IWF UK member, Dr Neslyn Watson-Druée CBE has been awarded a Dame Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to Women and to Ethnic Minorities.
We are thrilled to announce that IWF UK member, Dr Neslyn Watson-Druée CBE, Voluntary Chair, Birmingham and Midlands Women Economic Forum, has been recognised in the King's 2023 Birthday Honours List. She has been awarded a Dame Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (DBE) for services to Women and to Ethnic Minorities.
IWF UK has welcomed only a dozen or so Dames in its nearly 35 years history, including Dame Jean Denton CBE and Dame Inga Beale DBE, as well as now, Dame Neslyn Watson-Druée CBE, retaining her existing post-nominal CBE.
Dr Neslyn has been recognised for making significant contributions in the fields of leadership, personal and career development for staff in the public, private and third sectors through voluntary organisations, local government, banking and commerce.
Neslyn has shared her Leadership Story with IWFUK. She arrived in the UK at 19 years of age from Jamaica with 5 Ordinary Levels. From her initial training as a nurse, she overcame obstacles of prejudice and discrimination as a young Black woman to become a Senior Leader within the National Health Service. She has received 25 Awards acknowledging her impact on society.
In this highest award of DBE, Neslyn is being recognised for her selfless support of young people in the Black community to move away from the influence of gangs and crime, as well as personally funding employment to young Black people and establishing a community radio station intended to help young Black people (Colourful Radio). She has excelled as a mentor, coach and role model for ethnic minority NHS staff. She has developed training programmes which have been sustained over decades to contribute to the advancement of people from Black and ethnic minority communities, enabling many of them to break through the glass ceiling. For example, she designed the template for the Black and Minority Ethnic Leadership Programme which has been running for over 20 years in NHS hospitals and Community Trusts.