Black History Month : Nike Kazzim

To celebrate Black History Month, we have spoken to a number of black colleagues who have shared their experiences working for Standard Chartered.

Name: Nike Kazzim

Role: Regional HR Business Partner, COO, Operations, Technology & Innovation


I’ve been working in Human Resources for 10 years and have spent my entire HR career in Financial Services. I really love how dynamic the industry is and the opportunities it creates for advancement.

I joined Standard Charted Bank in January and prior to this, I worked for Barclays in both in London and most recently New York which was an incredible experience on both a personal and professional level. For the most part, I’ve worked as a HR Business Partner supporting Operations, Technology and Innovation client groups and I’ve worked on some interesting projects and initiatives along the way.

Greatest challenges:

  • I strongly believe that life’s challenges are a necessary part of character-building process, but it takes more to overcome some than others.
  • My greatest challenges have occurred in the workplace and have mainly been in the form of micro-aggressions which although subtle at times, can have a detrimental impact on one’s confidence and personal brand.
  • Another has been trying to change the perception that I’m aggressive as I’ve been described as such in the past. However, I’ve learned to own my voice and bring my full self to work.
  • Over the years, I’ve managed to overcome these by finding the courage to speak up when the micro-aggressions have occurred. It is important that we all find the confidence to have these difficult conversations because collective action will lead to the change we want to see.
  • In the wise words of Lao Tzu, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

Key Achievements:

  • Having the opportunity to work abroad and build an international career
  • Leading on some large-scale transformation programmes
  • Renovating my flat which allowed me to hone-in on my passion for interior design


Best advice you would give to someone: Learn to be your biggest cheerleader


Hopes for the future: It’s both encouraging and inspiring to see how well black men and women are excelling in the workplace despite the challenges we all face. Overtime, my hope is that the workplace glass ceiling won’t be so impenetrable for us.