Vanessa’s organisation works as a consultancy to engage millennial women with FTSE 100 businesses in technology, financial services and law. Her senior management team is led by women of colour and they have structured internship schemes targeted at young women of colour. Vanessa set up the first pan-industry technology mentoring scheme, the award-winning Step into STEM, funded by O2, BT, Vodafone and Ericsson, which gives female students who study STEM subjects a mentor to support their career aspirations and to address the under-representation of women working in the STEM sector. They target women who are from Black, Asian or ethnic-minorities and in particular Black female students. She is currently working with Facebook on initiatives to attract black female students. Externally, Vanessa has been working with the UK Parliament to lead the delivery and strategy for the Speakers Parliamentary Placement Scheme, which gives 13 people of colour and those from under-represented backgrounds a 9 month paid internship with a Member of Parliament to increase the number of ethnic minority MPs and staff. She has also connected the scheme with corporate clients to host workplace visits to showcase other private sector opportunities. She is developing a residential programme and on Parliament initiatives to ensure that it is accessible for people with disabilities.
Vanessa has spent over a decade working with FTSE 100 businesses creating and delivering programmes that give BAME young people aged 16-18 access to careers in the financial services. She has achieved this through through setting up award winning mentoring, internship and work experience programmes for RBS Legal, UBS, Reed Smith and many more businesses. The programmes and workshops she has delivered have impacted thousands of BAME young people in London and many of the young people who have participated in these programmes now work in the City for the financial services. Vanessa also advised the former UK Prime Minister David Cameron on his youth engagement strategy in particular for BAME young people in London and how to ensure that they get access into the workplace as when she was invited to consult; youth unemployment in the UK was at nearly a million. She is also a regular visiting lecturer and speaker on Diversity and Social Mobility for City University London, Kent Business School, Brunel University and Kings College London to educate academics and students on how FTSE 100 businesses can improve diversity and the visibility and experience of BAME People.