in the energy and infrastructure space. This is supported by recent lateral hires from other top tier firms.
Nick Wong, Partner, Global Loans How and why did you choose law as a career? I studied law as a degree and as such, a career in the law was the natural and easiest next step to take. I didn’t start with a natural interest or passion for the subject, but I knew it was a rigorous and well-respected degree and would leave many doors open to me in terms of career next steps. Thankfully, I have grown to love my career in law. Working as part of an international law firm is incredibly interesting and rewarding. Whilst it is not without its challenges and there is no doubt that the career can present a demanding lifestyle, each day, I am lucky enough to work with driven and intelligent colleagues and clients on interesting transactions where I feel I am genuinely adding
value. We are legal advisers first and foremost, but it is our commercially driven input that adds the most value. Were there any challenges (from your background) that you have faced and how did you overcome them? With many lawyers in my extended family having chosen a career in law, I had plenty of people to offer me guidance and advice. Whilst I know this is not the case for all young lawyers from ethnic minority backgrounds, I have also been fortunate not to have experienced any prejudice or encountered any obstacles based on my ethnicity. What could others (or your younger self) learn from your experience? It helps to acquire a thick skin and
unshakeable belief in yourself. There will be many ups and downs in a legal career, most of which may not be of your creation but which will test you mentally and physically. You need to have that self-confidence to cope with these challenges. You need to have that inner belief in your own ability even when it feels nobody else does. What attracted you to Ashurst and how has the firm supported you? I am asked that question a lot in my role as Early Careers Partner! Thankfully, I am able to give an answer that is both truthful and consistent. Ashurst is a firm that works collaboratively and constructively with lawyers not only inside the firm but also those on the other side to reach the right commercial and legal conclusion.
There is no point-scoring or oneupmanship and we ask that all egos are left at the door. Whilst at my previous firm, I had worked opposite Ashurst on a number of occasions and, in each case, it had been a very positive experience; a lesson in how deals can be done collaboratively and constructively. I therefore surmised (correctly!) that working at Ashurst must be an even more positive experience.
‘‘Ashurst is great at supporting lawyers and helping them build skills that they may not naturally have’’
The firm has supported me in networking and developing relationships with clients, public speaking or getting to grips with some of the more technical aspects of your legal speciality. These are not weaknesses, rather they are development needs that can be addressed. Ashurst has certainly helped me fulfil my potential and I’m always incredibly proud to see trainees and junior lawyers progress through the firm as they strive to fulfil theirs.
Aneesa Khan, Solicitor, Dispute Resolution How and why did you choose law as a career? I enjoyed studying law at university, and my legal work experience at a number of international law firms reinforced my belief that I would be suited to a career in law. I particularly enjoyed the client-focused nature of the legal profession and thought that my skills would be well suited to this. For example, I was a member of the Warwick School of Law widening participation committee, and as part of this role I regularly liaised with individuals of all ages and backgrounds and encouraged them to apply to the university, for which I was awarded the ‘Giving to Warwick’ prize. Were there any challenges (from your background) that you have faced and how did you overcome them? At university, I faced a broader set of challenges. Given that neither of my parents went to university and no-one that I knew personally had pursued a career in law, one of the biggest challenges I faced was educating myself about the legal industry. This was especially true for commercial law, as I recall not knowing what the ‘Magic Circle’ law firms were when I was asked about them in my first week at university. I was fortunate because on my journey I found exceptional role
models who guided me through my legal career. Their support was invaluable in refining my skills and working on both developing my strengths and overcoming my weaknesses in order to obtain a training contract. What could others (or your younger self) learn from your experience? The advice that I would give to others is not to be disheartened if you experience setbacks and failures in the process of securing a training contract. It is how you develop, demonstrate commitment and learn from your setbacks that will differentiate you from other candidates. Make the most of the opportunities available to you and believe in your capabilities. What attracted you to Ashurst and how has the firm supported you? There are a few key factors that attracted me to apply to Ashurst. Firstly, Ashurst has an established reputation in the City for dealing with complex legal work and having a global presence. Also, given that Ashurst has an annual intake of around forty trainees, they have a higher and more visible profile within the firm. This was particularly appealing to me because I wanted greater responsibility and involvement in global legal work at an early stage in my career.
‘‘ I found that the culture at Ashurst encourages collaboration and there is a genuine ‘open-door’ policy’’ Ashurst has supported me in numerous ways. As a trainee, I was allocated a reverse mentee. This involved being paired with a partner at the firm and having regular discussions with them about my experiences at the firm. These reverse mentoring sessions have provided me with a platform to make a genuine contribution to the firm’s diversity and inclusion programme. In addition, the firm has been incredibly supportive during periods of religious observance (such as Ramadan), by encouraging flexible working and educating my colleagues on such matters. Throughout my career at Ashurst, I have been fortunate to have had excellent role models who have provided me with a platform to express my ideas and bring these to fruition at the firm.
