Archives

Anjeli Patel

Having recently joined Deloitte, Anjeli has become an member of the firm’s multicultural network. She represented her previous firm, at Stonewall Workplace conference 3 times, speaking specifically about the challenges faced by Asian LGBT+ individuals. She was on the leadership team of the firm’s LGBT+ network and was consulted on the creation of gender neutral toilets. As a trans woman, Anjeli is passionate about creating inclusion for LGBT people of colour. She has spoken extensively about the issues faced by LGBT people of colour from her perspective, including in an interview with the BBC Asian Network and the FT on transgender rights being the frontier for business and change. She recently featured in the Asian Voice Newspaper, speaking openly about the impact that being LGBT+ can have on mental health, particularly focusing on cultural nuances. She has previously spoken at the GG2 diversity conference and at various universities across the country. She has been recognised as an LGBT+ role model by Leicester City Council and has been listed in the India London Gazette Powerlist.

Cecil Adjalo

Cecil is a visible Black role model to aspiring talent, sitting on the board of Hiberus Tecnologia. In his previous position, Cecil led the partnering of charity Place2Be, setting up a business challenge day with 15 students from the London Bridge area, 95% of participants were ethnic. On the board of Hiberus Tecnologia, Cecil is a voice for the under-represented when it comes to recruitment strategies. He also acts as a mentor to BAME colleagues, and plans to set up an official BAME initiative within the next year. Cecil dedicates time to building startups with founders from BAME backgrounds through Foundervine CIC, where he is significantly involved all planning, decision making, and execution of high impact initiatives. Their flagship programme, Startup 54, has seen the creation of 24 startups, with 116 graduates exploring new business ideas, teaming up and forming business ventures that are then pitched to VC and investor judges. He has also made significant contributions to The Summer Gathering and Founderfest, gatherings of innovators, entrepreneurs, future founders and investors, bringing people together who are highly ambitious, like-minded and thirsty for knowledge. Recently, they partnered with BAME focused colourintech and sponsored a young BAME founder to go to Silicon Valley for a week visiting companies like Weebly, WeWork, Google.Org, Mindspace and more. They have been recognised in the Sunday Times and invited to Downing Street.

Patrice Gordon-Mantey

Patrice is responsible for managing the relationship between Virgin Atlantic and its partners at Delta and Air France KLM. Soon after joining Virgin Atlantic, Patrice was quickly recognised as a change catalyst and nominated to head up the Talent Development Group for the Finance Department. She was asked to be the first Reverse Mentor within the Company to the CEO and then lead a cohort of Reverse Mentors across the business, which will expand across the year. Chosen due to her ability to translate between all levels, her background, and ability to be objective and honest. Patrice has been able to shed some light on some of the challenges she has faced in her career and within the organisation, which she believes could have hindered her development, personal learnings on what she could have done differently, but most importantly what she believes are the key attributes to success. Most recently, Patrice received certification to facilitate the Springboard training programme, a development course for junior women in business. Patrice also studied independently to become certified as a Personal and Business Coach, keen to help others realise their potential and become their best selves.

Joanie Kwok

Joanie is no stranger to pushing past her comfort zone to further dialogue around diversity; she uses her own (still growing) experience of cultural duality to bridge gaps in understanding. She was born in Queens, NY and raised in a Chinese & pan-Asian dominant neighbourhood. Because of this, she didn’t fully cherish her heritage until attending Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. She very quickly pivoted to become a lead within the Pac Asia club and a participant in conversations around embracing race & ethnicity on campus. Joanie is now co-chair of Anheuser-Busch’s US Pac-Asia employee resource group, a part of the company’s wide reaching D&I initiatives. The group’s mission is two-fold: to generate awareness of Asian American consumers to the larger organization by sharing their diverse experiences and to create an inclusive community for Asian & POC employees. The hope is that with more awareness comes more compassionate curiosity in engaging with different consumer bases. Externally, she has served as a lead within Asian American for Equality and the Museum of Chinese in America young professional groups, and volunteers with AALDEF to conduct the post-election poll survey in ethnic communities. Feel free to give her a ping if you’re looking for non-light beer pairings for Asian cuisines!

