19 October 2022
Black History Month case study: Mercy McDanart
For Black History Month, Mercy McDanart talks about her experience of working at Anchor
My name is Mercy McDanart, and I’ve been with Anchor since my last year at university. I started as an Activity Co-ordinator on a short-term contract in 2014, after being with the organisation for 9 months an Estate Manager position became available, I applied for it and got the job, I was so excited as the role complemented my studies in Psychology.
Climbing the career ladder at Anchor
I have been fortunate to work both in rented and extra- care estates. Having worked in Extra Care for the past 4 years, I felt I needed a new challenge, and that new challenge is Leasehold, so recently a job came up as Estate Services Manager for a new development in Kent (The Landings), which I went for and got the promotion and I now manage eight people.
In my application for a position as Estate Manager in 2015, as I was fortunate to be working in central offices in Hackney with housing managers, I used this opportunity to network and to find out more about the role. My colleagues and managers were very supportive and encouraging. I haven’t told the managers I have worked with, but they have really inspired me in my progression as I can personally identify with them in so many ways and this has given me the courage to further my career and seek new opportunities.
Despite training to be a dental nurse, my job at Anchor suits me more. With two children, it works a lot better for me, and means I don’t have to work in the city!
Now, I am working closely with Vikki (Development team) as we prepare The Landings for its grand opening, Vikki is very supportive and helpful and has been a source of knowledge and my go to person for new builds. I am learning on the job and I appreciate there will be new learning to discover once the development is operational, but it’s such a welcoming environment and the warmth of the people around make this learning curve easier.
I’ve never had to manage a team before but, having seen Sharon support her team so well, I was motivated to do this too. I’ve also done a lot of courses on MyLearning - too many to mention here - but I particularly remember the Leadership and Management course as helping me a lot in a role I hadn’t approached before. I’ll continue going back to these courses though, because I find it useful to refresh my mind and continue to practise the self-awareness they require.
Spotting unconscious bias when recruiting
I am currently recruiting as part of my new job, and so the Recruiting course is helpful in reminding me of unconscious bias. The toolkit is a reminder to apply best practice when recruiting, this has opened my eyes to what I consider and have personally experienced as bad practice whilst going through the recruitment process. I am fully aware of the do’s and don’ts and will do my best to recruit the perfect candidate based on their skills and knowledge and not be prejudiced by their personal responsibilities.
What Black History Month means to Mercy
To me, Black History Month is an ongoing thing. It’s important to celebrate Black people, and to take the time out to appreciate, remember, and remind myself about the changes we’ve come through and what we contribute. I don’t dwell much on the past, but it’s a chance to check in with where we are now. I’ve always been a part of EmbRACE and see it as a chance to learn and to be a part of the bigger picture. I want to be able to contribute to bringing change that’s needed and be there to support my team.
People encourage you, but you have to be courageous yourself to achieve the things you want to achieve.
Anchor Hanover take part in National Inclusion Week 2020
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Anchor celebrates LGBT History month
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Anchor celebrates Black History Month
This October we are marking Black History Month by celebrating accomplishments of colleagues and residents and honouring the contributions of Black Britons across history.