100 Ethnic Minority Executives 2018

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Karen Blackett OBE

Country Manager & Chairwoman
WPP & MediaCom

During the five years Karen was CEO at MediaCom, the agency’s staff evolved from 11% to 20% ethnic minorities. She launched an Apprenticeship Scheme for 18-24 year olds at MediaCom, working with Tim Campbell, MBE and The National Apprenticeship Service. She also started a new initiative called Inclusion@MediaCom, an internal program which has covered Authenticity, The Glass Wall and Mental Health and Wellbeing. As then President of industry charity NABS, Karen helped to organise their Diversity Panel. Karen speaks annually at the Media Business Course in Brighton which is focused on new joiners to the industry, and focuses on the business case for diversity detailing the responsibility of the industry to reflect Modern Britain in communications and content. Karen is co-chair of the Advertising Industry Diversity Taskforce along with Leo Rayman and Sarah Jenkins from Grey Advertising. In 2015 Karen was appointed by Sir Jeremy Heywood as one of four external advisors to help diversify the Civil Service, championing race. Her work in the government has also led to being asked to join the Business Diversity Group by Andrew Griffiths MP, leading Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Karen sits on a variety of committees and boards across the Creative Industry, and speaks at a number of events and conferences championing diversity globally. In 2017 she was invited to be the Guest Editor of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, where she openly talked about diversity. Karen has been a judge for the Black British Business Awards since its conception and hosts the judging at the MediaCom offices. Karen recently appeared on the BBC’s The One Show, where she discussed her journey in the advertising industry where less than 5% of the leaders are from a BAME background.

Vanessa Kingori MBE

Publishing Director
British Vogue

As the only ethnic minority head of business at Conde Nast UK, Vanessa regards it as a personal responsibility to ensure a welcoming and inclusive workplace. Early in her career, she started a paid internship programme, focused on welcoming candidates whose networks might not have allowed them access to media companies such as Conde Nast. She is always keen to hire diverse talent, and in her first 3 months as Publishing Director of Vogue she has already appointed an ethnic minority candidate to her senior management structure. Externally, Vanessa has a keen interest in youth development. In her role as Fellow at the University of the Arts London, she supports students through mentoring, panel discussions, and project evaluations. For the last four years, she has placed special importance on mentoring ethnic minority and working-class students in particular. She has judged the Black British Business awards since 2015 with a personal interest in corporate rising stars and entrepreneurs focused on media and the arts. Vanessa has been highlighted amongst the UK’s most influential Black Britons by the Powerlist magazine for the last 5 years. She was awarded an MBE on the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours Lists, 2016, and in the same year was awarded ‘Leader in Luxury’ at the Walpole British Luxury awards. In 2017 the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced Vanessa’s appointment to his Brexit Advisory Panel.

Anré Williams

Group President, Global Merchant and Network Services
American Express

Anré leads a global organization of more than 4,000 employees in 29 countries.  Over his 28-year career at American Express, Anré has served as a role model and advocate for diversity and inclusion. He founded and leads the Executive Black Employee Network, a group which comprises the most senior Black executives globally. He hosts a semi-annual conference for this group focused on sponsorship, career development and networking. He regularly speaks at internal events and forums, and serves as a sponsor and mentor to many ethnic minority colleagues. Anré has a passion and track record of funding and participating in programs targeted towards under-privileged students in education. Externally, for five years, Anré served as Chairman of the Board of Junior Achievement of New York, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating young people about financial literacy, workforce readiness and entrepreneurship. He regularly speaks at business events and conferences reaching young ethnic minority people, sharing his experiences and advice on leadership and career development. He is an active member of the Executive Leadership Council, and has presented at Management Leadership for Tomorrow, a non-profit organization that provides training, coaching and networks for minorities; the Young Presidents Organization Pacific Edge Conference; and the Columbia University Black Business Student Conference. He was included in Savoy Magazine’s 2018 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America and in 2017, Black Enterprise Magazine’s 300 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.

Usha Prashar


For the first 14 years of her career, Usha was directly involved in combatting discrimination, promoting diversity and equality of opportunity as a Conciliation Officer with the former Race Relations Board and then as the Chief Executive of the Runnymede Trust. In all the jobs she has done promotion of equality of opportunity and inclusiveness have been an integral part and these active efforts have continued throughout her career.  Currently as a non- executive director of Nationwide she has taken lead responsibility in diversity and inclusion. As Deputy Chair of British Council she had ensured that diversity is high on the agenda. Through a variety of voluntary activities, Usha has promoted inclusiveness. She has taken an active role in promoting legislation to combat discrimination and promote equality. She has undertaken extensive speaking engagements to promote better understanding of what steps need to be taken to make workplaces more inclusive and tackle systemic inequalities. She also mentors and her advice is often sought on ‘inclusive workplace practices’. Usha was awarded CBE in 1994 and a peerage in 1999. 

Sanjay Bhandari


Sanjay’s main focus is on practical interventions to accelerate progress of ethnic minorities at EY. He is the Partner Sponsor for ethnic minorities within the overall UK&I D&I strategy. He also sponsors the Future Leaders Programme (a leadership programme for ethnic minority future leaders), CareerWatch and mentoring programmes aimed at accelerating development and obtaining senior leader participation in programmes. He is helping to educate the leadership team on ethnic minority issues, to mitigate any potential unconscious cultural bias in all areas of the business. He is a visible role model for ethnic minorities, and actively mentors a number of diverse individuals within EY and through cross-company mentoring schemes. Externally, Sanjay sits on the Parker Committee, aiming to increase ethnic diversity on UK Boards, and the Premier League’s Independent Panel on Equality Standards. He is a judge and supporter of the Asian Acheiver Awards, Black British Business Awards, and Black PowerList. Sanjay is a regular speaker on the importance of ethnic diversity, and has highlighted additional issues affecting ethnic minority communities by creating an open dialogue around the topics of addiction and mental health in diverse groups.

Aleida Rios

Head of Upstream Engineering

Aleida makes it a priority to be visible and accessible to mentor and coach young ethnic minority talent, and is the executive sponsor for BP Energia, the business resource group, which supports Latino ethnic talent in addressing the challenges around career development and inclusion of Latinos. Within the business she is a strong supporter of diversity in the supplier base and serves on BP’s Council for Supplier Diversity. Aleida also partners with BP to promote diversity and inclusion in external fronts, specifically promoting STEM careers to young women and ethnic minorities. She serves on the Texas A&M Chemical Engineering College Advisory Board, and is an executive sponsor for the Million Women Mentors program, a movement working to mobilise 1 million mentors. For the last three years she has hosted and served as keynote speaker at the BP Offshore Technology Conference. She is the sponsor for BP’s participation in the local Houston Hispanic Career and Education Day and is joining BP’s efforts to promote the Year of Engineering 2018 through a yearlong UK campaign. Aleida has received numerous awards, including being named as the 10th most powerful Latina by The Association of Latino Professionals for America and Fortune magazine.

Michael Sneed

Worldwide Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs & Chief Communications Officer
Johnson & Johnson

Michael is the Executive Sponsor of the Employee Resource Group focused on Middle Eastern and North African employees. Additionally, he serves as Chairman of the Lupus Campaign. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects primarily women of African and Hispanic origin. Through their work, Johnson & Johnson have raised awareness of the disease among their employees, which has resulted in new therapies currently in development. Externally, Michael currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Unidos, the largest Hispanic advocacy organisation in the United States. He also sits on the national board of the Ad Council, which develops communication campaigns aimed at tackling the nation’s largest social issues including bullying, housing and workplace discrimination. Additionally, he is on the Board of Trustees of The First Tee organisation, a community-based network focused on developing social and behavioural skills for young ethnic minority people. Most recently, he set up a scholarship providing funding to multicultural students pursuing their education at Macalester College in the United States. In 2017, Michael was the recipient of the Corporate Leadership award from the National Medical Fellowship Organization. Also, for the last two years he was named on PR Week’s Top Communicators in the United States.

Tunji Akintokun

Vice President
NSC Global

Tunji has been involved in a number of key initiatives to progress ethnic minority employees in the workplace, from being co-founder of the black employee resource group at his previous organisation Cisco, to chairing the organisation for over 3 years. He was active in helping Cisco achieve the National Equality Standard, and was a member of the influential organisation The Network of Networks (TNON), sitting on the Executive committee. He continues to mentor and provide counsel for many ethnic minority professionals both internally and externally to his current organisation, NSC Global. Tunji is active and involved in a number of initiatives outside of the workplace. As a regular speaker internationally on diversity, he has spoken on several panels for companies such as Channel 4 and Lloyds Banking Group. He has founded two social enterprises which aim to inspire, excite and engage diverse talent in pursuing careers in STEM across Africa, USA and UK. Through his own charitable trust, The Ilesha Charitable Trust, he provides bursaries, funding and support for many ethnic minority organisations and individuals. Tunji was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honours List for services to young people from ethnic minorities in Science & Technology.

Nneka Abulokwe

MicroMax Consulting

As the first and only black senior executive in Sopra Steria, a leading European digital transformation firm, Nneka used her platform to inspire and motivate ethnic minority people across the organisation and farther afield. She maintained an open-door policy for all, happy to share her own experiences with dynamic young people from all ethnic backgrounds. She has represented Sopra Steria at parliamentary roundtables on women in tech and diversity. She was also the UK Executive Sponsor for diversity and leadership initiatives. Presenting at all staff strategy UK Roadshows in support of inclusion and diversity in the workplace, she mentored a diverse mix of ethnic minority employees. Externally, Nneka serves on several boards including being the first black female Chair of the Board Nominations Committee for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), responsible for guiding the successful 2018/19 nominations and recruitment of a diverse board and board apprentice programme. Currently, as Founder of MicroMax Consulting, Nneka is a regular motivational speaker, often addressing groups of ethnic minority young people to encourage them to reach their full potential. She also takes on external mentoring relationships with young people entering the workforce.

Ron Kalifa

Executive Director
Worldpay Group

Ron launched the ethnic minority network in 2017, which has already delivered on its objective of making Worldpay a more welcoming and inclusive place. He has directly participated in reverse mentoring opportunities with individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and sponsors a wide variety of inclusivity events held by Worldpay, including local town halls, internal colleague-led gatherings and induction days welcoming new starters. Externally, Ron regularly speaks at events aimed at encouraging diversity and inclusivity in the workplace, including the All Party Parliamentary Group looking at cross-faith diversity. For three consecutive years, he has spoken at the House of Lords, on the important role the business community has in driving the ethnic minority agenda in the UK workplace. He is an active supporter of the British Asian Trust and a mentor to a number of people from ethnic minority backgrounds, providing advice and support. He was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year 2018 Honours List, and was recognised later by the Zoroastrian community of Europe. He is often sought out as a judge, and expert voice in UK national print and broadcast media, including the Financial Times, The Sunday Times, Sky and CNBC.

Sophie Chandauka

Global COO - Shared Services & Banking operations
Morgan Stanley

Sophie was appointed Co-chair of the African and Caribbean Business Alliance (ACBA) in London in 2017. Through this, she has led a variety of initiatives to diversify hiring and engagement at all levels in Morgan Stanley. She is currently driving the evolution of ACBA from affinity network to career advancement platform, with a 23 strong ally base across the firm. Membership of the ACBA has increased 65% under her leadership, and she has introduced three BAME talent development experts to provide executive coaching and talent development programs. Externally, Sophie mentors five BAME future leaders, is a member of the Advisory Panel of The Network of Networks (TNON) BAME/Multicultural Chapter, and sits on the Global Expansion Committee of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC). She is co-founder of the Black British Business Awards, which last year published an acclaimed piece of research: The Middle Research Report, and continues to support British business in increasing ethnic diversity. Sophie is an Honorary Fellow of University College London, and has been featured on a large number of lists for her diversity work, including the Female FTSE Board Report – 100 Women to Watch and BAME 100 Board Talent Index.

