2017 Top 30 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders
Head of Digital Communications
Recently promoted to Head of Digital Communications, Stephen also is co-chair of the Sodexo Cultures and Origins Employee Network, through which he has created strategies focusing on learning and development, cultural awareness, managers’ information, and organisational change. He has also launched a Sodexo-wide campaign called “My culture and me”, which aims to create a more inclusive workplace by raising cultural awareness of different BAME backgrounds. Stephen led the implementation of Your_Sodexo, an employee facing website in the UK and Ireland, and he is now spearheading its development into a global project across Brazil, Australia, the Netherlands and France. Recently, Stephen was instrumental in creating a podcast with a senior BAME leader from Sodexo, talking about role models in the workplace and the community. Outside of work, Stephen has been working towards a professional coaching and mentoring qualification, with the goal of becoming a mentor both in and out of work. He also works with Springboard, OCM, Spark Life, and is very keen to expose young BAME people to the workplace.
Employment Law, EMEA
Under Charlene’s leadership as Co-Chair of IMPACT EMEA, BNY Mellon’s Multicultural Network has grown by 94% to over 557 members in eight locations. Through this, she has provided workshops for the IMPACT leadership team such as “talking about race”, “managing difficult conversations in the diversity context” and “inclusive leadership”. Charlene is also a founder of the EMEA Legal D&I Council, which was named a finalist in the 2016 Diversity Legal Awards for “In-House Diversity”. Additionally, Charlene mentors several BAME business and law students and founded Honest Voice, an online platform that supports youth from all socio-economic backgrounds to realise their full potential. As Head of Ambition First, Charlene empowers BAME millennials with the network they need to succeed. She also serves on the TNON steering committee and, in 2016, was recognised as a “Rising Star in Financial Services” by the 2016 Black British Business Award and a finalist for the Inspirational Role Model of the Year Award at the 2015 European Diversity Awards.
Group Marketing Manager
Andrew leads a field and product marketing team for LinkedIn’s Sales & Marketing Solutions business in EMEA. He is also a core member of the LinkedIn Geo Ethnic Minority (GEMs) team, whose mission is to attract, motivate and retain a diverse workforce in EMEA. The GEMs team aim to better understand obstacles facing top ethnic minority talent, helping the business to review how they hire top ethnic talent, and recruiting colleagues to join the GEM team. Andrew also mentors BAME talent, believing there is a delicate balance between being comfortable in yourself and being professional – and that the right workplace will allow you to do both. Andrew provides advisory support for BAME small business owners, such as matchmaking service “Sitting in a Tree” and children’s sports camp, Harrow Games. Helping migrants to integrate and build new lives for themselves in the UK is very important to Andrew due to his own experiences of arriving in the UK from Nigeria as a boy and navigating a new society. To support this cause, Andrew volunteered at the Migrants Resource Centre, where he was Company Secretary and Trustee for two years.
Technology Change & Implementation Partner
An alumna of Harvard Business School and University College London and currently employed at HSBC Global Headquarters, Ruth is one of the most connected Gen Y Chinese in the City. She co-founded the Eastern Blossoms network in 2013 which has grown into the Network of Chinese Networks in the UK. She has also developed an EB Influencers Netgiving Club which aims to motivate the Chinese community collectively. She enjoys organising regular networking events, China business forums, cultural events and language classes to promote cross-cultural exchange both within her company and outside. She linked her workplace with Mulan Foundation Network – a growing organisation which is building a collective of rising talented Chinese women that can support one another. Additionally, Ruth has been in the ’30 Ones to Watch’ listing in Brummells magazine, and was recommended by her employer to join an executive education programme at Harvard Business School.
