Finding Mentors and Allies To Support You On Your Young Trustee Journey

I’m absolutely delighted to welcome precious City Hall this evening who is going to talk about her organization beyond suffrage and also tell us a little bit about mentorship because many of you have said in the past that you want a mentor and or we’ve articulated to you about getting a mentor but haven’t really gone into the sort of detail about what that actually means and looks like and feels like so and precious if I can hand over straight to you for an introduction to yourself and mentorship please thanks Leon hi everyone as you all mentioned I am precious I am the founder CEO of social practice EMT and one of the programs that really weren’t for those agencies beyond soft wage so we also have a mentorship scheme that will be running for our young trustees that we train to the program so I can tell you a bit more about mentorship through my experience so when we talk about mentorship we are effectively referring to a relationship between two individuals so you can sort of go down a formal route or an informal route so if we talk about formal mentorship that’s where you’ve got your mentor and you’ve got your mentee so you can have a training program where the two are matched and then you can have your targets that are set you can meet a certain number of times and you can get feedback as to how you’ll perform in that tends to be the traditional route when it comes to your mentoring programs now you can have a more informal light-touch mentoring approach and that’s where you are for example in a position where you can approach someone and you can effectively ask them informally to be your mentor and go out for coffee they can then support you with whatever targets you’ve got that tends to be a little less structured and far more I guess you could say like I’d like I mentioned and if um if you were to try and define immense what I know you sort of started to delve into it there how would you define it to somebody that is completely new to the boardroom because in this movement we have some people who are you know and turned 18 and aspiring trustees and might be completely unaware of mentoring if you were to shine to find in a sentence with you what would you say so your traditional mentor would be someone who supports you with whatever goals that you’ve got set for yourself so that’s almost like your sounding boards a person that you would go to if your queries and whatever concerns you have that person will effectively support you with that and if I am a new trustees I’ve just been appointed to a board and I want a mentor to learn how do I go about starting that conversation where do I look who do I go to so I’d always recommend starting within your sphere so you’ve just joined the board find the person that you connect with the most you can then approach them and ask them if it’s okay to have coffees before your board meetings so that will be something that’s a little less formal but the good thing about it is when people are really busy sometimes the title being asked to be a mentor I’d be a bit too much for them to commit to however most people can’t commit to coffee so if you could ask them to if you can do coffee before board meetings chances are they’ll say yes and then if you need a bit more structured support you can always ask them are you able to be my mentor formally which they could say yes to or they could say no but even if they say no they might know someone within their network who would be able to support you and be your mentor so just be bold and don’t be afraid to ask and for those who have watched this I’m a couple of these episodes before we’ll know that what we tend to say is the worst thing that people can do is say no or ignore you they’re not going to ignore you though if they have to serve with want to board because there’s something here isn’t there about you’re okay you’ve been appointed Board of Trustee you’re now working with your peer group as opposed to a more hierarchical structure I guess that’s I’ve always found that quite difficult to balance my thinking with because I was 18 when I first became a trustee with all these you know Danes and all the rest of it and I was just a brand-new University student and in might I didn’t even have a date over at the time so I guess it’s about that reverse kind of reverse you’re thinking on your head how Germany applies for people that might be struggling with that I guess it’s sort of impostor syndrome right yeah impostor syndrome never really goes away though and you just have to almost lean into it I I still get impostor syndrome I walk into rooms and I and I feel like I shouldn’t be there and it’s just one of those things that you you’ve got to embrace your vulnerability and really understand that you’ve got something to bring to the table so just because you’re young doesn’t mean that you you haven’t got something to contribute you know the world through a completely different lens compared to the other board members so you bring in something that special

