Introduction: Gizelle Moodley, Diversity Partner at Altus Partners | Consultant – Impact Investing, ESG and Sustainability
How did you learn about the 10,000 Black Interns (10KBI) and 10,000 Able Interns (10KAI) programmes and how long have you been working with the 10,000 Interns Foundation (10KIF)?
I attended a diversity event where Rebecca Ajulu-Bushell was a panellist. Through her contributions I learnt more about 10,000 Black Interns, the sincerity behind its efforts and more importantly its action-oriented position. This led to my further evaluation and Altus Partner’s (part of the LCap Group) hosting of our first intern in support of diversity in 2023.
How did you find the recruitment and interview process of candidates?
The hiring strategy and process is clearly well-thought out by 10KBI, making it a healthy engagement for both the hiring firm and the prospective candidates. The adopted ATS made for a seamless and well-organised process. There was also good and timeous support from the 10,000 Black Interns project team which allowed for a well-connected and collaborative process, supplemented by clear timelines and objectives.
Do you have any stories to share about any of your present and past interns?
Our experience with our first intern was informative, welcomed and a proud opportunity to contribute to an important global goal. We placed more of an emphasis on our intern’s experience, and we were pleased to receive his feedback as follows:
“My experience at Altus Partners was an enjoyable and rewarding one to say the least. The skills I learnt during my time there are skills I can utilise for a lifetime due to the ease of transferability of the skills e.g. how to be efficient with your time when working towards a deadline yet still yielding high quality work. I also understood the importance of building rapport with clients as well as going the extra mile for them to meet their requirements. Being at the office was also a pleasurable experience, I have nothing but good things to say regarding my colleagues and I wish them all the best in the future.”
What is something new that the interns have brought to your company?
We were reminded about the importance of inclusivity. It is of paramount importance that any individual, irrespective of background, has the opportunity to feel naturally included and that there is a platform for them to voice themselves and feel valued.
Was there anything that surprised you about the process?
We had more of a welcomed surprise which included the amount of organisations which 10,000 Black Interns have progressively partnered with since its inception. This is an encouraging statistic as it is not only a testament to the significance of the topic of diversity but the action being taken towards it. Furthermore, it encourages the wider corporate community to join their fellow peers in creating more of such milestones.
How has your company been impacted since starting to hire our interns?
We feel a greater sense of commitment to actionable diversity initiatives. Whilst various markets are plagued with talks of how diversity can be championed, we feel privileged to work alongside foundations like 10,000 Interns Foundation in creating a credible experience for individuals who have not benefited from such learning experiences.
The 10,000 Interns Foundation is helping champion underrepresented talent and are focused on creating equity of opportunity. What kind of conversations is your organisation having around Diversity and Inclusion?
We have advanced from the simple narrative to a more action-oriented stance. This means that we have already recognized the importance of shifting the needle on underrepresented talent and we want to demonstrate how efforts can be taken to create opportunities. As a buy-side Executive Search firm our efforts are in support of organisations who have a critical need for talent in support of wider organisational objectives. We have used this to steer more intelligent conversations on how diversity can and should be associated with not only hiring strategies but the wider employee lifecycle.
Would you recommend the 10kBI programme to another company? Why?
Absolutely! 10KBI is a distinguished example of how to be a part of the change. Their mission is simple yet incredibly impactful and being able to partner with them is a collective effort towards meaningful change which the wider talent community depends on us for.
What would you say to a company that is considering their participation in the 10kBI and 10kAI programmes?
Firstly, ensure that your interest aligns with the 10,000 Interns Foundation. Ultimately you want to ensure a good experience for the appointed intern, and it starts with what is driving your objective behind diversity. Partnering with such an organisation without true intent will not benefit anyone.
Secondly, the process is well-informed and the project team is truly helpful with any areas where you may need further insight, simply reach out.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us about your experience?
It brought more awareness to our wider organisation and business partners, and we hope that other organisations will benefit from the same.