The Croydon engineer who founded the Association For Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers is marking the organisation’s 15th anniversary by staging a national conference – AFBELive – on April 22.
Nike Folayan founded AFBE to try to better provide visible role models in engineering for young people from ethnic minorities. Only 9per cent of British engineers are from BAME backgrounds.
AFBE promotes diversity through programmes and activities which are led by engineering professionals.
Since its launch, AFBE has supported more than 20,000 people across Britain. The association offers networking, mentoring and educational resources, as well as access to jobs across the country.
The AFBELive Conference is a first-of-its-kind networking event that will bring together engineers and technologists for a day of discussions, panels hosted by Gadget Show’s Ortis Deley and The Next Big Idea competition – a Dragons’ Den-style event to promote innovation by students and professionals.
The conference sponsors include the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Lewis Hamilton’s F1 team Mercedes Petronas, the University of Oxford, the Royal Academy of Engineering and London South Bank University.
Dr Folayan said, “The AFBELive Conference is a demonstration and celebration of AFBE’s tireless work.
“The organisation which started out as a grassroots initiative to change the perception of what an engineer looks like has gone on to witness so many successes, be a part of so many young people’s journeys into engineering and supported the career growth of countless professionals.
“This event will provide attendees with tools on how to improve inclusion within engineering. There is an opportunity to hear from a vast range of leading engineers and technologists including Dr Nira Chamberlain, Yewande Akinola, Countdown’s Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, Harriet Green, the former chair and CEO of IBM Asia Pacific, and Dame Ottoline Leyser.
“The event will also provide opportunities for talent to find out about companies championing inclusion within engineering and job opportunities. We also have a star-studded lineup of key individuals within the ethnic minority communities.”
There will be an after-conference dinner and networking reception where guests will be welcomed with drinks and multicultural entertainment, including a fireside chat with John Amaechi. The keynote address will be given by activist Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, and entertainment provided by double MOBO award-winner Yolanda Brown.
The conference is being held at the IET Savoy Place in central London.
For more information and ticketing details, visit the website www.afbelive.com.
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