Leena Nair

Chief HR Officer

In her role at Unilever, ensuring true diversity and inclusion is key. In North America, her department have undertaken a variety of workshops, training and conferences, all aimed at understanding and improving the experience of ethnic minorities in the workplace. This is a template which is now being rolled out across the company globally. Externally, Leena has been actively involved in the youth employability space for a number of years. She led a collaboration between Unilever and the National Skills Development Corporation of India, with the objective of training 1 Million youth in employable skills by 2020. She also has a personal mission to reach 1 Million young women with a message of inspiration and hope. At over 300 speaking occasions, mostly in Asian communities, Leena has shared the story of her rise from humble middle class origins. She sees the tremendous feedback received as testament to the impact of role modelling on young Asian women. She is also a steering committee leader for the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Education, Gender, Work & Skills committees. She has been recognised numerous times by the FT, HR Magazine, Business Today, and UK First Women, for her diversity and inclusion efforts.

Naren Patel


At Primesight, Naren ensures that diversity and inclusion is at the forefront of his team’s minds. He regularly monitors the ethnic make-up and recruitment of his workforce to ensure that they truly reflect the society they work in. He also serves as Chair of the Primesight Diversity Group, to ensure that diversity initiatives have the support from the top of the organisation and has implemented a mentoring system to provide career advice to their ethnic minority employees. Naren has also recently put the company through a benchmarking process, to understand where they sit among competitors and how they can improve their inclusion efforts. Primesight has been nominated for a variety of industry awards, and Naren is featured on the Campaign A list. Externally, Naren is a Trustee for NABS (National Advertising Benevolent Society) and sits on their Finance Committee. He also recently set up Media for All, and  is part of the Media Diversity Task Force, and is an advisor to Creative Access. He regularly speaks at industry events on the topic of diversity in the media, and has been involved in Speakers for Schools. Through all of these activities, Naren forms mentoring relationships to pass on his advice and passion for diversity to the next generation.

Funke Abimbola MBE

General Counsel & Head of Financial Compliance

Funke is the most senior black lawyer in pharma, and the only such leader in Roche globally. She is a multi-award-winning, global Roche race diversity champion, and mentors a number of ethnic minority colleagues. She is committed to eliminating race career barriers across 100K staff globally, and regularly presents internally on the importance of D&I. Her support of Roche’s diversity initiatives includes sponsorship of their work experience scheme, internship scheme, legal hackathon and university bursary scheme, positively changing trajectories of 100s of BAME students. Externally Funke holds several voluntary diversity roles. These include patronage at University College London, and leadership roles with the InterLaw Diversity Forum, the Precious Awards and Power Up. She has a true grassroots approach to removing barriers, providing free inspirational talks and mentoring to over 2,000 schoolchildren and 100s of university students. She is a regular contributor to BBC News, and the wider media community, on the importance of ethnic minority inclusion, and is a member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on inclusive leadership. Funke has also been honoured with several prestigious awards, including receiving an MBE in 2017 for services to diversity and young people.

Sandra Federighi

CFO & Business Services Director
Stella McCartney

As Global Chief Financial Officer, Sandra’s responsibilities have been growing to include Retail Intelligence & Operations. She is a very diversity conscious leader, and always tries to make the work environment more welcoming and mindful of different cultures and needs. She has a very international team, and as such is acutely aware of her responsibility to create natural paths to success for ethnic minority employees. Externally, Sandra won a Black British Award in the Consumer and Luxury category, and has begun setting up a foundation to support young ethnic minority talent to enter, develop and grow in the fashion industry. This project is in addition to her work mentoring your people who are looking for career advice. She has also been collaborating with the Istituto Marangoni and has recently entered the Involve mentoring programme as a mentor. Sandra regularly speak on panels, sharing her mentoring experiences and helping to empower young, ethnic minority women.

Suzan Kereere

Head of Europe Merchant Sales & Solutions

Suzan is a passionate leader at Visa, sponsoring a range of internal programs on recruiting and employee engagement designed to support the needs of the business and engage employees. As a powerful driver of inclusion, Suzan mandates that interview slates for every open position on her team include diverse talent. She has a demonstrable record of accomplishment in educating her peers on the importance of their role in creating an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued and accepted. Suzan regularly participates, as an executive sponsor, in Visa’s Employee Resource Groups and is co-anchor of ViBE (Visa Inc Black Employees). She works to build awareness, and mentors both internally and externally. Through a partnership with Columbia Business School, Suzan hosted a joint event in Visa’s Innovation Center to open access to Visa for that year’s group of MBA students. In addition to her work responsibilities, Suzan has been a Board Member in organisations such as The Zawadi Africa Education Fund; Executive Leadership Council. She is also regularly invited to be a panel speaker on the topic of ethnic minority inclusion, and has earned a President’s Award for her work with the Red Cross in New York.

Jagdeep Rai

Director, Head of Corporate Banking, Heathrow & SW London
Barclays Bank

Jagdeep set up and led the first Barclays regional diversity council in the South East focusing on 3 core areas of ethnicity, gender and LGBT. She is the co-exec sponsor of the Barclays Embrace Network in UK, and has driven and led on a wide variety of projects to further the ethnic minority agenda in Barclays. She mentors, sponsors and coaches a number of ethnic minority employees across the business, and externally, to support their development and career progression. Outside of Barclays, Jagdeep regularly delivers keynote speeches and interactive sessions at conferences, events, and in schools and universities that have a high ethnic minority concentration. In addition, she regularly supports local schools with high ethnic minority concentration with 6th form mock interviews. In 2017, among many accolades, Jagdeep was awarded Woman of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards. She has also been a finalist in the British Indian Awards and Barclays Global Diversity Awards.

Rupal Karia

Head of UK & Ireland - Public and Private Sector
Fujitsu Services Ltd

As the Cultural Diversity Network’s (CDN) Executive Sponsor, Rupal creates and shapes strategy to make Fujitsu a place where everyone from all ethnic backgrounds want to work and succeed. He has helped create an ethnic minority mentoring scheme to support Fujitsu’s employees. He sponsored and spoke at a CDN panel event bringing together people from all ethnicities to discuss ethnic and cultural diversity, and ensures every recruitment panel is diverse to limit the effects of unconscious bias decisions. Externally, Rupal is first and foremost a role model to his 11 old son, demonstrating that a British born Indian can succeed in business. He mentors other ethnic minority people in and outside of work to ensure they have the support to achieve their potential in the workplace. Additionally, Rupal is a regular speaker, and is active on social media, often promoting research and articles which highlight the inequalities which exist in society and business for ethnic minorities, ensuring that the topic remains in the spotlight.

Piers Linney

British Business Bank

Piers is personally involved in a number of businesses as an investor, shareholder, director or adviser, and diversity and inclusion from the board down is important. Until 2017 he was a director of a listed company with Sir Ken Olisa also on the board, which is rare representation on the board of a UK PLC. He regularly leverages his public profile to bring about change by raising awareness and inspiring ethnic minority people to aspire. This has included being visible as an Investor on prime-time TV shows such as Dragons’ Den or as a Non Executive Director of the government-owned British Business Bank. He has also been recognised on the Power List 100 and was the winner of the inaugural Black British Business Awards as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. Additionally, Piers is a founding trustee of The Aleto Foundation, which hosts multi-day Leadership Programmes (or ‘boot camps’) structured to provide delegates with a life-changing confidence boost which will enable them to deal as equals with their student peers. He is also a regular public speaker for corporates and in schools, colleges, and even prisons, instilling confidence and opening minds to empower ethnic minorities.

Chika Aghadiuno

Group Risk Strategy & Analysis Director

Chika seeks to be a visible and accessible presence in the organisation, expanding on her role as co-chair of the Aviva London Women’s Network. She blogs to raise awareness and interest among Aviva’s ethnic minority community and allies, and has supported the process of establishing an ethnic minority network at Aviva. She has represented Aviva at parliamentary roundtables on the topic of race and is a Group Executive nominee on the Aviva Global Inclusion Council. Chika has sought to connect Aviva with her activities outside the workplace, such as working with the Amos Bursary, and smaller social enterprises including Beyond the Classroom and Brilliant Aspirations. This has provided these young people with exposure to a range of careers and senior leaders, and also internships within Aviva. External to her role, Chika is a mentor for the Amos Bursary and chair of the Diversity Advisory Group for the UK actuarial professional body. She has written a number of articles and participated in panels on diversity for the profession and has been exploring the establishment of a UK African Actuarial network.

Shirine Khoury-Haq


Shirine is the sponsor for Lloyd’s Cultural Awareness Network (CAN) which promotes awareness of different cultures within Lloyd’s, and provides an open and supportive environment for anyone interested in related topics. Over the past year CAN has held a number of events to encourage discussion and open up a dialogue across a range of areas related to ethnic minorities. She is also Chair of the EMpower Executive Steering Group. Over the past two years her team has partnered with the Clara Grant Primary School – an ethnically diverse school in Tower Hamlets, of which she is a Board member – to provide guided reading, maths challenges, technology skills and data capability development for both children and teachers. Externally to Lloyd’s, Shirine mentors and sponsors a number of young ethnic minority people, helping to provide them with work experience, skills training and jobs in financial services. Additionally, Shirine was included in the CIO 100 and the BAME Board Talent Index 100, as well as being a finalist for CIO of the Year at the Women in IT Awards.

Elaine Rogers

Senior Vice President, UK SMF for CASS and Global Head of Control for Operations
The Northern Trust Company

Elaine puts a huge focus on both informal and formal mentoring of emerging female and ethnic minority talent within Northern Trust and across the wider financial services industry. She provides guidance and coaching on areas such as authenticity, career progression, effective networking and how to successfully navigate corporate culture and politics. She is heavily involved in the Diversity and Inclusion activities within Northern Trust, including as Chair of the Northern Trust EMEA Diversity and Inclusion Council, and as a senior sponsor of various Business Resource Councils (BRCs), including the Asian Leadership BRC. Her involvement includes being speaker or presenter at events, which market and champion ethnic minority activities and initiatives. For instance, she is a sponsor for the ethnic minority talent development programme, and a mentor to future leaders and rising talent of Northern Trust. Additionally she is a regular panellist, internally and externally, for a number of speaker sessions involving mental health issues and Asian women, and uses these platforms to share experiences, and the impact of personal culture on her own career.

Sarah Lee

Slaughter and May

Sarah currently leads on enhancing ethnic minority recruitment and retention practices, and is the partner champion and sponsor for the ethnic minority network (DIVERSE) within the firm. She is on the Recruitment Strategy Committee and works with RARE, a specialised graduate recruitment agency that finds the most talented ethnic minority students. She is a highly visible role model for all lawyers and employees at Slaughter and May, and is an active mentor, both formally and informally for ethnic minority lawyers within the firm. She has undertaken many speaking engagements to profile ethnic minority leadership as a lawyer, including speaking at secondary schools and university careers events with significant populations of ethnic minority students. Within the wider legal community, she set up the diversity partners forum and has sat on various panels discussing the attraction, recruitment and retention of ethnic minority lawyers. She is ranked as a leader in Chambers UK and The Legal 500 and has recently been appointed as a Commissioner of the Judicial Appointments Commission, an independent statutory body with responsibility for selecting judges for the Courts and Tribunals of England and Wales, with an express remit to encourage diversity in candidates available for judicial selection.

