Investment consultant Redington is working with nine other leading financial services firms (all members of the Diversity Project) to help connect businesses directly with students to tackle the underrepresentation of black talent in the industry.
Run by Entrepreneurs in Action as part of its Classroom to Boardroom initiative, firms will work with more than 25 black students primarily from schools across South London, to find ways to increase the applications, opportunities and development of young black people in entry-level roles.
The participating organisations – Aon, Fidelity International, Invesco, LCP, Lincoln Pensions, Mercer, Morgan Stanley, St James’ Place and Wellington – will share details on their current diversity initiatives and entry level strategies, alongside what they perceive as any barriers to bringing in young black talent.
Students will then be encouraged to challenge firms on their existing approaches based on their own experience and market research and present both their findings and solutions as part of a digital session on 17 July.
To structure the discussion, they have been asked to solve the following problem:
“Despite decades of running Diversity & Inclusion initiatives, as an industry the representation of black employees in our organisations (at all levels) is not good enough. What problems/obstacles do we need to understand? What blind spots can you illuminate? What solutions can you suggest, specifically for bringing more entry level black talent into our organisations?”
The solutions will be presented to CEOs and other senior leaders from the participating firms as well as representatives from the industry.
Derek Browne, CEO Entrepreneurs in Action, commented: “I am excited to be part of this initiative. As someone who joined the industry 30 years ago, I am aware it has made slow progress to identify and recruit black talent despite a range of entry programmes under the banner of diversity.
“This initiative provides a unique platform to engage some of the highest profile Investment Management and Consulting firms with a range of talented young individuals who are excited about the industry. Working with GenZ to solve industry challenges is the way forward and I hope this is the first of many programmes for Entrepreneurs in Action to work with the industry.”
Mitesh Sheth, CEO Redington, commented: “This is a timely opportunity for us as a group of industry executives to hear directly from young black students about the obstacles they face and their suggestions for increasing access for young black talent into our firms. It’s a chance to step out of our echo chamber, hear their perspectives and hopefully identify some talented young people too.”