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Black Future Month - Q&A with Ayomide Ajayi, chair of our Within network


As part of Black Future Month, aligned with the externally recognised #BlackHistoryMonth, Compass are showcasing their global efforts towards equity, raising awareness and celebrating our black colleagues.
The theme for this year is “Celebrating our Sisters", shining a light on the fantastic black women in our Compass family. Lets hear from Ayomide Ajayi, the new chair of our Within network. 

Tell us a bit about yourself and your role in Compass.
I’m the D&I Lead for Levy UK+ Ireland. I’ve been in the business for three years now, originally joining on the Compass operations graduate scheme. I landed my dream D&I role after graduating, which was absolutely amazing. I’m right at the beginning of my journey and I've been lucky to learn so much from the Compass networks around me, this has led me to become the new chair of Within.

Tell us more about Within
Having four rotations on the graduate scheme allowed me to experience different parts of the business, one of which was D&I in the central Compass UK & Ireland team. I supported each of the colleague diversity networks and it was great to capture the different thoughts and opinions of people across our business and how they want to make a change and raise awareness of certain issues. It was amazing to witness all the networks’ efforts, for what they truly believe in and I wanted to be part of it. I started off by joining a few internal calls and my ideas soon turned into actions, which was really rewarding to see. 

I then became a more active member of the Within network, which promotes cultural diversity and awareness, with a goal of wanting to be part of this agenda. I am committed to raising awareness on what makes me who I am and being a role model to the wider Compass family – as personally, I’ve had very few role models that looked like me or understood the background I came from. 

Describe the focus for Within
Now being Chair of the network, I want to amplify the voices that join. I want to ensure that every idea our members come up with is heard, explored and where possible, made a reality. I want to ensure the business and wider external stakeholders know exactly what Within stands for, what we do, and most importantly I want to reach our 45,000 people across the UK and help foster a culture where everyone can be themselves and thrive.

Following on from the existing success of the network, I also want to start looking at key objectives that will make a tangible impact in the business and one that will make Compass an even more attractive place to work and build a career.

What’s your planned activity for BHM?
At Compass, Black History Month has been reimagined to ‘Black Future Month’, taking into account what has been learnt by previous generations and what lessons we can take to improve and benefit the generations to come. This year’s theme is ‘Celebrating our Sisters’, looking at the contributions of black women in society. The network has produced a toolkit so sites can delve into some of the history behind black culture and includes useful tools to become more inclusive in the workplace, such as engaging quizzes for our teams to expand their knowledge on black culture, and some recipes. We wholeheartedly encourage our teams to use the toolkit, exploring its various components and engage in open, honest conversations that foster learning and understanding.

I personally have signed up to some external volunteering opportunities to support the BHM campaign, which I’m already gaining a lot from - I’ll be sure to share with my colleagues at our next meeting! 

Ayomide Ajayi - Chair of Within