something that’s completely different so if you try and mimic the other board members you probably not going to be that great of a version of them just embrace the fact that you are a young trustee you were there as almost like a representative of young people so the new voice or something to bring and then leaning to that don’t feel the need or the pressure to be anything other than yourself so how do ya I don’t oh no one wants to be the only person in the room to ask the question and you know why I don’t get it or I don’t know what I’m doing so asking for a mentor some people might think exposes them as being less knowledgeable or less skilled or less able how do I go about or how to people watching this go about getting themselves in the right frame of mind for thinking actually a mensch it’s the right thing to do rather then this is me saying I need help yes I always circles back to that whole concept of embracing vulnerability just have the conversations starting with yourself you need to convince yourself before you can convince anyone else and a lot of the issues that we face tend to be in our heads so you will be thinking that people are sort of looking at you and thinking well this individual need support when no one’s really thinking that loffley tends to be internal so it could just be that you need to have a conversation with yourself and just talk yourself up to really feel confident you know role but then the second thing that you can really do is try and circle out people who are supportive but being the board structure and then have a side conversation with them so that way you don’t have to worry about speaking to the entire board about needing support you just speak to one or to people and then you can sort of take it from there confidence is just one of those things that you just have to keep working at and building it over time and you just have to keep falling and getting up and fully then getting up and just appreciate that it doesn’t get much easier and trust a ship I guess can turbo charge you getting that confidence right and being more feeling more appropriately at place and better in your job and better as a non-executive the rest of it so I guess I like what you’re saying there around actually if you’re having a conversation with someone about grabbing a coffee for a board meeting no one else needs to know that that conversation has happened or that that meeting has happened so you can embark on your mentoring or mentorship journey pretty discreetly I suppose which is a really good point what would you say then are the key and benefits to having a mentor and to having a mentee because so far we’re talking about receiving mentorship rather than necessarily having a mentee and the impact that that can have what would you say the benefits to both parties so if you’ve got the mentor you’ve got someone who can really support you you’ve got someone in your corner first and foremost but then you’ve got someone who you can ask all your questions that you’re not comfortable asking the whole group which is something that we all need we need someone who can ask all our silly questions and have a sound check and then effectively you can be a bit more confident to bring them to the entire board and if it’s something that you’re learning about but then you also have someone who can help you to develop we all need feedback we need someone who can hold us to account we’ve got any goals that you’ve set for yourself you need someone who’ll ask you how are you getting on with ABCDE so that’s a really good thing from the mentees perspective but in terms of the mentor you have the ability to sort of pour into someone else and we cannot underestimate be how much you gain from that so by having the mentee you can give back in a way that was given to you but also you’ve got a lot to learn I’ve got mentees and I learn a lot from them so I don’t see mentorship as a one-way relationship where you’re learning in one direction it’s almost like the two-way relationship and both will learn from each other so I’ve got mentees former mentor and I’m always learning I think as well like from what you’re saying it sounds like there’s a a delicacy there around offering to mentor so that the mentee doesn’t feel like all the things we’ve just spoken about I suppose because if someone how nice would it be if you joined a board and another trustee automatically it’s just part of the sort of induction process or whatever just said let’s grab a coffee I’m your board buddy which is a mentorship style relationship without necessarily calling it that and what would you say then to some people that are watching this who are a couple years into their meant into their trustee II Korea would you encourage them to do that and to offer to be a mentor or should you wait for the potential mentee to ask you because you don’t wanna sound patronizing at the same time as wanting to make sure you’re just there if someone needs extra support I don’t think there’s anything wrong with putting yourself out as a mentor and saying that if you need any support I’m here again we don’t need the titles the titles aren’t always necessary they can come later but if someone joins your

board here some younger or new you can always ask them to to coffee as well so sort of works both ways there’s nothing wrong with that it only becomes an issue when it’s forced you want it to always be an organic relationship where both people sort of gel and they can have that good relationship because then you can open up and really share your problems yeah and do you have any tips on concretely how you do this so how do you approach somebody and ask them even for a coffee if you’re like likho say 18 years old brand-new into the boardroom with all of the grandeur that comes with trustees and all the rest of it huh how do you do it how would you do it connecting on social media social media tends to be a bit lighter isn’t it compared to the boardroom so you can always find him on LinkedIn if they on Twitter even better and then just lying in ideas you send him a nice message and invite him out to coffee most people would not say no if specially if it’s all lined up at the board meeting so you always want to be aware and conscious of the fact that sometimes people just busy they don’t want to do it it might be over committed however if you make it as easy as possible and you sort of saying can we meet just before the board meeting makes it really hard for them to say no and yeah I think that’s right and actually the choice typically typically most trustees are pretty willing right they’re volunteering their time they believe in the cause they tend to sort of understand the role of mentorship etc so perhaps you’ve already won the hearts and minds of these people but I want to talk about privilege