“My Dad arrived from Ghana in 1975 to attend medical school; the UK was a very different place then. Like many others, he faced prejudice from colleagues and patients, particularly in the 80s and early 90s when he was working outside of London but now the UK – especially in the larger cities – is home to more diverse populations.
I come from a huge extended family, many of whom work in the medical profession. From a young age, I witnessed the gruelling hours performing surgery and having to drop everything [during family time] to get to the hospital when you’re on call. It influenced my decision against pursuing a medical career because the lifestyle didn’t enamour me, but I care about accessible healthcare for all people. I didn’t realise that I could join “the family firm” in a marketing capacity and I joined NEL just over a year ago. Now that I’m here, I’m proud to be part of the 6.1 per cent black colleagues that are making a difference to the NHS. I’ve enjoyed working with different departments, customer campaigns and now marketing the NEL organisation.
I’ve worked in various industries but none quite like the NHS. Generally, I’m used to being one of two or a handful of black people in an organisation. So, it’s fantastic to see lots of people like me – and a diversity of people from minority ethnic backgrounds – working comfortably with each other. It feels great too. We’ve come very far from when my parents arrived in the UK from Ghana, but we still have far to go. I look forward to seeing more shared stories and a collective narrative about life in the UK.”
Jennifer Daniels, Senior Marketing Manager