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Bringing BAME to the table

Diversity is not a new subject. Whether it’s in films, in sport or, closer to home, in the workplace, diversity remains a hot topic. We need to strive to live in a world where everyone feels empowered. Where everyone feels included and valued. This is something we're particularly passionate about so we caught up with our executive sponsor for O2’s Diversity and Inclusion activity, Jo Bertram.

I’m pleased to say that at O2, we’ve had a focus on encouraging diversity and celebrating the diversity of our people. A part of this is around BAME – Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. BAME makes up one of the four key pillars of our inclusion strategy. A strategy for us to create a culture at work where people feel valued, and they can come and be themselves.

Our approach is twofold. We’re always looking inwards at how we can encourage better diversity across our business. But, importantly, we’re also looking outwards. BAME diversity is not just a priority at O2. It’s relevant to every company in every industry across the UK.

As a business O2 has taken it's first steps in creating a network of companies aspiring to address BAME related challenges, holding it's very first BAME focused Think Tank at it's headquarters in Slough. By bringing together businesses across the UK it can truly drive change, accelerating BAME diversity and inclusion throughout UK workplaces.

With reports from McGregor Smith showing that if BAME talent is fully utilised, the economy could receive a £24 billion boost, it’s in everyone’s interest to make sure we get this right. Culturally and ethnically diverse Boards are also 43% more likely to outperform on profitability.

I was proud to be part of such an energetic discussion, and I hope that through further events we can help play our part in establishing best practice and tangible solutions that each and every organisation can take away with them.

This is not just about what we’re doing at O2 though. We all have a role to play in accelerating BAME diversity and inclusion in the workplace.  Together we need to build organisations that reflect the consumers we collectively serve. I’d challenge you all to think about what you, or your organisation, could do to make a difference.

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