50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders 2018

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Claudine Adeyemi

1
Associate
Mishcon de Reya LLP

Claudine previously led the sub group for ethnicity and social mobility within Mishcon de Reya LLP’s Diversity Committee.  Visibility within the firm and industry is important to Claudine.  As such, she is a mentor to startups on the firm’s tech incubator, co-leads the Women in Law series (and has arranged for the first black woman to speak on the programme – Funke Abimbola MBE). She has organised and hosted events at the firm – from insight days for BAME school leavers to launch events for The Student Development Co’s initiatives. Claudine founded The SDC which focuses on providing career related support to 16-24 year olds from less privileged backgrounds, around 85% of whom are BAME. As part of this she developed a mobile app called Career Ear to provide further support. Claudine is an active senior member of The Law Collective which provides support to black aspiring lawyers and puts pressure on the industry to tackle racism. In the last 12 months, Claudine helped two mentees to obtain training contracts, another obtain a job at her firm and another obtain a vacation scheme placement at her firm.  Claudine has also been the recipient of numerous awards, including: Brummell Ones to Watch 2018, UK Social Mobility Awards Highly Commended Rising Star 2017, The BBBA Rising Star in professional services (finalist) 2016, Future Powerlistee 2016, and WeAreTheCity Rising Star 2016.

Gurjeet Moore

2
Financial Crime Compliance Manager
Santander

Gurjeet chairs Santander Banks BAME network (Ethnicity@Work), and since the launch in February 2017 has been instrumental to its successful growth. She has recruited senior managers BAME and non-BAME to participate in panel discussions, coffee and conversations and speed mentoring. She created site lead roles to increase awareness of the network, increase membership and obtain feedback from members around what barriers they face, concerns they have or what events they would like to see. Gurjeet has has personally participated in the Business in The community external mentoring scheme and as a result continued to mentor external contacts. Outside of work, Gurjeet takes part in external mentoring, in which she has used her experience as a Network Chair to support people in other companies start their own BAME network and ensure they understand how to get senior stakeholder buy in.

Khalia D. Newell

3
Vice President
Barclays

Khalia currently sits on the Senior Leadership team of the Barclays Black Professionals Forum. In this role she is responsible for the promotion, retention and development of BAME talent across the Barclays Group including, most recently, devising a Director Leadership programme for diverse senior leaders. Outside of work, Khalia joined the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for STEM to create Government Policy to encourage those from BAME or non-traditional backgrounds into STEM careers. Khalia has mentored over 100 students outside Barclays at mid and lower tier Universities to facilitate entrance into the private sector. She has also worked alongside Business in the Community (BITC) to run a national campaign called ‘There is Hope’ to encourage MPs to draft new policies to guarantee employment to recent graduates. In addition, Khalia has consulted on how to increase the representation of non-Russell Group Universities within the finance and professional services industries. Khalia regularly participates in panel discussions and leads workshops on the topic of accessibility and the promotion and retention of diverse employees. She has received numerous awards and accolades, including: Black British Business Awards, Rising Star (2016); We are the City, Rising Star (2017); and the Vodafone World of Difference Award.

Dara Kirton

4
Senior Manager, Chief of Staff Experience Centre
PwC

Since joining PwC, Dara has had had a proactive role in Diversity outside of her day job in Consulting. In 2013, she set up the PwC Diversity Mentoring scheme to encourage students from under represented backgrounds to seek and gain careers in professional services. The scheme started with a pilot of 18 students and now supports 200 students across the UK with employability skills and applications. 60% of these students are from BAME backgrounds. She has chaired the PwC Multicultural Business Network since 2015. Last year the network relaunched, and now has over 900 members. Last year, Dara led a national wide campaign encouraging conversations on race at PwC, called Colourbrave.  On a day to day level, Dara has acted as a role model, coach, mentor and sounding board to many BAME colleagues and proactively championed diversity and inclusion across the firm, seeing the firm make its ground-breaking decision to publish its BAME pay gap. Despite a demanding role in consulting, and achieving promotion to Chief of Staff, Dara continues to travel far and wide to lead discussions and participate in workshops that contribute to BAME representation at PwC.

Kim Vu

5
Seattle Market Executive
Bank of America

When Kim joined Bank of America in 2014, she led her teammates to expand their employee networks from five networks to nine networks to create more inclusivity in the workplace. Those new employee networks include Black Professionals Group, Native American Professionals Network, Military + Support Assistance Group and My Environment. Her team also launched a local diversity leaders council so that every network could better collaborate together to thoughtfully create a culture of intersectionality and inclusion. Kim works closely with local diversity leaders to host multiple conversations with employees and local community and business leaders to talk about challenging issues facing the community. Outside of the workplace, Kim is the national founding board chair and cofounding team member of The Respect Institute. The Respect Institute’s impact has been acknowledged by the Clinton Global Initiative, Ashoka Changemakers, and the Packard Foundation for reaching over 80,000 youth and youth influencers in schools and the juvenile justice system with their Respect 360 program focused on ending the school to prison pipeline, which disproportionately impacts BAME youth in the United States. Kim also serves on the national Juma Ventures board as well as the local Seattle advisory board.