a bit and in our conversation that we had before this call we briefly mentioned it but what first of all do do different forms of privilege play a part when it comes to trying to secure mentorship so how will a young woman struggle to find mentorship in a board where it’s generally men what how does that dynamic play out privilege will always be a major player when it comes to things like this the first thing that comes to mind is class privilege because if you’ve got people coming from a upper-middle class background chances are you’ll really have people in your network from your family people who can connect you so you don’t really need that connection within the board because you may really know trustees whereas if they’re coming from a working-class background we’ve come across young people who’ve never heard of trusteeship before so there’s automatically that class privilege sort of things but then you also have the issue of race so trustee chipboards are traditionally white male middle class so if you’re coming in as a person of color conses are you’re not really gonna see anyone who looks like you which makes it an all more toned in it need to ask someone out to coffee because then you start thinking well how will you even navigate this relationship so we say this and he sounds really easy to ask someone out to coffee but you just depends on your your starting position and again same thing with women women are generally under represented on boards as well so it’s just trying to navigate those barriers and one thing that I always say to the young women that completely beyond so free to program is trying occupy these spaces no matter how uncomfortable it is just please and be the first if you need to be because then a generation will come behind you hmm you you walk so others can run I suppose is the sort of a general consensus how do you and this districting ever so slightly but it does relate some of the other and conversations that we’ve had in this sort of format before and with other gasps but how would you what would you say to a young person who’s been appointed as a trustee because of the skill set that they often put in the boardroom they’ve been told to sort of shepherd and look after whatever protected characteristic they have so you know if you have a young black male there and the board are constantly just asking about experiences as a young black man rather than about whatever skills day is that person’s been recruited for how what would be your tips to those people it’s pretty hard that’s always going to be a challenge but um what I would say is that if you don’t pull it out it will keep happening so there’s got to be a point where you soar speak up what that looks like will depend on who you are how comfortable you are and what the issue is it could well be that you can just raise it with a chair it’s a one-on-one you don’t have to do it face to face it could be an email that’s something that’s a bit more comfortable for you but I would say that the best thing is always to to address the issue because if you don’t you will always be the protocol black trustee or the working class trustee or the disabled trustee whatever it may be you all sort of grappling with it on your board and it will just keep going on if you if you don’t address it and class is

really interesting because I’m from a working-class background where actually my parents were unemployed for the book of my kind of teenage life because they were alcoholics so made from that what you will I don’t know what the category is if you’re working class for that and work in the household but when I definitely moved up right I’ve got a degree I’ve bought this flat I live in so I’m very aware now that I have progressed into the middle class how do you think we secure working-class voices in the boardroom do you think it’s about just creating that kind of individual who is working class or is it is it still valid to have been working class and to have had a set of experiences that have moved you slightly because that’s something I really really struggle with and also I don’t want to be the person banging on about growing up in Grimsby I haven’t lived there for ten years so you know in eight more years I would have lived away longer than I lived there so there’s something there’s something there I’m not sure I’m articulating it as well as perhaps could but hopefully you get what I mean because I do I really do and class tends to be really tricky one because most of the protected characteristics it’s one something protect countess’s but in terms of a new representation it’s one way you can sort of move away from so you can’t say that I used to be black and I’m no longer black wears but class you can still go work in class and exactly like you said become middle class but then that doesn’t take away your working-class roots because you know what it’s like to grow up working-class so um I do think that we definitely need to secure working class in terms of representation what that looks like depends on the individual board so I think sometimes we sort of look for a one-size-fits-all approach or an answer for every single thing I think every single board needs to just take stock and really think about what are we looking for if we’re looking for you representation and we’re thinking about young people from working class backgrounds then maybe it just makes sense to take on boards someone who’s currently working class and going through those issues you know always needs complicated and that’s probably why we haven’t fixed it just yet because these are really difficult conversations and difficult things to to address and especially in this country talking about class it’s like impossible right and I noticed that with some and we will get back to mentoring in a minute but I think people are like so I’m gonna carry on with it a bit but and there’s something here about increasingly boards are talking about