As a Black woman in this industry, my experience has been positive in the most part but there have been instances before I joined Mears, where I have questioned if something was happening to me because of the colour of my skin.
I joined Mears as a Regional Finance and Commercial Analyst, when the opportunity arose to become a General Manager I jumped at the chance. Now imagine walking into a branch conference of 200 people and not seeing anybody else that looks like you. It was very daunting.
I believe that to change how discrimination is demonstrated in the workplace, it is important to challenge discrimination and to educate all staff on unconscious bias and to openly call out occasions where good work is being under appreciated.
My branch has a very diverse workforce and I have lots of conversations with my operatives over the challenges that they sometimes face; from constantly being stopped by the police in their work vans, gangs on the estates to even gun violence.
The work that Mears is doing to look at diversity and inclusion will help in creating awareness that we should not accept this as the norm and must speak out and WE, that is all of us, people of all colours and race must work to stop this being the norm.
There is a perception in society that women have to dim down their personalities to fit in or not stand out too much. As any of my team can tell you I’m a bold, straight-talking black woman, I do this whilst maintaining professional interactions and achieving the targets and goals set out for my branch.
However, Mears has historically been at the forefront of getting more women into trades and I think, women of colour are people of high potential, motivated and are future leaders. It is a positive step in the right direction that Mears is actively highlighting the issue of diversity and inclusion.
I think it is important that we see people of colour in prominent positions as it inspires the people who look like them and can identify with them to want to achieve what they have achieved. Getting this right will help us lead the way to make Mears a great workplace whilst developing the best workforce.