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Black History Month at Venari Partners

Themed quiz, reading and watchlists shared among staff at this important time of year

It’s that time of year again – and no, we don’t mean Halloween. October may be commonly associated with pumpkin carving and dressing up, but it also marks Black History Month in the UK: a time to celebrate Black culture and achievements, while taking stock of the ongoing struggle for racial equality.

Black History Month has been celebrated in the UK since 1987, and each year a number of different events take place across the country to mark the occasion. The theme for the month this year is ‘Saluting Our Sisters’, a celebration of inspirational Black women – many of whom were sadly overlooked in their own time. Highlighting the achievements of individuals as disparate as Mary Seacole, Kanya King, and Nicola Adams is important, though there is still plenty to do to dismantle structural discrimination against Black women.

For instance, a 2021 report from the LSE has shown that UK-born Black women are the most underrepresented in the top income percentile, when compared to other women and men; the same study noted that Black women in the UK, regardless of where they are from, ‘have the lowest probability of being top earners’. Sadly, structural racism is an ingrained problem at all levels of the ladder; women from Black and minority ethnicity backgrounds have an unemployment rate nearly three times higher than the figure for white women. There are sobering statistics around the experience of Black women working in the UK, too; 75% of women of colour have experienced racism in the workplace, while a report by the Black Professionals Network last year noted that over 50% of Black women in the UK leave their jobs due to racial inequalities.

At Venari Partners, we are committed to helping our clients meet their diversity, equity, & inclusion (DEI) goals – and these are principles that we swear by internally, too. Harbouring progressive, egalitarian views among our own talent is crucial to us, though of course that doesn’t mean that we can’t keep educating ourselves. Black History Month is an important opportunity to look to the past, as well as the future, for how we can continue to learn and grow.

In this spirit, we were pleased to hold a Black History Month quiz last Friday for our staff. Five teams battled it out, testing their knowledge on a range of questions with categories including Black Britain, women, inventors, and business. Questions ranged from history and culture to sport and entrepreneurship, with varying levels of difficulty. Even the eventual winners slipped up on a trick question! We’ve also circulated an internal memo with reading and watchlists for employee reference.

At Venari Partners, we understand that we have a unique opportunity to address inequality of all forms. We have taken steps to address this proactively; last year, 38% of the candidates we placed successfully were female, while 20% of all candidates were from an ethnic minority background. We will do all we can to see these numbers grow year-on-year in our mission to ensure that everyone receives an equal chance to succeed in their chosen profession.


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