Planning for the New World: A Q&A with Mark Atkinson
Blogs 15th August 2019 2 minutes read
Green Park will be unveiling its third annual #BAME100 report at Somerset House. In the run-up to the launch of the 2019 BAME Business Leaders, we took the opportunity to showcase some of 2018’s most successful and influential black, Asian and minority ethnic leaders.
They include Dr. Nneka Abulokwe, the founder of MicroMax Consulting and the Chair of the Board Nominations Committee for the Information Systems Audit Control Association (ISACA). The first black woman to sit on the Board of a top European digital transformation organisation, Dr. Abulokwe is passionate about diverse and inclusive representation within the leadership and management.
She kindly took time out to tell Green Park more about her views as well as the influence of her upbringing in the UK and Nigeria.
As Dr. Abulokwe explains in Green Park’s exclusive video, she grew up in the UK and Nigeria, “born into diversity.” Her parents stressed the importance of “hard work, education, social skills and underpinning values” – a blend that has helped Dr. Abulokwe rise to the very top of her profession. Arriving back in the UK as a young black woman, Dr. Abulokwe helped to build the diverse country that we have today. “That’s the great thing about the UK,” says Dr. Abulokwe, “there are all these rich mixes within the UK population.”
The benefits of diversity in the workforce
For Dr. Abulokwe, the presence of this “a cultural smorgasbord” is very special – and something that organisations need to reflect if they want to get ahead:
“Imagine if we had this mosaic of cultures in our leadership teams. Take that down throughout the organisation and you have a more productive workforce. Because when your workforce resembles your client base, there’s a higher chance of achieving success." However, Dr. Abulokwe recognises that a truly diverse workforce isn’t possible without a company culture based on openness and acceptance:“It’s incumbent upon an organisation to create an environment in which people feel included.”
The #BAME100 list
Dr. Abulokwe says being part of 2018’s BAME 100 list has given her access to an exceptional talent pool and she’s delighted to be among “seasoned, board-ready professionals who are making an impact not just in industry, but in society as well.”
We hope that this year’s BAME 100 participants also enjoy the networking opportunities that the BAME 100 report brings. Look out for the release of 2019’s report on 11th September.
About Dr. Nneka Abulokwe OBE FAPM FBCS
Over the course of a dazzling 25 year-career, Dr. Nneka Abulokwe has delivered all kinds of innovative high-profile digital tech initiatives. She’s worked for some of the largest multinational digital transformation organisations in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and America, becoming an Executive Director of a €3.7 billion organization. She now advises boards on digital, tech and governance as strategic enablers.
Dr. Abulokwe earned her doctorate at Cranfield School of Management, UK. She has received several professional awards and prestigious fellowships – ranked 9th in the EMpower Financial Times BAME Executive & Role Models 2018; Fellow, The Association for Project Management (FAPM) and Fellow, The British Computer Society (FBCS). She is a Freeman of the Technologist Livery Company (WCIT).