Worried about Coronavirus?

Worried about Coronavirus?

The wellbeing of our members is always our number one priority. 

Following the most recent developments with the Corona virus pandemic, the management team is working hard to ensure we can continue to support our most vulnerable members during this period.

Understandably, the current social distancing and self isolating measures may cause members to feel anxious, stressed, worried, sad, helpless, overwhelmed, confused or angry. As such, we are sharing helpful tips and guidance from the NHS on our social media platforms to support our members (and their loved ones) during this difficult time.

We ask that mentors do their part, by remaining in regular contact with their assigned mentee, and find out how they are truly coping. As you can appreciate, some may not wish to disclose that they are struggling financially, however, results from the recent poll we conducted on Instagram showed that 70% of our followers are worried about how this pandemic will impact their ability to pay up-coming bills.

Therefore, we recommend that you ask your assigned mentee if she is feeling overwhelmed by the extra cost of being at home with limited or zero income. If she answers ‘Yes’ then please ask her to visit GOV.UK to apply for Universal Credit and Employment and Support Allowance; support introduced by the Government in response to this issue.

If you have any concerns or questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We hope you and your loved ones stay safe during this time.

Best wishes,

PD Management


Staying Connected During A Pandemic

Staying Connected During A Pandemic

Transitioning your mentoring relationship from in-person to online.

A necessary precaution to help minimise the Corona virus spreading further in London.

The management team and I would like to thank everyone for transitioning their mentoring relationship from in-person to online. This is a necessary precaution to help minimise the Corona virus spreading further. As per the Government’s social distancing and self isolation instructions, communication will primarily be digital until further notice. Accordingly, please do your best to follow our 10 online etiquette rules listed below:

1) Spell people’s name correctly and respect any accent marks. Please use upper and lower cases properly e.g. my name is spelt Déolá Ònásanwó.

2)Think twice before hitting ‘reply all’ and do not send non-Pink Dynasty related messages in your mentee or mentor WhatsApp group chats. No one wants to read emails that have nothing to do with them, or be spammed with marketing material. As you can appreciate, it can be difficult to ignore notifications and emails that continuously pop-up on our screens. Therefore, please think carefully about why you are sending the message and if it is necessary for everyone to receive it.

3) Be sensitive to the fact that people from different cultures speak and write differently. Miscommunication can easily occur because of cultural differences, especially in the writing form when we can’t see peoples’ body language.

4) To avoid misunderstandings, keep tabs on your tone. Always read your message out loud before hitting send. If it sounds harsh to you, it will definitely sound harsh to others. Try to avoid using negative words, and always say “please” and “thank you”. Being courteous and exhibiting good manners will always be received well in social settings, especially when communicating with each other online.

5) Don’t write anything that would be ruinous to you or hurtful to others. After all, emails can be forwarded at anytime, so to be safe, always be kind and respectful.

6) Always use professional salutations in your emails. Don’t use colloquial (informal) expressions like, “Hey you guys,” or “What’s up?”. Use discretion when addressing people online, especially if you do not have a personal or familiar relationship with the recipient(s).

7) Do not shorten anyone’s name, unless you’re certain they prefer their name to be shortened. For example, my name is Adéolá, however, as mentioned at the induction event, I prefer to be called Déolá or Dee. To avoid disrespecting people, always ask what a person likes to be called, never assume.

8) Always use exclamation points sparingly. If you choose to use an exclamation point, please only use one to convey your excitement. Additional exclamation points make you sound like you are angry or shouting.

9)Proofread every message. Unfortunately, our mistakes won’t go unnoticed by the recipient(s). Read your note aloud, before sending. Remember to use spell check and if you suffer from dyslexia (like I do) try to take extra time when writing, and if possible ask for a second pair of eyes to review/edit your message.

10) Always add the email address(es) last, and double-check that you’ve selected the correct recipient(s).When you are replying to a message, it’s a good precaution to delete the recipient’s email address and insert it only when you are sure the message is ready to be sent.

Thanks again for your continued commitment and support, together we can get through this difficult and uncertain time.

Take care of yourselves and each other.

Best regards,

Adéolá Ònásanwó, MBA
Managing Director, Pink Dynasty CIC

Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month

One of the first Women’s Day observances caused a revolution!

Celebrated every March to coincide with International Women’s Day on March 8.

Women’s history month is period where people raise awareness about the impact women have made on history, and highlight the needs and issues many women still face worldwide.

In many parts of the world, women are still highly discriminated against, and may even have less access to education and economic opportunities. That’s why throughout the month of March, people will organise demonstrations and rallies in support of women’s rights to give light to these issues not too many people are aware still exist.

Women’s Month commemorates the history of women’s impact in the world and to raise awareness of issues women are facing worldwide, while International Women’s Day was established to commemorate the movement for women’s rights.

Throughout March,  Tower Hamlets Council and Alternative arts have celebrating contemporary women artists, activists, writers and performers, women’s groups and community organisations by offering a diverse programme of events and exhibitions across East London.

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” — Maya Angelou.

Have a great Women’s history month !

Welcoming the Class of 2020

Welcoming the Class of 2020

We are thrilled to welcome our newest members to the PD family!

