Croydon business woman spearheading diversity

Rashada Harry has been nominated for her work in diversifying the STEM world Pic: MADE Photo

Rashada Harry has been nominated for her work in diversifying the STEM world Pic: MADE Photo

A woman from Thornton Heath has been nominated for a Black British Business Award in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics category, for her work on diversity.

Rashada Harry launched social enterprise, Your Future Your Ambition, in 2012 with her business partner Tunji Akintokun, which aims to encourage people from Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority backgrounds into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – commonly known as STEM – related careers.

The social enterprise has been recognised for its excellence and the directors as leaders and role models for new businesses.

Harry said: “I’m delighted to be recognised by the British Black Business Awards as an inspiration model for the next generation of business leaders for my work with Your Future Your Ambition in STEM.”

The Awards were founded in 2012 by Melanie Eusebe and Sophie Chandauka and have supported and celebrated a number of black business people and their contributions to different industries and society.

Eusebe said: “I started these awards to showcase the contribution made to the British economy by black business people, and with the tremendous support we have received from our sponsors, judges, partners, community and government, we now have a sold out ceremony that is raising awareness, changing mind-sets, and inspiring the next generation of business leaders.”

Your Future Your Ambition has grown over the last two years, with student numbers reaching over 1,000. They have also secured executive sponsorship, as well as the involvement of over 20 organisations.

The STEM category at the Black British Business Awards is sponsored by EDF, one of UK’s largest energy suppliers.

Fiona Jackson, Head of Strategic Resourcing and Employer Branding of EDF Energy said: “EDF Energy believes that British business benefits from having a diverse workforce which reflects our society. We know that diverse teams lead to better performance and we want more of this in our business, in particular we want to attract more BME candidates into STEM careers with us.”

This year’s finalists also include Dragon’s Den star Pier Linney and agricultural entrepreneur Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones. The judging panel includes Tim Campbell MBE, the BBC Apprentice 2005 winner, Sanjay Bhandari, Partner, EY, Karen Blackett OBE, CEO, MediaCom, Adrian Joseph, Director, Customer Solutions & Innovation, Northern & Central Europe Google and Steve Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, ASDA.

Winners will be announced on October 2 at the Grange City Hotel, Tower Hill, London.

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