Nominate or apply for the Empower Role Model Lists

The global Empower Role Model Lists supported by YouTube showcase leaders who are breaking down barriers at work and smashing the ceiling for people of color within global business.

They aim to represent the wide range of impactful and innovative work being done for inclusion across different countries, organizations and sectors, and celebrate the diverse range of inspiring individuals who have made it their personal mission to make a difference.

You can nominate in three categories:

100 Empower Executives

Senior ethnically diverse corporate leaders who are leading by example and removing barriers on the pathway to success for ethnically diverse employees. Those on the Executive List will generally be within -3 of a CEO within larger organizations, a Partner in a law firm, or be within the C-Suite of a smaller organization.

100 Empower Future Leaders

Inspirational people of color in business who are not yet senior leaders but are making a significant contribution to inclusion for ethnically diverse individuals within business. Future leaders can have any role within an organization.

50 Advocates

Senior corporate leaders who are not people of color but dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive business environment for ethnically diverse employees at all levels. Those on the Advocates List will generally be within -3 of the CEO within larger organizations, a Partner in a law firm, or be in the C-Suite for smaller organizations.

Here's how you can take part

There are no costs to nominate or participate in our Role Model Lists.

1. Nominate someone as a Role Model

Anyone can nominate a potential business Role Model for the Empower Role Model Lists. You just need to complete our nomination form.

You can choose if you would like your nomination to be anonymous and also choose if you would like to include a personal message.

To make a nomination you will need to provide us with your Role Model’s business email address. When the nomination form is complete, we will notify them by email that they have been nominated as a Role Model and give them instructions on how to submit their application for judging.

2. Apply to be a Role Model

We welcome applications for any of our 3 List categories. You don’t need to be nominated to apply to be a Role Model, but you will need to send in a submission form by Thursday, 22 February.

In your application, you will need to tell us what you are doing to drive inclusion for people of color both within your organization and also external to your organization.

To see the questions in advance, and for guidance on making a strong application please read our submission guide.

 

Still got questions about our Role Model Lists and taking part? Please read our FAQ below.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

Who are INvolve?

INvolve is a consultancy and global network that enables leaders and change-makers to build more successful and empowering organizations where everyone can thrive.

Founded in 2013 by Suki Sandhu OBE, a globally recognized expert in talent, diversity, and inclusion, INvolve transforms workplaces and mindsets through strategy development and the delivery of training, development programs, and other solutions to help firms drive cultural change.

Since 2013 we have also created global Role Model Lists, currently supported by YouTube, to recognize those working to progress inclusion.

How much does it cost to take part?

There is no cost to take part and Role Models will not be asked for money at any stage in relation to their appearance on our Lists.

After appearing on our Lists, Role Models will receive information about our Role Model Gala Dinners in London and New York where they can buy tickets if they would like to attend.

Why should I become an Empower Role Model?

Becoming an Empower Role Model is an opportunity to inspire others to succeed in their chosen fields while supporting the movement towards a more inclusive and diverse business world. Being featured as a Empower Role Model can provide a higher profile platform to support your current work for inclusion and help facilitate new relationships for support and collaboration. Being a visible Role Model can also invite new speaking opportunities on the topic of DEI in business.

As a demonstration of your work supporting inclusion, the recognition of being an Empower Role Model may also assist with your overall career progression.

Are the Lists global?

Yes. We accept submissions by Role Models from any country and usually around 40 different countries are represented across our Lists.

Please note that at the current time we only accept submissions in English, however, we do not allocate any marks to style, spelling, or grammar in the selection process.

Can I nominate myself?

Yes, although it is not necessary. Anyone can send in a submission directly to be a Role Model without the need of a nomination. If you do nominate yourself first then you will receive email reminders for submission deadlines.

Can I nominate more than one Role Model?

Yes. However please be aware that our judging process takes into account the work for inclusion undertaken by Role Models for the benefit of employees within their own organization. This means that the impact of internal work for inclusion may be less significant than for larger organizations. It is therefore necessary for those from smaller organizations to clearly demonstrate and evidence the size of impact they have made external from their own organization in order to be included on our Role Model Lists.  

Individuals working for smaller businesses exclusively providing DEI-related services will be considered DEI professionals and therefore will not be eligible for our Role Model Lists.

Can I send in a submission on behalf of someone else?

Yes, as long as you have permission from the potential Role Model.

What is the benefit to employers for supporting the Role Model Lists?

The Empower Role Model Lists provide employers with the opportunity to showcase the great work being done within their organization for diversity and inclusion and publicly recognize the individuals who are dedicating their time and energy to making the workplace more inclusive. We therefore encourage all employers to get involved in the promotion of their Role Models and provide a media pack with key information and graphics for a communications team to successfully celebrate the Role Models from their organization.

Criteria

I work professionally in Diversity and Inclusion, can I be part of the Role Model Lists?

