Three and a half years on, I am now a Property Manager of a 330,000 sq ft building
Black History month 2020 is a time to look forward and celebrate the here and now and the future possibilities. In years gone by October has been the only time of the year when the UK talks about the achievements of Black people in Britain. Thankfully, this is changing.
Here is a case study from a Black woman who, after migrating to the UK from the Caribbean as a child, joined ELBA and built a career with one of our partners.
“I came to England at 6 years old, from St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I grew up in a traditional, Caribbean household. Education was set as the number one priority, so there was a lot of pressure from my parents when it came to grades. I had to be the best and nothing less.
I went to Little Ilford School in Manor Park where I gained 10 GCSEs A*- C. I then went on to Havering Sixth Form College and gained 3 A Levels, in History, Politics and English Literature. I initially wanted to be a Lawyer, but I found out at college I did not necessarily need to do a degree in Law to do so. I loved Politics at College, so I decided to study that at University.
The University of Kent was my reserve option, I initially wanted to go to the University of Leicester, but in the end, Kent was the better choice for me. I graduated with a 2:2 in Politics. I was not happy with this result, to the extent that I did not go to my graduation ceremony. However, this was the kick I needed because it made me realise, I didn’t want to pursue the career I had initially planned.
I worked in a pub for a year, to give myself time to figure out what direction I wanted to go in. At this point I was at a standstill. My whole life I had my path planned and for the first I didn’t know what to do. After being rejected from various graduate schemes, I stumbled on the ELBA Eagles Property Management Graduate Scheme, applied, and was accepted. After being shortlisted I received 2 weeks of training from ELBA and started my 6-month Graduate Scheme at Broadgate as a Retail Liaison Assistant. At the end of my Graduate Scheme, I was offered a permanent contract with Broadgate. I started as an Assistant Duty Manager, then I got promoted to a Duty Manager.
Mine has been a turbulent and unpredictable journey, but it was the knock backs and struggles that made me the better person I am today. Three and a half years on, I am now a Property Manager of a 330,000 sq ft building. I am looking forward to what the future holds.”
This case study highlights the achievements of one of my colleagues at British Land and highlights how, as an organisation, British Land are trying to set the standard of how to eradicate discrimination and bias—conscious and unconscious—and, in the process, encourage the inclusion of employees from all backgrounds.