23rd February 2017
In February 2017 Audeliss were delighted to host our first Chairman’s Dinner at the House of Lords, held in partnership with The Rt Hon. the Baroness Prashar CBE.
Following the recent Parker Review revelation that 53% of the FTSE lack a single non-white Board member, the event provided a rare opportunity for thought-provoking discussion on driving ethnic minority diversity at Board level.
Manjit Wolstenholme, Chairman at Provident Financial Group spoke about her personal experience as an ethnic minority leader on a variety of Boards, and Baroness Prashar, whom Audeliss recently appointed as Non-Executive Director of Nationwide, drew on invaluable insights from her 45-year career across the not-for-profit and public sectors to lead the conversation on driving diversity and inclusion.
The guest list comprised of Chairmen, CEOs and Board level executives from the UK’s leading organisations. They provided a variety of experiences and insights, informing a passionate and inspiring conversation. Whilst discussion involved the merits of mandatory Board targets and anonymised CVs, the final consensus favoured education of the benefits of diversity and inclusion, with agreement that allies and role models are vital in helping to pave the way for increased ethnic minority representation in senior leadership.
We would like to thank all who attended and provided us with their stories and experiences, which delivered a highly engaging and enjoyable debate. With inspiring leadership and commitment to diversity and inclusion, we move closer to a future where Boardrooms are fully representative of our diverse communities.
26th May 2016
The under-representation of people from a Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background in corporate diversity programmes is a long suspended issue. That’s why at the end of May, in partnership with the FT, we published the inaugural UPstanding Executive Power List of the top 100 BAME business leaders in the UK, US and Ireland to shine a light on this underrepresented issue.
The inaugural list features the inspirational Muhtar Kent, CEO The Coca-Cola Company at No. 1. It also highlights those impactful individuals who have smashed double-glass ceilings like Manjit Wolstenholme (No. 2) who is the only female BAME Chair of a FTSE 100 company and Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO TaskRabbit (No. 8) is the only female BAME CEO in Silicon Valley.
As initiatives like UPstanding are so important and the sheer brilliance of those placed on the list was at such a high level, we were ecstatic to launch this first of it’s kind, global list at UPstanding founding sponsor, Slaughter and May’s London office in their executive dining suite overlooking the city.
We had the honour of being joined by inspirational and impactful business leaders from all over the world to celebrate our launch and were very fortunate to have addresses from Sarah Lee, Partner-Dispute Resolution at Slaughter and May and listed No.55, Carola Hoyos, Editor, Executive Appointments and Non-Executive Directors’ Club at The Financial Times and UPstanding judge and Ashok Vaswani, CEO-UK at Barclays and UPstanding judge.
The evening brought to life everything that UPstanding is about; rallying impactful diversity champions to influence real change. We are so happy to have had such a successful launch to UPstanding’s journey and are so excited for the coming months.
Thank you to everyone that joined us.
23rd March 2016
We were thrilled this month to partner with The Bank of England and host our first ever diversity and inclusion round table on the subject of social mobility.
With government lead initiatives now in place around social mobility metrics and targets, the minefield that is effectively implementing socially aware strategies in business for HR teams becomes more apparent daily. So how do you effectively implement a social mobility initiative through your business? This session will provide a unique opportunity to explore some of the most critical challenges and opportunities of social mobility programmes and our speakers will share their experiences of how they are going about delivering on the new social mobility guidelines, the challenges they faced and how they are defining successful outcomes on these initiatives.
Our speakers for the event were;
- Clare Sullivan – Access Programme Manager, Deloitte
- Jenny Baskerville – Senior Manager, Corporate Responsibility, KPMG
- Rachael Millar – Senior Strategy Lead and Workplace Reform – Cabinet Office
- Nicholas Miller – Director, The Bridge Group
- Sarah Stevens – Head of Policy, the Russell Group
The program was rich and we learnt so much about the core challenges and solutions currently being harnessed by our attendees to influence actual change. Our top 5 key learnings were:
- Create opportunities and a level playing field
- Not just about getting in, it’s about getting ahead
- Universal metrics with bespoke applications then use that data!
- Employer brand must be attractive and attainable
- Collaboration is key- benchmark and work with you peers and universities
It was brilliant to have so many people dedicated to this agenda present and engaging in conversation and we look forward greatly to our next instalment.
15th March 2016
Last week, we hosted the latest Audeliss HR Leaders Dinner at The Fable in London.
We were thrilled to have Primark’s Jo Ferris- Group Director, People & Culture– with us to give an address on the organisation’s issues, challenges and ambitions that it will be taking on over the coming months, from a people perspective. It was also very interesting to learn about the difficulties the company has faced over recent years, particularly surrounding Rana Plaza, the journey they have been on to bring the employee value proposition in line with that of the company and customer ones and Jo’s primary project; Primark’s 5 year transformation journey- which they are now 16months into.
