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Investing in BAME Development ( Published by Dame Neslyn Watson-Druée, DBE

Irrespective of the rhetoric to minimise investing in diversity and inclusion, there is a range of strategic benefits for organisation investing in BAME development.

Generally, investing in BAME development is not only a matter of equity and fairness but also a strategic decision that can lead to many positive outcomes for both, community access, individual and organisational gains.

 At the recent graduation of the Cabinet Office Rise Programme, sponsored by Philip Orumwense CBE and led by Mark Moore graduates spoke of their journeys and contributions to service development, business accomplishment and confidence building that made listeners proud. Let us not forget that investing in BAME development often leads to:

 1.     The promotion of diversity and inclusion within their workforce, leading to a more equitable and representative workplace.

2. Innovation and Creativity: A diverse workforce can bring different perspectives, ideas, and experiences to the table, fostering innovation and creativity within teams and enhanced outcomes for service delivery.

3. Talent Retention and Attraction: Supporting BAME development can help in attracting top talent from diverse backgrounds and retain existing talent by showing a commitment to equity and fairness.

4. Improved Performance: Studies have shown that diverse teams tend to perform better, as they can leverage the strengths and skills of individuals from different backgrounds to achieve common purpose and common goals.

5. Market Reach and Understanding: Investing in BAME development can help organisations better understand and connect with a diverse customer base, leading to improved market reach and customer satisfaction.

Dame Neslyn Watson-Druée, DBE was honoured to be invited to give the keynote address to the graduates of the 2024 Cabinet Office Rise Programme. I left key nuggets with the grandaunts:


  • Know your blessing, attributes and resilience – your BAR

  • Ask yourself difficult questions. Reflect on the answers you give yourself and learn from those. There is no one outside of yourself who can give you better answers than the answers you give yourself.

  • Drop your answers into your heart, sleep on the answers, and ask your soul for the best response. Your soul is the genius within you – the genius of your being.

  • Because every person who has attained high performance is a disciplined person; and disciplined people get what they need to get done, their thoughts are focused on high performance, and they keep their energy high. 


In the words of Eckhart Tolle:

The power is in you,

The answer is in you,

And, you are the answer,

For all your searches,

You are the goal,

You are the answer,

It’s never outside.


  • Know your strengths, your purpose, your values, what you will stand for and know what you will not tolerate.

  • Self-Knowledge gives you confidence in your own abilities and judgment. It involves trusting yourself to make decisions, take risks, and pursue your goals with determination. Self-knowledge involves acknowledging your strengths, setting achievable goals, overcoming self-doubt, and practicing self-compassion. It's an essential element for personal growth and success.

  • Know that what you conceive, you can achieve. You and the divine presence within you is the architect of your life, so focus on what you want from life rather than what you don’t want. 

  • Racism, sexism, and other forms of oppressions are distractions, the more attention you give to those episodes, the more those distractions expand in your life.

  • Build your network  and surround yourself with a positive mindset and supportive and encouraging people who believe in you and your abilities. It is important for you to:


Challenge your inner critic: Replace self-doubt and negative thoughts with more positive and empowering beliefs. Move onto the next phase of your career while you are still enjoying the current phase. Celebrate your successes: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small. Visualize success: Imagine yourself achieving your goals and performing at your best. Visualization can help boost confidence. Take care of yourself: Prioritize self-care activities like exercise, proper nutrition, and sleep. Physical health can positively impact your mental well-being. Self-care builds your resilience and enable you to cope with the dross of life when such dross crosses your path.


  • Knowing your gifts involves recognizing and understanding your natural talents, strengths, and unique qualities. By being aware of your gifts, you can leverage them to achieve personal and professional growth. Here are five steps to help you identify your gifts.



  1. Self-reflection: Take time to reflect on activities or tasks that come naturally to you and bring you joy.

  2. Seek feedback: Ask friends, family, and colleagues for their perspective on your strengths and talents..

  3. Psychometric assessments: Consider taking psychometric assessments StrengthsFinder to gain a deeper understanding of your strengths and personality traits.

  4. Explore possibilities: Try new hobbies, projects, or challenges to discover what activities make you feel energised and engaged. Your gifts often shine when you are doing things you are passionate about.

  5. Journaling: Keep a journal to track moments where you feel in flow or exceptionally successful. Look for patterns in these experiences to identify your unique gifts.


 Resilience is your ability to adapt and bounce back in the face of hardship, challenges, and setbacks. It involves coping with stress, overcoming obstacles, and thriving despite difficult environments.

 The following 7 ways will help you to build resilience:


  • Develop positive thinking: Practice optimistic thinking and reframe negative situations in a more positive light. Focus on solutions rather than dwelling on problems.

  • Maintain a sense of purpose: Clarify your values and purpose in life. Having a strong sense of purpose can provide motivation and resilience during tough times.

  • Cultivate problem-solving skills: Develop effective problem-solving skills to approach challenges more constructively. Look for different perspectives and brainstorm solutions.

  • Build strong relationships: Maintain supportive relationships with your team, family, or a community. Accept that setbacks and failures are a part of life. Learn from them, adapt, and move forward with a positive attitude.

  • Set realistic goals: Break down challenges into smaller, manageable goals. By achieving these smaller goals, you can build confidence and resilience to tackle larger obstacles.

  • Take care of yourself: Prioritise self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, proper nutrition, and getting enough sleep. A healthy body and mind are better equipped to handle stress.

  • Seek help when needed: Don't be afraid to ask for help when you're struggling. Whether it's from friends, family, or a professional, seeking support can strengthen your resilience.


Black woman at Diversity event
Diversity

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