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May 25, 2018
Accelerate: Inspire, Lead, Thrive 2018
By: Jo Johnson

Different ideas posted in the sticky notes.

As part of Accenture’s commitment to build a ‘Truly Human’ organisation, our UKI Inclusion & Diversity team partnered with the Accenture African Caribbean Network (AACN) on Wednesday, 9 May to host the Accelerate: Inspire, Lead, Thrive programme. The event brought together AACN members in one location for a day of development and inspiration.

The Accelerate programme has been designed to celebrate and develop the talent we have in the African-Caribbean network by promoting ongoing opportunities to help accelerate their career at Accenture and support them in creating their personal brand.

Throughout the day our attendees heard from a variety of speakers, each sharing their own stories and perspectives. Combining the more traditional presentation approach with working sessions, which helped create a thriving and energetic environment.


Networking Activity

The day was kicked off with a lively and interactive networking activity led by speaker Vanessa Vallely. Having launched the award-winning WeAreTheCity.com, a vehicle to help corporate women connect, Vanessa helped attendees overcome the awkwardness of meeting and connecting with people in a networking context. The session gave attendees an insight into the journeys of three newly promoted MDs.

Vanessa helped attendees overcome the awkwardness of meeting and connecting with people in a networking context.


Letter to My Younger Self

Reading letters to their younger selves, Lucia Jarrett, Jason Providence and Ugo Ojike shared their struggles as well as words of encouragement. Their letters provided reassurance and illustrated the personal and professional challenges they faced in the pursuit of their career aspirations. It was a really inspirational session.

Reading letters to their younger selves


Collaborate: Personal Brand

After the break, we were then addressed by Bianca Miller, award-winning entrepreneur and 2014 runner-up in the final of The Apprentice. She spoke about personal branding, the tools to futureproof your career and how to set goals. The Accenture alumna shared how she used her own brand to elevate her business and create career opportunities.

Bianca Miller spoke about personal branding


Leadership DNA

Turning the focus onto Accenture, Olly Benzecry addressed attendees, sharing his career journey and gave an introduction to the Accenture Leadership DNA. Breakout sessions by career level followed, so that attendees could drill down further to understand how the outcomes and behaviours could be applied to them and where they required development.

Olly Benzecry sharing his career journey and gave an introduction to the Accenture Leadership DNA.


Panel Discussion

The final and most inspiring and thought-provoking session was the panel discussion, which illustrated how race intersects with class, gender, mental health and sexual orientation. Rohan Kallicharan, Talent Acquisition partner at Receipt Bank and Mind ambassador, Bisi Alimi, LGBT campaigner, and Claudine Adeyemi, Associate at Mishcon de Reya LLP and social mobility ambassador shared their very personal stories. All have taken their life-changing experiences and used them to campaign, educate and transform the lives of others.

As with any Accenture event, the day culminated in networking and drinks.

As with any Accenture event, the day culminated in networking and drinks. A great end to a great day.

A few comments from the day

Ewan Mackay, AACN Lead Sponsor – UKI, enjoyed the high level of engagement and participation from the attendees throughout the day, especially as he covered the dynamic topic of Leadership DNA and the advocacy needed to be a role model as a leader. He said,

“I left the venue feeling proud to be part of the AACN and confident that we are on the right path…”

Irinie Opoku, AACN Member and Greater Than Awards Winner FY18, thoroughly enjoyed the event, especially the storytelling segment. She said,

“Storytelling can personalise almost anything one shares to an audience/team. People are more likely to relate to you and digest what you are communicating.”

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