UK organisations that are outstanding in promoting race diversity and equality in the workplace were celebrated on 9th October 2012 at the annual Race for Opportunity Awards Dinner.
Race for Opportunity (RfO) is the race equality campaign from Business in the Community.
Currently, only 1 in 16 of FTSE 100 board members are from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, 1 in 8 employers in the UK are from BAME groups, and 1 in 4 of young people in the UK are BAME.
Race for Opportunity’s focus is to square off this pyramid and its nine Awards celebrate private and public sector organisations that are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and are demonstrating tangible results.
The awards ceremony, sponsored by Barclays, Google and Shell, brought together more than 500 business leaders at The London Hilton on Park Lane.
Collaboration and Partnership Award went to Taylor Bennett for its efforts to address the under-representation of BAME graduates in the communications industry.
Employee Network – Private Sector Award was given to Barclays for its Cultural Awareness Network, a global employee-led network striving to maximise the potential of a diverse workforce through mentoring and internship schemes.
Employee Network – Public Sector Award went to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for the work of its National Black Crown Prosecution Association to educate the wider CPS on the issues of racism.
Global Action Award was given to HSBC for its Leadership Exchange Programme which operates across the UK, India and the Philippines.
Innovation Award went to Enterprise Rent-A-Car for its Diversity Scorecard, which was developed to improve recruiting percentages of BAME people, with a focus on management positions.
Leadership Award was given to Goldman Sachs for its STEP Leadership Development Programme which supports black employees ‘Succeed, Transform, Excel and Perform’ in their roles in order to develop future black leaders across EMEA.
Mentoring Award went to Shell for its UK Mentoring Programme for BAME employees, students and young people, which provides internal mentoring circles with senior leaders and external coaching programmes.
Widening the Talent Pool – Recruitment Award went to KPMG LLP for its ‘Strategic Tactical Advisory Response’ (STAR) programme, an 11-month paid work experience scheme for 20 school leavers from diverse communities to gain business and commercial skills.
Youth Partnership Award was given to Transport for London for its Youth Engagement and Apprenticeship Programme, developed to help its industry to access new pools of labour and to diversify the workforce across its supply chain.
Adrian Joseph, Director, Search Advertising, Northern & Central Europe, Google and Chair of Race for Opportunity, said: “Race for Opportunity stands for diverse and inclusive senior leaders, building the talent pipeline, increasing BAME representation and progression in the workplace, and for the reduction of ethnic minority youth unemployment. This is not about philanthropy, it’s about sound business judgement, but never has our challenge been greater. I commend all the Race for Opportunity award winners for leading the way in unlocking this business opportunity and embedding diversity and inclusion into their long-term business planning and strategy.”
Sandra Kerr OBE, director of Race for Opportunity, said: “In achieving our aim of creating diverse workplaces that are equal and fair for all requires action across many fronts – from focusing on youth engagement, to reassessing recruitment processes. These award winners should be celebrated for challenging the traditional routes into their sectors and their commitment to unlocking the often overlooked pool of BAME talent at every level of their organisations.”
At the dinner, guests heard from Olympic Gold Medallist Heather Stanning who talked about the challenges facing young people today and were introduced to the members of RfO’s new Youth Advisory Panel, made up of young people aged 16-24 years old.
The panel’s purpose is to directly advise businesses on how they can engage better with young people and help tackle extremely high levels of BAME youth unemployment in the UK today.
Three of these inspiring young people shared their ambitions of the Youth Advisory Panel with the room.
The evening was hosted by Diane Louise Jordan.