It’s one thing to show up when a moment arises, it’s another to keep that momentum going. In the midst of the boiling point year that was 2020, corporations and organizations committed resources and revenue to enact real, tangible change.
Nearly two years later, it’s safe to say that DE&I perhaps more important than ever before. And as always, it’s important to shine a spotlight on the people behind that real, tangible change.
Diversity and inclusion membership organization INvolve, with support from Yahoo Finance, sought out to highlight those in the business industry who have continued the good work.
The 2022 EMpower Ethnic Minority Executives ranking celebrates 100 people of color who are leading by example and removing barriers on the pathway to success for ethnic minority employees. The 20 highest achieving executives have been ranked while the remaining 80 are celebrated in no particular order, reflecting the achievements of each individual.
Just like last year’s list, the executives honored below are all within at least three levels of the chief executives at large companies, or are the leaders of smaller organizations.
All of the ethnic minority leaders were nominated by peers and colleagues. Nominations were reviewed by EMpower’s judging panel, including former head of Yahoo Finance UK and now director of creative content development for Yahoo, Lianna Brinded.
Each person on the list was scored on the influence of their role, their impact on ethnic minority inclusion inside and outside the workplace, and their business achievements.
1.) Tiger Tyagarajan, CEO, Genpact LLC
Tiger has been at the forefront of building a diverse, inclusive, and equitable culture at Genpact. Under his leadership, the firm has made strides to reach its vision of having a 50% gender-diverse workforce globally, reporting 41% global gender diversity in 2022, with women making up 45% of its board. Genpact's DEI initiatives include a broad range of programs designed to attract, retain, and support women professionals at every stage of their careers.
The company’s commitment to gender diversity is evidenced by recent honors, including being named to the Forbes Best Employers for Diversity 2022 List, and the 2022 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index. Tiger is a champion of diversity and serves on the board of directors at Catalyst, an organization at the forefront of driving diversity momentum. He is also a founding supporter of the U.S. chapter of the 30% Club, a global campaign focused on increasing gender diversity at board and executive-committee levels.
2.) John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman, and CEO, Operation HOPE, Inc.
John is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Operation HOPE, Inc., the largest non-profit provider of financial literacy, and economic empowerment services in the United States for youth and adults. He is also the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Bryant Group Ventures, and Founder and Principal of The Promise Homes Company, which is the largest minority-controlled owner of single-family rental homes in the United States. As CEO, he encourages all his employees to promote diversity and inclusion.
At Operation HOPE, they promote social justice for ethnically diverse individuals through an economic lens. Within the past year, HOPE has experienced incredible growth and expansion with a focus on diverse communities that are typically underserved. With currently 200 HOPE Inside locations across the country, John and his team of passionate coaches, will continue to support the wider community through programs, partnerships, and initiatives.
3.) Funmi Adegoke, Group General Counsel and Chief Sustainability Officer, Halma plc
Funmi is Group General Counsel and Chief Sustainability Officer at Halma, the FTSE 100 global group of life saving technology companies. Halma is committed to building a diverse and inclusive culture throughout the Group and is a signatory of Change the Race ratio. As a member of the Group Executive team, Funmi helps drive a culture of inclusion where everyone feels they belong, and her commitment to diversity is evident in her leadership team, with 50% gender diversity and 33% ethnic diversity.
Funmi aims to challenge stereotypes and supports emerging talent, with a focus on enabling work environments where everyone can fulfil their potential. She speaks publicly and candidly about her experiences, supports corporate Diversity, Equity & Inclusion initiatives, sponsors ethnically diverse individuals and has partnered with organisations that improve diversity within the legal profession. Outside of Halma, she is a non-executive director of a FTSE 100 company.
4.) Timothy Wilkins, Global Partner for Client Sustainability, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Tim has over two decades of experience guiding social justice, cultural, and sustainability initiatives across New York City and around the world. Tim leads the firm’s global sustainability practice, advising clients on regulatory, litigation and transactional issues, including the role business can play in the fight for racial justice. Tim co-led the founding of the New York Circular City Initiative, a collaboration of city agencies, businesses and foundations to promote employment opportunities and a greener environment for the city.
Tim has been a fierce advocate for social justice on several boards of leading non-profit organizations, including New York Public Radio as Chair, the Public Theater and the NYC Economic Development Corporation as Chair of the Governance Committee. At Freshfields, Tim established programs to bolster the success of students and lawyers of color, including founding the firm’s participation in Legal Outreach, a mentoring program for NYC high school students.
5.) Shirine Khoury-Haq, Chief Financial Officer/CEO Life Services, Co-op
A proud member and an Executive Sponsor of Rise - a Co-op colleague network representing ethnically diverse employees - Shirine is part of all colleague networks, representing different groups. She openly shares life experiences borne from her intersectional identity, as a woman and working mother of Palestinian and Turkish heritage.
To understand, appreciate and celebrate differences across 60,000 colleagues, Shirine champions and speaks to diversity and inclusion, bias and allyship, often alongside experts. She has frequently spoken to professional networks outside the group in the last year and empowered her mentees to also share their stories.
Acknowledging the work to be done for Co-op to be truly anti-racist, Shirine sponsored the group’s diversity and inclusion commitments, which have seen senior leaders from an ethnic minority climb to 9% and apprenticeships worth millions created for under-represented candidates.
6.) Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive Officer, Diageo
Since becoming the CEO of Diageo in 2013, Ivan has been passionate about driving inclusion and diversity at the company. In 2020 he launched a new 10-year sustainability action plan titled ‘Society 2030: Spirit of Progress’. The plan laid out goals including increasing the representation of ethnic minorities in leadership positions to 45% by 2030, as well as increasing the percentage of Diageo suppliers from female and minority-owned businesses year-on-year. 2021 also saw the roll-out of a new learning intervention ‘Confronting Racial Bias Learning’, and the opening of Diageo’s fifth global ‘INC’ week; an employee-led, grassroots movement encouraging employees around the world to celebrate diversity.
In the UK, Diageo was an early signatory of ‘Change the Race Ratio’ a campaign led by the CBI to increase racial and ethnic participation in business.
7.) Kirk McDonald, CEO - North America, GroupM
As the CEO of GroupM North America, Kirk leads 6,500 people to shape the next era of media where advertising works better for people. A media and technology industry leader with 25+ years of experience across leading brands, media companies, and technology providers, Kirk is driving the industry to find a new balance of making advertising less interruptive and a valued part of the media experience.
Kirk is deeply focused on increasing representation and developing talent. Under his leadership, GroupM formed the Media Inclusion Initiative to support and grow diverse and Black-owned media companies and creators; as well as launched GroupM University and GroupM Launch Pad to help bridge the gap for applicants across traditional and non-traditional education pathways. Kirk is a founding member of the Black Executive CMO Alliance and serves on the Board of Directors for several organizations including Elanco, Paley, Ad Council, and Advertising Week Advisory Council.
8.) Bina Mehta, Chair, KPMG UK
In 2021, Bina was appointed KPMG UK’s first female chair in its 150-year history. As well as chairing KPMG’s UK Board, Bina also chairs the firm’s Inclusive Leadership Board, a forum for independent experts to provide challenge to ensure the organisation is embedding inclusion, diversity and equity within the business strategy. She uses her prominent role to champion the need for organisations to create inclusive, supportive, and diverse cultures that enable people from all backgrounds to thrive.
Bina won the Hammer Award at the 2022 GG2 Leadership & Diversity Awards, awarded to an individual who has broken through the glass ceiling, and was awarded an MBE in this year’s New Year’s Honours list for supporting female entrepreneurs.
9.) Monique Jefferson, Chief Human Resources Officer, New York Public Radio
As a human resources leader, Monique has for the last four years been a strong internal advocate for representation and inclusion at all levels within Hogan Lovells. Whilst historically the firm’s National Diversity Committee had focused on lawyer advancement and development, Monique felt that this focus needed to be expanded if the company wanted a truly inclusive culture and diverse workforce. So, as an inaugural member of the new Americas Business Services Diversity Committee, she helped developed strategic goals centering on education, increasing representation at senior levels, and creating a culture where employees have a sense of belonging.
In another of her roles as President of the Global Leadership Network for Black executives, CALIBR, Monique has overseen a 20% rise in corporate sponsorships. At New York Public Radio, where Monique now works, she is a member of the Race Equity Committee, where she will continue to drive positive change.
10.) Dionne Aiken, Chief Marketing Officer, Kantar
Dionne is the Global Executive Sponsor for I&D at Kantar Profiles, and joined the UK&I I&D Ethnicity Steering Committee as a member in February 2020. Upon joining she played an integral role in formulating a strategy enabling them to win the hearts and minds of the business, and she now co-leads the committee, balancing this commitment with her primary role as Chief Marketing Officer. Feedback on the work of the I&D SteerCo, including its Ally Programme of over 100 individuals who champion Kantar’s Race and Ethnicity Initiatives, suggests it has had a significant impact on the business.
