Institutions are backing a new U.K. charter aimed at increasing Black representation in senior positions in the financial and professional services sectors.
The $354 billion money manager Barings; law firms Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Allen & Overy and Herbert Smith Freehills; PricewaterhouseCoopers; and KPMG are founding signatories of the Charter for Black Talent in Finance and Professions, according to the charter website. The City of London Corp., the governing body of the Square Mile in London, is also supporting the charter.
The charter reflects a recognition by signatories and firms supporting it that there is a particular problem with the recruitment, career progression, retention and promotion of Black talent in the financial and professional services sectors, the charter website said. While progress has been made on gender and other diversity issues, Black representation is lagging.
The charter "commits firms to creating and maintaining an environment where Black talent can be identified, developed and promoted for the benefit of individuals and the organization," the website said. Signatories commit to supporting the recruitment, development and career progression of Black talent by focusing on the entire executive pipeline and will also "report publicly on the steps they have taken to create and maintain an environment for the identification, development and promotion of Black talent and on the progress to deliver against their targets."
The charter was created and developed by Harry Matovu, a barrister at Brick Court Chambers, and Michael Eboda, founder and CEO at Powerful Media.
All institutions, regulatory bodies, corporations, firms and associations are invited to join via the charter's website, blacktalentcharter.com.
“The charter marks an important milestone in the efforts towards equality and inclusion in the financial and professional services sectors,” said Martin Horne, head of global public fixed income and head of global high yield at Barings, in a statement. Mr. Horne is the firm’s executive sponsor for the charter. “As a proud founding signatory, Barings is committed to cultivating an inclusive environment where Black talent is identified, developed, recognized and promoted — with the goal of creating a more balanced and fair society.”