Suresh Raj

Managing Director, Global Business Development
Zeno Group

As an openly gay and ethnic minority senior executive, Suresh continues to champion the diversity agenda, picking up from his previous efforts whilst he was Worldwide Chief Business Development Officer at Ogilvy Group. He is an Executive Sponsor of a number of Professional Networks which focus on personal and professional development of LGBT+, Black, Asian and Latin communities. He is an official professional mentor through INvolve, and is a personal mentor to a number of ethnic minority individuals across the USA, UK, UAE, and Asia. Externally, Suresh sits on a number of advisory boards and continues to speak on a professional and personal level on the impact of ethnic minority inclusivity on business to drive positive business change and growth. He was a contributor on the global anthropological study on Leading Humans – discussing the greatest aspects of leadership from an ethnic minority point of view, and was featured in the Huffington Post where he discussed the positive impact of living inclusive and open lives to aid societal and business progress. He is currently supporting a Human Research study on minorities’ impact in digital communications by the University of Houston.

Renee LaRoche-Morris

Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of BNY Mellon Investment Management
BNY Mellon

Renee has been a leader and advocate for BNY Mellon’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy since joining in 2003. As part of her commitment, she has been an active participant in BNY Mellon’s Multi-cultural Employee Resource Group (IMPACT) for over 10 years, has been co-chair of IMPACT’s African American Leadership Forum for three years and has recently been named the co-chair of IMPACT for the Company. She actively leads and participates in numerous events each year, and engages one-on-one with individuals or small groups to understand their concerns, provide guidance and be a mentor. Most recently, she was the National Society of Black Engineers Conference keynote speaker for a Diverse by Design event. Alongside her advocacy in and out of the workplace, Renee received the Network Journal Top 25 Black Women in Business Award, was selected as one of Private Asset Management’s “50 Most Influential Women in Private Wealth” and is on the Board of Dress for Success Worldwide.

Albertha Charles


Albertha played a key role in the PwC Colour Brave campaign, presenting at the launch event and promoting the campaign in and out of PwC . Also, as part of PwC’s Talent & Diversity council, a key focus for her has been helping to get greater ethnic minority representation on career defining opportunities. As part of this, she sponsored PwC’s most extensive national ethnic minority focus group campaign. She is also working with her local business unit to implement the strategies agreed by the Talent & Diversity Council. As a sponsoring partner for the multicultural business network, Albertha frequently shares her personal story through lunch time sessions, and offers coaching sessions. She was the host Partner for the PwC annual graduate mentoring scheme, and continues to mentor a large number of ethnic minority staff across PwC. Externally, she works with various diversity organisations and charities, doing panels and presentations to the ethnic minority community. Albertha was awarded ‘Financial Services Leader of the Year’ by the BBBA, was a focus group participant for their ‘The Middle’ research and part of the consultation team for the BBBA’s follow up Talent Accelerator program in response to the research.

Andrew Pearce

Managing Director

Globally Andrew is one of Accenture’s cross-cultural leads, tasked with educating and setting best practice examples for working across cultures and ethnicities. With most Accenture Operations colleagues based in India, this is an important role, ensuring that cross-cultural business relationships are based on mutual respect and understanding. He has been the executive sponsor for Accenture’s African-Caribbean Network for the last four years, representing the interests of its 360 employee members at UK Board Level, and working with global leadership on the broader I&D agenda. He is accountable for all annual network events, including a series of prominent Black History Month events, and oversees several ethnic minority recruitment, development, progression and retention activities. Under his leadership, they also won Network of the Year for their internal inclusion efforts. Externally, Andrew mentors three ethnic minority individuals from various industries, providing them with career guidance and helping to maximise their potential. He is a founder member of the UK Executive Leadership Council, and has recently been asked to become the UK Chair and co-lead of the global expansion committee.

Jacqueline Simmons

Executive Editor
Bloomberg News

Jacqueline is actively involved in recruiting and promoting diverse minority ethnic talent both within and outside the News group. Specifically, she is a member of Bloomberg’s EMEA Diversity Council, promoting and supporting events, leveraging networks and actively participating in and leading diversity initiatives. She was instrumental in Bloomberg’s Race to Action Inclusion Dialogue, which engaged leaders across the organisation, to start an honest dialogue on race and drive the agenda on ethnicity forward. Additionally, she is a global lead for the company’s Black Professional Community, which has a membership exceeding 700 globally, and oversees Bloomberg News’s managing diversity team. Externally, Jacqueline has given her voice to race and diversity issues at high-level events, including the World Economic Forum in Davos, the Women’s Forum in Deauville, and as a speaker at the Women of the World Festival in the U.K. She is also shaping the agenda of Bloomberg’s first Equality Summit in New York, where she will lead discussions around issues involving female and racial empowerment across business lines and society. This year she has appeared on the Powerlist, and currently serves on the jury panel for this year’s One World Media Awards.

Dr Miranda Brawn

Director of Legal and Transaction Management

Miranda works with the CEO, board and other senior management to increase the number of diverse employees, especially from ethnic minority backgrounds. These relationships saw the launch of a diversity week and mentoring programmes. She also launched the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation to help drive race diversity change in the workplace. Within the first year, Miranda and her Foundation’s ethnic minority diversity work won a Point of Light award from the UK Prime Minister Theresa May, as well as personal praise by HRH Prince of Wales, UK mayors and global leaders. Due to the lack of progress around race diversity, the Foundation was initially launched late 2015 to help ethnic minority future leaders through scholarships, mentoring, work experience and her UK history making diversity lectures. Miranda is an ambassador and adviser to a wide variety of groups aiming to increase ethnic minority representation, and she has often spoken in the media around race equality and representation, including platforms such as BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain and Sky News. Miranda has been awarded a Global Goodwill Ambassador title, and an honorary doctorate at the University of Brighton, for her international diversity work.

Dawood Gustav

Leader & Imagination Officer
Reluctantly Brave

Dawood built Reluctantly Brave to improve access for ethnic minorities, and other underrepresented groups, to the creative industries. This is at the core of Reluctantly Brave’s competitive advantage – being creative requires diverse thinkers. In this past year, he has led on the creation of a new corporate purpose, highlighting diversity and putting it at the forefront of everything they do. He also established alternative recruitment processes to avoid the industry’s ingrained biases against ethnic minority people. He and his team continue to coach and mentor young ethnic minority people, from those considering their educational choices to those already employed. Externally, Dawood is a Commissioner on the London Borough of Islington’s Fair Futures Commission, where he has a strong focus on improving the lives and opportunities of young ethnic minority people. He regularly takes on numerous speaking engagements to inspire young ethnic minority people, and more generally share learning on inclusion best practice. Additionally, Dawood’s youth programme within Reluctantly Brave saw him win a National Diversity Award, recognising his innovation in community inclusion efforts.

Kalpana Shah

RiverStone Managing Agency

Kalpana is a financial services Non-Executive Director sitting on the boards of RiverStone and Asta, and a highly visible member of the 30% Club. She is a Fellow of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries and is currently a committee member of both their Non-Executive Directors MIG and Non-Executive Directors guidance working party. She is also a senior Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Insurers and sits on their independent Non-Executive Directors committee. Kalpana is a regular speaker at a number of events for the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries and London Market Association. She also speaks at schools and colleges supporting the Inspiring The Future campaign, focusing on the importance of advancing ethnic minority talent. Additionally, she has been a mentor and role model to ethnic minority colleagues throughout her career, recently being part of the Slaughter and May mentoring programme.  Kalpana was a member of the working group for the inaugural Dive In Festival at Lloyds, and a founder member of the Diversity and Inclusion steering committee at Hiscox.

Mamadou-Abou Sarr

Senior Vice President, Director of Product Development and Sustainable Investing
Northern Trust Company

As a senior executive, Mamadou-Abou received the Chairman’s Recognition Award for his leadership of the EMEA Diversity Council. As a member of the Diversity Council, he was involved in developing a training program to address unconscious biases. Additionally, he is an active member of the Black Resources Council, and mentors a group of ethnic minority investment professionals. Having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to over fifty around the world, Mamadou-Abou has been involved in numerous external, international projects and civic engagement activities in various cultures. He and his wife have created a foundation focusing on preserving Africa’s cultural and natural heritage as well as addressing social justice in urban cities around the world often faced by ethnic minority people. He is passionate about creating equal opportunities for minorities to enter the financial industry and he is devoting time to coaching and mentoring young professionals. This year, Mamadou-Abou was named one of 2018 Class’s “100 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) under 40”. He was also named a “Top 40 under 40” by Crain’s Chicago Business, and featured in the Financial News “Top 40 Under 40 Rising Stars in Asset Management” in Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Paris Petgrave

We Love Work

Across her entire career in recruitment and HR, Paris has designed and delivered a series of initiatives to support diversity in the work place. Most recently, she founded We Love Work – an HR Technology start-up which predicts culture fit and values alignment between individuals and teams without bias. She has also been commissioned by London councils, The Princes Trust and The European social fund to run diversity initiatives to help ethnic minority candidates access employment. She is now taking her experience and expertise into the tech sector and venture capital world, to continue to help companies globally build diverse teams and inclusive working cultures. Externally she has been involved in a number of different projects to inspire entrepreneurs from the ethnic minority community. Paris is a regular mentor to ethnic minority start-ups, and is an experienced public speaker with experience speaking at a number of high profile events including The London Business show and Campus Party EU. She is regularly recognised for her diversity and inclusion efforts, most recently as a Lotus Award Winner, Powerlist Rising Star, and Black Women in Business honouree

Nazreen Visram

Head of Citizenship, Corporate Banking
Barclays Bank

As co-chair of the multicultural Embrace Network, Nazreen has supported the establishment of both the Asian and Black Professionals’ forums, and led on key events such as World Cultural Day. The network supports employees by running events, training programmes, showcasing role models, collaborating with other networks to demonstrate the importance of intersectionality and celebrating cultural diversity, therefore contributing to a more inclusive workplace. She participated in the Embracing Us campaign, and took part in the Black History Month video, which was showcased globally. She launched the South Asian Proposition, providing cultural awareness training to colleagues and launching a widely attended Diwali Dinner. As well as being a HeforShe champion, Nazreen mentors junior ethnic minority colleagues and regularly runs employability skills workshops at local schools. Externally, Nazreen is a Board Member for the Ismaili Muslim Council UK, has  started a work experience programme for ethnic minority students, and was a finalist for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards in 2017.

Patrick Vatel

Head of Credit Management for Investment Services
BNY Mellon

Patrick is a fully engaged senior leader, ensuring his teams and programmes reflect a real focus on development, transparency, diversity and inclusion. He has led strategic programmes that are driving progress in BNY Mellon’s talent strategy for ethnic minority employees. He serves on the Executive Leadership Team of IMPACT, BNY Mellon’s multicultural business resource group and helped to co-found the group back in 2005. He is fully committed to driving talent opportunity within BNY Mellon and ensures that opportunities are tailored for diverse employees. Activities have included devising and leading the IMPACT Mentoring Program and the BNY Mellon Signature Leadership Forum (SLF), which is now global and has a critical role in furthering ethnic minority diversity and inclusion. Externally, Patrick is a member of the Board of Directors of United Neighborhood Houses of New York, and serves as chairman of the Investment Committee of the New York City Mission Society. He is a mentor to numerous financial services leaders from ethnic minority backgrounds, both on a formal and informal basis. He has been honoured by a variety of institutions for his work in ethnic minority inclusion, including being named by Harlem YMCA as a ‘Black Achiever in Industry’.

