You might also like
Black History Month was created to focus on the contributions of Africans and Caribbeans to the UK.
Black History Month (BHM) honours the significant contributions of Black men and women to British society. For far too long, Black history has been ignored, devalued, and misrepresented in the UK and beyond. The month-long celebration acknowledges the events and people who shaped and continue to shape our society.
We have a diverse workforce of over 350 people at LondonEnergy. As a result, it is essential to celebrate and educate ourselves about various cultures. We want our people to understand the history, accomplishments, and problems that specific groups of people have faced.
To celebrate BHM, we put a spotlight on some of our colleagues to find out what BHM means to them.
I oversee the IT department at LondonEnergy across seven sites in North London, leading on Digital Transformation, Information Security & Privacy Management, IT Governance, IT Budget & Supplier Management, IT Projects and Programme Management. I am part of the Senior Leadership Team, providing day-to-day leadership for the company, overseeing a working environment and supporting the effective achievement of the company strategy and objectives. I am responsible for implementing, executing and managing the technology strategy, ensuring business success, security, productivity and continuity.
Black history month to me means recognition and celebration of what remarkable people that lived before us have achieved and what those amongst us are still doing. It is a true moment of reflection to see how far we have come from open discrimination and oppression to a much better world that could and would get better.
What moment in Black history influenced or shaped your career/life or particularly resonates with you?
Obama became the first black president of the United States of America – the number one world citizen. This makes me believe that 'yes, we can indeed.
Do not despise the days of little beginnings, and be dynamic. Opportunities now abound but require hard work and smart and timely decision-making.
The knowledge that my skills and experience are adding to a legacy that generations to come will celebrate and talk about, especially the incremental differences we make in LondonEnergy to create a greener and cleaner planet.
What is your favourite quote?
"The time is always right to do what is right." –Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am currently the Head of Legal, Commercial, Procurement and Company Secretariat. What this means is that my team and I deal with all LEL matters in relation to Legal, Governance, Risk and Compliance to ensure that LEL as a company operates in a legally compliant manner.
While it is important to have a focus on Black History at all time, having a month that allows for greater focus and raises awareness on the rich contributions made and being made by the Black Community is really important.
There are so many but I guess if I had to single one out it would be the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, it placed the direction of my future self, on its current trajectory.
Never set your bar too low, as the sky is the limit with hard work and determination. Their will be a lot of ceilings that you will be told you can never breach, but never take no for an answer – be resilient.
The fact that I can continue to strive to make a difference in a world that generally is not very accepting of someone like me.
Easy, it is taken from a poem by Maya Angelou ‘Still I Rise’ – ‘Does my sassiness upset you? Why are you beset with gloom? Just 'cause I walk like I've got oil wells pumping in my living room. Just like moons and like suns with the certainty of tides, just like hopes springing high, still I rise.’
I work in the warehouse division which provides departments such as mechanical and electrical with the tools they need to carry out their tasks.
Black History Month is an opportunity to inform and teach others about black history to ensure that our experiences are not erased.
The Black Panther Party, formally known as the black panther party for Self Defence was an organisation founded by black college students in in Oakland, California in 1966.The party fought to have black history taught in schools and installed a strong determination for black people to accomplished and work towards their future goals.
Having the financial freedom to do what I want and provide for my family motivates me to get to work each morning.
I work in the IT Department as an IT Infrastructure Engineer. I’m responsible for the support team and working with the Head of IT and Projects manager in the overall strategy of the department.
A chance to take pride in and celebrate the diversity of black cultures across the world.
I am inspired by the people of Tulsa, Oklahoma who created a prosperous district of black-owned businesses at the beginning of the twentieth century that became known as Black Wall Street.
The opportunity to grow from successes and failures.
A quote that I used to see on the wall at my aunt’s house: ‘Stumbling is not falling!’- Malcolm X.
My role at LondonEnergy is a Mechanical Maintenance Apprentice. I learn and work alongside my team to ensure that the plant is running well and in safe conditions.
Black History Month means learning about the importance of our past and why our ancestors did what they could. It's a reminder to carry that history with me and make sure that it doesn't get repeated. As well as standing up in what I believe in even if others don't believe in it themselves.
I am inspired by the bravery of Ruby Bridges who was the first black child to attend an all-white school in 1960s America. Through courage and determination, she was able to get her New Orleans Elementary school desegregated.
For those who want to start a career but are afraid, just get out there and do it because at the very least you will know that you tried.
Having such a supportive team and knowing I'll enjoy my time at work.
My favourite quote is "if you can't change the situation you are in, change how you respond to it."
As the Legal and Commercial Graduate Trainee I work in LEL’s Legal Department; this involves reading and reviewing contracts, drafting contractual documents and deeds of variation, and helping pick out key contractual clauses when faced with a query or dispute.
My role also involves working on insurance matters which includes working on personal injury/property damage claims filed against LEL. I gather evidence in order to defend claims and work closely with our insurer and loss adjusters to ensure the best outcome for LEL.
Black History Month means many different things to me. Black History Month helps to provide a platform that allows people of African or Caribbean backgrounds to see people who look like themselves in a range of different spaces, roles and sectors.
Much like other heritage celebration months, Black History Month also presents the opportunity to share, inform and educate people on Black history. In the past, BHM primarily focused on Black struggle (notably slavery, racism etc.) and Black American History; both of which have their place in Black History, but Black history is not only struggle and it is not just American. Black History Month gives our society the chance to learn and increase awareness about Black achievements, not only in the popular areas like sport, politics, and music but also in more niche industries like technology, microbiology, neuroscience, or fashion.
Black History Month is also a celebration of the many rich cultures from across Africa, the Caribbean and South America. For me, celebrating and sharing my Nigerian heritage, food, music, fashion and culture with people creates a great sense of pride.
A moment in Black History that has influenced my career is when Olivette Otele was appointment as the first Black female Professor of History in the United Kingdom in 2018. I have always loved History, I did it at GCSE, A-Level and as my undergraduate degree; but across my studies from GCSE to BA I didn’t see anyone in a senior academic position in the History department that looked like me. As a 20-year-old university student, Olivette gave me hope that there is a space for black women in academia and in other sectors of society where black women are not typically represented.
I am motivated to work hard so I can be in the spaces that lack diversity and representation and while there, make it less daunting for people who look like me to enter these spaces.
“The secret to life is to have no fear” – Fela Kuti