Article by Katrina Hinrichsen from BYP Network
UK Black History Month is returning this October, and the theme for this year is ‘Time for Change: Action not Words’.
Indeed it seems that Black people are tired of all the empty promises and pledges that companies have made following the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests.
BYP Network is a global platform that connects Black professionals to major corporations and to each other, as well as improve role model visibility, reduce workplace biases and encourage corporate allyship. It was founded by former international javelin thrower, and Forbes 30 under 30 winner, Kike Oniwinde Agoro, after she noticed first-hand the lack of Black professionals in corporate industries and senior management.
Addressing the barriers to racial diversity and inclusion
Our recent 2021 survey found that 66% of Black professionals felt that the organisations they work in hadn’t stuck to their BLM pledges. Recent reports have also indicated that the situation for Black female professionals still leaves much to be desired – with 52% of Black women planning to quit their jobs and 45% of Black women believing they will be overlooked for a promotion despite having equal competence as non-Black female colleagues.
At BYP Network, we work hard to address these issues with our flagship Leadership Conference ‘Knowledge is Power’ taking place this October 6th 2022, during Black History Month.
Black female professionals trailblazing the way
We’ve made an effort to feature prominent female Black leaders at the conference, who will be speaking on the panels and break-out sessions at the event. We hope to shine a light on these stellar women as role models to showcase what’s possible and how they made it to where they are today. The news agenda frequently focuses on the negative issues surrounding the Black community and we believe it is equally important to highlight successes as well.
Our speakers include child-prodigy and CEO of Stemettes, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, Chief Technology Officer of Compare the Market, Renee Hunt, and the co-founder of UK Black Pride and Managing Director of Kaleidoscope, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah. Through the conference, we hope to impart actionable insights and will focus on why role model visibility and mentoring are so valuable, how leaders have achieved success and brought about positive and lasting change, things professionals wished they had known and how to push Black stories and talent to the forefront.
To help our younger Black professionals find their footing, we have created a free virtual careers fair on October 7th, where professionals can attend networking opportunities, panel discussions and workshops designed to help leverage their skills for a promotion, perfect their CV and reveal best practices for getting noticed by recruiters.
Making lasting change
Events such as ours, are a much-needed facilitator, helping to produce and foreground a clear pathway to success for talented Black professionals who may otherwise struggle to get the right connections or enough confidence to land a noteworthy role at a top company. This October, Black History Month and the BYP Leadership Conference are there to report on and draw attention to historic failings and examples of progress, so as to pave the way for change. We are proud to work with its community members, partners and allies all-year round on the shared mission of creating a better society for all.
The conference, the largest of its kind for Black professionals, is taking place virtually and in-person at the Mermaid Theatre, London. Now in its fourth edition, it will see hundreds of Black professionals attending to gather insights on industry trends, upskilling and navigating the workplace. They’ll also be able to network with influential speakers as well as meet with over 40 leading corporations – the likes of Sky, Sainsbury’s, Goldman Sachs, Meta, DeepMind and more.