Opinionated, charismatic and provocative – Afua Hagan is one of the leading voices on diversity in Britain.
A TV News Anchor, Commentator, Journalist and award-winning Broadcaster, Afua is in high demand, regularly appearing on ITV’s This Morning, Good Morning Britain, Jeremy Vine on Channel 5, the BBC, Sky and CNN. She is a distinguished Commentator on the British Royal Family, featuring on UK and international outlets.
Afua also appears on STV, Yanga! TV, LBC, Times Radio and talkRADIO and has been honoured for her work in Broadcasting by the Black Women in Business Awards. Afua is an excellent Diversity and Inclusion Keynote Speaker and Moderator.
A passionate and experienced journalist, Afua hosted the TV show “Sustainable Energy” for CNBC, wrote a column for The Voice Newspaper and was Editor-in-Chief for Glam Africa Magazine.
She moved to London from Glasgow aged 17 to study journalism at City University. After specialising in broadcast and music, Afua found herself working at T4 and PopWorld before moving on to the dizzy heights of 60 Minute Makeover on ITV. She grew bored of decorating strangers’ homes in an hour or under and made the leap to music publishing where she worked for Blue Mountain Music under the watchful and legendary eye of Chris Blackwell.
Following her passion as a writer, Afua landed a job at Blackhair as Editorial Assistant, rising to be Editor after only a year. She became the Features Editor for Pride magazine and a Producer and Anchor for Arise News. After switching to ABN TV, she produced and presented the popular show Young & Rising and launched Entertainment Weekly. Afua is a great supporter of the UK and international music scene, especially in the world of Afrobeats and was the host of The A-List on The Beat 103.6FM.
Afua is a brilliant keynote speaker covering issues such as Diversity, Black Lives Matter and Equality for Women and continues to work as an Event Host and Moderator. Clients have included Retail Week, the NHS, Cambridgeshire Police, Compare the Market and Inmarsat.
Afua lives and works in London. In her spare time she likes to make up dance routines with her daughter, have manicures and read crime novels.
In this talk Afua will let you into her personal journey as a broadcaster and journalist and the impact the events of 2020 had on my career. On a really personal level it was tough, being a Black woman living in a world that seemed to hate Black people. What happened afterwards, was also tough.
It was great to be offered platforms to speak about what happened and what she felt should happen next in terms of talking issues of diversity and inclusion in the UK. But Afua often felt like a token. And she often wondered to herself, is she on this channel because she is a Black, dark-skinned female journalist who can talk about race and ticks a box or is she on this channel simply because she is a good journalist?
She still has those questions today. Lots of companies came out to support the idea of Diversity and Inclusion in those days and weeks after the death of George Floyd. They rightly recognised the need for change. But it’s much more than – let’s hire more Black folks! It’s not just inviting Black people to have a seat at the table, but asking them to be part of the decision-making team on who’s at the table in the first place. That’s real inclusivity.
You might have a lovely working culture and a great office environment but are you truly inclusive? Do you have Black people in the upper echelons of the organisation making decisions?
In this talk Afua look at difference between race, ethnicity and culture and how that affects the way that we interact with people. Now, you would be forgiven for thinking that race and ethnicity and more or less the same thing. But they actually mean very different things.
We sometimes use the words culture, ethnicity and race interchangeably, and whilst there is some overlap between the terms, it’s important to know the differences between them, and to use them correctly.
When you distinguish what separates race from culture and ethnicity, it becomes apparent that racism, apart from being hurtful, just doesn’t make sense. Both race and ethnicity, it’s argued, are socially defined. Neither is biologically valid.
But even more than that, when we examine the genetics of different racial groups, there’s more genetic difference within any one racial group compared to the average between them, and yet amongst all of us, we are so remarkably similar (99.9% alike in fact). Yes, there may be some value in grouping people into racial groups, but at the end of the day, we have much more in common with each other than we don’t.
In this talk Afua will outline how workplace diversity is currently a very hot topic amongst businesses right now – even more so since 2020.
