Large companies sign pledge to hire more black talent

Tesco, Barclays, Deloitte, Budweiser, KPMG, EY and numerous other large businesses have signed up to a pledge to drive black inclusion in the workplace, by committing to annual reporting on black inclusion actions and acknowledging “what gets measured gets done”.

This move has been led by Audeliss Executive Search and INvolve, the diversity and inclusion (D&I) specialists. The pledge has had 40 companies sign up to it so far, the other companies include: Viacom, Thames Water, E.ON, AutoTrader, Alexander Mann Solutions, GBG plc, Halma plc, M&C Saatchi, Equiniti, ITV and M&S.

In signing the letter, they have all agreed to:

  • Diversifying the face of our organisations: Setting targets for diverse candidate slates for every position and holding recruiters accountable for presenting diverse shortlists. More specifically, setting targets on black talent in our candidate slates.
  • Measuring: Investigating the specific challenges and barriers faced by black talent in our organisations, starting to track ethnicity data and conduct focus groups or listening sessions to properly understand the experiences of our black and minority colleagues.
  • Joining us on our journey of learning: Educating ourselves on the experiences of black people in the workplace and in society at large.
  • Starting the conversation: Being vulnerable with our people. Admitting we haven’t done enough and that the work is just beginning.
  • Elevating Black voices: People know discrimination and racism are a lived, everyday reality now – but do they know what forms it takes every day in the workplace? We must start these conversations. We will also do more to celebrate black leaders and talent in our organisations and the wider business community.
  • Committing to specific actions: We’ve posted on our corporate Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, but now we must show what our organisations look like truthfully and what more we are doing to change it.


Michael Lewis, CEO, E.ON UK said:

We will always stand up for what we believe and to show our solidarity to stop racism, educate others and celebrate the diversity that will give us strength in our changing world.

Our focus is on helping and supporting our colleagues to progress, and whilst we are proud of our record of promoting equality and diversity as an employer we will continue to seek meaningful ways to do even more; to continue creating an environment where everyone is recognised for their contribution, can be themselves and achieve their full potential.

Suki Sandhu OBE, founder and CEO of INvolve and Audeliss said:

We are delighted that more CEOs and business leaders have made these commitments to be bold and intentional in their support of racial equality in business. The call to action sparked by the Black Lives Matter movement has not gone quiet and businesses need to step up to maintain the momentum in driving change to improve black inclusion.

I recognise that for a lot of businesses, they do not know what to do or where to start. It is my hope that as more and more CEOs sign the letter, we can use the commitments outlined as a place to start to drive change in the workplace and monitor progress as these businesses openly report their progress year on year.

Back in June, Audeliss and INvolve had an open letter in The Sunday Times published where large companies agreed to fix the current unfair system, outlining their “responsibility and duty” to take “long term sustainable action”.The idea was that the letter would improve BAME representation in companies. Some companies have signed up to both pledges.

This also comes as the Colour of Power survey by consultants Green Park, found that only 51 out of the top 1,097 UK positions are held by BAME individuals, this number has increased by 15 since 2017. There are still no BAME chief constables and one BAME police crime commissioner. Out of the top 50 NHS trusts, there are no BAME CEOs as well as no BAME secretaries in the civil service. As well as one BAME trade union boss.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.