Business gives black interns that first foot on the ladder

Some of the UK’s biggest employers are backing a campaign to give valuable opportunities to 10,000 black interns over the next five years.

Extensive research has shown that boards with a more diverse profile perform better than those without, in terms of productivity, staff recruitment and retention; but climbing to a haughty position in the boardroom has been more difficult for black employees.

The initiative will open up careers that ethnic minorities have struggled to access, with paid experience across a range of sectors which will ultimately improve their chances in later life. Universities will promote the opportunities on campus, and organisations including the Association of British Insurers, NHS, PwC accountants and Credit Suisse bank have already signed up to support.

The interns will be recruited between 2021 and 2022 and the campaign aims for companies across 20 sectors to offer 100 internships a year for five years. The interns will then be asked to mentor other black students to create a continual cycle of opportunity.

Abdul Wahab, the diversity and inclusion adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development said: “This initiative will help to open up pathways into careers that ethnic minorities have previously found difficult to enter. It’s welcome news that these internships will be paid, making them a viable option for more jobseekers.”

Wes has a strong voice in Leicester

Football has raised its voice in support of the Black Lives Matter movement with ongoing initiatives, including the Rooney Rule, striving to increase representation of BAME candidates in management and leadership positions within the sport. 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City are lining up their captain, Wes Morgan, to take an executive role at the club when he retires at the end of the season.

A highly respected and influential voice in the dressing room, Morgan has a certificate in football business management from the Sports Business Institute in Barcelona and Leicester’s owners believe he will be a huge asset in the boardroom.

Former head coach Claudio Ranieri says: “When Wes speaks, everybody listens.”

Take a look at HDN’s board excellence and board diversity programmes to discover how we can help your organisation to make the most of the diverse range of talent available to you.