Dionne is passionate about the next generation and was instrumental in Kantar partnering with the 10,000 Black Interns programme, she mentors individuals within and outside of her organisation and most recently joined the BT Mentoring programme to help ethnically diverse top talent further increase their leadership capability. Additionally she is a Non Executive Director at the Black Further Education Leadership Group, a frequent participant in panel discussions and events, a Baton Award winner and judge for both The National Diversity Awards and Campaign Agency of the Year Awards.
11.) Pam Kaur, Group Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, HSBC
As the only Asian woman on the General Executive Committee of HSBC, Pam uses her platform to educate, encourage and act as a role model. Since May 2020, she has been the executive sponsor for HSBC's worldwide Ethnicity Inclusion Program, which further diversifies its workforce ethnicity profile across the organization to reflect the customers and communities they serve.
She has also been the global executive sponsor for the Embrace Network, the employee resource group which aims at helping the company attract and retain a more diverse workforce. Thanks to a project that aimed to collect data on HSBC employees’ ethnicities, the company published ethnicity representation data in the UK and US for the first time and is one of the first financial services companies to publish ethnicity pay gap data in the UK.
12.) Mauro Gregorio, President - Performance Materials & Coatings, Latin America Oversight, The Dow Chemical Company
Mauro’s commitment to inclusion is evident not just within his diversified leadership team but also in his wider efforts to institutionalize inclusion via Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Among 11,000 employees in his business, ERG participation has increased from 39.2% (2019) to 52.6% (2021). Mauro is the Executive Sponsor of Dow’s Hispanic ERG, which was named Hispanic ERG of the Year by Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.
A strong advocate for inclusion, Mauro integrates inclusion into his daily business agenda. He engages Dow’s African ERG for unmet needs in the textured hair care market. He advocates PROJECT Ybá in Brazil, an initiative to develop a women-led cooperative to sell the bioactive in Dow’s preserved Amazon Forest to increase family incomes, while conserving the rainforest. As the co-chair of the U.S.-Brazil CEO Forum, Mauro meets regularly with both governments to improve bilateral collaboration in educational programs that create bridges for social advancement.
13.) Debbie Ellison, Global Chief Digital Officer, VMLY&R Commerce
After establishing VMLY&R COMMERCE’s Roots UK network, six further Employee Resource Groups have been introduced including gender equality, parents & carers and LGBTQ+. Debbie’s Incubator work experience program for 16–18-year-olds is in its fourth year. Students from Black, Asian, Mixed Ethnicity or lower socio-economic backgrounds are eligible for £10,000 grants to study business administration thanks to the partnership Debbie established with Hult Business School. The Incubator has been exported to New York with Bronx Community School and is set to expand across Europe. Debbie has led VMLY&R COMMERCE to track 60 DE&I KPIs resulting in the business being named Diversity & Inclusion Company of the Year 2021. She is set to launch the Inclusion Experience consultancy, helping businesses undergo similar transformational change.
In the Ethnicity Awards 2020 & 2021, Debbie was listed in the Inspirational Leader Category. Through her connection with Inspiring the Future, Debbie regularly speaks at schools to give insight into the industry and her career pathway.
14.) Badar Khan, President/CEO - USA, National Grid plc
Badar started his involvement in D&I efforts in 2010 by serving on the Houston Advisory Council of the Tahirih Justice Center, a non-profit organization protecting immigrant women and girls fleeing gender-based violence and persecution. His company, National Grid, led efforts to make environmental justice a significant policy focus on decarbonizing energy supply, transport, and heating by ensuring disadvantaged communities of color gain equitable access to the benefits of the clean energy transition.
Furthermore, he advocated for organizations like Browning the Green Space, a group of leaders and organizations whose goal is to increase the participation of people of color in the clean energy sector. In April 2021, he was invited to become a Founders Circle member of the British Asian Trust, founded by the Prince of Wales to tackle poverty, inequality, and injustice in South Asia.
15.) Kathy Quashie, Chief Growth Officer and Executive Committee Member, Capita plc
As Chief Growth Officer, Executive Committee Member at Capita, and a sponsor for the Race and Ethnicity Employee Network, Kathy ran a webinar for Race equality week in February 2022 to drive awareness of the progress still needed in the workplace. Her passion for D&I drove her to write a blog on LinkedIn about why companies in the UK need to do more to address equality in the theme of #ActionNotJustWords.
From June 2019 to December 2021, she was Chair of the Multicultural and Inclusion Network at Vodafone. She championed and hosted roundtables to promote the initiatives from the 2020 D&I strategy shaped by the MIN Group. Furthermore, between June 2020 and December 2021, as Head of Indirect Business at Vodafone, she engaged in numerous events promoting D&I to attract talent and raise awareness and was appointed judge at the Black British Business Awards in 2021.
16.) Celia Liu, CEO - southern & central Europe, ISS A/S
As CEO of ISS A/S for Southern & Central Europe, after the D&I strategy creation, Celia has been working closely with the Cultures, Race & Ethnicity ERG to discuss equality and embrace diversity in all business areas across the company. As a result, the company has advanced into forming new partnerships with different organizations to create programs and review policies according to the objectives of the D&I strategy.
Moreover, they facilitated the TENT Foundation Program to start pilots in mentoring, support, and job opportunities for more than 500 refugees across Europe. As a result, ISS continues moving forward to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace and achieve the goals planned with its D&I strategies. Celia also has been an active public speaker for several webinars with DIAL Global lecturing on leadership, equality, and diversity.
17.) Syreeta Brown, Group Chief People & Communications Officer, Virgin Money UK PLC
As the Group Chief People & Communications Officer at Virgin Money since November 2021, Syreeta leads a strategy that improves inclusion by introducing location-agnostic benefits and working practices, to engage people from all backgrounds and reduce 'entry barriers.'
Additionally in Syreeta’s prior role as a Global Head of Talent Acquisition Strategy at Citi, Syreeta secured investment for a dedicated Diversity & Inclusion recruitment strategy and team, which successfully improved their diversity hiring. Delivered company-wide, this enabled infrastructure within Recruitment to equip recruiters and hiring managers with tools to promote and ensure inclusion in their processes. Syreeta was also a Senior Leader mentor on the Citi Roots Network Mentoring Program for ethnically diverse talent.
18.) Traci Dinkins, President, Head of Media - North America, Essence Global
As President, Head of Media NA of Essence Global (p/o WPP Group), Traci provides guidance on media best practices for the agency, and she is actively and passionately involved in creating the global roadmap for D&I initiatives within the company. As part of the Essence Global Career Advocacy Program, she mentors individuals of diverse backgrounds to improve retention and strengthen the talent pipeline in the advertising industry.
Traci’s engagement as a public speaker has also seen her remain active with her graduate school alma mater as a panelist for DEI/Belonging Events at SC Johnson Graduate School of Management in 2022, and as an Ambassador for the DE&I Advisory Team at Cornell since 2019. She also moderated a Cornell Talk for AA Entrepreneurs' Black History Month Panel.
19.) Reshma Ramachandran, Group Senior Vice President & Chief Transformation Officer, The Adecco Group
As Senior Vice President & Chief Transformation Officer at The Adecco Group, Reshma is one of few women of color in a senior management position in Switzerland. She serves as the sponsor for the Ethnic Minority Women's Network and is a mentor to several ethnic minority women in the organization. Her team consists of several ethnically diverse women.
In her role in transforming the business, one of the key pillars is diversity & inclusion, helping clients hire more ethnically diverse candidates by eliminating bias in the recruitment process. As well as serving as a mentor to ethnically diverse colleagues, she has started a LinkedIn group where several senior women of color provide coaching and mentoring to women of color pro-bono. Reshma also sits on the Advisory Board of the World Women Foundation and is a keynote speaker at Women in Tech, Equality leaders, and Global Movement for Women in Tech.
20.) Rajeev Mittal, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Fidelity International
As Managing Director at Fidelity International for the Asia Pacific ex Japan region, Rajeev is responsible for setting Fidelity's regional corporate and strategic initiatives, and ensuring a strong focus on diversity and inclusion. He drives the development of the D&I strategy in the region and champions an inclusive culture. Rajeev introduced a regular schedule of D&I focused talent reviews and prompted actions to develop a diverse talent pipeline.
Rajeev also works with his leadership teams to embed D&I into their management focus, he supports communications activities across the region to engage colleagues in D&I programmes, and he encourages colleagues to share their experiences to bring the D&I strategy alive. In 2021, Rajeev was selected as a Global Top 100 Executive Ally by the LGBT Great Network, recognising efforts to promote allyship in the region.
