We are delighted to announce that Oz Kemal, Managing Director in UK & Ireland at Agile·1 and Fleur Bothwick OBE, Director of Diversity & Inclusive Leadership at EY have been appointed as co-chairs of the MSDUK Board of Directors. The appointment comes after the resignation of Rachel Lee of CBRE who had to step down from her role due to business reasons; Rachel took over the role on January 1st.
Off the back of a very successful year and the celebration of our 10th year anniversary, this appointment comes at a very important time for MSDUK; we are already putting into motion our plans to expand our network and kick-start a number of new projects in order to continually promote a more inclusive supply chain for the UK and beyond. In terms of supplier diversity, we are still seeking to permanently remove the “check-the-box” responsibility stigma and instead encourage corporates to harness its advantages and appreciate its true value.
While we believe that Oz and Fleur are individually qualified to take on this position because of their extensive corporate knowledge and experience, we know that together they will help MSDUK to deliver and achieve our aims for not only 2017, but also for the years to come.
Oz has over 16 years’ experience within total workforce solutions and technology, working across many sectors, specifically engineering and construction, defence, oil and gas, banking, legal and automotive. As an integral part of the Agile·1 international team, Oz has helped to build strong innovative teams and develop world class programmes with the use of state-of-art technology for partners on a global basis. He has the proven ability to grow and nurture existing business as well as continue client relationships to maximise revenue and maintain long-term client partnerships at c-level.
As the Director of Diversity & Inclusive Leadership at EY, Fleur has extensive experience in developing, driving and embedding an integrated diversity strategy across a large multi-disciplined matrix organisation. In addition, Fleur is an active inclusion and diversity advocate; she is a regular conference speaker and contributor to articles and research in this field, publishing a series on thought leadership, most recently on how to take the LGBT agenda global. She has also co-authored a book on Inclusive Leadership. Prior to joining EY, Fleur spent 18 years in the Investment Banking Sector.
It is particularly exciting to see that Oz and Fleur have both expressed a strong desire to work alongside one another for this role, which will not only benefit their time in the role, but, in Fleur’s words, also bring “different perspectives to conversations which means richer decisions and stronger leadership and support.”
On what excites them about MSDUK and how they can help us to achieve our ambitious plans, Oz cited his eagerness to see growth and expansion and to “help industries, minority held businesses, governments and the general public understand what pivotal part MSDUK will play in the forthcoming years.” Similarly Fleur believes that “inclusive procurement is the poor relation in the world of diversity and inclusion” and believes that MSDUK will pioneer a change of attitude towards that trend, particularly now that there is a “heightened focus on BME” in the UK.
Looking to the future and how MSDUK will look on the dawn of a new decade, Oz and Fleur both recognise and support our plans to go beyond just hitting revenue targets, as mentioned by Fleur, but to firmly establish the need for inclusion, rather than just the desire.
“It’s about inclusive procurement being a ‘need to’ in any supply chain,” Fleur said. “It’s about the business case being a given.”
Ultimately, it all comes down to MSDUK aiming high and working over the next three years towards 2020 to become the cornerstone organisation, certainly in Europe, for all things diversity and inclusion across all industries, which Oz sums up perfectly.
“MSDUK will be the reference point for diversity and inclusion matters within industry and will be seen as a ‘standard’ by corporate organisations to employ into their sustainable procurement organisations, as well as a focal point for guidance, support and advice for EMBs.”
We look forward to seeing Fleur and Oz lead the Board of Directors over the next few year and congratulate them on their appointment.