Kanya King's call to CEOs and the C-Suite comes as she today introduces MOBOLISE, a new platform that connects black people to mentoring, networking and the best career opportunities
The founder of the MOBO Awards Kanya King CBE has today introduced a new platform that she hopes will encourage open conversations about race and diversity - because it will then boost the bottom line of companies who foster inclusion and opportunity.
Being developed in conjunction with Accenture (NYSE: ACN), MOBOLISE aims to reverse inequalities and showcase the skills of those within the black community who have the passion and ability to work for big businesses in these influential sectors.
From today, MOBOLISE is open for registration to companies and organisations who want to back the issue and take action, making a lasting impact.
Kanya King, who founded the MOBO Awards in 1996, said: "Studies show that having more diverse talent has a positive impact on the bottom line. That is why we have launched MOBOLISE as a powerful tool for companies and organisations to drive diversity within their workforces and leaderships. We want to bring allies and advocates together so they can access talent of all ages and backgrounds with a wide range of abilities from a more diverse pool. Greater diversity of thought and ideas are good for companies as it expands their horizon and drives them forward."
The MOBOLISE platform is backed by UK talent that includes Emeli Sandé, Afua Hirsch, Mo Gilligan and George The Poet and will offer the chance for people of all ages to network with leaders and employees from different industries to gain mentorship, boost confidence, find vacancies, showcase skills and attend networking and mentoring events that level the playing field of opportunities.
MOBOLISE will also then offer businesses the chance to reach underrepresented and undiscovered talent and educate their boards to prevent unconscious bias.
Ms King said that MOBO itself is built on the idea that creativity is a powerful expression of identity, capable of transcending racial and cultural divides. MOBOLISE takes that a step further to meet both the growing demand for new jobs expected in 2021 and the changing future of work and the skills that will be needed.
It aims to reverse inequalities demonstrated by the likes of research that shows 1.5% of managers, directors and senior officials in the private sector are black [BITC]. Kanya King added: "It is not acceptable to see the level of underrepresentation of black talent in the tech and creative sectors, when we are talking about industries that are shaping the world. But in 2020, the world has woken up to the scale of injustice black people face in society and we have seen many positive strides from those who want to make a difference.
"Often when you are the 'other' in an organisation, it is a very lonely and isolating place. That is why I believe MOBOLISE is the next evolution of the successes we have achieved over the years. We have championed and empowered new talent within the music industry. In recent years our work has also driven change within film, theatre and the media. This is a way of expanding that into the wider business world.
"Companies tend to focus too much on educational qualifications and looking for people coming from an elite environment. There is a whole generation of talent being wasted who have the drive, determination and passion to succeed. Black talent may not be inclined to enter the creative and tech industries due to lack of connections, they don't have the same access to opportunities as Caucasian candidates due to bias in the hiring process and practices, while there is also a lack of role models who look like them and who they can relate to.
"By partnering with Accenture to develop MOBOLISE, we have put all of our knowledge from the past 25 years into a tech platform that will truly be a game-changer."
The journey to take MOBOLISE to full launch will see Accenture bring its digital capabilities and specialism in launching new ventures for clients to the initiative - as well as its own commitment to inclusion and diversity. Nnenna Ilomechina, managing director at Accenture, UK & Ireland, said: "To be able to develop this platform alongside MOBO, an organisation that, similar to Accenture, has been championing diversity for decades, is truly a privilege.
"We are dedicated to becoming an even more inclusive company and are continuously challenging ourselves to make an impact within our organisation and beyond. We recognise our role and influence within the creative and tech sectors, and our responsibility to make a difference, as we collectively make strides towards equality."
MOBOLISE will be free for talent to join and register on the platform. It will be commercially self-sustaining with revenue streams coming from recruitment, marketing and premium membership.
The introduction of MOBOLISE also coincides with the return of the MOBO Awards on December 9 2020, after a two year hiatus. In June, Ms King wrote an Open Letter to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden calling for his help to tackle racism. You can read it here.
MOBOLISE is a new networking platform, being developed in conjunction between MOBO and Accenture, to connect black talent to organisations in the creative and tech sectors. By providing a network for black talent to thrive, it will drive innovation through diversity of thinking, which is good for companies as it expands their horizon and drives them forward. MOBOLISE is backed by artists that include Emeli Sandé, Harry Pinero, Mo Gilligan, Robert Bruce, Zeze Millz, Yomi Adegoke, Afua Hirsch, George The Poet, Headie One, Chunkz, Maya Jama and Kojey Radical.