PRIME – CHANGING THE FACE OF THE PROFESSION
If you want to learn more about PRIME, visit https://primecommitment.co.uk
Norton Rose Fulbright is one of the founding members of PRIME – an alliance of law firms across the UK which has committed to opening access to the legal profession. To boost their career opportunities, we offer work experience to young people from less privileged backgrounds who may not traditionally had the opportunity to access a career in law. Supported by the Law Societies of England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and The Sutton Trust; PRIME commits its member firms to providing high-quality work experience to successful applicants as a way of giving them an insight into the range of careers available in the legal profession, as well as potential routes into those careers. In July 2019, our London office hosted 27 PRIME students as part of our annual work experience programme and since 2011 over 100 students have participated in our programme. Building a diverse pipeline With 7000 people in our offices all over the globe, we benefit from the diversity of perspective derived from the full spectrum of gender, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, culture and socio-economic backgrounds. Our global diversity & inclusion priority is to foster a culture where people can be themselves at work. We know that if people are able to bring their whole self to work they will be more engaged and more productive and only then can everyone bring a diversity of perspective to our practice and reach their full potential.
Our commitment to social mobility We understand that success in securing a career in the legal services sector can be dependent on the opportunities parents are able to provide for their children and an understanding of the pathways which need to be pursued to access the profession. Interventions like our PRIME work experience programme are transformative in terms of the career trajectories and possibilities for diverse individuals from less privileged backgrounds. Programmes like PRIME are key to delivering the outcomes that the legal sector needs in terms of greater diversity in our future talent. We launched our first PRIME work experience programme in September 2011 and we are committed to providing work experience placements for sixth form students which equated to half of our annual graduate intake.
Don’t just take our word for it; here is what one of this year’s PRIME participants had to say: “Thank you for this great opportunity. It was a wonderful experience and made me even more certain that I would like to pursue a career in Law. I was able to spend valuable time shadowing an associate – listening and talking about goals and plans for the future. It was incredibly rewarding and it made me realise that I have a lot more to offer and can provide a different perspective.”
Unlocking potential The programme provides students with the opportunity to shadow one of our lawyers, visit a client and participate in a range of skills development workshops. Additionally, students are given access to a mentor and they participate in a mix of skills development workshops, case studies and networking activities. Themes covered in the programme include team working, networking, confidence and resilience, and a CV surgery session. The last day of the programme focuses on planning and next steps; students are encouraged to write a development plan with some short-term objectives to complete over the summer. Where aspirations meet opportunities It is important to us that we build long term relationships with the students and nurture their career development. To facilitate this, Norton Rose Fulbright launched an Alumni programme for the PRIME participants. The students receive relevant news updates and in turn they keep us updated on what they do. During their first year at university they are invited to an Alumni event where we work more intensively with them on making applications, securing places at open days and mock interviews. Looking to the future, we are committed to diversity in many ways and have a number of employee networks such as WiN (the women’s network), Pride (the LGBTA network), Origins (the BAME network) and Shine (the disability network). Our internal networks support their members in many ways, including fostering professional development, providing networking opportunities and increasing our interaction with diverse communities. Could you be a lawyer? There are certain things you need, to be a lawyer. You have got to be determined and hard working. You need to be commercially aware and want to have a real impact on society. If you want to work in law, you can come from any background, any culture and any social group. If you have got the right attitude, you can become a great lawyer. For our other routes to entry, please visit: www.nortonrosefulbrightgraduates.com/uk
Trainee Solicitor at Jones Day
“Advocacy originally drew me to the legal profession, but studying Economics at A-level opened my eyes to global business and commerce.” HOW DID YOU KNOW A LEGAL CAREER WAS FOR YOU?
The single biggest influence on me choosing a legal career must be my mother. “You have a question for everything” soon became “You have an answer for everything” as I transitioned from childhood to adolescence. Aged 15, I undertook work experience in the Housing Litigation department of a local authority. The following summer I was shadowing criminal defence barristers in Southwark Crown Court. Advocacy originally drew me to the legal profession, but studying Economics at A-level opened my eyes to global business and commerce. When I discovered that, as a commercial lawyer, I could advise global businesses on the complex legal and regulatory problems they face around the world, I became set on the path of pursuing a career in a global law firm.
before committing to train at Jones Day, a global law firm with 43 offices around the world, including London. Before applying, I made two visits to Jones Day’s London Question Time to be sure I really understood the Firm, its work and its distinctive “non-rotational” system of training. Trainees at Jones Day shape their own training. They seek work across the Firm’s practice areas, see deals and disputes through from start to finish and learn from several supervising lawyers at the same time. What sold the Firm to me was its distinctive training and the fact that the lawyers I spoke to were both personable and honest about the demands of the training system and the recruitment team was keen to ensure the Firm was going to be the right choice for me.
