What You Can Learn From The Trusted Black Girl In Your Office [Interview with Roianne Nedd]

In this episode I’m speaking with Roianne Nedd. Roianne is the Head of Programmes & Research at OUTstanding & EMpower, an Amplifier of women’s voices and the author of The Cracked Cocoon.

I met Roianne at the annual event for EMpower’s List of the 100 most influential Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Leaders. We spoke about so many things that evening from her research to her work in the diversity and inclusion space. She had some fascinating insights that I thought would be useful for you to hear. It was a pleasure to speak with Roianne so that she could share the benefit of her considerable experience with us.

In todays show we discuss several things including

  • How Women of Colour become invisible in the workplace
  • The role of employee resource groups in amplifying voices
  • Bias: both Unconscious & Actual and much much more.


Here’s some of the wisdom that Roianne shared:

Women of Colour are Invisible Within the Workplace

Roianne describes how despite the presence of women of colour within the workplace;  there are persistent circumstances where they become “invisible”. Roianne explains that when it comes to promotion and personal development; women of colour appear to lose their visibility to senior managers and decision makers:

“I notice women of colour are almost invisible, when it comes to promotion conversations they become invisible, when it comes to development they become invisible”

Employee Resource Groups Need to Prepare their Members 

Roianne describes how part of the role of an employee resource group is to prepare its members to negotiate the workplace and engage individuals that may not “look like you”. Roianne explains that an employee resource group that fails to do this does not meet the needs of its members:

“A BAME network that only gives you access to people that look who look like you does not adequately prepare you to manage and navigate those conversations”

Ongoing Assessment of Your Leadership Potential is Required for your Development

Roianne outlines some of the processes that she has used to develop her own leadership potential. Roianne explains how reflection and honest feedback are required to make progress in this area.

 “The most deep research project I did was into myself, so I spent a year looking at my own leadership capabilities, skills, interests and then testing myself on how I could improve my leadership style and how I could harness my different traits and preferences to be a better leader.”



If you want a quick snapshot of what the episode is about, I’ve created some slides that you may find interesting


Exercise your personal choice despite your personal bias

Show notes

Roianne Nedd Website

Cracked Cocoon Book

Roianne Nedd Twitter 

Roianne Nedd Linkedin


EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Leaders

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