Meet Sonia Meggie – Diversity Consultant/ Founder Inspirational You and FunkyNChunky
In one of my first roles after University I was referred to as a Coloroid in reference to my ethnicity. It was one of the most hurtful things that I had been called, especially in the workplace. I soon quit that job and was fuelled with purpose to make a difference in the workplace for other black professionals. It made me determined to empower women and young people to progress in competitive industries and sectors.
When I had my daughter, I made a personal commitment to myself to ensure that I would work hard to ensure that she was filled with confidence and had access to opportunities. I believe in the African proverb “It takes a village” and often used this approach in her upbringing. I continue to ensure that she and other young people meet and listen to senior leaders who can inspire them with their future career choices.
So I have made it my business to be of service, be grateful, give back and walk in faith.
Over the years, I have had many proud moments, but never rest on any of my achievements. I have so many things that I still want to achieve and people that I would like to collaborate with. I am grateful for the support and input of the incredible women that I have met. Many of them have gone on to win awards, achieve OBE’s and MBE’s, start charities and mentor others. My ethos is to pay it forward and via the hundreds of women that I have met, I have been able to see the ripple effect of others who are impacted by the people they have engaged with.
Tell yourself YES. Whenever doubt or naysayers come your way, try anyway. Far too many women let self-doubt and fear hold them back. The cushion of being “safe” in their current surrounding is often not where they really could be. Take a leap of faith. Look back on life and say “I tried or I did it!”. Create moments and memories. Finally, never be afraid to ask for help.
Don’t underestimate the power of simple connections – I first came across GP when I volunteered at Lewisham’s People Day. They were packing up and I fell in love with a African print cotton top. I knew they had to go, but they kindly said “it is OK” and were so warm and friendly. I then looked for them every year and eventually ended up in the same space via my brand FunkyNChunky.
I love the brand as Mariatu is so personal and focused on her customers feeling good. I have seen how hard the whole family work and have been welcomed into their space and shared part of their journey. Most importantly that they are people of faith.
The brand is simply Vibrant.
Sonia Meggie is the award-winning founder of Inspirational YOU; a London based social enterprise. Their mission is to connect, inspire and empower young people, women and ethnic minorities who want to progress personally and professionally.
She has a teenage daughter and is inspired by her daily. She is passionate about tech, BAME progression and Africa, which saw her be selected as an RSA Diaspora Changemaker. Sonia is a Diversity Consultant and can be seen hosting and supporting inclusion initiatives around the UK.
In 2016 she launched an African accessories brand called FunkyNChunky and has travelled around Europe and the US partnering with female makers raising its profile. Her passion is giving back and will be opening a Saturday school for those aged 8-14 in South West London.
Sonia is a qualified football coach that supports the Jason Roberts Foundation, Black Cultural Archives and GUBA Trade Expo. Twice a year she organises a masterclass at the House of Commons that features well-respected senior women for teenage girls and mid-career professionals. Sonia has worked alongside organisations such as Google, Deloitte, Barclays Corporate, BAML, MP’s, Law Chambers, PwC, Pearsons, ITV, Sky, London Youth, BBC, Channel 4, Stephen Lawrence Trust, DAC Beachcroft and UK Supreme Court.