Ron Shillingford, writing for the Powerlist Foundation, stated that:
“The myth that black millennials only excel in sport and entertainment has always frustrated me immensely. The many negative stereotypes of black people have also been a great source of irritation. Occasionally we see a black millennial heralded in the mainstream media for academic or artistic excellence but on the whole, high achieving African and African-Caribbean millennials in these fields get little or no media praise.”
There are a wide range of organisations who have committed themselves to ensuring Black progression in the professional and creative sectors. However, I have chosen to specifically identify five companies:
SEO London: SEO London run three successful programs that aim to prepare talented students from ethnic minority and low social economic backgrounds for the professional world. The connect with students from A-Levels via there SEO scholars programme all the way to their alumni students beginning their professional careers with SEO Connect and not forgetting to prepare the most talents university students with SEO Careers in between.
Elevation Network: EN offer a variety of initiatives aimed at professional BAME audiences, students and particularly young women and girls. For example, they provide bespoke employability skills training for students, create an environment for leadership development through social action and volunteering on the NCS: The National Citizen Service voluntary programme.
BAME Recruitment: Their ethos states that they aim to help companies recruit a ‘highly skilled workforce whilst looking beyond their appearance, background and origin’. They truly believe that a diverse workforce is the most effective and productive workforce and work exclusively to push this agenda and continue to break down barriers to underrepresented groups.
Creative Access: Creative access specialize in supporting BAME people into employment in the creative industry particularly through advertising internship and training opportunities exclusive to BAME’s. The lack of diversity in the creative sector is particularly disappointing since the lack of representation is not a true reflection of the society we live in. Creative access seeks to fill this gap to ensure the growth in BAME population is felt in the media.
Rare Recruitment: RR boast a large range of high quality clients such as Bain & Co, Civil Service, Linklaters, Deloitte. They provide access to the very best in the professional industry and expect exceptional candidates in return. They follow a solid framework, ‘the rare model’ which begins with a online application and can end with a internship or graduate position at one of the top firms in the city.
As BAME’s I urge you to go through at least one of these organisations and get connected with them. They are here to ensure that we can be on an equal playing field with our white counterparts. As much as we may not like to admit it or how overt it is, there is institutional racism in the UK. We are at a disadvantage when it comes to acquiring senior roles, achieving pay rises or even achieving a job in the first place. Therefore, it is essential for us to take the initiative to seek out people who are willing to push the barriers to see us get our foot in the door.
Stay optimistic and good luck with your Job search!
By Toro Kehinde