Anit Chandarana

Finance Director - Infrastructure Projects
Network Rail

Anit is executive sponsor for the ethnic minority network, and mentors the network Chair. The aim is to have a really clear vision for what they are trying to achieve and to make sure that the activities they carry out are aligned with the vision. He also uses the role to represent the company at external events, discussing how their network approaches the issues faced by ethnic minority employees. He has also been nominated for internal awards, recognising his inclusive leadership styel and diversity activities. Externally, he has used his place on last year’s EMpower list as a platform to speak on ethnic minority diversity and inclusion in the workplace. He has been invited to speak at various events on how to overcome discrimination in the workplace, and what organisations can do to make their workplace more inclusive to ethnic minorities.

Bridget Lea

Director of Retail, Online and Omni-Channel
Telefónica O2

Bridget has continuously advocated and encouraged diversity throughout the business, championing a number of related programs. She runs face to face sessions for ethnic minority employees, allowing her to meet with and understand the increasingly diverse workforce at O2. These sessions are being used to tackle key issues hindering progression, setting up mentor and sponsor schemes for ethnic minority individuals within the store community, and awareness campaigns amongst the stores population to improve visibility of areas of concern. Bridget has championed the roll out of unconscious bias training and presented BAME issues to the board. Bridget runs a program for women who have overcome diversity and many of these women are from the BAME community. For many years, Bridget has also mentored external ethnic minority individuals in the industry, as well as being a mentor on the Retail week ‘Be Inspired’ campaign. She has received numerous internal and external awards, as well as attending and speaking at many external events and sitting on a number of industry panels.

Nathaniel Peat

Chief Executive Officer
Gennex Elite

Nathaniel has created several opportunities for women and young people of African and Caribbean origin to engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through GeNNex he has focused on training and developing ethnic minority technicians, who learn how to assemble, maintain, repair, install and sell solar devices and systems for homes and commercial property, helping elevation from poverty especially in Rural Africa and within Urban slums. Nathaniel is a Patron and former co-founding board member at the EY Foundation, which works directly with disadvantaged young people, employers and social entrepreneurs to create and support pathways to education, employment or enterprise. He has also contributed to research around the disproportionate incarceration of ethnic minority young people through his not-for-profit The Safety Box. Additionally, he is the Chairman of Jamaicans Inspired and in 2017 was entered into the UK Black Power List of Britain’s Most Influential Black People of Caribbean and African Decent, and Green Park’s BAME 100 Top Board Index List. Nathaniel was honoured in June 2015 by Kings House where he received the Governor General Award for Excellence from Sir Patrick Allen.

Tom Shropshire

Partner, Global Head of US Practice
Linklaters LLP

Tom is a member of the Executive Committee at Linklaters. In May of 2017, he took over the role of U.S. Global Practice Head, and has made diversity and inclusion an equivalent strategic plank with revenue growth, margin enhancement and clients. He introduced 1 on 1 D&I coaching for U.S. Partners and re-launched the affinity groups, including the Diversity Committee, the Black Lawyer/Business Team Network, the Asian Society, the Latin-American Society and the Women’s Network. He attends meetings for the affinity groups at least quarterly to show senior support, and encourage broader participation. In London, he was an early supporter of the reverse-mentoring scheme launched this year with ethnic minority lawyers and senior management, and also has been the sponsor of the ethnic minority affinity group within Linklaters UK business. Externally, Tom was a member of the steering committee for the Parker Review on ethnicity in the boardroom, and will continue to work with a range of stakeholders, including the UK government, on related issues. Since 2012, Tom has been recognised as one of the 100 most influential Black people in the UK by the Black Power List. Tom is also a trustee of Prostate Cancer UK and Comic Relief.

Habib Motani

Clifford Chance

Habib was one of the first ethnic minority partners at a magic circle law firm, and has always seen it as important for young lawyers in the Firm to be able to look to him as a role model. He is on the steering committee of the Clifford Chance BAME Network, of which he is a Partner Champion. He uses his role to promote ethnic minority initiatives of the network and of the Firm, particularly by promoting and supporting the younger employees who lead the network. He is also the Partner Champion for Clifford Chance’s support for London Black Women’s Project, and liaison between Clifford Chance’s Muslim Network and the Canary Wharf Chaplaincy Multifaith Steering Committee. He has served on the Committee of the Society of Asian Lawyers, and has held a number of senior positions within the Ismaili Muslim community, such as chair of the International Conciliation and Arbitration Board. Habib is a member of the Canary Wharf Chaplaincy Multifaith Steering Group, a trustee of Bow Arts Trust, and actively supports the work of Patchwork Foundation.

Kai Exos

Co-CEO and CCO

As a brand leader and seniormost creative talent within Dentsu Aegis Network Canada, with a longstanding seat on the Isobar Global Creative Council, Kai has introduced Inclusivity Training within his 100-strong team of innovators and creators. This Summer 2018, a three-year integration that Kai co-chaired for 650 of his network teammates will culminate — focused on the power of craft and diversity to achieve positive collective results. Kai is a lifetime member of the NAACP and serves on the board of directors for @Unity_In_Color, a global movement in solidarity for Women’s Rights. Monthly initiatives for his internal project, The Intersectionality Forum, continue to take place at their Toronto headquarters to highlight shared values and encourage representation. In addition to his philanthropic endeavours, Kai’s activism extends further as a Billboard-charting musician alongside his private collection of fine art from the African diaspora.


Payal Vasudeva

Human Capital & Diversity Managing Director

Payal sits on the Accenture UKI Board with singular accountability for Inclusion & Diversity, and leads the Talent & Organisation UKI practice. She is an active sponsor of the South Asian Network, and a mentor to the African-Caribbean Network Leadership team. She is an Executive Sponsor for Accenture’s African-Caribbean ‘Accelerate’, which sees ethnic minority employees attend a range of learning, community and networking events annually. She mentors ethnic minority CEOs as part of the Accenture Diverse Supplier Development Program, and sponsored an initiative where Accenture hosted 60 undergraduates for a two-day mentoring programme with The PowerList Foundation. Externally, Payal is a Trustee on the Board of East London Business Alliance, and she is part of the Business in The Community Gender Equality Leadership Team, with a focus on ethnic minority women. She has personally founded a scholarship program in Mumbai for under-privileged girls, and is co-founding a ‘not for profit’ to help youth from disadvantaged backgrounds build life and leadership skills. Payal also speaks regularly at external forums and in the media, and has been recognised as a ‘Top 10 Global Diversity Champion’ by Global Diversity List, as well as in other prominent ethnic minority and gender rankings.

Madhavi Reddy

MD and Head of UKI Presales

Madhavi is an immigrant working mother, a rare woman in STEM leadership, who has lived and worked in India, Singapore and Europe. She is currently the Executive Sponsor for Schools Engagement and chairs Fujitsu’s UKI Cultural Diversity Network (CDN), developing and implementing the vision for ethnic minority recruitment and progression. Her CDN team works with the D&I team and Executives to increase awareness, build more inclusive culture, and celebrate role models. She has run multiple panels to encourage open conversations and next steps. She regularly represents Fujitsu at external events and at panel discussions organised by BITC, Investing in Ethnicity, GAIL, BBBA and others to progress the conversation on Race. Madhavi is growing her voice on social media and uses her Linkedin Profile to raise awareness on diversity, having authored articles on diversity and reverse mentoring which have been widely shared.

Sarah Nelson

Group Financial Controller

Sarah is the Group Financial Controller and chair of the BAME network at Sainsbury’s.  As a longstanding member of the Race Steering Group, Sarah has actively influenced Sainsbury’s diversity and inclusion agenda and is committed to help Sainsbury’s achieve its vision of being the most inclusive retailer where all colleagues can fulfil their potential. In 2017 Sarah founded Sainsbury’s first ever BAME network, leading a number of networking events and initiatives for employees across the business. Through this, almost 400 colleagues were reached through organised events and the network’s social platform.  Sarah is passionate about ensuring all individuals feel included within the organisation and that they can reach their full potential and as such, mentors a number of BAME colleagues. Outside of Sainsbury’s, Sarah continues to mentor and coach individuals from her BAME mentoring circles and speaks at external events to provide guidance and share her experiences and insights.

Ajay Khindria

Strategic Sales Leader, Europe

As Executive Sponsor of the BAME Diversity Group and a Member of the UKI Diversity Council for 7 years, Ajay’s mission has been to raise awareness of the challenges facing ethnic minority employees, and to drive initiatives to attract, develop and retain ethnic minority individuals within IBM. The strategy has been ‘top down’ ensuring the IBM UKI Board understands the importance of attracting ethnic minority employees, and ‘bottom up’, encouraging new graduates to be actively involved from the outset. At the same time, he is a mentor to managers and professionals, helping manage their careers within the IBM Corporation. Externally, Ajay has been a reverse mentor to the Director General of the House of Commons, and regularly sits on panels or delivers lectures on the importance of ethnic minority inclusion. IBM recently won the Diversity Champion of the Year at the British Muslim Awards, and Ajay has been an integral part of many IBM wide awards for ethnic minority diversity and inclusion. Additionally, he is a Trustee of a new charity, OneKindAct, granting c.30% of funds to support education needs, and 75% of funds in Asian/African continents.

Arlene Isaacs-Lowe

Global Head of CSR and President of The Moody's Foundation
Moody's Corporation

Appointed to the newly created role of Global Head of CSR, Arlene developed a global strategy that aligns with Moody’s businesses and promotes diversity and inclusion externally.  Moody’s CSR strategy seeks to economically empower women and BAME entrepreneurs; and support BAME and female students by creating pathways for them to explore careers in finance, technology and economics.  Arlene works in partnership with D&I to advance a diverse talent pipeline by advocating for leadership development opportunities for Moody’s BAME employees. She regularly mentors BAME professionals at varying levels and stages of their careers. She is a frequent speaker for Multicultural and Women’s ERGs around the world, sharing her career journey and advice.  Arlene is a Board member of the Executive Leadership Council, and chairs the Global Expansion Committee which supports the advancement of Black professionals in the US and Europe. She is on the Board of Howard University’s Business School with other prominent senior executives. She has been featured in numerous lists including Savoy’s 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America, and Black Enterprise’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Business.

Nilufer von Bismarck

Slaughter and May

As a high profile ethnic minority role model, Nilufer acts as a mentor both formally and informally to ethnic minority employees throughout the firm. She supported the development of the firm’s bespoke ethnic minority cross company mentoring programme, which was the first of its kind and aimed to retain talented, diverse lawyers by providing them with impartial career advice from senior business leaders. This scheme has now been rolled out to other employers and she continues to participate as a mentor to someone outside of Slaughter and May. Externally, Nilufer is on the Board of Trustees of Into University, leading on hosting workshops for students to introduce them to the legal profession as a career option. This year she was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list for services to financial services. Career highlights have included advising on the UK Government’s post-crisis bailout and re-privatisation of Lloyds Banking Group. She is listed for M&A in The Legal 500, and as a leading lawyer in the Capital Markets – Equity section of IFLR1000. She has also been profiled in Black Letter Law, a directory that showcases achievement of ethnic minority lawyers, since it began in 2006.

Carey Mendes

Regional Business Unit Leader, Global Oil America's

Carey serves as a board member of BP America’s D&I Council and as Executive Sponsor for two of BP’s employee business resource groups, Energía (Hispanic) and the BP African American Network. These organisations empower employees, encourage cultural fluency and drive a focus on D&I. He is also a mentor and sponsor to numerous minority employees to help drive their development. He participates in regular roundtable discussions with employees at all levels to seek feedback on how to be more inclusive. Externally, Carey is active in the community, including representing BP and his own passion for diversity and inclusion. He is the director of the CEO’s Council for Chicago United, promoting minority talent and was one of the winners of their Business Leader of Colour award in 2017. He encourages active BP engagement in diverse local schools, exemplified through their recent recognition as 2017 corporation of the year by Working in the Schools (WITS). He also pioneered a BP partnership with Howard University to encourage recruitment of African American employees.

