Young, Black and Female

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Recognise the name Octavia Goredema? Neither did I, why?

Because although it may go unrecognised by society, there is in fact an under representation of black women in business and in leadership, in the British media and in the business sector. Yet if someone asked me to name a successful black American business women, Oprah Winfrey comes to mind with ease.

Octavia Goredema founder of Twenty Ten Club, an organisation which she started to recognise the achievements of black women in business, also recognised this to be a topic of concern which needs to be addressed.

Kerri  2As a young black female who has just started working in corporate services I can see first-hand that there is an under-representation of black women in the business world. Diversity can be seen and heard in the office in which I work. But the number of black women in the office I can probably count on one hand.

Yet an article published by Octavia Goredema in The Guardian states that according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, black woman are the most entrepreneurial female group based on total economic activity.

Are black business women are under-represented in the media or is there a true disparity between the number of black women in business in comparison to our white counterparts and other ethnic minorities?

So this poses the question to me why is there such a big disparity between the number of Afro-Caribbean women working in the business sector, in comparison to other ethnic minorities.

During my induction week, whilst being taught about diversity in the work place, I was prompted to ask why there are so few employees of Afro-Caribbean origin in the business sector. And what is this organisation doing in order to recruit Afro-Caribbeans? And lastly what is being done to recruit young black women?

As someone who is of Jamaican heritage and therefore adds to the statistics of black women in the business sector, I am perhaps more conscious and passionate about seeing more black women recruited in all businesses.  I hope organisations like the Twenty Ten Club are successful in showcasing black female leaders, and urging this to be a topic of conversation until we see more women of colour represented in business.

But for the time being as a young black female working in corporate services I aim to be successful, raise awareness, and represent Afro-Caribbean women in the best way I can.

Next time you walk into your office I want you to ask yourself, how many black woman do you see?