Essential Career and Leadership Advice from Black Business Leaders
The Circl Interview Series asks leaders of the UK’s most exciting businesses to share their career paths and advice with the next generation of talent. This Black History Month, we’re highlighting some of the incredible Black leaders in our community with an interview roundup. Here’s some top career tips, must-know leadership advice and inspiring work journeys from some of the UK’s Black business leaders.
Gladys Williams - Sales Operations Manager at Workplace from Facebook
“It’s very important to know that you are good enough - you are even better than you think you are.”
“If you’re a Black female or male, or any kind of minority group, it’s not a disadvantage to where you want to go and where you can go.”
This interview has some wonderful words of wisdom for those struggling with a lack of confidence in their abilities. Gladys Williams is a Sales Operations Manager at Workplace from Facebook (a similar platform to the classic network but specifically for work teams to communicate, collaborate and connect). Gladys opens up about her own insecurities and how she tackled them - in fact opening up about your insecurities is something that she advises doing. She also gives us an insight into what it’s like to work at Facebook and the path she chose to get to where she is now. Hear her story and advice here.
Fauzia van der Leeuw - Tech Recruiter and UK Lead of BGW at Google
“You do need to fail sometimes and you do need to make mistakes because that’s how you learn. It makes you more human as well - someone who's 100% all the time isn’t that approachable. The biggest challenge I’ve faced is accepting that I don’t need to work 10x harder in order to feel that I’m equal to someone who doesn’t look like me.”
Feeling pressure around university and degree choices? Then you should check out this interview with Fauzia van der Leeuw, Tech Recruiter and UK Lead of the Black Googler Network. Fauzia studied law at university - now she works for Google where she hires software engineers for Google Europe, Middle East and Africa, and co-leads the Black Googler Network, an employee resource group that fosters success in the Black community at Google. As someone whose career is a world away from what she studied, Fauzia shares some advice for young students today, including why it’s ok not to have a plan and why you should follow what you enjoy. Give it a watch here.
Amaka Uche - Graduate Recruitment Talent Manager
“You can create opportunities for yourself, rather than waiting for employers to pick you.”
“You have to learn how to talk about yourself, how to talk about your achievements. At the end of the day, we want the best candidate - are you able to show that you’re the best? In a job interview, there’s no such thing as showing off.”
If you’ve ever wondered how to ace your job interviews, look no further. Amaka Uche, Graduate Recruitment Talent Manager, recruits graduates and helps them to break into the tech industry, meaning she knows all about the interview process and getting your dream job. In this interview, Amaka shares some great tips on talking about yourself in your interview, ways to develop your confidence and what she looks for when she’s interviewing someone. It’s definitely one to watch if you’re in the process of job hunting or struggle with your confidence - find it here.
Yeshua Carter - Executive Assistant at EY and Founder of EY Outreach
“Never limit yourself. You navigate where you go. I could have limited myself [when I was younger] to say these places are above and beyond me. My mentality was that I have something I can offer, I can bring my innovative mindset, be an asset and transform their company. Continue to push forward and do not limit yourself.”
Yeshua Carter is passionate about helping young people maximise their potential and find their purpose, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Yeshua works for EY, an organisation that helps businesses solve their toughest challenges. While studying as an apprentice at EY, he co-created an initiative called EY Outreach, where he collaborated with West Midlands Police to deliver criminal intervention and prevention programmes to support young people in Pupil Referral Units. In this interview, he talks about the importance of having good role models, being driven by purpose and adopting a can-do mentality that doesn’t hold you back. Give it a watch here.
For more inspiring interviews with professionals from the UK’s most exciting businesses, head here for the full series.