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Mercedes Confirms New Partnership with AFBE-UK

This new partnership forms part of the team’s Accelerate 25 diversity and inclusion programme and will work in five key areas, to drive change and increase accessibility…

Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix (MGP) is pleased to introduce a new partnership with the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers UK (AFBE-UK).

Established in 2007 by Dr Nike Folayan MBE and Dr Ollie Folayan, AFBE-UK works to inspire people of Black and minority ethnic origin to study engineering, to support those who aspire to be engineers, to promote engineering in schools and to increase diversity within the UK’s engineering workforce.

Whilst an average of 27% of engineering university graduates are from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds, only 8% of UK engineers are from the same group*.

AFBE-UK’s mission is to increase the number of Black and minority ethnic engineers who pursue and go on to have successful careers within the engineering industry.

AFBE-UK has developed a network of over 10,000 individuals from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds across the UK in various engineering industries.

By promoting diversity in engineering and technology through programmes and activities which are led by exceptional professionals and leaders in the Engineering industry, the organisation hopes to drive meaningful change, sustainable growth and development and have a lasting positive impact on the UK’s engineering capabilities.

Working together to increase the talent pool for Black and minority ethnic groups within MGP and the wider engineering industry, AFBE-UK and MGP will focus on five strategic areas: Advisory, Recruitment, Education, Work Experience and Events.

Focusing on our commitment to become a more diverse and inclusive team, this new partnership will also enable our team members to professionally support young engineers and encourage their aspirations for a career in engineering.

Through formal work experience programmes and events to reach out to Black and minority ethnic communities, combined with access to the AFBE-UK recruitment portal and a thorough audit of any potential barriers to recruitment from Black and minority ethnic groups, the partnership will help the team to achieve its commitment for at least 25% of all new employees at our team to come from under-represented groups in each year up to and including 2025.

Mara Makoni, Corporate Partnerships Lead, Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers UK said:

“We are very excited to welcome Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix as a member of the AFBE-UK family. Through this partnership we are committed to supporting the team in the implementation of their Accelerate 25 strategy to deliver the outcomes of improving diversity and ensuring the most talented engineers from all backgrounds can access careers within motorsport engineering.

“We are pleased to see that MGP is committed to creating teams that are more reflective of the world we live in; teams that are more diverse and foster inclusion and belonging for people from often marginalised communities. To see such an elite brand dedicate real time and resources to this goal is a massive leap forward for engineering. Young boys and girls from all origins can now dare to dream about being part of building the brand and sport they have grown up admiring."

Paul Mills, Chief People Officer at Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd commented:

“We are delighted to have joined the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers UK. As part of our Accelerate 25 programme and commitment to improving diversity within our team and our sport, we have begun to identify organisations who can provide valuable knowledge and support as we raise our efforts on this journey. AFBE-UK’s wealth of experience in working with organisations and engineering professionals to encourage and support engineers from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds into engineering is a perfect fit as we look to widen our appeal and increase the diversity of the talent within our team.

“We very much look forward to working with AFBE-UK and learning from their valuable expertise as we make progress toward our ambition of improving the diversity of our team. We are also delighted to be working with Dr Nike Folayan in her role as both Chair of the AFBE-UK and as a member of the Board of Commissioners for the Hamilton Commission, the research project set up by our driver Lewis Hamilton to identify the key barriers to recruitment and progression of Black people in UK motorsport, and provide actionable recommendations to overcome them.”

*Source: Royal Academy of Engineering