Grant Thornton launches new Inclusion Advisory Board

06 January 2021 3 min. read
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As the firm attempts to further improve its diversity and inclusion efforts, Grant Thornton has created a new Inclusion Advisory Board for its company. Consisting of 12 people from across the business, the committee has been appointed to support inclusive decision making at board level and to offer development opportunities to a wide range of talent.

Even with the host of challenges businesses faced in 2020, the drive for diversity continued at pace throughout the year. Grant Thornton was no exception to this, becoming one of 27 consulting firms sign the Race at Work Charter to promote outcomes for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees in the UK, and pushing to improve social mobility within the firm – something which won a commendation from the Social Mobility Employer Index.

As Grant Thornton’s UK wing sought to build on the momentum of the last 12 months, the end of 2020 saw it announce the appointment of a new Inclusion Advisory Board (IAB). Consisting of 12 people from across the business, IAB aims to provide robust, structured support and challenge to the firm’s Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) to help ensure that the decisions they make are informed by a diverse range of views.

Grant Thornton launches new Inclusion Advisory Board

Commenting on the news, Grant Thornton UK CEO David Dunckley said, "The IAB is a forum to make inclusive decisions about every aspect of our firm. As the world begins the process of rethinking our futures, we will be making fundamental decisions which impact all of us in different ways for many years."

The first collection of IAB members will serve for a period of two years, and range from associate to director level and represent a diverse range of backgrounds, career stages and experience. The IAB is now filled by: Preeth Channa, Audit Assistant Manager; Jo Crowhurst, Audit Manager; Neil Davis, Audit Senior Manager; Vincent Egunlae, Audit Associate; Bethan Gill, People Advisory Associate Director; Rosamond Murphy, Special Projects Senior Manager; Anam Shahzad, Public Sector Assurance Associate; Matt Stringer, Tax Director; Samantha Street, Insolvency Associate Director; Marina Simmons, Advisory Director; Anne Langton, Global Mobility Manager, People & Culture; and Avtar Sohal, Public Assurance Director.

Commenting on the IAB’s launch, Avtar Sohal said, “As a second generation British Asian from a working-class background, I have had to overcome many obstacles in relation to acceptance and inclusion and have dealt with discrimination from an early age. The challenges I have faced are like those faced by many others from diverse backgrounds. I want to use my experiences to help build a workplace culture which celebrates inclusiveness and diversity.”

The individuals appointed to the IAB were selected by the Grant Thornton Strategic Leadership Team (SLT) from an open call for applications to all employees and partners of the firm. Grant Thornton intends for the diversity of thought, background and experience of the first IAB to improve the quality of its organisational decisions, and the impact that they have on the firm’s staff and clients.

Fellow IAB member Anne Langton added, “While every one of us has the untapped potential and ability to contribute greatly, we all aren’t given the opportunity, voice and support we need to do so. Leading with an inclusive perspective is not the opposite of being commercial; when we amplify and advocate for diverse voices and perspectives, we achieve better decision making and results.”