the role of trustees in fundraising and I don’t mean putting on an event but I mean actually giving and awesome when you’re 18 19 even into your mid twenties you’re a boy you’re usually the poorest person on the board typically now again there are some exceptions to that I mean they’re not in my Friendship Circle people that are rich but they do exist right and so what do you think because I think obviously has an impact on accessibility to boards what’s your general feeling around that sort of thinking around all of that I think that’s actually quite problematic and I think we we had a conversation about this the other day it can be quite problematic because it will leave people out so if we’re saying we want more people more diversity in the sector and we start asking people to bring money into the charity as individuals people from working class backgrounds will be left out as well younger people and a good chunk of ethnic minorities as well because you’ve got that intersection of race and class and that we don’t always think about too much but all these individuals will effectively be pushed out but also push out women who’ve got caring responsibilities so we’ll end up with this really really small group of individuals who will be able to become trustees and I don’t think that’s the best direction to be moving in as a sector as a whole and the other thing would be little things like paying expenses so if you’re not if you’re not claiming your expenses and someone who needs to claim the expenses becomes the only person who’s coming forward and asking for expenses claims so it’s those little things that make the world a difference if everyone claims like their expenses and then if you need to be need to you can donate the money to the charity and Gift Aid it there will be a better strategy because that way people from working class backgrounds or younger people anyone who needs these finances a bit more can then be included without feeling like they’re the only ones who are asking for them for expenses pay back mm-hmm yeah I think that’s all great advice I’m gonna bring Megan in a moment and I guess my plea here to anyone watching this who is in a position of power I use a chair chief executives a treasurer whatever role is actually in your expenses policy to include things that widen participation beyond travel expenses because you mentioned you know young pet well not young just parents there and they associate your childcare costs I guess virus has probably shifted our thinking

a little bit in how boards can operate in its force slots there was a line and realized that and you can be giving a live interview on BBC whilst the child runs in and asks for two biscuits like happened yesterday right and that’s just like but I’m gonna ask Meg to bring in her question which I think might get us back on the main topics – what you’ve contributed I actually just had a question when I was thinking through so I’ve not had a mentor before but it’s something I would really like to you to have an experience and if I was going into my first meeting with my mentor I wouldn’t know what to expect or what to prepare so should I for example think about all my questions for and kind of secondary to that what can I ask of my mentor I wouldn’t want to take too much of their time so how do i navigate kind of being respectful of their time and making the most of it so I guess there’s two questions there really about minty etiquette I guess that’s a really good question what we did with with Phoebe on savage cohort quite early on was something called a swamp analysis at the native home before so your strengths weaknesses opportunities and barriers so thinking about that before you start your trusteeship journey really think about what do I want to get out of this so that when you have your first meeting with your mentor you know what it is that you’re looking to get from the relationship with a mentor as well and then also setting objectives so if you set like three or four objectives that you want to aim for and then when you meet with your mentor you can then go through them together that way you can help continue the conversation when you meet again and you’ve got something that you’re working towards I mean that’s quite concrete and that way you could all fun at that time as well because you’ll you’ll definitely be prepared for the session great and if you how do you if you and your mentor feel like you’re getting on when you’re having coffee grey what happens then in the boardroom there is quite a severe clash of either personalities or values over something that the charity wants to do so how do you manage a mental ship a mentoring relationship that’s gone wrong or do they go wrong it’s a part of life isn’t it I think it’s always try and be professional with everything so if you find that be mentorship is no longer working you could both decide that and it’s not working and still have a working relationship in the boardroom it’s only a problem when he starts to get ugly so that’s one of the reasons why I don’t advocate having a label because then you could just have coffee less frequently which is a code for this is probably not working and that’s perfectly fine because you not always going to be perfectly aligned in terms of your personalities and when you start off you might think that it’s a good fit and then you find out a couple of meetings down the line that it’s not working and that’s perfectly fine just phase it out gradually see them amazing out okay amy has a question she’s message to say to go question Amy over to you hi so ever too late have a mentor so I’ve been a trustee for like 18 months and just listen I’m like oh my goodness this would be incredible but like has the time passed or yeah there’s no such thing yeah whenever you feel like you need a mentor that’s probably a good time to sort into it I think the only problem is when you’re forced to have a mentor so me I’m