Masterclass to Boost BAME Workforce


High Impact Accelerator Programme for ethnic minority professionals launched to address the diversity gap in the UK institutions … reports Asian Lite News

Transformative, high-impact accelerator programme designed to help experienced ethnic minority professionals push to the next level in their careers, is being launched by Career Masterclass, leading professional development platform working towards democratisation of opportunities. It’s part of its B2B offerings to companies encouraging them  to invest in the development of their BAME workforce. Career Masterclass, which has grown rapidly with its strong online presence, has 12,000 members in 15 countries including India.

Career Masterclass founder Bukola Adisa

The programme will help address the issue of lack of minority and female representation in senior positions within UK organisations.

According to the Parker Review, more than a fifth of the UK’s leading companies still have no ethnic diversity across their boards. Only five ethnic minority directors occupy a CEO position, down from six last year, and all of whom are men. Moreover, Company Matters found that 84% of AIM and 78% of SMC 100  (FTSE Small Cap 100) companies have all white boards, over double the proportion seen in the FTSE 100.

In fact, McKinsey’s Delivery Through Diversity report revealed that in the UK, 22% of university students identify as Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME), yet only 8% of UK executives in the study’s sample share this identity. However, companies with the most ethnically/culturally diverse boards worldwide are 43% more likely to experience higher profits.

The high-impact accelerator programme aims to address this gap. It will equip early to mid-level career professionals with skills to build successful careers including leadership, building successful networks, confidence building, resilience, etc.  Packed with real life case studies, practical knowledge and tools and offered by industry professionals, it aims to drive transformative change by providing Asian professionals with insight and resources needed to advance in their careers, while also encouraging UK firms to create more inclusive environments.

“Diversity is essential for running a healthy business,” said Career Masterclass founder Bukola Adisa. “To address this we need companies to invest in the development of their mid-level Asian employees to assist them in accessing senior level positions and, ultimately, enter the board rooms.”

Bukola who has led large teams in leading financial organisations in the UK remembers, “When I was at the top of my game, leading 100+ employees in a blue chip firm, I witnessed how rare it was to see Black and minority people in the boardrooms and in leadership positions. To address this disparity, I started hosting career development sessions in my free time to help Black, Asian and minority professionals, by arming them with necessary tools to succeed in their career.”

“I joined Career Masterclass when I was feeling stagnant in my career, “ says Nimisha Bhakta, Compliance Manager, HSBC. “Career Masterclass has taught me to take the reins of my career and break down the old thought patterns like ‘your hard work will be noticed’’. I have now got a mentor with my firm, I am ensuring my manager is aware of my achievements and I feel extremely motivated. The culmination of all this has resulted in a newfound confidence, dynamism and has resulted in me getting a new role within my firm with management responsibilities,”

Nimisha Bhakta, Compliance Manager, HSBC

What started as a campaign in her free time to help a few chart their path into boardrooms by offering advice and training – has become a core business today with Career Masterclass boasting 12,000 members in 15 countries including India.

The programme delivered by highly skilled industry leaders and professionals, who are familiar with the challenges faced by ethnic minorities, applies a blended learning approach, incorporating Masterclasses, drop-in Q and A sessions, mini-challenges and activities, group sessions as well as one to one mentoring sessions with industry leaders.

It will be supported by access to the Career Masterclass digital learning platform, which has been designed to leverage personalisation via its proprietary technology to ensure that the solution is tailor-made for each participant’s individual career needs and requirements. It offers a unique solution to reinforce learning and provide ongoing support for participants at all times.

Adisa said, “The challenges facing Asian and Black professionals in the workplace are well documented and we provide tips and concepts to help overcome roadblocks and barriers to enable professional growth for participants.”