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Celebrating Loughborough’s Black Professors

25 October 2023

6 mins

In recognition of Black History Month, Loughborough is delighted to be celebrating five of our Black Professors:

Professor Charlotte Croffie   

Charlotte Croffie is Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) at Loughborough University and Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Loughborough London Campus.

Charlotte has been a Fellow of the CIPD since 2007 and member of British Psychological Society since 2013.  Charlotte’s research area and thought leadership is in `Intersectionality, decision making and the impact on leadership’ which extends across multiple settings including business and entrepreneurship.

“On a personal note, my view is that Black History Month provides an opportunity to focus on the positive contributions of Black people; to raise awareness of, acknowledge and celebrate Black people’s contributions throughout history, and at this moment in time. This has the power to influence how these contributions are presented and projected in the future. This matters because the history and contributions of Black people are not always presented in an accurate light, as such Black History Month can be used as a vehicle to redress this.

On a related note, given race is a social construct this leads to a discussion about who fits into the category of being Black. I know a number of people who self identify as Black and others as Brown so the concept of BHM and intersection with colourisation and heritage is brought into the equation. Given this, I would be in favour of a conversation about broadening the remit of Black History Month to Black and Brown History Month.”

Professor Patricia Carrillo

Patricia Carrillo is a Construction professional and her research focuses on exploiting digital tools for construction. She grew up in Trinidad, West Indies and was the first person in her family to complete secondary school and go onto university to do Civil Engineering. 

She won a scholarship which brought her to the UK to complete a master’s degree where I moved from Civil Engineering into Construction Management, has moved up the ranks from Admissions Tutor to Associate Dean of the School.

“It is good to have an opportunity to showcase a diverse part of society. It also allows us to celebrate Black heritage from different continents with different cultures.”

Professor Amon Chizema

Amon Chizema was born in Zimbabwe and has lived in France, Botswana, and the UK.

In 2007 he completed his PhD at Loughborough University and was appointed to his first Chair in 2011. Currently, Amon is Professor of Corporate Governance and International Business and is member of Loughborough Business School Executive Board, responsible for Internationalisation.

He is also an Extraordinary Professor at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), University of Pretoria, South Africa.  

“Let us continue to demonstrate the change we need by word and deed and continue to be guided by two questions – if not us, then who, if not now then when?”

Professor Amanda Daley

Amanda is a Professor of Behavioural Medicine and an NIHR Research Professor in Public Health.  Amanda is also the Director of the Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and Behaviour (CLiMB) where the ambition is to help the public to live long, healthy and happy lives.  Her work is particularly focused on investigating the effects of lifestyle interventions on health outcomes and developing lifestyle interventions that can be delivered to patients within NHS consultations. In her spare time Amanda enjoys running, cricket (watching) and music. Most importantly of all, Amanda is mum to Bella her 13-year-old daughter. 

“Black History Month offers a time in the year for everybody to pause and reflect on the lives of Black and Brown people. It is an opportunity where we can not only celebrate the great work of those who came before us but also recognise what other Black and Brown people are achieving all around us, right here today. The focus this month on the astounding contribution that Black and Brown people have made to our world is needed and should happen much more. At the end of the day, we all belong to the same human family and that needs to be our focus all year round, not just in October.”

Professor Sheryl Williams

Sheryl Williams is an experienced Teaching Fellow and Education Technologist with the passion and ability to create and inspire change.

Her work harnesses technologies to enhance teaching and research across Wolfson School at Loughborough University.  Her personal teaching and research are focused within electrical engineering and her research within the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST) has developed remote laboratories enabling students at all levels of study to carry out photovoltaic experiments from wherever they are in the world.

“I am very pleased that in this Black History Month we are recognising and celebrating the valuable contributions of all our Black university staff and students. I hope this will set a precedent for recognising our contributions throughout the year.”

On the broader topics of the number of Black Professors in the UK, Professor Charlotte Croffie, Pro Vice Chancellor for EDI stated:

The HESA data for 2021/22 academic year, notes that 10% of academic staff (23,515) were employed with the contract level of ‘Professor’.  Among professors who declared their ethnicity, 165 were black. At under 1% of the total this proportion is the same as previous years. 88% of professors were White and 8% were Asian.  According to WHEN in October 2023, 61 of those are Black and female. 

Loughborough has four Black Professors which accounts for 6.55% of this number. 

This can be viewed as a good news story, however, there is still much work to be done by the sector as a whole to address the lack of Black and Brown Professors in the UK. 

For example, Black male Professors are also underrepresented in the Academy.

This inequality where some of the best talent is being overlooked must change and will involve the sector as a whole being brave enough to identify and address systemic structures that create these inequitable outcomes.  

This is one of Loughborough University’s strategic priorities as it pursues its journey towards being an anti-discriminatory organisation, where the aspiration is that the University is to be a place where all members of our vibrant and inclusive community feel they belong, can legitimately contribute to the EDI agenda and are able to thrive. 

In the meantime, I am pleased that we can we spotlight our Black Professors and their success which is so often overlooked. This will be followed up by a series of interviews made available over the year where you will be able to hear directly from them about their journeys and lived experiences, their disciplines, successes and aspirations for the future.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Reflections, comments, discussion and opinion on EDI topics from Loughborough University staff and students

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