Bo Lu, Vice President of Global Strategy, Lenovo
Bo Lu is a passionate advocate and role model for ethnically diverse colleagues both within and outside of her workplace. Since becoming Lenovo’s Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Bo has grown female representation on her own team to 62%. In addition to her role leading strategy for the global technology company, she contributes to Lenovo’s culture of diversity and inclusion by mentoring rising female and Asian talents as an executive sponsor of Lenovo’s Women Leadership Development Program.
Bo is an advocate and speaker for the Executive MBA Program at Peking University in her spare time, and enjoys leveraging her career experience to inspire students toward a more cross-cultural, innovative and prosperous future for all. Prior to her role at Lenovo, Bo held leadership roles at Google and Boston Consulting Group. Bo holds an MBA from Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business.
Tom Shropshire, General Counsel & Company Secretary, Diageo
Tom is one of the most senior Black Executives in the UK, and the only General Counsel & Company Secretary in a leading FTSE company. Since joining Diageo in June 2021, Tom has been a passionate champion for diversity and inclusion across the business. Under his leadership, diversity and inclusion have become a strategic element of the global legal, business integrity, Co Sec, and corporate security functions.
As the Executive Sponsor of Diageo's Race, Ethnicity, and Cultural Heritage Employee Group, Tom has provided guidance and leadership to ethnically diverse employees and allies. In 2022, he sponsored Diageo's first-ever Race Equity Week which featured events to challenge ways of thinking. Tom also supports the African Heritage Employees at Diageo group in North America, and he is a mentor for the Spirited Women's Network.
Demet Ikiler, CEO - EMEA, WPP Country Chair Turkey, GroupM
Demet has been a member of WPP's Inclusion Council since 2020 and a passionate and outspoken advocate for sustainability and, diversity & inclusion. Across the 25 WPP agencies for which she is responsible in Turkey, Demet launched the WPP Culture Project in April 2019 to address the issues of gender equality.
Additionally, she is one of the mentees in GroupM EMEA Reverse Mentorship Program "The Bridge." This program aims to facilitate an open dialogue between leadership and Black, Asian and Mixed Heritage individuals within the agency by creating a safe space for senior management to discover the challenges that ethnically diverse employees face in the workplace. In 2022 and 2021, Ekonomist magazine Turkey recognized Demet as number #1 in 10 Most Powerful Women CEOs list.
Shimna Sameer, Head of Preferred Lending, Bank of America
Shim Sameer is a passionate advocate for parity, often heard quoting “It’s not a world for anyone if it’s not a world for all.” A tireless promoter of racial and gender equality, she is focused on driving awareness and dismantling perceptions and barriers built by unconscious bias. She serves as executive sponsor for the company’s Leadership, Education, Advocacy & Development (LEAD) for Women employee network, comprising 44,000 members in 66 chapters throughout the world. She enjoys addressing global audiences and has served as keynote speaker at various forums, panels and events to discuss inclusion and women’s empowerment.
Shim serves on the board of the National Association of Asian American Professionals and has been named to the 2020 and 2021 “INDIA New England News” list of Outstanding Women, the 2021 INvolve HERoes Top 100 Women Executives List, and the 2020 EMpower/Yahoo Finance Ethnic Minority Executive Role Model List.
Richard Iferenta, Vice Chair and Partner, KPMG LLP
Richard’s passion for inclusion is evident not only in his specialism of Tax and Financial Services, but also within the wider business community. He has championed greater diversity, inclusion and equity for over 20 years, and his passion to see more Black Heritage (BH) leaders and colleagues led to the creation of KPMG’s BH Working Group to deliver a strategy focused on lasting change and results. Results of this include a plan of commitments to double the number of BH leaders in the firm, and increase the number of BH graduate recruits, as well as a project allocation overhaul to ensure BH colleagues have greater exposure to high quality experiences.
Richard sponsors the firm’s African and Caribbean Network and plays an instrumental role in the delivery of the firm’s Black Lives Allyship Programme which has reached over 700 colleagues, helping to create an open and inclusive environment, while nurturing talent.
Melody Rollins, Client Advisor, Bridgewater Associates
At Bridgewater, Melody serves as a senior sponsor of the Black Affinity Network, planning events to build community, providing professional development, and raising awareness about the needs of current and prospective Black employees. In addition, she advocated for Black employees during the pandemic. Along with her colleagues, she organized a firmwide conversation to commemorate the killing of George Floyd and discuss the roots of systemic racism and its impact on Black communities.
Melody also mentored Black interns experiencing the firm virtually and provided counseling to colleagues transitioning roles. In 2018 she Co-Founded Women of Color in Investments, an invite-only networking and professional development group for senior women in the investment industry. She also served as a Board Chair for Custom Collaborative, a transformational organization dedicated to training, mentoring, and advocating for low-income and immigrant women to build the skills necessary to achieve economic success in the sustainable fashion industry and society.
Justin Onuekwusi, Head of Retail Investments - EMEA, Legal and General Investment Management
Justin is the Head of Retail Investments, EMEA at Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM). He develops and leads LGIM’s Retail Investments business working with fund managers, Distribution and Product supporting, improved performance, investment capability, external credibility and asset growth. He is also a fund manager and part of a team managing over £60 billion for pension schemes and savers globally. He leads on the management of the award-winning Multi-Index Funds.
As a founding member of #TalkAboutBlack, Justin has led numerous initiatives aimed at increasing representation across the corporate sphere. Justin also founded EnCircle, a mentoring network connecting industry newcomers with senior Black professionals. Justin also sits on the advisory board of the City of London Social Mobility Taskforce. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2020 and is the Non-Executive Chair of the Board for the afro and curly hair brand Afrocenchix.
Dr. Bijna Kotak Dasani MBE, FRSA, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley
Dr Bijna Kotak Dasani MBE, FRSA is an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley. For almost two decades – with a career spanning the UK, the Americas and Asia – Bijna has been a passionate advocate of promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with a strong track record of championing gender-equality. She is an active proponent of creating a culture within companies whereby employees can bring their ‘authentic selves’ to work.
At Morgan Stanley, Bijna champions change through her commitment to the Diversity and Inclusion Council, the Women’s Business Alliance, the Network of Women in Operations (NOW) and the Black Employee Network, to name a few. She is also spearheading initiatives to support social mobility and the hiring, retention and promotion of people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. In October 2020, Bijna received a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award for services to diversity and inclusion in financial services.
Akama Davies, Global Practice Lead, Digital OOH, Xaxis
Akama founded a DEI organization called We Are Stripes, with the mission to address the ethnic imbalance in the creative advertising sector through recruitment, consultancy, and events. We Are Stripes has impacted the careers of over 1,000 diverse creatives and supported multiple organisations to improve their DEI practices and policies. Akama also sits on the DEI Steering Committee at Xaxis alongside participating in WPP’s Ethnic and Cultural ERG, Roots, and was one of the original members of Media for All.
Amongst his contributions are the Insight Days, which he runs for The Media Trust, City University and Brixton Finishing School. These Insight Days bring in colleagues from every team (including the C-Suite) to speak to young diverse, talent about opportunities in Media and help them enter the industry. In addition, Akama was instrumental in creating the Black Is The New Black exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery.
Millicent Clarke, Regional Head HR Africa and Middle East, Standard Chartered Bank UAE
Millicent passionately champions the diversity and inclusion agenda by creating platforms and talent programs to create visibility and promote hiring for African and Arabic Talent. This has resulted in an increase in African and Arabic representation across the bank's global footprint and an increase in women representation in senior roles. She is also a coach, mentor, and sponsor of diverse African and Arab Talent groups across the region to build capability and fast track their growth.
In addition, she hosts group mentoring and learning sessions where individuals can share experiences, thoughts, and opinions to create a workplace where different perspectives are valued and embraced. Millicent is also often invited as a guest speaker to encourage ethnic declarations, have dialogues that raise awareness on diversity and inclusion, and encourage a diverse culture.
Chika Aghadiuno, Group Enterprise Risk Director, Aviva
Following the 2020 global social events, Chika provided counsel to the organisation on external and internal comms and via a global live stream. She proposed and led calls for all-staff conversations and closed calls with Black colleagues to help process the events. In instigating the Black Professionals Network as a cohort of the multi-cultural network, Chika helped to amplify this voice within the organization and has seen the confidence of this group growing visibly as a result.
She provided input on both the Aviva Black Action Plan and the Aviva Black History Month arrangements, and continues supporting initiatives such as anti-racist training. Outside Aviva, Chika has been engaged in multiple initiatives and education and discussion sessions in the insurance sector and the actuarial profession to promote and support Black talent and inclusion.