HOW DO YOU SEE YOUR FUTURE? HOW AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE JONES DAY?
I have just started my two-year training contract and I am excited by the potential of my legal career at Jones Day.
While at University, I made the most of opportunities to meet employers in the financial and consulting sectors as well as law. I also completed work experience and vacation schemes in small, medium and international City firms
The Firm is known for its formidable legal talent across multiple disciplines and jurisdictions and I am keen to experience a wide range of practice areas, including
specialisms like tax and competition, before I decide into which practice area I will qualify after my training is completed. My current aim is to gain wide experience and take on increasing responsibility so that I transition seamlessly to qualification. Looking ahead thereafter, I hope that whatever practice area I qualify into, I can be a high quality commercial lawyer delivering impeccable service to my clients and adding value to their business aims.
2 Be varied. The legal sector needs capable individuals from different backgrounds that offer fresh perspectives. Your unique experiences and interests can be brought to bear in conversation, in interviews and at work. 3 Build networks. Legal services providers offer a range of insight events and open days. Apply! They also work closely with a number of diversity initiatives to improve representation in the sector. Use these platforms to gain experience, form relationships and become confident in dealing with people who may be otherwise unlike you.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE YOUNG PEOPLE FROM BAME COMMUNITIES INTERESTED IN A LEGAL CAREER?
My advice is threefold: 1
Start early. The sooner you are able to obtain work experience, the better. Building a work profile will enable you to determine your areas of interest and, importantly, strengthen your applications for jobs in the legal profession.
Diversity, Inclusion and Advancement at Jones Day Jones Day allows all lawyers the opportunity to thrive. New trainees can find leaders throughout the Firm with whom they share similar backgrounds and experiences. ■ Affinity groups for Women, Lawyers of Colour and LGBTQ+ bring together employees with shared experiences or backgrounds to provide support, training, and networking opportunities. ■ Our partnership with Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) provides internships and training to top-calibre undergraduates from ethnic minority backgrounds. ■ Rare’s contextual recruitment system (CRS), integrated into our recruitment of graduate trainees, helps us better identify candidates with true potential regardless of circumstance. ■ Our Legal Apprenticeship Programme, one of the first in the City of London, offers high-achieving candidates wanting to avoid University debt the opportunity to enter the workplace straight from school and qualify as solicitors (with a law degree) after seven years of earning and learning. ■ Our Aspiring Professionals Programme works directly with London state schools in underprivileged neighbourhoods and with charities such as the Social Mobility Foundation to help students from underrepresented and low-income backgrounds who want professional careers gain access to leading universities and enter careers in global professional businesses like Jones Day.
We are recruiting now for graduate trainees to start in London in 2021 (closing deadline 10 January 2019). Learn more, and sign up to meet us at our events, at
Yvette McGee Brown Firmwide Partner-in-Charge of Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement
“Jones Day is committed to making meaningful progress on diversity in the legal profession; to increasing diversity within the Firm; and to recruiting, retaining, and promoting the best attorneys and law students from all backgrounds.” www.jonesdaydiversity.com
WHY BAME CANDIDATES SHOULD CHOOSE LATHAM & WATKINS What would you tell a young BAME or female candidate considering applying to Latham & Watkins? I’d tell them it’s a fantastic place to work! It’s a great place to learn and develop into an all-round successful lawyer. We are focused on creating a truly inclusive culture at our firm, where you can bring your authentic self to work and where your unique perspectives are valued. We also are focused on building a strong sense of community at our firm, and we do this through our various affinity groups. I’m a member of our Black Lawyers Group (BLG), which provides a firm-wide platform for black lawyers to establish and maintain broader networks and relationships; attract, retain and promote top talent; and foster an inclusive culture, which supports the
long-term success of black lawyers. BLG membership comprises African, African-American, Afro-Caribbean and multi-racial lawyers, and is open to all who support the BLG mission. There are seven other affinity groups at Latham, including Asian & Middle Eastern Lawyers, First Generational Professional Lawyers, Hispanic/Latin American Lawyers, Women Lawyers, and LGBTQ Lawyers, which offer similar types of opportunities for their members. What advice would you give to any BAME employees that are looking to progress to a more senior role or to make partner at the firm? It’s a marathon not a sprint. One of the best things about life as a lawyer is that it evolves. The curve sometimes feels very steep, then it plateaus and just when you have
found your feet, the incline starts again! I try to embrace that, and I constantly feel like I am learning. If you focus on working hard getting to know your colleagues and your counterparts in the City and building your skills, opportunities will come your way.
My other tips would be: • Seek feedback – knowing the things that supervisors have identified as areas of improvement gives the opportunity to seek ways of improving or developing skills. No one is born knowing how to do all of the things that make a great lawyer, take opportunities to grow as a lawyer on an ongoing basis rather than waiting until the formal appraisals to hear how you are doing.
