I believe that ability is nothing without opportunity. But you can create your own opportunities. It’s just about thinking outside of the box and trying to do things a bit differently, and grasping opportunities when they do come up.
What could businesses do to combat hiring discrimination? My god, how long have you got? I think the key thing that will bring about the most change is having the right people around the table to make hiring decisions.
“I am a lawyer, currently on sabbatical and running a business. We’re developing a platform to help young people, particularly those from less privileged backgrounds, with advice, insights and access to opportunities.
I left home at 16 and was staying in hostels and B&Bs, things like that. I was in a position where I didn’t really know any other professionals or anyone who had been to university, so I kind of had to figure it all out for myself.
The process of doing applications was very new to me. I had done part-time work since 15, but not in any corporate environment. I got support from Kids Company who gave me a mentor who’s a barrister, who helped me with my application forms. Without her support I wouldn’t have been able to do it. With strong academics and the support to figure out how to approach applications, I managed to secure a couple of training contract offers.
I have distinct memories of feeling completely out of place because of my background and not knowing about different wines and Michelin star restaurants and things like that. It took a lot of adjusting and… still feel imposter syndrome cropping up every now and again.”