My journey with CORe started during those gloomy lockdown days where we didn’t know what to expect but had hope things were going to turn around eventually. While some people made drastic career changes, and others started their own business, I made an equally impactful change by becoming a mentor for Colour of Research. It was a very important decision for me.
I was initially nervous when Graham Idehen, co-founder of CORe, invited me to become a mentor. While I was honoured to be asked, I was aware of the responsibility it entailed and unsure if I was the right person. However, after attending a kick-off event, and learning more about the support and structure offered by CORe I was convinced to give it a go, and I am so glad I did. I wish I had the support of CORe when I started my career in Market Research. I am confident my career would have progressed faster, and I want to make sure the next generation have the opportunity to reach their potential.
When I joined Market Research in 2008 people of colour were very underrepresented, this was particularly evident in sales and leadership teams. There was no one for me to look up to or be inspired by. There was no one to help people of colour to achieve their goals or create structured development plans as CORe does. I truly believe this was the main reason why my progression took longer. The more I learnt about CORe the more I knew I was going to make a difference to others.
Being a mentor has had a significant impact on me, but beyond that I have seen change and growth in every meeting with my mentee. The most rewarding aspect of this entire experience was the growth in optimism and confidence I saw from my mentee. The difference in attitude from the first session to the last session was gratifying and for the first time I felt I had really helped someone change their perception and give them the strength they needed to succeed.
There is a lot of conversations and questions about why people of colour need this programme. While this debate will continue, I see the how important it is every time I attend an industry event or look at a leadership org chart and count the number of racially diverse faces. Until we have representation at every level, programmes like this will be needed.
I’m on a mission to make a change and would love more people to support us in this meaningful and powerful programme that could change yours and someone else’s life.
If you would like to join our CORe mentoring programme please click here.