Despite ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, KPMG’s African & Caribbean Network in Scotland has pushed ahead with the second annual MAKE History event, following last year’s launch event in Aberdeen.
The campaign was founded with the aim of bringing together Scotland’s black heritage community to learn from each other and motivate younger people to have the confidence and knowledge to become tomorrow’s entrepreneurs or corporate leaders.
This year’s event was Scotland wide and took place virtually, with attendees hearing from a range of panellists and speakers. These included Lola Bejide, founder of career strategy consultants Soluman Consultancy; KPMG UK deal advisory partner John McCalla-Leacy; Aberdeen-based KPMG UK manager Darbie Onugha; and Edinburgh-based KPMG UK manager Wellcome Musiyamanje.
Bejide said: “KPMG’s Make History is a wonderful event that enables graduates of black heritage to hear from and ask questions of black professionals, this enables them to not only hear about the possible struggles that they may face but more importantly, it empowers them to understand that they are equipped to challenge and overcome obstacles and achieve career success.”
The event also heard from KPMG’s recruitment team, offering tips and advice to students and young people considering a career in professional services or the wider corporate world.
MAKE History was created by Lolu Olufemi, a global mobility manager for KPMG in Aberdeen, who felt there was a growing need to bring together the city’s disparate black heritage community and build a platform to support students who had big ambitions, but few relatable leaders to inspire them to develop their careers.
“When we launched the event last year, my biggest hope was that it would become an annual event and I’m delighted that COVID-19 didn’t stop us from continuing the campaign in 2020 and expanding it across Scotland,” she said.
“MAKE History has enabled us to develop a network, particularly for younger people of black heritage in Scotland, offering them a place where they can ask questions and access real-time advice from positive black role models which will help to get them started on their own career journeys.”
Data from Scotland’s most recent census survey suggested around 1% of the country’s population was from a BAME background. However, KPMG stated that the figure has grown in recent years, with Scottish towns and cities becoming increasingly diverse as student populations increase and people are drawn to global industries including oil and gas and financial services.