entering this quite a quite a Leonean session where you’re told that you’ve doing the board this is your mentor that might not work yeah this there’s no such thing as too late to have a mentor go for it yeah and if you love it then offer yourself to be a mentor to other people as well and they can reverse mentoring so for those that and/or my understanding of inverse mentoring for those at my learn stand is when you the mentorship relationship is turned on its head so a young person mentors earth older person or a especially in current context and person of color mentors somebody that is white what do you think it works do you have any advice around that sort of stuff because that’s a quite a powerful thing to do I think in academically at least from understanding just does it work or not I’m not big fan if I must be honest I think any form of mental age should be good way anyways if you’ve got a mentoring scheme that’s very one-way dominant that’s when you’ve got their dynamic that we just discussed where things go wrong and he can get very ugly because we’ve got this power dynamic where we sort of esteem him the mentor over the mentee but I think a good

mentorship is one whereby the mentor is getting something out of the relationship so if the mentee so it’s almost like this at the same time mentoring so we were mentally an important mentor in at the same time whereas if it’s reversed mentoring particular with people of color it can be fatiguing because you’re sort of going in there and you me live in all your traumas and all your experiences and you effectively educated someone but then it can take a toll on you I saw a chief executive of a large organisation the other day put on LinkedIn white male although gay chief exec put up on LinkedIn that one of the steps they wanted to take to learn about things was to have a black member of staff reverse mentor them and I did think at first I thought all this is is this at first my instinct was this is really good then as I’ve delved into black light masters and I’m reading and why I’m no longer talking to white people about race as well yeah which is a great work and for any white one appalled critical reading I think if you are also on a journey of Education and there was just yeah I guess now you’ve articulated that there is something here about I can’t imagine how exhausting it must be to forever be teaching the people around you who make up the majority ie white people about your trauma and experience as a black person or a different person of color so that’s really helpful to point out because I think a lot of people think and I certainly did before these last couple of weeks think that reverse mentoring was a pretty good idea some of you on the call who in their mid-twenties might remember takeover days which was something that ran or God in the early well between 2000 2015 probably where young people went in and took over an organization for a day and that was like youth participation that was sort of it so I you know it’s good to see we’ve moved some way on but it does strike me that it kind of reflects on that a little bit now I want to go back to people put themselves out there if you reach out to someone and you don’t hear back how do you manage that situation I guess in terms of resilience because you know no one likes to get rejected how do you bounce back from that yeah you’ve hit them their own head no one likes to be rejected but it’s just a part of life you will be rejected at some point in your life more often than not more than once but it’s just having that emotional and resilience to understand that it’s just a part of life go through the emotions you’re not a robot it’s perfectly fine to feel what you’re feeling and to feel a little down but then put yourself back in the game again just because one person does not want to be your mentor does not mean that you will never find a mentor again so just put yourself out there again ask someone else and then yeah just keep just keep trying keep going even though it might dent your confidence a little bit I’m going to invite Cassie one of the other ambassadors to just share experiences of Allied ship so Cassie over to you hello I’m racer I was late by the way I’ve had the day yeah I I’ve had a mentor in our work capacity before but I’ve never had one as part of my role as a trustee but after this webinar I feel like I need to go and get one but I have had some really impactful allies along my journey and I wouldn’t necessarily have kind of identified them as mentors as such because the relationship or the support they were giving wasn’t as kind of long-term and but yeah I think Matt just wanted me to share some of those and one thing I would say that I’ve learned anyway and on my path to being a trustee is that it’s okay to not find everything in one person and so I’ve had like a few people and Bill isn’t here but he’s one of the other ambassadors and who I knew before young trustees movement and he would be kind of one of the allies that I’d met um in like my working life and actually he was the first person I called to chat about trusteeship and just to kind of say I’ve got this interview and I’m not really sure like the questions I need to ask and so we had a phone call and we chatted through all of that and so I think there’s definitely value in finding those people in the movement but also I found and I’m really lucky because my work are amazing but my manager has been a really good ally to me throughout the trustee journey I work for charity anyway so you know she kind of understands trusteeship and she is the director of our charity but I found it really powerful being able to have conversations about trusteeship in a