Imran Sheikh

Imran is the co-chair of a UK wide network that promotes Ethnic Diversity within BP and led a successful drive for transparency of ethnic minority data across the UK entities within BP. Imran is a mentor to numerous individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds. He has ensured his team is diverse from a colour, gender and sexuality perspective, and has championed fun events that promote open dialogue around race and ethnicity but attract and engage all employees. He has made the case for diversity being good for business rather than simply a corporate responsibility at several senior executive meetings, and has helped secure his network a seat at the table of the group’s HR strategy team. He has participated in EMpower’s mentoring programme and has spoken about successful employee affinity groups at an EMpower event. Along with the co-chair of his network, Imran was invited to be on the panel at an ethnicity network event at UBS alongside Dame Fiona Wolf. He is also the executive sponsor for BP’s involvement with the Career Ready charity, which focuses on getting young people from the local communities that businesses are based in ready for the world of work. Being based in Canary Wharf, talent from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets is not well represented in local businesses. By championing this effort, Imran has supported internships for 10-15 people per year, with 95% of interns from BAME backgrounds.

Leon Walker

Leon is chair of the Global Cultural Awareness Network (CAN@Lloyd’s), which promotes religious and cultural diversity, career progression and diversity of thought. In 2018 this included a celebration of Indian Maritime Business and the launch of an associated mentoring scheme, an initiative targeting 65 BAME emerging talents, creating a platform to share their experiences of working in the Lloyd’s Market resulting in a “Black Paper” for Leaders due for release in October 2019. Leon also played a leading role in Lloyd’s signing up to the EMpower Ethnicity Pay Gap Mandate, which kicked off the Lloyd’s I Did It (Self ID) campaign for the collection of the data to report its Ethnicity Pay Gap. Outside of work Leon is chair of the EMpower Working Party which has representation across financial services and drove the creation of the EMpower Ethnicity Pay Gap Mandate. He is also deputy chair of the Lloyd’s Assembly, which promotes diversity of thought and experience across the Lloyd’s Market. Leon is a governor at Manorfield Primary School in Tower Hamlets, and speaks regularly on race & equality, on podcasts and at panel events, including DiveIn. Leon is an established reverse mentor to leaders in Insurance and Politics and runs a successful mentoring circle for emerging talents from diverse backgrounds, supporting the development of their early careers in Financial Services.

Jehu Chesson

Jehu currently serves as a global lead for the LEAD (Leading Employees of African Descent) BRG at MasterCard, overseeing numerous global chapters and being instrumental in launching further chapters in Lagos, London and Waterloo. As global lead, Jehu champions inclusion, develops the annual BRG strategy, seeks to maximise impact and works to build strong relationships with other BRGs and to solicit executive support. Jehu drives efforts geared towards development of minority employees, and participates in innovation challenges, community support, diverse recruitment and mentoring. He ensures that LEAD partner with Human Resources annually to recruit minority interns and draw from Historical Black Colleges & Universities. Currently, Jehu is working with MasterCard’s Black Executive Network to establish a global mentoring programme. Externally, Jehu serves as a role model and mentor for minorities within the community. He volunteers on several committees in the local school district, and has helped to coach a diverse sports team. During the protests following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in St. Louis, MO, Jehu volunteered with a minority group to collect relief supplies, food & distributed to needy families within the impacted communities.

