Black Talent Awards returns to champion professional role models

Awards founded by veteran recruiter and agency founder Denise Myers to tackle discrimination

Following its successful 2022 launch, the Black Talent Awards, which celebrates Black professional role models in the workplace, returns in 2023 in its continued plight to inspire, normalise diversity and tackle employment discrimination.

The Awards cover industries including (but not exclusive to) engineering, technology, Blue Chip companies and public sector organisations. This year they are sponsored by Serco, Merlin Entertainments, Lloyds Banking Group, Haleon, Jacobs, Centrica and JC Decaux.

Championing Black Talent

The Black Talent Awards provides a vital platform for championing relatable Black professionals and their achievements and employers, organisations and allies who have made tangible and accountable efforts to improve diversity, equity and inclusion. These efforts could be in their business or via wider societal initiatives that enhance the prospects and success of marginalised talent.

Nominations are open across sector-specific categories spanning STEM, creative, charity and telecommunications, alongside Rising Star and a Judges’ Choice Special Honorary Award.

Employee Resource Groups have also been included as a new category for 2023, recognising the vital role these play in retaining and engaging talent in businesses and ensuring that diversity, particularly within the leadership pipeline,  becomes sustainable.  

The Black Talent Awards was established by Denise Myers, a veteran recruiter, CEO and founder of the agency Evenfields. She also launched the Evenfields Community – a grassroots organisation working with emerging Black talent to build a confident and resilient mindset and empowering them to plan and pursue ambitious careers in what can often be an intimidating and inherently hostile process.

Giving voice to marginalised voices

“The Black Talent Awards provides an important platform for marginalised voices to share inspirational stories of successes which are relatable to an ever-increasing disenfranchised ethnic minority and Gen Z audience,” commented Myers.

“These previously closeted narratives are finally getting the air time they deserve – working to dispel any misconception that Black or ethnic minority talent remains few and far between.”

Myers continued: “An organisation’s diversity strategy must always have an eye on the bigger picture and be mindful of the micro and macro influences at play that perpetuate inequality inside and outside an institution and industry.

“Businesses themselves must think about how they can be vital agents for change by taking responsibility for the part they play in maintaining the status quo, consciously breaking away from engrained systems and engineering a better way to seek, recruit and nurture talent.

“With these awards and our Evenfields community initiatives, we aim to support an ecosystem that enables businesses to achieve this and for Black success stories to change the negative narratives of discrimination that we’re all too used to hearing. Positive change comes from a positive mindset.”

Business support

Samantha Owo, Group Inclusion & Diversity, Race Action Plan Lead, Lloyds Banking Group, commented: “Our mission is to help Britain prosper by creating a more sustainable and inclusive future for people and businesses – shaping finance as a force for good. 

“At Lloyds Banking Group, we have a long history of ensuring we are an inclusive and diverse organisation – for customers, colleagues, and communities. We are investing in an organisation where our Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic colleagues feel included, valued, and able to realise their full potential.

“Our Race Action Plan is our commitment as an organisation to fixing racial inequality, which includes our public goal to increase the representation of Black heritage colleagues in senior leadership and drive cultural change, recruitment and progression across the Group. Our sponsorship of the Black Talent Awards is part of that commitment.”

Dominique Sidley, Global Trade Strategy Director Merlin Entertainments, commented: “Being a headline sponsor of the Black Talent Awards for the second time is a testament to the value that Merlin Entertainments sees in our relationship with Evenfields and our commitment to encouraging Black talent to explore a career with us.

“Everyone matters at Merlin, and inclusivity is an integral part of our everyday culture as we strive to become the greatest place to work. To achieve this, we will continue to build diverse perspectives through culture and lived experiences, developing an environment of belonging for all. 

“The Black Talent Awards is an important opportunity to celebrate that cultural diversity and to encourage through advocacy more Black talent to shape their future with us.”

The Black Talent Awards black-tie ceremony is on 28 September 2023 at Edgbaston Stadium, Birmingham. For further details visit  

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