Taylor Bennett Foundation (TBF) is delighted to announce that HSBC has committed to helping increase the number of Black and ethnic minority graduates entering communications by becoming the first corporate partner of our award winning PR training programme.

The 10-week training programme is aimed at equipping ethnic minority graduates with the professional skills, knowledge and insights to enable them to pursue a career in communications.

Along with sponsoring the trainees’ living and travel allowances, the bank will provide mentors, host them one day a week to deliver practical assignments and support with job applications.

The partnership comes after HSBC published a bank-wide action plan in July last year to improve opportunities for ethnic minority colleagues, including accelerated development and leadership programmes.

Steve John, Group Chief Communications Officer, HSBC, said: “We’re pleased to be sponsoring this programme. We want to better understand the challenges Black and ethnic minority candidates face when entering the workforce, and what we can do to proactively overcome them. At HSBC we value difference – the bank was founded on the strength of different experiences, attributes and voices. In the world of communications, diversity improves our empathy and allows us to better reflect and serve our customers and communities.”

During the new programme, which is set to start in the Spring, attention will be paid to developing the trainees’ soft skills and building social capital to help them develop a broad understanding of the communications profession and media landscape. This understanding will be achieved through a variety of interactive masterclasses, with regular writing and presenting exercises.

HSBC will help design the programme and tuition will also be provided to enhance the trainees’ writing skills.

Melissa Lawrence, Chief Executive of TBF, said: “I am thrilled that HSBC has chosen to partner with the Taylor Bennett Foundation as our first corporate partner.

Our mission is to increase diversity within the PR and communications industry, but we know this is only possible with the support of partners and if young people have the confidence, skills and professional networks necessary to apply. This partnership presents us with an opportunity to develop young people's experiences, whilst they also explore the communications industry and the myriad careers available”

Diversity and Inclusion at HSBC

HSBC released a set of commitments to improve opportunities for ethnic minority employees in July 2020. As part of its initial plan of action, the bank aims to: 

  • At least double the number of Black employees in senior roles by 2025, and provide targeted development planning for those colleagues
  • Ensure Black employees are participating in existing accelerated development and leadership programmes
  • Work with an external executive search firm to engage Black and ethnically diverse talent for leadership roles
  • Improve representation of Black and ethnic minority people on shortlists for mid-career roles by working with specialists focused on recruiting from diverse candidate pools
  • Enhance hiring strategies for Black and ethnic minority candidates for graduate programmes
  • Update recruitment processes and guidance to reduce the potential for bias

In addition, HSBC plans to improve the reporting and transparency of its ethnicity data.

The full press release can be found here.