In her role at Unilever, ensuring true diversity and inclusion is key. In North America, her department have undertaken a variety of workshops, training and conferences, all aimed at understanding and improving the experience of ethnic minorities in the workplace. This is a template which is now being rolled out across the company globally. Externally, Leena has been actively involved in the youth employability space for a number of years. She led a collaboration between Unilever and the National Skills Development Corporation of India, with the objective of training 1 Million youth in employable skills by 2020. She also has a personal mission to reach 1 Million young women with a message of inspiration and hope. At over 300 speaking occasions, mostly in Asian communities, Leena has shared the story of her rise from humble middle class origins. She sees the tremendous feedback received as testament to the impact of role modelling on young Asian women. She is also a steering committee leader for the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Education, Gender, Work & Skills committees. She has been recognised by HRH Queen Elizabeth II as one of the most accomplished Indian Business Leaders in the UK and by, HR Magazine, Business Today, UK First Women, and as a LinkedIn Top Voice for her diversity and inclusion efforts.
Ukonwa has advocated for, and built her COVERGIRL team, to be as diverse as the communities they serve. In doing so, she has also built a strong bench and pipeline of future leaders. She has supported the Odyssey Network of Multicultural women’s network through active participation, and encouraging her direct reports to take part too. She has also served as a formal and informal mentor to many ethnic minority employees, sharing insights to help them navigate the corporate environment. Ukonwa was named one of 25 women changing the world by Black Enterprise magazine and the COVERGIRL “I am what I make up” campaign was named “Campaign of Year” by Refinery 29 for getting inclusivity right. She has served as a visible ethnic minority leader in the marketing, advertising, and business community, aiming to inspire future ethnic minority leaders on what is possible and what they can achieve. Among a whole host of accolades, Ukonwa was placed on the Brand Marketer of the Year list by Ad Age, named as one of 11 Inspiring Women Changing the Beauty Game, and won a Gold Award at the Festival of Media North America.
In her role at Unilever, ensuring true diversity and inclusion is key. In North America, her department have undertaken a variety of workshops, training and conferences, all aimed at understanding and improving the experience of ethnic minorities in the workplace. This is a template which is now being rolled out across the company globally. Externally, Leena has been actively involved in the youth employability space for a number of years. She led a collaboration between Unilever and the National Skills Development Corporation of India, with the objective of training 1 Million youth in employable skills by 2020. She also has a personal mission to reach 1 Million young women with a message of inspiration and hope. At over 300 speaking occasions, mostly in Asian communities, Leena has shared the story of her rise from humble middle class origins. She sees the tremendous feedback received as testament to the impact of role modelling on young Asian women. She is also a steering committee leader for the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Education, Gender, Work & Skills committees. She has been recognised numerous times by the FT, HR Magazine, Business Today, and UK First Women, for her diversity and inclusion efforts.
Valuing diversity is at the core of Leena’s personal value system. The organisation started with gender and had good results and are now using the same model to show results in BAME Diversity too, particularly in North America. In 2016 they increased People of Colour representation at manager level and above, by over 22% and they now have eight active Business Resource Groups with over 2000 employees participating including Black Excellence at Unilever, Latin American and Asian American Business Networks. Leena was responsible for leading Unilever to become a Founding Sponsor of the Jackie Robinson Foundation which supports minority students in higher education. She also leads on their partnership with Executive Leadership Council where they have offered 15 scholarships to Unilever Black and Hispanic talent to attend a week long leadership development week. Externally, she has been actively involved in the youth employability space for a number of years; heading a collaboration with the National Skills Development Corporation of India with the objective of training 1 Million youth, by 2020 in Tier 2 and Tier 3 Indian towns for practical training in employable skills.
By deciding to remain in the corporate world as a Senior Vice President, Ukonwa has assured that in her industry and company, people become more used to seeing people of colour in the room, with a voice and seat at the table. She has built her leadership team to be very inclusive, and is intentional about developing a pipeline of diverse leaders. Being the senior vice president of an iconic beauty brand like COVERGIRL means that Ukonwa also has the opportunity to impact popular culture by highlighting and celebrating the beauty in diversity.
