Ukonwa Ojo

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.

Perry Jones

Having joined Diageo in 2017, Perry’s department’s business has increased ethnic minority hiring from 32% in 2017 to 47% in 2018. He is actively involved in the North America African Heritage Employees at Diageo (AHEAD) business resource group, and helps drive efforts to accelerate their focus on diversity and inclusion. He recently served on a panel discussion as part of a new “Are you IN” series for employees, which took place during Black History Month and has resulted in an increased level of attention to diversity and inclusion awareness. Externally, Perry serves on the Board of Trustees for the Alabama Agriculture and Mechanical University, is a board member at Grambling State University School of Personal development, and participates in mentoring programmes for women and ethnic minority individuals. Additionally, this year Perry was named as one of Savoy magazine’s “Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America.”

Daniel Taylor

Daniel Taylor, a man of Caribbean decent, is the founder and CEO of award winning Design and Build company: MDC Group, formerly known as Metro Design Consultants. He is a clear representation of the benefits of ethnic minority inclusion and diversity in his own right. He has turned his a-typical approach to inclusion and diversity into a competitive advantage, which is changing the landscape in his industry. His knowledge, accumulated from over 30 years in the industry, and relative rarity, have provided him with opportunities to excel on projects which require a level of internal diversity, and the ability to understand a wide array of cultures. This has proven beneficial as he has led his team to win a number of international clients including: Norwegian Air, Skype, Facebook, Harley Davidson and MTV to name a few. Aside from his successful business however, Daniel has also taken strategic board positions on a small number of minority interest groups, where he gauged he can make the best impact. These include; The Aleto Foundation, The Powerlist, The Black British Business Awards, and WinTRADE Week London.

Sarah Vawda

Following a successful executive career within global businesses as Corporate Development Director,  Sarah now has a portfolio career as Non Executive Director and Board Adviser to international companies undergoing transformation so her diversity and inclusion activities are focused across a wide business environment. She is a Governor of the University of Bedfordshire, an access university which takes a significant proportion of ethnic minority students each year. In recent years she has actively been seeking out opportunities to volunteer where her background and experience could provide value and inspiration. Sarah was recently invited to join a panel at Taylor Wessing on diversity and as a role model for inclusion is actively involved in the wider diversity debate through involvement in many relevant networks. She actively mentors both women and girls from ethnic minority backgrounds, using her networks to open potential doors. As part of this, she has also been appointed to the Board of The Girls Network, a charity promoting mentoring programmes for girls from disadvantaged backgrounds, a disproportionate number of which are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Ronel Lundall

Ronel believes strongly that ethnic diversity is critical to building any successful global organisation and so much of her effort has been on preparing ethnic minority employees for leadership positions.  While leading Mastercard Customer Delivery in the Middle East Africa region she was responsible for the promotion of 15 ethnically diverse employees and continues to personally mentor 12 ethnically diverse employees.  Having grown up in South Africa, as a woman of African Descent, the importance of giving back to her community has always been a focus for Ronel.  She dedicated 2 years volunteering and lecturing for a non-profit organisation supporting disadvantaged business owners of ethnic descent in South Africa. Ronel shares her own career story speaking at events hosted by Mastercard for employees of African descent, and has also held a key role as the executive sponsor for the Women in Leadership for the Middle East Africa region. 

Raj Verma

As a British born Sikh, Raj was Sodexo’s first ethnic minority Global Senior Vice President in Human Resources, and continues to be very visible across the organisation. He regularly meets with employees from ethnic minority backgrounds, regardless of where they work in Sodexo, as they often reach out when they know there are ethnic minority leaders in the organisation. Raj maintains his reputation as a welcoming role model by providing coaching and development opportunities, both formally and informally, as well as supporting emerging talent from different backgrounds. He is a strong advocate of mentoring those who may not otherwise get the chance and is the Executive Sponsor of the Sodexo Culture and Origins Taskforce for Local Minorities. Externally, Raj is a mentor on the acclaimed Warwick Business School Mentoring Programme, which has a high degree of internationally diverse students. He regularly makes presentations at Universities and Schools on different subjects to a cross section of backgrounds. His aim is to provide visibility at ‘grass root’ levels and not for ethnic minority leaders to be seen as unusual.

Shawn Miles

During his career at Mastercard, Shawn has built and evolved the company’s public policy efforts across the globe. He expanded the role beyond traditional government relations to include a broader set of stakeholders, including NGOs, academics, think tanks and community organizations. Shawn is a founding member and chair of Mastercard’s Black Executive Network, an internal program to support the company’s business resource groups and develop and recruit black leaders. He also led the creation of the Master Your Card program to drive financial literacy and financial inclusion for poor and underserved communities. Shawn regularly gives motivational lectures to schools, non-profits and community groups to inspire minorities to excel. He serves on the Board of the Pro Bono Partnership which provides free legal services to local non-profit organizations and was recently recognized by Ebony Magazine as of one the top 100 influential black leaders in America.

Rashik Parmar

Rashik leads the Business Resource Group for IBM UK and runs a range of initiatives to attract, retain and grow ethnic minority talent across IBM. He pioneered a series of internal Safari talks to showcase the careers of Role Models, and has developed links with ethnic minority organisations in partner companies. Additionally, he sponsored the ethnic minority celebration of success event last year, bringing talent from across UK into a conference to share learning and best practices. Externally, Rashik serves as the Partnership Executive for Imperial College, working on attracting and inspiring future ethnic minority talent. He also chairs the Employability and Skills Panel for the Leeds City Region Partnership Enterprise Board, championing skills development in areas with a high percentage of ethnic minority population. Raj was awarded an MBE in 2016.

Yin Luo

Wolfe Research LLC is one of the world’s leading boutique investment banks in the world, and Yin strives to create teams which are ethnically diverse. In the recruiting process, in the promotion process, and in the day-to-day business, Yin strongly encourages a positive work environment for everybody, regardless of ethnic background. Externally, he has been actively involved in a number of community services to encourage the inclusion and promotion ethnic minority people. He regularly speaks at a number of leading universities around the world, on a wide range of topics, from economics and finance to machine learning. He is actively involved in a number of organisations promoting workplace balances for ethnic minorities, including a non-profit organisation called the Wall Street Mentorship Program. Yin has been consistently ranked top in the most prestigious annual Institutional Investor’s magazine ranking, called Institutional Investor’s Equity Research Survey, in a variety of disciplines. He is also regularly quoted in the media on diversity and inclusion across industries.

Emeka Okwu

Emeka recently started his own consultancy, with a clear focus on corporate training and equity, diversity and inclusion. He consistently ensures that they get the entire management buy-in of his clients and reinforce D&I commitments. He ensures all his Employee Resource Groups are active and get the required budget allocations to drive their activities forward, fostering an engaging environment for employees. From a training and recruitment perspective, they provide regular corporate training programmes to their clients and for the hiring community to ensure that biases are eradicated or brought to the barest minimum. Externally, Emeka mentors ethnic minority young people, and drives the same level of social responsibility across his leadership team. Having ranked on the EMpower Future Leaders List last year, Emeka has made significant strides in business achievement as well as ethnic minority inclusion.