NEWS11 October 2018

Karen Blackett made race equality champion by PM

News People UK

UK – WPP UK country manager and chairwoman of MediaCom UK & Ireland has been appointed race equality business champion by the Prime Minister, Theresa May.


The announcement came as the Race at Work Charter was released by responsible business network, Business in the Community, setting out five practical steps for businesses to adopt to ensure race equality in the workplace.

The Prime Minister called on UK organisations to improve inclusion and equality in the workplace by appointing an executive sponsor for race equality and capturing ethnicity data to identify the action needed to ensure fair employment practices for everyone.

At WPP, Blackett has set up an inclusion board to remove barriers to progression and look at how apprenticeships and programmes focused on reverse mentoring can encourage a more diverse and reflective workforce, that in turn results in greater creativity and business growth for clients.

WPP and Rare Recruitment, the WPP Micro Fellowship, have established a joint initiative to encourage BAME candidates to consider a career in marketing communications by placing people in three different WPP agencies over the period of a month.

Blackett said: “Embracing diversity and inclusion is not a choice, it’s a business necessity. Clients choose WPP precisely because of the capability and creativity of our people; it’s why we’re focused on attracting, developing and promoting the best talent from across a range of backgrounds.

“As the UK Government’s Race at Work Champion, I’m committed to helping businesses address inequality at all levels by taking practical steps such as introducing apprenticeships, offering mentorships and capturing ethnicity data to create a more inclusive and representative workforce.” 

In addition to WPP, Shell, Norton Rose Fulbright and the Royal Bank of Scotland have signed up to the charter.