On Thursday 9 May, Notre Dame’s level two students were treated to an exclusive and inspirational talk from the University of Bradford’s Professor of Diversity, Uduak Archibong. Professor Archibong was invited to speak at college by Mary Owoo, Notre Dame’s HE Progression Officer, supported by the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP). Professor Archibong talked about her career and explained the strategies she’s used to help her succeed.
Professor Archibong was born in Nigeria, where she worked as a nurse. When she moved to the UK she studied at the University of Hull – completing a PHD – then worked at the University of Bradford. There, her hard work, determination and skill enabled her to progress from a role as a lecturer in nursing, to research coordinator and head of department, before becoming a professor in 2004.
She is now Professor of Diversity at the University of Bradford, and the strategic lead for equality and diversity in our region. She told our students that, ‘Equality and diversity is about removing barriers and challenging behaviour’. The examples she gave included Danny Baker’s recent tweet, which cost him his job at the BBC.
Professor Archibong has a particular interest in workforce equality and showed our students a clip of an inequality experiment carried out with Capuchin monkeys (you can view this here).
She then talked about the importance of self-mastery, and other strategies that could help our students succeed. These included resilience, supporting others and asking for support when you need it, expending your energy wisely, building on your strengths, regularly reviewing how your values have changed, and discovering your personal mission.
During her career as a nurse, lecturer, professor, and equality and diversity champion, Professor Archibong has received many awards, becoming a fellow of the West African College of Nursing in 2001, and a fellow of the Royal College of Nursing in 2012. In 2015 she was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her contributions to higher education and equality.
Her work has been greatly influenced by her mother, who raised her alone after the death of her father, and always did her best to support people in their community. In turn, Professor Archibong has inspired our students to strive for the changes they wish to create in the world, and to remain true to their own path, working patiently to overcome any challenges they meet.
Student comments after the event included, ‘Her story was interesting because she was really open when talking about race’ and ‘I learned from the speaker that if you want to be successful you have to go through a lot, it’s going to be hard but the end result makes it worth it’.