On 1st March 2021, to help to celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March 2021, The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation will launch a “Black Women on Boards” initiative and an innovative reverse mentoring programme with senior leaders.
The “Black Women on Boards” initiative includes a scholarship for full-time student leaders who are from a Black African and Caribbean heritage including mixed race backgrounds. This is to increase the number of black women in the boardroom and within senior management. Other new diversity leadership scholarships launching for 2021/2022 will include “LGBTQ+” and “Disability”. The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation website has further information and the scholarship application process will open on the first day of International Women’s Month which is on 1st March 2021 via www.tmbdlf.com. The closing date for applications is 31st July 2021.
This new initiative is due to the lack of black female directors at FTSE350 and Fortune 500 companies. The number of female directors at FTSE-100 firms has increased by 50% in the last five years, and mostly white women now hold more than a third of roles in the boardrooms of Britain’s top 350 companies, according to the Hampton-Alexander review. BoardEx data reveals that only around 3% of female board-level roles are held by women of Black, Asian or minority ethnic heritage in the UK’s 350 largest listed companies. Recent research also highlights that for the first time in six years, there are no Chairs, CEOs or CFO who are Black in the FTSE100. This data shows the scale of the challenge for companies to increase social and racial equity.
Dr Miranda K. Brawn Esq., Financial Executive, Lawyer, Strategic Board Advisor, Founder and President of The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation said:
“There has been good progress promoting white women to the Boardroom and in senior management positions. However, there is still a lot more work to be done to make sure that we include women from all ethnic backgrounds. This is the rationale for launching the ‘Black Women on Boards’ scholarship.”
“We have also launched an innovative reverse mentoring programme to initially cover business, finance, law and politics. This will compliment our existing mentoring programme by allowing diverse students and our alumni leaders to act as mentors to senior leaders. Mentors will share their perspective and experiences and in so doing inform those making leadership and business decisions to help increase diversity, equity and inclusion. These will be leaders at the top of their profession who are CEO’s of global organisations, judges, managing directors, board directors, Members of Parliament and so on where everyone can learn from each other.”
“For this year’s International Women’s Day, I would like to dare everyone to ‘choose to challenge’ with action not just on the 8th of March, but every single day. With collaborative efforts, we can increase the number of black and mixed-race women in the Boardroom and in senior management leadership roles. We all have a role to play in making a difference and pushing for progress.”