Gerald Charles, Jr.

VP, Global IT Operations & Strategy
Under Armour Inc

Gerald has a collaborative management philosophy, based on inclusion, diversity of ideas and perspectives, and direct, open communication and behavior. He promotes diversity through objective, data-based business processes, diverse sourcing for recruitment, speaking engagements, and board appointments. He publicly sponsors, coaches, and speaks at all levels engaging all employee’s participation, ethnic minority organizations, and company employee resource groups.  As a member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC) and previously as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Co-chair of CALIBR, Gerald has grown member programming, leadership and professional development events, and participated in ELC’s business case competition and scholarships.  As an outside patron sponsoring regular internships and a bi-annual program for Npower’s students to engage and be counselled by Under Armour employees, he was recently asked to join their Baltimore Regional Advisory Board.  Gerald’s history of mentorship and service to ethnic minority entrepreneurs and professionals includes a Congressional Medal for Outstanding Service and Achievement, the Black Engineer of the Year, Special Recognition Award from US Black Engineer Magazine, and until recently was deeply involved in one of the nation’s only all Black Boy Scout Troops, developing 7 Eagle Scouts.

Manroop Singh Khela

Head of Transformation & CEO office (Executive Committee Member)
Santander UK plc

Manroop is an executive supporter of the ethnic minorty colleague network, Ethnicity@Work, and regularly mentors young internal ethnic minority talent. He is an internal speaker on Diversity and Inclusion, sharing advice on creating more inclusive work spaces and driving the ethnic minority inclusion agenda in Santander. He recently spoke on a panel with Santander UK Chairwoman, Baroness Shriti Vadera, discussing the importance of visible role models, and the steps which can be taken to increase diversity. Externally, Manroop is a lead mentor in BiTC and Athlete to Business ethnic minority mentoring circles, and participates in events to promote the importance of visible ethnic minority role models in business.

Oliemata O’Donoghue

Head of Region

Of her 20 years in the financial services industry, Oliemata has spent 17 being a member or lead of an inclusion employee relationship forum. She has undertaken the Co-Chair and Chair roles of the Ethnic Minority forum and African Forum in the last few years. She currently sponsors the ethnic minority “Embrace Network” and has worked alongside colleagues to drive a strong agenda around “Attract, Grow and Engage” of all colleagues. In this role she has promoted how HSBC talk about race in the workplace, panels and listening events, and career enhancing workshops. She also does reverse mentoring and coaching with colleagues to achieve their career aspirations. Additionally, she leads and runs regular exchanges between colleagues to promote talking about race in the workplace and to help unblock any challenges for colleagues and business leads. Externally, Oliemata has volunteered as part of a mentoring programme that coaches and supports undergraduates from ethnic minority backgrounds. She also coaches and supports women of afro-Caribbean backgrounds who are in middle management and have high potential to reach directorship levels.

Bansi Nagji

Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy & Business Development
McKesson Corporation

As a visible senior executive with a diverse cultural background, Bansi uses his own story to illustrate the potential career progression available to all people in the workplace. He also makes himself available as a mentor to all employees, particularly ethnic minority people and women, to help them understand and navigate their particular challenges. As the most senior ethnic minority executive at McKesson, he is a core member of McKesson’s Chairman’s Diversity Council, which is responsible for the enterprise’s diversity strategy. Externally, Bansi makes himself available for career advice, and regularly speaks about his own experience as a successful minority. He is deeply involved in fundraising activities for his business school, INSEAD, and is particularly interested in personally sponsoring scholarships there for ethnic minority people. He was also recently named as one of the Top 50 Multicultural Leaders in Technology by the California Diversity Council.

Amadou Diarra

Vice-President, Head of Global Policy, Advocacy and Government Affairs
Bristol-Myers Squibb

To meet its mission of helping patients prevail over serious diseases, Bristol-Myers Squibb is committed to a workforce that is both diverse and inclusive. As a member of the Global Diversity and Inclusion Council (GDIC), Amadou has contributed to shaping strategies for the recruitment, retention and development of diverse talent worldwide. He chairs the Commercial Diversity and Inclusion Council, whose activities support the Global Diversity and Inclusion Council priorities. Under his leadership as Head of Global Policy, Advocacy and Government Affairs, Amadou’s team enables productive dialogue with government around respective diversity and inclusion issues. He championed Bristol-Myers Squibb’s signature of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion Pledge, and under his responsibility, the Global Patient Advocacy function has helped Bristol-Myers Squibb prioritise the diversity of patient representation in clinical trials. As Bristol-Myers Squibb’s first and only member of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), Amadou has contributed to increasing the company’s engagement in ELC’s activities. Through a culture of inclusion, Bristol-Myers Squibb is able to create a work environment where diverse experiences and perspectives help drive innovation and transformative business results.

Christina Liciaga

Head of Customer Service

Christina is an entrepreneur turned international finance executive who joined HSBC in 2008, leading national and global teams across Asia, Latin America and Europe. As a diversity advocate within HSBC Group, Christina is a champion for Embrace in the UK, a spokesperson for the Hispanic and Latino Diversity Committee in the USA, sponsor for “My World” a staff-driven cross-cultural education initiative promoting a more inclusive work environment, and the UK appointee to the bank’s Global Diversity Taskforce. In 2016, Christina advised on publication of a Judicial Diversity Report, which targets sustainable solutions to address structural barriers facing women and ethnic minorities in the UK judiciary. She was later appointed to the Executive Board of JUSTICE, an all-party law reform and human rights organisation working to strengthen the justice system in the UK. When appointed, she was not only the youngest Trustee, but the only woman of colour and one of a few working outside of the legal profession. Throughout her career, Christina has established inclusive forums where woman of diversity can come together as one, including launching cross-industry networking sessions and serving as a mentor for employees within and outside of HSBC Group across London, New York and Hong Kong.

Gautam Bhattacharyya

Reed Smith LLP

Gautam always finds the time to represent ethnic minority lawyers and welcome the future generation of lawyers to Reed Smith. He actively mentors and encourages the firm’s young and aspiring lawyers, and regularly takes part in panel discussions at Reed Smith, sharing his experiences as a diverse senior lawyer. HE also regularly meets students at open day events where he provides advice and insight to those wanting to enter the profession. Additionally, he actively champions the firm’s London Multicultural Network whose objective is to provide all Reed Smith employees with the opportunity to experience and celebrate their differences and raise awareness of issues that are pertinent to ethnic minority legal professionals. Externally, Gautam regularly takes part in panel discussions at diversity events to discuss the importance of ethnic minority inclusion. In March 2018, he was awarded the leading international lawyer award for work for Indian clients at the Legal Era Awards in Mumbai. He is also highly ranked in the Chambers & Partners Global Rankings, Legal 500 and Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration.

Nimisha PradeepKumar

Finance Change Director, Group Finance
Lloyds Banking Group

Nimisha is Chair of the Lloyds Banking Group REACH (Race Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage) network, and led communications for the network when the Group launched a public goal to increase the number of ethnic minority people in senior roles in 2018. She also led a Group-wide Cultural Awareness campaign during Black History Month, which included events and communications to broaden colleague awareness and understanding of different cultures. Nimisha also championed a Group-wide cultural survey, and an internal campaign to mark International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Nimisha is a positive role model for ethnic minority colleagues across the Group and mentors numerous ethnic minority men and women, and appeared in the Group’s top 40 BAME Role Models list two years in a row. Externally, Nimisha recently represented Group at the Powerlist launch, and the House of Commons International Women’s day event. She has been selected as part of a Group ethnic minority leadership programme as having the potential for a C-Suite and/or NED role. Additionally, she is currently part of the Ethnicity and the City working group to promote the Group and its ethnic minority agenda, and sits on a Hindu professionals group chaired by Lord Gadhia.

Rocki Howard

Client Services Director
Resource Solutions

Rocki’s passion is to create a work place where people can focus on having impact while leveraging their unique strengths and experiences. She has created an interview process that focuses on an individual’s potential, values and culture alignment. This process has resulted in unprecedented workplace diversity. Rocki conducts quarterly culture roundtables that provide colleagues a safe place to discuss company culture, respect, workplace challenges focusing on engagement. She has implemented an Employment Engagement committee that facilitates activities such as a Women’s Empowerment March and Cultural Luncheons. Externally, Rocki has been involved in several university Career Services Advisory boards. This allowed her to help identify, coach, mentor and hire minority students. She is a supporter and patron of GirlsRock Jacksonville, cultivating self-empowerment and positive identity development in girls, trans and gender non-conforming youth through music experimentation. She recently spoke with the City of Jacksonville on what it means to be a minority living, working and recruiting other minorities in the city. Rocki is growing a digital community to empower and support women over 40 and was recognized as Resource Solutions first Global Manager of the Year, during her first year with the organization.

Adizah Tejani

Director of Marketing EMEA
Token Inc

Adizah regularly gives talks at universities regarding computer science and technology entrepreneurship, including a recent event with current Oxford University students of African and Caribbean descent who self-identify as women and Cambridge Judge Business School’s entrepreneurship programs. Her focus is often on ethnic minority women who are building careers in their predominantly white and male-dominated fields. She is also an advisor to UCL School of Management, bridging the divide between industry and academia in the technology industry. During her time at fintech accelerator Level39, she also set up a partnership with Code First Girls, which encourages women of all backgrounds to code and get into the technology profession. Additionally, Adizah cofounded Filanthropy*, supporting grassroots projects with small grants, and often giving her time to advise and coach young black professionals that would like to get into the technology industry. She also recently spoke at this year’s Tech in Ghana conference, which aimed to highlight the achievements of Ghanaians working in the London technology community. Adizah has spoken internationally about the impact of technology, business, and finance. She is regularly honoured for her work with ethnic minority women, and recognised as an inspirational figure in STEM.

Segun Osuntokun

Partner and Board Member
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

Segun is the Social Inclusion & Ethnicity co-Champion in Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP). As a member of BCLP’s Partnership Board, he is a visible and vocal advocate for social and ethnic inclusivity. He spearheads “Race for Change”, an event addressing the lack of black representation in the legal profession, attracting 300 black students and graduates across three events. He marked UK Black History Month at BCLP in 2016 with a firm wide video, and led celebrations in 2017 with an event with David Lammy MP. Segun often represents the firm on inclusivity matters at external meetings, ethnic minority conferences and PR opportunities. Most recently he was invited by Lady Justice Hallett DBE, to join a group of senior BAME lawyers to provide insights into how judicial diversity can be improved. He also spoke in 2017 at an event by Generation Success entitled “Career Lessons and Stories by Senior Legal Professionals”, and at Deloitte’s Black History Month event. He is actively involved with Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy, and formally mentors one of their students, providing guidance on goal-setting, career options and building confidence. Segun also won the Diversity and Inclusion Impact Award at UK Diversity Legal Awards 2017.

Elizabeth Yang

Owner & Founder
Law & Mediation Offices of Elizabeth Yang

In her previous role at Raytheon, Elizabeth was President for the Raytheon Asian Pacific Association (RAPA) Employee Resource Group. They worked hand in hand with other ERGs to make the workplace more welcoming and inclusive for ethnic minority people. Now Founder of her own company, she caters heavily to ethnic minority people. Externally, as the current President of the National Association of Asian American Professionals and also a board member of the San Gabriel Valley Asian Youth Center, the Asian Business Association, and the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, she has led and organised numerous events, seminars, fundraisers and galas for the community. NAAAP has a strong ERG program and they host national events every year in multiple cities around the USA, training and educating professionals and leaders in the community on the importance of Diversity & Inclusion. She has been named as the City Club Los Angeles Remarkable Woman of the Year, the Asian American Professional Association Emerging Leader of the Year, and has been regularly listed among other inspirational and highly influential ethnic minority leaders.