Rob Anarfi, Chief Risk Officer, Beazley Insurance
Rob is the Executive Sponsor and Founder of BeazleyRACE, the company's employee network focused on race, culture, and ethnicity. He helped the Diversity & Inclusion Steering Committee set and communicate the public race and ethnicity targets which Beazley has been progressing with to ensure better diversity across the company.
In addition, Rob has been mentoring other people of color within the company, helping them overcome barriers or find routes to develop their careers. He also co-founded RATL, (Race, Action Through Leadership) which focuses on amplifying the influence of senior insurance leaders of color, increasing racial diversity and inclusion. He has also spoken on the Risky Mix podcast, a diversity-related insurance podcast, about creating an inclusive work environment and the importance of leadership accountability.
Sabrina Lynch, SVP, Taylor
As a Black Female Executive leader at Taylor's New York office, Sabrina acts as a vocal and visible role model for management and junior staff. She collaborates with the Taylor Board to curate industry panel discussions that positively impact employees and company partners, articulating the importance for marketers to develop an understanding of diverse communities and multicultural markets. As a mentor of both employees and BIPOC professionals entering the marketing industry for the first time, Sabrina provides counsel on best practices in hiring and team structures to ensure women and People of Color are represented equally at every level of business.
Additionally, she is a strategic partner of New York City Mayor's Office for ThriveNYC and the Mayor's Office for Economic Opportunity; leading workshops for staff and writing strategic roadmaps on integrating racial equity. An Executive Fellow (Lecturer) at Harvard Business School, Sabrina’s goal is to ensure the development of resources/programs/initiatives that promote societal and professional inclusivity in the corporate, education and political sectors.
Albertha Charles, Partner, PwC
Some of the major changes Albertha has pushed for in PwC’s D&I strategy over the past five years include the introduction of coaches to drive Black and ethnic minority groups progression; the initiation of ‘Fair Allocation of Work’ programs; Ted Circles to encourage open conversations about D&I topics and the ‘One Action’ campaign, which asked everyone to commit to one action they would take personally to embed behavior change.
As Chair of the Staff Diversity Council Albertha also gathers feedback across the firm’s networks on D&I priorities and actions taken so far, bringing recommendations to the Partner Diversity Council in response. At 2020’s Anti-Racist Manifesto for Action, Albertha contributed by sharing insights on how PwC reached disclosure rates of over 90% and used the data to drive inclusion actions such as fair work allocation and sponsorship programs.
Jeanne Samuels, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Wealth and Personal Banking US, HSBC
Jeanne is a founding member of the HSBC Black Leaders Action & Advisory Council, which comprises Black employees and allies from across the organization globally. The council organically come together to hold senior HSBC leadership accountable for their expressed commitments to HSBC's black employees and press for systemic and sustainable progress toward stated D&I goals.
Jeanne is also a sponsor for two junior Black legal colleagues in connection with an initiative to provide formal Sponsorship and tailored development for Black lawyers. In July 2020, along with four other Black women lawyers, she authored a paper titled "Moving Beyond Conversation: Diversity and Inclusion Transformation Proposal For Black Employees in HNAH." The document was presented to HSBC senior management in the US and successfully set forth targeted diversity and inclusion initiatives to mitigate some of the critical challenges for Black employees within the bank.
Gavin Lewis, Managing Director, Head of UK Local Government Pension Scheme, BlackRock
In addition to his role as Head of UK LGPS, Gavin is currently Co-Chair for BlackRock’s Global Black Professionals Network, which involves leading the firm’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts for Black professionals across its offices, globally.
Gavin sits on the firm’s Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) DEI Taskforce, and has participated in numerous industry discussions on the challenges Black professionals face and on leadership & professional development for Black professionals. He has been recognized for his efforts to increase minority representation at BlackRock and in the asset management industry, including with the Heart of BlackRock Award 2020, which recognizes BlackRock employees for creating a culture of empathy, trust, and respect.
Serufusa Sekidde, Chief of Staff, ViiV Healthcare, GSK
Since 2021, Serufusa has co-led EMBRACE, GSK's company-wide Employee Resource Group (ERG) and been at the forefront championing race and ethnicity issues within the global pharmaceutical giant. He was recently featured as the employee voice at GSK’s recent media events to celebrate progress on GSK’s aspirational targets for race and ethnicity progress, and featured in the company’s 2022 Annual Report. As co-chair of GSK's Infectious Diseases Physicians' Forum in March 2021, Serufusa has also been involved in strategy for recruiting and developing infectious diseases talent in GSK.
For the past seven years, Serufusa has been a Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute – the world-leading Washington DC-based think tank – and been advocating for social change, and equity in the healthcare sector globally. Finally, as an award-winning rapper – with his latest album The Solutionary Manifesto released in 2021 - he has used English, Swahili, and Mandarin Chinese to advocate for change.
Elizabeth Scarpelli, Managing Director, Global Head of Enterprise Wide Functions Compliance, BNY Mellon
As Co-Chair of BNY Mellon's Global Hispanic Latinx Leadership Forum (HLLF), Chair of External Partner Relationships for IMPACT (the company's multicultural resource group), and a key D&I partner within the Risk and Compliance business, Elizabeth has promoted the attraction, development, and retention of ethnically diverse individuals within the company. She takes every opportunity to mentor/sponsor emerging leaders to prepare and position professionals inside and outside BNY Mellon for future leadership roles and give exposure to senior leaders and executive management.
Under Elizabeth's leadership in March 2021, HLLF launched two new leadership development programs for high potential Latinx talent in partnership with the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement and helped facilitate the company's participation in McKinsey & Co's inaugural Hispanic Latino Leadership Academy. Additionally, this year, HLLF will launch the IMPACT Ambassador Program designed to introduce new joiners and existing employees to the company's Asian, Black, and Latinx Leadership Forums.
Andrew Pearce, Managing Director, Accenture
Andrew is the Co- Executive Sponsor of the Accenture African Caribbean Network (AACN), Andrew works with the global Accenture I&D team to further the retention, progression, and development of Black talent, as well as being accountable for all annual network events, including a series of prominent Black History Month events.
Other undertakings of Andrew’s include sponsoring and facilitating the innovative inclusive leadership programme- Engage! and sponsoring the Accenture UK Operations Black Advocacy program. He is also currently the UK Chair of the Executive Leadership Council, the membership organization for the development of global Black leaders at C-suite level. As a member of the board for Kingston University he advocates for greater diversity for academic and senior staff and works with the management team to ensure that diversity across all of the university is a priority.
Soraya Wright, Non-Executive Director, Beazley Insurance Company Inc.
As a non-executive director of Beazley, Soraya mentors the current Chair of Beazley's Inclusion & Diversity Steering Committee, providing advice and guidance to the company in reaching its inclusion and diversity goals. She has connected Beazley with several diverse professional organizations in the U.S as partners who will support the company in furthering its goals.
Soraya has spoken passionately on panels and presentations about diversity and inclusion at Beazley, including a Q&A session about the implementation of race and ethnicity targets, and for two years running has been a spokesperson at events for Black History Month in the US. As a D&I champion, she leverages her influence to develop strategies, change policies and implement practices that enable organizations to drive success through diversity and inclusion.
PK Yegneswaran, VP, Manufacturing Science & Technology - Global Animal Health Manufacturing, Merck & Co., Inc.
At Merck & Co (MRK), PK has been a strong sponsor of D&I through his involvement in Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRGs), and mentoring and sponsoring talent from diverse backgrounds. PK has been sponsoring and supporting several diversity initiatives at Merck such as Women in Science and Engineering, several D&I Councils and The Diverse Leaders Program.
During 2019-2021, PK was the Executive Sponsor of the Pan-Asian EBRG Asia Pacific Association (APA) at Merck and successfully increased employee membership and engagement by 100%. During 2020-21, with PK’s guidance, the APA EBRG developed a Call-to-Action in solidarity with the League of Employees of African Descent EBRG and sponsored community conversations responding to Anti-Asian incidents in the USA.
PK also currently represents Merck on the Board of Directors of NACME (National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering), with a vision to develop an Engineering workforce that looks like America.
Shelina Janmohamed, Vice President, Islamic Marketing, Ogilvy
As the Vice President of Islamic Marketing, Shelina champions Muslim engagement and expression within Ogilvy. By bringing more diverse clients into the organization on projects as varied as relationship apps, content production and Ramadan consumption, Shelina’s work benefits staff and consumers in developing inclusive and representative ways of working.
In addition to sitting on WPP and Ogilvy’s Inclusion Board Shelina dedicates time to improving diversity and inclusion and ensuring pastoral care of junior talent from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds.She works with the comms team to establish a calendar of religious and cultural events. In regular columns for Campaign magazine Shelina writes about culture and diversity. She advises cultural organisations like the British Film Institute and AMAL foundation on representation of Muslims in the Arts. She’s an awardwinning author and newspaper columnist. She’s just published a book for girls 10+ “BeYOUtiful: Radiate Confidence, Celebrate Difference and Express yourself”.
