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Black History Month message from Sharron Gunn, ICAEW COO

Author: ICAEW

Published: 26 Sep 2022

The theme for this year’s Black History Month is ‘Time for Change: Action Not Words’, and I’m proud that ICAEW continues to be a force for positive change and driver of targeted action for Black talent, not just during Black History Month.

We continue to work towards supporting our Black student community and improving Black representation among access to the profession, as well as in our membership, committees, and ICAEW employees.

We were the first professional body to sign the Charter for Black Talent in Finance and the Professions, and we continue to drive activity across our broad reach.

To reach our strategic goals, we have taken action to understand the experiences of Black ACA students and conducted in-depth qualitative research. We have analysed the results and are using the findings to identify ways to offer more support to our Black students. To maximise impact and change, we have also shared the findings with our training employers.

We have long been supporters of the ‘10,000 Black Interns’ programme, welcoming 3 Black Interns at ICAEW this summer, and we continue to promote the programme within ICAEW networks. By collaborating with key partners, we will contribute to offering 10,000 Internships to Black interns by 2025.

At the same time, we are also removing the barriers to social mobility and improving access to the professions through our broad reaching collaborating RISE initiative.

I’m proud that we’ll once again be marking Black History Month and building further upon our work. Some of our activity will include;

  • supporting New Generation Accountants in their re-launch
  • contributing to a graduate event specifically for Black Heritage students
  • in conversation with Ololade Adesanya, President of the West of England Society of Chartered Accountants and Director Financial Services, Risk and Advisory at Deloitte, and Marcia Dyce ICAEW Communities Manager. This conversation will examine how to succeed in a historically un-diverse profession.

We will also run a session on unconscious bias, and we recognise the significance of representation and visible role modelling, and as such will showcase spotlights on our fantastic Black members from within the Profession, which we will release throughout Black History Month along side updates from our Black Charter commitments. 

Be part of the ICAEW Black Members Community

Find out more about how ICAEW is celebrating Black History Month