Heather Melville OBE

Head of Business Inclusion Initatives, Commercial and Private Banking

Heather regularly engages senior executives across the wider business and the financial industry in order to improve the ethnic minority talent pipeline. This has included organising an ethnic minority leaders networking event with in partnership with the ELC. She sponsored the event, and arranged for 250 ethnic minority executives to attend. Heather was awarded an OBE in 2017, for services to gender equality in business. She currently holds two NED board roles, which she uses to drive change for ethnic minorities and women. As the only black woman on the board for Enterprise Enfield, Heather is working with them to facilitate workshops and forums specifically for ethnic minority start -up businesses. She is a board member for the Chartered Management Institute, as well as a COMPANION and the chair for CMI Women. Heather leads the Blueprint for Change, an initiative working across all industries to deliver a diverse pipeline of female and diverse talent. Additionally, Heather is a judge for 4 major diversity awards ensuring all scoring has a diverse lens. She regularly speaks to local schools and business forums, and is often interviewed by the media on the importance of diverse representation, pay gaps, entrepreneurship and workplace inclusion.

Pritheeva Rasaratnam

Head of Pensions, Insurance and Retail Distribution Policy
Financial Conduct Authority

Pritheeva has been Co-Chair of Spectrum, the FCA’s ethnic minority network, for nearly two years and a member of Spectrum’s steering committee for some time before that. Their most recent focus has been on promoting the continued development of ethnic minority staff and supporting managers to provide inclusive leadership. To achieve this, they have undertaken a number of focus groups, including workshops on cultural difference, launched the FCA’s first ethnic minority ‘Reverse Mentoring’ programme, an initiative which has proved very successful, and provided career progression workshops aimed at ethnic minority employees. She has hosted numerous speaker and networking events for ethnic minority employees, and regularly presents to the FCA’s Executive Diversity Committee on diversity and inclusion issues within the organisation. Spectrum’s activities were instrumental in the FCA receiving a silver award in the Business in the Community ‘top employer for BAME’ programme last year.

April Crichlow

Head of Global Customer Marketing
SAP Ariba

To truly drive an inclusive culture within SAP Ariba, April is instrumental in aligning business goals with HR goals, and has helped push an innovative diversity initiative. Through a variety of diversity and progression programmes, she has set targets for diversity representation with the organisation, to be reached by 2022. She has also worked to promote Supplier Risk and Supplier Diversity solutions that help SAP Ariba buyer and supplier customers support ethnic owned and women owned businesses. Externally, April mentors and coaches young future business leaders through a variety of community projects aimed at students from ethnic minority backgrounds. She was on the board of Liberty Foundation, and served for 2 years as the Lead of Visionaries, the business community of Liberty Church in NYC. In this role she mentored, coached and supported business people in both the entrepreneurial fields and corporate functions. April is regularly asked to speak on gender and ethnic pay parity, and often appears in the media discussing the importance of diversity and inclusion.

Jerome Hamilton

Open Therapeutics

Jerome sees diversity as an integral part of his role as CEO. As such, he continues to drive diverse hiring and has targets in place for a fully balanced, diverse workforce within Open Therapeutics. Externally, he is an advisor to the CEO of V2 Soft and a member of the company advisory board, and has personally helped the company gain two new contracts for significant revenue increases. He is also advisor to the CEO of KYYBA International and a member of their Advisory Board. Jerome is also a board member and financial contributor of Real Life 101 charity for mentoring underprivileged inner city minority youth in 11 states in the US. He recently co-authored a book titled “Make Your business a Lean Business”, which has been highly commended for building a winning culture and improving operational excellence within its reader’s companies. Additionally, he been selected to be the Key Note speaker at the Global Manufacturing Alliance Gala at the Golden Valley Country Club, and was recently appointed Chairman of the Board for Goodwill Easter Seals Minnesota. The Goodwill Organization helps those with workplace entry barriers to get meaningful jobs, many of whom are ethnic minorities.

Geoffrey Williams

Director/Head of D&I EMEA
Thomson Reuters

As part of his role, Geoffrey designed and implemented training and career development programmes that support the ethnic minority community, but also gives the business the tools to create an inclusive working environment. In addition, he rolled out mandatory micro-aggressions training to all 400 HR staff globally to go deeper into the impacts of bias in the work environment. He has hosted a number of events with external experts to raise awareness of intersectionality, running six global sessions with one focused on the top 300 leaders globally. Under Geoffrey’s remit, budget has been regularly assigned to the support of The Power List and the Black British Business Awards, and the Asian Power List, connecting the brand with the wider ethnic minority community. Externally, Geoffrey co-founded a non-profit organisation that focuses on building aspirations of young people between the age of 13 & 14, called Rocking Ur Teens. Some attendees are at risk of exclusion, as well as being from communities where they don’t have access to role models. He secures speakers who work in diverse industries to give talks and workshops. He has also regularly been featured in internal and external media projects around diversity and inclusion

Alison Walters

Head of Department
Financial Conduct Authority

As the first female, black, Head of Department at the FCA, Alison is co-chair of the ethnic minority network group called Spectrum, whose strategic focus is on ‘connecting voices, unlocking potential and driving change’. For 2017 Spectrum had a sharper focus on diversity and inclusion, which included promoting continued development of ethnic minority staff through career progression workshops, a mentoring programme and networking and leadership events. They encouraged all FCA managers to be inclusive leaders through a reverse mentoring scheme, workshops on cultural difference, and gained greater alignment with other FCA network groups by partnering to host events and activities. She is also a regular speaker at FCA Springboard and Elevation events for future ethnic minority talent aimed at graduates, school leavers and apprentices. Externally they have developed relationship with Diversity & Inclusion Practitioners at the Black British Business Awards, PwC, The Network of Networks (TNON) and other Financial Services Regulators to share best practice, leverage ideas to influence and improve outcomes for ethnic minority individuals.

Anbreen Khan

Tax Partner

Anbreen leads the Deloitte Muslim Network (DMN) for the UK firm. This includes leading the DMN Graduate Insight meetings, ensuring that ethnic minority employees work in an environment which is accepting and inclusive of their values, be that of faith or other. She promotes informal events through DMN such as tea afternoons allowing all levels of colleagues to interact and learn from each other. Anbreen mentors individuals in the UK and Middle East, and is available to new joiners to discuss career pathways, wider ethnic minority representation and offers 1-2-1 mentoring. Externally, Anbreen is passionate about education in particular and is part of a small team building a school in a remote earthquake stricken part of Pakistan. Having grown up in Kenya, she is also keen to educate and assist Kenyans in particular with faith based initiatives. Anbreen has been nominated in the Euromoney’s 2018 edition of Leading Tax Advisors Guide / International Tax Review Indirect Tax Leaders Experts Guide. She also played an integral role in the DMN Impact Award won for the network overall, which featured in Deloitte’s Impact Report.

Tom Ilube

Crossword Cybersecurity plc

Tom is a strong advocate for diversity in the technology sector in general and in his own company, Crossword. He speaks regularly on the topic at various industry forums and mentors a number of up and coming ethnic minority entrepreneurs. Also a clear voice on ethnic minority inclusivity in the BBC Boardroom and a visible presence to the ethnic minority community within the BBC, he expects to become an increasing presence around ethnic minority issues in the media industry. Externally, Tom is Founder and Chair of the African Science Academy based in Ghana. ASA is Africa’s leading girls science and maths academy, with all girls on full scholarships. The young women have gone on to win admission and scholarships to study computer science and engineering at universities in Africa, UK and the USA so far. He is also Chair of ADA College, the National College for Digital Skills, based in Tottenham, North London. Tom was recently awarded an honorary doctorate by City University of London, and a Beacon Award for his philanthropic work in African communities. He was also ranked top of the Powerlist in 2017.

Dorothy Burwell


Dorothy serves on Finsbury’s Global Diversity committee, which focuses on supporting initiatives around the business to foster a more balanced workplace across gender, racial and sexual orientation bounds. This includes initiatives such as delivering unconscious bias training to leadership, ensuring that recruitment practices encourage the interviewing and selection of individuals from varied backgrounds, as well as developing affinity networks within the company. Additionally, as part of this role, she is involved with Finsbury’s ongoing support of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which seeks to address the need for greater diversity in the public relations industry. Externally, Dorothy currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the UK registered charity Nations Ladies. Their mission is to help encourage and support the aspirations of ethnic minority youth offering them one-to-one mentoring, work experience opportunities and training in the soft skills that are needed to succeed beyond their school years. In the last year, Dorothy was listed in the Top 100 Women to Watch by Cranfield University, and has been asked to co-lead the Investor Relations practice for the EMEA region as Finsbury seek to expand their footprint.

Jatin Patel

Products Director

Jatin’s role as Executive Sponsor for the Multicultural network is to strategically drive the network at a national level, push its progress across the organisation and represent the network externally. He has sponsored TSB’s approach to understanding the key drivers of ethnic minority under-representation across the Bank, and has used that to develop the Bank’s ethnic minority D&I strategy. Jatin has represented the ethnicity network at external events, including sponsoring the inaugural ‘Investing in Race Conference’, hosted by the SPM group. At this event, he spoke about TSB’s role as a challenger bank, explained how their approach to diversity and inclusion helps meet business objectives, and shared personal perspectives on why diversity is important. Internally, he has raised awareness of ethnic diversity through sharing his own personal experiences about religious and cultural celebrations, and providing ideas to address under-representation at Exec and Board level. Outside of TSB, Jatin has taken part in a cross-organisational mentoring circle as a lead mentor, and often speaks at conferences and organisations advocating the importance of diversity and inclusion. He has also done work to help improve education and access for young people from under-privileged backgrounds, particularly in areas with high concentrations of ethnic minorities.

Quentin Roach

Chief Procurement Officer and Senior Vice President, GSMG, BD & GWES
Merck & Co. Inc.

Quentin has been essential in ensuring inclusive environments and cultures, based on values established in collaboration with his executive leadership team. This includes introducing a requirement for unconscious bias training and not only diverse candidate slates, but also diverse interview panels in the hiring and promotion processes. He has instituted mentor programs for interns, new hires and rotational development program participants, and has also supported a “reverse mentoring” program targeted with the Next Gen employee resource group. Additionally, Quentin has personally acted as an executive sponsor for a company-wide leadership development program developed to foster growth of ethnic minority personnel within the organisation. Externally, Quentin currently maintains board positions with various organisations, with specific focuses on diversity and inclusion. He has also been appointed to the Diversity & Inclusion advisory council for the City Controller of New York City, and was recently recognised among Savoy’s Top 100 Most Influential Blacks in America.

Raoul Shah

Founder & Joint CEO

Raoul is committed to building a business where differences are celebrated and shared. His diverse team provides a wealth of opportunities for all to learn and expand their frames of reference via colleagues and peers. Unique to Exposure is the diversity of its network and the wide range of partner organisations it has worked with. A key ingredient to fostering an inclusive approach has been the actual workplace environment, which has helped facilitate a deep-rooted community feel within the agency. It was once described as “better than being at home.” Externally, Raoul uses his influence to drive diversity and inclusion in the community, and across his industry. In 2008 he took a position under Lord Kinnock as a Trustee of the British Council. Following a successful three year appointment, he remained in the post for an additional three years. He has been committed to supporting youth charities in London, has been recognised on various lists celebrating diverse leaders and is due to publish his first book this year entitled ‘Do Not Disturb.’

