I was born in Jamaica and grew up in Newham. I currently live in Barking in East London. I work part time as a human resource and diversity specialist and am an associate member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD).
I've worked on equality and diversity issues in a number of public sector organisations over the past 11 years.
Professionally my roles include diversity officer at Queen Mary University and Equality and Diversity lead within the NHS. I currently provide diversity advice to Brunel University as their equality and diversity manager. Working in all these roles has given me a strong understanding of equality and employment law as well as developing initiatives to improve workforce representation.
I'm an active person, having been a student governor at my last university and I was elected to become the first Black vice president of my students union. I'm also an active member of the Fabian Society, Co-op Party, Christian Socialist Movement, BAME Labour and my trade unions, UNISON and GMB.
I was elected as a Labour Councillor in May 2010 in Barking and Dagenham for Alibon ward, which was the safest BNP ward in the borough. With my council colleagues, Darren Rodwell and John Davis, I defeated two BNP sitting Councillors to become the youngest woman on the council. I currently serve the borough as a school governor in a local primary school and as chair of the health and adult services scrutiny committee.
My diversity work has taken me all across Europe, sharing how companies can develop diversity strategies to have a more representative workforce. I have also worked with our sister parties in Europe to share strategies on how to defeat the far right. My campaign priorities for the European campaign are for increased gender parity as we well as ethnic diversity within the European parliament, maintaining and strengthening social Europe, in terms of the hard worn employment rights and outlining the benefits the coordinated efforts European Union has on people's health.
Women represent over half the population and until women are equally represented in political decision making, policies will continue to be made that do not take into account the needs, opinions and perspectives of women. Barriers remain to women’s involvement in politics at the local, national and European level. Even now more women are working, the division of labour remains and they still pick up the lion’s share of household chores and childcare responsibilities.
Women need the right means, space, opportunities and support to participate and influence decisions in Europe, which will in turn contribute to a fairer and more inclusive society. We have come a long way in terms of women rights and European legislation and directives have contributed a lot to that. We now have the Equality Act which affords protection for women in the workplace as well as European legislation on equal pay as well and protection against sex discrimination. Europe has also ensured that women who are pregnant or on maternity leave are protected from dismissal related to their pregnancy. European legislation has also protected the rights of agency and part time workers the majority of whom are women, to ensure that we have the same access to training, pay, maternity and annual leave just as full time workers receive.
European directives have also been instrumental in the UK implementing health and safety rights at work, minimum rest breaks and at least 28 days paid annual leave each year we need more Labour MEP’s to ensure those hard won rights are not only maintained but strengthened.
Engaging women in politics
Why being part of the of the European Union is good for our health
The rise of the far right in Europe
An alternative message to the far right
I was born in Jamaica and grew up in Newham. I currently live in Barking in East London. I work part time as a human resource and diversity specialist and...