- Posted by Rasheed Ogunlaru
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- BAME, Black Asian & Ethnic Minority Staff, career development, career progress, change, inspiration, interview skills, jobs, leadership, management, motivation, opportunity, planning, presentation skills, self belief, self confidence, staff development, strategy, transformation
Last week on Friday I resumed a programme of Career Development workshops I’ve been running for female and Black Asian & Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff at Barts Hospital Trust – which is the largest NHS Trust in the UK. The programme – following similar programmes I’ve run at other Trusts including Brighton & Sussex – has had a very powerful impact on attendees… probably far beyond that I realised when we began last summer.
On Friday it was the start of sessions for Cohorts 6 & 7 and follows on from a celebration event for the first 5 cohorts at the end of the year. So far we’ve seen over 80 people through the programme funded by NHS England.
I actually have to thank Dr Vivienne Lyfar-Cisse at Brighton for the whole journey as it was Vivienne who first asked me to speak at her Trust following us both speaking at another NHS event. From there I also ran a programme for the National NHS BME Network at which Alexandra Hussain was one of the attendees. Alexandra mentioned my event and work to Banji Adewumi the Associate Director of Inclusion at Barts. And in turn Banji and the Trusts HR Director worked with NHS England to fund the programme.
If I think way back to when I first put together the workshop series when they were first delivered in Brighton I was clearing that the starting point had to be self confidence, self awareness and self belief. Because before we can actually get into the career development skill and strategies one has to really have a strong sense of self in order to really further one’s career.
Of course the background to all these programmes is the underrepresentation of BAME staff in senior roles across the NHS – and indeed many other sectors. Likewise in many areas these staff are overly represented at things such as grievance procedures – and you don’t have to look to far to see that link.
What’s been the magical thing at Barts is – despite the change and challenges – the Trust has been and is faced with – there has been a real commitment to the programme across the board. It wasn’t all rosy to start with. Initially getting people there – and in some cases staff being actually feeling or finding that managers were on board the attending was an issue in some cases. That has changed a lot. Likewise for this set of 3 additional Cohorts the programme has been over subscribed.
Those of you who know me and know my work will know that working with leaders, teachers and healers is really important to me – so having the opportunity to help those who work in one of the most important profession / environments has been something I feel grateful and privileged to have had the opportunity to have been involved in and shaped.
I’ve been touched by how many attendees have really run with self and career development content. From those who’ve boosted their confidence, enrolled on courses, gone out and gained mentors, gone for jobs they never would have, stepped into new jobs, made changes at home and in relationships, empowered their staff….
It’s been quite something and the first workshop on self confidence and self awareness – which is really also about self realisation – in particular has been really powerful. I’ll never forget when a wonderful delegate attending the first ever workshop commented “So you’re really asking us ‘who am I?’.. ” or words to that effect. Spot on yes I am.
When one goes on the journey of embracing themselves, their magic and their purpose then magic happens.
The work that remains – and to a degree the work that remains for me – is to increasingly work with those who lead our institutions and hold key roles in society to affect and raise consciousness, compassion, empathy, mindfulness and wellbeing for the benefit of one and all.
I just want to conclude by thanking everyone who has been involved in all the work in all the Trusts and organisations that I have mentioned and those others that I have not. I want to thank everyone who has supported, sponsored and signposted also as this has been key. It’s been quite a journey and we resume with Cohort 8 this coming week.