• Get involved – business development, preparation for pitches, knowledge management materials, internal training presentations, attend socials, departmental meetings. There is more to being a great lawyer than billable hours. • Be consistent – being brilliant on one deal with a supervisor isn’t enough if you are not also delivering quality work to the other supervisors you are working with. Be well prepared, be on time, and deliver work to deadline. • Try to have a positive attitude even in the difficult times – it is no secret that this job can be demanding. Working with people that have a can-do attitude can feel much easier. Displaying enthusiasm for the job, no matter the project, goes a long way and it also just makes your work more enjoyable. What is Latham & Watkins doing to help manage diverse talent? What programmes are in place? We have a wide-ranging set of initiatives to advance the recruitment, retention and promotion of diverse talent. Recruitment programs include investing in pipeline initiatives and providing scholarships to law students who share our strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Retention and promotion programs also take a variety of forms, including multi-day, in-person professional development programs tailored for diverse associates, our robust global affinity groups (of which over 1,500 of our lawyers are members), unconscious bias training for all of our lawyers
(including for key decision makers at our firm) and innovative workplace policies to help our lawyers balance work and life better, and initiatives to give our attorneys tools to build a stronger culture of inclusion at the firm. One of my favourite programmes is our Diversity Leadership Academy, which is an annual, in-person professional development programme that we hold for mid-level associates who self-identify as diverse or are allies. This academy provides tailored professional development training to support our associates’ success, including communications, building your brand and executive presence.
“THIS ACADEMY PROVIDES TAILORED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT TRAINING TO SUPPORT OUR ASSOCIATES’ SUCCESS, INCLUDING COMMUNICATIONS, BUILDING YOUR BRAND AND EXECUTIVE PRESENCE.” Diverse partners and counsel attend, serving as faculty and sharing their strategies for success. Ample mentoring and community building opportunities are also built into the programme. As well as the other great BLG initiatives, every two years, BLG members are invited to a global firm-sponsored retreat. There are engaging and inspiring discussions with firm leaders
and other stakeholders in the communities we visit. Not only is it a perfect chance to catch up with colleagues and friends around the globe, and meet new ones, we also strategically plan how we can best achieve the BLG’s overall aims of recruitment, retention and promotion of black talent across the firm’s network. Do you think the legal industry is inclusive of BAME students, and what steps could the industry take to make it more so? While I still think there is a way to go, there are some great industry wide programmes that help promote diversity and inclusion of BAME students in the legal profession. An example is PRIME, an alliance of more than 60 law firms across the UK that are committed to improving access to the legal profession through work experience. The objective is to help make the legal sector open to talent from all economic backgrounds. At Latham, we regularly host PRIME students for networking sessions, career advice, talks explaining the different roles at our firm, and to discuss why diversity and inclusion is important to us. We also work with Rare Recruitment, which helps firms hire diverse students through a range of development programmes, sponsoring the Rare Rising Star Awards that identify the UK’s top 10 black students. There is also the IFLA Flagship Secondment Programme, which provides opportunities for African lawyers to participate in international secondments in London, Paris, Lisbon and Dubai.
LINZI THOMAS, partner at Latham & Watkins firstname.lastname@example.org +44 20 7710 4625 www.lw.com 93
FOCUS, ACTION AND OPPORTUNITIES TO SUCCEED How does the global law firm White & Case support BAME lawyers to achieve their potential? For Senior Environmental Counsel Tallat Hussein at White & Case, a global mind-set is one of the most important qualities for success at this City law firm. “White & Case has 44 offices in 30 countries across six continents,” she explains. The Firm’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Maja Hazell, says that,
“Diversity is at the heart of our identity and our international success. Our people speak 89 languages and represent 97 nationalities.” Maja explains how the Firm is tackling underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities through focussed sponsorships, collaborations and new programmes in London. “We’re a platinum sponsor of Women in the City Afro-Caribbean Network (WCAN) and the premier sponsor of the Black Men in Law (BML) network, and we have continued strong relationships for several years with Aspiring Solicitors and RARE Recruitment.” Today, 42 per cent of the Firm’s current trainee intake is from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background. So how should a potential lawyer or future business services professional get to know White & Case? Demonstrating your interest in a law career: Virtual internships and more Yohanna Wilson, Graduate Resourcing and Development Specialist, confirms that recruiters want to see evidence that applicants have taken steps to explore what life as a lawyer is really
like. “It is important that you demonstrate your interest and commitment to the legal profession; you can do this by attending open days, networking events and presentations on campus, or by undertaking legal or commercial work experience.” For the many students without the means to organise their own work experience or personal contacts, there’s an alternative, as Yohanna explains. “We understand gaining legal work experience is difficult, so we have recently launched our virtual work experience programme on Inside Sherpa, where you can gain exposure to the type of work our trainees are involved in. We will also accredit this as legal work experience on an application form, if you decide to apply for a vacation scheme.” Taking the next steps: Vacation schemes Trainee Aiden Ang explains how he decided on a career in law. “I started to gain an interest in commercial law in my first year of university after attending a few social and career events. Meeting highly intelligent and driven individuals who genuinely enjoy the work they do was a key factor in persuading me that a career in commercial law was what I wanted.” For Aiden, experiencing a range of different firms helped him decide on the right fit. “Doing a few different vacation schemes in my second and third years was also essential in helping me decide which law firm I could see myself spend the early years of my career in.” He says, “The White & Case vacation scheme was the one I enjoyed the most. I received high-quality work, the people I met were extremely approachable and friendly, and I could sense that the Firm took diversity and inclusion seriously. White & Case also stood out to me as being the largest US firm in