No – unless you have only recently become a DEI professional and telling us about work undertaken prior to starting your new role. Our Role Model Lists are specifically aimed to provide visible and relatable Role Models for inclusion across the huge range of roles and industries beyond just DEI – recognizing that everyone can make an impact and has a role to play in making businesses and society more diverse and inclusive. We are also aware that making any comparisons between the work and impact of those who work full time professionally in DEI, with those who are progressing DEI alongside their full time role within a judging process would not be fair.

Therefore individuals who work professionally in DEI or are in a role where the majority of their work is focused on DEI activity are not eligible to take part.

Those who have DEI as part of a much wider remit within their role, such as HR professionals or those within ESG, can participate.

I work for a small business, can I be a part of the Role Model Lists?

Yes. However please be aware that our judging process takes into account the work for inclusion undertaken by Role Models for the benefit of employees within their own organization. This means that the impact of internal work for inclusion may be less significant than for larger organizations. It is therefore necessary for those from smaller organizations to clearly demonstrate and evidence the size of impact they have made external from their own organization in order to be included on our Role Model Lists.

Individuals working for smaller businesses exclusively providing DEI-related services will be considered DEI professionals and therefore will not be eligible for our Role Model Lists.

I work for a not-for-profit or charity, can I be a part of the Role Model Lists?

Yes. We welcome Role Models from all types of organizations as long as they don’t provide professional DEI services to businesses.

Will it help me make the Lists if I get more than one nomination?

No. The number of nominations received does not influence the judging process.

Should I apply as an Executive Role Model or Future Leader Role Model?

The submissions guide provides more detail about each category to help but these definitions may not be appropriate to every organizational structure or size of company. If in doubt we recommend reviewing our previous Executive and Future Leader Role Model Lists to see the job titles and work of those included.

If the judges believe that you have entered into an inappropriate category for your job level, then we will contact you regarding a potential change of category.

Process

What happens after I make a nomination?

Once you have completed a nomination form an automatic email will be sent to your potential Role Model notifying them that they have been nominated. This email will feature your personal message if you’ve included one. It will also provide them with details on the submission form they will need to complete in order to be considered for the Role Model Lists along with the relevant deadlines.

As deadline dates approach we will also send them email reminders on how to take part.

Occasionally, notification emails end up in spam so after completing the nomination form you may also want to reach out directly to your Role Model to ensure they know you nominated them.

How are the applications judged?

The submissions guide provides more details on the criteria used during the judging process and we highly recommend reading this prior to taking part. We do not release the exact criteria we use to ensure that potential Role Models do not focus their inclusion efforts around appearing on our Role Model Lists.

All submissions are read and scored by an internal team, before going to our senior judging panel for the final selection.

Please note that we receive a very high volume of submissions for our Role Model Lists from around the world and aim to represent the depth, breadth and diversity of work being undertaken for inclusion within the Lists. The standard of submissions is very high and all those involved in the selection process have to make very difficult decisions. Due to the high level of submissions received each year we do not provide personal feedback on why an individual did or did not make our Role Model Lists.

Do I have to upload a headshot with my submission form?

You must submit a headshot to be considered for the Heroes Role Model Lists. Without a headshot, we cannot include you in the Lists. Please note that your headshot will not be a part of the judging process, and will only be used on our website should you be successful as a Role Model.

Technical issues

Why didn’t my nominated Role Model receive a notification?

Although we do our best to ensure they are received, it is possible that our notification emails can go into a junk folder or could be blocked by a company’s IT security system. This is unfortunately out of our control and if your Role Model has not received a notification, we recommend emailing them directly yourself. We have provided the text below to use as a guide:

I would like to nominate you as a potential Role Model for the upcoming Empower Role Model Lists supported by YouTube. The Lists showcase leaders who are breaking down barriers at work and supporting inclusion for people of color within global businesses. Becoming an Empower Role Model would be an amazing opportunity for your great work to be recognized and to inspire others “to be what they can see”.

To take part you can make an application at empower.involverolemodels.org where there is also more information about the Empower Lists and the different categories for entry.

What do I do if I can't upload my headshot in the submission form?

Please ensure that your headshot meets the following requirements:

  • 246×500 pixels
  • vertical orientation
  • PNG or JPG file type
  • maximum 50MB

If you still cannot upload a headshot through the submission form, please email it to us at emnominations@involvepeople.org.

What do I do if I am having issues accessing the online nomination/submission form?

Please contact emnominations@involvepeople.org and a member of our team will send a Word version of the form you can use.

Want to be kept in the loop about all things Empower? Fill out the form below and you’ll be added to the mailing list for INvolve to receive updates including launch dates and other news on our Role Model Lists.

 
 
 
 
 
 

By subscribing, you are agreeing receive the following: Network newsletters, updates on our role model lists and other INvolve communications. We will not share your details with any third parties outside of INvolve and Audeliss, and all communications provide the option to unsubscribe at any point, should you wish.

Please contact EMnominations@involvepeople.org for more information.