Karen S. Carter, Chief Human Resources Officer & Chief Inclusion Officer, Dow, Inc.
Dow ACTs is the name of the anti-racism framework Karen launched in 2020 as the Chief Inclusion Office at Dow. Built on the pillars of Advocacy, Community and Talent, Dow ACTs has taken actions such as establishing an internal social justice council; allocating $5 million over five years to support the Black community, including $1 million to The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.; investing $100,000 in Dow Promise to impact educational and economic challenges faced by Black youth and adults in communities near Dow, and donating $500,000 to HBCUs.
Karen’s other achievements include establishing Equity as a company goal; requiring advanced inclusion training for all leaders and HR; implementing D&I metrics linked to leadership and employee performance awards and introducing new inclusion hiring standards. Following the implementation of these measures, employee satisfaction at Dow is currently at its highest since it began being conducted in the 1990s.
Oluchi Ikechi-D'Amico, Partner, Head of Strategy & Transactions, Capital Markets - APAC, Ernst & Young
Oluchi is a DEI Partner Sponsor for Ernst & Young Strategy & Transactions, Financial Services, and has been positioned as an advisor to the Board. She led efforts to build an 'Inclusion Assessment' framework that has been packaged as a product to help clients across all regions and industries. As the only Black partner in the above UK and APAC businesses, Oluchi prioritizes meeting with professionals from ethnically diverse backgrounds to understand how she can improve their working experience. Whilst at Accenture, she became a DEI Advisor to UK CEO and CHRO, also helping with Strategy & Consulting UK around DEI focused training, recruitment and career development programs for employees.
Moreover, as Head of Capital Markets Innovation UK, Oluchi supported securing a 40%+ increase of submissions from ethnically diverse founders to Accenture's FinTech program. Oluchi founded Fully Bossed, helping professionals, including those from underrepresented backgrounds, accelerate in their careers.
Jugveer Randhawa, Chief Digital & Technology Officer, Compass Group North America
As a Chief Digital & Technology Officer at Compass Group North America, Jugveer, along with his team, has developed and implemented a program called Digital Future Initiative, a set of action-based programs where associates from one of our sectors, Compass Digital, use their knowledge and expertise in the world of technology to empower the communities in which they live and build the next generation of digital leaders.
Additionally, Jugveer's focus on promoting ethnically diverse individuals' diversity and inclusion has led to many achievements including Compass Group actively recruiting diverse employees, partners, and suppliers. Jugveer champions his executive team to have a strong diversity and inclusion agenda, in fact, Compass Digital's associates comprise a diverse team of 54% women in leadership roles and 50% of employees from ethnic minorities.
Titi Cole, CEO of Legacy Franchises, Citi
Titi was recently appointed CEO of Legacy Franchises at Citi overseeing the consumer banking businesses in Asia, EMEA and Consumer, Wealth and Commercial Banking in Mexico. She is also a member of Citi’s Executive Management Committee.
Prior to this position, she served as Head of Operations & Fraud Prevention, Chief Client Officer and the first Diversity Champion for Citi’s consumer bank. In this role, she worked to increase representation and build a culture of inclusion, helping Citi exceed its representation goals for 2021.
Titi is also a staunch advocate for improving representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the finance industry and received the 2021 Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award from Women in Finance for her contributions. She remains actively involved in her community through volunteering, mentoring and her work as a Board member for Queens University of Charlotte as well as a Global Advisory Council member for TechnoServe.
Vishal Dixit, Strategy and Wholesale Director, Vodafone UK
Whilst serving as its Executive Sponsor, Vishal re-launched Vodafone’s Multicultural Inclusion Network in 2019. With a specific focus on race and ethnicity, Vishal spearheaded key initiatives to drive systemic change. These included propelling the #CountMeIn campaign aimed at capturing ethnicity data to help enhance diversity across all areas and levels, pioneering a new ‘Inclusive Leadership Training’ module that will be mandatory for senior leaders, and developing a comprehensive Roadmap for Race & Ethnicity, with a structured series of policy, training and communications improvements over the next 12 months.
Vishal has also been coaching 10 key Regional Chairs of the MIN Network as part of a ‘Speak Out and Speak Proud’ initiative; participating in monthly all-company webinars on race and ethnicity; encouraging Executives to participate in listening sessions, and bringing allies into Vodafone’s employee networks.
Tendayi Munyebvu, Managing Director - France, Jacobs
Tendayi is a member of all eight Employee Networks at Jacobs. He is the Global Co-Chair of Harambee, the Black Employee Network, and is the Europe Advocate of the Jacobs Career Network. Tendayi led the EMEA Council in spearheading the firm's Action Plan for Advancing Justice & Equality (AJ&E) which focuses on the inclusion and development of its Black workforce.
Some of the objectives realised this past year include the establishment of a partnership with Cowrie Scholarship Foundation to financially sponsor Black students through undergraduate studies, collaboration with councils such as Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Greater London Authority on STEAM outreach for Black and diverse students at local schools and universities, establishment of a senior leadership sponsorship programme for Black talent and the publication of the company’s second UK&Ireland Ethnicity Pay Gap in 2022. The council advocates for metrics on recruitment, retention, advancement and representation of Black talent.
Satvir Bungar MBE FCA, Managing Director and Head of Business Services Sector, Mergers & Acquisitions, BDO LLP
As Managing Director, Satvir supported and promoted diversity and inclusion while committing to using his national profile at BDO to empower employee progression. Satvir helps lead BDO's media campaign to attract diverse talent. He has been featured in the Advisory stream video on the graduate website as the senior representative showcasing diversity. He is also a mentor to young colleagues as part of the campaign.
Additionally, he is a member of BDO's National CEDAR Network and leads the Midlands focus, which represent BDO’s diverse workforce and increase leadership ranks for its ethnically diverse colleagues. In the Midlands, Satvir mentors high-performing ethnically diverse colleagues, charitable causes and client entrepreneurs while also supporting BDO's internal events that promote a safe space for people to have conversations that matter. The BDO Culture Report highlighted Satvir's achievements and they help inform business strategy on inclusion.
Dominic Carter, EVP and publisher - The Sun, News UK
After instigating the creation of a company-wide Diversity Board at News UK, Dominic now sits as its Chair, leading the team to deliver a comprehensive D&I strategy for News UK based on three pillars: a recruitment function ensuring more diverse young talent joins the business; the creation of new pathways to leadership for existing diverse talent; and a renewed focus on ensuring diversity across the company’s brands (The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun, Virgin Radio, Times Radio). Together these programs constitute News UK’s commitment to achieving 50:50:20 male:female:ethnic minority representation.
Dominic was also responsible for setting up a Cultural Diversity Network as a forum to freely debate how D&I issues affect News UK’s employees, and a means of challenging perceived wisdom in leadership. Other projects which Dominic has been involved with include sponsoring and supporting Sachini Imbuldeniya to set up Studio PI, a new photography and illustration agency promoting underrepresented talent.
Jacqui Moore, Executive Producer, Peloton Interactive
Since joining Peloton Interactive as Executive Producer, Jacqui has been instrumental in identifying diverse suppliers and ensuring representation by including a 'diversity and inclusion rider' in all vendor production service agreements. She is a member of the Black at Peloton ERG and mentors and coaches diverse employees.
Jacqui also serves as Mentor and Advisor to media non-profits committed to creating opportunity and equity for underrepresented communities. A runner herself, the death of Ahmaud Arbery provided the catalyst for Jacqui’s commitment to dismantle stereotypes through increasing representation (both in front of and behind the camera) and changing the narrative in both casting and story-telling. Additionally, Jacqui pro-actively reaches out to brands to raise D&I concerns as they appear, and has provided pro-bono consulting to brands and production companies to support their marketing campaigns in being inclusive - as well as to offer support and guidance on diversifying their talent network.
Maxine Goddard, SVP, Strategic Distribution & Development, Sompo International
Maxine is an award-winning champion for greater inclusivity across the insurance industry. She also sits on the Executive Committee of the industry-wide Insurance Cultural Awareness Network (iCAN), with responsibility for partnerships and external relationships. She is also the co-chair of RATL, the Race Action though Leadership group for CEOs and Board Chairs.
Maxine is very active in D&I within the insurance industry, and is a regular public speaker on race and ethnicity. Her work across the insurance industry involves raising awareness of the challenges faced by POC from recruitment through to career development and senior progression; and their exit. Her work involves holding listening sessions, focus groups while educating middle management, hiring managers and external recruiters and broadly garnering C-Suite executive sponsorship. This enabled her to get over 50 C-Suite executives to volunteer as mentors to a range of BME employees. She chaired the Annual Diversity Summit for the Association of British Insurers in 2021. She previously chaired the Zurich Insurance Cultural Awareness Network and has been key to leading Zurich’s multicultural D&I strategy including the publication of the Zurich UK ethnicity pay gap report in 2020, the first for the insurance industry.