London with a well-established presence here.” What else made White & Case stand out for Aiden? “Unlike other US firms, White & Case has a good breadth of, and several top-ranking, practices in both transactional and contentious areas, which provides good opportunities for trainees to try out different seats and decide for themselves which area they would like to qualify in.” Making an impact with your application Yohanna’s top advice for students putting together their applications to White & Case is simple:
“Tell your story! Explain in your application form and in your interview how your heritage, background, cultural understanding or language skills can help you to become a successful trainee solicitor at our global law firm.” She adds that, “At White & Case, the majority of our deals are cross-border and international, which means our clients are diverse and based all over the world. So it is imperative for our business that we have a diverse workforce. We also appreciate that in order to provide our clients with the best advice, we require our lawyers to have different perspectives, and this only comes from hiring people from a multitude of backgrounds.” Yohanna has a few practical suggestions for making an application form stand out: “Do not
submit a generic application form— we will be able to spot this a mile off! Remember the application form is the first stage at which you get to impress and showcase your skills and experience, so it is important you get this right. If you are interested in applying to White & Case, we have some useful application tips on our website.” Finally, Yohanna adds that she encourages applicants to be themselves. “We want to get to know the real you, so let your personality shine through.” Continuous learning and development “Once you have secured a training contract, or qualified as an associate, lawyers at White & Case are supported and encouraged to continue building their skills and knowledge. “I have been given very high levels of responsibility as a trainee, with regular client contact; and being able to perform associatelevel tasks will no doubt help me become more confident as an associate once I qualify,” says Aiden. No two days are the same, which means constant opportunities to develop new skills and improve existing ones. “There is also a large variety of work, which provides great exposure and allows me to have a better understanding of the bigger picture in large, complex transactions,” says Aiden. “You form strong connections and friendships throughout your training contract, not just with fellow trainees but also with associates and partners who are genuinely interested in teaching you and developing your career.” Regular structured training, social activities and more According to Aiden, “There are regular training sessions for trainees.” We also regularly get invites for events from both internal and external speakers on a wide range of topics, ranging from technical know-how to motivational speakers. We also get to attend great events such as our annual volleyball and football World Cup, which was hosted in Madrid this year, and where we were able to meet colleagues from our global network of offices to form meaningful connections. White & Case definitely gets the balance right between formal training sessions and making sure you learn on the job.” The support continues at the associate level, according to Ndidi Ezenwa. She says that, “The primary learning and development
opportunities arise daily through on-the-job training and having your work reviewed by more senior lawyers. My department runs weekly classroom-based training on key concepts and areas of focus. The Firm also provides additional training on an ad hoc or ‘on request’ basis to develop soft skills, such as presentation skills or any other soft skills that associates seek to improve.”
Senior Environmental Counsel
The importance of mentoring and coaching As well as this formal learning, personal coaching and mentoring has also been important for Ndidi. “White & Case has supported my career by providing ongoing mentoring and countless development opportunities. The Firm offers a female executive coaching programme with an external coach and an internal mentoring programme, which paired me up with one of the partners in my team to discuss career development and goals.” She adds that, “I’ve also been fortunate enough to have a number of informal mentors and career sponsors who provide advice on an ongoing basis. The Firm has also supported a number of opportunities which have enhanced my experience, including international secondments in both Singapore and Lagos, Nigeria.” Networking: Key for success
Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion
Graduate Resourcing and Development Specialist
Finally, Ndidi reflects on the important role that networking plays. “I think the mistake that trainees typically make is assuming that networking is for associates and partners.”
“Networking is for trainees and associates at every level, and the earlier you start developing your personal network, the better.”
Ndidi Ezenwa, Associate
Find out more about opportunities at White & Case at: inside.whitecase.com whitecase.com/careers Follow White & Case on social media: @whitecase
She adds that while many networking contacts will continue to be colleagues, there are other long-term benefits. “Some of these people will become great friends, while others may be the source of future business or referrals. Internal networking with colleagues and other departments within the Firm is also equally as important as external networking at a junior level. Networking is helpful to build visibility and build your personal brand, so I think it’s never too early to start.”
