Grant Thornton joins Stronger Together Leeds network

14 June 2024 3 min. read
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Grant Thornton has joined Stronger Together Leeds City Region. The network was set up in 2022 to champion racial diversity, inclusion and equity in the region’s professional services sector driven by leaders from accountancy and law firms in Leeds.

A recent study by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy found that the potential benefit to the UK economy from full representation of race across the labour market, is estimated to be £24 billion a year, representing 1.3% of GDP. But progress for boardroom diversity alone remains slow – meaning the country is missing out on a major economic boost.

The professional services sector in the Leeds City Region is one of the largest outside London. Looking to make the most of the Yorkshire city’s diverse population, the Stronger Together network aims to promote and encourage best practice across the sector and show that diverse and inclusive leadership is a driver for positive change.

Grant Thornton joins Stronger Together Leeds network

Now, Grant Thornton has become the latest consulting and accounting firm to join up. Dan Dickinson, the firm’s Leeds practice leader, will now join Stronger Together’s executive committee, and help it devise strategic direction, as well as key objectives of retention and attraction of minority ethnic talent in the Leeds professional services sector.

Dickinson commented, “We’re thrilled to join Stronger Together. What they’ve achieved from a standing start in just over two years is very impressive and marks a real step change in collaboration amongst the region’s professional services sector. in Leeds not just now but in years to come. By collaborating, we can create what I hope will be a pivotal moment in time for racial diversity, inclusion and equality within professional services. By sharing our stories, expertise and network and engaging in these important conversations, we will become more inclusive together. They will also complement Grant Thornton’s diversity and inclusion efforts already established in Leeds.”

Several of Dickinson’s colleagues will also join the Stronger Together junior committee, working with a peer group from member firms to organise inspiring events, reverse mentor more senior colleagues, deliver training, run insight days for Leeds City Academy and represent Stronger Together at networking events.

Since it was established, the network has established a partnership with Leeds City Academy to provide insight days to pupil and developed a mentoring programme which, to date, has seen over 100 mentoring pairings established between the accountancy and law firms in the network. The network has also picked up several awards including DEI Team at The Northern Powerhouse Legal 500 Awards and Mentor of the Year at The Northern Leadership Awards.

Among the network’s earlier members are Big Four firms EY, Deloitte, KPMG and PwC. The network also features law firms including Addleshaw Goddard, DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland, Pinsent Masons, Squire Patton Boggs and Walker Morris.

Arif Ahmad, co-founder of Stronger Together, and a partner at PwC, remarked on Grant Thornton’s potential impact, “Grant Thornton will play a key role in driving forward our objective of encouraging more people from ethnic minority communities to be attracted to, and retained in, the professions in our region. We also plan to open up our career development series to other professional services firms in the region to enable them to benefit from the learnings we’re sharing in the network, keeping inclusivity at the heart of everything we do.”