Planning for the New World: A Q&A with Mark Atkinson
13th July 2018 2 minutes read
The ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ award focuses specifically on the contribution dynamic and visionary leaders have made in business. The award category was open to MSDUK certified ethnic minority business owners and looked at leaders that could demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit, innovation and sustained business growth.
Raj was nominated for the independently judged shortlist because of his reputation as a diversity champion within the recruitment industry. With more than 20 years sector experience, he has been successfully moving the dial to increase the diversity and quality of leadership in the country’s workforce. In 2006, he co-founded Green Park with the ambition to raise industry standards where they were failing to live up to customer expectations. He wanted to achieve this by building a consultative business that encourages greater diversity of thought and employs more transparent evidence-based selection criteria than any of its competitors.
In addition, Raj has acted as a special advisor and contributor to landmark Government-backed diversity reviews lobbying for real and valuable change. These include the Parker Review and Hampton-Alexander Review which call for greater female and Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) representation at Board level.
Committed to giving back to the community, in 2017 Raj led a consortium to buy Mongoose Inclusive Cricket. Using sport as a tool to increase inclusion and social mobility, Mongoose works with grass roots cricket and inclusion projects that support disenfranchised communities to prevent gang violence and radicalisation.
Raj commented on his appearance on the shortlist: “We established Green Park because the recruitment industry was failing both employers and candidates when it came to diversity and inclusion. It’s great to be recognised for work in the sector, driving through real change that has positivity impacted the way the whole industry operates. Our successes at Green Park have been about more than just founding a successful business; they are about building a legacy of change to harness the broadest, most diverse talent base country has to offer.”
A panel of three distinguished judges reviewed all the applications and selected the shortlist. The final winner will be announced on the final night of the MSDUK 2018 Conference & Awards, at the Awards Dinner on Wednesday 26 September 2018.