Maxine was the first winner of the Insurance Award as the Race Champion in 2019 and continues to lead challenging discussions with senior leaders breaking down barriers at work for ethnic minorities. She was also the winner of the Women in Insurance 2020 Role Model of the Year.
Jonathan Mildenhall, Co-Founder & Chair, TwentyFirstCenturyBrand
Deeply passionate about ensuring that executives of underemployed groups get the professional opportunities they deserve, in 2018, Jonathan founded TwentyFirstCenturyBrand, a consultancy that champions diversity and comprises a team of diverse talent - age, race, gender, ethnicity, LBGTQ+. In 2021,TwentyFirstCenturyBrand published a whitepaper, helping organizations understand how to build Inclusive Brands.
With Jonathan as Curator, in 2023 TwentyFirstCenturyBrand will publish "A Colourful View From The Top'' book, featuring 21 autobiographical stories of Black and Brown excellence in British business. Whilst for-profit, his ambition is to distribute the book free of charge to every 16-year-old student in a majority minority school in London, inspiring school children to explore a broader set of career choices.
Jonathan sits on Peloton and GoFundMe’s board, Chairing the N&G committee. He is the Co-Chair of College Track's LA Advisory Board, an organization committed to helping students from underserved communities get into and graduate from college.
Baljinder Mahil, Head of Distribution Operations, AXAXL
As a senior female leader, Bal is passionate about driving meaningful and lasting changes in the organisation's processes, procedures, behaviors, and culture to ensure the company achieves ethnic equity through tangible and measurable actions. In 2020, she Co-founded and Co-chairs AXA XL's first multicultural business resource group, RISE.
Bal and the team have spearheaded the driving of ethnicity data disclosure, achieving a 76% completion rate in 6 months from 28% in 2020. This action has directly led the company to publish its Ethnicity Pay Gap Report in 2022.
Bal and the team implemented a multi-tier committee structure to accelerate the changes across the business, including recruitment processes and relationships with sponsors and charities. As a result of this work, Bal has been recruited by the Insurance Cultural Awareness Network Steering Committee (iCAN) taking on the role of Head of Network Leads bringing together all network leaders in the industry.
Justin Dean, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group
Justin currently serves as the Office Leader for BCG's Washington DC office and is a member of BCG’s Executive Committee. He has championed diversity efforts internally within BCG and externally with the community throughout his 15 year career at BCG.
Justin leads BCG’s Center for Inclusion and Equity, focused on convening and supporting private sector, public sector, and non-profit entities in driving equitable outcomes for underrepresented populations. Internally, he leads BCG’s Northeast Black+Latinx@BCG ERG, acts as a 'Managing Director Champion' for Black and Hispanic/Latinx managers at the firm, and as a senior Black leader, he mentors and sponsors more junior managers and employees. As a senior leader in BCG’s utility practice, Justin is a public advocate and advisor around ‘energy equity’ issues as part of the US energy transition.
Karim Chedid, Head of EMEA Investment Strategy for iShares, BlackRock
Karim is the EMEA co-lead for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at iShares and a member of the Out & Allies Committee in EMEA. His focus is on furthering inclusion in the workplace and shifting the conversation to equity. Karim spends time mentoring talent across a diverse pool at the firm with a focus on career progression whilst paying attention to intersectionality of experiences across income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender.
Additionally, he managed the Outstanding mentorship program for BlackRock and the Involve-BlackRock relationship in EMEA for four years, ensuring a good slate of diversity for mentees. Furthermore, throughout the past year, Karim launched a series of Inclusion Dialogue panels focused on having difficult conversations on ethnic diversity in a safe environment in smaller groups of employees.
Suresh Raj, Global Chief Growth Officer, Virtue Worldwide - VICE Media
Suresh sits on the Global Management Team of Virtue, VICE Media Group's Global Creative Agency. Within this new role as well as in his previous roles as a C-Suite ethnic minority executive, Suresh has been a vocal champion of diversity and equality throughout all company offices across the Americas, EMEA and APAC. Within his capacity on driving growth within the business, Suresh emphasizes the need for diversity within agency teams to deliver strategically sound and inspirational creative campaign work that resonates culturally.
Ensuring diverse individuals are given the opportunity to work on award-winning campaigns is part of Suresh’s mission to make the organization a welcoming place for all. Suresh’s executive sponsorship of a number of networks which focus on the personal and professional development of Black, Asian and Latin communities sees him actively soliciting the engagement of these groups within the business as well as within client activity. Through INvolve and the Marketing Academy USA, Suresh is a mentor to numerous ethnic minority and LGBTQ+ professionals.
Cecil Adjalo, Head of Business Intelligence, Dixa
In two leadership positions, Cecil serves on the board of social enterprise, Foundervine and as a senior leader in Dixa. At Dixa, he has contributed ideas and critique to the D&I agenda which has seen greater recruitment of people of color. He also provided input into the recruitment communication strategy in making the language more appropriate and appealing for gender and ethnically diverse applicants.
Cecil has engaged in ensuring D&I also externally by designing and securing a 3-year partnership with Lloyds bank to run programs and events to boost the success of underrepresented founders in building start-ups as well as a 4-year deal with Lambeth Council to run entrepreneurship and tech-skills building programs free at the point of access in one of the most diverse areas in London. Cecil is a firm advocate for diversity and speaks on this topic at many public events.
Christina Liciaga, Head of Customer & Products - Europe, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, HSBC
An entrepreneur turned international finance executive, Christina has 18 years’ experience as Founder, Board Member, and Global Director across 4 continents. In 2020, she was named Top 10 Customer Experience Professionals in UK.
Christina’s worked to drive diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) on HSBC’s Global Ethnicity Steering Committee and as champion to multiple employee resource groups. She launched STRETCH45, an internal venture to cultivate ethnic minority talent, co-founded the Black Action and Advisory Council to keep pace and conviction to HSBC’s Race Commitments, and hosted 20+ executive exchanges giving voice to lived experiences of black employees and customers.
Externally, Christina is Executive Trustee at Justice, a law reform and human rights organisation who has challenged Racial Disparities of Children in the Youth Justice System (2021) and championed Increasing Judicial Diversity (2020). She advises minority-owned ventures, founded organisations supporting women of colour, and is a regular speaker on DEI issues globally.
Dorothy Burwell, Partner, Finsbury Glover Hering
Dorothy has been involved with promoting diversity, equity and inclusion at Finsbury Glover Hering, sinc 2014. In the last year, enhancements in the talent pipelining and recruitment process led to ethnic minorities making up nearly a quarter of all new hires in the year. The company’s expanded DEI programming included financial and pro bono commitments to local charities serving diverse populations, debiasing recruitment practices, launching its first ethnicity paygap report, instituting training on allyship and continued support of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which seeks to increase ethnic minority representation in the communications industry.
Dorothy also serves on the DEI advisory committee for Which?, the consumer champion and as chair of London (UK) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated a charity supporting women and ethnic minorities with mentoring, training and other support to increase their access to economic opportunity.
Renato Scaff, Senior Managing Director, North America Supply Chain and Operations Lead, Accenture
Since 2021, Renato has been the Executive Sponsor for Accenture North America African American and Black and Hispanic American and Latinx sponsorship program. The program provides support for career success and builds a solid pipeline for promotion to Managing Director. Since the same year, he has been a member of the Accenture NA Hispanic Leadership Steering Committee and focused on increasing the Hispanic American community representation, addressing the gaps, and raising the visibility of their HA leaders internally and externally.
Renato was also a Products Industries Leader between 2020 and 2021 for Accenture South Market Unit D&I Program and successfully drove retention and career progression for African American/Hispanic American and women employees.
Roni Savage, CEO & Founder, Jomas Associates (Engineering & Environmental)
Roni is the UK's only Black female CEO in the engineering and construction industry running a business of Jomas’ size. She champions D&I across Jomas, with strict company policies against discrimination and bias.
Roni is currently working with universities to encourage diversity in order to fill the existing gap in the industry. She is also a regular speaker at schools, universities and international events, and sits on various boards, including the YMCA SPG, the Diversity Subgroup of The Chartered Institution pf Building, and a board advising the London Mayor on social mobility and D&I. She has been honored with several awards including the Construction News InspireMe award for her contribution to D&I in the industry. For the last three years she has been listed on the Top 100 Financial Times HERoes: Champions of Women in Business in the UK.