Andrew Monu

6
Director, Field and Product Marketing EMEA
LinkedIn

In February of 2018, Andrew led the re-launch of LinkedIn’s Ethnic Minority ERG, EMBRACE, which was focused on challenging LinkedIn’s leaders and employees to think about why talking about race is still relevant in the workplace and about what role they have to play in making a change. He was also the panel moderator at EMpower’s Leadership without Affinity event at Lloyds of London in October 2017. The event was centred around how middle managers from ethnic minorities learn from BAME leaders who have made it to the top without having BAME role models in their organisation. In addition to volunteering as an EMpower mentor, where he is paired with a BAME professional from another organisation, Andrew writes about his experiences through the lens of race and unconscious bias. Most recently Andrew published an article on LinkedIn called ‘Why being conscious of your bias is the first step’ where he shared his own personal story about his own bias and how he tries to overcome it. As well as all of this, last year Andrew received awards and recognition from LinkedIn’s EMEA VP of Sales as well as LinkedIn’s CMO for delivering stellar results to LinkedIn’s EMEA business.

Chinwe Odimba-Chapman

7
Partner
Clifford Chance

Chinwe co-founded the Clifford Chance Black & Minority Ethnic network in 2015 with the primary aim of making BME issues a business priority at Clifford Chance. As co-chair, she has been instrumental in raising awareness of the network, both within the firm and externally. In conjunction with an external D&I consultant, Chinwe organised two campaigns during 2017: the collective voice campaign and the cultivating champions campaign. The former was focused on improving the collective voice of network members and ensuring the network was appropriately representing members’ views and priorities. The latter involved a bespoke lunch and learn session for the most senior leaders of the firm aimed at educating them on ethnic minority issues, improving the visibility of the network and identifying senior allies for the network. The network successfully launched a reverse mentoring programme that has enabled members to connect with the most senior partners and business services staff within the firm. Chinwe was the keynote speaker and a panellist at the Target Jobs Event City Law for Ethnic Minorities in 2017, and is a Professional Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors, an organisation pursuing increased diversity in the legal profession by assisting aspiring solicitors from underrepresented backgrounds.

Bijal Majithia

8
Assistant Director
EY

Bijal launched the EY Hindu Network when she joined the firm, and it is now one of EY’s most active networks, consisting of a thousand internal members. The network hosts 6 large events a year tackling controversial topics such as the role of women, faith and gender stereotypes to create a space where ethnic minorities can share their experiences. Bijal is also a Diversity and Inclusion ambassador for the firm and is involved in cross network initiatives with a specific focus on supporting ethnic minority employees.  Bijal’s work has been recognised by EY with an ‘Inspiring Role Model’ award and she was shortlisted for a ‘Better Begins with You’ award for her endeavours to build a better workplace. Externally, Bijal was recognised by ‘We Are The City’ as a Rising Star in Consulting in 2017 and she featured in the Consultancy UK Top 10 ‘Inspiring Women in Consulting’ list. Bijal is the Director and founder of Veda London, and for seven years she has led a team of 100 plus volunteers to serve 12 charitable and community projects across the UK and India. Additionally, Bijal is an ambassador for Binti, a charity working around the world to normalise menstruation in challenging communities.

Kuran Williams

9
HANA Enterprise Cloud Launch Advisor
SAP

As a leader within SAP’s Black employee network, Kuran has created virtual programming to further develop, educate, retain, and enhance opportunities for upward mobility of ethnic minority employees. Topics include, but are not limited to, how to create development plans, how to have a development conversation with your manager, how to assess your skills and gaps, and how to position yourself for a promotion, and the value of mentors and sponsors. Kuran helped co-organise a community service event with the Knowledge is Power Atlanta Collegiate High School (KIPP) where 30 minority students were able to come to SAP’s Buckhead office, work with SAP’s software to create and pitch a value proposition that would make their school better.  Additionally,  Kuran has mentored countless ethnic minority employees and women within SAP. Outside of work, Kuran is a STEM advocate within the African American Community. He has presented to I am A RoleModel, and told his story to a group of MBA and Undergraduate students at Delaware State University, as well as mentoring students from Morehouse College, his Alma mater. In 2018, Kuran was the recipient of the 2017 North America Leadership in Diversity and Inclusion award at SAP.

