Please tell us your name, job title and place of work?
Aaisha Knights-Ihediwa, Chief People Officer at LMAX Group.

What would you say it means to be Black and working in HR?
Being a Black Woman in HR means operating through the world of work with a view to an intersectional lens. This means that I have a specific perspective to offer and can hopefully broaden the scope of considerations in key decision making. Representation of under-represented groups is also key to encouraging others to join the HR profession.

How Important do you think mentoring is, in HR?
Like other modern professions, mentoring is important to help develop the next generation of leaders. Also, HR roles are often lonely due to the confidentiality of topics we deal with, so a mentor can be a good sounding board.
I’ve been both mentor and mentee throughout my career and found both ends of the spectrum very rewarding.

In your opinion, what are the key skills required to be a trusted leader?
From my experience, it’s important to be a good listener, ask questions and gather many points of view before coming to a definitive conclusion on a topic. I would also note taking the time to keep professional knowledge current and being able to communicate in a way that is easily understood by all. Avoid using technical jargon and speak plainly to connect with people on a human level.

This year’s BHM UK 2023 is about celebrating & embracing our sisters – who would you like to celebrate today?
There are so many to list that it’s hard to choose one person. I would like to celebrate all the women that have come before me and paved the way for others to occupy the spaces that we now can today. I continue to be inspired and awed by the achievements of Black Women who have managed to excel beyond challenging circumstances.

One advice to a young Black professional venturing into the HR Profession?
Establish and maintain high professional standards as this will be your calling card throughout your career. When you keep doing great work, it will become your reputation from which great opportunities may arise. Also remember to always ask questions and continue to learn.

How can our members connect with you?
Make sure to connect with me on LinkedIn!