“I believe….that you need to make things happen for you.” That’s how the panel kicked off last Monday’s #BYAW networking event to celebrate Black History Month in the UK, and the launch of Capco’s new BAME employee network.
#BYAW - Be Yourself at Work – is one of our many global initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. To celebrate Black History Month, #BYAW team members from Capco’s London office hosted a panel discussion featuring senior BAME executives from a variety of industries discussing their career journeys.
Our first speaker, Dr. Solomon Osagie, Chief Legal Counsel at TSYS International, shared his musings as ‘the City of London’s most senior ethnic minority lawyer working in payments.’ These included the importance of personal responsibility and the pitfalls of ‘follow your dreams’, a ubiquitous phrase at student and graduate panel events. In Dr. Osagie’s words, “that’s a very dangerous thing.” He urged our audience to aim high, but to make sure their dreams were grounded in reality: “Otherwise you will spend your life just chasing a dream that’s just a dream,” he added.
Regarding pushing the diversity and inclusion agenda forwards, he remarked: “For those people who often say that society owes you something, you will always expect society to change for you. I’d like to think that society can change for you, but we should always be part of societal change and moving together to make things happen.”
Nathaniel Peat, multi award-winning founder of GeNNex and the Safety Box, followed by asking the audience to repeat: “The only limitation in this world is myself.” Indeed, the Tottenham-born social entrepreneur initially failed to meet the educational requirements to study Physics A-Level so he could fulfil his dream of becoming a pilot. However, through sheer tenacity he managed to convince his sixth-form college to enroll him – and the rest was history.
“When you believe you can achieve, when you believe you can go higher, when you believe you can do more, when you persevere, when you are dedicated, when you begin to move a certain way, other people who are moving are going to join along with you,” he said.
The final panelist was Capco's Chief Marketing Officer, Stacey Kruckel, who has had a twenty-year international career working for the likes of Credit Suisse, Lehman Brothers, the Bank of New York and JP Morgan Chase.
She recounted how both her early experiences with racism whilst growing up in New York, and how forging a career in a predominantly male workplace had continued to instill a deep determination to succeed and give back.
“There has to be cultural change [in business] but the cultural change has to come with investment in programs that encourage diversity and inclusion, such as mentorship/sponsorship programs, and a commitment to diversity recruiting.” Workplace inclusion and diversity is a strategic priority for us. Learn about our career opportunities here