BHM – La-Toya
Throughout Black History Month, we’ll be celebrating our amazing black colleagues by bringing you stories from across the business.
All the colleague profiles we publish on myroyalmail.com will also appear on our dedicated Black History Month homepage. If you know someone who has inspired you as a great role model for others, someone who you think deserves recognition, please send your nomination to firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading ‘Black History Month’ in the subject line.
Today, we hear from delivery line manager, La-Toya Chambers, from Bexleyheath Delivery Office.
‘My journey started in January 2011 as a postwoman at Catford Delivery Office, performing overtime in deliveries and collections,’ said La-Toya. ‘This was a big change for me as before I came to Royal Mail, I had worked in the city for 10 years.
‘Soon, my delivery office manager became my mentor; encouraging, advising and supporting me in the career choices I made. I became a workplace coach and began learning even more new skills.
‘In 2014, I did the Springboard women’s development course. This made me realise that the only barrier to progress in life is yourself, both at work and at home.
‘I was asked to apply for the deputy manager’s course, which I was initially very reluctant to do as I was eight-and-a-half months pregnant! I remember thinking: “Why would they give a job to someone who was about to go on maternity leave for a year?” I realised that this was just me holding myself back, and so, I applied and was accepted five days before I had my son. When I returned in March 2015, I completed the course with the support of my mentor.
‘I struggled to get a permanent line manager position in my sector. But I applied to neighbouring areas, and in March 2019, I became the line manager for Belvedere (Medway North sector).
‘Now, I’m an ambassador for the Kent Women’s network. I want to help support other women and be someone who they can talk to and obtain advice on how they can move forward. I joined the BAME mentoring group, which I’ve found really useful as it has made me realise that I’m not the only person who is struggling to be heard and seen, not just for my race, but also as a woman.
‘I’m currently a delivery line manager in Bexleyheath Delivery Office, which I really enjoy. I always come into work with a smile on my face and greet all the staff as I walk around the floor each morning.
‘My future is in Royal Mail, as this job has been very flexible for me especially with my two young children. I’m always looking for new skills to learn and have thought about going into Process or Distribution one day. I’ve already done overtime at a mail centre, to see if this is the right future move for me.’
Supporting our BAME colleagues
Making our business a place where black, Asian and minority ethnic colleagues can achieve their potential remains a priority.
Career progression is a key focus as we work towards improving the representation of colleagues from BAME backgrounds across all levels of the business. We need to build greater awareness that the network exists and is there to support our people and shine a light on all the good positive things we are doing across the business.
If you are thinking about holding a BAME cultural event in your unit, and need some help, please reach out to the BAME steering group, or volunteer to help out with their activities. You can contact the group by emailing email@example.com.