The Black Talent Awards – established in 2022 to celebrate exceptional yet relatable role models who are smashing glass ceilings and promoting fairer and more equitable work environments, enters its third year with the backing of head sponsors Merlin Entertainments – which continues its support for the awards for a third year in a row – and Serco, which also supported the awards in 2023. Coca-Cola, Lloyds Banking Group, Haleon and EDF Renewables UK & Ireland are also key sponsors.
Tim Campbell MBE, former winner of The Apprentice and Aide to Lord Alan Sugar, is among this year’s panel of illustrious judges, which includes corporate leaders from multiple sectors.
The Black Talent Awards continues its plight to inspire the next generation of leaders, normalise diversity and tackle employment discrimination, giving recognition to individual professionals as well as employers, organisations and allies who can account for the impact they have in improving the career prospects of marginalised and disadvantaged talent.
Nominations are now open across sector-specific categories spanning STEM, creative, charity and telecommunications among others, alongside Rising Star, Judges’ Choice Special Honorary Award and Employee Resource Groups – in recognition of the vital role these play in retaining and engaging talent in businesses and in ensuring that diversity, particularly within the leadership pipeline,  becomes sustainable.
Last year’s winners include Leon Donald who, after being brought up in care, prevailed over his personal setbacks to acquire an MBA. Donald spearheaded the Tesco Black Action Plan (BAP) – an 8-year strategy to help dismantle system racism and enable his employer to become the UK’s largest private sector employer to drive fair and equitable representation for the Black community. Trevor Sterling, the first Black Senior partner to be appointed to a Top 100 UK law firm, also won the Senior Leader Award and Dr. Elizabeth Shaw, founder of the platform 1000 Black Voices,  a network conceived in the immediate aftermath of the murder of George Floyd – supporting businesses, investors and wider communities to combat racism and racial bias globally – scooped the Trailblazer gong. 
“The Black Talent Awards has grown from strength to strength since its launch in 2022. The fact that we continued to garner vital sponsorship from globally recognised corporates indicates a resounding commitment from organisations to even the employment playing field and promote inclusion – not just because it’s ethically sound but because it makes commercial sense,” said Denise Myers, founder of The Black Talent Awards and CEO of recruitment agency Evenfields and Evenfields Community – a grassroots organisation that helps emerging Black talent pursue careers in what can often be an intimidating process.
“With The Black Talent Awards, we’re helping recast Black narratives from one of negativity to one of success and empowerment,” she continued.  
Dominique Sidley, Global Trade Strategy Director Merlin Entertainments, commented: “As we embark on our third year of sponsoring the Black Talent Awards, we’re excited to reflect on this year’s empowering theme of ‘Soar Higher.’ At Merlin Entertainments, we’re proud of the progress we’ve made in partnership with Evenfields, as we continue our dedication to supporting, educating, and nurturing people from the Black community. Everyone matters at Merlin and it’s our people who truly make us shine to allow us to be the greatest place to work and play. We recognise the invaluable role that diversity and inclusion play in creating a vibrant workplace culture. We are proud to stand firm to our commitment to equality and we’re delighted to continue our journey with the Black Talent Awards and beyond.”
The Black Talent Awards will culminate in a black-tie ceremony to be held on 4 October 2024 at ICC, Birmingham. Tickets  for the black tie event are available to buy now and you can make nominations at For further details, please visit the website.