Black History Month is an important date in our cultural calendar, providing us with the opportunity to celebrate African and Caribbean communities and their immense contributions to British society.
Black citizens have enriched our communities for generations, and Enterprise is proud to join in this celebration acknowledging their tremendous achievements, influence and impact.
In celebration of Black History Month, we want to shine the spotlight on some of the amazing talent within our business, like Charnelle:
Tell us about your career journey at Enterprise.
Like most people, I started as a Graduate Management Trainee. In a little more than a year, I was promoted to Assistant Manager, and within two years I was promoted again to Branch Manager. Shortly after I was promoted to a larger branch, I discovered I was pregnant. I returned to work after maternity leave and was promoted to Area Manager two weeks later – a testament to my resilience, Enterprise’s promote-from-within culture and strong support for women in leadership roles, and my proudest achievement!
What about your heritage makes you most proud?
Being from a mixed heritage, I feel I get the best of both worlds. My mum is White British and my dad is Black Caribbean. When I was younger there weren’t many people that looked like me in school, so I often felt very different. But as I got older, I really embraced my heritage and identity because that’s what made me different. It means I get to enjoy different cultures and countries that my relatives have roots in.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Growing up, Black History Month gave me a sense of belonging. Being raised in a mainly white town and school, black history and culture were never spoken about. So, for that one month in the year, I remember feeling extremely proud of my identity and was so happy to see black culture and black people being celebrated. Now that I’m older, I feel proud every day, but I will never forget how that used to make me feel when I was younger, and I hope it helps other people feel the same.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
A 100m runner. I once won an outstanding achievement award in school for winning every race on sports day.
If you could have dinner with anyone from history who would it be and why?
Nelson Mandela, he must have so many stories to tell.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I’m not sure why but people are always surprised when I tell them I am a huge Harry Potter fan.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
A negative mind won’t give you a positive life.
Who do you look up to?
My partner Danny. He is always positive no matter what the situation and I admire him for that.
What motivates you?
Being a successful working mum. I want my son to see his mum and dad as equal in home and work life.
A cause you’re passionate about and why?
Racial equality. Everyone can achieve amazing things regardless of colour, religion and culture. We are all equal and I hope one day we can live in a world where colour isn’t a deciding factor on how you judge someone.
What’s your favourite quote?
Every day may not be good but there’s something good in every day.
Describe your journey at Enterprise in one word?
What initially attracted you to a career at Enterprise, and what keeps you here?
Being given the opportunity to progress, as well as learning all aspects of how to run a business. The people play a very important role in Enterprise’s success – I have such a good support network around me, and I have built relationships with people that will continue for life.
At Enterprise we know that it’s more important than ever embrace the many differences that make us unique, support our colleagues and communities, and do our part to help fight racial discrimination and inequality. Only by doing this can we effect meaningful, lasting change.
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.