Michael is the first and currently the only Black Executive Committee member at BT Group and uses his position to pull together those of Black, Asian and minority ethnicities in order to improve networking across the business. This has meant working to identify people of colour throughout the organisation and championing the improvement of the organisations data collection to help in tracking people of colour through their careers to support in their development and performance as well as to look at how BT can underpin this with appropriate measures. This has also included individual mentorship of employees of colour to support and guide them through their career. Having piloted a reporting and score carding initiative within his own team, Michael is working with his leadership team and HR to spearhead more Black, Asian and ethnic diversity across BT. He has been an active board member, investor and mentor to students through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, who focus on helping students and historically Black colleges and universities to develop next generation African-American leaders. He is also an active member of the Executive Leadership Council, supporting growth and development of Black C-suite executives and board members. In addition, Michael is an active member of Sigma Pie Phi (Boule), raising money for the Boule foundation and its associated scholarship funds, with a focus on children of African American descent.
As a member of a UK inclusion steering committee, Mandeep was instrumental in creating Telefonica O2 UK’s D&I ambition and strategy. She organised a number of events to raise awareness for employee networks and inclusivity, on one occasion working with June Sarpong as a keynote speaker. Mandeep has also written blog posts on her own story, presenting greater BAME visibility in senior positions. 18 months ago, Mandeep established Telefonica O2 UK’s BAME network to foster debate, raise awareness and educate on race-related subjects, such as ‘O2 Culture Club’ which is a fun monthly BAME film review for all their members to see the world through another’s perspective. She has held open forums for BAME employees to encourage bold and open discussions and tangible insights and actions. She also engaged with Telefonica Global on D&I and people strategy to encourage them to take a broader view of the future workforce, within the UK agreeing upon targets for BAME representation in hiring. Changes inspired by the network can be seen from senior levels to customer-facing roles in store. Mandeep works across the business with Telefonica’s sister companies to support their D&I agenda. She also works with external organisations in this capacity, helping to create bespoke strategies to drive greater change. She manages a network of organisations in her spare time to ensure a continuing dialogue and to accelerate BAME D&I across businesses. Mandeep mentors BAME talent internally and externally, and supports start ups in their cultural growth with a diversity lens. She regularly speaks to students from underrepresented backgrounds at schools, and has received numerous accolades for her work on D&I.
Rob sits on Vodafone UK’s BAME Think Tank and as one of a small number of ethnic minority Senior Leaders in Vodafone UK, he ensures visibility amongst all ethnic groups – and has engaged directly with the UK board, making personal recommendations around how to develop a higher ethnic minority representation at a senior level. Outside of his day job, Rob has appeared on a number of panels, podcasts, and other speaking events discussing matters relevant to Diversity and Inclusion, including “Guys That Get It” in conjunction with Sacha Atherton, and Northern Power Women Live. He has an influential presence in business, particularly in Northern business circles. He was listed at number 4 on the North West Business Insider 2017 “Science and Tech” Power List, and has been cited in a New Statesman article as a key influencer in the drive to make the Northern Powerhouse a reality.
Bridget has continuously advocated and encouraged diversity throughout the business, championing a number of related programs. She runs face to face sessions for ethnic minority employees, allowing her to meet with and understand the increasingly diverse workforce at O2. These sessions are being used to tackle key issues hindering progression, setting up mentor and sponsor schemes for ethnic minority individuals within the store community, and awareness campaigns amongst the stores population to improve visibility of areas of concern. Bridget has championed the roll out of unconscious bias training and presented BAME issues to the board. Bridget runs a program for women who have overcome diversity and many of these women are from the BAME community. For many years, Bridget has also mentored external ethnic minority individuals in the industry, as well as being a mentor on the Retail week ‘Be Inspired’ campaign. She has received numerous internal and external awards, as well as attending and speaking at many external events and sitting on a number of industry panels.
