The Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK) was founded in 2007 in London by siblings Dr Nike Folayan MBE and Dr Ollie Folayan MBE. AFBE-UK is a not-for-profit organisation that supports people of all backgrounds into, and within the engineering sector. The organisation, which is a network of more than 2,500 engineers, runs programmes to attract young people into engineering, retain talent and raise leaders. AFBE-UK also works with more than 80 corporate partners, including Mercedes F1, bp, BBC Scotland, Leonardo and many others, through its diversity and inclusion programme. AFBE-UK’s programmes have benefited more than 20,000 people since 2007.
HSBC UK and The Prince’s Trust set a goal to engage more young black participants in The Trust’s Enterprise programmes, with a target of 50% of those supported being female. The initiative was led by HSBC’s Maria Alavi, Jas Sandhu and Charlotte Millan, and included the bank donating £350,000 to support more than 270 aspiring young black entrepreneurs in London, the West Midlands and Bristol in 2021-22. The team provided 15 business mentors to support young people in the three regions and volunteers to provide inspirational talks and specialist workshops focused on sustainability and cyber security. HSBC was recognised as an ED&I Champion by The Prince’s Trust in 2022.
In 2020, OVO set off to establish a meaningful partnership to connect with ethnically diverse young people, and inspire them to kickstart their zero carbon careers. After a due diligence process that ensured the new partner was not only working with but was actually led by ethnic minorities, the OVO-Aleto love story began. Through this partnership, ethnically diverse young people are mentored by some of OVO’s most senior leaders, and are tasked to present possible solutions to real business challenges. Based on their performance, some of them also secure paid summer internships. A few of these have already resulted in permanent job offers in exciting growth areas like solar and EV technology.
Anchored by the State Street and ELBA partnership, the Parity Project exemplifies the profound impact that can be achieved when a corporation embraces its social responsibility. The Parity Project’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of collaboration and inclusivity. At the core of the Parity Project’s mission lies a profound desire to empower and uplift young black men in London. Aspiring to shatter the barriers that stand between untapped potential and sustainable careers, the initiative seeks to provide these young men with exposure, insight, and access to the corporate world. State Street’s unwavering support and generous funding has transformed this vision into reality.
The Diversity Project’s #TalkAboutBlack is a movement which focuses on creating more senior black corporate leaders, and was co-founded in 2018 by Gavin Lewis, Rachel Green, Justin Onuekwusi and Dawid Konotey-Ahulu. Within #TalkAboutBlack, Gavin founded the Catalyst Education Programme to improve social mobility and give young people aged 16 to 18 the aspiration to work in finance. Rachel launched The Skills Workshop, giving thousands of young people insight, knowledge and direction to gain their first role in financial services. And Justin set up EnCircle, a monthly mentoring circle, along with the Black Leaders Programme in partnership with the Investment Association.
The Guestlist, created by Shannie Mears from The Elephant Room, is a forum/community dedicated to providing access to people who otherwise would lack the necessary knowledge or network. The Guestlist is there to provide value, by enabling people to share resources, contacts, events, jobs and opportunities and to facilitate collaborative skill swapping. It is made up of more than 2,000 people who come from all walks of life, and range in age, race and location. The Guestlist has provided opportunities for hundreds of individuals and is a testament to the power of community. Supported by the likes of MTV, Channel 4, Disney and Nike, it has given people opportunities to find employment, seek resources and feel like they are not alone. The Guestlist has become a community that has the tools to help people get to where they need to be.
UpSkill Digital is a training and digital empowerment agency creating a fresh approach to learning through virtual and in-person training, empowering businesses and individuals to boost productivity and succeed in the digital age. Its CEO and founder is Gori Yahaya, an inspirational thought leader closing the digital skills gap and transforming businesses worldwide. Over the past decade, he has engineered programmes that have upskilled more than 250,000 people across Europe, Africa, and Asia. Gori is an evangelical advocate for diversity and inclusion, with a mission to support people of BAME backgrounds to boost their career progression and develop relevant skills for the future workplace.
Generation Change is Paramount’s global initiative, inspiring and empowering its audiences to drive positive change in the world and their communities. By harnessing the power of its brands to amplify the voices of young, globally diverse changemakers, it provides audiences with on-the-ground information, tools and actions to get involved and learn more about the issues they care about the most. Generation Change produces dynamic and innovative content focusing on three pillars of messaging: Health, Equity and Environment. The initiative taps into both local and internationally recognised awareness calendar moments, culminating in an annual #GenChange Award presented at the MTV EMAs to five young changemakers, all dedicated to the same cause from different parts of the world.
Templeton and Partners recruitment agency was founded in 1996 and has been championing the principles of diversity and inclusion for 27 years. As a young person from a BAME background, Templeton’s founder and CEO Nadeem Ahmad was driven by the need for diversity and set out to create a truly diverse recruitment agency that also led diversity in tech and business. Templeton’s team is 85% diverse, 65% female and 58% ethnic minority, with first-hand knowledge and understanding of diverse candidate needs and challenges. Nadeem was named Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year in the Best Business Awards and Recruitment Leader of the Year 2022 by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
Energy company bp strives to be an organisation with purpose; a company that is trusted by society, valued by shareholders and motivating for everyone who works there. Its purpose is reimagining energy for people and the planet – bp wants to help the world reach net zero and improve people’s lives. The energy company believes that promoting equity and inclusion goes beyond respect for human rights, worker rights and non-discrimination. It involves finding ways to achieve a more diverse and inclusive bp while also helping to address structural disadvantages and inequality in economic opportunity and participation. Its social mobility partnerships underpin that commitment to driving equity in business and in society.