All-female industry talk at DMU marks International Women’s Day

By Isobel Rix

Michelle De Leon joined an all-female panel at De Montfort University today in celebration of International Women’s Day.

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Michelle is currently a Features Producer on Good Morning Britain and the founder of World Afro Day.

With over twenty years broadcasting experience, Michelle’s career has taken her everywhere, but it was her sense of identity in the workplace that required change.

“I didn’t feel like my identity as a black woman was represented in the workplace,” she said.

“World Afro Day has changed who I am in the workplace, it has allowed the two parts of who I am to be in the workplace together.

“You can make a positive change which everyone can be a part of if you’re teaching people, it has made the dialogue easier.

“I went through a lot of no’s but it only takes a few yes’s to get what you want, the UN said yes.”

Education is an essential part of World Afro Day.

“I wanted professionals involved because I knew education was going to be a key part of World Afro Day, it would bring validity.”

In 2018 the organisation launched free lesson packs, approved by educational experts, so all children can learn the beauty and value of afro hair.

Michelle touched on the additional requirements for women to be successful in their industry.

“Nearly everybody told me it’s really hard to get into,” she said.

“I had to work hard and I just wanted to learn how to be good at my job.

“The reality is you’re going to need two or three income streams as a woman.”

The theme of International Women’s Day 2019 is #BalanceforBetter.

To celebrate this De Montfort University is hosting events from March 7-15.

For more information about World Afro Day visit http://www.worldafroday.com/

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