In our attempts to support the global strides being taken to address the unbalanced diversity scales in the workforce, AltusPartners were pleased to partner with 10,000 Black Interns in our first-ever internship program in support of young black talent in the corporate world.
To be candid, diversity initiatives will only bear significance if planned and executed with sincerity. In this case, this means, firstly acknowledging that there is an imbalance of minority ethnic groups in the workplace. Is it a challenge? – absolutely! But the better question remains - to what extent are we disabled by this? We have an incredible opportunity to influence tremendous change for black talent wishing to enter the working world. This emphasises the need to give less attention to the weight of the issue at hand and adopt a forward-thinking and collaborative approach in addressing one of the world’s greatest concerns – inequality. This is the simplicity of our purpose.
What do we need to achieve diversity?
Diversity will carry varying meanings per organisation, but its value is always praiseworthy. Therefore, there should never be a need to conform to collective approaches to diversity. It is important to critically evaluate your workforce by qualitative and quantitative metrics, and through a gap analysis, understand what can be introduced to achieve diversity.
Designing diversity policies is the next step, but the real test is the implementation – can we attest to diversity being achieved at an employee, customer, and stakeholder level?
So, to make this a reality, a #Forbes study suggested four simple steps:
1. Clearly identify what you are trying to achieve – there need not be an array of diversity goals. Simple achievable milestones will be more encouraging and effective versus elaborate goals which may need constant refining and lengthier timescales.
2. Avoid “copy and paste” – appreciate and embrace the authenticity of your organization and that diversity can carry its own meaning versus your peers.
3. Implementation supersedes good design – whilst the strategy is important, the implementation needs to be well-thought-out including mitigation plans and any realignment. A diversity plan will not succeed if people lack the tools, skills, and motivation.
4. Win “hearts and minds” – individuals who fail to truly acknowledge the value of diversity will cripple any chances of success so it is important to sensitively encourage others and realise that this really calls for a shift in perspective – which can take time.
Value of supporting diversity programs
There is undoubtedly the opportunity to meaningfully impact the life of someone, and hopefully create a domino effect, be this amongst communities of up-and-coming black talent or how organisations start rethinking their DE&I strategies. For us, it was both – we were fortunate to be reminded of the importance of inclusivity and how we need to adopt and encourage more equitable opportunities at all stages of the employment lifecycle, in order to create and sustain diversity.
We were also left with encouraging feedback from our intern, Isaac Olubiyi, which motivates us to continue with such initiatives.
“My experience at Altus Partners was an enjoyable and rewarding one, to say the least. The skills I learnt during my time there are skills I can utilise for a lifetime due to the ease of transferability of the skills e.g., how to be efficient with your time when working towards a deadline yet still yielding high-quality work. I also understood the importance of building rapport with clients as well as going the extra mile for them to meet their requirements. Being at the office was also a pleasurable experience, I have nothing but good things to say regarding my colleagues and I wish them all the best in the future.”
By having Isaac as a part of our business, we welcomed new perspectives, deeper social cohesion, and creativity.
Led by some of the most powerful advocates for empowering young black talent, 10KBI quickly grew from an initial commitment of 100 interns to now 10,000. They are the fastest growing black talent pipeline in the U.K. alone and sincerely committed to not only affording this minority ethnic group credible opportunities but to address the apparent ethnic imbalances which need immediate and ongoing attention in most workforces.
Should you wish to learn more about our personal experience, feel free to reach out to Gizelle Moodley who is best placed to guide you on the opportunities and value of such an initiative, as well as key learnings which we found as critical to a successful experience for interns.
#10KBI are hosting a series of weekly information sessions, until the end of September, which will cover the timelines, recruitment requirements, and expectations and a Q/A session at the end. You are welcome to register via the following link - Webinar Registration - Zoom
If you are already committed and prepared to hire an intern, you are welcome to pledge your interest via the following link - pinpoint-10kbi.com/programmes/1/company_submissions/new