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Plan to get black middle managers rising to FTSE boards

PLATFORM: Melanie Eusebe and Sophie Chandauka (left)

THE FOUNDERS of the Black British Business Awards have revealed plans to use their platform to help boost the career progression of black professionals.

Melanie Eusebe and Sophie Chandauka said it was not enough to merely celebrate success and have made a commitment to finding solutions to the disheartening underrepresentation of black people at the top of organisations.

Eusebe said: “We want to inspire greater confidence in the mid-section of the talent pipeline by working with our sponsors and employee networks to understand the issues and devise solutions.

“Our ambition is to return to this stage in years to come with evidence of a positive trajectory of conversion of middle managers into senior executives and senior executives into FTSE board directors.”

Chandauka added: “To that end, we would like to announce that we will be conducting targeted action research in order to better understand the issues that are stifling the progression of ethnic minority middle managers.”

The organisation will work with the Institute of Directors and the Diversity Practice to conduct research in the coming months to help put together a comprehensive list of recommendations.

The Black British Business Awards, which took place at the Park Lane Hilton on October 20, was founded last year.

ROLE MODELS: The winners of the BBB Awards

It honours established leaders and rising stars in finance, science, technology, engineering, professional services, consumer & retail as well as individual entrepreneurs.

Gary Elden, chief executive of SThree, a global recruitment firm with 44 offices in 18 countries and annual turnover of £750 million, was named Black British Business Person of the Year.

The son of one of London’s first black cab drivers to be licensed dropped out of school at the age of 16 but won the prestigious award on the day.

Veteran broadcaster Sir Trevor McDonald was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

JP Morgan won the Network Impact Award for their Black Organisation for Leadership Development (BOLD) initiative that champions diversity and support throughout the organisation.

Eusebe praised the nominees and winners for being “role models and demonstrating excellence in the work they do.”

She added: “These individual achievements highlight that diversity in business makes for better business and diversity throughout the workforce is a commercial imperative for businesses in Britain.”

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