Martin Pong

10
Management Consultant
Oliver Wyman

Martin set-up Oliver Wyman’s first cross-employee network reverse mentoring programme which has seen senior business leaders come together and discuss workplace discrimination. During Oliver Wyman’s Diversity Month in April 2018, he launched an intersectional poster campaign to celebrate high profile individuals with diverse identities and hosted discussions at Oliver Wyman’s offices to recognise and promote the great work of their allies. He has developed several toolkits to help raise awareness about privilege, intersectionality, and allyship in the firm. Outside of work, Martin recently took part in the cross-organisational Mission Include mentoring programme, where he mentored ethnic minority youth and reverse mentored senior leaders across a range of industries. Having noticed the lack of visible gay South East Asian male role models, Martin uses mentoring as a way to make his unique experiences more visible to the next generation but also to raise awareness amongst senior figures who may not have properly considered the intersection of BAME and LGBT+ identities. He has worked with numerous charities, local youth groups, schools and university societies to ensure diversity and inclusion is considered in day to day operations – and to highlight how unconscious bias and privilege affects their decision making.

Anjeli Patel

11
Senior Consultant, People Advisory Services
EY

Anjeli has often spoken about her journey as a South Asian transgender female and has brought about awareness of the cultural aspects that have played a part in her transition. She has been involved in bringing about inclusivity in the workplace for both BAME and LGBT individuals Anjeli has been widely recognised as a role model, from speaking at EY’s student induction about her experiences as a British Asian trans* woman at EY and the importance of employee networks to being highlighted as an Asian trans* role model for Transgender Day of Visibility. She has also been spotlighted via EY social media channels as a BAME rolemodel. She was interviewed by the BBC Asian Network, and has been a keynote speaker at the Stonewall Workplace Conference three times where she focused on some of the specific challenges that trans* individuals face within the Asian community.

Justin Onuekwusi

12
Fund Manager
Legal & General Investment Management

Justin is a senior multi-asset fund manager at Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), sitting in a team managing over £45 billion. Raised in Manchester, Justin is of both Grenadian and Nigerian heritage.  A regular in the investment press, he is one of less than 2% of black fund managers in the UK.  He is the co-chair of the Investment Diversity Working Group at LGIM, making change in five key areas for the investment floor: recruitment and retention, culture/cognitive diversity, agile working, barriers to diversity and inclusion and understanding the business risks stemming from a lack of diversity. He is also the advisor to the board of City Hive Ltd, which focuses on driving diversity initiatives throughout the asset management industry. He sits on the ethnicity work stream of the Diversity Project, established by Dame Helena Morrissey, contributing on the topic of ethnic minority representation at senior levels within the asset management industry. He was nominated to take part in Investment Week’s Investment Influencers, a series of video interviews for retail and wealth investors with the most respected individuals who are influencing others in the industry.

Mary Agbesanwa

13
Management Consultant
PwC

Since having joined about a year and half ago, Mary has made a consistent effort to make PwC a more inclusive and welcoming workplace for BAME staff. She has been involved in the steering committee for the Multicultural Business Network (MBN) which has grown to just shy of 1000 members. She helped lead the twitter campaign for the MBN’s #ColourBrave campaign which garnered over 2 million impressions on Twitter spotlighting the firm’s novel practices to encourage discussions about race at work. This February, she organised a session on Personal Branding for BAME employees at the firm to think about how they can develop their personal brand in an online world. Outside of work, she runs a young professional women’s network called Now You’re Talking, that has predominantly BAME Members. The group shares events happening in the city of London as well as blogs and inspiring content. She is also a member of the Youth Council for Able Child Africa, the UK’s largest charity for disabled children in Africa, which is a strong passion of hers following working in Tanzania prior to PwC and witnessing some of the stigma associated with physical disabilities.

MaameYaa Kwafo-Akoto

14
Senior Associate
Allen & Overy

MaameYaa established a quarterly networking group for black junior lawyers at A&O. Her aim is for junior lawyers to receive advice, encouragement and sponsorship in an open environment. She has also been instrumental in spearheading A&O’s first BAME group, including preparing a charter of the group’s aims and organising events in support of UK Black History Month. MaameYaa is on the panel of interviewers for future trainee solicitors as she believes that it is important to have a diverse interview panel to represent the firm that A&O wants to be. She has had various speaking engagements at universities and schools where she has spoken to BAME students seeking a career in law. MaameYaa has also hosted career insight days at A&O for young black girls interested in a career as a City lawyer, and is frequently sought out as a mentor/sponsor to junior staff. MaameYaa helped introduce the firm to AfriKids, the charity based in Ghana, which went on to become a hugely popular choice as the staff selected charity partner. This relationship helped A&O’s staff have a deeper understanding of Ghanaian culture, with staff contributing through fundraising, donations, and pro-bono support.

