Archives

Nilesh Solanki

As Founder and Leader of the PwC Hindu Network for 17 years, Nilesh has helped impact the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion agenda by leading, mentoring and coaching a dynamic team of 15 to drive initiatives to over 1000 internal & external members and clients. He has played a part in multiple successful initiatives including Diwali celebrations, International Women’s Day, Everyday Inclusion Day, Interfaith and spiritual events. Nilesh has been the keynote speaker at the Centre of India Studies, exploring the impact and contribution of Indian diaspora globally, and was part of the judging panel for the PwC Awards which promotes D&I, innovation, entrepreneurship and business & global acumen. He sits as an advisory board member for NHSF (UK) & City Hindu Network, and is the National Assistant General Secretary of Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (UK), running 110 weekly leadership activity centers across the UK with over 2000 attendees.  

Albertha Charles

Albertha is a member of PwC’s Talent & Diversity Council, Culture and Diversity Leader on the Transaction Services Leadership Team, and Sponsor Partner of the PwC Multicultural Business Network. She played a key role in sponsoring and hosting PwC & Aon’s Black to the Future Black History Month forum, and in the PwC Colour Brave campaign. She established a network of culture champions in her business unit, launched a Culture Café series, and hosts a ‘This is me’ campaign, encouraging people to be more comfortable in their own skin at work. She is a member of the Race Equality Board at Business in the Community, where she led the development of an ‘inclusion toolkit’. She has showcased aspects of PwC’s inclusion journey at the Houses of Parliament and at the House of Lords, and has participated in Number 10’s Black History Month celebrations.

Kevin Ellis

Kevin aims to create a culture where everyone feels empowered to be the best they can be, whatever their background and however they identify. This is why PwC has voluntarily published their ethnicity pay gap for the past two years in their digital annual report, alongside a clear action plan to drive diversity and inclusion. PwC have invested in creating progression coaches to provide career advice and advocacy specifically aimed at high-potential ethnic minority and female directors. The programme is designed to directly improve gender and ethnicity pay gaps by ensuring PwC has a strong pipeline of senior people to fill these roles in the coming years. Kevin has also changed PwC’s partner income allocation process to ensure those leaders within PwC who are making a positive contribution to gender and ethnicity targets are recognised and rewarded. This is helping to drive accountability for diversity and inclusion among each of the firm’s leaders who all have a role to play in setting the right tone from the top. With Kevin’s guidance, PwC has recently joined forces with UKBlackTech to encourage greater diversity in the technology sector and to inspire more young people from a range of backgrounds to pursue careers in technology. Passionate about social mobility and ethnic diversity, Kevin championed PwC’s investment in Bradford as a way of enacting change in an area identified by the government as an opportunity area. Kevin also mentors ethnic minority future leaders from other PwC network firms and is the long-term sponsor of PwC’s GLEE (gays, lesbians and everyone else) network, which has grown to over 900 members.

Dara Kirton

Since joining PwC, Dara has had had a proactive role in diversity outside of her day job in consulting. In 2013, she set up the PwC Diversity Mentoring scheme to encourage students from under represented backgrounds to seek and gain careers in professional services. The scheme supports 200 students across the UK with employability skills and applications. 60% of these students are from BAME backgrounds. She has chaired the PwC Multicultural Business Network since 2015, steering the network through a relaunch, and it now has over 1,100 members. Dara led ColourBrave, a national campaign encouraging conversations on race at PwC. She now sponsors the network, mentoring the co-chairs and supporting and facilitating discussions with leadership and clients. On a day to day level, Dara has acted as a role model, coach, mentor and sounding board to many BAME colleagues and proactively championed diversity and inclusion across the firm. She joined the founding team of UK Black Tech, an organisation put in place to increase the cultural diversity of the tech industry, and is an active member of the EMpower working committee.

