Parity and the Power of Three

 In Employment, News

It’s awards season! As accolades are won across the global stage, in its third year of delivery, our very own Parity project celebrates its third award, after receiving the Adiaha Antigha Community Achievement Award 2020 in the category: the individual or organisation doing the best work to challenge discrimination. This award joins the national Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) Employability Award 2019 in the category: youth employment, and the Reach Society Award 2018 in the category: corporate supporter.

This month, Project Manager Eni Timi-Biu, and Parity members reflect on the importance of the project and its progress to date.

“Being part of Parity has been a journey. Before joining the programme, I really struggled in terms of what I wanted to do. Parity showed me opportunities that were available to me and gave me the chance to make something of myself”

–  the words of Ngemi, who engaged with Parity at a workshop held at Newham Workplace. At a crossroad, Ngemi was considering dropping out of university after his first year:

“Many people that I have grown up with have become a statistic whether it’s prison or death from gun and knife crime. Parity has helped me to be able to sway from that path and be an example in my area, showing people that it is possible and that they are not alone.”

Ngemi has since secured an internship with a world-leading investment bank. He attributes his determination to continue and subsequent corporate exposure to Parity.

Parity, a strategic partnership between State Street and Nomura, delivered by ELBA, connects young black men to sustainable employment in the corporate sector via employability training, networking events, 1:1 mentoring and direct job brokerage. The project has so far engaged 300 young men, supported over half into work, and become a multi-award winning initiative that has gained recognition at a local and national level, evidencing its impact and potential for scale.

“I no longer question what I wanted to spend my life doing, my life purpose and calling had become abundantly clear.”

–  says Thaddaeus who engaged with the project via Hackney CVS, a local community partner. Having worked on grassroots campaigns which took him to 10 Downing Street, he was keen to secure sustainable employment that allowed him to demonstrate his creative talent and passion for activism. Trapped by the uncertainty and irregular hours of freelance work, the project successfully placed Thaddaeus into a role as a Junior Creative Designer at a values-driven marketing agency. Thaddaeus attributes landing a dream job that he didn’t know existed to Parity.

“I’ve learnt in life that you have to get yourself outside of your comfort zone. You’ve got to be proactive. You’ve got to be hungry.”

– says Samatar who engaged with Parity via a referral from ELBA’s wider Employment & Skills programme. After exploring options with his Parity mentor, together, with his brother Mohamed, they took the plunge to move to Krakow upon securing positions at State Street’s Poland office. A number of our Parity members have secured exciting employment opportunities across Europe including Holland and Dublin. Their tenacity and courage to explore the unknown continues to inspire others with the belief that the world is their oyster.

Parity’s strategic partnership and expertise offers opportunities for innovation and collaboration to reflect demand and utilise the skills of our corporate volunteers. The project is keen to support the diversity and inclusion objectives of our business alliance in widening access for early careers, supporting talent development, strengthening internal affinity networks etc. To discuss opportunities for corporate involvement please contact:

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