Consultant, People Advisory Service
EY is a pioneer around inclusivity at work and Anjeli uses this to create positive change both inside and outside of the workplace. She was a speaker at EY’s student induction, talking about her experiences as a British Asian trans* woman at EY and the importance of employee networks. She is also a member of the South Asian network, took part in a firm wide and external video for International Women’s Day, and is due to speak at 6 internal events this summer across the country about D&I at EY. Outside of the workplace Anjeli spoke at Imperial College for LGBT history month about being Asian and trans*, and was interviewed by the BBC Asian Network. Recently, she joined OUTstanding’s trans* working group, the All about Trans Advisory Board, and has been a keynote speaker at the Stonewall Workplace Conference twice where she focused on some of the specific challenges that trans* individuals face within the Asian community. Anjeli won a workplace award for the category “Gamechanger”, and has been nominated for various inclusivity awards.
In 2013 Stephanie co-founded the EMEA Bloomberg Black Professional Community (BPC), focusing on promoting inclusive leadership and the business impact of diversity. The BPC successfully collaborated with stakeholders throughout the business to attract, promote and retain black talent and, in 2016, won the Network Impact award at the Black British Business Awards. As co-founder and global co-chair, Stephanie has been significantly involved in all aspects of the community and in 2016 she was included in the WeAreTheCity Rising Star shortlist for her advocacy of diversity both internally and externally. Since 2014 Stephanie has served on the steering committee of TNON BAME/Multicultural chapter and is also on the advisory board for “Beyond the Classroom” a social enterprise aimed at empowering vulnerable young BAME women by providing them with the life skills and knowledge to make better informed decisions about their future.
Mishcon de Reya LLP
A key member of Mishcon de Reya’s Diversity Committee, Claudine led the sub group for ethnicity and social mobility, and has been relied upon to attend and represent the firm at external diversity events. She is also responsible for lining up diverse speaker programmes for internal and external events. In 2014 Claudine founded The Student Development Co. and runs it in her spare time. She also mentors BAME students, and has been regularly interviewed by publications such as The Financial Times and The Voice on the impact of the pay gap on BAME employees, among other topics. As social mobility ambassador for the Law Society, Claudine has also recently spoken at the ENEI social inclusion conference. Additionally, Claudine was a BBBA Rising Star in professional services finalist in 2016, was on the Future Powerlist 2016, and was the only black woman in the 40 under 40 disrupters in Property Week 2015.
Strategy and Operations Consultant
In 2013, Dara set up the PwC Diversity Mentoring scheme to encourage students from underrepresented backgrounds to seek and gain careers in professional services. The scheme now supports 200 students across the UK with employability skills and applications; 60% of whom are from BAME backgrounds. She has chaired the PwC Multicultural Business Network since 2015 and acts as a role model, coach, mentor and sounding board to many BAME colleagues and proactively championed diversity and inclusion across the firm. Dara has also been an ambassador for careers in the city for BAME students, an SEO scholar, spoken at numerous events, schools and universities and acted as a mentor informally and formally to black students primarily. In 2015, she organised a youth unemployment conference (under a UN initiative) and in 2016 she joined the founding team of UK Black Tech.
Vice President - Strategy and Innovation
Having personally been the only Asian female on all-white, male leadership teams in the past, Anita knows that diversity adds tremendous value to decision making. She is a member of the Embrace network at Barclays and helped establish a new branch of their WIN gender network within the UK. She has also mentored many female colleagues, on topics including managing workplace prejudice and conflict. Anita was the first person in her family to go to university, having been born in the UK to Chinese immigrants. As a result, helping young Chinese people get into the UK workplace has always been close to her heart. Over the past 15 years, she has mentored several first generation Chinese immigrants and Chinese students, helping them with their job applications and supporting them as they adjust to life in the UK and to the UK work place.
Senior Manager - Communications, Media and Technology
Gavin is co-lead of Accenture’s African-Caribbean Network, which delivers a range of engagement and development activities for their 360 African-Caribbean employees and won Network of the Year in the European Diversity Awards in November 2015. He is leading on Accenture’s “Accelerate” week in May 2017, providing targeted skills development to Accenture’s future leaders. Gavin is an active mentor and coach to several African-Caribbean managers alongside his formal career counselling role within the firm and he also supports a number of volunteering and mentoring events with young black talent in East London schools, which provide support on career direction. He champions a formal programme mentoring young BAME students and is also an active supporter of gender diversity, providing mentoring support through Accenture’s work with Think Nation and as part of International Women’s Day 2017. Additionally, in January 2017 he provided the keynote address to 60 black undergraduates to launch a two-day mentoring programme, facilitated by The PowerList Foundation. In April 2017, from 4,200 nominations and a shortlist of 45, Gavin was voted Accenture UK’s “Most Inspirational Leader” by his peers.
