Mena Fombo is a speaker and facilitator at our Catalyst Bootcamp – Inspiring, Empowering & Skilling Young Women for Sustainable Futures.
Job title: Coach, Consultant, Activist, Programme Manager.
Qualifications: BA (hons) Media Production – UWE, BSc Youth & Community – Bath Uni,
Why did you become an environment/sustainability professional?
I’m passionate about equality and equity – it underpins everything i do, personally and professionally. I’m focussed and motivated by the idea that i can help make this world a better place with my small, specific daily contributions to making the world fairer, more equal and more people having equitable outcomes. I also believe i can and do have an impact and gift to share, so i’m owning it and sharing it.
What does your current role involve? I have my own Coaching and Leadership Consultancy – so I support people and organisations to reach their potential and get closer to their goals – whatever they maybe.
I’ve recently launched a campaign, ‘No You Cannot Touch My Hair’, which is focused on the objectification, particularly, of black women.
I am also the Programme Manager for young people and emerging creatives at Knowle West Media Centre working people aged 10-30 years on all things media, arts and technology.
How has your role changed over the past few years?
My role is constantly changing, I think the average person has about 9 careers if not more! I work across lots of projects, and programmes and with a variety of organsiations. I like having a mix of things to focus on.
What’s the best part of your work? Seeing people achieve their goals.
SEEING PEOPLE ACHIEVE SOMETHING THEY THOUGHT WAS IMPOSSIBLE.
Seeing people gain self confidence, challenging themselves to new things.
Seeing people’s hard work pay off.
When I know something positive has happened and I’ve been able to contribute to that.
Sounds superficial but flexi hours – I’m not really a 9-5 person, so I like the fact I can work around the clock.
Seeing change happen in the world.
Enjoying what i do and having fun with it!
What’s the hardest part of your job?
Not having enough time to do all things I want to do – at the same time! I guess that extends to balancing the parts I really enjoy with the parts I don’t – because they need to be done!
What was the last development/training course/event you attended?
Black Women in Leadership event and Arts Award training!
What did you bring back to your job?
New ways of thinking and approaching work. A positive success mindset. And i felt really inspired to keep doing the work i’m doing. Being around like minded people is a powerful tool.
What is/are the most important skill(s) for your role and why?
I think for me coaching skills – particularly listening, asking powerful questions, motivation techniques and offering guidance.
Also just life experience, I’m lucky to have travelled to many parts of the world and across the country, working in a number of places, and have met people from all over. I’ve had my own personal challenges to deal with, but they have all made me the person I am today. Never underestimate the value and power of your own life experience.
Where do you see the environment/sustainability profession going?
Essential to our existence and experienced professionals becoming sought after.
Where would you like to be in five years’ time?
I’d like to be happy and healthier than I am today – and I’d like to still value things that are important –family, friends, life experiences. I’m open to that looking however it looks. I’d also like to still be fit enough to play American Football! As for career – i’ve learnt to keep an open mind – i’m much more interested in how i’ll feel in 5 years time as oppose to what work i’ll be doing.
What advice would you give to someone entering the profession?
Life is too short to have any regrets – so if you want something – work for it, go for it, put yourself in space where it happens, be comfortable feeling uncomfortable, surround yourself with people who believe in you, who make you feel good, and who want you to succeed – but most importantly believe in yourself to make it happen!
Contact info @menafombo menafombo.com
To find out more and to book your place at the Catalyst Bootcamp visit www.catalysechange.com