9 October 2020
Full name and job title:
Tanique Reynolds; Deputy Manager/ Lead Nurse.
What is your role? Which team do you work with?
I am the Deputy Manager & Lead Nurse for Kensington& Chelsea Older Adults Community Mental Health Team.
How long have you worked in CNWL?
I have worked in CNWL since 2016.
I first started in South West London & the Maudsley (SLAM) in 2011, working as a Health Care Assistant in a female PICU. I loved my colleagues; they were an inspirational team who worked in unit even in the most challenging of days. This is what motivated me to go into nursing.
I completed a 2-year Post Graduate programme, started working as a Band 5 Nurse on a male acute ward, a year later I became a Clinical Lead which I loved. It was multi-faceted role, with a variety of clinical decisions, working with different teams, managing emergencies on a daily basis; it was never boring.
I unfortunately had an unpleasant experience, where one of the patient’s’ became quite fixated on me and managed to find out from other patients my location/ shift pattern etc. This was a turning point, and I felt I needed a new environment.
The Home Treatment Team Band 6 post in Older Adults came up, and I was successfully appointed. I did the role for 8-12 months, when the Band 7 left; the team were without clinical supervision for a while.
An opportunity arose for development and I completed the Expression of Interest for the Band 7 role, and was successful. I enjoy the balance of both the clinical and managerial aspects.
I have a good relationship with the staff I supervise, with productive conversations and actions.
Overall, I am quite happy in my job, and intermittently have feelings to undertake a new challenge, which I discuss with my manager who I find supportive.
Please, share with us some of your personal background - where did you grow up/family members/friends?
I was born and raised in Jamaica and came to the UK when I was 13.
The inspiration to come into nursing came when I was studying in the sixth form. I was doing many subjects, and was not sure what to do. As I was living, alone I met many professionals who were very supportive. I studied psychology and started working at the Maudsley where I came across a fantastic nurse who was managing challenging and difficult situations, and supportive of her colleagues.
Have you ever experienced racism? If so, are you comfortable with sharing with us? How did this make you feel?
No, I have never experienced racism in the team, or by anyone I have worked with. I have had the opportunity to apply for roles just like anybody else in the team, which has a large mix of culturally diverse staff.
I believe people need to have the drive and ambition to want to develop. Division of classes can sometimes create ‘invisible ceiling’ stop people from aiming higher.
People may look at the Directors or senior managers, and feel that “I not going to fit in, because I’m not their colour”, “I don’t speak like they do”, Even from my parents I learnt ‘I have to be twice as good to get half as less’, and I can see why people might feel like that.
People coming from different countries/cultures no matter how educated and experienced may feel they do not fit into the stereotypical status quo of senior leadership. So, in this case we can sometimes hold ourselves back, and our reasons are not always the same, whether this is historical discrimination or current lack of confidence. We may unfortunately hold onto these issues and are not motivated in the clinical space.
What change/actions would you like to see happen in CNWL?
- CNWL to build pathways into senior leadership for minorities; I’ve seen training courses being offered to BAME nurses which is a positive step in addressing the barriers that are faced by this group.
- BAME mentoring circles to share knowledge and experience with other colleagues wanting to develop their carers/ clinical skills. Role models create a work environment of inclusion as they can demonstrate that ethnicity is not an obstacle to success.
- CNWL to recognise and celebrate culture in the same way other historically marginalised groups are well represented currently.
At a grass roots level, it would be amazing if BAME staff felt they could and applied for those more senior positions. The simple secret of getting ahead is ‘getting started’.
What type of BAME representation would you like to see? (In personal life and professional)
When I look at the Directors and senior management I would like to see more people that look like me. I would like to look at an interview panel and see representation from all walks of life, good reflection of the diverse population we serve in CNWL. I love that our chief executive is a woman who leads with compassion which is inspirational for me.