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Minal Mehta

For the IBM UK BAME employee network, she leads the Talent Attract workstream for Early Professional Hires (Apprentices, Interns and Graduates).  Collaborating with Kings College London University, she drives the eMentoring and Uni Insight programs, which highlight STEM careers options and showcases IBM as an inclusive employer. Activities include BAME employees presenting on IBM’s strategic imperatives such as Design Thinking, Robotics, Cognitive/AI and Blockchain as well as hosting a BAME panel and Q&As with the KCL students. She also leads eMentoring by matching BAME IBM mentors to KCL mentees to encourage skill development, IBM’s offerings and create a sense of community through “faces like me”. Minal has won several internal awards including Inclusion Champion of the Quarter and for her work on Uni Insight.  She is disrupting the traditional perception of IBM as a hardware seller and is a strong advocate for #diversityintech. Outside of work, Minal works with UK organisation “Shiva Soundsystem”, aiming to challenge the perception of Asian culture in the UK across music, film, radio and events. Her next initiative challenges the social representation of women in India through creation of a progressive, mainstream media brand.

Lola Olaore

Lola was selected out of 447,000 employees to represent Accenture at the prestigious One Young World summit, which attracts future world leader to discuss how to make an impact in the local and wider community. Additionally, Lola represents Accenture at university, networking events, panel discussion to attract BAME graduates. She  was a panellist at WCAN Annual Conference at Goldman Sachs which attracted 100 young black females, panelist for Women in Engineering at Sheffield university, spoken at events at LSE, Accenture Tech Visionaries boot camp which aims to attract more females and BAME candidates .She was was part of an internal team that created a mentoring programme for black employees called, Go and Be Great, with the aim of connecting junior black employees to black senior members of employee to tackle the retainment of black employees within Accenture which has been backed by senior leadership within Accenture. Outside of work, she set up an initiative called thinkHER, which aims to exist to inform, educate and connect young women (14-19-year olds), particularly from a BAME background, with opportunities that will make a life-changing impact. Lola also sits on the LifeSkills by Barclays Youth Advisory Council.

Nadine Dyer

As Co-Chair of the Deloitte Multicultural Network, Nadine has been driving forward activities and initiatives that will make the workplace more inclusive. She recently hosted Deloitte’s first ‘Let’s talk about race’ forum. This was a forum for BAME employees to have a voice and speak openly about their personal experiences. The anonymous feedback was presented back to our Senior Talent Partner and BAME Advisory Council. The stories and experiences are being used to shape future programmes, including our new respect and inclusion programme. Nadine is also a mentor to a young lady who works for action for children. In addition I have been asked to provide comments and speak at events about the BAME agenda. Nadine has also recently been promoted to the steering committee of TNON (The Network of Networks), and I has been invited to sit on Deloitte’s BAME Advisory Council.

Rakhee Rajani

When Rakhee joined Stand Agency in November 2015, she set up a partnership with Creative Access – the only organisation in the UK dedicated to recruiting BAME talent in creative industries. She has single-handedly increased diversity by 10%. She runs the Agency’s Learning and Development programme, to ensure that everyone gets the right level of support and training. She has ensured that there is a particular focus on inclusion and diversity, so that we have had a wide range of speakers from BAME backgrounds come to the Agency.  Currently, Rakhee is acting in an advisory capacity for someone who is developing a range of books which have BAME characters depicting BAME ways of life at the heart of them.

Harpreet Cheema

At Sodexo, Harpreet has created a manager toolkit to support our frontline managers break down barriers and understand why we must focus on BAME employees. This was in response to recent research from an Origins network member survey and by engaging with BAME employees and their line managers on its development. The intention of the toolkit is to help address the imbalance Sodexo has from its frontline to banded management, which has to change – a more diverse workforce is a more productive workforce! Harpreet created communications, including the first Origins newsletter, which was sent out to network members and to all Sodexo’s retail outlets that supported promoting faith based events such as Diwali. This helped educate and promote key dates. He also supported in growing the network membership base which grew by 50% in the first year. He also helped pull together and execute Sodexo’s first ever Inclusion Conference.

