#10000BlackInterns: a force for positive change
15 February 2021: ICAEW and leading firms in the accountancy sector have joined an initiative committed to transforming the horizons of young Black professionals in the UK.
The #10000BlackInterns initiative is designed to help transform the prospects of young Black people in the United Kingdom.
The overall aim is for more than 20 industries to join together to collectively provide 10,000 internships to young Black people over the next five years.
Starting in the summer of 2022, organisations involved in the programme will offer paid work experience across a wide range of sectors and will play a part in providing training, development and mentoring opportunities for the Black community.
The campaign was prompted by the success of the investment management industry’s #100BlackInterns initiative earlier this year – which saw 200 investment management companies offering internships to Black students.
The new initiative has attracted support from a number of organisations within the accountancy sector including ICAEW, BDO, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton, KPMG, Mazars and PwC. We are hoping many more organisations join in for the Summer 2022 intake.
Commenting on ICAEW’s involvement, Sharon Spice, Director of Global Student Recruitment, said: “We are proud to support the 10,000 Black Interns initiative. Increasing diversity in its wider form is vitally important to ICAEW and the wider profession. This pan-profession initiative is another example of how many organisations working together can make a real difference. This is also just one of the many initiatives you will find the profession offering to improve diversity.
“Internships are vitally important for young people to succeed in getting access to professional careers,” she continued. “They allow students to develop key skills, gain exposure to professional environments, build networks and enable them to make informed decisions through first-hand experience. Some students, particularly those from underrepresented groups, may struggle to have the social networks to find relevant work experience opportunities, so this is crucial that the accountancy profession is supporting initiatives like 10,000 Black Interns.”
Sarah Churchman, Chief Inclusion, Community & Wellbeing Officer at PwC, added: "Of the 1,500 students who join PwC here in the UK every year, some 35% are from a minority ethnic background but only 2-3% are Black. As a firm, we want to increase our efforts to attract a greater proportion of Black students - both graduates and school leavers - into the firm. Working with 10,000 Black Interns will help us build a stronger and more diverse talent pipeline for the future."
There is a clear determination across the accountancy sector to improve equality of opportunity for all talented individuals and this commitment of #10000BlackInterns is another important, meaningful way to achieve this.
If you’d like to be part of this initiative or find out more about diversity in the profession, please contact Sharon.Spice@icaew.com.
For more information see the #10000BlackInterns website.
For further D&I initiatives see the ICAEW Diversity and Inclusion hub.