Piers, 48, has been recognised on the prestigious EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model List for his commitment to championing diversity.
Supported by Yahoo Finance, the list celebrates the remarkable achievements of a range of people from business communities in the UK, Ireland, Europe, United States and Canada.
Over the course of his career Piers has become a prominent figure in a number of sectors, including finance and technology – two areas he believes are not diverse enough.
Ethnic minority champion
“I often describe the technology industry as ‘male, pale and stale’, and a lot of the industries I have worked in during my career don’t have adequate representation for ethnic minorities,” he said.
“Diversity and inclusion are things I try to focus on throughout all of my work. It is important to celebrate people of colour who have broken through to inspire others.”
This is the second year in a row that Piers has been acknowledged by the list and he explained how he is always looking for new ways to inspire the next generation of ethnic minority businesspeople.
Minority role models
“It is important for people in business to have role models. If people don’t see people who look like them in positions they aspire to hold, they are less likely to try and succeed,” he said.
“When I was training to be a lawyer and when I was working in investment banking there was no one like me to look up to, no one of Caribbean or West Indian heritage. The list provides a platform for people to be role models for the next generation.”
Released annually, the list is split into three different categories – EMpower 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders, EMpower Advocates and the EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Executives List, which Piers has been named in.
The list commends those named for ‘creating an environment where ethnic minority employees can be comfortable and professional’.
Piers urged business leaders to take responsibility for diversity in their workplaces: “Clearly, I’m very happy to be on the list but it’s more important to raise awareness, provide role models and celebrate diversity.
“There are plenty of small things that businesses can do to make a difference. It’s important to look at the recruitment processes and ensure conscious or unconscious bias is taken out of the equation.
“The talent is there but it isn’t seen or getting into the right places, and businesses need to recognise it and embrace it.
“It is also worth mentioning that diversity is good for business. It has been proven that the more diverse the business, the more profitable they are. They are also more competitive and have a better understanding of their customers.
“If you are looking to sell to numerous markets, you need to understand people of all races, religions and sexuality.”