Dominic Christian

At Aon, Dominic chairs the Diversity Council, which manages the company’s approach to D&I and incorporates their seven BRGs. He supported the development of Aon’s Step Up trainee program, which attracts young people not in education, employment or training to get valuable experience and skills to enable them to enter the job market, often resulting in a role with Aon. Dominic sponsors six BAME women across the industry, and has contributed to initiatives designed to attract BAME talent to Aon. He has contributed to the development of a BAME Future Leaders program, and sponsors the company’s multicultural BRG. Dominic also chairs Inclusion@Lloyd’s, affording him influence across the whole insurance industry to drive a culture of inclusion, and he was instrumental in devising the group’s Dive In festival, now in its fifth year. He sponsors the Lord Mayor’s Appeal, supporting social mobility and ethnic minority groups.

Kathleen Russ

At Travers Smith, Kathleen chairs the Diversity & Inclusion Board, and is an ally member of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Group and of the LGBTQ+ Group. She is the public ambassador of the firm and one of the main keepers of the D&I strategy. She sponsors the firm’s BAME recruitment and retention strategy, which aims to create fairness at critical inflection points of BAME lawyers’ careers. Kathleen, with strong support from her fellow partners, has also instigated and led numerous initiatives, including sessions on challenging racial biases and micro-aggressions, a firm-wide ‘Celebration of Black Music’ event, and a ‘Meet the Senior Partner’ session for members of the firm’s BAME network. Externally, Kathleen has sponsored and helped to develop an innovative booklet outlining how to be a better ally for the BAME community. Kathleen also supports organizations which develop BAME-led startups and BAME entrepreneurs.

Sir John Parker

Alongside a wealth of leadership and boardroom experience, from shipbuilding and mining, to utilities, aerospace, central banking and engineering, Sir John chairs the Parker Review Committee, which was commissioned in 2016 to consult on the ethnic diversity of UK boards. A series of recommendations were made in the review’s first report, and a target was set for all FTSE 100 boards to have at least one director from an ethnic minority background by 2021. This target has provided an imperative for businesses to improve their approach to D&I at the highest level, and an update at the beginning of this year shows an increase in the number of ethnic minority directors. Although Sir John notes that progress has been made, he is still driving a push for greater ethnic minority representation on boards, hoping to bring this strand of diversity in line with the progress made in recent years in increasing the representation of women on FTSE 100 boards.

John Herlihy

John is the Executive Sponsor of LinkedIn’s Embrace program, which aims to empower LinkedIn to fully welcome and represent all cultures, ethnicities and nationalities. A key element is to overcome unconscious bias and foster inclusion by embracing cultural, nationality and ethnic diversity at every level of the organization. This is approached by promoting professional development and growth of ethnic minorities collaboratively¬†across the EMEA and LATAM regions. This has led to the development of a retention program, regular networking roundtables with members and allies and close partnerships with external organizations to inspire the next generation of diverse tech talent, such as LinkedIn’s support of the Black Girls Teach Summit in London.

Ileana Sodani

Ileana is the Executive Sponsor in EMEA for IMPACT, BNY Mellon’s ERG supporting D&I in the workplace. In order to foster a more inclusive workplace and to attract senior leaders from diverse backgrounds, Ileana and IMPACT are encouraging discussion through forums, workshops, and honest blogs. She has spearheaded a self-identification campaign, encouraging staff to celebrate their ethnicity and provide more complete data for metrics. Ileana is working to recruit from more diverse universities and colleges, and held sessions throughout 2019 on discussing race and role models, among other D&I-related topics. She is an advisor to the Steering Group of the Tiffany Circle, supporting the Red Cross, and she personally supports ‘Women on the Front Line, an annual event highlighting the strength, diversity and accomplishments of women fighting corruption and war. Ileana is also a founding member of The Network of Networks, connecting Women, BAME, and LGBT+ leaders across companies.

Simon Roberts

Simon is a Board Sponsor and Steering Group Chair for Ethnicity, Religion & Belief at Sainsbury’s, in addition to sponsoring the Black Colleague Working Group, and being a member of the Diversity Steering Group. He has been instrumental in driving the business to set aspirational targets on BAME inclusion at the highest levels of leadership, and he leads a BAME mentoring circle. He has hosted South Asian colleague listening sessions and black colleague listening sessions, which led to the creation of the Black Colleague Action Group. He actively champions the progression of BAME colleagues within the retail business, and is active in the development of strategy for the ethnicity, religion and belief workstream and BAME network.

David Shelley

At Hachette UK, David started the ‘Changing the Story’ D&I initiative, running it for two years, then empowering others to lead, and he continues to champion the initiative and amplify its messages in all communications and actions. He created the ‘Diverse Future Leaders’ scheme to mentor talented people of color in the organization, and voluntarily published Hachette UK’s first ethnicity pay gap last year, alongside committing to do the same each year from now on. He holds regular meetings with the HR Director, other senior leaders and THRIVE, the organization’s ethnicity advocacy network, to discuss goals and priorities for the company. David supports Dialogue, Hachette’s imprint for diverse voices run by Sharmaine Lovegrove, and The Future Bookshelf, and initiative which opens submissions of work by people of color. He mentors through EMpower, and works with the Stephen Lawrence Trust to talk to schoolchildren about publishing.

Nick Studer

Nick promotes diversity and inclusion from his position on Oliver Wyman’s Executive Committee, where he sponsors on the RED strategy and is a member of the Inclusion Council. He is Executive Sponsor for the EMPOWERED network, a participant, ally and member of ‘Men for Change’ with Women of Oliver Wyman, and a participant and ally with GLOW, the LGBT+ network. Nick created the company’s first RED strategy and sponsored its implementation. The strategy included a self-declaration program, setting baselines and targets, implementing dedicated recruiting initiatives and a targeted sponsorship program, improving staffing and talent management, and implementing multiple firm-wide communication and training programs. Externally, Nick supports the charity Prisoners Abroad. He also supports User Voice and Teach First.

Jackie Uhi

Jackie is on the UK Culture & Engagement Committee (UKCES) and the Executive Women’s Forum SteerCo, and she contributes to Women on Boards, supports the Atlas Mentoring Platform, Women Ahead, and is Executive Sponsor of the Embrace Network at HSBC. She acts as a trusted advisor for Embraces’ committee, and helps in particular to engage with senior stakeholders at the bank. As an executive on UKCES, Jackie regularly challengers her seniors on D&I topics, such as the ethnicity pay gap. She encourages her team leaders to proactively promote D&I by hosting working group sessions with staff from ethnically diverse backgrounds, among other initiatives. Jackie has worked with the CEO of the Diana Award, leading to opportunities for HSBC colleagues to mentor and make a difference to the lives of young people, mostly from BAME backgrounds.

Kevin Ellis

As UK Chairman of PwC, Kevin is the sponsor of all diversity and inclusion initiatives across the business. Over the past year, HR teams and volunteer ‘Colourbrave’ champions have held focus group discussions and surveys with hundreds of ethnic minority employees to better understand their experiences of working at PwC and how the culture can be evolved to create a stronger feeling of belonging and inclusion. PwC was one of the first companies to publish their ethnicity pay gap, and latest figures show a decrease in the ethnicity and gender pay gaps each year. Kevin ensures there are D&I action plans in place, with an explicit focus on senior level accountability and incentives for partners who take specific and positive steps to promote inclusion. PwC has partnered with UKBlackTech, and Kevin mentors ethnic minority leaders at PwC to support ethnic minority progression into leadership positions.