As Vice President, Supply Chain, Yogesh has a total of 700 employees under his leadership. His employees are located at multiple facilities: Ferndale, Taylor, and Grand Rapids, Michigan, Everett, Washington, and Camden, New Jersey. Previously, he was the Director of Supply Chain and North American Strategy at Campbell beginning in August 2012.
Yogesh has worked tirelessly to ensure a diverse pipeline by coordinating recruiting at conferences for minority engineers including National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE). He attended and recruited students at the latter of the two conferences.
Yogesh is passionate about mentoring and understands the importance of role modelling and advocacy for professionals of colour and has been active in mentoring several high performing team members. In his current role at Garden Fresh Gourmet, a recent Campbell acquisition, Yogesh worked with his Human Resources team to ensure that the organization recognized the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a paid holiday to ensure inclusivity, alignment with Campbell culture and recognition of one of Americas most revered civil rights activists.
Ukonwa is the Senior Global Director for the Knorr Masterbrand at Unilever. Throughout her career, she has played an active role in identifying, recruiting, attracting and retaining BAME talent both formally and informally. She is also a seasoned external speaker and BAME advocate and mentor.
Ukonwa is passionate marketer and proven business leader with over 18 years of experience. She was recently named by Marketing Magazines Power 100 list of the most influential, inspiring and innovative marketers and Black Enterprises list of one of the top women in advertising and marketing. During her tenure at Knorr, she has been part of a team that has delivered the strongest brand performance in recent history, in addition to the vast majority of our markets globally maintaining or growing brand equity.
Before joining Reckitt Benckiser, Ukonwa worked at General Mills, where she successfully led iconic brands such as Betty Crocker, Progresso, Honey Nut Cheerios, and Cascadian Farm Organic.
Rakesh is the CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, a £10 billion company and global leader in consumer health and hygiene. Reckitt Benckiser employs 37.000 people worldwide and manages a portfolio of category leading brands such as Dettol, Nurofen, Durex, Vanish and Strepsils. These brands are available in nearly 200 countries.
It is the distinct culture that Rakesh has enabled that allows entrepreneurial spirit to be part of the business and allows those who posses it to make their mark, grow to outperform and feel included. He aspired for a culture is all about the people who make RB what it is, regardless of gender, race, age and that is exactly what he has delivered.
Being one of just two Asian CEOs of FTSE 100 companies Rakesh is trying to be a role model for BAME people whenever and wherever he can. In 2015 he took his Board to visit India, a key growth market for the company. The Board members met government ministers and were given the opportunity to immerse themselves into the Indian business environment thereby enhancing their knowledge thereof.
Linda is Chief Information Officer for P&G. In this expansive role, she is responsible for building the capability of the Companys Information Technology (IT) function as well as providing IT governance oversight.
Linda is a member of P&Gs Global Leadership Council. In 2010, while serving as Senior Vice President for Global Business Services, Linda also was named P&G Chief Diversity Officer. In that capacity, she crafted the first company-wide diversity and inclusion strategy and established P&Gs first ever Global Inclusion & Diversity Council, significantly elevating P&Gs Diversity Inc. and Working Mother Magazine rankings.
She continues to speak across the company and around the world in her travels about the power of diversity in building a stronger work force and the importance that everyone bring their full-selves to work.
Manik is Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Coca-Cola Enterprises. He is part of their Executive Leadership Team. Having worked at other bottlers as well as in the Coca-Cola Company, Manik has an influence that goes beyond CCE.
Under his leadership, D&I has been taken to another level within Coca-Cola enterprises Finance organization: the number of women in Finance, the female representation within Finance remained at an average of 57%. As well as establishing a Finance Diversity and Inclusion Council, Finance has started to pilot a company-wide mentoring program, something Manik was particularly keen on as his team of 704 Finance professionals is spread out across Europe, including Sofia, Bulgaria.
Besides championing the overall D&I agenda for the Finance function, Manik has also played a key role championing the Cultural Diversity agenda at CCE, for example by participating at the kick-off of their Cultural Diversity Awareness day in Great Britain.