Mary Agbesanwa

Since August, Mary has co-chaired PwC’s Multicultural Business Network (MBN) as it has grown to 1000+ internal members, 300+ external members and 5 new regional MBN teams. She leads the network’s steering committee and chairs quarterly network leadership meetings. The MBN’s main focus is driving the ‘ColourBrave’ strategy within the firm normalising conversations about race in the workplace. Mary ensures that all events showcase diversity in leadership and sits on PwC’s People Council. Knowing that many BAME employees struggle to organically make strategic mentoring relationships, this year she organised for over 100 MBN members to be on the pilot for an internal mentoring app which enables employees to find mentors around the firm and have access to mentoring-related resources. Outside of work, she continues to run a young professional women’s network called Now You’re Talking, which has predominantly BAME Members and delivers action-focused networking events, side hustle showcases and retreats for members. For Black History Month, Mary leveraged her social media platform to launch the #31DaysofBlackExcellence Campaign on her blog showcasing 31 young Black people excelling in the corporate world, academia or entrepreneurship.

Albertha Charles

As part of the Talent and Diversity Council at PwC, Albertha helps to define PwC’s overall UK D&I strategy. She launched a culture change programme to drive greater inclusion and promote BAME progression as a lever to deliver better business performance; took an active role in the launch and promotion of PwC’s Colour Brave campaign; sponsored PwC’s most extensive national BAME focus group campaign; and hosted workshops for senior figures across the industry to explore D&I strategies and BAME inclusion. Through this work, Albertha has increased D&I engagement levels. New resourcing processes have been implemented to achieve a fairer allocation of work, which is closely monitored. Albertha has challenged exclusion and marginalisation by introducing a range of networking opportunities, including partners and directors promoting lower profile talented employees, many of whom are BAME. Albertha also works to accelerate BAME progression externally. She recently spoke to an audience at Oxford University, giving an overview of her career as a BAME individual in the FS sector, focusing on empowerment, sponsorship and authenticity. Albertha is a judge for the Black British Business Awards, and presented at the 5th year anniversary ceremony. She participated in the Bloomberg Ethnicity panel and is a member of the Business in the Community Race Equality Board. She has explored the response to the Parker Review, and took part in a number of inclusion panels with professional services firms including Norton Rose and Clifford Chance panel, where she focussed on navigating a professional services firm as a BAME individual. Albertha has delivered many other high profile presentations on the D&I agenda, and is part of a newly-formed senior women executives network exploring ways to accelerate the progression of BAME women.

Tunji Akintokun

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 5 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 externally and within PwC, where he is a member of PwC’s Multicultural Business Network. 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 has been featured on numerous lists for his diversity work and 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.

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.

Dara Kirton

Since joining PwC, Dara has had had a proactive role in Diversity outside of her day job in Consulting. In 2013, she set up the PwC Diversity Mentoring scheme to encourage students from under represented backgrounds to seek and gain careers in professional services. The scheme started with a pilot of 18 students and now supports 200 students across the UK with employability skills and applications. 60% of these students are from BAME backgrounds. She has chaired the PwC Multicultural Business Network since 2015. Last year the network relaunched, and now has over 900 members. Last year, Dara led a national wide campaign encouraging conversations on race at PwC, called Colourbrave.  On a day to day level, Dara has acted as a role model, coach, mentor and sounding board to many BAME colleagues and proactively championed diversity and inclusion across the firm, seeing the firm make its ground-breaking decision to publish its BAME pay gap. Despite a demanding role in consulting, and achieving promotion to Chief of Staff, Dara continues to travel far and wide to lead discussions and participate in workshops that contribute to BAME representation at PwC.

Mary Agbesanwa

Since having joined about a year and half ago, Mary has made a consistent effort to make PwC a more inclusive and welcoming workplace for BAME staff. She has been involved in the steering committee for the Multicultural Business Network (MBN) which has grown to just shy of 1000 members. She helped lead the twitter campaign for the MBN’s #ColourBrave campaign which garnered over 2 million impressions on Twitter spotlighting the firm’s novel practices to encourage discussions about race at work. This February, she organised a session on Personal Branding for BAME employees at the firm to think about how they can develop their personal brand in an online world. Outside of work, she runs a young professional women’s network called Now You’re Talking, that has predominantly BAME Members. The group shares events happening in the city of London as well as blogs and inspiring content. She is also a member of the Youth Council for Able Child Africa, the UK’s largest charity for disabled children in Africa, which is a strong passion of hers following working in Tanzania prior to PwC and witnessing some of the stigma associated with physical disabilities.