The modern workplace considers workplace diversity a crucial element of success and happiness in the office and are advocates for social improvements. Building a diverse workforce can be a challenge for some businesses, but there are solutions to create a sense of harmony and unity among different people and teams.
Organizations should aim for inherent and acquired diversity. Inherent diversity is biological traits such as race, gender, and sexual orientation, while acquired diversity is things you gain from experience like religion, cultural experiences, and situations that make an impact on your thought-process.
The benefits of workplace diversity greatly outweigh the barriers you may have to cross to get there. There are many benefits to workplace diversity, and many studies that prove the positive impact that diversity will have on your office.
In this talk Afua will emphasise that it’s really important to communicate it to someone when you don’t agree with them or they will think you are aligned with their racist beliefs. Have the courage to challenge them on this.
Effective communication is key here. The journey towards communicating better starts with us honestly regarding ourselves. It’s easy to think that all the problems of the world, when it comes to bias are external but we can and must seek out the propensity of injustice that lurks inside us and work towards eradicating it. This is not about beating ourselves up over things we may have said or thought and then becoming stuck in a virtuous cycle of guilt. It’s about admitting that we have to make changes. We have to consider how our own prejudices prevent us from acting justly and fairly. We cannot address biases until we admit we have them ourselves.
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“It’s rare that you come across such a standout talent as Afua. She often contributes to topics on shows across talkRADIO and has a reputation for being reliable, outspoken and a brilliant broadcaster. She has a thorough, eloquent and often feisty approach which is why she is so sought after. It’s always a pleasure to have her on the station.”
Holly Keogh, Producer talkRADIO
“Afua is a passionate and energetic journalist who works tirelessly to give a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard. Her dedication to the cause of fair and impartial reporting is exemplary. Her burning desire for inequality and social injustice to be highlighted across the spectrum is extraordinary. And she has succeeded in getting all those issues heard on a wide range of platforms with her intelligent, well-informed and brilliantly articulated contributions. A wonderful colleague and an inspiration to us all.”
Tom Fredericks, Programme Editor, ARISE News
"I just wanted to drop a quick note to say how fabulous Afua was. She really brought a fresh per-spective, energy and positivity to the session."
Harprit Hockley, NHS England
"Afua’s talk was great. The audience really appreciated her openness to share her experiences and we had some excellent questions. Afua answered them brilliantly."
Agatha Kennedy, WildBrain
"Afua, it was brilliant to hear your stories and experiences and to learn and understand more about Black History. Thank you again. Your talk helped to open minds."
Rachel Power, Head of Internal Comms at IQ Student Accommodation
"It’s rare that you come across such a standout talent as Afua. She often contributes to topics on shows across talkRADIO and has a reputation for being reliable, outspoken and a brilliant broad-caster. She has a thorough, eloquent and often feisty approach which is why she is so sought after. It’s always a pleasure to have her on the station."
Holly Keogh, Producer talkRADIO
"Afua is a passionate and energetic journalist who works tirelessly to give a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard. Her dedication to the cause of fair and impartial reporting is exemplary. Her burning desire for inequality and social injustice to be highlighted across the spectrum is extraordinary. And she has succeeded in getting all those issues heard on a wide range of platforms with her intelligent, well-informed and brilliantly articulated contributions. A wonderful colleague and an inspiration to us all."
Tom Fredericks, Programme Editor, ARISE News
"Thank you for the inspiring talk with Inmarsat! As a first generation British Indian, I was able to draw parallels to the experiences and challenges you faced and was truly inspired to hear how you over-come and face them."
"Afua, thank you so much again for taking the time to do the talk today. It was super useful for me in HR but also the whole team has been singing your praises on how great and insightful it was."
"Very insightful and thought-provoking! Eye-opening, enlightening talk - thank you."
"Afua’s stories and experiences come from the heart and really hit home - how we all have a re-sponsibility around racial equality as everyone deserves to be who they are."
Caroline Thomas, Director of HR, B&Q
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