Gail Peterson

Gail founded the Black Leaders Forum at Ecolab, a group of Black directors and above whose purpose is to raise courageous truths about the experience of Black employees throughout the organisation. The insights this group has provided have been invaluable in enhancing Ecolab’s D&I practices, improving the connection between Black employees and top executives, and has even become a sounding board for non-D&I specific initiatives well before implementation. She is also a member on Ecolab’s executive D&I council, with the influence and power to help move the organisation in an accelerated way towards their desired end goal. Through this work the council has reshaped ERG leaders as a truly differential development opportunity, helped retool recruiting and interview practices, and provided oversight to ensure the company is making progress against key leading and lagging metrics in the day to day practices of business groups. Externally, Gail participated in the 2019 rites of passage cohort, sharing stories and tips on how to best manage a personal brand to 15 promising Black high school seniors. Additionally, she serves on the board of the Minnesota Children’s Museum (MCM), where she is helping to promote a D&I agenda, removing barriers to museum access. She has also been part of many outreach efforts to ensure diverse communities in Minneapolis and Saint Paul are aware of what the museum has to offer for their families.

Dr. Bijna K. Dasani

Bijna has been serving as a member of Lloyds’ REACH (Inclusion and Diversity SteerCo) for three years, since she has been with Lloyds. Bijna has brought in external relationships to establish new ways of working and to ‘break barriers’ internally, promoting a culture whereby colleagues can bring their ‘authentic selves to work’. This includes serving on various LBG panels internally and as a mentor and speaker for various events. She is also recognised by Lloyds as one of their Top 100 BAME Role Models (for the second consecutive year). Externally, she is an advisory board member for the Inclusive Companies Network (for the second consecutive year) and judge for the Inclusive Companies Awards (for the third consecutive year), promoting benchmarks for inclusivity across sectors and regions for people of BAME backgrounds. Bijna also judges and speaks for various D&I initiatives globally to promote the agenda.

Kam Pooni

At Glyconics, Kam’s team have always embraced a diverse hiring and inclusivity policy, to ensure that the business was culturally diverse from the outset. The company culture is focussed on working together to successfully create a product that benefits the patient. Team member equality is the mantra at Glyconics and they have embedded diversity and fairness into their everyday company life from hiring, meeting etiquette and even reward and recognition schemes. As a result, Glyconics have reaped the rewards in terms of speed of product development, fundraising, achieving external recognition and becoming a top company described within the industry as ‘one to watch’ within a short timeframe. Externally, Kam mentors young BAME entrepreneurs at Qincubator, an inclusive community for future founders at Queen Mary’s University. He also mentors at Accelerate Cambridge, a University of Cambridge start-up ‘accelerator’ established by Cambridge Judge Business School for entrepreneurial talent development and commercialisation of new ideas. In addition, Kam provides advice and coaching through his personal consultancy, Yellow Planet Consulting to fellow CEOs and those requiring support with starting up their business. Kam is a firm believer in sharing the knowledge and experience he has gained over the years to ‘give back’ to others.

Sonia Sng

Driven by her upbringing in Singapore, Sonia has a lifelong appreciation for multicultural environments and has led globally diverse teams around the world. During the 17+ years she was in Visa, she championed a host of diversity & inclusion initiatives to counter potential biases. In 2017, she co-hosted a Visa volunteer event with Peninsula College Fund to help low-income ethnic minority students navigate the journey from college to career. She was also the Co-chair for Visa Women’s Network in 2017, and up until April 2018 when she joined Intuit.  Sonia now sits on the steering committee of Intuit’s Women Network and she is determined to continue her diversity work at Intuit and committed to building a pipeline of diverse talent. Externally, she mentors individuals with diverse backgrounds, including payment professionals around the world, women from the charities and social enterprises sector around the world, and ethnic minority talent in Tech, to help them fulfill their potential and reminding them they are worthy. In June 2018, Sonia joined the board of SPARC Initiative, a non-profit in San Francisco, focused on empowering the next generation of young leaders, especially those from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds, to catalyze and achieve their dreams through project-based learning and mentorship. 

Bansi Nagji

As a visible senior executive with a diverse cultural background, Bansi uses his own story to illustrate the potential career progression available to all people in the workplace. He also makes himself available as a mentor to all employees, particularly ethnic minority people and women, to help them understand and navigate their particular challenges. As the most senior ethnic minority executive at McKesson and a member of its Executive Committee, he is a core member of McKesson’s Chairman’s Diversity Council, which is responsible for the enterprise’s diversity strategy. Externally, Bansi makes himself available for career advice, and regularly speaks about his own experience as a successful member of an ethnic minority. He is member of the campaign board of INSEAD, and is particularly interested in personally sponsoring scholarships there for ethnic minority people. He was named as one of the Top 50 Multicultural Leaders in Technology by the California Diversity Council in 2017 and has been recognized by many other organizations, including by EMpower in 2018.

