Our team is growing:
City have recently welcomed two new individuals to drive Race Equality work within the institution and support the Institution’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion goals.
Sabah Holmes, Race Equality Manager, will cover for Dr. Kavita Powley who is on maternity leave and Natasha Mutch-Vidal, Senior EDI Officer (Race Equality) joins us on a secondment in a newly created role till 3rdJanuary 2022.
Their roles will focus on supporting, facilitating and aligning Race Equality work across City while also supporting City’s application submission for the Race Equality Charter Bronze Mark. They work to support the institution, as part of the EDI team led by Emma Taylor-Steeds, EDI Manager within the HR directorate, while also working closely in collaboration with Zoe Radnor, VP Strategy & Planning & EDI and Jessica Jones Nielsen, AVP EDI & Race Equality and REC SAT Co-Chair.
Get to know Sabah and Natasha better:
Sabah is a seasoned HR and Inclusion strategist, mentor and consultant, with almost two decades of professional and lived experience gained in the UK, UAE, US and India. Sabah has strategic advisory, coaching, and mentoring expertise and certifications across HR, race equity and inclusion in a variety of sectors and industries, public and private: aviation, telecommunications, advertising, media, engineering, and higher education.
Sabah has a Masters of Arts in Human Resources Management from Newcastle University Business School, Bachelors of Arts (Honours) in Economics and Sociology from Durham University, is CIPD qualified, and has certifications in Racial Equity Literacy facilitation, Mentoring and Coaching, and is a Certified Trainer and Coach of the 4 Stages of Psychological Safety framework. She is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health from Kings College London.
Sabah, what are you most looking forward to in your new role?
I am most looking forward to facilitating meaningful change and progress around race equity at City. I am passionate about creating collective education and courageous conversations around anti-racism, understanding equity versus equality, appreciating intersectionality through a win-win lens and understanding exclusion and its impact. The Race Equality Charter is a mechanism to be leveraged for definitive systemic change – not the end goal. I do not believe in performative pieces of work/ allyship or being urgent without a plan.
My goal is to create sustainable momentum through clarity not chaos with good intentions. This is something I am looking forward to even though I know that there is often a painful lack of understanding around what race work really looks and feels like in HEIs. Those that are serious about change, realise that no one person can be burdened with creating change and instead, every single leader (especially HR) needs to step up, take accountability, listen and take action without delay, while remaining patient and non-binary in their judgement of progress and metrics. Leaders and organisations that learn how to operate beyond fear and risk mitigation, getting out of the way of proposed solutions and do the work to be bold, making decisions around disruptive non-traditional ‘different’ ways of working will see nuanced progress and this is something I am also looking forward to supporting.
Natasha has a background in supporting underrepresented groups within HE institutions. After graduating in 2017 with a degree in French and Portuguese, she was elected as student officer for Equality and Diversity at Leeds University Union. For her work, she was recognised as Black Student’s Officer of the Year from the National Union of Students. Natasha then started at City in 2018 where she worked on the City Cares programme supporting care-Leavers, carers, estranged students and Sanctuary Scholarship holders. In her first year at City she won an SU award for Outstanding Professional Support and a Bronze Carrot Award.
Natasha, what are you most looking forward to in your new role?
Having been at City for a year, I’ve seen the momentum build on the race equality agenda and the taste for change on the ground. Universities are colonial institutions that mirror the oppressive structures we see in wider society, dismantling these is no easy feat. I am looking forward to starting this work by supporting staff on their journey to being anti-racist through the Diversify your mind club and other initiatives that directly engage staff. Liberation work is science fiction, it is about each of us engaging our imagination to re-define our futures to see beyond and strive for change. All you need to do to get involved is be vulnerable enough to engage your own imagination.
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