15 Advocates 2018

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David Tyler


As Chairman, David sees that it is his responsibility to champion equal opportunities for everyone in Sainsbury’s , whatever their gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or whether they have a disability. We recognise that inclusive teams with high levels of diversity perform better and enable us to come to the best decisions for our customers. We give this matter good visibility right up to Board level. David took on the role of co-chair of the Parker review because he wanted to understand why there was a real lack of BAME representation on Boards, and to support and influence businesses to address this issue. The Final Report on ethnic diversity of UK Boards was published in October 2017. David has also represented Sainsbury’s at BAME events where he has been happy to share their achievements to date. David was delighted to give the Keynote address at the Black British Business Awards in September 2017.

Jennifer Rademaker

Executive Vice President, Customer Delivery,International Markets

Jennifer has a three-pronged approach to driving diversity at Mastercard: tracking diversity metrics, ensuring a balanced hiring slate, and developing high potential role models.  In Europe and the US, Jennifer doubled the percentage of BAME employees in her teams using this approach. Jennifer’s focus on role models and mentorship transformed her leadership team from 29% BAME executives to 50% BAME executives in one year. She is priming the next generation of BAME executives by personally coaching 8 BAME high potential senior leaders in her organization. Jennifer’s impact on BAME advancement reaches beyond her own group. She serve as the Executive Sponsor for Mastercard’s African descent employee group (LEAD) in Europe. LEAD hosts activities in Mastercard’s London and Waterloo offices with topics geared to support career advancement, personal development, and sponsorship for BAME employees, as well as showcasing BAME role models. Outside of Mastercard, Jennifer donates her time and expertise to organizations that help others without discrimination.  She is on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross in Greater New York, and is a member of the House of St Barnabas in London, an organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness.

Kevin Ellis

Chairman and Senior Partner

Kevin is passionate about creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and believes that greater transparency is needed to drive real change. This is why he published PwC UK’s gender and ethnicity targets, and the firm’s subsequent progress against those targets, followed by being the first firm to publish their Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) pay gap in September 2017. Publishing its BAME pay gap helped PwC to understand where it needed to focus its action and with the ambition of shining a spotlight on the topic of ethnic diversity. Alongside this, Kevin has commissioned a major internal research project to better understand the impact of PwC’s culture on the experience of his BAME colleagues, which will help inform future business decisions and action plans. Kevin championed PwC’s initiative to become a cornerstone employer in Bradford, a pilot bringing together employers and school children to help develop the employability prospects of young people in the area and to tackle problems of social and economic exclusion for ethnic minority groups. He also mentors BAME future leaders of other PwC network firms to help support getting more BAME people into senior leadership positions. He is also the sponsor of PwC’s GLEE@PwC (Gays, Lesbians and Everyone Else) Network and is passionate about supporting all forms of diversity and creating a workplace where everyone can be themselves.

Sigga Sigurdardottir

Chief Customer and Innovation Officer

Sigga is the BAME Executive Committee Sponsor for Santander UK, and Executive Sponsor of Santander’s BAME employee led network. Sigga has developed site champions across Santander UK’s locations to raise awareness of BAME challenges and opportunities – running mentoring programmes, events and initiatives to attract, promote and retain BAME talent. Sigga’s role on the global diversity and inclusion steering committee and Executive Committee sponsor for the bank’s UK BAME network sees her influence and challenge her peers and the wider leadership teams on raising awareness of BAME challenges. To identify challenges that Santander UK faces across BAME employees, Sigga led the bank to participate in the Race at Work survey in 2018 to identify specific opportunities for the Santander UK leadership team to improve BAME colleague experiences. Sigga has also put tracking progress of BAME talent in Santander UK at the forefront, including measuring ethnic minority statistics across all levels of the organisation and highlighting opportunities for action. During Black History Month in October 2017, Sigga hosted a speaker event with John Amaechi OBE at Santander UK’s Leicester head office to discuss the intersectionality of diversity.

Stephen Bird

CEO, Citi Consumer Bank

As co-head of the Black Heritage Affinity at Citi, Stephen is focused on driving material change in the promotion, development, recruiting and retention of black colleagues in the U.S. He is leading a multi-pronged effort which includes increasing the number of actionable development plans with high-performers, increasing engagement with the Executive Leadership Council which develops global black leaders, and working to build engagement by connecting the network chapters across the U.S. Stephen serves on the Board of the U.S.-China Business Council, the International Advisory Board of the Hospital for Special Surgery and the Board of Trustees of the Asia Society, supporting its mission to enhance cultural understanding through participation in a variety of programs and events.