Manroop Singh Khela

Manroop is an executive sponsor of the ethnic minority colleague network, Ethnicity@Work, and regularly mentors young internal ethnic minority talent. He is an internal speaker on diversity & inclusion, sharing advice on creating more inclusive work spaces and driving the ethnic minority inclusion agenda in Santander.  Outside of Santander, Manroop is a member of the BiTC Race Leadership team and promotes visible ethnic minority role models in business through mentoring.  He has a focus on diversity intersections, especially ethnicity and LGBT+.

Sujata Bhatia

Sujata is committed to ensuring American Express is a place where colleagues of all nationalities, backgrounds and beliefs can grow and thrive. Early in her career, Sujata was a co-founder of the Black and Asian Employee Network in Europe whose mission is to support and raise American Express’ culturally diverse profile for and with colleagues with an interest in BAME communities. More recently, she co-led inclusive leadership training sessions for all European VPs. Sujata is also a leading supporter of women of all colours at American Express. She serves as chair of the Executive Women’s Interest Network (Exec WIN) Committee in London, which runs an ambitious program of events related to ambition, leadership and community. Sujata led the planning of American Express’ International Women’s Day 2019 celebration in the UK and participated on a panel of senior female leaders to discuss the importance of achieving gender balance. She also serves as a sponsor and mentor to many colleagues of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Sujata is active in the South Asian community, and works with organizations that encourage Indians to get involved in politics, make their voices heard and make their marks on their communities. She is also involved in several charities in India focused on providing medical and educational services to rural Indians.

Gian Power

As founder and CEO, Gian has placed inclusion at the core of TLC Lions. On induction and joining the company, joiners share their stories to provide others with an understanding of what it’s like to ‘be in my shoes’. The company has had internal get-togethers to discuss BAME and held events with companies such as AXA, Lloyd’s, PwC, Deloitte, Just Eat and Hyatt on this topic globally. The outcome of these efforts has been a more welcoming and open culture, staff speaking up about challenges at home as well as feeling confident to bring their own cultures to the workplace. Gian has created a safe space for his team to speak to each other regardless of background and encouraged empathy and emotions to be displayed and shown as a strength. Externally, Gian has supported Alzheimers Society during a dinner discussing mental health in the South Asian community, and joined the advisory board of This Can Happen, a mental health conference opened by Prince William in 2018, to ensure these discussions are continued. He also provided the content for the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards in the Grosvenor House focusing on the story of a man of colour. Gian has spoken globally on the topic of culture to ensure it is widespread, and not confined to the UK. He has also spoken in schools across the country around ethnicity to ensure that BAME young people entering the workplace are encouraged and inspired.

Hina Nagarajan

As Managing Director for Africa Emerging Markets at Diageo, Hina has the opportunity to lead one of Diageo’s most dynamic and culturally diverse regions including Ethiopia, Cameroon, Mozambique, Angola, Ghana and more. The role is a natural platform for her to role model diversity & inclusion by giving respect to all and treating everyone as a member of the large Diageo Africa Emerging Markets team. It is Hina’s mission to inspire and mobilise those she works with to deliver high performance standards, realise their full potential and be recognised within the larger Diageo ecosystem. She works with her leadership teams to create powerful opportunities for people to demonstrate their capabilities, potential and then highlight their achievements and talent to the Diageo executive to give them career progression. She supports many BAME colleagues through mentoring, which she extends beyond Diageo through Menttium, a cross company corporate mentoring platform for high potential future female Asian leaders. In India, Hina was on the national and regional boards of AMCHAM driving advocacy for companies providing part time opportunities to Indian women. In Malaysia, she was involved with TalentCorp, an agency that works with the government to attract, nurture and retain the right talent to enable Malaysia to reach its potential, helping raise career aspirations of local talent. In China, Hina was an active member of Women for Women, which meets to discuss barriers at work for Asian senior women and how to overcome them.

Julia Brown

Julia has created a highly diverse leadership team at Carnival Corporation by hiring and promoting people of colour.  Her direct staff is over 40% people of colour and that percentage is continued at deeper levels. As the most senior woman of African descent at Carnival Corporation & plc, she has purposefully and intentionally built a diverse leadership team through hiring and promoting from within. Julia’s team is known for having driven transformational results to the company and is recognized internally and externally within the cruising industry. She has been recognised in Black Enterprise’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, and in their Top 100 leaders in Corporate America, in addition to being recognised in Savoy Magazine’s Top 100 Leaders in Corporate America.