Sales & Marketing Are you looking for a career with uncapped earnings potential, where every entrant is on a level playing field and where your uniqueness can be an asset? Then sales could be the ideal career for you – because in sales you are judged on your results. The Sales sector can offer starting salaries ranging from £18,000 to £35,000, with commissions that can add thousands to your pay cheque. Nearly every business in the world survives by sales, whether it be for Insurance, Media, Pharmaceuticals, Sports, Luxury Goods, or Private Jets! There can also be some attractive benefits such as a company car and other perks.
Sales is also one of the best ways to become commercially aware and to learn easily transferable skills which will stand you in good stead, no matter what future path you choose to take. Ask Lord Sugar, who is purported to be worth £1.4 billion, or Warren Buffet, who started his career in sales and is now purported to be worth $86.6 billion dollars – both started their careers in sales.
THINKING OF A CAREER IN SALES? Hugh Blackwood Group Sales Manager BLS Media
A professional sales career is looked upon with the highest esteem in the United States but in the United Kingdom there is still a certain stigma attached. We learn to sell from an early age, from getting what we want from our parents, sisters and brothers, and even in our adult life. We sell ourselves, for job interviews and even to our future partners. Every company started with the owner having to sell: Richard Branston sold Virgin, Lord Sugar sold Amstrad and Sir James Dyson sold Dyson. The attributes you will need in order to be successful are firstly to believe in yourself and your product. You must have the right attitude and never give in - be prepared to change your approach but never give up. You must understand your market, your competition and your customers. A career in sales can be very lucrative but it is also hard work. At the beginning you must be prepared to pay the price in terms of time, effort and determination.
or telephone sales, the skill sets needed are practically the same. Of course the face-to-face sales person will have to look presentable, but they must first learn how to mirror their clientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; breathing, body language and have speech control. Looking and behaving confidently all comes from believing in yourself and most importantly knowing your product, let us not forget, people buy people. The telephone sales person, please believe me when I say it is exactly the same. The major and obvious difference being that the client cannot see you, but take it from me that they will know within 15-20 seconds whether you are confident or not. Furthermore, within 50 seconds they will even know whether you believe in what you are selling. A sales career is a great adventure during which youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll find out a lot about yourself. You will understand how to motivate yourself, how to deal with highs and lows, the need for constant improvement in yourself and how to have the ability to adapt to what the situation demands.
Whatever route you are considering to start your sales career path on, whether thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s face-to-face
Making sales your profession Thomas Moverley, Director of the Institute of Sales Management (ISM), urges young people with ambition and the right attitude to aspire to a career in professional selling
‘Selling’ is not a dirty word. Sales careers have long been misrepresented by a negative image and horror stories of callous cold callers and dodgy double-glazing salesmen, but proper, professional selling is an ethical, rewarding career that could not be a more vital. Sales is the engine that drives individual firms, and ultimately the economy as a whole. Whether a business offers physical goods or intangible services, the sales function is the essential link between the producer and the buyer, ensuring the customer is aware of the offer, and is able to purchase it. A world of opportunity At the ISM, we are helping to change the image of sales, so it is increasingly seen as a desirable career option, including for graduates. There are plenty of challenging opportunities and satisfying careers available in sales, with many positions offering relatively high starting salaries, with great benefits and commission on top.
Traditionally, selling is often associated with face-to-face contact with customers in shops (business-to-consumer or B2C selling), or in-person ‘business-to-business’ (B2B) sales meetings between sales executives and commercial buyers. But over the years, technology has provided new selling environments, particularly ecommerce. While for some types of transaction, particularly online shopping, this reduces the need for salespeople, overall, the ‘death of the salesperson’ has been greatly exaggerated. The B2C sector continues to offer many attractive sales opportunities. It may particularly appeal to those who enjoy the dynamism and variety of dealing with the public. While, in general, it is not as well paid as B2B selling, many positions are open to non-graduates, and those with few formal qualifications. The more sophisticated B2B sales arena remains a major area of growth. Here, the sales techniques of 10 years ago would struggle to make headway today. Prospects and customers are more informed; the
explosion of the Internet and growth in technology means information is only a mouse click away. And, in many cases, they are already progressing down the sales pipeline before the salesperson can engage in a conversation. Even when that engagement starts, they will have checked out a company’s credentials, studied the salesperson’s LinkedIn profile, and know about the competition. Switch on to succeed Salespeople now need to be equally well informed – not just about what they do, but also about the needs of the customer. It is not just about shifting a product or service anymore; it is about a ‘value proposition’ and, in many cases, a bespoke solution. A great salesperson is someone with the thoughtfulness, empathy and patience to listen and detect problems that sometimes the customer may not even be aware exist – and, once identified, solve them. Of course, this sophisticated approach comes with its own challenges. Salespeople now need to be multi-talented, not only understanding the sales process, but also being able to empathise with the needs of the customers, being about to learn rapidly and then apply that knowledge into closing the sale.