Roni Savage

Managing Director
Jomas Associates

Roni is an Engineering & Environmental Geologist, working for clients in the Construction Industry. She is Managing Director of Jomas Associates Ltd, which she set up after holding Associate Director position in a major UK Engineering Company. As a British female of African heritage, Roni is passionate about empowering other women as well as those from an ethnic minority background, by putting herself forward as a role model.  She speaks regularly at events aimed at this cause, and regularly offers free mentoring, coaching and sponsoring opportunities. Roni is committed to social mobility, and supports the YMCA, Mayor’s Fund, Churches and Colleges, demonstrating that people who look like her, can attain leadership positions if they are willing to work for it. Roni has recently set up a BAME Women Leaders in Engineering Movement to identify women who have been able to step up and step out, so that together, they can support future ethnic minority women. Roni was recently nominated for National Diversity Award, PWC Women in Business Award and Best Business Women Award. In 2017, she was a finalist for Forward Ladies Women in STEM award. Roni is also part of the FSBWomen Taskforce, and the Women in Engineering Society.

Rory Campbell

Partnership Registrar
John Lewis Partnership

Rory has played an active role in championing and creating more inclusive workplaces for a number of years, most recently through mentoring ethnic minorities in the John Lewis Partnership, sponsoring one of their inclusion networks, informally advising senior leaders on their approach to inclusion, establishing a reverse mentoring initiative, and talking both internally and externally on matters of relevance to inclusive workplaces – engagement, inclusion and mental health. Outside his immediate workplace, Rory is a formal member of an external group of ‘changemakers’ who seek to better personal and business approaches to creating inclusive change in organisations and communities. This is alongside ongoing active engagement in a range of external communities, speaking, mentoring and networking with a focus on social change. As part of this, he spoke to a diverse group of leaders on a programme run by the Centre for Synchronous Leadership. The programme (Walk the Tightrope) brings together senior change makers who are on a journey to unlock their full potential without dimming their unique attributes and talents. In other words, to unleash them in the most inclusive way possible.

Amit Sharma

Chief European Representative
Fifth Third Bank

For Amit, the key in supporting ethnic minority colleagues is making sure they get more than their fair share of client interaction, both with existing and prospective clients, and attending events where they can get used to the ‘small talk’ and engaging with clients. The other area is mentoring, which he takes part in particularly prior to appraisal or promotion requests. He focuses on being forthright and taking responsibility for their own career advancement. Externally, Amit often coaches young people in his community to be more open to a life of varied careers and the key of building your skill set. He has also supported numerous people in the community around how to develop their CV’s, get the right work experience and prepare for interviews or answering questions from partners.

Raphael Mokades

Founder & Managing Director
Rare Recruitment

At Rare, Raphael goes beyond basic attraction and development, working closely with firms to review and improve their onboarding practices and their approach to assessment and retention. He hires the same calibre of graduate that he places with clients, aggressively seeking people out at the start of their careers and developing them on an ongoing basis. The culture at Rare is built around creating as inclusive an environment as possible, through team building activities, which are respectful of a wide variety of cultural and personal preferences such as non-drinking, daytime activities. Raphael is also actively involved in increasing access to the best education to ethnic minority students. Target Oxbridge is Rare’s project to develop more competitive and successful applicants of black heritage to Oxbridge than ever before, with the end goal of increasing their presence in the business world. Every year for the past decade, Rare has identified the UK’s best black students, Rare Rising Stars, and honoured them at a high-profile awards reception at the Houses of Parliament. Among many awards for Rare as a whole, Raphael also received the Legal Week Outstanding Innovator Award in 2017.

Sonia Sng

Director, Business Operations

A Singapore-born Chinese, Sonia is a Director of Business Operations at Intuit, leading a team of 200 people responsible for payroll tax operations and risk operations. Throughout her career, Sonia has been driven by a lifelong appreciation for multicultural environments, and has led globally diverse teams around the world. During the 17+ years she was in Visa, she had championed a host of Diversity and Inclusion initiatives to counter potential biases and perceptions,. Last year, she co-hosted a Visa volunteer event with Peninsula College Fund to help low-income ethnic minority students navigate the journey from college to career. She was also the co-chair for Visa Women’s Network up until April 2018 when she joined Intuit. She has been an active mentor for a number of years, and is determined to continue her diversity work at Intuit and committed to building a pipeline of diverse talent. Externally, Sonia was a mentor for Aspire Foundation, mentoring aspiring women from the charities and social enterprises sector around the world of various backgrounds. She is currently a mentor for Everwise, to elevate Women in Tech.

Vanessa Smith

Regional Vice President, NA Strategic Customer Program
SAP America

As one of less than a handful of African American female executives at SAP, Vanessa has certainly seen the level of diversity increase over her 14 years with the company. However, she understood that in order to reflect that increase at a senior management level, they had to get more candidates in the pipeline at every level. To support that goal, in her prior role as Chief of Staff to the CEO, she hired a Chief Diversity Officer. Through participating in external benchmarking, they were able to raise awareness across the Board on how they compared on key diversity statistics to peers in the technology industry. That led to increased funding and focus on recruiting from historically black colleges, creating partnerships with associations focused on minority talent, and bringing added focus in the hiring process on ensuring diverse cohorts of early talents. Vanessa is an active member of Jack and Jill America, where she spends several hours per month developing and executing key programs for children in the area of leadership development, volunteer service, philanthropic giving and civic duty.

Rajesh Gupta

Head of Trading - Argos Financial Services
Sainsbury's bank

Rajesh has chaired the BAME network for the last 3 years and has worked to engage the business on the topic of diversity and inclusion. He was instrumental in setting up the network and in getting board sponsorship around the network’s objectives. With the help of the BAME network, Sainsbury’s is creating a more welcoming environment by celebrating diversity very visibly. From engaging and educational multi-media content to celebrate diversity, to using Yammer internally to create discussion and highlighting ethnic minority role models, through to celebrating important cultural occasions, such as Diwali and Chinese New Year. The network actively engages with the business around a variety of topics such as the need for diverse recruitment pools and the need to measure BAME recruitment and retention statistics. They also hold an annual BAME conference, attended by members of the board, to discuss the importance of BAME inclusion and methods for increasing diversity. Externally, Rajesh regularly attends BAME networking events in London organized by various thought leadership groups to share his experience and learn from what others are doing

Rob Mukherjee

Head of North West Regional Business

Rob sits on Vodafone UK’s BAME Think Tank and as one of a small number of ethnic minority Senior Leaders in Vodafone UK, he ensures visibility amongst all ethnic groups – and has engaged directly with the UK board, making personal recommendations around how to develop a higher ethnic minority representation at a senior level. Outside of his day job, Rob has appeared on a number of panels, podcasts, and other speaking events discussing matters relevant to Diversity and Inclusion, including “Guys That Get It” in conjunction with Sacha Atherton, and Northern Power Women Live. He has an influential presence in business, particularly in Northern business circles. He was listed at number 4 on the North West Business Insider 2017 “Science and Tech” Power List, and has been cited in a New Statesman article as a key influencer in the drive to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality.

Raj Tulsiani

CEO & Co-Founder
Green Park

Raj’s aim within Green Park is to better the wider community through diversity and inclusion initiatives which remove the barriers stopping organisations from realising the benefits of a diverse workforce. He has recently placed the UK public sector’s most diverse board in history and, through high-profile assignments, bettered the D&I processes and hiring strategies of some of the UK’s leading organisations. In 2016, he launched the social enterprise DRIVE which aims to affect an extra 150,000 diverse hiring choices over the next five years. He also publishes diversity reports to provide statistically valid data into the ethno cultural and gender composition of top leadership positions. He also launched The Colour of Power alongside Operation Black Vote: The UK’s first visual depiction of the UK’s most powerful figures across the public, private and third sectors, showing a shocking lack of diversity and sparking national media debate. Externally, Raj is now acting as special advisor to the PM’s Social Mobility Implementation Office and has contributed to many government-backed landmark diversity reviews, including The Parker Review. Green Park has won and been nominated for a number of awards, and Raj’s personal accolades include the Global Equality and Diversity Lord Noon Award.

Keith Bevans

Global Head of Recruiting, Partner
Bain & Company

Keith’s team identifies the best talent across channels, evaluates and screens applications, and hires them into Bain. This includes leading recruiting activities for Bain’s diversity groups, including Blacks at Bain, Latinos at Bain, Veterans at Bain, BGLAD, the firm’s worldwide LGBT-employee network, and Women@Bain. Keith also supports Bain’s client work in areas related to talent acquisition, development and diversity. Additionally, he was the global leader of Blacks at Bain (BABs) for 10 years. During his tenure as head of BABs, he was in charge of several initiatives, including coordinating the annual BABs conference, organizing pre-MBA recruiting activities for black students and working with local office teams to organize mentoring and community-building activities. Outside of Bain, Keith currently serves on the board of the Ancona school, where he previously served as Chairperson. Ancona is the only independent school to adopt Multicultural Curriculum Strands for learning, introducing students to authors, experiences and materials that reflect scholars from around the globe. Keith’s also holds a leadership role at Trinity UCC, a predominantly African-American church in Chicago, and a board membership at Alternatives Inc. Most recently, Keith was honoured with the first annual Marty Edelman Distinguished Alumni Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Ukonwa Ojo

Senior Vice President, COVERGIRL
Coty Inc.

Ukonwa has advocated for, and built her COVERGIRL team, to be as diverse as the communities they serve. In doing so, she has also built a strong bench and pipeline of future leaders. She has supported the Odyssey Network of Multicultural women’s network through active participation, and encouraging her direct reports to take part too. She has also served as a formal and informal mentor to many ethnic minority employees, sharing insights to help them navigate the corporate environment. Ukonwa was named one of 25 women changing the world by Black Enterprise magazine and the COVERGIRL “I am what I make up” campaign was named “Campaign of Year” by Refinery 29 for getting inclusivity right. She has served as a visible ethnic minority leader in the marketing, advertising, and business community, aiming to inspire future ethnic minority leaders on what is possible and what they can achieve. Among a whole host of accolades, Ukonwa was placed on the Brand Marketer of the Year list by Ad Age, named as one of 11 Inspiring Women Changing the Beauty Game, and won a Gold Award at the Festival of Media North America.

Daniel Taylor

MDC Group

Daniel Taylor, a man of Caribbean decent, is the founder and CEO of award winning Design and Build company: MDC Group, formerly known as Metro Design Consultants. He is a clear representation of the benefits of ethnic minority inclusion and diversity in his own right. He has turned his a-typical approach to inclusion and diversity into a competitive advantage, which is changing the landscape in his industry. His knowledge, accumulated from over 30 years in the industry, and relative rarity, have provided him with opportunities to excel on projects which require a level of internal diversity, and the ability to understand a wide array of cultures. This has proven beneficial as he has led his team to win a number of international clients including: Norwegian Air, Skype, Facebook, Harley Davidson and MTV to name a few. Aside from his successful business however, Daniel has also taken strategic board positions on a small number of minority interest groups, where he gauged he can make the best impact. These include; The Aleto Foundation, The Powerlist, The Black British Business Awards, and WinTRADE Week London.

Ronel Lundall

Executive Vice President Vocalink Delivery

Ronel believes strongly that ethnic diversity is critical to building any successful global organisation and so much of her effort has been on preparing ethnic minority employees for leadership positions.  While leading Mastercard Customer Delivery in the Middle East Africa region she was responsible for the promotion of 15 ethnically diverse employees and continues to personally mentor 12 ethnically diverse employees.  Having grown up in South Africa, as a woman of African Descent, the importance of giving back to her community has always been a focus for Ronel.  She dedicated 2 years volunteering and lecturing for a non-profit organisation supporting disadvantaged business owners of ethnic descent in South Africa. Ronel shares her own career story speaking at events hosted by Mastercard for employees of African descent, and has also held a key role as the executive sponsor for the Women in Leadership for the Middle East Africa region. 

