April 21, 2020

Melanie Richards: "It’s not where you come from, it’s what you’re capable of doing"

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About this episode

Melanie Richards is deputy chair of KPMG UK and has been a board member since 2012, working to set its strategic direction. She was recognised in the 2018 UK Social Mobility Awards for an outstanding contribution to social mobility, an experience that was unexpected, humbling and emotional. Though she’s proud of the award, in this inspiring conversation she explains how she’s not in it for the recognition – that it’s enough just to make a difference in the lives of others. Melanie explores the divide that still exists between the haves and the have nots, and says it’s everyone’s responsibility to shift the status quo. Remaining positive about the progress being made, she does add that the world has seemingly created a linear path for people to follow, and it’s time we move away from that, break out of our tired way of thinking, and put more emphasis on a person’s ability, rather than their background. Melanie is also an advocate for women’s equality, an area of the agenda she believes is making positive strides forward, and is hopeful for the future. She says the time for “good intentions” is over – that inclusion needs to be purposefully built into the structure of our organisations and communities.

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