Championing sales careers Knowing that the streets are indeed paved with gold for anyone willing to make the journey continues to inspire the ISM. We are devoted to acting as a champion of the salesperson, one committed to ensuring that behind all the desire and drive, rests the rock solid foundations of professionalism – an ethical approach and a level of proficiency forged by the best training, tools and career development available. High calibre sales staff are in demand. For employers to recruit and keep the right staff, they must invest in them, offering them training and professional development opportunities, career progression, and making them feel like a valued and essential member of their team. This is where the ISM can help. We have been championing the interests of sales professionals for over 100 years – becoming the recognised authority for the sales sector – and providing practical support, training and qualifications for salespeople across the world. And, that is what we will continue to do. It is the ISM’s objective to make world-class knowledge and education accessible to salespeople and companies around the globe so that we can help accelerate lives, careers and businesses. We are the only professional body approved to deliver Ofqual-regulated sales qualifications levels 1 – 6 for cultivating a salesperson’s skills, leading to a rewarding career path.
And there is a second dimension. Salespeople need to be able to assimilate – and retain – knowledge about products that are growing increasingly complex. They need to have a holistic approach to the customer’s needs. In short, salespeople must Sales qualifications demonstrate many skills. Core competencies that comprise an be switched-on, smart and eager to learn. effective salesperson include knowledge, presentation and closing. These are skills For great salespeople, sales is a passion. We are fascinated as much by the perpetual that can transform lives – not just in a work environment, but on a personal level too. insight gained into the psychology and Sales teaches you resilience, endurance nature of human beings as we are the – perseverance to never give up on your professional, financial and networking goals, no matter the obstacles. These are possibilities a career in sales promises. skills that will stand you in good stead no Yet, the industry opens its arms to all comers matter what you do in life. regardless of education, connections or With the right attitude and skills, financial resource. Irrespective of any perceived disadvantage, if you approach the nurtured and developed in the right way, sales can genuinely be transformative role with determination and an insatiable hunger to learn and achieve, then the world and enable people from all walks of life to thrive and excel. is yours. There are many billionaires who have started out with nothing, but went on to create business empires built on the know-how gained from their prior success as accomplished sales superstars.
WHAT THE ISM CAN OFFER
At the ISM we are working tirelessly to change the perception of sales to one that is desirable, one that is sought after, and one where salespeople are given the recognition and support that they and their profession deserves. As the independent body for the sales profession worldwide, the ISM provides leadership, education and support to continually improve sales careers and sales methods. We drive innovation for the sales industry in the benchmarking of standards, the recognition and development of individuals, and the promotion of best practice. Whether you are starting out or you have worked in the industry for many years, ISM membership will help support and inspire you at every stage of your sales career. Established for over 100 years, the ISM is the UK’s only professional sales membership and awarding body accredited by Ofqual, the government regulator, to deliver qualifications exclusively focused on selling and sales management. By joining the ISM, you will instantly become part of one of the world’s leading sales bodies, dedicated to the sales profession. Membership will demonstrate your professionalism and dedication to development, as well as providing you with career-enhancing support and a range of valuable benefits. The ISM welcomes everyone with an interest in sales. Whether you are contemplating a sales career, or want to build on existing sales knowledge and skills, we offer various membership grades to suit your level of experience. To learn more, call 020 3870 4949, email email@example.com, or visit https://www.ismprofessional.com/ 99
Sports & Leisure It could be that perhaps you may not have the speed of Mo Farah or Dina Asher-Smith for that matter, but that is no reason why you should not strive to keep active and stay fit and healthy. Equally, it is no reason why you cannot still consider a career in sports and leisure, or to strive to be more of a Barbara Slater, the Director of Sports at the BBC. Sports and Leisure is an important work sector in the UK. If you are keen on sports, are fit and healthy and you like working or training with liked-minded people, there are many ways in which you can develop your social skills and engage with your local community. You could start by seeking work experience in local gyms or leisure centres, or speak to your local Further Education College about sports and fitness training courses.
There are many different roles available for people to strive for, for example: Fitness instructors, Outdoor activities instructors and Sports coaches, that with experience and the right qualifications could lead to well-paid senior positions and management. Schools and Colleges also need Physical Education teachers to train young people in sport and fitness. Why not make a career in Sports and Leisure your personal goal?
