The Black Talent Awards, supported by Merlin Entertainments, Serco, and Lloyds Banking Group, unveiled its 2023 award winners during an elegant black-tie event held at Birmingham’s Edgbaston Stadium on September 28, 2023, graced by the presence of the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street.
Now in its second year following a successful launch in 2022, these awards honor exceptional and relatable Black professionals from various industries. These individuals excel in their careers while also making a significant impact either within their organisations or through broader social initiatives, all aimed at fostering a more equitable working environment, particularly for Black and minority employees and candidates.
Denise Myers, founder of the Black Talent Awards and CEO of recruitment agency Evenfields and Evenfields Community, stated, “Homogenous narratives of career and entrepreneurial success need diversification. Young Black talent needs to see role models who are relatable and who are succeeding on terms that they can identify with. This year’s winners include individuals who have gone on to forge lives very different from the one in which they came. These awards celebrate the remarkable feats of those who have triumphed, despite the disadvantages posed by race, gender or social background, to demonstrate what is possible. You cannot be what you cannot see.”
Changing the Narrative of Success
The 2023 Black Talent Awards winners include:
- In the Senior Leader category, Trevor Sterling, the first Black Senior partner appointed in a Top 100 UK law firm, who has played a crucial role in statue campaigns for Nelson Mandela and Mary Seacole.
- Within the FMCG and Retail category, Leon Donald, who played a key role in making Tesco a more inclusive employer through the Tesco Black Action Plan.
- Christina Brooks, an Executive resourcing executive, who won the Rising Star category for her work in promoting inclusivity and is actively involved in a task force with the Metropolitan Police.
- Nik Muchatuta, who won the Charitable, Voluntary, and Social Change category for her efforts to improve diversity and inclusion within the nuclear energy sector through her initiative REIN (Racial Equality In Nuclear).
- Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, who received the Trailblazer award for founding the platform 1000 Black Voices, which supports businesses, investors, and communities in combating racism and racial bias globally.
These individuals are trailblazers, pushing for change and inclusion in their respective fields.
Acknowledging Employers’ Efforts
The Black Talent Awards also recognise businesses that have made substantial efforts in their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) initiatives. KPMG, for the second consecutive year, was awarded the Large Business accolade for its work in upskilling young Black women in coding, increasing employee retention through its Black Heritage Programme, and appointing more Black directors.
Rob Smith, Managing Director of Midway Attractions at Merlin Entertainments, expressed their commitment to diversity and inclusion, stating that “diversity and inclusion are not just principles to uphold, but the vibrant threads that weave the fabric to success.”
Stephanie Hamilton, Chief HR Officer at Serco UK & Europe, emphasised their dedication to creating an inclusive workplace where people can achieve their career ambitions.
The Black Talent Awards highlight the outstanding contributions of Black professionals and organisations striving to create a more equitable and diverse workforce. These awards are a testament to the potential and achievements of Black talent and a commitment to fostering a world where every unique voice is heard and celebrated.