Raj Verma

Senior Vice President, Human Resources
Sodexo Global Corporate Services

As a British born Sikh, Raj was Sodexo’s first ethnic minority Global Senior Vice President in Human Resources, and continues to be very visible across the organisation. He regularly meets with employees from ethnic minority backgrounds, regardless of where they work in Sodexo, as they often reach out when they know there are ethnic minority leaders in the organisation. Raj maintains his reputation as a welcoming role model by providing coaching and development opportunities, both formally and informally, as well as supporting emerging talent from different backgrounds. He is a strong advocate of mentoring those who may not otherwise get the chance and is the Executive Sponsor of the Sodexo Culture and Origins Taskforce for Local Minorities. Externally, Raj is a mentor on the acclaimed Warwick Business School Mentoring Programme, which has a high degree of internationally diverse students. He regularly makes presentations at Universities and Schools on different subjects to a cross section of backgrounds. His aim is to provide visibility at ‘grass root’ levels and not for ethnic minority leaders to be seen as unusual.

Shawn Miles

Executive Vice President, Public Policy

During his career at Mastercard, Shawn has built and evolved the company’s public policy efforts across the globe. He expanded the role beyond traditional government relations to include a broader set of stakeholders, including NGOs, academics, think tanks and community organizations. Shawn is a founding member and chair of Mastercard’s Black Executive Network, an internal program to support the company’s business resource groups and develop and recruit black leaders. He also led the creation of the Master Your Card program to drive financial literacy and financial inclusion for poor and underserved communities. Shawn regularly gives motivational lectures to schools, non-profits and community groups to inspire minorities to excel. He serves on the Board of the Pro Bono Partnership which provides free legal services to local non-profit organizations and was recently recognized by Ebony Magazine as of one the top 100 influential black leaders in America.

Rashik Parmar

IBM Technical Executive - Europe, IBM Distinguished Engineer

Rashik leads the Business Resource Group for IBM UK and runs a range of initiatives to attract, retain and grow ethnic minority talent across IBM. He pioneered a series of internal Safari talks to showcase the careers of Role Models, and has developed links with ethnic minority organisations in partner companies. Additionally, he sponsored the ethnic minority celebration of success event last year, bringing talent from across UK into a conference to share learning and best practices. Externally, Rashik serves as the Partnership Executive for Imperial College, working on attracting and inspiring future ethnic minority talent. He also chairs the Employability and Skills Panel for the Leeds City Region Partnership Enterprise Board, championing skills development in areas with a high percentage of ethnic minority population. Raj was awarded an MBE in 2016.

Yin Luo

Vice Chairman
Wolfe Research, LLC

Wolfe Research LLC is one of the world’s leading boutique investment banks in the world, and Yin strives to create teams which are ethnically diverse. In the recruiting process, in the promotion process, and in the day-to-day business, Yin strongly encourages a positive work environment for everybody, regardless of ethnic background. Externally, he has been actively involved in a number of community services to encourage the inclusion and promotion ethnic minority people. He regularly speaks at a number of leading universities around the world, on a wide range of topics, from economics and finance to machine learning. He is actively involved in a number of organisations promoting workplace balances for ethnic minorities, including a non-profit organisation called the Wall Street Mentorship Program. Yin has been consistently ranked top in the most prestigious annual Institutional Investor’s magazine ranking, called Institutional Investor’s Equity Research Survey, in a variety of disciplines. He is also regularly quoted in the media on diversity and inclusion across industries.

Emeka Okwu

Renaissance Global Consulting

Emeka recently started his own consultancy, with a clear focus on corporate training and equity, diversity and inclusion. He consistently ensures that they get the entire management buy-in of his clients and reinforce D&I commitments. He ensures all his Employee Resource Groups are active and get the required budget allocations to drive their activities forward, fostering an engaging environment for employees. From a training and recruitment perspective, they provide regular corporate training programmes to their clients and for the hiring community to ensure that biases are eradicated or brought to the barest minimum. Externally, Emeka mentors ethnic minority young people, and drives the same level of social responsibility across his leadership team. Having ranked on the EMpower Future Leaders List last year, Emeka has made significant strides in business achievement as well as ethnic minority inclusion.

Elsie Akinsanya

Global Head of Human Resources, Treasury and Trade Solutions

Elsie is the Co-Chair of Citi Roots, which is an internal multicultural diversity network, actively working to ensure an inclusive workplace by celebrating a range of multicultural festivals such as Black History Month and Diwali. They promote career advancement and networking through mentoring programmes which engage senior leadership and provide support to ethnic minority employees. She has been actively encouraging the diversity agenda at Citi London to include discussions on Race. Externally, the network connects with the local community by providing access to Business Skills Workshops for secondary school students. Elsie also mentors a number of young black women as part of her “Each One, Reach One” mentoring programme

Michelle Delices

Director Business Improvement and Growth & Corporate Business Partner
Sodexo UK & I

In 1998, Michelle was the first black woman to successfully join the prison service graduate scheme, where she set up mentoring for black men in prison from black businessmen in the local community. She initially was approached by Sodexo to work at HMP Peterborough, the only dual gender prison in the UK, where she pioneered a gender inclusive service and received recognition for leadership and diversity. She sits on the Sodexo Origins network that represents people from diverse backgrounds, and broadcasted a podcast to inspire others within the business to be inclusive. Michelle has also set up an executive sponsorship scheme for female talent and a recruitment initiative to tackle unconscious bias. Externally, Michelle has worked with young ethnic minority people serving community sentences, focusing on role modelling and making them see how unique they are, and continues to mentor young black men.

Mo Haghbin

SVP Head of Product - Beta Solutions
Oppenheimer Funds

Mo is currently involved in several D&I areas at OppenheimerFunds including the Asian Professionals Network, the Veterans Network and targeted recruiting and retention initiatives. Previously, he served as the Chair of the New York People Committee within Global Fixed Income at BlackRock. The objective of the committee is to enrich Blackrock’s office culture and support inclusion and diversity across 300+ employees. Activities included four headline events per year, a leadership lunch series, an InMotion active series, as well as happy hours and pop up lunches. Outside of work, Mo dedicates his time and attention to promoting opportunities for individuals from diverse backgrounds including after school programs, supporting high-risk youth, and is active in Persian American Leadership networks.

Mark Mason

CFO, Institutional Clients Group

Mark was recently appointed co-lead of the Black Heritage Affinity Group, to renew a near and long-term focus to embed diversity in Citi’s talent initiatives. He is working to increase the focus on diverse recruitment, selection, promotion, retention, development and succession. His work with the affinity group has been integral to many awards for Citi, including ranking on Thomson Reuters’ list of Top 100 Most Diverse & Inclusive Organizations Globally, and Stonewall’s Top 100 UK Firms for Diversity. Externally, Mark is on the board of trustees for Howard University, and supports the Apollo theatre.

Geno Luchmun

General Counsel
Kaizen Reporting

Kaizen Reporting is a RegTech growth company focusing on improving the quality of regulatory reporting data in the financial services industry. Kaizen was awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation in 2017 and has won other accolades for its pioneering approach to quality assurance. Throughout his legal career in financial services, Geno has promoted an inclusive culture in his teams and diversity as a business strength. He encourages those from BAME backgrounds to be ambitious and strive for fast track career progression and has acted as a mentor to colleagues with a focus on their personal professional development. In addition, he is keen to support minority candidates who aspire to advance their careers and has helped to facilitate professional opportunities. Outside of the workplace, Geno was a Community Governor for 8 years at a school in Southwark on a socially deprived housing estate which housed many families from BAME backgrounds. He was also involved in Young Enterprise, a charity which has the aim of helping young people in schools understand the world of business. Geno was also previously a volunteer at the Brixton Community Law Centre which offered probono legal advice to those in the local community who didn’t have access to legal services.

Sanjeev Sharma

M&G Real Estate Limited

Sanjeev holds the Real Estate Board sponsor role for D&I. This has led the business to being the first real estate firm accredited with the National Equality Standard. He has been involved in D&I initiatives for over 25 years including Race for Opportunity, the National Mentoring Consortium as a mentor, and various other D&I initiatives. He is also on the Management Committee of Real Estate Balance which promotes progression of more women to senior roles in the industry. Sanjeev also promotes wider D&I aspects including ethnic minority inclusion. Additionally, Sanjeev is a regular speaker at external events on D&I and specifically need for businesses to focus on ethnic minority considerations.

Colleen Wong

Founder & CEO

As a Chinese/British, female entrepreneur, Colleen sees her personal diversity as an asset to her company’s welcoming environment, and as a positive example to other diverse business leaders. She is often contacted by people from all ethnic backgrounds who are interested in joining her company and who are looking for advice on building a successful start-up as an ethnic minority. She regularly supports other businesses run by ethnic minority people and shows her support through attending events or engaging in social media. Colleen has been very successful in her short time as a business owner, indicated by being a finalist for Microbusiness of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2017, and finalist for Entrepreneur of the Year at the First Women Awards 2017. Inspiring Fifty have also listed her as one of the 50 Most Inspiring Women in Tech. Additionally, Colleen was recently announced as the winner of AXA’s Staying Independent with Tech Challenge. 

Mitul Shah

Partner & Leader of UK Reward Consulting Business

Mitul provides one on one mentoring to high potential ethnic minority colleagues, helping them progress their careers at Deloitte through advice and coaching. He feeds into key talent decisions around promotions within his business area, looking at how to progress and retain ethnic minority colleagues in the group. Outside of Deloitte, Mitul is a lead mentor in the Business in the Community mentoring circles, working with a group of ethnic minority employees from different organisations looking to progress in their respective careers. Additionally, he contributes to Deloitte’s ‘BAME in the Boardroom’ programme for ethnic minority leaders in industry who are looking to progress to Board level roles

Perry Jones

Senior Vice President, Manufacturing & Distillation, Supply North America
Diageo North America

Having joined Diageo in 2017, Perry’s department’s business has increased ethnic minority hiring from 32% in 2017 to 47% in 2018. He is actively involved in the North America African Heritage Employees at Diageo (AHEAD) business resource group, and helps drive efforts to accelerate their focus on diversity and inclusion. He recently served on a panel discussion as part of a new “Are you IN” series for employees, which took place during Black History Month and has resulted in an increased level of attention to diversity and inclusion awareness. Externally, Perry serves on the Board of Trustees for the Alabama Agriculture and Mechanical University, is a board member at Grambling State University School of Personal development, and participates in mentoring programmes for women and ethnic minority individuals. Additionally, this year Perry was named as one of Savoy magazine’s “Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.”

Sarah Vawda

Managing Director
Vawda Associates

Following a successful executive career within global businesses as Corporate Development Director,  Sarah now has a portfolio career as Non Executive Director and Board Adviser to international companies undergoing transformation so her diversity and inclusion activities are focused across a wide business environment. She is a Governor of the University of Bedfordshire, an access university which takes a significant proportion of ethnic minority students each year. In recent years she has actively been seeking out opportunities to volunteer where her background and experience could provide value and inspiration. Sarah was recently invited to join a panel at Taylor Wessing on diversity and as a role model for inclusion is actively involved in the wider diversity debate through involvement in many relevant networks. She actively mentors both women and girls from ethnic minority backgrounds, using her networks to open potential doors. As part of this, she has also been appointed to the Board of The Girls Network, a charity promoting mentoring programmes for girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, a disproportionate number of which are from ethnic minority backgrounds.