Shuhena Bhanu

15
Senior Associate
Financial Conduct Authority

Shuhena is on the Committee of the FCA Diversity and Inclusion Working Group, which advises the business and proactively seeks to address a number of BAME challenges, including the lack of diversity at management level. She is currently helping to organise a pilot programme for BAME individuals to have a senior leader provide career mentoring, mirrored on an existing Treasury scheme. Shuhena acts as Reverse Mentor to a non-BAME Executive Board Director, advising her on diversity issues within the FCA. She is designing initiatives that are based on the findings of the Middle Report, to inform Board Directors on how BAME individuals can accelerate to management positions, such as creating a fast-track managers’ programme. As an active Muslim Leadership Committee Member, she organises events to foster interfaith dialogue.  Shuhena is invited to speak on panels regarding the BAME experience, including a women’s panel, led by the Business Editor of The Independent. She also actively mentors and leads extra-curricular activities such as cycling in the BAME community. Shuhena was ranked in the “BB Power and Inspiration 100 List – 2018”. She received the RISING STAR accolade on this Power List which recognises outstanding talent and leadership in the British Bangladeshi community.

Gavin Young

16
Senior Manager - Communications, Media and Technology
Accenture

Gavin is the co-lead of Accenture’s African-Caribbean Network of 400 members, which delivers a range of community engagement activities and drives initiatives to increase the effectiveness of recruitment, development, progression and retention for this community. He led Accenture’s ‘Accelerate’ week in 2017, where 240+ African-Caribbean employees received formal face-to-face training from senior managing directors, equipping them with the confidence and capability to fulfil their potential at Accenture. Gavin also shows his passion for furthering opportunities for BAME individuals by being an active mentor and coach both inside and outside the workplace. At work, his reverse mentoring has resulted in four black colleagues being promoted to Managing Director positions. In April 2017, Gavin was voted Accenture UK’s ‘Most Inspirational Leader’ by peers in their annual recognition programme.

Dominique Walker

17
Underwriting Assistant
AIG Europe Ltd

In 2015, Dominique was appointed co-chair of AIG Europe’s African and Caribbean Inclusion Group (ACIG). She was pivotal in the design, strategy and implementation of ACIG’s key outreach initiatives; developing a platform for the business to truly engage with the ethnic minority workforce, whilst assessing the potential disparity of employee experiences, and creating opportunities to level the playing field for employees. Dominique was key to the successful launch of the network’s career development programme with Harris Academy and subsequent work experience programmes. Passionate about change, Dominique co-created an interactive drama-based event “Playing with bias” for Dive In 2015, which explored common scenarios faced by ethnic minority employees within the financial services industry, and the impact of unconscious bias. As an advocate for mentoring, Dominique informally coaches and supports students and early career professionals from both ethnic minority and non-ethnic minority backgrounds. She is a founding member of Honest Voice in 2017; a start-up aimed at preparing young people to take control of their futures and empowering them to realise their full potential. As Content Development Lead, she is responsible for setting the strategic direction of core media content and overseeing content development.

Ken Osivwemu

18
VP, Liquidity Product Mgt
Barclays Corporate Banking

Ken co-led the evolution of the previous Africa Forum at Barclays to the current incredibly successful Barclays Black Professionals Forum and in Oct 2016 became its co-chair, under the EMBRACE Multicultural Network. He has assembled a team of equally passionate colleagues and together under his leadership and direction they have designed and delivered a range of initiatives aimed at supporting the firm in attracting, developing and promoting talent of black and ethnic minority origin. In addition, for the first time in the 10+ years since Ken had been at Barclays, he ensured that Black History month was promoted and celebrated on a large scale in 2017 with a variety of events culminating in a fashion show with Barclays colleagues modelling clothing designed and made by black owned start-up fashion businesses. Outside of work, Ken volunteers with mentoring charity Urban Synergy, based in his home town of Lewisham.

Kian Bakhtiari

19
Head of Strategy
Dentsu Aegis Network

As a founding member of Fortysix, Kian has helped Dentsu Aegis Network to create a new, inclusive recruitment model to attract more BAME talent. Having recognised longstanding biases in the advertising industry, Kian addressed this by eliminating unconscious bias from the system and by bringing in a pool of fresh, diverse talent. Kian’s methods have helped to significantly increase BAME representation across the company. For the last two years, Kian has been building a proprietary platform called Striipes: an online insights tool, which bridges the gap between brands and young people. Striipes is powered by a community of 1000 of young creatives who are 16-24. The majority of members are from BAME and lower socio-economic backgrounds. Outside of work, Kian is the One Young World ambassador for Iran. One Young World is the preeminent global forum for young leaders aged 18-30; empowering them to develop solutions to some of the world’s most pressing issues. In his spare time, Kian carries out pro bono work for Care4Calais, a charity which provides direct aid to refugees living in the worst conditions across northern France.

