Karen Blackett OBE, the UK country manager of WPP and chairwoman of MediaCom UK & Ireland, has been appointed by the Prime Minister as race equality business champion as part of a Race at Work Charter. The charter was launched at a roundtable hosted by WPP.
The charter seeks to push forward race equality in the workplace and has been signed by companies including Shell, Norton Rose Fulbright and RBS.
Removing barriers and implementing initiatives such as mentoring and sponsorship programmes were among the strategies organisations were asked to run.
Karen founded MediaCom’s Apprentice scheme, and at WPP she established an Inclusion Board to look at how apprenticeships and reverse mentoring can encourage more diverse workforces.
Karen says, “Embracing diversity and inclusion is not a choice, it’s a business necessity. As the Race at Work champion, I’m committed to helping businesses address inequality at all levels by taking practical steps such as introducing apprenticeships, offering mentorships and capturing ethnicity data to create a more inclusive and representative workforce.”
A longer version of this piece first appeared on Campaignlive.co.uk and can be read here.