Black citizens have enriched our communities for generations, and Enterprise is proud to join in the Black History Month celebrations acknowledging the tremendous achievements, influence and impact of our Black colleagues such as Jo – one of our Area Managers based in the South East of England.
Tell us about yourself:
While I was born and raised in London, my parents were born in Nigeria. I started as a Graduate Management Trainee in East London, close to where I grew up, but later moved to one of our flagship branches in central London. From there I was promoted to Assistant Manager of Walthamstow before becoming Branch Manager of several locations – including the same branch where I had started my career. I was then promoted to Area Manager – just over five years after joining Enterprise.
What about your heritage makes you most proud?
The resilience, being proud of where one has come from, the culture of taking care of one another and togetherness.
What unique perspective has your heritage given you?
To respect those who may not be as fortunate as you and help those who aren’t whenever you can. There is no ‘I’ there is always ‘we.’
What does Black History Month mean to you?
It should be celebrated all year round, but it’s the time of year we celebrate those who have paved the way for the Black community to truly break the glass ceiling. It is important to see people of the same colour as you in roles which you may have presumed were not possible for you to reach in order to see that it is possible.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Like many other children I wanted to follow in my parents’ footsteps: my dad is a doctor so I wanted to be a doctor but did not enjoy science. I realised I love to talk, and my mum studied law, so I wanted to become a lawyer. Then when I got my degree, I realised I just wanted to be in a job with plenty of opportunities to progress, develop my skills and ultimately be responsible for my own earning potential – bonuses are a big part of Enterprise’s working culture.
I can’t get through the weekend without…
Taking my sons to football and watching them play, whether it’s practising or a match. I love their passion for what they do and how hard they work to be the best at it.
What are you most proud of?
Hearing my mum say she is proud of what I have achieved.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
My great, great grandfather was given an OBE by the Queen.
What’s your favourite book?
I was never much of a reader, however, over the past two years I’ve given myself a task of reading leadership-inspired books: Good to Great; the 10x rule; Power; Lean In; The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People; The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin.
Who do you look up to?
My mum, but also my Manager and Enterprise colleagues, who are all excelling in different aspects of the business, as well as my formal and informal business mentors.
A cause you’re passionate about and why?
Equality. I have two sons, who I want to grow up believing in equality for both men and women. Being black men it’s important they understand they can be anything they want to be but will have to work harder for it as they are part of a minority.
What’s your favourite quote?
Careers are more like jungle gyms than ladders: you should aim for the top but also be flexible in your route to get there.
What keeps you at Enterprise?
My team, and my desire to give back to a company that has helped me to provide for my family and helped me unearth my potential.
While there is much to celebrate during Black History Month, at Enterprise we know that it’s more important than ever to elevate Black voices, support our colleagues like Jo, and do our part to help fight racial discrimination and inequality.
Looking for your next opportunity? We know that the strength of our business depends on the value that each employee brings to the table. Join us, and help us effect meaningful, lasting change.