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Celebrating Black History Month – Funke Fatunla

05 October 2018

We are proud of the diversity we have within our organisation and would like to showcase and celebrate this during Black History Month. Over the next four weeks we will be sharing stories and personal experiences from various members of staff.

My story began as a young girl in my father’s commodity business in Nigeria – import and export of cocoa, palm kernel, coffee etc. I quickly learnt how to deal with customers, staff and business partners and realised at an early age the importance of having a good character and a positive outlook, hard work, resilience, honesty, integrity, excellence and valuing others.

At the time, it was challenging as I still had to study as a teenager and pass my exams but I was determined to be an accountant. I even remember telling my Dad, that all I wanted to be was an accountant and that there was no other career option for me. The passion, however, drove me to do better and believe that I could achieve. I came to the UK in July 1989 to study for my professional exams and I was determined to qualify as early as I could. I went to De Montfort University in Leicester to study Accounting and Law. A year after graduating from university, I qualified as a chartered and certified accountant and became a fellow member soon after.

I started my working life in local authority and then moving onto the Charity Sector. I was drawn to this sector because of the brief work experience I did shortly after my degree. I was working as a support worker with teenagers, aged 13 to 16, who had been through family relationship breakdowns and were in short term supported housing.  I was able to engage with these young people and was embittered that some of them need not have been in the hostel if help and support was offered to their family earlier.

I joined Family Action in July 2012 as Head of Finance, later becoming Deputy Director of Finance and now the Director of Finance. The opportunities for growth and development have been phenomenal but I could not have taken advantage of the opportunities offered to me if I had not challenged myself to believe that I could achieve.

“I believe in being a positive role model and encouraging others to become aware of the opportunities around them, regardless of their skin colour.”

As a working mother of three grown up daughters, I believe in being a positive role model and encouraging others to become aware of the opportunities around them, regardless of their skin colour. The passion to improve and defy limitations, triumphing in the face of adversity and overcoming challenges can bring a real sense of achievement.  Failure is said to be the success of learning how not to do things, to keep learning is to keep achieving and while learning; we need to enjoy the journey to our achievement.

I believe there is always something we all love and enjoy doing – something that we are passionate about. For me one of those things is accounting. Fuel that passion, believe you can excel in it, dream big, work hard, ask for help and do not stop learning and acquiring knowledge about that passion. You will achieve, you will succeed and you will be on top – whatever that looks like for you. You are unique and the world needs to experience that. Release it and let us all enjoy together.

 

 

If you would like to know more about our values and commitment to equality and diversity, find out more here.