Jo also touched on some of the key change mechanisms she has implemented since joining Primark from changing the people model from HR to People & Culture and output model from pyramidal to diamond- pulling focus from administration to performance enhancement and employee transactions.
The key take outs from the presentation stipulated around the importance of making your human resource functions actually focus on the human element instead of the administrative side of process. Primark’s keys to success, she said, are;
- Being an emerging service culture
- Being fast paced, willing and able your people
- Being passionate about people, not process
- Being obsessed with ethics
- Being obsessed with quality
- Being in growth mode, always
It really was a great and insightful evening enjoyed by all and we can’t wait until our next event later this month.
27th May 2015
This week we were very fortunate to co-host an event with the globally renowned McKinsey and Company, at their offices in London. This was an exclusive event for our Audeliss network focused on the topic ‘What is the relevance of diversity in the boardroom and in what way is there an inextricable link between this issue and HR leaders?” and was hosted by equalities advocate and BBC newsreader, Jane Hill.
The panel for the evening comprised of;
Anne Minto, OBE, former Group Director of Human Resources at Centrica Plc.
Mervyn Walker, former Group Director of Human Resources & Corporate Affairs, for Anglo American.
James Smith, former Chair of Shell UK.
Denise Collis, former Chief People Officer of Bupa.
The esteemed speakers have all served many years as the people heads of some of the world’s leading organisations and continue to serve across multiple non-exec appointments, including The Carbon Trust, DeBeers, The British Heart Foundation and Tate and Lyle plc.
The event throughout, echoed a unanimous and strong message, with all of our panel in agreement that the diversity agenda has undeniably gathered speed in more recent years but we still have a long way to go. Many answers focused on diversity, and more so inclusion, still being treated as a quota led initiative rather than a cultural upheaval and questioned if the hearts of leaders are altering as well as the minds.
Denise Collis, former Chief People Officer of Bupa, hit the nail on the head when she said, “There seems to be a check-list of batches of different diverse groups. We need to stop bandying certain phrases around and actually get under the skin of what they mean and how we can promote a working environment where true diversity is encouraged and welcomed.”
Mervyn Walker, former Group Director- HR and Corporate Affairs at Anglo American, also drew attention to the role of board members, commenting, ““What we need to change is the perception that an accountant, for example, will be more valuable on a Board than an HR professional who understands people issues.”
The recent call for diversity in the workplace means that HR leaders are invaluable to success; they need to be champions of diversity if we are to move forward and the presence of HR Directors on Boards as non-executives is thus essential.
This event was a massive success with many of our attendees walking away questioning their company’s approach to ‘holistic diversity’, something that we look forward to helping them achieve in the future.
23rd April 2015
Audeliss celebrated it’s 4th birthday party recently and it was great to see so many candidates and clients, past and present, there supporting us.
We can’t believe it’s been four years. Suki Sandhu, our Founder and CEO said, “People said I was crazy to start a business during the recession but I felt compelled to do it as I wanted to do things differently and I haven’t looked back since.”
Our Guest of Honour for the evening was Ben Cohen, England rugby star and founder of StandUp Foundation, who we donate a portion of our profits to each year.
During his welcome speech, Suki read an email he received from one of the invitees to our event:
Omg time flies and you have, as expected, been a raging success. You are a miracle worker and long may Audeliss last.
I am afraid I have personal bad news. I am terminally ill with cancer so will have quite a limited life, but it was rich in fun and success and I leave behind two wonderful children as well as a new husband so all was worth it.
Have a great event and stay happy, it was a joy to know you.
This touching email iterates the fact that life is too short and that loving what you do is so important in achieving this.
At Audeliss, we are inspired every day by the candidates we meet and do everything we can to help them achieve their dream roles that fulfil their professional appetite but also fill them with a sense of joy and accomplishment. Finding great people their perfect jobs is the gift that keeps on giving and this couldn’t make us happier.
So what have we learned this past four years? Live each day to the fullest and you’re only as good as the people around you and what a great bunch of people we had around us that night for a great celebration.
Here’s to another four successful years.
On Wednesday 25th April 2012 in London’s exclusive Paramount at the top of the Centre Point building, Audeliss celebrated its 1st birthday with over 200 guests. It was an opportunity to say a big thank you to our network for supporting us over the past 12 months. As we all know, the economic climate hasn’t been the kindest. Even that day, it was announced the UK has slipped back into a recession but we’ve survived, and more than that, we’ve survived and made a profit. I am truly excited about this because it means we get to donate a percentage of our profits to charity, namely Terence Higgins Trust and Clic Sargent. Lord John Browne delivered an exceptionally kind speech which will not be forgotten and I managed to lose the last page of my speech but London Gay Men’s Chorus came to the rescue! Here’s to a second successful year. Perhaps even a 2nd birthday party. Watch this space…