Mirra Sondhi

20
Global Head of Technology Risk
Schroders

As the Founder and Chair of the Hindu Society at Schroders, which Mirra setup within 3 months of joining the firm, she has created a platform that encourages members to network across the firm and learn about Hindu culture. The events organised span across the themes of Hindu teachings, significance of Hindu festivals and learning about the Indian and British Asian contribution, both historic and present day. Further, she organised an event to raise awareness and commemorate the contribution of the Commonwealth nations in the First World War which had representation from the Armed Forces and Black Professionals Networks. Through her role at Schroders, Mirra collaborated with internal recruitment and senior management to design standard job description templates which are being used to attract a diverse set of BAME talent and those that have flexible working needs into technology roles. Notably, Mirra is also one of the founding members of the Professionals Network, established in December 2017 at the Houses of Parliament under Lord Jitesh Gadhia. The objective of the forum is to enable leaders of BAME groups across organisations to raise cultural awareness and implement initiatives to drive ethnic minority inclusion, from student life through to workplace.

Noemie Djossou

21
RBWM Graduate Management Trainee
HSBC

An active member of the Graduate community, Noemie launched an initiative building relationships between Graduates and our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Focussed around the businesses’ priority focus areas, this includes HSBC’s Embrace (BAME) network, where we help to facilitate attraction and engagement within the group. Noemie arranged to write a collective blog which was showcased not only on HSBC’s Global Graduate Platform, but also on a much wider scale in the UK via the Embrace Network’s newsletter. This gave a voice to often underrepresented BAME colleagues and platform from which to share their aspirations.  During her time on the Graduate Programme, she has been recognised at two consecutive Graduate Awards for ‘Champions Change and Embraces Diversity’ award. This was a peer-nominated award which also received recognition from ‘OUTstanding’ Award Winner and CEO of M&S Bank Sue Fox. She was the first Graduate of her cohort to be selected for a specific Diversity and Inclusion placement, and her final role on the Graduate Scheme gives her the opportunity to reflect in the wider business the work she has done with our Graduate population.

Vanessa Sanyauke

22
CEO & Founder
Girls Talk London

Vanessa has spent over a decade working with FTSE 100 businesses creating and delivering programmes that give BAME young people aged 16-18 access to careers in the financial services. She has achieved this through through setting up award winning mentoring, internship and work experience programmes for RBS Legal, UBS, Reed Smith and many more businesses. The programmes and workshops she has delivered have impacted thousands of BAME young people in London and many of the young people who have participated in these programmes now work in the City for the financial services. Vanessa also advised the former UK Prime Minister David Cameron on his youth engagement strategy in particular for BAME young people in London and how to ensure that they get access into the workplace as when she was invited to consult; youth unemployment in the UK was at nearly a million. She is also a regular visiting lecturer and speaker on Diversity and Social Mobility for City University London, Kent Business School, Brunel University and Kings College London to educate academics and students on how FTSE 100 businesses can improve diversity and the visibility and experience of BAME People.

Anthony Francis

23
Agile Delivery Lead
Lloyds Banking Group

Anthony is passionate about ensuring that ethnic minority people at lower levels realise their potential, specifically those who identify as LGBT+. He has hosted a number of WebEx sessions on the subject of intersectionality, getting external speakers to come into LBG to speak about this topic and informally mentors others around the topic. He has also used his position on the top 40 BAME role models within LBG to bring this subject to the forefront of conversations and to give other BAME and LGBT+ colleagues a visible role model, including joining a number of events hosted by our Ethnic Minority network to help encourage inclusion within the network itself. He has also led a number of key activities within LBG’s LGBT+ network to bring BAME topics to the top of their priority list, including LBG’s first ever participation in UK Black Pride, ensuring that we all support each other in our quest for inclusion. Anthony is also a mentor to a younger ethnic minority person from the charity Action for Children as part of their ethnic minority future leader initiative.

Rangan Ravindran

24
Head of Liquidity and Market Risk
TSB

Rangan has worked tirelessly to promote the objectives of the TSB Multicultural network. He has used his platform as Chair of the network to reach out to BAME staff to increase its membership and to celebrate the cultural diversity that BAME Partners bring to the workplace. Rangan has driven the multicultural network’s approach to diversity by ensuring that our focus is intersectional. As a result the network focusses on the experiences of different groups of Partners e.g. BAME Partners; LGBT Partners, older Partners; disabled Partners. Rangan used his influence and leadership to shape the bank’s diversity agenda, specifically implementing an internal cultural awareness session to better understand the cultural differences that all Partners bring to the workplace. Rangan actively encouraged Muslim staff to share their personal experiences of Ramadan last year. The stories were promoted on the intranet and played an important role breaking down myths and perceptions about the Islamic faith. Rangan was instrumental in developing TSB’s relationship with The Brokerage – a social mobility charity that helps young people from London’s state schools access experiences of work, employability skills and jobs through its partnerships with employers.

Imran Sheikh

25
Head of Global Financial Services
BP Supply & Trading

As Co Chair of BP’s Positively Ethic Network, Imran has worked to expand the reach of BP’s affinity Group to include 550 active members(increased by 200) and a leadership team of 20 plus people. BP’s Positively Ethnic Network uses their hard fought ethnicity data  to work with senior leaders to show them statistics for their businesses to influence change. Imran is a mentor internal and external people from Ethnic Minority backgrounds. He is also responsible for the Grad Scheme in his part of BP and for the last two years running more than 75% of the intake has been from people from an Ethnic Minority background. This has been achieved by ensuring that a diverse group are involved in recruitment and also that the assessments are tweaked to reduce unconscious bias. Imran has sponsored 12 interns into his teams and is hoping to hire an individual from a prior internship in the near future.

