Parity – striving for equality

The Black Lives Matter movement has shone a spotlight on the many inequalities that exist in our society today and highlighted some uncomfortable truths.  At ELBA, we have long understood the challenges faced by the black community and continue to tackle inequality, disadvantage and poverty across our programmes of work.

Volunteers have played a key role in our response to the many injustices we see within the employment and skills market by lending their business skills and expertise to support greater labour market engagement and participation among disadvantaged groups, most notably young black men.

In 2017, ELBA launched the Parity project. Supported by Nomura and State Street, the Parity project connects young black men to volunteers through professional mentoring, networking, seminars and employment skills workshops – to raise awareness of, and vital access to, sustainable career opportunities.

Now in it’s 3rd year, the project has demonstrated the value of corporate engagement as a vehicle for change, receiving recognition for its work by winning the 2018 Reach Society ‘Corporate Supporter’ award, 2019 Employment Related Services Award (ERSA) award in the Youth Employment category and 2020 Adiaha Antigha Community Achievement Award in the category: the individual or organisation doing the best work to challenge discrimination.

Expanding on this approach, ELBA has more recently launched the Moving on Up project, supporting young black men in Newham and Everyone’s Business, tackling the challenges faced by young people at risk of youth violence. We hope to continue securing widespread support from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic affinity networks as well as individual volunteers wanting to sponsor and facilitate young black men and women to achieve their career aspirations.

If you would like to hear more about how you could support these and other initiatives, please contact

“Networking is powerful when success looks like you”  – Parity candidate

“I know what I want and I’m going for it. I’m not going to let others dictate what I can be” – Parity participant (Client Operations, Asset Management)

“Without Parity, we wouldn’t have access to this world.” – Parity participant (Derivatives Management, Financial Services)

“Parity creates an even playing field for everyone to succeed, particularly young black men…as we create this wealth of knowledge, it’s important to spread it.” – Parity Mentor

  • The unemployment rate for YBM in London actively seeking work is 30%, more than double the rate for young white men (14%) – BTEG 2017
  • The average hourly pay gap between white men and black men is 19% – Resolution Foundation, 2018
  • Black male graduates can expect to be paid 17% less than white male graduates – Resolution Foundation, 2018
  • Under-employment rates are twice as likely to be higher for black employees as for white employees, including for graduates – Race Disparity Audit 2018
  • Black workers with degrees were on average found to earn 23.1% less than white workers with similar qualifications – The Investment Association 2019
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