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.

Nicole Clarke

Nicole has supported the Multicultural Network by promoting events internally, seeking support from the senior management team within BNP Paribas Securities Services and has acted as a mentor for other BAME employees. As a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Council she has been supportive of initiatives to raise awareness of the individual needs of BAME employees and has previously hosted an Executive lunch for BAME employees, at which she described her journey through her career followed by a Q&A. Externally, she has volunteered with an organisation called Making the Leap which helps children from BAME backgrounds with CV writing and interviewing skills.

Robert A. Marchman

Robert currently serves as a member of FINRA’s Executive Diversity Leadership Council whose purpose is to assist in the development and implementation of programs in connection with the company’s business imperative diversity and inclusion process. He also serves as the Executive Sponsor for the FINRA’s Women’s Network Employee Resource Group. In addition, he participates in speaking engagements and committee work with efforts focused on enhancing opportunities of BAME people in the financial services industry. Robert is also Chairman and Board member of the Community Coalition on Race of South Orange-Maplewood, NJ (a 20 year organization focused on equality). He is also a board member of PFLAG National, Operation HOPE and NSHSS Foundation.

Harish Sodha

Difference is celebrated at Diversity Travel; the organisation works on the ethos that all minorities should be championed and encouraged whether this relates to gender, ethnicity or religion. This is represented across the business, with staff speaking over 20 languages, coming from 15 nationalities and there is a 45:55 male to female gender split. Different sexual orientations, religious and political beliefs are represented at all levels of the organisation and the Board is 33% BAME, 17% female and 33% LGBT. For 35+ years Harish has been focused on expanding and running companies and has embedded and created an inclusive culture within all organisations. He has also used his position in the UPstanding 100 list 2016 to spread the word about BAME success and achievements in business through local and industry press articles.

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.

Rashik Parmar MBE

Rashik is co-lead of the Multi-Cultural Business Resource Group which aims to provide practical support and mentoring for employees, as well as addressing unconscious bias, through a range of meetings, podcasts and blogs. He focuses on using corporate social media channels to share good news stories in these forms, aiming to inspire both managers and professionals. He also mentors BME employees and shares his professional experience as a diverse role model. Externally, Rashik chairs the Business Communications Group, and is a board member for the Leeds City Region LEP, where he has integrated local ethnic businesses into the programme. Additionally, he is an adjunct professor at Imperial College London, which attracts a truly international student population.

Yin Luo

Yin’s team at Wolfe is highly diversified and he actively works with the founder and other senior members of the firm to promote workplace diversity. There is a strong belief that everybody should have equal opportunity at hiring, promotion, and compensation, and employees are encouraged to preserve their own culture. Externally, Yin regularly speaks at a number of universities to help minority students to better understand the cultural differences from their home countries and how to find jobs in the finance industry in the US and Europe. He serves on the advisory board of the Asian Quant Group whose mission is to help Asians in the systematic investing industry. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Finance at Renmin University of China and gives regular seminars with the goal to bridge the cultural and knowledge gap between China and the rest of the world.

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.