Ellis Rich

Chief Executive Officer
Supreme Songs Limited

Ellis became known for his leadership in equality and diversity in 2012, when UK Music launched its Equality and Diversity Music Charter, recognising his efforts on its website. During his PRS Chairmanship, Ellis introduced a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) awareness committee. His CSR group included stakeholders Kanya King MBE, CEO and founder of Music Of Black Origin, the MOBO Organisation, Bevan Powell MBE, Black Police Association and Paulette Long OBE, and surveyed the diversity of the PRS Board, its staff and its membership. Ellis also championed interaction with MOBO, resulting in a multi-year partnership with PRS, which led to engagement with a more diverse membership base. Outside of work, Ellis has given various seminars on all aspects of the music industry, and toured the Caribbean twice, explaining European copyright and how artists and composers can promote and administer their music in Europe. Ellis is also currently Chairman of the Trustees of Small Green Shoots, a registered charity supporting disadvantaged youth. Ellis was awarded with an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for Services To Music Publishing and also conferred with an Honorary Doctorate Of Music. He was also awarded the Cannes Music Summit Award at Midem, France.

Ileana Sodani

EMEA Head of Business Development, Asset Servicing
BNY Mellon

Having acted as Executive Sponsor for the BNY Mellon Women’s Initiative Network (WIN), Ileana utilised the experience and knowledge she built and applied it to ensuring the growth of BNY Mellon’s multicultural network, IMPACT. Now, in her third year as Co-Executive sponsor, she has been instrumental in enabling the group to become the second largest resource group and strategically driven its transition into a vital business resource group. Recognising the importance of senior management buy in, Ileana has utilised her position of influence amongst her peers, to drive the conversation around ethnic minority inclusion and broader diversity. In particular, she leads by example, advocating the business and moral imperatives, and bringing attention to the importance of demographics and transparency. Ileana also ensures that her visits to global teams are impactful, and sheds light on diversity and inclusion through her participation in events and panels. Outside of work, Ileana is a proud founding member of The Networks of Networks (TNON), which provides BAME leaders within the organisation with a platform for cross-company/network collaboration. Additionally, Ileana has spoken at the Women in Islamic & Ethical Finance network where she joined a panel focusing on Women Climbing the Corporate Ladder.

Matt Elliott

People Director
Virgin Money

Matt is responsible for developing and driving Virgin Money’s ambition to be a welcoming and inclusive workplace for all. He received Board approval to adopt the Sir John Parker report recommendations, before the findings had been formally launched, and encouraged transparency, leading to Virgin Money reporting its ethnic minority representation in its 2017 Annual Report & Accounts. Matt has led a strategy to improve diversity of hiring, resulting in a double digit hiring percentage for ethnic minority candidates in 2017 for the first time. He also founded the Virgin Money Affinity Group, which aims to involve all colleagues in the conversations around workplace inclusion. Under Matt’s sponsorship, Virgin Money have partnered with the Black British Business Awards to create an ‘Accelerator Programme’, a pan-industry approach to accelerating ethnic minority talent, which will launch later this year. He is also a member of the CMI Race Committee and mentors ethnic minority people outside Virgin Money, demonstrating his personal commitment to accelerating progress.

James Garvey

Managing Director, Head of Markets
Lloyds Banking Group

James is the executive sponsor of Lloyds Bank’s ethnicity strategy. He was recently sponsor and keynote speaker for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination in 2018. This event generated over 300 new allies for the Lloyds ethnicity network. Through James’ influence, 650 line managers and senior colleagues have attended face-to-face Cultural Competence workshops, supporting colleagues to feel more comfortable talking about race. He has also chaired listening sessions with ethnic minority colleagues, and influenced his 7 executive peers to do the same. Aside from dedicating personal time to the agenda by chairing monthly meetings, James has also gained commitment from his peers to be reverse mentored, with 40 partnerships across his business currently being mentored on race, ethnicity and cultural heritage. In 2017 James partnered with SEO (Sponsors for Educational Opportunities) to provide work experience to 12 ethnic minority students who would not ordinarily have access to financial services and trading floors. He also sits as a trustee of the Lloyds Bank Foundation which supports charities across the UK that help people facing multiple disadvantages to move forward with their lives, by providing both financial and practical support.

