Professor Nicola Rollock is a consultant, academic and inspirational public speaker, specialising in racism and racial justice in educational establishments and the workplace.
She is author of a transformative new book – The Racial Code: tales of resistance and survival (2022).
She is best known for her research on black female professors. In 2018, there were just 25 black British female professors in UK universities. Nicola took an interest in this and produced a report entitled Staying Power which delved into the challenges of this minority group of women. The findings of the report had ripple effects and even featured in the likes of The Guardian, The Times Higher Educational Supplement, Vogue and Stylist. In 2019, she commissioned a photographer to take portraits of these women, and the exhibition ‘Phenomenal Women’ was displayed at London’s Southbank Centre in 2020.
In 2021, Nicola Rollock was appointed as Professor of Social Policy and Race at King’s College London. This appointment expanded on Nicola’s own ground-breaking work examining the workplace experiences of black female professors in the UK.
Thanks to her passion in the subject, she was included in the Powerlist of the most influential black Britons, was selected by Apolitico as one of the 100 most influential academics in politics in 2021, and was recognised by the PRECIOUS award for her work in racial equality.
Contact Great British Speakers today to book racial justice academic and speaker Professor Nicola Rollock for your next event.
After graduating from the University of Liverpool with a Bachelor’s in Psychology, Nicola Rollock completed a Postgraduate in Family and Couple Therapy followed by a PhD in Education from the then Institute of Education. Her research focusses on black students and academic success.
In 2020, she started a three-year posting as a Distinguished Fellow at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge; this is as well as being a Senior Advisor on Race & Higher Education to the VC at the same University and Specialist Advisor to the Home Affairs’ Select Committee’s inquiry ‘Macpherson: 22 Years On’. Nicola is also a member of the Wellcome Trust’s anti-racism expert group and the British Science Association’s equality, diversity and inclusion advisory group.
In 2009, Nicola published a report titled The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 10 Years On, commissioned by the Runnymede Trust. The report looked at how British policing needed to evolve to support the diversity of the British population. Her findings from the Runnymede/Stephen Lawrence inquiry were debated in parliament, with the government accepting three of her five recommendations to improve racial equality in the criminal justice system.
Nicola Rollock has since published a number of critically-acclaimed books including The Colour of Class: The Educational Strategies of the Black Middle Classes (2014) which hit Amazon’s Bilingual and Multicultural Education bestsellers, and The Racial Code: Tales of Resistance and Survival (2022), which explores real-life racial inequality experiences. She is also the founding editor of the Routledge journal Whiteness and Education, and has written for The Financial Times, The Guardian and British Vogue.
In 2019, she was selected by Times Higher journalists as one of the 11 scholars globally to have influenced higher education debates, and in 2020 she was included in the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s list of Next Generation Trailblazers for “challenging prejudice and contributions to British society”.
She appeared in the Channel 4 documentary The School That Tried to End Racism (2020), which tracked a group of year seven pupils – aged 11 and 12 – as they explored racial bias through specially designed activities.
– Current Affairs
– Race and Racism
– Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
Bloomberg and Black Solicitors’ Network, The British Educational Studies Association, The British Medical Association, Capsticks LLP, Employment Law Association, The Financial Times, The Francis Crick Institute, Keele University, Lane, Clark and Peacock LLP, Leeds Beckett University, London Southbank Centre, Morgan Stanley, Paul Hastings LLP, Nursing and Midwifery Council, Women of the World (WoW) Festival.
Nicola was fantastic and it was a really interesting and thought-provoking discussion.
British Medical Association Women’s Network – Power of Inclusion 2021
The REC leadership team at UEL, and the institution as a whole, would like to extend our sincere gratitude for your time and knowledge sharing at our event. It was an enlightening and insightful session, which has in no doubt advanced the knowledge of attendees, and especially the REC SAT, on race equality issues in the UK and especially in higher education institutions.
University of East London
Nicola was excellent and the initial feedback has been very good too. She was not only very stimulating and enlightening with regard to the points she put across, but the way in which she suggested we tried a different approach (based more around a two-way discussion with me, rather than a A&E with me putting the questions) really helped to provoke honest and open reflection.
Professor Andrew Harrison, OBE, FRSE, FRSC CEO, Diamond Light Source Ltd.
[Nicola] has inspired me over the years because of all of the work she’s done around race relations and, more importantly, what’s happening within education. Her latest work within the UK is looking at how many black women are professors in this country. Nicola is passionate about the critical role of education to inspire young black women to achieve their potential. I admire Nicola for her consistent work around anti-racism, equality and inclusion.
Baroness Doreen Lawrence
Your talk is something that has really stayed with me and it has made me strongly reflect on my own privilege and experiences over my life course so far. You have also inspired aspects of my research, such thinking more carefully about the strategies that women put in place regarding their workplace experiences and to look more closely into the emotional impact of these strategies. I wanted to thank you because I think that it can be easy to underestimated the impact that we can have on other people and I am grateful for how you have shaped my research and my own awareness of academia.
Doctoral Researcher 2019