ROLE MODEL OF THE WEEK – Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS

Bola Abisogun OBE FRICS

Bola pursued a career in construction against his parents best wishes in seeking to develop his ‘natural ability’ with all things construction. A straight A-student, he went on to gain a degree in Quantity Surveying & Construction Management, graduating in 1994 as the first black student to achieve a Double-First Class with Honours at the University of Wolverhampton. During his time as an undergraduate [1991 – 94] Bola found that he had to work ‘ten times as hard’ AND often alone having experienced, first-hand, the ‘culturally insensitive’ and at times ‘discriminatory’ culture present within the UK construction industry. He qualified in 1999 and is committed to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors [RICS] where he remains a licensed APC Assessor, nurturing the next generation of aspiring Chartered Quantity Surveyors and a member of the London Regional Board.

 

A Fellow of Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors [RICS], Bola was appointed as Chair of the Equality & Human Rights Commissions’ in 2010 to lead the Construction Leadership and Diversity Forum [CLDF] developed in response to the EHRC Inquiry “Race Discrimination in the UK Construction Industry”. Bola’s principal objective is to promote the construction sector / surveying profession and increase the retention of ethnic minorities, active within sector / profession, in the UK. He currently Chairs a unique, pan-London project called Moving on Up (MoU), a multi-million pound initiative supported by the (Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan) and jointly funded by Trust for London and the City Bridge Trust. Phase 2 of the MoU initiative is focussing on ‘Employer Engagement’ across three specific sectors

  • Construction;
  • Digital / Technology; and
  • Finance

Bola’s long term aspiration is to positively influence UK public and private sector policy on ‘diversity of thought’ where opportunities, across the construction sector, in particular are premised upon individual talent and capability. To address the current and longstanding imbalance(s) across the sector, Bola established the first RICS network for BAME surveyors called DiverseCity Surveyors ‘DCS’ [back in 2006], and with full corporate support from RICS was launched ‘formally’ at RICS HQ in October 2017. DCS continues to grow from strength to strength – where ‘difference is both celebrated and empowered through professional excellence’

As a previous Non-Executive Director / Trustee of Construction Youth Trust ‘CYT’ [see here]; Bola is keen to ensure that young people continue to view the construction sector as an aspirational place to start a career. As part of his role on the EHRC Enquiry back in 2010, having successfully cultivated and novated the FIR Agenda [Fairness Inclusion and Respect] under its current administrator, the CITB, working alongside the Chartered Surveyors Training Trust ‘CSTT’ [see here], Bola is focused on promoting the Surveying profession and establishing clear paths to success for young people, with a particular focus on those from non-traditional and BAME backgrounds, with little or no knowledge of what the surveying profession has to offer.

In recognition of his well documented efforts, Bola was awarded the OBE, a Queens Honour, for Services to Diversity and to Young People in the Construction Industry in the 2019 New Years Honours List [published on 28th December 2018].

 

BOLA

 

 

About Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez

Tony Tokunbo Eteka Fernandez is an International Award Winner, Published Author & Poet, Broadcast Journalist, MC and Youth Empowerment Consultant . He is also The CEO of AFRICA4U and The Founder of Africans in The Diaspora People also see him as a Cultural and Social entrepreneur, which means he is skilled in working with many different communities, bringing people together in successful focused events. Tony has organised many cultural events …involving both BME and mainstream communities. He is skilled in hosting events that reinforce community cohesion and bringing different kinds of people together. He has organised events in The UK, The U.S.A, Holland, Germany, Romania, Malta and Nigeria and has visited over 22 European Countries. Tony has also organised The Black History Month Celebrations at The UK House of Parliament for over five years in a row He continues to promote the true life and success stories of Africans in Europe and Africans around the world and has organised several small scale literary and awards initiatives aimed at empowering young people. He has also spent time as an International broadcaster and was The Producer and Presenter for AFRICA4U International Radio Talk Show at Reading4u Radio Station for nearly three years. Tony has interviewed high profile Members of Parliament, Distinguished celebrities and some of Africas best musicians including Ivonne Chaka Chaka and Kanda Bongoman. He has also been a guest on BBC Radio on numerous occasions to discuss the community cohesion events he organises at UK House of Parliament and also to recite some of his published work in memory of Nelson Mandela, 50 Years Anniversary of The race relations act and major community issues. Tony has also a Guest on popular Radio stations in Nigeria and The States In the last few years he has been very passionate about Youth empowerment, community cohesion and cultural intelligence. Tony was born in South London and has lived in several parts of England and Nigeria . He started writing at the tender age of nine, a habit he expressed with creative enthusiasm. Tony writes Poetry, short stories and proverbs on personal development. He is currently working on his 4th book which will also be his first novel. He is also into Public Speaking at Special events and Social functions and is a Mentor for young people in the UK Community. He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree at The University of Lagos, Nigeria in English and World Literature. He later went on to attain a teaching qualification at The Frances King International Training Institute, South Kensington London, it was here he studied Teaching English as a Foreign Language. He also studied Web Design at The City University in London. He published his first book in June 1999 called “The Beauty in the Dark” (A Collection of Poetry which received critical acclamation in many circles around the world). .Tony’s aim in life is to inspire the young generation and to encourage the youth to make the very best of their dreams and aspirations,. He published a 2nd book in June 2009 called ” The Sound of Running Water” – A Family gift book of proverbs and quotations on Personal Development and Positive Thinking . In December 2009, he published his 3rd book called “One Moment of Peace”.- A collection of Poetry inspired by personal experiences and spiritual growth. Besides the fact that the Artist has won International online awards, he is mostly inspired by Life experience, love, music and cultural awareness. He was Resident Poet at the 5th London Poetry Festival in 2009 and has been a guest on BBC Radio on very many occassions including The famous Anne Diamond Show. He has also been a guest on a few SKY TV stations and several International Radio Stations around The World
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