Louise set up WM Roots, a group of like-minded colleagues who champion ethnic and cultural diversity at Wavemaker, as well as driving greater inclusivity and representation within the wider media industry. Louise has presented Wavemaker-specific results from the Industry Diversity Taskforce census to the agency, to be used to track diversity progress; arranged for WE ARE STRIPES to speak about their work championing ethnic diversity and highlight how Wavemaker staff can get involved; organised a photography exhibition featuring and celebrating women of colour; and connected with WPP contacts to help set-up their own branches of Roots. Roots has facilitated numerous events to promote D&I and intersectionality, including participation in mentoring schemes and collaborating with HR on incorporating D&I into recruitment practices. To achieve positive change outside of her WM Roots efforts, Louise mentors women of colour within the communications industry. She has also worked hard to raise her own profile and visibility to act as a role model.
Krishna has been a key driver of the implementation of the industry-leading company-wide diversity and inclusion agenda at MediaCom, including the organisation of internal events and initiatives, as well as client account specific programmes. Krishna has organised internal events, including the celebration of International Women’s Day, where she championed women from diverse backgrounds. She has joined the Diversity and Inclusion Committee as an ethnicity representative, where she organises further events and initiatives. Krishna set up a partnership with the charity SmartWorks, a women’s charity who provide interview outfits and coaching for unemployed women. She has also developed a bespoke client-specific diversity and inclusion programme for a successful client pitch, recommending an ethnicity pay gap report, diversity targets for their leadership team and an inclusive hiring policy. Outside of MediaCom, Krishna aspires to be a role model and mentor to women from ethnic minority backgrounds. She contributes to driving awareness for ‘Bloody Good Period’, a charity that provides sanitary products to refugees, asylum seekers and women living in poverty. She also worked with a charity partner ‘Co2 Balance’ to set up a CSR project to provide reusable sanitary products to help keep Ugandan girls in education.
Sabrina passionately spearheads opportunities and initiatives that open doors to a new generation of BAME professionals. At Zeno Group, she was the first Black female executive in the agency’s New York office co-leading the Consumer Marketing practice under the New York MD and became a mentor to junior BAME employees. She lobbied for and founded the first ever D&I council, presenting the case for its establishment, writing the mission statement, the council’s responsibilities, convening members across the US network and was the chairperson – overseeing ideation and execution of the council’s activities. Sabrina organized workshops for staff with D&I experts to build awareness of governmental policies and societal movements that are impacting staff and the public the group are in service to. Externally, Sabrina is an Adjunct Professor at Manhattan College teaching Advanced Communications and Strategic Planning to students. Sabrina was handpicked by Fordham University to facilitate its Leadership Communications Lab, creating rigorous exam settings to prepare business graduate students for the workforce; in addition to giving talks with BAME students at the University of East London. She is also a member of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, mentoring young BAME professionals on their career trajectories, and is a contributor to HuffPo, Forbes, CultureBanx and PR Week, providing insights on important issues affecting people of colour today.
Dorothy serves on Finsbury’s Global Diversity committee, which focuses on supporting initiatives around the business to foster a more balanced workplace across gender, racial and sexual orientation bounds. This includes initiatives such as delivering unconscious bias training to leadership, ensuring that recruitment practices encourage the interviewing and selection of individuals from varied backgrounds, as well as developing affinity networks within the company. Additionally, as part of this role, is involved with Finsbury’s ongoing support of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which seeks to address the need for greater diversity in the public relations industry. Dorothy also serves the wider WPP organisation as Finsbury’s executive sponsor on the WPP Roots Steering Committee, a committee which seeks to promote diversity and inclusion through the culture and work across agencies. Away from the office, Dorothy has helped to establish of the London (UK) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, an 73 year-old international charity and NGO which is committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of those of African descent. Dorothy has served as Vice President of the chapter and was recently elected President and Trustee. Dorothy has been listed in the Top 100 Women to Watch by Cranfield University, and co-leads the Investor Relations practice for the EMEA region as Finsbury seeks to expand its footprint.
As an artist, Kai has headlined at Sundance, Cannes Lions, SXSW alongside an all-Black performers programme; as a record label founder, his corporate art fund has invested over $4M in Black Art this year alone. He hosts Black Excellence events in LA and Toronto and enacted a Global Diversity & Inclusion Charter at Isobar. Frequent initiatives for his internal project, The Intersectionality Forum, continue to take place at their Toronto headquarters to highlight shared values and encourage representation. Kai also established a Culture Potluck within the organization to celebrate the diaspora; promotes a Nike Run Club alongside “The Real Toronto”, an advocacy group in the Toronto community; and is the executive sponsor of a weekly book club and library initiative that promotes underrepresented voices in literature. Kai’s approach to allyship and focus on equality has been featured in international magazines as all VPs in his organisations are trained for unconscious bias. His team of award-winning Creative Directors + 100 creative staff write inclusive briefs/castings for the likes of Cadillac and Stoli Vodka. Kai is a member of the NAACP, PETA, NARAS and the ACLU, and an very proud ally of @Unity_In_Color. In addition to his philanthropy and executive mentorship, Kai’s global activism extends further as a a Billboard Top 40-charting musician.