Ngozie Azu

Ngozie founded Slaughter and May’s BME network in 2010, which is now one of the firm’s most active and visible diversity networks. As part of her involvement in the network Ngozie organised a number of seminars which brought together BME professionals throughout the City. Ngozie has also worked closely with partners in Slaughter and May’s Africa practice to attract more BME applicants through launching the Slaughter and May Africa Essay Prize and speaking at the firm’s first recruitment event focussing on Slaughter and May’s work in Africa. Ngozie has developed a number initiatives to support independent African law firms including an annual secondment programme which invites lawyers from Africa to spend three weeks in the firm’s London office. This year’s secondment programme hosted over 20 lawyers from across 13 African countries.

Narcisse Tshimanga

Narcisse Tshimanga has been a key player in launching the LEAD Europe business resource group (Leading Employee of African Descent) at Mastercard. As the chairman of the BRG, he drives the LEAD Executive committee to reach their objectives to provide a range of engagement and development activities for our members as well as to engage, promote and mentor employees of African descent within the workplace. He promotes and builds relationships externally that could benefit Mastercard’s BAME employees by developing their skills through workshops and networking opportunities. This helps lead to talent and promotional opportunities and importantly improves employee engagement across the company. Narcisse has also has been a member of the Micro-Finance Sans Frontières (Micro-Finance without borders) which aims to help small businesses in Africa obtain funding to help kick start their initiatives and partnerships. In addition, Mr. Tshimanga acts as an advisor for an annual international awards known as The Best of Congo Awards, which is a platform that serves to highlight and celebrate the best talent of the Congolese diaspora.

Shilpa Shah

At Deliotte, Shilpa has supported over 80 individuals many of those from BAME backgrounds, with their business cases for promotion and career development. Shilpa hosted our Black History month celebrations as a key member of the Multicultural Network, inspiring over 150 BAME attendees to aim high and achieve the best of themselves. She is a Respect and Inclusion Lead for Technology Consulting, promoting Deloitte’s respect and inclusion principles, and works to make Technology a more inclusive place for all, especially females wanting to start or progress their careers in a male dominated industry. For four years Shilpa led Deloitte’s involvement in the annual ‘Your Future, Your Ambition’ event at the Emirates Stadium – inspiring thousands of youngsters from ethnic minority backgrounds into STEM careers. Shilpa was listed as one of the top 100 Asian stars in Tech and has been a finalist in the Everywoman in Tech awards.

Ugo Eboh

Ugo has been involved in Virgin Money’s drive for “Everyone is Better Off” which aims to enhance some of the core traits for their Customers, Corporate Partners, Company Brand, Colleagues and the Community. He is also helping get Virgin Money involved in the BAME communities that surround their business locations and has recently been given the role as Ethnicity lead for a new bank-wide affinity group. He coordinates cultural festival celebrations across multiple locations, including Diwali, Chinese New Year and Black History month. Ugo also created an Ethnicity Network in 2017 across the bank, that currently has 50+ members across all band levels in the business. He is currently part of work being done with NICOT (Nigerian Igbo Community in Teesside) building a partnership with them to deliver empowerment programmes for their young adults, children, and older mums who have been in the country, but struggled to marry their African culture with the UK culture.

Gary Izunwa

Recognising the importance of diversity, inclusion and belonging led me to Gary being one of the founding members of LinkedIn’s newest global Employee Resource Group ‘Embrace’ – an ERG that aspires to overcome unconscious bias and develop a sense of belonging for all cultures, nationalities and ethnic minorities. Prior to Embrace there was no initiative in the EMEA region that aimed to work towards cultural and ethnic inclusion in the workplace. After realising that he was the only Black British graduate globally on the 300+ member wide Business Leadership Programme, Gary lead unconscious bias training for all new graduate hires in the EMEA region to ensure that early-into-careers professionals can work towards overcoming their bias’s at the beginning of their career and feel comfortable bringing their authentic-self to work. Outside of work, Gary is a long-time member of the Aleto Foundation, and has been involved in various activities with the charity to promote diversity and inclusion for BAME students.