Chinwe co-founded the Clifford Chance Black & Minority Ethnic network in 2015 with the primary aim of making BME issues a business priority for management at Clifford Chance. As co-chair she has been instrumental in raising awareness, both within the firm and externally. She has been particularly focused on fostering and encouraging coaching and mentoring to assist the ongoing development of BME colleagues. As part of this, she has spearheaded the introduction of a bespoke three-part coaching programme and is currently organising a series of lunch and learn sessions for senior management in the firm to highlight some of the key issues facing BME employees. Externally, she has recently been appointed as a Professional Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors, joined the BEIS Professional and Business Services Council – Skills and Inclusion Taskforce, has been identified by the Clifford Chance Women’s Network as a ‘role model’, and was one of 20 women across the firm recently profiled in the Legal 500 publication ‘Advice to My Younger Self: Reflections of Successful Women Lawyers’.
Head of International Relations
Slaughter and May
Ngozie has recently been appointed as Head of International Relations at Slaughter and May. The International Relations team works closely with the partners to effectively implement the firm’s international strategy globally. Ngozie is active in the organisation’s recruitment activities and has shared her inspirational personal story and career journey with BME students at recruitment events. Ngozie founded Slaughter and May’s BME network in 2010, which is now one of the firm’s most active and visible diversity networks. The BME network was their first diversity network and Ngozie organised a number of seminars which brought together BME professionals throughout the City. She has also worked closely with partners in their Africa practice to attract more BME applicants through launching the Slaughter and May Africa Essay Prize. Ngozie is a Rare Recruitment Alumna and offers mentoring and support to candidates currently taking part in Rare’s programmes. She is also regularly approached by BME students hoping to pursue a career in the City and has provided mentoring to these students in her spare time.
National Account Manager
Vodafone Global Enterprise
As a National Account Manager at Vodafone Global Enterprise Rashada is responsible for driving business development, account management and consultative technology sales into Global Enterprise organisations. Rashada is co-Founder of Your Future ,Your Ambition which was formed to not only help STEM organisations welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds, but also to inspire and encourage students to pursue careers in Science Technology Engineering and Maths. Since 2012, over 3000 students have attended, over 600 have received mentoring and over 21 organisations have participated in YFYA. Rashada is one of the founding members of UK Black Tech, an organisation launched in 2017 which seeks to increase diversity in the UK Technology industry. As a public speaker she regularly engages with both the local community and corporate organisations internationally to advise on STEM, the importance of diversity in the workplace and how individuals can help others as well as themselves. She has also mentored in both Ghana and Kenya helping disadvantaged children and completed charitable work in rural villages.
Head of Customer Success Consulting Italy, Spain & Portugal
As part of an internal task force “Better Together” Sue drives awareness of the importance of bias training for all employees in the London office. She makes a conscious effort to carry LinkedIn’s values around relationships, by connecting with all BAME individuals upon their employment, to ensure they feel welcome and inform them of networks and opportunities. As a public speaker for Your Future, Your Ambition, she inspires young BAME adults to study STEM subjects, and has held several talks around the importance of personal branding. As a volunteer, she works with Future Frontiers, the Power List Foundation, and The Girls Network, and is paired up with a young girl to whom she is a role model and mentor. Many of these activities include direct engagement with young people in the BAME community, including site visits and presentations at the LinkedIn offices.
