Celebrating Parity’s achievements

Written by Ade Otubanjo, Parity Project Manager

This month we celebrate the achievements of Gabriel, a young black man that joined ELBA’s Parity project because he was struggling to access the type of job and career he had worked so hard to achieve.

The Parity Project was established in 2017 by AXA XL, State Street and Nomura to improve the employability and employment outcomes of Young Black Men living in London. By utilising the skills and expertise of corporate volunteers, this triple award winning initiative has now led to more than 250 young men securing employment.

You may ask why Parity is needed….well very little has changed since 2017 when we speak about equal opportunities for all, irrespective of race or ethnicity. Research undertaken by Black Training and Enterprise Group (BTEG) examined why young black men were faring less well in the labour market than other groups. The research found that:

  • Young black men have a higher unemployment rate than young men and young women in all other ethnic groups. The unemployment rate for YBM in London actively seeking work is 30%, more than double the rate for young white men (14%).
  • The unemployment rate for young black men has remained persistently high despite improvements in their educational attainment.
  • Young black men have higher rates of post-16 education than white young men. However, spending longer in education is not leading to any reductions in the higher unemployment rates experienced by young black men. The unemployment rate for black graduates is more than double the unemployment rate for white graduates.

Gabriel’s Story

Gabriel joined the Parity project in February 2018, as he discovered a passion for working in financial services. Having studied law at university, he was initially aspiring to work within corporate law, however, he learnt through research that he was more drawn towards the numerical aspects of that job role rather than the legal side and decided to broaden his knowledge. Gabriel was that student that attended every Parity insight session with our corporate clients State Street, Nomura and XL Catlin. Gabriel was the type of person who was happy with just being presented with the opportunity to meet people from such prestigious companies as he understood that through dedication, hard work and networking, it would eventually lead him to opportunities such as an internship at Nomura which he described as “life changing”.

The internship itself was the catalyst for him deciding to move away from what he studied at university (law) and move into an area that he found exciting and intriguing. (finance) It was after his internship ended that he joined the Parity programme and was introduced to T. Rowe Price’s prestigious London apprenticeship. He always describes the initial recruitment process as the ‘hunger games’ as there were over 35 brilliant students interviewing plus several assessment stages, such as group exercises and 1-1 interviews. The experiences he acquired from Nomura helped him to stand out from the rest and he was overwhelmed to be chosen alongside 3 other candidates to undertake a 13 month programme as a Global Client & Investment Reporting trainee.

Since that programme ended at the end of Dec 2109, Gabriel has gone on to shine and now works as a Business Intelligence Analyst at a prestigious Wealth Management firm in London.

“My current role is a Business Intelligence Analyst and it involves me working between the USA and London and I produce statistics for business leaders like the CEO CFO and Managing Directors which they use in understanding the business and bringing revenue into the firm. I have now been in this role for over 7 months and I am really enjoying it. To sum up, from this experience I have learnt to be very indispensable at a company and how to create projects where there seems to be none. I recently passed my probation at my new job and my managers really admire and appreciate my drive and work ethics. I have been placed as the project lead for many high-profile projects for the CEO and other business leaders and it makes me feel so valued.”

If you would like to hear more about the work of Parity or about volunteering opportunities, please email parity@elba-1.org.uk.

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