Sid Maheshwari

Sid has been pivotal in promoting the ‘Aviva Origins’ community, one of six employee networks developed in 2018 to ensure Aviva promotes a fully inclusive environment where colleagues from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds can flourish. He sits on the Aviva Origins steering committee and has been instrumental in supporting the delivery of many fundamental changes in the organisation including implementing the RACE charter, which includes providing leadership on race and ethnicity in Aviva. Last year, Sid led the Diwali celebrations across multiple UK sites in Aviva which generated a huge interest amongst UK employees to partner with the Origin community. Sid has been supporting diversity mentoring scheme for students, and is partnering with the central diversity team to roll out unconscious bias training across Aviva. Sid leads the communication function for the Origins community and led the design of the technology platform where Origins material could be easily hosted and accessed, allowing members to discuss any barriers and issues they face. In addition, Sid has been an active mentor to junior BAME colleagues. He championed the roll out of a ‘cultural exchange’ training programme with the Aviva’s offshore partners with the aim to bring cultures closer together, and contributed to other strategic deliveries including critical work using ‘data’ to understand barriers and opportunities at work. Externally, Sid is the principal secretary and one of the founding members of Amerindis, a network based in South Bucks to promote Indian culture and heritage. Sid has played a pivotal role in increasing the membership base of Amerindis from a few families in 2014 to 450+ individuals and growing. Sid is also supporting an awareness campaign with local residents impacted by increased burglary cases amongst the Asian families, raising issues with local police and council. Sid is a huge supporter of Asian Women across industries, often nominating those with exemplary achievements for awards.

Jorge Santos

Jorge is a member of the Firmwide Hispanic/Latino network (FHLN), through which he aims to help develop Goldman Sachs’ Hispanic/Latino professionals so that one day the firm could have a strong number of Hispanic/Latino professionals in top leadership positions. He has been nominated as the co-head of the professional development pillar, fostering the mission of the network to attract, retain and develop the firm’s Hispanic/Latino professionals by providing professional development opportunities in key areas such as leadership, communication and commercial impact. He implemented two key impactful programs that helped advance the careers of many Hispanic/Latino professionals at the firm, the “Continued Education Series,” a panel discussion that provided a forum to hear from Goldman Sachs colleagues who had earned their CFA or CPA licenses and to learn about the impact these certifications had on their careers, and the “Internal Mobility: Learn and Connect” event, which included a panel on career mobility followed by a networking event with hiring teams to learn about open roles. Jorge is also a member of the Securities Summer Diversity Council, which monitored the performance and experience of 51 Black, Hispanic or Latino interns joining the Securities Division this summer across all functions and ultimately helped to inform hiring decisions for the firm. Many recent graduates reach out to Jorge for career advice on how to get a role at the firm or excel in a career as a trader. He has participated in the Schusterman Initiative’s Reality Adelante Experience, and has recently been appointed as a member of the Board of Directors of Friends of Puerto Rico.

Ratidzo Starkey

Ratidzo co-chairs the Bank of England’s Ethnic Minority Network, steering the network to focus on ethnic minority representation at the Bank. She has provided the Network with clear direction, utilising her visibility with senior management to ensure that BAME issues are prominent on the executive agenda. She has collaborated with HR to understand the issues faced by ethnic minorities at the Bank, in order to effect positive change. Ratidzo has represented BAME colleagues at executive committees, driving the Bank’s strategy to improve the progression of BAME colleagues, and successfully encouraging the Bank to sign up to the Race at Work Charter, sponsored by Business in the Community. Ratidzo curated the Bank’s Black History Month celebrations, fostering a culture of inclusivity for her colleagues in the Bank. Ratidzo fed into a number of policies to ensure the Bank considers diversity in the external activities it undertakes and, in her capacity as Head of Outreach and Education, Ratidzo ensures that the Bank is honouring its commitment to be a role model for other institutions in the City. She is also on the steering group for the Bank’s African Caribbean Scholarship scheme. Externally, Ratidzo is a judge for the Black British Business Awards and participates in a number of career-focused panels where she talks about the importance of diversity in the workplace. She has mentored young people of colour from disadvantaged backgrounds through a number of schemes, and has co-organised a number of diversity-related events as part of her local school’s Parent-Teachers’ Association.