As an openly gay and ethnic minority senior executive, Suresh continues to champion the diversity agenda, picking up from his previous efforts whilst he was worldwide chief business development officer at Ogilvy Group. Within Vision7, Suresh is part of a central steering committee on Diversity & Inclusion, where he provides senior counsel and active operational guidance to the way the organization recruits and involves talent and the championing of individuals, with a single focus to make the organization a welcoming place for all – particularly more inclusive for minority candidates. He is an executive sponsor of a number of professional networks which focus on personal and professional development of LGBT+, Black, Asian and Latin communities. He is a professional and personal mentor to a number of ethnic minority individuals across the USA, UK, UAE, and Asia. Externally, Suresh sits on a number of advisory boards and continues to speak on a professional and personal level on the impact of ethnic minority inclusivity on business to drive positive business change and growth. He has been invited by the TED 2019 conference to chair a conversation on ‘Remembering Humanity’, bridging the discourse between humanity and race. He was a contributor on the global anthropological study on Leading Humans, an inaugural member of The Alliance, and has been featured in the Huffington Post, discussing the need for belonging and inclusivity. He is a global influencer for the City of London, an active member of the hosting committee for OutRight International and was involved in a number of diversity panels at Cannes Lions 2018.
Shelina takes an active role in diversity-related and more general events to ensure there is an up-front presence of ethnic minority leaders, and is one of the most referenced spokespeople at Ogilvy in the media. She has written for the Guardian about her experiences as an ethnic minority employee of Ogilvy and was the company’s face at their International Women’s Day event last year. Shelina is part of Ogilvy’s diversity group, Roots, is on the steering committee for WPP Roots and sits on WPP and Ogilvy’s inclusion boards. She has ensured that the organisation is producing public facing work aimed at under-served consumers, such as through the ground-breaking “Great British Ramadan” study in 2018 which generated coverage across national media such as Radio 4 and the Observer. Shelina mentors upcoming BAME talent, particularly younger individuals and women. She highlights the challenges facing BAME individuals in contributions to newspapers and magazines and uses her platform to encourage those from ethnic minority backgrounds to step into new spaces, especially across various sectors of the creative economy. She has served twice as D&AD New Blood Award Judge, ensuring that people of colour are represented and that briefs reflect areas of focus for people of colour. She is working with various institutions to encourage Muslim creative talent, currently serving as an advisor to the Amal Foundation, working with the British Film Institute and D&AD, and having served as an advisor and judge for the Young Muslim Writers Awards, a trustee for the Windsor Fellowship and a judge for The Muslim News Awards for Excellence among other efforts to build awareness for ethnic minority communities in the creative sector.
Grey London is one of the UK’s largest advertising agencies. It’s also one of the most awarded of the last decade. In her role as agency CMO Sarah’s been instrumental in driving new business and launching legacy initiatives to make advertising and marketing a more accessible place for people from diverse backgrounds. In 2017, to mark its centennial, Sarah was integral to changing the company’s name to that of its founders, Valenstein & Fatt, something they could never do due to anti-semitism in New York in 1917. Keen to establish lasting change, Sarah built key legacy initiatives, including The Agency Census to collect in-depth diversity data; the 100 Schools outreach platform, celebrating creativity and helping BAME children understand advertising; a V&F Bursary to attract young LSM talent; and a push to recruit more diverse talent. Sarah spends time with every BAME intern at the agency and mentors BAME talent. Recognising that D&I challenges are too complex to be tackled by one agency, Sarah co-founded the Advertising Diversity Taskforce, a collective of the most progressive UK agencies with a focus on creating change though shared agenda, initiatives and budgets. The ADT has created the biggest diversity deep dive the industry’s ever commissioned, built a panel of BAME and LSM role models, supported mentoring schemes, and lobbied for the industry’s poverty pledge. They’re currently working alongside ISBA to commission the widest ever audit of diversity on screen and behind the camera. Sarah is a regular speaker, news commentator and panel chair for diversity, and she has been recognised through numerous significant diversity positions, including being awarded an IPA Fellowship for exceptional contribution to advertising, citing in particular her work with the ADT.
Simon is an advocate of HarperCollins UK’s strategy on diversity and inclusion, which he supports via regular meetings and forums, dedicated to establishing a more diverse workplace. At the 2017 London Book Fair Simon accepted the Inclusivity in Publishing Award on behalf of HarperCollins. He is a sponsor of BAME recruitment and in 2017 will be launching the BAME Development Circle at HarperCollins – a programme for mentoring, career coaching, networking, confidence-building and peer to peer support of BAME talent in the company. Externally, Simon is a director of the Bush Theatre in London’s Shepherds Bush, and a member of its Finance and Audit Committee. The theatre is committed to producing diverse new plays from the widest range of backgrounds. He was also recently appointed a lead mentor for Business in the Community’s BAME mentoring circle programme, and led HarperCollins at a recent careers fair supporting the development of up and coming BAME talent.
Dorothy currently serves on Finsbury’s global diversity committee, overseeing initiatives such as delivering unconscious bias training to leadership, ensuring that recruitment practices encourage the interviewing and selection of individuals from varied backgrounds, as well as developing affinity networks within the company. She is also actively involved in the organisation’s support of the Taylor Bennett foundation which seeks to address the need for greater diversity in the public relations industry. Externally Dorothy serves as the Vice President and advisory board member of non-profit organisation, Nations Ladies, which brings together accomplished professional women from BAME backgrounds for the common purpose of encouraging greatness in London’s school-aged girls, specifically from BAME backgrounds. Additionally, she is a mentor and works to cultivate work experience opportunities for college age BAME girls, to better prepare them for life in the workplace post-college or university.