I met Nyasha about a year ago, just after the launch of the iDNetwork. Having networked a lot with the Chamber and looking to help with their D&I narrative, I thought this would be a great event to go to.
I wasn’t disappointed. Whilst I didn’t speak to Nyasha on the evening, I was in awe of her questions, her taking control of the audience and panellists and thought provoking event around do black professional need white advocacy.
I reached out to Nyasha and as with all amazing women I meet I think we had a two hour first meeting and got to know each other better. Then honoured to be able to speak on a panel later that year!
Thank you Nyasha for sharing your insight and I urge everyone to follow her on LinkedIn as her posts are really engaging!
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m a multi-passionate creative entrepreneur.
My core strengths are grounded firmly in marketing and communications; I have quite a wide breadth of clients, so the content I provide can be quite diverse and can include social media, media relations, graphics, presentations, or even ghost-writing column or speeches.
I’m a features writer for a leading jewellry industry magazine and also a regular BBC broadcast contributor. I also consult with third-sector organisations, such as charities and community interest companies, on governance and structure.
iDNetwork is a networking event evolved from my own desire to attend niche networking events aimed at Black professionals. I couldn’t find the right network for me, so with a lot of support and encouragement from friends and colleagues.
I create the change that I wanted to see; as a result, I was acknowledged as one of 50 inspiring people working in the Diversity and Inclusion sector by PricewaterhouseCoopers.
One year on, we’re celebrating its anniversary and about to announce the next steps in the network’s evolution. It just shows you the power of community and shared vision.
The theme for IWD this year is EachforEqual – as an inspiring female leader/entrepreneur what do you strive when you hear equality?
Each for Equal is a call to every single one of us to start truly self-examining and work together towards equality. It’s not going to be easy; it will be worthwhile.
We have so much to be thankful for, whilst at the same time so much to strive for, collectively. During Women’s History Month, we get to celebrate womanhood. Equality would mean that we wouldn’t require seasonal celebration, because the celebration would be constant.
Can you give us an example of when you were discriminated against because of your gender?
Sadly, I can absolutely give examples. I know that many women can. I’ve been threatened with violence, touched inappropriately and my expert opinion diminished purely because of my gender. I use these stories in my consultancy and across social media, to unpack stereotypes, biases and beliefs. Discrimination negatively affected my experience, progression and salary – both structural and individual; from across the genders.
The challenge we have is that everyone has been listening to the same messages for a long time. So, as well as activism, a level of understanding is also required, for the experiences of others, even if we don’t (and shouldn’t) agree with their views. We also need to find better ways of acknowledging and accepting the intersectionalities within womxnhood too.
How did you overcome this?
In a variety of ways. Sometimes, gender discrimination triggered me to simply leave the organisation; sometimes, I pushed against the system and learnt quickly that the game is rigged (and not in my favour). So, it’s good to see the focus change, especially on remuneration, albeit not quickly enough.
My experiences have increased my passion for diversity and inclusion, as well as my engagement in positive activism.
I lean heavily into these lived experiences with both professional and personal insights, to help unpack challenging topics; working with HR directors and other executives in a variety of ways including interactive workshops, challenging facilitated conversations and public speaking/panel work.
I’m able to reflect on and share stories and observations that employees may not feel safe enough to do, even within safe spaces such as staff networks; I also bring an understanding of the importance of language and communication, alongside HR and corporate responsibilities.
What advice would you give to your younger self and future generations of women who strive to live in a more equal world?
Its advice for all ages, all genders, all everyone, really!
Treat others as you wish to be treated: They won’t always return the favour. That doesn’t matter. You will have retained your integrity and self-respect. And you will feel better for it.
Keep calling stuff out: If you see it, say it – the conversation needs ALL of our voices.
Listen to other womxn’s lived experience: Experience gender inequalities across the intersectionality’s though panels, workshops, books… however you best take in information, seek out the difference.
Nobody knows everything: And nobody is perfect. We’re all on this journey, together.