At Deloitte, we truly value diversity. As an Inclusion Lead in Financial Advisory, Nadine is helping us to shape and improve our workplace to make it as inclusive as possible for all our colleagues. We speak to her about her inspiration and the importance of representation.
When did you join Deloitte and what’s your role?
I joined Deloitte in November 2015 to be part of the Client Feedback team, but my role has evolved since then. My background is in client experience, but I moved into Financial Advisory four years ago, where I’m an Inclusion Lead. My role is to support the firm’s wider inclusion ambition and to drive forward our strategy on inclusion within Financial Advisory, which includes shaping the inclusion strategy and vision. I look at ways to be more inclusive across all aspects of business, from tackling unconscious bias and barriers in the recruitment process through to the way performance management reviews work and much more. One of the things I’ve been involved with is the development of the Black Action Plan, which was launched in 2020. As part of this we are working to increase the number of people of all grades, and especially senior people, from Black and ethnic minority backgrounds at Deloitte, to increase representation in leadership and to better reflect society.
Why is this work so important?
Previously I was working in client experience, so I have always gravitated towards roles where I am responsible for helping people. When I joined Deloitte and got involved with the Multicultural Network, it opened up my eyes to the challenges that underrepresented groups face. I was aware of systemic injustices before that, but when people were sharing their stories with me, I strongly felt more needed to be done, and that I could help to support that. It troubled me that people had faced issues in their working environment in the past and I wanted to help rectify that. I also feel that representation is really important, because if you can’t see yourself represented in a certain role, you won’t feel like it’s possible for you to achieve. By representing a wide range of people from different backgrounds, you help make certain positions more accessible.
What progress do you feel Deloitte has made in terms on its inclusion policies?
Since I joined Deloitte, the firm has made huge strides in its work across diversity and inclusion. As well as the introduction of the Black Action Plan, we have continued to make progress in other areas too. We’ve launched a neurodiversity learning guide for recruiters, to help employers better support neurodiverse candidates. We’ve also created a number of initiatives to increase social mobility. This year’s Social Mobility Employer Index has helped us to identify areas to improve, and we’re already working on these. As well as working closely with organisations and charities that create career access opportunities from people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, we run specific work experience programmes for students, as well as bursary programmes. The firm introduced a fantastic bursary programme for students of Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds as part of the firm’s Black Action Plan. With ‘Blueprint for All’, the firm has offered bursaries to 41 students, which include financial support for three years of study, as well as non-financial support such as access to Partner/Director Sponsors. Meanwhile Access Accountancy is another organisation that we work with. They help to ensure that everyone has an equal chance of accessing and progressing in the accountancy profession based on merit, not background. Our LGBTQ+ Digital Learning has also been very successful, and we have LGBTQ+ champions throughout all areas of the business. We also have a wide range of diversity networks that everyone can join, whether they’re represented by that group or they want to learn more about the experiences of their colleagues. As a firm we recognise that there’s further progress to be made in all areas of inclusion, and that’s where my role comes in specifically for Financial Advisory.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’m a big plant person, so if it’s dry outside, you’ll find me in my garden. I’ve recently purchased my first air plant (Tillandsia usneoides) to add to my indoor plant collection. I’m also a trustee of two charities, which means I do a lot of voluntary work. The first is Youth Charter, which provides sports, arts and digital activities for young people from disadvantaged communities. The second is the Reedham Children’s Trust, which supports vulnerable children through education initiatives and helps families to find routes out of poverty. I get to use my skills and expertise to lead meetings and decide how things are run. I really enjoy being able to give back, and feel it’s an important thing to do.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month is an occasion to appreciate the struggles of past generations. It’s also a chance to celebrate and promote achievements of the Black community, while addressing and confronting the racism that still exists today. At the same time, I think it’s important that we recognise Black people all year round, as well as other minority groups. It’s important that people feel they can be themselves at all times, and that’s why we continually strive to build an inclusive culture for all our people at Deloitte.