West London College has been announced as one of the inaugural #MyNameIs Trailblazer award winners run by Race Equality Matters (REM). The #MyNameIs campaign helps everyone to pronounce other people’s names correctly by using phonetic spelling in email signatures, meetings, name badges and more. In a recent poll, REM found 73% of respondents from more than 100 organisations said they had their names mispronounced. This made them feel ‘not valued or important’, ‘disrespected’ and ‘that they didn’t belong’. 88% of respondents thought a phonetic name spelling campaign would help tackle race inequality.
A Race Equality Matters spokesperson said: “As a strong applicant in our first cohort of Trailblazer applications, West College London is making genuine steps in tackling racial inequality.”
The independent judges – all of whom were ethnically diverse – unanimously recognised the successful implementation of the #MyNameIs campaign within West London College.
Anil Nagpal, West London College Chief Operating Officer said: “We are delighted to announce our Race Equality Matters #MyNameIs Trailblazer status during Black History Month. Our names are a huge part of our identity, culture and heritage, so it is really important to take the time and make the effort to say one another’s names correctly. This is also a good way of showing respect.”
The #MyNameIs campaign began at West London College during Race Equality Week in February 2022. The college created a highly effective celebratory poster series and installed it at each campus. The college also held staff training sessions about the campaign and included phonetic name-spelling in staff email signatures.
Steve Bishop, West London College Director of Marketing and Student Recruitment said: “The #MyNameIs campaign is simple and straightforward to implement and has had lots of resonance with our staff. As an organisation with inclusion as one of our core values, pronouncing each other’s names correctly is a simple way of making everyone feel welcome.”
West London College will continue to promote and use the #MyNameIs campaign to ensure existing and new employees and students understand the importance of name pronunciation. In addition, the college’s campaign also encourages openness in presenting pronouns (she/her, he/him, they/them), introducing another way to acknowledge and respect each and every member of the college community.
A spokesperson for Race Equality Matters said: “West London College has demonstrated commitment and impact for change. Their #MyNameIs Trailblazer status echoes the impact felt by the organisation’s ethnically diverse employees. Celebrating our Trailblazer community will accelerate the change and momentum towards racial equality, through action, not words.”