Chris is IBM’s UKI Global Business Services People Partner, and IBM’s Industrial Sector Strategic Transformation Leader. As People Partner, he is focused on creating an inclusive working environment that empowers and supports all practitioners to do their best work. He is a senior sponsor for the BAME BRG and chairs an Inclusion Council representing BAME, gender, LGBT+, PwDA and faith groups, and actively supports all BRGs and their D&I initiatives. He also mentors colleagues from underrepresented backgrounds and provides reverse mentoring to other senior executives in IBM. Beyond IBM, Chris works with the College of Policing to assess individuals who are on track for Chief Constable roles with a view of supporting the police to create more diverse senior leadership team that represent the communities they work in.
As executive sponsor of the BAME Employee Network and a member of the IBM UK Inclusion Council for 8 years, Ajay’s mission has been to raise awareness of the challenges facing ethnic minority employees, and to drive initiatives to attract, develop and progress ethnic minority IBMers. The strategy has been ‘top down’ ensuring the IBM UKI board understands the importance of ethnic minority employees as part of the workforce and ‘bottom up’, encouraging all employees, members and allies, to be actively involved. A recent initiative around ethnicity pay gap reporting has provided the opportunity to further the dialogue in relation to data capture. At the same time, he is a mentor to managers and professionals, helping manage their careers within the IBM Corporation. Ajay is passionate about intersectionality, and the BAME Employee Network successfully collaborates with other minority network groups to collaborate and deliver a consistent message with greater impact. IBM has been recognised for openly embracing the diversity agenda, which has provided Ajay several external opportunities including being a reverse mentor to the prior Director General of the House of Commons, delivering lectures, as well as sitting on panels on the importance of ethnic minority inclusion. Additionally, he is a trustee of OneKindAct, a charity granting c.20% of funds to support education needs, and 80% of funds in Asian/African continents. He is currently working on harmonising momentum with major corporates to deliver a more significant and sustainable impact in the UK, by sharing experiences and increased collaboration around BAME, people with disabilities, gender and LGBT.
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.
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.
For the IBM UK BAME employee network, she leads the Talent Attract workstream for Early Professional Hires (Apprentices, Interns and Graduates). Collaborating with Kings College London University, she drives the eMentoring and Uni Insight programs, which highlight STEM careers options and showcases IBM as an inclusive employer. Activities include BAME employees presenting on IBM’s strategic imperatives such as Design Thinking, Robotics, Cognitive/AI and Blockchain as well as hosting a BAME panel and Q&As with the KCL students. She also leads eMentoring by matching BAME IBM mentors to KCL mentees to encourage skill development, IBM’s offerings and create a sense of community through “faces like me”. Minal has won several internal awards including Inclusion Champion of the Quarter and for her work on Uni Insight. She is disrupting the traditional perception of IBM as a hardware seller and is a strong advocate for #diversityintech. Outside of work, Minal works with UK organisation “Shiva Soundsystem”, aiming to challenge the perception of Asian culture in the UK across music, film, radio and events. Her next initiative challenges the social representation of women in India through creation of a progressive, mainstream media brand.
Rashik is co-lead of the Multi-Cultural Business Resource Group which aims to provide practical support and mentoring for employees, as well as addressing unconscious bias, through a range of meetings, podcasts and blogs. He focuses on using corporate social media channels to share good news stories in these forms, aiming to inspire both managers and professionals. He also mentors BME employees and shares his professional experience as a diverse role model. Externally, Rashik chairs the Business Communications Group, and is a board member for the Leeds City Region LEP, where he has integrated local ethnic businesses into the programme. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor at Imperial College London, which attracts a truly international student population.