As Chair of the Aon UK Multicultural Network, Ajay has developed and executed a strategic plan building a more inclusive environment for BAME colleagues and developing internal leaders. He has held a number of events helping BAME employees to develop their careers, network and discuss industry-leading issues and has also launched a nationwide web-series profiling BAME Role Models focusing on staff at all levels. In 2017 Ajay co-founded a new industry-wide network (iCAN – Insurance Cultural Awareness Network) – which is the first network set up to support and recognise the careers of BAME and International colleagues in the insurance industry. He has led the London BAME events for “Dive In”, which included 16 cities globally and focused on pertinent BAME issues of recruitment and career development, and leadership. Ajay was also recently promoted to the steering committee of TNON (The Network of Networks) and regularly develops opportunities for young BAME people to develop their careers at Aon and beyond.
Lawyer (Admitted in New York)
CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP
As the co-founder and Chair of the CMS BAME Network, Cherie has developed a program with the graduate recruitment team to ensure that each intake of new trainees has an induction session where the BAME Committee discuss diversity in law, and the BAME Network’s availability for support, advice and mentorship. She has also developed a monthly newsletter which focuses on BAME news and culture, which has resulted in increased engagement with the BAME Network and a more inclusive workplace environment. Cherie informally mentors several young people whom she has met through events and networking, providing them with advice and support, and connecting them with other organisations or professionals. She is an active member of the Society of Black Lawyers, and assists in supporting BAME internships at the African Court on Human and People’s Rights and developing a BAME student conference. She also works with other external networks to collaborate on BAME events and share best practice.
Vice President, Corporate Programme Management Office
Nelson is a senior programme manager in the Corporate Programme Management Office responsible for delivering enterprise-wide strategic and regulatory priorities for BNY Mellon. He is an active leader within BNY Mellon’s Multicultural Business Resource Group, responsible for delivering the group’s strategic priorities. Nelson leads a firm wide programme to enrich the recruitment and retention of diverse candidates and employees, an intersection initiative between all the business resource groups in the EMEA region and Human Resources. He also actively mentors and coaches colleagues at BNY Mellon across different levels, including BAME employees. Nelson is on the leadership team of Ambition First, and as Partnerships Lead for the network, he has responsibility for developing strategic relationships with UK based companies, internal professional networks, and peer external networks and institutions. Nelson volunteers at local nurseries, teaching about African cultural heritage, and provides volunteer career and executive coaching to professionals from BAME backgrounds.
Marisa is a member of MediaCom’s Diversity and Inclusion Panel to ensure that MediaCom fairly represent, recognise, and recruit diverse talent. She attends graduate selection days and is involved in the Apprentice scheme to nurture talent from diverse and underprivileged backgrounds. She is a mentor, giving junior talent the opportunity to talk about their experiences and give confidential feedback on diversity and inclusion at MediaCom. Marisa leads an initiative called “MediaCom Talks” which celebrates diverse backgrounds and gives young talent a platform to express their opinions to peers. Outside of work she uses art as a platform to express her culture and diversity beliefs. Marisa is an exhibiting artist who has created a brand of contemporary acrylic paintings and limited edition prints called “Colourful People”. The individual portraits have been named to carry a message; ‘Believe’, ‘Love’, ‘Exhale’, ‘Vex’ to express the frustrations and aspirations of the diverse world we live in.
Global Lightends Commercial Manager
A strong advocate of Diversity & Inclusion, Nisha has led key initiatives on inclusion resulting in organisation wide impact, and has been a champion promoting and supporting the BP African American Network in Chicago and BP Positively Ethnic Network in London. She was one of four senior panellists on a companywide global webcast held in March to discuss inclusion in the workplace, and mentors and coaches diverse individuals. Nisha has served on the Executive committee of an Indian non-profit organisation in Chicago, specifically focusing on the development and advancement of youth and women in their ambitions and career while maintaining their roots and identities. She is an active member of WILD (Women in Listed Derivatives), a Chicago Booth Alum, and actively sponsors key initiatives and organisations for young children in rural India.
