Reed Exhibitions appoints first-ever executive sponsor for race

Reed Exhibitions has announced the appointment of Ron Walden as the company’s first global executive sponsor for race.

Walden is currently Reed’s group vice president of strategic partnerships and activation in the US.

His role will be to hold Reed accountable and responsible for all of the company’s race and ethnic minority initiatives moving forward, and to bridge the investment and commitments it makes back to communities.

Reed Exhibitions CEO Hugh Jones said: “The unequal treatment of black people, and especially the recent killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and others, have left many people around the world shocked, angry, devastated, and broken-hearted.

“We have witnessed the collective anger reach a boiling point in many cities and communities around the world where Reed Exhibitions employees and customers live and work.

“Black lives matter. We stand in solidarity with our black and ethnic minority employees, customers and partners, and we are committed to helping build a company and a world where everyone can live equitably, with dignity and free from fear.

Jones said he was delighted that Walden had agreed to be Reed’s first global executive sponsor for race.

“Using all his experience and advocacy, Ron will provide us with visible leadership on race and ethnicity across our company,” Jones said.

“He will drive actions such as recommending where to target our charitable donations, set targets for ethnic minority representation, how we work with recruitment agencies and how we drive mentoring and sponsorship.

“He will work with me to create a team to work and advise on these matters globally.”

Commenting on his appointment, Walden said: “I’m honoured and proud to be named as Reed Exhibitions’ global executive sponsor for race, and to work with Hugh and all our leaders across the business.

“Diversity and inclusion are key to the recovery of companies in the face of economic recessions in many countries, and so I’m excited to see that Reed Exhibitions is reasserting our commitment to race equality by signing up to Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter.

“We will of course focus on talent – the recruiting, hiring, training, mentoring, promoting, and rewarding of a diverse workforce. But we also want to impact our events and the way we organise and hold them – ensuring that black and minority businesses and voices are heard across all sectors and in all countries.

“I’m excited and proud to have this opportunity, and I look forward to working with Hugh and all our colleagues to deliver the impact we have committed to.”