Tell us about your career journey and what you do day-to-day in your role.
I started my journey, at Mazars LLP on the graduate scheme. During my time at Mazars, I was exposed to a lot of opportunities and worked between Finacial Audit, Tax and then settled in IT audit. Once I qualified, I moved out of practice, into Internal IT audit in the insurance industry, and after two years I moved into the banking industry. In my day-to-day role, I audit both technical and application controls within the bank and analyse how these controls impact and protect the business processes and the business as a whole.
Why do you think it is so important for workplaces to support and celebrate diversity?
I think it is extremely important for workplaces to support and celebrate diversity as this gives individuals from minority backgrounds the confidence to bring their 'whole self' to work allowing them to build on their knowledge and skills in their workplace and their careers. I think it is also important to support and celebrate diversity as it will stimulate a diversity of thought and ideas, providing the workplace with more opportunities to develop talent and business.
What advice do you have for BAME students considering a career as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant?
I would encourage BAME students to pursue a career as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant as this would provide them with a firm foundation for starting a post-qualified career. I would also advise, although audit may seem like a very daunting and dull career path, the role exposes graduate a variety of clients and senior individuals early on.
What are the challenges of being a BAME student/member in accountancy?
A challenge being a BAME student, but more importantly, a student/member of Afro-Caribbean heritage is that accountancy can sometimes feel like an old boys club. This can make the journey of qualifying rather lonely as one may feel as though they do not fit into this 'club'. To combat this inferiority complex, it’s important to get to grips with the fact that you have earned your seat at the table. Additionally, connect with other BAME student who are on the same journey as you, whether that’s through networking inside the your training firm, joining an ICAEW student society or connecting and networking with other BAME chartered accountants in the industry.
Do you support any initiatives at work or outside of work to support or promote diversity? Does your role as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant/ACA student give you a platform to do this?
Outside of work, I am a Trustee for a charity called Bettering Education. Bettering Education exists to provide young people with the life skills necessary to avoid poverty and achieve their purpose. I believe my role as an ICAEW Chartered Accountant and the training received as a graduate, has given me the confidence and business acumen to support this charity effectively.