Assistant VP Risk & Control
Recognising her talent and development, Abisola has been recently promoted to Assistant Vice President of her department. Previously, as Chief Operating Officer, and now Transitions Officer for the Black Professionals Network, Abisola oversaw development and engagement of predominantly BAME colleagues through skills coaching and awareness, promoted pioneering mentoring schemes with London’s disadvantaged BAME youth, and hosted fundraisers for partnered Afro-Caribbean charities. Furthermore, she worked with Campus Recruitment and RARE/SEO at University events specifically targeting potential BAME applicants. From a young age, Abisola has worked alongside Local and UK Government, the Metropolitan Police and other organisations, to ensure all young people are included at the decision-making table – and not only those with unique privileges. She has also been invited back to her universities on several occasions to host workshops on key skills, and engage in panel discussions on the realities and impact her ethnicity has/not had in the workplace.
Nishma works on the diversity and inclusion client agenda for Deloitte and is the co-sponsor of the Deloitte Multicultural Business Network, which won the 2015 Race for Opportunity award. This included introducing a sponsor programme between BAME employees and senior Deloitte partners, building a community of BAME role models within the business and providing feedback to the executive. She is a trustee and board member of Tamasha, a leading theatre company which champions the voices of emerging and established BAME artists from culturally diverse backgrounds. She is also an advisory board member of the City Hindus Network, a not-for-profit organisation created to promote networking, personal development and charity among Hindu professionals. Nishma was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce, and was named a diversity and inclusion leader at the GG2 Awards.
Senior Principal Engineer
Barnali is a committee member for the Equality Diversity and Inclusion ADVANCE network within Mott MacDonald and propagates diversity and inclusion within the company. She has also volunteered to be a mentor for the BITC race campaign cross-organisational mentoring circles programme. Barnali has been a STEM ambassador for many years and regularly speaks at local schools to champion diversity. She actively promotes engineering among women by being a part of the Alumni of Engineering Society Committee at Trinity College, Engineering Department at Cambridge. Additionally, she was also a founder member of Indian Cultural Society at Cambridge, has appeared in the BBC Channel 2 documentary “The Imagineers”, which highlights the work of engineers working on solutions for major global hazards, and regularly appears as a role model for the BAME community.
Executive Support Manager
Carrie works in the HSBC Global Head Office where she built a diverse team with 40% BAME representation, and has invited senior executives to be more vocal and visible role models for workplace inclusion, through a series of networking events. She is an Embrace Champion of the HSBC BAME network and has been appointed Deputy Chairperson of the HSBC Chinese Community. Carrie has also been mentoring two BAME colleagues for over two years and, in 2014, she was presented the HSBC Values and Leadership Award in recognition of her dedication to diversity, inclusion and the development of others. Carrie has actively volunteered with UNICEF and Rotaract to improve social inclusion for South Asian minorities in Hong Kong. She also speaks at a number of school events, works as a UK “anchor” for her Hong Kong alma mater, has delivered probono consulting for ChangesUK, and was honoured at the “HSBC At Our Best Recognition Programme” 2016 for her involvement in community work.
Lloyds Banking Group
In January 2016, Bernard Adjei set up the RISE (Reach Inspire Support Empower) initiative to support younger generation of Ethnic Minorities in Secondary Schools and Colleges from underprivileged backgrounds. They cover modules related to CV workshops, mock interviews, diversity and inclusion and opportunities available in Lloyds Banking Group and the industry as a whole. Bernard also set up the Densu Online Marketplace to provide a platform for small to medium black businesses as well as Entrepreneurs in the UK. The marketplace has been featured on BBCAfrica and other media platforms. Bernard was named one of Ghana’s Top 30 under 30 for his support of black businesses, as well as being named UK Young Banker of the Year in 2016 for his innovation to improve visibility on international transfer for Ethnic Minorities. Bernard has donated and been involved in supporting the Apeguso village in Ghana with equipment and resources to support the education of the locals.
