'The talent is out there' - top Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders in business revealed

'The talent is out there' - top Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) leaders in business revealed

The top 100 Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Board-ready leaders were announced last night at the House of Lords.

Executive Search firm Green Park, alongside members of the House of Lords, produced the list in effort to counter the belief that there isn’t enough diverse talent available.

Trevor Phillips OBE, a member of the judging panel, says: “We know that many business leaders say they’d like to attract a more diverse range of recruits for senior roles, but that they can’t find worthy candidates. We’d like to make their life easier, and we really hope that this list will put an end to that particular obstacle.”

Over the last four years Green Park has been tracking 650 people that they think meet these requirements. The top 100 were revealed last night.

The evening was opened by The Rt Hon. Baroness Royall of Blaisdon. She says: “I have always been passionate about social justice and equality, and these are inextricably linked with diversity and inclusion. For many years I have been developing and sometimes implementing policies to try to improve the opportunities and life chances for people in this country and the European Union. One of my proudest achievements in Government was steering the Equalities Bill through the Lords. Legislation is important but it is only a small part of bringing about change in society. Action underpinned by cultural change is needed to transform the lives of individuals and the society in which we live.”

Raj Tulsiani, CEO of Green Park, then took to the stage. He began by saying: “We have achieved a lot as a country, but let’s be honest, having this concentration of people of colour in the terrace of Parliament is something to celebrate. It doesn’t happen very often and to have such a talented collection from minority communities at this level is, I understand, unheard of.” At this the audience broke in to rapturous applause.

He continued: “For us, this idea of talent and recruitment, is not just about people getting promoted or people getting the right opportunity to compete, it’s about making sure that the right talent is applied to the right task.

“The best teams come together and they think differently, so the best companies are those that can give themselves a choice of the usual and the unusual suspects.”

Tulsiani said that people of great talent have failed to reach top roles “because of the system.” He then went on to address the audience – largely made up of those on the list – by saying: “All the people in this room, to some extent, have traversed that system. So whether you see yourself as a role model or not, part of our journey is to create more ‘real models’ that can be believed in and inspire other people.”

He continued: “Boards are more demanding now, they want more experience, more qualifications – we think that’s a great thing, no one should complain about increased corporate governance – but the problem is too many of the decision makers say that there aren’t enough people of colour who make the cut, whether that’s corporates or headhunters.

“The talent is out there, we decided to prove it. But the next step is for corporates to make themselves relevant to that talent, so that they actually vote and engage with those corporates and help them deliver the promises that their Boards have made.”

TOP 100 BAME LEADERS IN BUSINESS 2016

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