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INvolve unveils the EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model Lists 2021


INvolve, a global consultancy championing diversity and inclusion in business, has unveiled the EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model Lists 2021.

The EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model Lists, supported by Yahoo Finance, showcase business leaders who are breaking down barriers at work and working hard to break the ceiling for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the UK, Ireland, Europe, and people of colour in the United States and Canada. It is hugely heartening to see leaders from a range of industries working towards creating more inclusive workplace for people of colour across the world.

Allies, especially those in positions of influence and power, have an enormous potential to create a fairer and more inclusive society, and we are pleased that Travers Smith's Senior Partner Kathleen Russ is included in the EMPower list of effective allies this year, alongside other leaders committed to using their influence to advance equality for all.

Over the past year, Kathleen has sponsored a series of initiatives aimed at tackling racial inequality. These include:  

  • Delivering anti-racism and effective allyship training for all staff and partners.
  • Creating platforms for minority ethnic, but particularly black, people at the firm to convene in a safe space, and also providing wellbeing resources for those affected by the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Partnering with human rights charity JUSTICE on the production of Tackling Racial Injustice: Children and the Youth Justice System, a report on racial disparities of children in the youth justice system.
  • Signing up to Rare Recruitment's Race Fairness Commitment and the Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance (LFAA) to promote racial equity in the law.

In addition, as part of our wider work in promoting inclusion for black and ethnic minority people, Kathleen hosted a firm wide "Celebration of Black Music" during Black History Month (Oct 2020) and also implemented the firm's reverse mentoring scheme to enable people from minority backgrounds to access senior leaders.

Founder & CEO of INvolve, Suki Sandhu OBE, says, “I’m thrilled to be celebrating another incredible group of Ethnic Minority and Advocate Role Models who are championing inclusion and inspiring the next generation of talent. Discrimination and barriers to success are still prevalent for ethnic minority groups and Role Models are essential to change perceptions and show everyone that you can be successful in business while also being your authentic self at work.”

Senior Partner Kathleen Russ commented: "2020 was a stark reminder of the pressing need to tackle racial injustice and address the systemic barriers which face black and ethnic minority people. Recognising that it is not the responsibility of people from minority groups to create a fairer society, we continue to focus our efforts on fighting racial inequality by empowering our people to become more effective allies to people from ethnic minority backgrounds, both within the firm and wider society. We also continue to consult with our black and ethnic minority colleagues to ensure that our anti-racism initiatives are as authentic and meaningful as possible, and also provide support to charities and organisations which are aimed at tackling racial inequality, including JUSTICE, Foundervine, and Your Startup Your Story".

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