Annette Byron, Partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Annette co-leads the Freshfields Global Black Affinity Network and is Partner sponsor for social mobility. She is on the firm's graduate recruitment panel and on the cross-function social-mobility committee to further help those from non-traditional backgrounds join the firm and thrive. She is a founder and driving force behind Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship, a bespoke recruitment, development, and mentorship program. The program has seen 300 Freshfields UK volunteers in the last two years, 26 scholarships awarded and five scholars earning Freshfields training contracts.
Annette has also helped shape Freshfields’ five-year diversity commitments and targets, including on race/ethnicity, to continue to drive change. Furthermore, she facilitated and was sponsored speaker at events on race and cultural diversity that saw a high level of engagement at all levels of the firm and beyond. Annette is also a sponsor for Future Leaders – Freshfields’ bespoke talent and development program for Black/ethnically diverse colleagues.
Loreal Torres, Chief People Officer, Vested
Ever since first joining Vested, Loreal has had DE&I policies and recruitment practices fixed as one of her priorities. In 2020, her accomplishments included creating a partnership between Vested and the LaGrant Foundation by sponsoring scholarships for their students; formalizing the Vested DE&I policy and statement; securing funding to bring in a consultancy firm so that Vested could evaluate and audit its existing programs, and implementing blind feedback processes for candidate interviews to help eliminate bias.
Loreal also set up partnering with the marketing department to create an ongoing series of DE&I focused interviews & panel discussions around topics like Black representation in historical currency, Latino influence on financial services, and how COVID has affected working women and mothers. Another of Loreal’s achievements was the fact that nine of Vested’s 14 new hires in 2020 were candidates from underrepresented backgrounds.
Nigell Todd, Head of Global Foreign Exchange Trading, Fidelity International
The Core Culture group at Fidelity International evolved following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020. Nigell is a one of the members providing input to Senior Management to formulate the company's Cultural Diversity Action Plan and plays a lead role in the Ireland Culture group, implementing the global objectives at a local level.
As one of the Global Leads Nigell has been involved in setting up global sub networks for peer support and increasing employee engagement by amplifying cultural celebrations. He is strongly advocating for an increase in the number of individuals of ethnic backgrounds to participate in talent development programmes and is involved in a working group to increase cultural diversity in decision making committees and Boards. Nigell’s passion for change also transcends to the wider industry, showing there is a career pathway into financial services and building a pipeline of diverse future talent.
Balbir Bakhshi, Chief Risk Officer and Member of Executive Committee, London Stock Exchange Group
Since joining LSEG in early 2021, Balbir is a regular speaker at events across the company advocating for sustainable change around diversity and inclusion. Through the past year, he has been the Executive Lead of the Building a Diverse Team initiative across LSEG that has focused on numerous changes across recruitment processes, and he personally sponsored the introduction of a return to work program aimed at female returners. He leads by example with his current senior leadership team being above the forward Group targets for gender and ethnicity.
In addition, Balbir has a strong voice on social media campaigns across all D&I topics and promotes what LSEG does to support the LGBTQ+ community as the executive sponsor for LSEG Pride. Furthermore, along with a small group of industry colleagues, he is part of the newly formed CRO Diversity Forum aimed at encouraging more diverse candidates into risk management and changing the face of financial services in support for a more diverse workforce. Balbir is also a Board member of London Clearing House Ltd, London Clearing House S.A and Tradeweb Markets Inc.
Sabrina Natasha Browne, Vice President - Corporate Affairs, BCW
Sabrina serves as the North American Lead for BCW's African American Employee Resource (AAER) Group and works in conjunction with BCW's C-Suite to create professional and personal development experiences for employees. Recently, she put together a partnership with Wine to Water to host BCW's first Filter Build program that resulted in clean water going to 350 individuals and families in Africa and the Caribbean until 2030. She launched BCW's first-ever Black History Month Guide to educate BCW employees and clients on how to build relationships with the Black community.
In 2020, Sabrina was selected as one of 20 Black female leaders to participate in WPP (BCW's parent company) Elevate Women's Leadership Program, designed to accelerate Black career progression across WPP. Co-chair of the newly launched Black Voices Affinity Group at the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), she works in collaboration with the PRSA National D&I Committee to convene like-minded members to strengthen connections and build relationships.
Parminder Kohli, Senior Vice President EMEA - Shell Lubricants, Shell
As one of the few ethnic minority leaders in the senior executive group of Shell, Parminder made it his duty and moral obligation to be active in ensuring a fair and equal playing field for diversity. Parminder spearheaded a "Count Me In" campaign that increased Shell UK’s ethnicity self-declaration rates to 81% in 2021. Increased declaration has allowed us to develop interventions or improve specific programs, policies, and practices for our UK employees.
Parminder also coaches, mentors, and sponsors talented ethnically diverse employees for performance and career progression and has also hosted "fireside chat" discussions with ethnically diverse employees on a range of topics from "Leading a Purposeful Life" to "Building Effective Networks" and "Managing Stakeholders".
Gayathri Kamalanathan, Partner, Slaughter and May
Gayathri joined Slaughter and May in April 2021 and co-leads the firm’s race fairness working group, which has strategic oversight of the firm’s people strategy with regards to race and ethnicity. The working group’s key initiatives, include formally capturing and recognising individuals' D&I contributions in performance reviews and a firm-wide D&I training programme to increase inclusion of underrepresented groups.
Gayathri is also a member of the firm’s partner-led recruitment strategy committee that ensures there is a pipeline of trainees joining the firm from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities. Gayathri also mentors, coaches and sponsors junior female and ethnic minority lawyers.
Cesar Wurm, VP Commercial & Revenue Management - CMH US, IHG Hotels & Resorts
As a member of IHG's Americas Regional DE&I Board since 2021, Cesar has contributed to shaping the D&I commitments for 2021 and driving actions to support their goals; and providing leadership to continue progressing their impact.
Thanks to Cesar and the other member’s efforts, the company received a 100% rating on the Corporate Equality Index from the Human Rights Coalition for the 7th year in a row. He is not only a Co-Executive Sponsor of IHG’s Ascend Advanced Talent Program of 19 multiracial and/or ethnic leaders that has as key components Formal Learning & Development, Self-Assessment, Coaching, and Executive-level Sponsorship but he is also a Co-sponsor of IHG’s Hispanic ERG which provides opportunities for networking, development, and community involvement. Additionally, Cesar shows active engagement in company-wide D&I initiatives such as Global Inclusion & Wellness Week.
Dorothy Hui, Senior Vice President, Digital & Audience Development at 4th Floor Creative, Sony Music UK
Dorothy is part of the team involved with launching UK arm of Sony Music Social Justice Fund, which forms part of the Sony Music Group’s global commitment to support social justice, equal rights, anti-racist initiatives around the world. Dorothy is also a sponsor for Sony Music UK's Internal Employee Resource Group - HUE (Helping Unite Everyone), established in 2020 with the aim of increasing diversity and inclusion within the company.
To help broaden the pipeline of diverse talent for music industry digital functions, Dorothy has identified upskilling candidates at entry and pre-entry levels as key to accomplishing this. She helped connect-the-dots to facilitate the launch of the Sony Music UK’s 4th Floor Creative Academy in partnership with charity organisation Small Green Shoots, a program designed and delivered by leaders across 4th Floor Creative to provide minority and underprivileged young people an opportunity to hone creative and technical skills within the music industry.
Karol Ussher, Founder & CEO, BLIX Network/Product, Apple
In 2020, Karol launched BLIX network by bringing together diverse leaders from leading tech firms including Apple, Google, Amazon, LinkedIn, Ericsson and others to offer their time and knowledge to help diverse candidates “get hired and get ahead”. BLIX has run over 500 free mentoring sessions enabling diverse candidates to get advice, CV support, practice interviews and learn how to accelerate their careers. With this support, candidates have been hired by Facebook (Meta), AWS, Apple, Capita, Google, LinkedIn and eBay amongst others.
In 2022, BLIX will build on the successful mentoring sessions and launch Autumn and Spring accelerator programs to help high potential candidates from underrepresented backgrounds secure jobs in top tech companies or launch their startups. Karol's goal is to elevate as many people as he can from underrepresented backgrounds through the BLIX network. This is made possible with the incredible help from volunteer staff and mentors.
Ambra Caruthers, Senior Director of Project Management, Kerry
Ambra, a non-profit owner, community and corporate leader launched the first and only race and ethnicity global resource group within Kerry. This has surpassed expectations, being one of the first to engage employees globally around racial social equity and equality within the company. Launched in October 2021, over 400 members have joined the cause to create a social and equitable network. At the current growth rate, the expected outcome for this initiative is to build awareness, educate, and create a diverse and effective culture of equity and sustainability.