Shahzad is the first BT Race champion and acts as the executive sponsor for the Ethnic Minority and Muslim Networks, as well as chairing the Senior Ethnic Board. He has instigated a sponsorship and mentoring programme to help BAME talent achieve their maximum potential, and has reviewed all of the recruitment policies to promote diversity of all kinds. Externally, he sits on the BITC Race Equality Board and is an active member. He also supports several charities and has engaged Human Appeal as their Muslim Network charity partner, as well as supporting the Football for Peace charity which works in socio-economically deprived areas. Shahzad won the inaugural Alliance Manchester Business School Global MBA Citizen Award, the Gold Medal for excellence from the British Quality Foundation and the Finance team of the year award.
Bridget is the Director of Stores, Online, Multichannel & Supply Chain at O2 UK and is responsible for leading a team of 2,795 employees, representing 42% of O2’s total staff base. Bridget’s area serves 25 million customers through their 470 stores and 30 million unique visitors through the website and app annually. She is an expert at leading customer focused transformational change to deliver in a multichannel world and has conceived and delivered a number of initiatives across culture change, multichannel and new store concepts. Bridget is the only White and Black African person at her level in the business, and has led her department to many industry awards. Bridget runs a programme called ‘Inspirational Women’ for women in the workplace who have overcome adversity, many of whom are from the BAME community. She is also a mentor for individuals across the industry, is an ambassador for the Retail Week ‘Be Inspired’ campaign and champions diversity inspiring both women and BAME individuals to achieve their potential. In addition she is the official business sponsor of the LGBQT society and a member of the Women’s Network.
As a National Account Manager at Vodafone Global Enterprise Rashada is responsible for driving business development, account management and consultative technology sales into Global Enterprise organisations. Rashada is co-Founder of Your Future ,Your Ambition which was formed to not only help STEM organisations welcome candidates from diverse backgrounds, but also to inspire and encourage students to pursue careers in Science Technology Engineering and Maths. Since 2012, over 3000 students have attended, over 600 have received mentoring and over 21 organisations have participated in YFYA. Rashada is one of the founding members of UK Black Tech, an organisation launched in 2017 which seeks to increase diversity in the UK Technology industry. As a public speaker she regularly engages with both the local community and corporate organisations internationally to advise on STEM, the importance of diversity in the workplace and how individuals can help others as well as themselves. She has also mentored in both Ghana and Kenya helping disadvantaged children and completed charitable work in rural villages.
For the last two years Bridget has been General Manager of Stores for Telephonic UK. Whilst managing such a high number of employees has its challenges, it is a role that she absolutely loves and she relishes the opportunity it gives her to help others and promote the BAME community.
Bridget openly encourages diversity throughout the Stores team and has been recognised by Telefónica UKs CEO and other board members for her work in this space. Since becoming General Manager (GM) of Stores Bridget has set up a programme called Inspirational Women. This is for women in the Stores who have overcome adversity, many of whom are from the BAME community.
As the only White and Black African person in Telefónica UKs 50-strong senior leadership team, Bridget will work not only continue to make the Stores teams a more welcoming and inclusive place, but also the rest of the business. As a result of her dedication, the Stores team now have a significantly higher BAME representation than the rest of Telefónica UK (as of January 2016 it was 21% in Stores versus 14% in Telefónica UK).
As CFO, Tony has been instrumental in setting the direction for BT, particularly over the last six years as he has worked to transform our cost base. He is a member of the BT Board and reports directly to the Group CEO.
Despite the enormous scope of his day job, Tony consistently commits time and energy to improving BTs position. Recently, this has included; sponsoring BTs Ethnic Minority network, developing a specific mentoring programme for BAME employees, reviewing recruitment and mentoring within his business area and kicking off a detailed review of all of BTs development and leadership options with a view to accelerating BAME development across BT.
Tony is a strong and visible leader on BAME diversity in BT. He uses the influence he has across the business to close engagement and progression gaps for our BAME employees whether through structural programmes, or via the personal sponsorship and mentoring he offers to senior BAME individuals.