Written by: Mica on May 17, 2021Tags: diversity, diversity and inclusion agenda, diversity and inclusion in the workplace, diversity consultancy, diversity in work, women in stem, Women in Tech
As you know, the second part of our mission is to “Get the tech industry ready for girls”. This has always been an important and critical part of our work because we don’t want the young people that we inspire to pursue a career in tech, only to leave shortly afterwards (Women are 45% more likely to leave a tech job than men).
Over the past few years, we have sustained our social enterprise mostly through a membership scheme where we work with organisations on their inclusion agendas by giving them access to educational workshops and support throughout the year, whilst also supporting the next generation with tech education and community. We recently wrote about our new offer for partners which aligns with our new E-Learning platform, and our pivot into digital services.
One of the most exciting decisions we made was to work closely with Irene Afful from Ametrine Coaching & Consultancy, to be able to deliver more inclusion services at InnovateHer in addition to our core partner packages. We caught up with Irene so that you can find out more about her and what her company Ametrine does;
Our co-founder Chelsea met you [Irene] on a Women’s Org panel a few years ago, where you spoke about being the first ever black female inspector in the history of Merseyside Police, can you tell us more about that experience and what you learnt whilst being there?
Policing is a great career and it afforded me the opportunity to really live my values of justice, serving the community and protecting victims of crime. It is a white male dominated profession and I did experience periods of isolation, as a black female. However I was dedicated to my job and to advancing my career so I worked incredibly hard to gain my promotions, having to overcome many barriers along the way. I didn’t realise at the time that I had made history in being the first black female inspector in the history of the force. Though I was really proud of this achievement, it also saddened me that there was still such a lack of diversity in the senior police ranks in the 21st Century.
You now run Ametrine Coaching & Consultancy, a business that specialises in helping organisations and the individuals within them enhance their efficiency, effectiveness and competitive edge by aiding them in becoming more inclusive and more compassionate. What do you love about this work and how has your experience helped to deliver this?
I’m a people person and gain my greatest satisfaction supporting and empowering others, be that individuals, groups or organisational leaders on their DE&I journey. Our society is becoming ever more diverse yet many organisations do not keep pace with this diverse growth and many diverse groups are thus under-represented, particularly in senior positions. I understand what it feels like to be a minority within an organisation and the impact this can have on an individual in terms of confidence, a sense of belonging and experience of discrimination. I have also seen how ineffective policies and strategies are in tackling these issues as they rarely have accountability, and key performance indicators that are measurable. I have worked in both of these dimensions and achieved really positive results. My lived experience, coupled with academic study, gives me the depth and breadth of knowledge that is invaluable to organisations and individuals.
Can you give us a rundown of what Ametrine delivers to organisations?
We specialise in diversity, equality and inclusion consultancy and provide support to organisations to set, design and deliver on their equality objectives, developing opportunities to diversify and enhance the workforce leading to a more efficient, effective and profitable organisation. We deliver a number of bespoke workshops to support staff and organisations on their journey. We also provide professional coaching services to individuals looking to develop themselves for promotion, lateral development, or career change. Our business is to support individuals and organisations to overcome barriers to achievement and to realise their vision and goals for success, through embedding culture change, leadership development, employee engagement and professional coaching services. It is sort of a two-pronged attack; supporting individual development and preparing organisations to recognise and support diverse talent.
We’re so pleased that we are going to be collaborating with you to support our partners on their inclusion agenda, what is the first step a business can take and what should they expect when they work with you?
The first step is knowing where they are now, a present position audit. How diverse is their organisation? Where are the gaps, What policies are already in place? How effective are they? How are they measured? Is there an overarching DEI Strategy in existence? What are you hoping to achieve? How do staff feel working for your organisation? Gathering data is key at this initial stage and a cultural audit of staff is also extremely useful in ascertaining if there are any disparities in how staff from different groups feel about the organisation. The outcome of this will then lead to future proposed actions and programmes. What businesses can expect from me is a supportive consultant who wants to support them to be their best and gain that competitive edge but also the reputational capital.
Ametrine has had lots of success in your delivery of inclusion services. Are there any success stories that stick in your mind?
I need to maintain my clients’ confidentiality so I won’t name names but I will say that each success, however large or small means the world to me. For example when I have supported individuals to overcome some seemingly insurmountable problems and advance in their careers with renewed confidence. Or supporting a large public sector organisation with a new diversity strategy with measurable KPIs which has led to success in the recruitment and retention of minority groups. Or delivering unconscious bias workshops which have led to more open discussions in the workplace and an understanding and recognition of subtle acts of exclusion which leads to a more open inclusive workplace.
We’ve loved working with you through delivering workshops to our partner community over the past year, why do you support our work, why does it matter to you
I think you are doing such amazing work in opening up the tech sector to women and girls. Any industry which has such a lack of gender, and other diversity closes the career pool for women. It is so important to open up these opportunities and open the mindsets of women and girls to careers which were seen as typically male; smashing the gender stereotypes and providing role models for girls to aspire to. It is also important to prepare organisations to recognise and embrace this diverse talent. That’s why I love what you do. Like me, you attack the problem from both sides. It’s synergy!
If you’d like to start your inclusion roadmap, train colleagues on unconscious bias, or want to simply speak to us about how to get started, your journey starts here. Tap here to get started!Back to news and views