Arbinderpal Rai

26
Senior Manager, Emerging Talent Recruitment
Lloyds Banking Group

Arbinderpal has been responsible for leading the redesign of the recruitment process for the Emerging Talent Programmes at Lloyds which has resulted in recruiting a greater number of BAMEs individuals. He has implemented a recruitment process that focused on creating an equal level-playing field for all candidates regardless of background to secure employment.  Arbinderpal is also actively role modelling being an open LGBT-BAME individual to educate and influence business decisions, challenge perceived norms and break down barriers to create an inclusive environment. One of Arbinderpal’s other key achievements was being responsible for the design and roll out of unconscious bias training that had reach to c500 business assessors ensuring greater fairness when assessing BAME individuals for roles.  Outside of work, Arbinderpal volunteers and runs regular employability events with unemployed people with an aim for them to get back in to work, and is an active speaker and influencer at industry forums and conferences to set recruitment best practice to challenge mind-sets and current practice. He is also a mentor to other BAME employees, and has been nominated and shortlisted for the last two years for the Lloyds Banking Group Ethnicity role models list.

Jennie Koo

27
Risk Performance Oversight
RBS

Jennie is the Global Chair of the RBS internal Multicultural Network & Regional Co-Chair for the Women’s Network. She uses this platform to drive and mobilise raising awareness of cultural differences and the positive contributions having a diverse workforce can have to a business.  In March 2016, she took on the role of Functional Diversity & Inclusion Lead. Seeing the limited cultural diversity in our the board and leadership, she was driven to take the development from those who wanted to progress their own careers, to developing those making the decisions. Outside of work, Jennie volunteers as a Prince’s Trust Business Mentor, to support and guide young people and gain better insights into the challenges they face.

Bianca Miller-Cole

28
CEO
The Be Group

As a Woman CEO of Colour, Bianca is aware of the importance of ensuring fresh ideas and different perspectives and cultures are input into an organization. Throughout the year, her company runs an internship program which looks to bring in diverse and talented individuals to work with her team and provide an alternative to the devised standard. Bianca works with a number of BAME and Gender networks within corporate organisations, No 10 Downing Street, churches and charities discussing the importance of personal branding and creating a good first impression. In 2016, Bianca was awarded a prestigious ‘Power Profile’ from LinkedIn as one of the top 10 most powerful leaders in the UK out of 20 million members. Her desire to redefine the ‘nude’ landscape with her diverse hosiery company Bianca Miller London meant she was labelled in the media as a ‘women’s fashion visionary’. She was recently named one of Forbes 30 under 30 for her contribution to retail and ecommerce, and 30 under 30 in Grazia Middle East, Elle magazine and Amor magazine as a entrepreneur and role model.

Rahul Gumber

29
Senior Manager - Risk
Aviva

Rahul has been instrumental in establishing Aviva Origins, a community which focuses on ensuring Aviva promotes a fully inclusive environment where colleagues from diverse ethnicities and backgrounds can flourish. Rahul is a keen advocate of cultural inclusivity and in October organised a day of Diwali festivities at Aviva’s London site. Rahul is also an active mentor and coach to several junior BAME colleagues. The aim of which is to create a private, trusted space where they can share the important things that matter to them, whether they are personal or professional, and to draw on his experiences to help them make informed decisions about their careers. Externally, Rahul represents the Chartered Insurance Institute at panel events, talking to students at inner-London schools and University events, where the representation is often predominantly BAME, to help them understand career options. Rahul also supports students as part of the CII’s Qualification Mentoring Scheme and acts as a mentor to BAME talent as part of the Social Mobility Foundation’s Aspiring Professionals Programme, which aims to give students an insight into top professions and provide them with the skills needed to achieve their potential.

Rupal Kantaria

30
Strategic Advisor Social Impact and Inclusion
Oliver Wyman

As one of the most senior BAME women at Oliver Wyman, Rupal has led race discussions and BAME reverse mentoring both within and outside of Oliver Wyman, providing a safe space for uncomfortable conversations. She founded and leads the Mission INCLUDE campaign- an inclusion network of 13 FTSE companies across the UK, which focuses on cross company mentoring, Reverse Mentoring circles to experience corporate culture from an ethnic minority background, and learning across firms.  She speaks regularly on race awareness panels for external events, and closed the House of Lord’s British Indian International Women’s Day debate of 30 senior BAME leaders, the first ever debate in the chamber and a role usually played by the Minster. She also moderated a senior panel at the Ismaili Foundation for International Women’s Day. She plays a strategic sparring role to the London OW BAME network, EMPOWERED, and has worked closely with Human Capital to attract and track BAME candidates through entry level recruiting, leading workshops to support black students from non traditional universities. Rupal also works with a national charity as a Trustee and as a ‘befriender’ listening to and supporting BAME mothers who are disproportionately affected by neonatal death.

