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29 October 2020

Sir Ken Olisa OBEOur President, Sir Ken Olisa OBE, spoke to the Evening Standard during Black History Month on the importance of diversity in the corporate world.

He recognises how businesses should be working more closely with local youth organisations to reach the most talented young people from all backgrounds.

The former Huawei director said that corporations could improve their diversity access “next week” by forging “tighter links” with local youth clubs and inspiring talented but disadvantaged young people.

“That’s how we [the business community] will make a difference,” he said. “This whole issue has two sides to it – competitive advantage and social justice. Businesses need to see the competitive point, and young people need to raise their aspirations. Working with youth clubs is one way of doing this.”

He also urged companies to continue to hire apprentices. He said businesses need to “scout” talent from all backgrounds, as sports teams do, to ensure the best people get through.

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