The University of Westminster hosted another Black History Year event, titled ‘Business & Organisations: An Intersectional Approach’ as part of activism month.
The event on 11 February was hosted by Senior Lecturer in the Westminster Law School Stephen Bunbury and welcomed Principal Lecturer in the School of Organisations, Economy and Society Karen Kufuor and Westminster alumna Dr Nene Ibokessien to discuss the key issues facing black people in organisations and how they differ by gender and organisation.
Karen Kufuor and Dr Nene Ibokessien reflected on their own personal experiences and research and spoke about good practice for developing quality intercultural relationships along with strategies and tips on how Black people can best position themselves in employment in the current climate.
Karen began the event by talking about personal experiences at different organisations, firstly at a metals consultancy company, which was her first job after graduating, where she was one of two females and one of only two Black people out of a team of over 100 analysts. The organisation was not very diverse and was heavily male dominated, causing Karen to feel like people thought she didn’t belong there.
Following Karen’s discussion, Nene presented her PhD research which looks at the workplace experiences of academics in sub-Saharan Africa, with a focus on Nigeria as it is one of the most influential countries in the region. Nene also discussed some of the key issues that Black people in organisations face, including the fact that BME individuals are less likely to progress through the workplace as many barriers exist from entry level through to board level which prevent BME people from reaching their full potential.
Talking about the event, Paula Cadenhead, Events Manager at the University of Westminster, said: “It was so insightful to hear about Karen’s and Nene’s personal experiences and how they have shaped them, and their careers. The talks were very motivational and it's important that the University of Westminster keeps a spotlight on the issues highlighted, so we can keep advancing.”