work setting to talk about how like what I’m learning from my trustee role can be applied to my day job and vice versa and also just having somebody to chat through like ideas or problems someone that knows me really well because I work with her every day and so they were kind of two of the people that came up but also my the chair of my board while I’ve only been on board since November I think we’re kind of gradually moving into that kind of mental relationship but in a more I’ve never said to her I would you want to be my mentor but just the conversations have flown and and often she’ll email to say I just want to check that everything’s okay and you know there’s anything I can help with so I guess my experience is that I haven’t had one person but I’ve had a few people in different parts of my life that and I’ve been able to get advice and mentorship for I see is there any particular reason why you’ve not had a more formal mentorship because I guess what I’m saying it’s there’s quite a fine line between what you’re describing and what precious is describing is there any reason why you’ve either never thought to have one because that might be quite useful because other people might have had those similar experiences I gas for me as I said I’ve had a mentor in a work capacity the really didn’t work I’m sure she won’t watch this but yeah it didn’t feel and I’m not sure whether it was because of like this like situation because we worked in the same organization and she was the senior manager and so she was mentoring me in my role and it just we just talked about work all the time but in a way that was like Oh have you seen the agenda for that meeting have you made sure you’ve done those actions or oh did you see the all staff update kind of thing rather than me feeling like I had a space to explore and talk through kind of ideas I need help with and so I guess I could have put me off if I’m honest because it was just it’s really work and it felt a bit forced I have you had your fingers burned but has this last sort of 35 minutes no yeah 35 minutes sort of re-inspired you to perhaps go out there and get one yeah I think so I feel like um yeah having someone outside of my own organization as well as probably beneficial I’m being very inspired after this chat anyway what I would add though sorry to cut you off Liam and I would say that I think that you actually do have mentors young and this sort of goes back to that fine line because even what your chair is doing she’s effectively mentoring you you don’t have the label and I’d say don’t be in a hurry to stick a label on it because that pressure sometimes is what creates the tension so if you’ve got someone who’s effectively acting as a mentor the next step is to just add a bit of structure then worry about the labels that can just sort of be pushed to the side so long as you’ve got that structure in place and I think you’re good to go and thanks for sharing by the way that was brilliant so if I’m in the bog well I am in the boardroom and I want to work out and I kind of watch this and think right I want to mentor what do I then do what’s the next step is there something in particular I should look for in a mentor is it someone with a similar skill set to me and so in the background or completely different or does anything all of that go out the window and it’s just anyone that will spend half an hour with me in print whenever we’re allowed to meet in prayer again I think the first thing is personality so even if you’ve got the same skill set if your personalities down the line you will clash and that’s where you’ve got those tensions so find someone that you you can see yourself spending time where you will need to be organic you want it to be a relationship and relationships take time you need to invest in it you’re not going to have your first meeting I think this is the most amazing thing ever it takes time so just find something that you think this is someone who’s personable this is someone I can actually see myself having coffee with and then go out for coffee and sort of take it from there precious I wondered if you would tell people a little bit about your professional background which is quite different to most of the people that we’ve had sitting in the hot seat if you like because a lot of them are some of the charity sector if you like is in their career and all their volunteering and whatnot so can you just talk to us a bit about your background and how you ended up where you are we

should have done this at the start actually but it’s kind of quite nice to always end on this as well so people can understand the context that you’re talking I’ve been speaking at yeah so I’ll actually start from the beginning because I’ve got an interesting journey so I am I dropped out of school around my GCSEs so I never was into school and later did find out much later was about 23 that was dyslexic one of the reasons why I could never engage at school was because of that so I sort of dropped out school around my GCSEs and I went back to school to do at college to do my GCSEs again and that seemed to go really well because it was a totally different institution less structured had a poor attendance wait because I sort of homeschooled myself ended up filling finishing my a-levels with AES and then went on to university and graduate with a first class honours degree in accounting and finance so if you are dyslexic or anything like that there I mean the dyslexic out here so went to university studying accounting and finance afterwards joined in an accounting club that I trained to be an auditor and then I spent about five six years in Birmingham working as an auditor moved to London continued in the accounting space and then I sort of had an epiphany I realized I really wanted to do more activism type work so my family sort of hells from from South Africans and Barberie they were very involved in the liberation struggle in apartheid South Africa so I always wanted to be involved in the activism space took a career employee study a master’s in charity management and then it was then that I had the idea to form a social enterprise that would marry my accounting