I’m a Business Analyst for Coutts and Co. and work in change management to ensure we implement new processes and systems that support our diverse colleagues and clients. I launched the Multicultural Network in 2018 for our organisation in Bristol and as the chair, I’ve been creating a culture that celebrates and represents all cultures, recognises the challenges faced by ethnic minorities and challenges unconscious bias.

I recently signed the Bristol Equality Charter on behalf of Coutts and Co., and have helped them to plan their first networking event in March. I’m looking forward to collaborating with organisations across Bristol to combat institutionalised racism, increase equality, diversity and inclusion, and help identify ways we can empower and support individuals further.

My childhood experiences instilled a passion for diversity and inclusion and were the catalyst to launch the Network. As I child, I was always perceived as ‘different’ due to my mixed heritage and I never truly looked or had the same cultural experiences as my peers which in-turn led to racism and bullying. On top of this, my mother passed away when I was a toddler and I was adopted as a result. These life experiences led me to have a lack of confidence, belonging and identity, and I found solace and support through strong role models, mentors and advocates. Without mentors to consistently challenge me and to help me understand my strengths, weaknesses, differing education or career paths and how to overcome barriers or unconscious bias, I wouldn’t be the determined, motivated and astute person I am today.

As a result of my experiences, I’ve launched a bank-wide reciprocal mentoring programme where colleagues from an ethnic minority background are paired with CEOs across the organisation; to mentor them and increase their understanding of the barriers faced by ethnic
minorities, unconscious bias, and to strategically identify ways to retain and elevate ethnic minorities to the top layers of the organisation. The programme is halfway through and the learnings and feedback from those involved will be instrumental in increasing diversity and
inclusion within RBS. Another of my achievements is launching an external mentoring scheme where RBS employees mentor applicants from not-for-profit organisations in Bristol. These organisations provide services for ethnic minorities and people in low socio-economic
areas, and our mentorship programme has empowered them to achieve their goals and ambitions.

Outside of work, you’ll find me in the kitchen creating desserts; I was a pastry chef prior to moving into banking and then into IT/Change Management. Now, this is no longer a career, and more of a passion. I’m able to enjoy the creativity of the kitchen without the pressure of
evening service!

I first found out about Babbasa when I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences faced by entrepreneurs to support the collaboration board in our organisation. I was fortunate enough to speak to youth attending Babbasa programmes and those who had
completed them. I found that the empowerment, self-belief and skills gained to support the attendees was incredible which resulted in me wanting to become a Babbasa Board member. Babbasa’s aims and values of honesty, equality, inclusion and empowerment to enable
youth to succeed in their goals align with my own vision. This alignment means I’m already an advocate of Babbasa by raising its profile and awareness in the local community for the strategic grass-roots work completed.  To formally be a board member would enable me to take more responsibility and spur this agenda on through actively listening to the youth and understanding the changing environment.

My work across organisations with the Bristol Equality Charter will also support me with this and to share my knowledge from across
organisations in Bristol on how to increase diversity and inclusion which will hopefully help to decrease the youth unemployment rates in St Pauls as they are currently double that of the areas of Bristol City. Working in Change Management, I feel my skill-set will stand me in good stead to complete the responsibilities of the role. I’m familiar with monitoring the performance of projects/programmes and I’m strategically working every day on continuously improving my place of work. Working in banking, I’m familiar with regulations to ensure we’re compliant
and have experience in successfully implementing new regulatory requirements.

As a young person, I attended youth empowerment courses and after completing these, I trained to be able to run these courses myself. This experience (and all those that have followed) have highlighted to me the need to not just listen, but to actively listen! As a Babbasa Board member, I would represent the views of the young people by attending Babbasa events to actively understand opinions and not make assumptions based on my own experiences – everyone has an opinion and they should be valued. I’d also welcome
ideas and contributions to further Babbasa’s agenda of empowering and supporting youth to reach their goals. I’m consistently collaborating with organisations within Bristol which would enable me to highlight opportunities/upcoming events and the barriers faced by youth to these
organisations, to improve opportunities and inclusion across wider Bristol.

I see this role as a partnership between myself and the attendees of Babbasa and in the wider community, to understand how we can empower, value and increase confidence amongst them, whilst offering programmes that support their goals, ambitions and sets them up to succeed. Finally, I will challenge the board’s ideas and understanding of what is required to empower the youth-based upon the feedback provided to support the continual improvement of Babbasa.