Rodney Williams

Since 2016, Rodney has been the co-chair for ‘ONE’, National Grid’s multicultural ERG. ONE’s purpose is to support the professional development of BAME employees, promote inclusion and educate the wider company about the culture and experiences of people of colour. Under his leadership, ONE launched a successful reverse mentoring scheme and membership has increased by 95%. Rodney also co-founded the ‘Development Programme for Diverse Leaders’, designed to accelerate and support BAME employees to positions of management. Rodney has presented to the UK Executive Board and Global Leadership team regarding BAME representation at National Grid, generating change at the highest level of the organisation. Outside of work, Rodney sits on the steering committee of The Network of Networks (TNON) BAME chapter supporting network leaders from over 65 organisations including FTSE companies. TNON aims to provide a platform for cross-company network collaboration. Rodney has undertaken numerous speaking engagements on D&I, including EMpower Emerging Leaders programme’s panel on Inspirational Leadership. He is also a trustee for City Year UK, a youth social action charity which challenges 18 to 25-year-olds to tackle educational inequality through a year of full-time voluntary service in some of the most disadvantaged communities in the UK.

Melvin Williams

Melvin leads the way in the continuing dialogue of diversity and inclusion as president of Nicor Gas and founding chairman of the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council. Through both organizations, Melvin has increased spending with diverse businesses to record numbers. Melvin has committed Nicor Gas to an inclusive workforce that reflects the customers it serves. There are eight employee resource groups that support both the company’s priorities and the interests of members, such as En Rapport, which Melvin is the executive sponsor of, and focuses on African American issues in the workplace through networking opportunities, community activism and professional and personal development. For more than 25 years Melvin has been a member of the national organization American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), including having served as a board member, and remains active member of the Chicago Chapter. He is also a member of The Executive Leadership Council, committed to advancing the role and contributions of Black executives and preparing the next generation of corporate leaders. Having experienced the benefits of strong African American community role models, Melvin supports the United Way and is a lifetime member and Hall of Fame inductee of the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club of Savannah, Georgia, continuing the legacy of his predecessors.

Mandhir Singh

Over the last two years, Mandhir has increased the diversity of his direct leadership team to have 33%  women, 20% with an Afro-Asian ethnicity and 12 different nationalities represented. In his business he has also rolled out a women’s development programme for first-tier management to ensure a diverse talent pool is coming through the organisation. At the beginning of 2017, Mandhir became chair of the BP Positively Ethnic Network, which has over 500 members, and was most recently a panel member for a global webcast on Respect & Inclusion with an audience of over 4,500 participants. Mandhir is also the BP Executive Sponsor for Durham University, where he has taken an active lead to encourage people from different backgrounds and cultures to apply to BP. He also coaches and mentors a wide range of individuals across all age groups and cultures, and helps them navigate application forms for multi-national companies.

Camille Drummond

Camille is an ambassador for BP’s Positively Ethnic Network which is a business resource group supporting the development and careers of employees with a BAME background, including mentoring and sponsorship programs as well as training and networking opportunities. She also personally mentors BAME employees to help them fulfil their potential and is regularly involved in BP’s recruitment activities to visibly demonstrate that you can be black and successful within a corporate organisation. Utilising her positions as an Ambassador for PEN, and as former chair of the Women’s network, she has encouraged BP to work in BAME communities to inspire aspiration and provide practical help and support which is not easily available. Camille initiated the connection between BP team and Urban Synergy to provide work experience for children from Lewisham schools. Additionally, she is currently working with HR to develop a training program on the corporate recruitment process for Powerlist BAME graduates.

Nisha Trivedi

A strong advocate of Diversity & Inclusion, Nisha has led key initiatives on inclusion resulting in organisation wide impact, and has been a champion promoting and supporting the BP African American Network in Chicago and BP Positively Ethnic Network in London. She was one of four senior panellists on a companywide global webcast held in March to discuss inclusion in the workplace, and mentors and coaches diverse individuals. Nisha has served on the Executive committee of an Indian non-profit organisation in Chicago, specifically focusing on the development and advancement of youth and women in their ambitions and career while maintaining their roots and identities. She is an active member of WILD (Women in Listed Derivatives), a Chicago Booth Alum, and actively sponsors key initiatives and organisations for young children in rural India.

