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SHL and BYP Network Breaking Barriers for Black Talent

SHL and BYP Network partner to drive change in the workplace and help organizations take intentional steps to improve career opportunities for Black talent.

We, SHL, are proud to announce the launch of our Black Heritage Research Program and partnership with BYP Network. This partnership serves to support the expansion of our Inclusive Assessment Research Program through SHL Labs, by identifying and removing any potential barriers in assessment for Black heritage candidates. Learn more about how SHL and BYP Network are driving change through intentional steps.

Supporting Black talent career advancement

As I write this blog during Black History Month in the UK, I find myself reflecting on the past while imagining the future and the contributions I can make today. When I think about my own lived experiences, being a second generation, Black British, I have seen how access to opportunities, particularly related to work, can change lives and impact future generations. This is partly the reason why as a business psychologist, I am passionate about transforming people’s career journeys by applying psychology and ensuring talent assessments are as fair, objective, and inclusive as possible. Personally, having been one of BYP Network’s 150,000 members for several years, I am excited by this new collaboration which has a shared intention to support the career advancement of Black heritage professionals.

To mark the start of the partnership, SHL is a proud sponsor of BYP Network’s annual flagship Leadership Conference in London. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘intentional steps’ which is all about helping each person achieve their full potential and prompting organizations to play their part. Aligned to this theme, We will be delivering a workshop titled ‘Behind the scenes of psychometrics: Identifying and unlocking talent in a diverse world’. During this interactive session, conference attendees will discover more about SHL’s mission and the launch of the Black Heritage Research Program. In addition, we will address common misconceptions about psychometrics and share practical advice on how to complete assessments. Why is this important? Research by Bright Network revealed that their Black heritage members are 38% more likely to say they are worried about psychometric tests. Therefore, our ultimate goal for the session is for each member of the audience to feel greater confidence, to have increased knowledge, and to spark interest in participating in our research, so that positive change can be created together.

What is next?

Earlier I mentioned that I was imagining the future. For me, the future world of work looks promising and diverse. Across society, there is growing recognition of the importance of embracing the unique contributions each one of us can bring. Our team of scientists at SHL is committed to developing and validating new assessments to ensure they are predictive, fair, objective, and inclusive. We have already seen the positive effects associated with DEI by combining cognitive tests with job-focused assessments to gain a holistic insight into people.

Black heritage members are 38% more likely to say they are worried about psychometric tests.

Our Inclusive Assessment Research Program has already started to provide insights on neurodivergent talent, which has enabled us to enhance our product design. Now, we are expanding our research program further to include more underrepresented communities. For the Black Heritage Research Program, this will involve conducting a range of studies and forming partnerships with lead researchers, academic institutions, and pioneering customers. Watch this space to hear more about some of the other innovative research programs.

A call to action

This next chapter is exciting for us. At SHL we continue to recognize our responsibility to support customers with adopting progressive mindsets and inclusive practices when implementing talent solutions. But most importantly, we have witnessed how taking intentional steps to understand the experiences of different communities can create meaningful change, particularly in psychometric design.

We encourage others to also hold themselves accountable for creating fair and inclusive hiring processes and to challenge the status quo.

If you are interested in participating, becoming a partner, or receiving updates on SHL’s Black Heritage Research Program please contact

SHL’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility

SHL remains uniquely positioned to support the broader adoption of DEI and Accessibility by employers through the use of our fair and inclusive talent acquisition and talent management solutions.

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Estelle Kessi

Estelle Kessi is a Senior Consultant and Lead Research Scientist of SHL’s Black Heritage Research program. Estelle has spent the past five years delivering award-winning assessment solutions that enable organizations to identify and grow talent. She is passionate about driving positive change in people’s lives at work through leveraging fair, objective, and inclusive assessments.

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