The Lens – UK Responsible Business Podcast

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Removing racial barriers to success: enabling career opportunities for refugees

Season 2, Ep. 7

Mursal Hedayat, Chatterbox Founder and Richard Iferenta, Partner at KPMG and Chair of BITC’s Race Leadership Team join Oli Barrett MBE for a conversation.



Our Guests


Richard Iferenta is a partner at KPMG and chair of Business in the Community’s Race Leadership Team. He joins our host Oli Barrett MBE in the studio this month to discuss his own career journey and how companies can really bring about change when it comes racial equality in the workplace.


Oli is also joined by Mursal Hedayat who was recently named as one of #Forbesunder30 thanks to her role as co-founder of Chatterbox, an online language school with a difference... all the teachers are refugees.


In this episode Oli and our guests talk about reinvention, in work and in life, and what everyone can bring to the table. They also cover how employers can better support people from all ethnic backgrounds to succeed and the role that an organisation’s cultural intelligence plays in this. Let's get to the conversation...




Time Stamps


[00:01] Richard’s background from his beginnings in Nigeria through to his current role at KPMG [03:51] The Race at Work Charter and how setting targets and measuring progression can help move the dial towards racial equality [07:31] The importance of transparency and publishing your ethnicity pay gap externally as well as internally. [11:00] The difference an executive sponsor can make in driving organisational culture change [11:48] Mursal’s background as a refugee coming from Afghanistan to the UK and how her family’s experience has informed her current work [14:11] The scale of underemployment and scarcity of opportunities for highly-skilled refugees and the barriers to meaningful employment [15:47] How Chatterbox uses refugees professional experiences to match them with the right language learner so that they can offer their professional experience as well as language skills [20:34] The value of cultural intelligence [23:30] What companies can do to increase their cultural intelligence and make their organisational cultures more inclusive [32:49] Reinvention in the workplace.




The Lens Podcast


Powered by Fujitsu, supported by McCann and in partnership with One Young World, The Lens represents the breadth, diversity and priorities of the responsible business agenda. From gender equality to zero hours contracts, learning on the factory floor to activist businesses, The Lens covers a range of topics from a host of varying perspectives. 


Each episode brings together a business and future leader to foster disruptive conversations and fresh connections. Innovators and CEOs join Oli Barrett in the studio for a unique conversation covering their journeys, lessons learned, advice, insight and of course, the inspirational person they’d most like to meet for coffee. 


Business in the Community is The Prince's Responsible Business Network. We convene a unique network of purposeful leaders to share insight, expertise and create innovative programmes that deliver impact. Together our ambition is to make the UK the world leader at responsible business. 


Don’t forget to follow The Lens on Instagram and to rate, review and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts. instagram.com/thelenspodcast


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