Dorothy Burwell

Dorothy recently became Partner at Finsbury where she is also the Sector Head for the Natural Resources division and is also the internal Finsbury brand guardian.
She is currently a member of Finsbury’s global diversity committee. Since joining the committee, she has worked to help initiate programmes, such as unconscious bias training, to encourage a more inclusive work environment. Through Finsbury she also supports the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which provides training and internship opportunities for BAME graduates in public relations firms.
Dorothy is also involved with an informal group of women (Nations Ladies of London) who identify projects specifically in the BAME community to support. Projects/organisations identified to support during 2016 include Arrival Education, a youth education organisation that nurtures the potential of kids from some of the most challenging communities in London, and Girls Network where they have committed to mentoring school-aged girls.

Orlando A. Alvares

As Regional Business Leader, President and CEO of North America, Orlando is directly responsible for all of the natural gas and liquids, power, and derivatives trading and marketing activities across all of North America and now moving into South and Latin America. In the last few years as a senior executive at BP, Orlando has taken the opportunity to really focus on helping the company make a difference in the area of diversity and inclusion and believes that authenticity is the only way you can get people to listen and hopefully make a change.
Over the last four years he has been the Executive Sponsor for BP Pride in North America, but more importantly a strong ally who can proudly say has made a difference in the acceptance culture, both inside and outside of the company. Orlando is also a regular mentor to many employees with a variety of backgrounds, disciplines and aspirations.
Outside of work, Orlando is actively involved in university recruiting, most recently becoming the BP global executive sponsor at University of Michigan and Michigan State, as it gives an opportunity to build relationships with and gets BP out in front of the new generation of oil and gas employees. He is also constantly on the road speaking at various industry forums, or meeting with regulators or politicians.

Hesham Mekawi

Hesham is a Senior Executive at BP and, in his capacity as Regional President for North Africa, reports into the Chief Operating Officer, Upstream Strategy & Regions, who reports into the Chief Executive Officer, Upstream.
In his 25 years with BP, Hesham has consistently demonstrated outstanding results. From his early days as a commercial analyst, through 13 years leading BP’s business in Egypt, and now in his current role as the head of BP’s North Africa business he has always ensured delivery against ambitious objectives, both on a personal level and within his teams.
Hesham has had great success in empowering local talent within the global corporation. Under his leadership, the North Africa leadership team, based in Egypt, is now made up of 90% Egyptian nationals. This is a major change from my early days in the business, when only a few Egyptians – including him– were on the leadership team. In addition, Egyptians now constitute around 85% of the workforce in Egypt, compared to around 35% when he first became Regional President.

Richard Mark

Richard is the President of Ameren Illinois Companies and has 3,200 employees. He was responsible for the formation of ANME (Ameren Network of Minority Employees). As their executive sponsor, this group grew and thrived helping minorities network and providing practical skills and knowledge to help minority employees achieve their personal business goals.
He was instrumental in getting Ameren to sponsor minority hiring events, develop educational programs to help minorities prepare for the rigors of our testing requirements, partner with minority organizations to increase candidate pools and encouraged the use of mentors to increase interest in the utility industry. Richard has worked with strategic sourcing to increase the number of diversity suppliers used and to help facilitate the vendor requirements/process to increase minority spend and has developed a scholarship program for diverse business owners at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University in New Hampshire.
Richard also serves on the Board of the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council. This council is designed to grow business opportunities for diverse suppliers through closer collaboration, technical development and sharing of best practices.

Nina Bhatia

Nina is a senior executive in Centrica plc and sits within the top 50 employees of the company with a global team of c.400 staff. In her current role as MD, Centrica Connected Home, she has direct responsibility for one of Centrica’s 2 growth businesses.
Nina’s approach to diversity and inclusion is that it cannot be a ‘stand-alone’ initiative – to add value it needs to be an integral part of how we get things done and an output of how we behave. Through her sponsorship of internal employee networks Nina acts as a role model for BAME employees and provides leadership on gender and BAME initiatives.
Nina promotes diversity within Centrica from the top down and believes that diversity within a workforce leads to a successful organisation. She is therefore keen to ensure Centrica’s culture and working practices are fit for purpose to attract, retain and develop the best talent – with a specific focus on BAME talent. Earlier in her career, Nina was among the first BAME partners in McKinsey, London.