Empowering Black futures at Accenture

Oct 4, 2021 | Diversity

Marking Black History Month and the forthcoming ISE Black Careers Matter report, Accenture shares its story of empowering Black futures.

As part of Black History Month, ISE’s Black Careers Matter report launches next week. Alongside Accenture’s story you’ll find many more case studies from employers, universities and industry suppliers. You can also learn from Black heritage students on inequality in the jobs market.

Empowering Black futures at Accenture

In 2020, the international consulting and technology firm Accenture decided to take decisive action to improve the representation of Black colleagues at all levels of the organisation.

Leadership at the company set bold targets to increase Black workforce representation from 4% to 7% by 2025, and to double the number of Black managing directors. 


New initiatives

A range of initiatives was therefore developed to drive the business towards these targets, including a series of short films called ‘Black Is…’ to amplify Black voices and celebrate Black excellence, a digital platform created in partnership with MOBO to connect Black heritage talent with career opportunities in the creative industries, and the development of a ‘Black Table Talk’ series of honest roundtable discussions on racism, representation and racial inequality.

Realising that early talent would be a vital key to unlocking their representation goals, the Early Talent Recruiting team partnered with Accenture’s African Caribbean Network to design an innovative talent acquisition piece which would create a pathway for more Black heritage talent to secure internships and graduate roles at the company.

Empowering Black Futures (EBF) was created as a virtual insight week to engage, inspire and support Black students from over 30 universities across the UK, and address the shortfall in work experience opportunities that many students were facing as a result of the pandemic.

Bringing together Black colleagues from across Accenture’s business, the Early Talent Recruiting team developed a week-long programme based around a consulting case study, with 14 different sessions that students could choose to attend.

The online events were designed to provide participants with training and mentoring opportunities, led by both junior and senior Accenture staff, whilst also offering a direct route into Accenture’s entry-level consulting opportunities via an optional end-of programme assessment centre.

Success story

During the 2020/21 academic year, Accenture welcomed 179 Black students onto the EBF programme across two insight weeks in September and February.

Following the assessment centres, the company made 68 job offers to participating students; helping them to achieve a 6-percentage point increase year-on-year in consulting graduate programme offers for Black graduates and a 21-percentage point increase in their summer vacation scheme offers for Black students.

The success of the programme has resulted in Accenture leveraging the EBF model to design a new social mobility insight week and has led to a targeted support package being made available for EBF graduates to ensure they have all the tools they need to build long, successful careers within the organisation.

Members can get a preview of ISE’s Black Careers Matter report at the webinar on 11 October 2021

ISE’s Black Careers Matter report launches 12 October 2021. Join in the conversation on Twitter @IoSEorg #BlackCareersMatter 

Read ISE Reports

Read more ISE case studies

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