Elsie Akinsanya

Elsie is the co-Chair of Citibank London Roots Diversity Network where it is her role to lead the multicultural network, focusing on encouraging inclusion in the workplace. In addition to celebrating diverse cultural events such as Chinese New Year, Black History Month and Diwali, the network also focuses on engaging employees to provide black and ethnic minority students with work-based skills through bi-annual Business Skills Workshops. Externally, Elsie is actively involved in coaching and mentoring black and ethnic minority women who are transitioning into leadership roles for the first time, or changing organisations. She recently set up an informal mentoring programme for young black women aged between 20-30 called ‘Each one, Reach one’. The purpose of the programme is to support the target group in navigating the world of work/enterprise through sharing experiences and the often ‘unwritten’ workplace codes.

Heather Melville

Heather is currently working with the Director of HR, Corporate & Private Bank, Coutts Private Banking & Corporate & Commercial Banking introducing them to the Executive Leadership Committee to improve where the organisation looks to find strong BAME talent. She sits on a number of external client forums which are looking at how RBS can embed a structured mentoring programme specifically for BAME employees across industry and supported by CMI, through the lens of managers and leaders. She is also a regular business contributor to Sky News and BBC World, re female entrepreneurship. Externally, a huge amount of Heather’s spare time is spent mentoring young people from all backgrounds and industries. Additionally, she currently holds 2 NED board roles, which provide her with the opportunity to drive change for both women and BAME individuals. As the only black woman on the board for Enterprise Enfield and CMI, Chartered Management Institute, she is working to engage support for BAME start -up businesses.  In 2016 Heather was invited to participate in a round table that contributed to the McGregor -Smith report that was produced for the government.

Kamel Hothi

Kamel’s 38 years climbing the corporate ladder ignited her passion for equality resulting in co-founding the Lloyds Banking Group’s Ethnic Minority Network. She has mentored hundreds of colleagues and spoken at numerous conferences on the subject as to why diversity is a business imperative and not just a CSR issue. In 2017 she was included in the group’s publication of top BAME role models across their 80,000 strong work force. Externally, Kamel was invited to chair the Government’s Procurement Task Force to help supplier diversity. She is also a judge, and ambassador to numerous networks including the Sikh City Network, Women Empowered, Women India Association, Pakistani Woman’s Organisation and awarded an Honorary Doctorate for her efforts.

Paul Cleal

Paul became the first chair of PwC’s BAME network in 2003 and played a leading role in raising inequality issues with the board. In 2006 he joined the main board as the person responsible for all people issues and led on a range of diversity measures, including bias awareness training and a detailed analysis to understand the problem in more detail. He subsequently sponsored the creation of the Multi-Cultural Business Network and then founded the Africa Business Group with the specific intention of engaging that particular ethnic minority. He has also been a personal mentor to many BAME people in the firm and, over the last few years, has been a regular mentor in schools where the vast majority of pupils are black. Additionally, he now pursues the issue of racial inequality through his public appointment to the Social Mobility & Child Poverty Commission.

Sarah Nelson

Having held a number of senior positions at Sainsbury’s and been recently promoted to Senior Manager, Sarah is passionate about sharing her story and being a role model to BAME colleagues across the business. Sarah has been a member of the Sainsbury’s Race Reference Group for four years, helping the business achieve its vision of being the most inclusive retailer where people love to work and shop by working on a number of initiatives including regular events for BAME colleagues. She currently mentors eight BAME colleagues across the organisation and over the last seven years has mentored many more colleagues. Outside of Sainsbury’s, Sarah has been part of Business in the Community’s Cross Organisational Mentoring Circles for the past three years as a lead and guest mentor and has taken part in external speaking opportunities to share her experiences and insights.

Simon Dowson-Collins

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.

Annette Byron

Annette is Co-lead of the Freshfields’ global Black Affinity Network, which by networking and her sharing her experiences as a Real Estate partner has increased awareness in relation to diversity in the organisation. Under her leadership the flagship Freshfields Stephen Lawrence scholarship scheme identifies and, by a bespoke 15-month programme, develops scholars, annually including 160+ Freshfields senior leaders, lawyers and other personnel, evolving organisational culture and challenging unconscious biases by its central place in the business. Externally, her focus on the disproportionate under-representation of black and mixed-race males from low-income families and lack of direct role models in large commercial law firms includes connecting with  60 universities nationally to locate and nominate to the scheme exceptionally-talented first-year students who might fall under the radar.

Tom Ilube

As founder and CEO of Crossword, Tom ensures that inclusivity in all respects is integrated throughout the organisation. He leads by example and uses his status in the tech industry to talk about diversity and inclusion, speaking on diversity and his own experience and journey as a BAME executive at corporate events on a regular basis. Externally, his main focus is secondary education, specifically STEM where BAME people are underrepresented. He is Founder and Chair of the African Science Academy, Africa’s first all-girls science and technology academy and Chair of ADA College, UK’s National College for Digital Skills, based in Tottenham, which has a large BAME student population. Tom is also a Non Executive Director of the BBC.

Vimi Grewal-Carr

As a successful BAME professional Vimi leads by example and has been a role model, mentor and coach to many people across the firm, particularly from the BAME community. She is a passionate advocate of BAME issues within Deloitte’s executive, is heavily involved with Deloitte’s multi-cultural network and is a member of the Sikh network. The network was named ‘Employee Network of the Year’ at the Business in the Community’s (BITC) Race for Opportunity awards and Vimi hosted network members at the award ceremony. Externally, Vimi was one of the original founding members of the 30% Club and continues to sit on the steering committee. She is also the founding board member of the London Women’s Forum which was set up with founding members from eight investment banks in 2004 and almost 300 senior women are now members within the City.

Dr. Anand Kumar

Previously, through his various experiences as   Head of Retail Banking with ICICI Bank UK  , Head of International Business – ICICI Lombard UK(Ltd) , Advisor Strategic Initiatives & Head of Retail Banking – Bank of Baroda UK, Anand expanded the network of customer touch points through branches and virtual space which provided him immense opportunities to work  with diversity . Externally, Anand has been working as Visiting Fellow with the Business School, University of Greenwich where he interacts, guides and helps primarily BAME students during their internship for their career progression and overall development. He also runs a foundation in Katesar, a village in Bihar, India and has been  working to creating awareness about it in UK. For him diversity provides the best outcome. He is associated with NSPCC and Save the Children.