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2017 was a busy year for the BAME2020 programme. Here is a snapshot of where we are now and what we have arranged for 2018.


Picture courtesy of Chrissi Barg


Our Mission is to increase the number of people from BAME backgrounds working in the marketing and communications industry – Our Vision is for 20% of the total young talent that enters our industry each year to come from BAME backgrounds and to see 20% of leadership roles represented by BAME talent.

There is still lots to be done and we look forward to working with you in 2018.


The BAME2020 events calendar kick starts at  the Marketing Society with a ‘goldfish bowl format’ discussion  ‘Being braver around BAME’ at 6.30pm on Tuesday 20th February. Karen Blackett OBE, Global CEO of Mediacom, BAME2020 Advisor with Adrian Walcott, BAME2020 co-founder & CEO of Brands with Values , will be discussing race and diversity in marketing . Once we have heard from the speakers, the audience then have an opportunity to ‘tap them on the shoulder’ and take their speaking place to share their own experiences This discussion starts our very important work this year, with senior Marketing Directors, to try to understand  the reasons why BAME talent may be leaving  our sector.  Although a ticket only event for Marketing Society members further details can be found on the Marketing Society website.

Our regular quarterly meetings, which many of you have attended, are scheduled to take place on the following dates. If you have not joined us before, and would like to learn more about how you can become involved, please drop us an email, and we will send you an invitation. The meetings are held in the airy and spacious Atrium at the We Work offices, 3 Waterhouse Square, 138 Holborn, London EC1N 2SW

6pm – 745pm  Tuesday 20th March (drop us a line if you would like to receive an invite)

  • Keynote speaker – Rob Neil OBE – Head of Ministry of Justice’s ‘Project Race’ @projectRaceUK
  • Sarah Stimson, Chief Executive of Taylor Bennett Foundation on the launch of their ‘Summer Stars Placement Programme’ and a series of PR Lectures for Staff (both the CIPR and  PRCA have accredited these lectures with CPD points).
  • Rajeh Shaikh, Associate Consultant, f1 Recruitment and Marketeer. Rajeh will tell us about Greenstars – the volunteer run Muslim Youth Club she co-founded in 2011. Greenstars works towards empowering  young British Muslims. Their activities include regular motivational talks by guests, public speaking and leadership training.
  • Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp, Arts Professional and former CEO ‘Only connect’ – the power of connectivity  – a dancer’s perspective
  • Networking opportunity to meet fellow guests and chat informally about Diversity & Inclusion challenges.

6pm – 745pm Wednesday 6th June
6pm – 745pm Wednesday 26th September
6pm – 745pm Wednesday 5th December

Our quarterly meetings in 2017 were well attended by a wide cross-section of key-people (circa 400 of them) from the MMC sector; Marketing Directors, Comms Directors, HRD’s, Heads of Talent, Heads of Diversity & Inclusion Agency Marketing Directors and CEO’s.  Our speaker line up included:

Proposed New Market Place Site

The BAME2020 website will be developing during 2018 to become a wider communications platform – in the meantime any BAME programmes or initiatives in the Marketing or Communications community  that want to amplify their work to a wider audience should connect with us so we can feature them on the current site with links to their programmes .

Reverse Mentoring Programme from Helen Rae of VCCP and Tolu Farinto at The Sunshine Company

If you have 10+ years’ experience in the industry, please do give consideration to becoming a participant in The Exchange Project. The Exchange Project is a multi-agency initiative designed to help people from a BAME background with career development and remain within the creative industry.

It’s also a fantastic opportunity for you to learn from colleagues who are potentially from an entirely different background, facing different challenges and experiences.
We’re looking for people who have 12 hours of their time to give across 2018 and are keen to learn from others. The project will also provide helpful counsel on the expectations of the role.

Please contact Tolu Farinto if you’d like to be involved.

And finally, congratulations to some of our Advisors, Ambassadors and our Co-Founders

Firstly, BAME2020 Advisor, Avril Lee and BAME Ambassador Max Kalu Feature here in the new BME PR ‘Pros we love’. Both Avril and Max have been selected as mentors in this new initiative. This programme is looking for people from a BAME background in the PR industry who would like to be mentored by a group of senior players in the Communications industry – to find out more about this programme

M&C Saatchi appoints Sereena Abbassi as Head of Culture and Inclusion – Huge congratulations go to Sereena on her recent appointment as Head of Culture and inclusion at M&C Saatchi. Sereena is involved in BAME2020 as an Ambassador and we look forward to welcoming her as a speaker at a future BAME2020 quarterly meeting.

BAME2020 co-founder, Adrian Walcott, has been named in ‘The Drum’s’ 2017 New Year’s Honours. The “Order of the Drum” which looked back at the people, the companies and the creative that changed the world in 2017.

BAME2020 co-founders Amanda Fone and Adrian Walcott were recognised in the Top10 Campaign ‘Trailblazers for Change’ for their work with BAME2020 – It is wonderful to see the hard work and dedication of ALL the BAME2020 Ambassadors and Advisors recognised in this way.

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