Faith Locken

31
Surveyor
Jones Lang LaSalle

Faith has been elected as Chair of Jones Lang LaSalle’s BAME network known as Race for Change, where her mission is to push for further diversity within the firm and wider property industry. She coordinates the running of various events throughout the year that celebrate different religions and cultural backgrounds. Faith also participates in Changing the Face of Property, an initiative which aims to promote the property industry as a career option to children in primary and secondary schools from lower income backgrounds. Outside of Jones Lang LaSalle, Faith volunteers with IntoUniversity, a charity that supports children from lower income background schools achieve their dream of attending university. Through this charity, she was given a mentee from a local school in Brixton with whom she had regular meetings over an 18 month period. Faith’s mentee was successful in getting into her first choice university, SOAS University of London.

Richard Saenz

32
Human Resources VP, Developments and Technologies
BP

Richard is the executive sponsor in BP for the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and for the Hispanic Mentoring program. He is also one of the executive sponsors for the BP STEM high school outreach program. The annual SHPE conference is an important recruiting and outreach effort for BP, and Richard coordinates the identification and preparation of the high potential Hispanic Engineers that represent our company. These professionals recruit student participants for BP careers, lead workshops to help develop student career skills, and speak on pursuing engineering careers. This experience gives BP engineers the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and build Hispanic networks while supporting our diversity and inclusion agenda. Externally, Richard has spent the last 12 years as a community volunteer and head coach for many youth athletic programs as a visible minority role model to hundreds of children over the years – teaching them athletics, but more importantly imparting life and leadership skills.

Melinda Espiritu

33
Vice President/Senior Audit Manager, Credit Risk
HSBC

Melinda was the Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Working Group for the Internal Audit Department, where she helped foster a more inclusive environment for the 900 employees of the department globally. She was also a member of the Management Committee People Group, to ensure that inclusion aspects were was considered in the efforts of the group. She is also a reverse mentor for a BAME Managing Director and a traditional mentor for a BAME Manager within the department, and in this relationship has sought to inspire confidence in her ability to progress, and create opportunities for such. In New York, Melinda founded and chaired the Sustainability Program for the department, whereby employees were able to contribute their time and interactions with the disadvantaged community in New York City. In her time as chair, the department collectively contributed over 100 hours of community services to five different non-profit organizations.

Dewole Aradeon

34
Head of Sales Effectiveness
Fujitsu

Dewole is leading the charge for the Fujitsu to bring a coaching culture to Sales. One of the express aims of this initiative is to prioritize “potential” over “experience” in Fujitsu’s hiring practises. He is the Treasurer for the Parent Teacher & Friends Association (PTFA) for the Emmanuel Community School. This is a free school in the heart of gentrifying Walthamstow (E17) that has a greater than 80% BAME representation. Dewole is a Non-Executive Director of One World, an NGO whose mission is to empower the worlds poorest people through technology. Dewole also coaches two BAME entrepreneurs., helping them establish and grow their companies. He also has won Gold Start – Innovation Award, and a Bronze Award for going the extra mile to improve the “Forecasting” interlocks between Sales and the Finance and Delivery organizations.

Khawar Malik

35
Senior Underwriter, Emerging Markets M&A
AIG

Alongside his work at AIG, Khawar Malik runs Apples & Pears – a charity that funds nurseries, primary schools, women’s refuges and community spaces to run or host group trips for children under 12 and their families. Khawar incorporates this grassroots community and inclusion work into his wider role by creating opportunities for AIG employees to volunteer or fundraise for Apples & Pears’ projects. He also promotes the charity’s work externally to AIG’s client and advisor base. Most notably, this has resulted in an international law firm organizing a fundraising evening this spring to raise funds and awareness for Apples & Pears. Since setting up a six trip pilot for 13 children in 2012, Apples & Pears has enabled over 1,800 children (and around 1,500 of their family members) from 48 organisations spread across Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Greenwich, Lewisham, Lambeth and Reigate & Banstead to go on over 170 trips around London and beyond. Khawar is also a mentor for the Mara Foundation (a platform supporting African entrepreneurs) and provides ad hoc mentoring for a number of young BAME students looking for careers in law.

Ainsworth A. Clarke

36
Vice President Payment Relations
First Data

Ainsworth is an initial member and contributing founder of the Black Leadership Council at First Data. The group is made up of primarily entry level employees and in order to assist in helping these employees to grow and advance career wise, he has focused his efforts in assisting with talent management. Ainsworth has personally mentored several employees in the Coral Springs site and while on business in other sites has made time to host meetings with associates there, many of whom do not get to interact with a black Vice President. During his time with Lifenet for Families, he sat on the Board of Directors helping to raise money for the feeding program. He has spent time volunteering in the kitchen at Lifenet which provides over 84,283 hot meals per year to the hungry and homeless in South Florida many of whom identify as BAME.  He has been honoured several times by the Coral Springs City Commission for his fundraising efforts with the Martin Luther King Jr. committee helping to provide scholarships, as well as school supplies for needy children in the local community. 

