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Added: Tayler Mondy - Date: 31.10.2021 04:50 - Views: 36190 - Clicks: 8806

Gold Oyelade, 22, just graduated from Warwick University, and has already landed a role in investment banking. Gold got an internship at City firm Evercore through a programme called 10, Black Interns. The programme, which aims to help create future black business leaders, has just announced 2, places at top companies are up for grabs.

Black people, who are under-represented in senior business roles, "just need a chance", Gold says. While Gold says Evercore "care a lot about their people", prior to being part of 10, Black Interns, she found there were obstacles preventing her getting into firms. Gold was born and raised in Brixton, and despite having gone to a Russell Group university, she and her black friends found it difficult to get internships they saw white peers getting with more ease.

This was in part down to their lacking a network - they didn't know the right people, she says. A lack of black leaders in companies can knock people's confidence in trying to get in, she says. Some businesses also need to take a look at their attitudes to black interns, especially from a working class background, she says. Gold said that the 10, Black Interns initiative "will make a difference" in how black people perceive their chances in business, and in how they are perceived.

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The 10, Black Interns programme aims to place 2, interns per year with companies over five years. The initiative grew out of Black Interns, and expanded due to interest from businesses who wanted to be involved, according to programme director Esther Odejimi-Uzokwe.

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Ms Odejimi-Uzokwe says the programme is needed to help create future black leaders in the City of London and beyond. She said the murder of George Floyd, and the impetus that gave to the Black Lives Matter movement, meant that in many companies "a light bulb flicked" and diversity moved up the corporate agenda. Nevertheless, she secured a place at Oxford University to follow a passion for studying theology and religion, and from there went into the City working at Goldman Sachs.

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There she saw first-hand that black people are under-represented in finance, and decided to try to help change that situation. But some black people do manage to reach senior positions in the world of finance. He was born in inner-city Manchester and raised as part of a single-parent family.

But his mum was a teacher, so there was "always a focus on education". On his success in scaling the corporate ladder, Mr Onuekwusi says: "I point to luck as well as hard work". But despite this, he says he's "had barriers" in the City, including feeling like an outsider. In addition, there are day-to-day challenges in the City. Once he went to a company where he was doing a presentation to other fund managers, and poured a coffee for himself and a lady.

When he turned around there was a queue behind him, waiting to be served, "thinking I'm the coffee waiter.

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These types of incidents build up. For him, being a senior fund manager, it's "easier to brush off". Lots of black women in business don't feel comfortable about their hair, he says, and get comments about it: "Is that real? While there is "more to be done" by business and society to tackle lack of diversity - Mr Onuekwusi says fair representation may not happen in his lifetime - the platform given to black hopefuls in business by 10, Black Interns is "massive", he says.

Image source, Gold Oyelade. Image source, Izunna Ogedi-Uzokwe. Image source, Legal and General. Related Topics.

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Published 27 May. Published 9 October

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