How can we improve diversity in the workplace and what steps can business take to make sure everybody has equal access to opportunities, asked Piers Linney in his talk on connecting talent with opportunity.
Drawing on his experience of growing up in a mixed-race family in a mill town in Lancashire, Linney explained how his career path had been ‘a fight against the system’ and how work experience had been vital in opening opportunities to him – but that his success was all too uncommon.
“I’ve turned up to meetings before and been blanked. No one expects someone like me to be the boss. I never meet me, whether in law, investment banking or business. This must change and we need to get away from male, pale, stale,” said Linney.
He then went on to share statistics on how digitisation is changing the world of work, stating that 65% of school children will go on to work in jobs that don’t currently exist, but that most young people are currently training for jobs that will obsolete in ten years.
For Linney, the solution to this is more work experience in the form of his new organisation Work Insights, which uses technology to scale the number of work placements offered and students helped.
He encouraged companies to sign up to both help young people into work and improve their resourcing, CSR and recruiting functions. “Do well, do good,” he urged the audience.