Bank of England
Jennifer has been Co-Chair of the Bank of England Ethnic Minority Network (BEEM), a member of the Bank’s Women in the Bank Network Steering Group, and a member of the Bank’s Diversity and Inclusion Forum. Currently a consultant to BEEM, she has been instrumental in creating the strategy underpinning the African-Caribbean Scholarship at the Bank, its reverse mentoring scheme, and has personally mentored and coached numerous ethnic minority staff both inside and outside of the workplace. Jennifer and her husband started a community aimed at “squeezed middle class” families who, as second generation children of immigrants from African/African Caribbean backgrounds, tend to occupy the workplace in middle management positions or own micro businesses. Their central goal is for members of the community to progress and support each other in business, education of their children and social activity.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Since its launch in 2013, Nnamdi has been involved with the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme which addresses under-representation of black men from low-income households in large commercial law firms. Initially a mentor to individual scholars as a trainee and associate solicitor, Nnamdi now acts as the group mentor for all successful scholars on the programme. Outside of the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme, he regularly provides assistance to candidates from BAME backgrounds through informal meetings, reviewing applications or assisting with interview questions. Nnamdi participates in panel discussions targeted at BAME candidates and acts as a mentor to students on various BAME focused programmes (e.g., BSN, SEO London). He actively promotes, and uses his legal background to assist, various businesses focused on achieving positive change for the BAME community.
Credit Card Collections and Debt Sale Strategy Analyst
Ugo has been involved in Virgin Money’s drive for “Everyone is Better Off” which aims to enhance some of the core traits for their Customers, Corporate Partners, Company Brand, Colleagues and the Community. He is also helping get Virgin Money involved in the BAME communities that surround their business locations and has recently been given the role as Ethnicity lead for a new bank-wide affinity group. Ugo has been successfully placed onto a future business leader program, and has written an article about being a Black Man in a British Business. He is building a partnership with EDF Energy to work in the local Brixton area, delivering STEM talks to students from BAME backgrounds, as well as helping to deliver enablement programs for students from BAME and deprived backgrounds; to help increase their opportunities to not only study abroad, but to also enhance their employability skills.
Head of Capital, Funding & Liquidity Planning and Reporting
Outside of his day to day role Rangan is also the TSB lead for the multi-cultural group which forms part of TSB’s Inclusion and Diversity network. Their focus has been on clearly articulating BAME issues to senior management, encouraging the language of difference by celebrating their wide range of cultural heritages and ethnic diversity, and building social mobility to enable people of all backgrounds within banking. Much of this has been achieved through collaboration with the charity Brokerage, meaning that TSB now hire interns from low income BAME families. The multi-cultural group has also held a number of events and written articles celebrating faith, key cultural events, and role model behaviour within TSB. Rangan is also a mentor to two people of colour who are both now thriving in the banking and consultancy world.
Global Recruiting - Risk, Compliance and Legal
Working in a recruitment team, Emeka personally captures the data for BAME employees and ensures that they are assigned to mentors following induction. He also ensures a thorough understanding of the review and promotion process, and encourages BAME employees to join a network by inviting them to diversity events that are relevant to them. Emeka has recently been asked by the business to be an executive member of the ALL4EMEA diversity council, and was actively involved in designing, implementing and monitoring D&I strategies. Mentorship is an activity which Emeka takes very seriously; he mentors young black kids on being influencers in the society, and shares his story of how he has excelled as an immigrant; professionally and academically. Currently, Emeka is a doctoral student at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge and his research is on Equality and Diversity. He also takes part in a lot of community volunteering, helping clean public parks and streets.
Sonia is an accomplished manager with eight years experience operating in a customer-focused, commercial environment. A strategic thinker with a proven track record of effectively engaging and managing stakeholders, driving global growth and implementing complex transformational change. Alongside this, Sonia is an active member of the Cultural Diversity Network, which celebrates a multicultural Fujitsu and enables people from whatever background, to feel confident and comfortable as themselves. She strives to provide a safe environment for colleagues of all backgrounds to communicate, by collaborating with all diversity and inclusion networks throughout Fujitsu. Sonia has been on the board of trustees for The Bouncing Ball Foundation since 2016. The Bouncing Ball is a charity delivering educational projects to communities in Kenya. Through this, she is sponsoring the Compassionate Programme, which educates children who are not able to afford primary education, often coming from families that are struggling to feed and dress them.