“We believe that career growth should not be the preserve of a few people. We believe that anyone regardless of their backgrounds, where they’ve come from, where they’ve gone to school, what they look like and what their name is, should have access – access to opportunities, access to knowledge, access to people that can help them progress in their careers.” Bukola Adisa, Founder Career Masterclass
When Career Masterclass first began, we were just a small social enterprise offering monthly webinars to help Black ambitious professionals advance in their careers. But as we grew and scaled into a business enterprise, our mission became even more important. We saw firsthand the urgent need for organisations to create a truly diverse and inclusive workplace – one that not only drives innovation, creativity, and productivity but also has the flexibility to adapt to changing markets and meet revenue expectations. It was a call to action that we couldn’t ignore. To us, it’s not just about making a difference, it’s about creating a more equitable future for career professionals.
To foster a more inclusive and equitable future, we launched our B2B website in 2022. Since then, we have been proud to deliver programme interventions for five global organisations, with more in the works. Our hard work and dedication were recognised when we received the award for Best Industry D&I Initiative (Non-Firms) award from The Personal Investment Management and Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) at the Diversity and Inclusion awards in 2022.
Beyond awards, it’s about the impact we are making on the organisations we serve. In this blog post, we will share some of the strategies and approaches that have been most effective in helping these organisations achieve their DE&I goals.
We knew that creating a truly diverse and inclusive workplace would require more than just a surface-level approach. That’s why we designed a comprehensive model that uses both an ecosystem and a multi-pronged approach. This interactive, end-to-end programme engages all stakeholders and addresses key areas such as organisational policies. But it went beyond that. We made sure to include listening sessions where we could hear directly from our ethnically diverse professionals and colleagues, to understand their needs and perspectives. We also included sponsor matching, collaboration, interactive live masterclasses and talent acceleration programmes, to empower and give them the tools they need to succeed. We believe that real change is possible when everyone is heard, empowered and given the tools to succeed.
With an understanding that real change starts at the top, so we made sure to engage line managers and senior leadership in our training process. Together with the leadership team, we set practical goals that included regular check-ins and progress reviews, as well as support and resources for managers. This training helped employees become more aware of their own biases and blind spots. It also equipped them with the tools they need to communicate effectively, navigate micro and macro aggressions and create a more inclusive work environment. It was an amazing journey for us to see the impact we were making on the lives of these managers. We also saw them making changes in their teams and organisations. Here is feedback from one of the sessions:
“The content and topic were very insightful! The session gave a view of where the world is moving to and how best to prepare for it”
“I’m so happy to share that today I have finished the Accelerate your Career programme organised by Credit Suisse and Career Masterclass. In the past, I believed that success is built solely through hard work, and I haven’t felt comfortable with building workplace relationships or taking care of my visibility”.
The Career Masterclass platform, which provides practical resources including masterclasses from experts, may have had the most impact. We continued to use our multi-pronged strategy, and for each group, we recommended customised masterclasses. For instance, we tackled one of the challenges faced by Black and ethnically diverse talent at work: how to build valuable networks and navigate internal mobility opportunities. But the impact wasn’t just limited to the diverse professionals alone. Line managers, senior leadership, and sponsors also had access to 85+ masterclasses, workbooks, tipsheets, and on-demand resources on the platform to enhance their learning during the program.
Along with these strategies, we offered advisory help throughout the programme, especially to sponsors and leaders, while assisting ethnically diverse employees with an internal mobility matrix.
One organisation we had the privilege of working with was facing challenges with retention and engagement among their diverse employees and didn’t know where to begin. We implemented a variety of strategies to address this, including diversity and inclusion training and platform exposure. The results of these efforts were significant. (We have included a FREE tip sheet on why many D&I programs fail and how to ensure value-driven outcomes. Get it here). The organisation experienced a rise in engagement and employees made linear and lateral moves. It was a reminder that real change is possible when we take action and commit to creating a more diverse, inclusive and equitable future.
If you’re passionate about creating a truly diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace in 2023, we invite you to book a call by clicking on this LINK. Due to the time and effort we commit to our clients, we can only take on a select few, so we ask that you do so as soon as possible.
Our team would be honoured to set up a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your organisation’s specific needs and provide a demonstration of how our solutions can make a real impact.