October is Black History Month in the UK & Ireland. Bruno, Management Assistant in the North East of England, tells us what Black History Month means to him and how the actions of his family have helped shape his career.
For me, Black History Month is a reminder of the struggles that my ancestors and Black people have been through due to the colour of their skin and it’s an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the Black community. My mother and grandma endured difficult times due to race, so I’ve grown up understanding the importance of standing up for racial equity in all parts of life.
Despite attending one of the worst-performing high schools in the UK, my family were committed to getting me an education and with their support I went on to achieve a place at Manchester Metropolitan University where I earned my degree in Accounting and Finance.
I’ve heard so many inspirational stories about Black history, but the one that resonates with me the most is the achievements and success of Serena Williams. She’s an amazing athlete who has had an amazing career. Her drive is incredibly inspiring and makes me want to succeed in my own career and demonstrate to my son that there are no limits on how much we can achieve.
I chose to apply to the Management Training Programme at Enterprise following a recommendation from a friend that works there. I did my research and I liked the company values and the opportunities the graduate programme offered. Enterprise has won many diversity related awards and that helped me realise that I would be applying to the right company. Furthermore, being able to progress quickly, with limitless opportunities to earn bonuses for your performance, really attracted me.
During my first 10 months in the company, I had the opportunity to work at three different branch locations and this allowed me to explore and understand different parts of the business and acquire skills and knowledge from different managers and colleagues.
Throughout my career, I have learnt that it is important to be resilient and that opportunities and rewards will come through hard work. It’s also important to have an open mind to understand the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion and how this can benefit employees, customers and therefore business as a whole.
It is difficult to try and change mindsets that are fixed in old ways. Education is the best tool for paving the way for new beginnings. To prevent history from repeating itself, businesses need to adopt inclusive best practices that ensure everyone has equal opportunities to succeed.
To get more people engaging with Black History Month, it is so important to reinforce what this movement is all about. It is impossible to cram years of history into 30 or so days, Black History Month should raise thoughts and feelings that resonate with people throughout the year.
The strength of our business depends on the value that each employee brings to the table. Join us, and help strengthen our business by diversity of perspective, opinion and voice.