Sajna Rahman

37
Business Development Manager, Healthcare
Sodexo UK & I

Sajna is a natural networker, connector and champion of diversity and inclusion. With her enthusiasm and infectious personality, she uses every opportunity to promote the importance of this agenda. Sajna has been an active member of internal and external committee networks, where she has led various successful initiatives and events. This included encouraging several BAME and non BAME executives to share their career journeys and conversations via a podcast on the ‘importance of visible role models’. Having worked for Sodexo for the last 6 years, she has held diverse roles. In 2015, she launched an internal event ‘Get to know the SLT’, which brought talented frontline employees and the Senior Leadership Team together. This was a platform to help people to share their career aspirations in a relaxed environment. Passionate about developing a diverse talent pipeline, she later became the co-founder of ‘Tomorrow Meets Today’ an external annual event, where she uses her influence and extensive network to bring together today’s leaders and tomorrow’s future leaders, providing an opportunity for both groups to meet, develop and grow. Outside of work Sajna is often invited to speak at events and participate in round table discussions about diversity and inclusion’

Rashmi Ghai

38
VP
Citi

Rashmi is in a client coverage role within Citi’s Corporate and Investment Banking division. Rashmi is one of the Co-Chairs for Citi Roots, which is Citi’s Diversity Network focused on BAME inclusion and cultural diversity. Rashmi has helped to build a more inclusive culture at Citi, supporting   BAME people in a number of ways. She has developed a BAME-focused Mentorship programme, where Citi’s BAME community are matched together every year, and provided with professional coaching. She has also brought a specific BAME focus to Citi’s internally recognized and popular ‘Inspire and Lead’ speaker series which has featured many prominent seniors. Rashmi also structures and delivers business skills workshops for Grade 11 students from various academies and local schools in London who represent the BAME community. Rashmi has been internally recognized by James A Forese (President, Citi; CEO ICG) for “exceptional contributions” to Citi’s recruiting, mentoring, training and diversity initiatives. Rashmi currently leads the leverage finance portfolio coverage effort as well as the capital allocation and approval process for new leverage finance deals across the EMEA region.

Rodney Williams

39
Project Engineer
National Grid

In June 2016, Rodney became the Co-Lead for ‘ONE’, National Grid’s multicultural network. ONE’s ambition is to support the BAME community at work. He leads a committee of volunteers that provide activities to support BAME colleagues to help them pursue their personal and professional development goals. His mentoring scheme has created 42 new mentoring relationships, assisting with broadening employee’s exposure to different business areas. He also mentors several BAME employees including new graduates. Rodney also created the ‘Development Programme for Diverse Leaders’ in collaboration with HR. This is designed to upskill and support aspiring BAME colleagues to progress to middle management and above. Outside of work, Rodney sits on the steering committee of The Network of Networks (TNON) BAME/multicultural chapter supporting network leaders from over 50 organisations including FTSE companies. TNON aims to provide a platform for cross-company network collaboration. He is also strategy associate to the RISE Collective, a UK based charity focused on empowering disenfranchised young people through music, arts and the media.

Katie Mantwa George

40
Europe, Middle East and Africa Tech Campus Lead
Amazon

Katie previously served as co-chair of the AIG African Caribbean network and worked with the committee to build induction events with other BAME internal employees as well as looping them into external networks that helped to aid long-term development. She ensures to always make herself available as a mentor, either long or short term, and ensures that new joiners are considered for awards and nominations from the start of their career. She has been an advisor for the last 3 years for a recruitment platform (Headstart) that uses machine learning to speed up recruitment processes, but also to reduce bias in recruitment as she feels this is a very important avenue to tackle the challenges BAME candidates may face from the early stages of their application process. Katie also speaks at Generation Success events annually and sits on panels to inspire BAME professionals and students by telling her life story which tracks her early years in Swaziland to her current role at Amazon.

Ugo Eboh

41
Credit Risk Strategy Analyst
Virgin Money

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

42
Senior Talent Solutions Consultant
LinkedIn

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.

Minal Mehta

43
Senior Strategy Consultant - Interactive Experience
IBM

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

44
Technology Analyst
Accenture

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

45
Clients & Markets
Deloitte

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

46
Account Director
Stand Agency

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

47
Head of Promotions, Digital & Insight, Service Operations
Sodexo UK & Ireland

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

48
Head of International Relations
Slaughter and May

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

49
Director, Customer Compliance and Fraud
MasterCard

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

50
Director, Technology Consulting
Deloitte

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.