5 Inspiring British Black Female Bosses to Follow Right Now
It’s so incredible to see how many amazing Black Female Bosses there are in the world right now! Times have really changed! OK, things are still not perfect and BFBs are definitely still facing double discrimination in the form of sexism and racism, but despite all this, there are so many who are smashing it!
We love a bit of inspiration and finding incredible people to motivate us in our jobs, so we thought we’d bring you 5 inspiring BFBs we’ve found who you should definitely be following right now:
Natalie Manima – Bespoke Binny
Bespoke Binny is an African homeware and gifts store, selling homemade accessories made from West African cloth. Natalie is of Ghanaian descent and grew up with vibrant colours around her, which made her feel happy and always uplifted her mood.
As a cognitive-behavioural therapist living in London, Natalie recognised the importance of mental health issues and how to tackle anxiety and low mood. She appreciated that the feel of your home environment was a direct factor on someone’s mood, so she decided to combine her love for African prints with a passion for sewing and created an eclectic African homeware brand that she felt would bring joy to people’s lives.
Starting out on Etsy back in 2013, Bespoke Binny is now a huge brand which is even stocked by the British Library.
“I created Bespoke Binny because I truly believe ‘home is where the heart is’ and having a home that is a reflection of you is essential to your well being.” – Natalie Manim
Irene Afful – Ametrine Coaching and Consultancy
Irene was the first-ever black female Inspector in the history of Merseyside Police, already inspiring hundreds of other black women to realise that a career in the police force was possible. She’s had an absolutely glorious career, not only acquiring a Master’s degree in Police Leadership, working for 25 years in the police service, but also winning several awards along the way.
Unfortunately, while in the force, Irene suffered direct and indirect discrimination. Instead of taking this to heart, she decided to develop some mental tools to help her overcome the discrimination and used these tools to coach other staff in the force facing such discrimination. Thanks to her efforts, the Merseyside police force saw a huge increase in the recruitment of women and people of colour.
Irene became a pioneer for diversity and inclusion issues and went on to publish papers and deliver a TEDx talk on the topic. She now runs Ametrine Coaching and Consultancy, where she helps tackle these issues within businesses.
Suzanne and Erick Lamba – Lyah’s TV
During the height of the George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests, everyone was reacting very differently to racial issues all over the world.
London-based couple Suzanne and Eric Lamba wanted to react in a way that was inspiring, especially to kids. So, they decided to create their own Barbie doll show on YouTube!
Lyah’s TV is a show about black barbie toddlers who enjoy fun and educational games with their mummy and daddy – Barbie and Ken! They tell stories that help kids reflect on black history and educate them about the everyday lifestyle of black families.
This has unfolded after complaints of underrepresentation of minorities in TV/movies. Many parents want their children to play with dolls that look like them.
“We aim to work with black-owned doll companies in our shows to encourage not only the watching of more diverse dolls on TV, but also playing with dolls that look like them,”
“Our ambition for Lyah’s TV is to become more than just a YouTube channel but to also become a regular on children’s TV channels.” – Suzanne Lamba
Mads Panchoo – Boxd
BOXD is a London-based gift company, situated in the Royal Borough of Greenwich. They create custom gift boxes by gathering unique gifts from all over the world and creating a bright and modern-designed gift box that’s tailored to your loved one.
They have a bespoke Build a Gift Box platform which allows you to create your own care package or gift box with products from all the best brands in the world. They’ve also now extended this to a corporate gifting arm so that you can stand out with your customer and staff gifts.
“During lockdown, I noticed a massive shift towards online shopping, and as I had my 14 and 10-year-olds at home, I asked them what they thought of receiving cool gifts by post. They loved the idea and BOXD was born!” – Mads Panchoo
The gift boxes were aimed at teens and tweens, but the gifts are so high quality that even adults and companies can enjoy them.
Ricki Lawal – Selfmade Candle
Ricki Lawal was a global marketing and events manager travelling the world and missing home. In her suitcase, she would carry around a candle, hoping to have something to remind her of home.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, she missed the opportunity to go to stores, smell the scents she wanted and purchase her ideal candles. So, she did what any normal person would do… created her own(!)
Ricki launched Selfmade Candles, a vegan-friendly company selling natural candles which have been hand-poured in London.
With sustainability in mind, all the candles come in a reusable glass jar with plant seeds in the label! So, even after you finish the candle, you can plant your seeds in the jar and watch them grow into a beautiful plant!