Becoming Truly Connected – The Journey Ahead

A massive congratulations to: Aurelia Hummelbrunner,Funmi Looi-Somoye, Maria Oshodi, Alybaa Tahir, Maisie Allen, Tobi Omiyale, Melanie Klouvi Nana, Andrea Losinda, Isabel Gaston Sanam Dhaliwal, Marianna Aturia, Laura Pla, Ranya Lamani, Assia Hamdi, Tracy Achonwa, and Melissa Yebisi , who recently secured Pink Dynasty membership. We are thrilled to have you join the PD network and can’t wait to support you with achieving your goals.

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We hope you enjoyed meeting each other and feel enthusiastic about the journey ahead – paring list attached.

Please remember to complete the mentoring agreement form, and return a signed copy to us at your earliest convenience.

Next steps:
1. Create a WhatsApp group
2. Follow Pink Dynasty CIC on LinkedIn
3. Nominate a chair and co-chair who will attend PD Management meetings

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

Best of luck,

PD Management Team

Is Meritocracy a Myth?

Is Meritocracy a Myth?

We need to stop lying to working class students about academic achievement being the key to success.

Article written by Afolabi Oliver

The idea of meritocracy, whereby reward is proportionate to effort and ability, is both seductive and deceptive. Defenders of modern capitalism have come to depend on it. But without equality of opportunity – something British society clearly lacks – the idea is hollow.

My journey to a relatively successful career in finance started in a south London state school where visits by the police (in their professional capacity, not to hand out badges and stickers) were far more frequent than those from careers advisers or inspirational professionals. Despite dangers and distractions, I achieved the grades and demonstrated the passion, aptitude and intellectual curiosity to take a place at Cambridge University. After graduating from one of the best universities in the world, conventional logic would suggest I was a valuable commodity entering the labour market and destined for a top job. Well, not quite.

At this point I should probably mention the fact that I’m from a working-class background with a mother who is half-Nigerian and half English and a father who is Jamaican (i.e. I’m black, or mixed race depending on your perspective). Both race and class identifiers are important because the overlap of ‘working class’ on ‘black’ is significant in the Venn diagram of the UK population. Whilst being working class is a significant disadvantage, which may be more significant than race in terms of pursuing an elite career, the fact that so many black people are working class means that there is insufficient black representation and cultural influence in elite professions. It’s the mixture – what sociologists call intersectionality, that harms life chances the most. And put simply, racism (explicit, institutional, tacit or unconscious) is real and alive in British society.

Class and race both have an effect on success (photo from Thinglink)

Employers want more than good grades
By the time I entered the labour market I had already been the first one in my family to graduate from university through the traditional route (my mother obtained her degree from the Open University). I evaded the temptations, peer pressure and intimidation of the streets. It is therefore ironic that I was then told that I hadn’t demonstrated enough passion to pursue an elite career.

Mostly this was explained as a failure to take advantage of opportunities that I had no idea existed. I now know of things that I could have done to distinguish myself and improve my chances; however, my problem wasn’t a lack of effort but direction. Unsurprisingly, direction tends to be more elusive when you don’t know any elite professionals that can direct you.

Class barriers are not exclusive to the selection process. Assignments, access to senior influencers and development support may not be distributed in an equitable manner. Many end up leaving, being pushed out or ‘convinced’ that a career elsewhere is in everyone’s best interests.

If my personal experiences hinted that these cultural barriers existed, the experiences of a close relative (10 years my junior) convinced me. He achieved a first-class degree in Economics from a Russell Group university and secured a tech consultancy job in a Big Four firm. This opportunity was short-lived. He was made to feel unwelcome and marginalised for failing to adapt to the culture of the business. His most notable indiscretion was using his car allowance to lease a vehicle that, while fully within his employers’ parameters, was considered too ‘flash’, especially when his immediate superiors had opted for sensible hatchbacks.

We need to coach working class students to succeed
Elite professions should ascribe greater value to the drive, resilience and hunger demonstrated by working class applicants, rather than penalising them for lacking polish, guidance and social capital. However, rather than waiting for this, I favour a new approach which teaches workplace survival skills to academically gifted students from underrepresented backgrounds. We need to give those without the luxury of social capital access to successful and relatable figures from elite professions and industries before they step into an interview room with them. We need to instil confidence, self-value and a sense of belonging so that they feel entitled enough to demand a place at the table (and can later describe their entitlement as hunger!).

I teach young people I meet that they are empowered to shape their own reality I also explain what I actually do at work. Many of these students come from environments where they are all too familiar with a pervading sense of fear and insecurity. We need to ensure they are not afraid to ask questions, ask for work experience, ask for access or ask for exposure. Don’t be afraid of ‘no’ and don’t be deterred by rejection and setbacks. When elite professionals describe the secrets of their success, they emphasise personal characteristics and pivotal interactions, not grades and qualifications.

There will always be those who achieve against the odds. I know many, and I am proud of my journey. But it is not a battle I have come through unscathed. If we are serious about creating a fairer and more meritocratic society where talent and effort is not eclipsed by connections and charm, we need to shorten those odds.

That requires us to stop telling the lie that academic achievement is the most important factor in professional success or elite employment opportunities. It is a lie that I was told, and a lie I had to unpick through first- and second-hand experiences. To lie to a new generation, whether about meritocracy or what determines success, would be a betrayal of us all.

Afolabi Oliver is co-founder of the charity KEY Sessions.