Celebrating Black History Month: A Unique Perspective
As a way to recognize and celebrate Black History Month, this month we are proud to share a unique and interesting perspective from Envista Global Talent Acquisition Partner, Lola Raji. In this article, Lola shares some of her background, how it led her to her career today, and what it means to be a recruiter with the privilege to help people of color with career opportunities.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in Nigeria by my single mother as the last of five girls. Growing up, I was blessed to be surrounded by so many strong, impactful women.
In the African culture, the majority of breadwinners are women, so as a child, I was able to watch my mother work incredibly hard. My mother didn't have the opportunity to finish her high school education but found success in the import/export industry, where she was able to travel to many countries across the globe. As an avid international traveler, she had the mindset that we are all part of a global community and encouraged her daughters to learn about and embrace different cultures and languages.
At the age of 18, I was accepted into college and moved to the United States to pursue my education. There, I joined an international student group, where I was able to help international students who needed to find a job within the community, which is where my love for recruitment really stemmed.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
To me, Black History Month means celebrating Black achievements and progress. It's a time to reflect on what it means to be a part of a global Black community, and it’s an opportunity to look at history afresh, the contribution of Black people, the systematic hurdles, and what I can do to be part of the solution. As a Nigerian-American, it is essential for me to understand our ancestors' shared history and acknowledge the legacy of those who fought for the rights I have today.
What led you to a career in recruiting?
While in college, I had a work-study job in the student admission and career center department, assisting new students in finding summer internship programs. Making a career out of something you love may sound like a pipe dream, but I've found it! I love helping people find their dream job and knowing I'm making an impact.
What does it mean to you to be a recruiter and help people of color with career opportunities in our industry?
Representation matters! It’s a privilege to help recruit top candidates representing our society's fabric! What I love about working here at Envista is the representation of various cultures and backgrounds across our global teams.
How can diverse teams improve how we work?
As a global firm, having a diverse team helps us better serve our clients. Hiring people from different cultures brings fresh perspectives to the table, which leads to better ways of solving problems. As a recruiter, it helps attract a wider range of candidates. Many studies show diverse teams can help increase profits. It makes Envista a fun place to work!
Lola Raji is a Global Talent Acquisition Partner at Envista Forensics. Based out of Chicago, Lola has been in global talent recruitment for 15 years in various industries, including education, technology, healthcare, and engineering, prior to joining Envista a year ago.
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