PwC’s Paul Cleal wins Race for Opportunity Award for leading the way on ethnic diversity in UK businesses

Published at 12:30 PM on 09 October 2013

Paul Cleal, partner and government & public sector leader at PwC, has been recognised as a leader in developing diverse workforces after winning the Champion Award last night at the 2013 Race for Opportunity Awards Gala Dinner. Race for Opportunity (RfO) is the race equality campaign from Business in the Community.

Paul won the award for his role in establishing PwC’s Multicultural Business Network and Africa Business Network. He has also used his influence and leadership to implement diversity monitoring of ethnic minorities, supporting targets and sponsors for high potential ethnic minorities and advocating PwC’s work on unconscious bias. Judges also recognised him as a visible role model, using his diverse experience to mentor 20 people in the last 12 months.

Since Paul first became involved with diversity in 2009, the number of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) partners at PwC has increased from 89 to 114 and the firm now has a 93% disclosure rate on ethnicity. Paul is also a member of the Government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, raising awareness among senior leaders of social mobility issues and the need to broaden the talent pool.

Sandra Kerr OBE, National Campaign Director of Race for Opportunity, said: “Dynamic and effective leadership is key to create real, sustainable change for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in UK organisations. Companies’ tone, culture and priorities are set from the top, so it’s essential for senior business leaders to engage in developing a diverse and inclusive workforce. Paul has worked incredibly hard to provide that leadership, and we should celebrate his efforts and achievements in promoting diverse talent across PwC.”

Kevin Ellis, managing partner at PwC, commented: “For many years Paul has set the bar high as an example of a role model and champion for diversity in our business. His views, experience and work have contributed to our understanding of diversity, and I'm personally delighted that his selfless contribution to progressing people has been recognised.”

Paul Cleal, head of government and public sector, PwC, said: “I am delighted and surprised to have been recognised in this way. For me, it's a straightforward belief that ambitions and prospects should not be limited by ethnic background.  I don't see diversity as being about minority groups, but about getting the majority to see how we can get the best from everyone.” 

Editors Notes

1.    Currently, only 1 in 16 of FTSE 100 board members are from a Black,  Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, 1 in 8 employers in the UK are from BAME groups, and 1 in 4 of young people in the UK are BAME.  Race for Opportunity’s focus is to square off this pyramid and its eight Awards celebrate private and public sector organisations that are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion and are demonstrating tangible results.
2.    For more information on all of the shortlisted and winning organisations please see here.
3.    About Race for Opportunity: Race for Opportunity is the race equality in the workplace campaign from Business in the Community. Race for Opportunity is committed to improving employment opportunities for ethnic minorities across the UK.  It is the only race diversity campaign that has access to and influence over the leaders of the UK’s best known organisations, with a membership of more than 250 private and public sector organisations. Currently only 1 in 16 senior leaders in the UK is BAME, 1 in 8 of the UK workforce is BAME, and 1 in 4 young BAME people is unemployed. The campaign three pillars of focus are: diverse senior leadership, improving BAME representation and progression in the workplace, and reduce BAME youth unemployment. For more information about Business in the Community’s work on diversity and inclusion please visit:
4. The RfO Awards judging process: The 23 independent judges were drawn mainly from RfO network member organisations and partners, and represent the private sector, public sector and NGOs. The judges were looking for evidence of real impact within each submission, demonstrated through tangible results, measures, indicators and outcomes. The finalists then to present to an award specific judging panel.



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