Osei Sankofa After progressing through Charlton Athletic’s academy, Osei made his Premier League debut against Manchester United in 2003, aged just 18. As a young player, he featured for England at every youth level up to under-20. However, injuries hampered Osei’s progress with the Addicks and he spent time on loan with Bristol City and Brentford before being released in 2008. A two-year injury-hit period at Southend United followed before Osei moved into non-league, completing his coaching badges alongside working as a coach for Charlton and Show Racism the Red Card. He became the main educator within the South East region for the latter in 2015. Osei joined Kick It Out as education officer in 2017, and combines his work delivering education sessions with coaching at Leyton Orient and Welling. He also runs Kick It Out’s Equality and Diversity in Football award, as well as our youth education programmes, Game Changers and ASPIRE.
Kick It Out launched, in 2018, a partnership with Solent University, Southampton, to offer an educational course for equality and diversity awareness in football. Over the past 15 months, how has this course developed and what results have you seen? How does the course fit in with Kick It Out in regards to eradicating racism in football? Since launching in 2015, the Equality and Diversity Awareness in Football Award has grown exponentially, with industry professionals from County FA’s, English Football League clubs, Premier League teams and beyond, benefiting from greater education around equality. The Equality and Diversity Awareness in Football Award enjoys growing popularity and is increasingly, widely recognised as becoming the industry standard in preparing football’s next generation of leaders to progress the game towards greater inclusivity and diversity. Without education, we cannot hope to make sustainable changes in attitudes and behaviour for the better.
With recent events seeing a rise in racial abuse from the terraces and on social media, what advice would you give to young BAME candidates looking to start a career across the football leagues? My advice would be that if it’s a passion of yours then go all in and try to be the best coach you can be. Embrace new coaching situations, be prepared to work long hours and maybe even for free while you’re starting out and learning your trade. The current landscape in regard to abuse from terraces isn’t great but as a coach you are slightly shielded from that, as the focus is generally on the players. However, as a coach it is your duty to protect the players where you can and help them to deal with any situations that may come their way. There are lots of opportunities for those who are out there and seen to be doing the right things in regard to educating yourself, getting experience and being good at what you do. Kick It Out and Football Supporters Federation, jointly launched the Fans for Diversity Campaign. Please explain how this has been received and what is your long-term goal for this initiative with regards to grassroots football and women’s football? Kick It Out and the Football Supporters’ Federation (FSF) jointly launched the Fans For Diversity campaign, supported by the Premier League’s fans fund, to help make football a more inclusive place for all fans regardless of background. Since its inception, the Fans For Diversity campaign has funded hundreds of events and initiatives, with examples including: • The establishment of LGBT fans’ group network Pride In Football, as well as official supporters groups such as the Punjabi Rams and the Bangla Bantams.
• The largest annual Southampton Disability Supporters’ Association open day, as well as countless other disability-focused football events. • Women-only football tournaments, and a panel debate on the experiences of women football supporters. • Supporting Non League Day for eight years running. We have a bespoke fund for grassroots events and initiatives that promote equality, inclusion and diversity in football. Last year we spent more than £16,000 funding 25 events with more than 400 participants. Our impact at grassroots level is growing and it is a key area for us moving forward. Kick It Out has been established for the past 25 years; over this period of time, a tremendous amount of work & effort has been in the search to eradicate racism in football. Over the next 12–18 months are there any new initiatives in the pipeline that you are looking at, to address the seriousness of what is happening presently? One of the most serious challenges faced right now is online abuse. Kick It Out is committed to meeting regularly with social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter, to influence their policies in this area. We hope this can lead to stronger action, from them and others, to help prevent this. We are also fully committed to our current work to tackle discrimination. That includes our extensive education work, our work around reporting abuse and in grassroots football. We also have several programmes aimed at the next generation of leaders in football, with the intention of supplying them with the relevant skills and education to make a positive change in the industry.
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Index of Advertisers Ashurts LLP...........................................................................................................................................................................................86-88 Atkins Global.........................................................................................................................................................................................70-71 Anglian Water Services........................................................................................................................................................73-75 / 103 Coca-Cola............................................................................................................................................................................................36-38 CMS LLP....................................................................................................................................................................................................16-17 Equity....................................................................................................................................................................................................48-49 Jones Day...............................................................................................................................................................................................90-91 Kick It Out.....................................................................................................................................................................................................101 Kingston University...........................................................................................................................................................................58-59 Latham & Watkins (London) LLP...............................................................................................................................................92-93 Lloyds Banking Group...........................................................................................................................................................................39 Mercedes Benz....................................................................................................................................................................................02-03 Norton Rose Fullbright LLP..............................................................................................................................................................89 / 104 Oil & Gas UK..........................................................................................................................................................................................76-77 Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd................................................................................................................................................................43-45 The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).......................................................................................................................................12-13 The Liverpool Institute For Performing Arts...............................................................................................................................51 The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, University of London..............................................................50 The University of Cambridge......................................................................................................................................................56-57 The University of Manchester......................................................................................................................................................54-55 The University of St Andrews......................................................................................................................................................60-61 White & Case LLP..............................................................................................................................................................................94-95
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