skills and my love for activism so now I run a not-for-profit accounting and consultancy social enterprise and that’s built on social justice principles and it is the light of my life absolutely love the work that I do and when the programs as I mention quite early on and that we run the organisation is Beyonce food where we train young women of color to be trustees on charity boards and effectively occupy space is where they may not be invited naturally we effectively creating bloomin space for them so that’s a quick pit stop through my my life Oh someone’s just commented Uniqua I hope I said your name correctly so that I did order in Birmingham a few years ago – there you are so are you from Birmingham because you have a bra me accent no so I grew up in Kent I only moved to Birmingham when I went to university so I went to university Birmingham and then work let’s see I see I can hear the Kent’s now you know you says it and so beyond suffrage then and III you know I think you did a little bit of a pitch there but can you are the horror stories that we’re reading about on social media for being a person of color and particularly a woman of color in a boardroom is that changing or are you still hearing sort of those horror stories as recent as and a couple of months ago last year unfortunately the whole stories are still very much very much true where we are making progress but it’s really slow it won’t change until we change the makeup of boards so we were talking about how boards are traditionally white male middle class and lot older so if you’re coming into the space as a woman of color you are confronted with this notion that you have to sort of fit in you have to fit the mold or you defectively pushed out and that’s that’s information that we really hear from Queen the chance is sexy in general so it hasn’t quite caved I don’t think we’re on the class of changes yet I think we’re making progress and hopefully will continue to make progress over their coming years if there are people watching this and and I work for a charity my day job as well who are thinking the sexy bangs on about how it values people and that people at the center of what it does and that you know we love the communities we work in and everyone that we serve and all the rest of it but the the charity so white campaigners highlighted all of some of the race issues out there for people that are watching this and thinking I want to be a trustee of a charity I’m gonna get a mentor I’m gonna do all those things but there seems to be at the moment a weird values clash between wanting to do that and give back into a sector that is potentially going to discriminate against me because of who I am in my background how do you circle that square I think the most important thing is don’t be pushed out so I always say this to young people you have to occupy spaces we talk about

racism in a charity sector but it’s not isolated it’s not just racism you care et cetera there’s racism in the NHS if you look at maternity statistics for women of color faces I’m in policing and racing in the private sector so it’s just an issue in society in general so don’t let it stop you don’t decide not to be a trustee on account of race and there will be barriers there will be obstacles but whatever you can do just do that and they are programs there’s a lot more going on Malcolm John’s got work that he’s doing trying to bring more Pointer sector we’ve got beyond software each we’re trying to make as much noise as possible you mentioned charity so right there’s work that’s happening but then we need people to show up and we need people to to really occupy these spaces because no one’s in a hurry to bring you in new users have to force your way in and create your see for yourself at the table and I think that is a brilliant point to end on we’ve got two minutes left but I want to tell people about next week as well before I thank you for that really insightful and thorough and a bit jumpy all over the subject which is my fall but there was just so many things that you said that I wanted to pull out and so I hope everyone found that useful the next session next week is getting your board on board and Bill who Cassie mentioned earlier who’s one of the young trustee ambassadors and is a recruiter in his day job for peridot partners is going to be with us along with the head of governance alison from the NSPCC and the reason that allison is joining us is because the NSPCC recently put out an advert for a trustee who was under 25 so specifically they are looking for someone between 18 to 25 and for the NSPCC you know one of the top I know 50 Charities wherever in the country to come on this journey for young trustees is a real critical win not just for the movement of the people they’ve had conversations with but inevitably from the young people that they’re as PCC serve and so if you’re interested in that come and join us next week it’s going to be the same time same place we’re going to continue as a week for the next four weeks and then from August we’re going to change the timing of these and do them I think it’s once a month so there’ll be a lot less intense commitment in terms of something weekly but and pressures that honestly I really enjoyed this evening thank you so much for spending 45 minutes with us and we will make sure that we share and all of your social media handles and what lots of people can reach out to you is there anything you want to say in the last sort of 30 seconds that I haven’t been able that I haven’t give me an opportunity to say yet well first of all thank you for having me on this taking part in this session and better than this all dialed in one last thing to say go and occupy those spaces don’t let anyone put you down for being a a can trustee show up that’s the only way of that we can source dryer obtain in a meaningful way that’s great thanks very much thank you everybody and have a nice evening