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Hanad's Career at Camden Council

Category: Camden Council, Working at Camden Council, Careers at Camden, Rewarding Careers at Camden

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I’m now the youngest director, and working in an area I’m extremely passionate about.

Hanad imageHANAD'S STORY

Camden’s home, so I’ve always been involved with the local community.

I was at a residents’ meeting when I challenged the council about something. They threw down their own challenge: to join them and help make a change.  

I’d recently finished my degree in economics and had spent a year working at Deutsche Bank. I thought how much more passionate I was about my community than about working in the City and took them up on it.

I worked in Community services for six years. Youth violence was a big issue.

It was really close to home, because it concerned people from my area that I knew. Coming from the Somali community, which has been disproportionally affected by crime, I had a unique perspective. 
I’m now the youngest director, and working in an area I’m extremely passionate about. At the moment, I’m also the only black director. Promotion really wasn’t my intention, though. 
It was more about goodwill and giving back to the community. I was always on the ground, working with the communities. That’s my biggest driver.

The most challenging part of my role is knowing I can’t keep everyone safe.

Meeting families when there’s a loss of life is one of the hardest things. But I have to do it. You can’t push the right policies from the outside.  

I’m a father of three now. At meetings, residents don’t see a senior leader who’s not from the area: they see one of their own, with children, family and friends, who wants to keep Camden’s safety top of the agenda.

I left for a management position at Brent, then came back to Camden, where I’m now the Head of the Chief Executive’s Office. It can take around 15 years to get to this level, so it was a massive leap for me. It’s proof of Camden’s rebellious spirit and the faith they’re willing to put in their staff. I had some great sponsors who opened doors for me. We’ve now got formal and informal programmes in place to break down barriers in the workplace, including mentoring and sponsorship programmes.

At Camden, we challenge everything.

We’re not afraid to have difficult conversations, whether that’s with the government, the NHS and the police or the world’s biggest businesses such as Google, Facebook and YouTube, who are literally on our doorstep. We hold each other to account. There’s a huge disparity between the extremely rich and the extremely poor. So, whether procuring or commissioning, and whether in adult social care or transport, we want to know how each and every project supports our residents. 

I’m the rebel who has smashed through the glass ceiling.

I speak out against inequality – for our residents and our staff. It’s just such a privilege to work for Camden and I want to encourage more young people to join us. I want them to see me and think: ‘If Hanad can do it, so can I.”

For more details on Camden Council's diversity and inclusion programmes and initiatives please click here.

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Camden Council

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