Creating a society that works for everyone with Blueprint for All | Deloitte UK has been saved
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Last year, as part of our Black Action Plan, we established a new societal partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. With a focus on equality of opportunity, the organisation is aligned to our 5 Million Futures goal and is now part of our ambition to impact 5 million futures across North South Europe by 2030.
As of January 1st, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust formally changed their name to Blueprint for All. Sharnelle McCloed, the lead partner for this relationship, tells us why she was eager to lead this partnership, what is behind the name change, and gives us the scoop on what is to come.
To this day racial injustice permeates the very fabric of our societies; the schools we attend, the jobs we hold, the salaries we earn. Remedying racial injustice and addressing institutionalised racism will require creating equality of opportunity in all its forms.
On the front line of this important mission is our 5 Million Futures partner, Blueprint for All.
You will recognise Blueprint for All by their former name, The Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust. The name change respects Stephen’s family’s wishes that the Stephen Lawrence Day Foundation, set up by Baroness Lawrence last year, is the only charity to bear his name.
Though the name of the organisation has changed, their mission remains the same: to ensure that the opportunities denied to Stephen are open to all. Blueprint for All believes that race, ethnicity or background should not limit what one can achieve in life. In advocating for equality, the organisation will continue to honour Stephen’s memory. The new name not only signifies the organisation’s clear plan to create the changes our society needs, but also gives a subtle nod to Stephen’s own desire to become an architect.
Landing the lead partner for the charity is the second greatest professional achievement for 2020, closely rivalling my role working with the Tax & Legal Black Action Plan team. It grants me the opportunity to work with Olga Valadon as we continue to build our partnership with Blueprint for All. And why all this action from me? It’s simple. I have to be accountable for the change I want to see and it’s the right thing to do. As a mixed race female, it’s important to me that I am able to look my son, Azai, in the eye knowing I did not watch from the side lines.
We have been making numerous meaningful contributions and I want to share some with you today as a teaser reflecting the impact we are making:
As part of the firm’s Black Action Plan commitment to more inclusive recruitment, particularly for individuals of black heritage, we are launching a new bursary programme. The programme will work in partnership with Blueprint for All and five universities who will advertise the bursary scheme to all eligible students. Those selected will then be financially supported for three years of study. Importantly, the programme includes a wrap-around package of non-financial support, covering mentoring, skills workshops, and providing opportunities to apply for our undergraduate work experience opportunities. Take a bow Clare Taalab, Karen Luckly Tang and Sam Axten, whose passion and determination has been the driving force in realising this programme.
Our Career Shapers work insight programme, in partnership with Blueprint for All and a select group of our society partners, will offer young people supported by these organisations the opportunity to gain a first-hand look at careers within Deloitte. Many young people supported by Blueprint for All would not normally have access to professional services career insight: What jobs are out there? What skills do I need to be successful? How do I land a job in this field? Our 3-day virtual programme provides year 12 students with this insight; expanding the view of what’s available to them and helping them develop their skills and network to realise their aspirations. I’d like to give a big thank you to the team responsible for making this happen: Charlotte, Jess, Karen and Sam.
And a final thank-you to the Black History Month team, Financial Services Consulting and Tax and Legal, who raised over £20,000 over Q4 2020 in support of Blueprint for All. This in addition to the firm commitment of £75,000 pro bono.
Having worked closely with Blueprint for All over the last several months, I know that they are very excited about all we have planned. CEO of Blueprint for All, Sonia Watson told me:
“We are extremely proud to be collaborating with Deloitte as their 5 Million Futures partner, and are excited about the strides that we will take towards creating a more inclusive society together. Deloitte shares our belief that everyone, irrespective of their race, ethnicity, or background, should have equal opportunities to thrive. The Black Action Plan shows commitment to more inclusive recruitment, and we are looking forward to working with Deloitte to help them on their journey towards creating a truly inclusive workplace, and enabling real, systemic change.”
I hope you share my pride and excitement about our partnership and the positive impact we, as a firm, are making and will continue to make with Blueprint for All. For me, this inspiring organisation delivers hope about the world Azai is part of each day we work together…