Robert Lawson

Global Head of Mergers & Acquisitions

In 2006, Robert co-founded and initially chaired BP’s ethnicity business resource group, the Positively Ethnic Network. Since that time, he has been an active and committed supporter of ethnic minorities in BP and has continued his involvement with the Positively Ethnic Network by serving as an ambassador, sponsor and speaker at related events. Robert has been a passionate advocate for the need to analyse and benchmark ethnicity data relating to the workforce in order to monitor progress, remove any biases and drive sustainable change. Robert is personally involved with three world leading business schools: Stanford Graduate School of Business (MSx Advisory Board);  Cambridge Judge Business School (Honorary Fellow); Cass Business School (M&A Research Centre Advisory Board); and he regularly provides career coaching to emerging ethnic minority leaders.

Samantha Mobley

Baker & McKenzie

In October 2017, to coincide with Black History Month, Samantha and her team launched the Colour Brave campaign. She distributed their message through variety of forums including sharing personal stories, a Colour Brave video, a pledge board and a panel discussion. Ahead of the campaign, Samantha presented the Colour Brave concept to all London office partners and Baker McKenzie’s Global Chair. As a result, almost half of Baker McKenzie employees signed the Colour Brave pledge board, pledging to become comfortable with the uncomfortable conversations about race. Samantha is also determined to launch a cross sector ethnic minority initiative, which encourages firms across the City to get together in a joint effort to embrace the Colour Brave concept. She is also planning to spearhead an effort to broaden the Baker McKenzie Colour Brave concept to all Baker McKenzie offices globally. Following the launch of the London office’s Colour Brave campaign, Samantha was delighted to be appointed as one of the partner leads on Baker McKenzie’s ethnic minority focused staff network, BakerEthnicity.

Wendy Murphy

Senior Director, HR, EMEA

Wendy set up the first Employee Resource Group at LinkedIn Globally focussed on the ethnic minority population, called Embrace. She was a driving influence behind LinkedIn’s founding membership of EMpower, as a prime example of her commitment to inclusion. Externally, Wendy mentors a number of high potential ethnic minority individuals, providing support and sponsorship. She is also an active supporter of a number of LinkedIn’s partnerships, helping raise awareness of ethnic minority inclusion in business, and support activities within LinkedIn’s local markets in the UK and Ireland. Additionally, Wendy was key to the development of a self-ID diversity survey across 10 countries in EMEA, to encourage discussion at the most senior levels in the organisation around support and understanding of their ethnic minority workforce.

Claude Brown

Reed Smith LLP

Claude is a champion for, and on the steering committee of, Reed Smith’s Multicultural Network (MCN). The MCN’s objective is to provide all Reed Smith employees, and certain external clients, with the opportunity to experience and celebrate their differences and raise awareness of issues that are pertinent to ethnic minority legal professionals. Claude also mentors a number of Reed Smith’s ethnic minority junior lawyers, trainees and paralegals, as well as ethnic minority students and aspiring lawyers outside of Reed Smith. On top of this, he organises and sponsors a number of work experience and mini internships for ethnic minority students. He actively supports and speaks at courses organised by the BLD Foundation (who support young people from ethnic minority and/or socio-economical underprivileged backgrounds towards achieving their goals), and Aspiring Solicitors (whose primary aim is to increase diversity in the legal profession). Claude also assists with the job and study applications, and supplies references for internal and external ethnic minority people interested in a career in law.

Amanda Gethin

Managing Partner - Talent, EMEA

Amanda looks to drive ethnic minority recruitment, retention and progression through enabling and supporting specific programmes and operational/process changes. She is focused on affecting and embedding a shift in perspective and understanding of the race agenda. She sits on the ethnic minority Future Leadership steering committee, which focuses on enabling ethnic minority individuals to progress, and has been key in ensuring that its scope is broadened to educate and ‘on board’ influential business leaders to enable wider cultural change across the business. She sponsors on both an individual and collective basis, ethnic minority future talent, supporting them in growing their careers within EY. Amanda is the co-sponsor of an EY Foundation Young Women’s network, which focuses on enabling young women aged between 14 to 18, from challenged demographics within London, to prepare for the world of work in its broadest sense. Whilst the key criteria for the programme is gender, the broader ‘entry-level attributes’ mean that the population is typically largely ethnic minority.

Margaret Anderson

Senior Vice President for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud

Margaret was nominated and accepted the position as the Executive Sponsor for the BEN (black employee network) at SAP. She has been working with the ethnic minority team members to ensure that they get equal opportunities at SAP when it comes to pay and promotion. Margaret is conscious that we need more advocates to help mentor and groom minorities in the workplace to advance in their careers and to move into board level positions. Externally, she is an advocate for OnBoard, a non-profit group that works to promote women as being ready for corporate boards in the state of Georgia. She is an executive board member for Junior Achievement of GA and has been engaged in their JA Academy program, which teaches entrepreneurship to students in two of the lowest performing schools in the Atlanta area.