Every ethnic minority role model has a fistful of personal stories about discrimination, but when Gb Ladipo is asked about his, he turns first to a passage from Nelson Mandela’s epic biography Long Walk to Freedom.
“He was sitting on a plane taking him from Ghana to Ethiopia in the 1960s and saw with alarm the pilot was black. He’d never seen it before. He’d become so conditioned to racist stereotypes in South Africa that people of colour were not capable of flying – and his sense of panic was an extreme case of unconscious bias. That anecdote really struck me.”
Unfortunately, the director at investment bank Numis is not lacking of such stories from his own life. Like many who have battled prejudice and adversity he has too many tales – from the former boss who asked if he was a drug dealer, to vivid memories of his father sitting him down as a child to explain the necessity of working twice as hard in life to fight perceptions, due to his skin colour, that he would be “lazy” and “not smart”.
ESG Clarity and DiversityQ are exclusive partners with reboot. on this video interview series.