Improving the ethnic diversity of our leadership team


On listening to the lived experiences of colleagues within our community after the tragic murder of George Floyd in May 2020, we were moved to explore the barriers within our global workforce that prevented people of colour from being adequately represented within our leadership team.


To address this, we established our Ethnicity Advisory Board (EAB), comprised of colleagues from across AMS who are knowledgeable about racial inequity, and chaired by a member of our senior leadership team. The EAB launched our Ethnicity Action Plan in 2020. This included several actions – the establishment of specific Employee Resource Groups focusing on providing networking and support opportunities globally: a Black Employee Network, Juntos Podemos, for our Hispanic colleagues, and two affinity groups – our South Asian Heritage Group, and our Pacific Island Community. We also committed to doubling the number of ethnically diverse employees at senior leadership level by the end of 2021, and to double again by the end of 2023, and to adopt the Rooney Rule for senior hiring. Our CEO committed to being reverse mentored by a Co-Chair of our Black Employee Network – a female colleague based in the Americas, to improve his understanding of barriers faced by people in minoritized communities, and in 2022 has hosted a fireside chat with members of both the Black Employee Network and Juntos Podemos, to dig further into the challenges faced by people of colour in the workplace.


We now have thriving, global ERGs and affinity groups who are instrumental in awareness raising, providing support and networking opportunities, and acting as critical friends to the business. Our ERG leads have regular opportunities to raise concerns or issues to our senior leadership team and DEI Centre of Excellence colleagues, enabling a culture of continuous improvement. Our Ethnicity-related groups, alongside our other 6 Employee Resource Groups (Military; Women; Disability; Neurodiversity; Social Mobility and LGBTQ+ & Allies), collaborate effectively and differentiate needs according to region-specific issues, allowing us to de-centralise our DEI priorities and ensure that we meet the needs of all our colleagues, irrespective of their location.

We achieved our target of doubling our number of ethnically diverse senior leaders in 2022, and have now elevated our target to double it again by the end of 2023, which we are currently on track to achieve. We are pleased with our progress, but have recommitted to a new 3 year plan to drive continued progress in race equity.

“We have always been committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity, belonging and equity across AMS, and I am proud that we continue to listen, learn, challenge ourselves, and most importantly, hold ourselves accountable to ensure we are making impactful and sustainable change. Driving increased representation at a senior level, as well as creating an environment that welcomes and retains ethnically diverse and local talent, is a fundamental part of our Ethnicity Action Plan, and I am pleased that we have made the progress that we have. In particular, our Black Employee Network and Juntos Podemos and the Ethnicity Advisory Board have all done some incredible work across our business, to support and enhance our inclusive culture I know, however, that we have more work to do and I am committed, along with the rest of our Executive Committee and our senior leadership to continue to support this important agenda over the next 3 years and beyond as we drive tangible and sustainable change.

David Leigh
AMS Chief Executive Officer
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