Jessica Fino 25 May 2017 11:35am

EY, PwC and Deloitte staff among 30 BAME future leaders

Staff at the firms are among three of the top 30 ethnic minority future leaders as chosen by EMpower, an initiative aiming to drive the empowerment of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees within corporate organisations

In a list compiled by the EMpower judging panel and presented by the Financial Times, Deloitte, PwC and EY were recognised as having up-and-coming BAME leaders.

Anjeli Patel, consultant at EY’s people advisory service, came in 5th place in the list.

Patel recently joined OUTstanding’s trans working group, the All about Trans Advisory Board, and has been a keynote speaker at the Stonewall Workplace Conference, where she talked about the challenges that trans individuals face within the Asian community. Anjeli has also won a workplace award for the category “Gamechanger”.

Dara Kirton, strategy and operations consultant at PwC came in 8th position, after setting up the PwC Diversity Mentoring scheme to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to seek and gain careers in professional services.

She has chaired the PwC Multicultural Business Network since 2015 and acts as a role model, coach, mentor and sounding board to BAME colleagues.

Nishma Gosrani, director at Deloitte, also featured in the list (21st place), thanks to her work on the diversity and inclusion client agenda for Deloitte. She is also the co-sponsor of the Deloitte Multicultural Business Network.

She said, “I am delighted to be named as one of the 30 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders. Diversity and inclusion is central to our business at Deloitte. The evidence speaks for itself – and so does the everyday experience of businesses across the world. It leads to more innovation, more opportunities for all, better access to talent and better business performance.”

The top future leaders were Stephen Marshall, head of digital communications at Sodexo, Charlene Brown, from BNY Mellon, Andrew Monu, marketing manager at LinkedIn and Ruth Lau, technology change and implementation partner at HSBC.

Riaz Shah, senior partner at EY, came in 35th place in the 2017 top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives list, and Sanjay Bhandari, also a partner at the firm, followed Saha in 37th place.

PwC also received two mentions in this year’s list. Albertha Charles, a partner at the firm and member of its talent and diversity council, came on 70th position and Paul Cleal, partner and first chair of PwC’s BAME network came in 87th place.

Lauren Hinton, part of the executive board and head of people, at PwC said, “We are delighted to be supporting the EMpower FT list celebrating BAME role models.

“We believe in the importance of increasing visibility of BAME role models, and this is one of three priorities of our diversity and inclusion strategy at PwC.

“We are excited about working with those featured in the list, to ensure role models from both in and out of our organisation help us on our journey.”

Vimi Grewal-Carr, managing partner at Deloitte’s innovation and delivery methods, made it into the list in 96th place.

She said, “I am proud to be named as one of 100 EMpower Ethnic Minority Leaders for the second year running. At Deloitte, our people are our greatest asset and we are working hard to ensure that our workforce represents the diversity of the communities we work in.

“We want to show that our workplace is an inclusive environment that is open to all and this means that encouraging diversity is the responsibility of everyone in the workplace.”

The top BAME executives this year were Arnold Donald, president and CEO of Carnival, Karen Blackett, chairwoman at MediaCom and Ron Kalifa, vice chairman at WorldPay.

Suki Sandhu, founder and chief executive of EMpower and OUTstanding, said, “There is a diversity deficit at the very top of organisations in both the UK and the US. We whole-heartedly believe that making diverse role models visible and celebrating them is the most powerful way to address this - demonstrating to the leaders of tomorrow exactly what is possible for minority ethnic groups.

“We’re extremely proud to be taking this important initiative into its second year. The EMpower message is clear: your ethnicity or background should not and will not be a barrier to your professional success.”

The government wrote to the chief executives of the FTSE 350 companies in March this year calling on them to improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

It follows the publication of an independent review by Baroness McGregor-Smith of race in the workplace in February. This revealed that although one in eight of the working population is from a BAME background, according to 2016 statistics, only one in 10 of them are in the workplace.

She also discovered that all BAME groups were more likely to be overqualified for their job than white ethnic groups yet white employees were more likely to be promoted.

McGregor-Smith said that only 14% of the working age population come from a BAME background and argued that equal career progression for black and minority ethnic employees could boost the UK economy by £24bn.