Her desire and passion to help other people brought Ambra to become a Community Leader for a girls’ leadership academy that provides a college-prep education focused on STEAM and Architecture to girls living in distressed urban communities. She also volunteers at a local resale store that provides high-end clothing at an affordable cost to members of isolated communities.
Apoorva Bapna, Chief Culture Officer, WPP
As a Chief Culture Officer at WPP, Apoorva relaunched WPP Stella – a globally recognised initiative supported by the WPP’s Global CEO – in India.
Its aim is to develop and accelerate the careers of current and future women leaders by providing safe space and access to senior women leaders for mentorship and coaching. WPP Stella in India has established a pool of 50 female mentors that have gone on to support 80 early-career, high-potential female leaders. Thanks to Apoorva’s work and commitment, the program has increased women’s representation across all levels and functions in PR, Media & Creative.
She has also overseen the launch of WPP’s global LGBTQ+ community in India. The network is made of a group of individuals of different identities, sexualities, genders, agencies and disciplines, united to ensure diverse thinking and creativity thrives within WPP’s workplaces and within its work.
Isabella Mascarenhas, Vice President - Grass Roots Education, Electrocomponents Plc
Isabella founded and now Co-chairs RS Group Plc’s EmbRace ERG. Embrace have hosted roundtables with ethnically diverse colleagues to understand their experiences and identify issues to resolve, creating three focused workstreams - Commit & Communicate, In On Up, and Measure. They have set targets to ethnically diversify senior leadership, implement initiatives that help the company attract, develop and promote ethnically diverse talent and collect data on the ethnic diversity of their employees to measure progress. They hosted the company’s first-ever Global Heritage Week inviting colleagues from around the world to share their culture to educate others and delivered high-profile talks from anti-racist celebrities and professionals to challenge biases and behaviours.
Isabella is a board member of the Association for Black & Ethnic Minority Engineers and TNON SteerCo (The Network of Networks) - both organisations that specialize in encouraging greater ethnic diversity in the engineering and technology industry and in business whilst celebrating inspiring role models.
Akima Paul Lambert, Partner, Hogan Lovells
Akima joined Hogan Lovells in 2021 as a partner. She has a long history of work on diversity, equity and inclusion matters over the last 15 years including as a Committee member of the Black Solicitors Network’s City Group, and founder of Creating Pathways, a bespoke mentoring programme for black and minority lawyers. She plays a pivotal role on D&I matters at Hogan Lovells. She supports the Co-Chairs of the REAHL Network (a network established for the successful integration and promotion of ethnically diverse lawyers and staff) as a Partner Champion.
Akima sits on the firm's Steering Committee for Black History Month. She is a Mentor on the firm’s INCLUDED trainee mentoring programme and serves on the firm’s Moderation Panel for qualification of trainee solicitors, ensuring fairness on retention on beyond. She has been instrumental in amplifying the firm’s pro bono offering for the Black Community including on Windrush Compensation claims. She has been listed in The Lawyer Hot 100 2022 and was the BBBA Senior Leader of the Year in Professional Services in 2022. Akima also blogs on diversity and inclusion issues in her weekly #FrIDay blog on Linked In. Some of her contributions have been amplified in Legal Business, Bloomberg News and The Lawyer.
Namrata Yadav, SVP - Global Head of Community Advancement, Bank of America
Namrata Yadav heads the enterprise programs and external community development strategy at Bank of America. In this role, Namrata is responsible for the enterprise strategy and initiatives focused on reskilling our external communities and partners. She also leads the strategy for the Academy’s enterprise initiatives and is responsible for creating an external Academy platform for our clients.
Previously, Namrata led the Diversity and Inclusion strategy for the bank. In that role, Namrata focused on creating a work environment and culture where all employees had the opportunity to achieve their full potential and contribute to the bank’s success. She also led the underrepresented talent strategy, the global executive development diversity programs, D&I learning and external partnerships for the bank.
Namrata holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Delhi University and a Master’s of Science in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology from Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago. She is a graduate of the Bank of America HR Development Program and multiple top talent programs. She was recognized as a Top 50 D&I professional in the 2016 and 2017 Global Diversity List, and as a Top 15 Business Woman in Illinois in 2017. She was on the 2018 Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 list and was also on the Women of Color magazine’s 2019 Top Women in Finance list. Most recently she was on the Crain's 2021 Notable Executives in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion list. Her D&I strategy has won 10+ Brandon Hall GOLD award for four consecutive years (2016-2020). Namrata resides in Chicago with her husband and two kids.
Noreen Biddle Shah, Head of Marketing and Communications, Numis
Noreen launched reboot, the voluntary-led think-tank, in 2020. It uses original research, storytelling and engagement to inform policy and promote greater ethnic diversity within the workplace. This includes a landmark annual index and report on race and equality in the UK financial services industry, and a partnership with Opinium to publish the multi-cultural Britain report – one of the most comprehensive reports on race and identity in the UK.
reboot collaborates regularly with financial services and national media including regular collaborations with Investment Week, ESG Clarity and more recently, the Financial Times and Financial News. This year, reboot joined forces with Share Action to engage with FTSE companies on their ethnicity reporting. Its advisory board and ambassadors includes a baroness, an OBE, chief executives and senior professionals from across the industry. Noreen is also head of communications and marketing at the investment bank, Numis. She sits on both Numis’ executive committee and its ESG committee.
Hans Brown, Global Head of Enterprise Innovation, CIO for Corporate Technology, BNY Mellon
Hans is the chairman of IMPACT Diverse Tech, an internal ERG that seeks to develop leaders and grow talented technologists from under-represented African American and Latinx populations. Building and cultivating diverse teams is a priority for him. The teams he built exist as microcosms of diversity within BNY Mellon. For example, as of 2022, 40% of the Enterprise Innovation team are women and 70% are from an ethnically diverse background.
Hans has crafted an environment where each team member feels the psychological safety to express differing viewpoints and perspectives regardless of age, background, or experience level. He is also a member of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum and connects with Black IT executives, leaders, and professionals to elevate, promote, and enhance underrepresented minorities.
Fatiha Thiam, Vice President - Head of Operational Transformation ISS World Services
Since becoming co-chair of the Global Races, Cultures & Ethnicities employee resource group of ISS World Services, Fatiha has worked to start a true employee-driven conversation on races, cultures and ethnicities amongst the company’s 350.000+ employees.
Fatiha was born from Danish and Senegalese parents and has lived in several countries and cultures, and therefore her focus is to build bridges and create a workplace environment where all individuals can express themselves and have courageous conversations on the subject.
Fatiha’s goal for this ERG is to implement tangible actions driving increased diversity and belonging across the company, to ensure that people of all backgrounds will experience economic mobility via inclusive recruitment, promotion and retention practices in ISS World Services.
Yasmin Diamond, Executive Vice President - Global Corporate Affairs, IHG Hotels & Resorts
Yasmin is one of the company's most senior women and ethnic minority colleagues, and as such is a role model and mentor for colleagues throughout the organisation. Her focus on creating an inclusive environment at IHG starts within her own team. She leads a diverse team, three quarters of which are women, responsible for IHG's corporate affairs across more than 100 countries. She has been a member of IHG's Global DE&I Board since 2018, which helps set the direction for IHG's inclusivity agenda and ensures that the company is hiring and developing inclusive talent.
Yasmin is part of IHG's UK working group looking at building ethnically diverse talent within the UK corporate office and promotes diverse recruitment slates and panels for new hires. Since its inception, she has been Executive Sponsor of EMbrace, IHG's Europe-based employee network that aims to help ethnic minority colleagues collaborate and educate others about their role at work and in society.
Rak Kalidas, Commercial Director, Compass Group UK and Ireland
‘Within’ is the Cultural Diversity Employee Network which Rak founded at Compass Group UK&I. Now sitting as its Chair, Rak has laid out the group’s aims to develop plans to improve diversity within Compass and be a voice for the firm’s employees. Believing dialogue is essential to making change happen in the right areas, the network introduced listening groups where ethnic minority employees’ experiences can be heard. The impact of the company’s D&I program has seen increased visibility of D&I across all sectors through comms and educational work, including a new program of Reverse Mentoring and InclustiviTEA sessions.
Rak is also the UK&I representative for the Compass Group Global D&I Champion Committee, sits on the Board of WiHTL (the Festival of Inclusion in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure), and serves on both the Deloitte D&I Committee and CMI Race Advisory Committee.
Corey Durant, Vice President of Research, CoStar Group
Since 2020, Corey has been the Founder and Executive Sponsor of The Black Excellence Network (B.E.N.), CoStar's first African American ERG. With over 600 active members, the group hosted over 25 events in its inaugural year. B.E.N. seeks to promote positive workplace dynamics and elevate the contribution of Black people within the organization by increasing visibility and education, bringing awareness to Black history and culture.
Their initiatives include book clubs and speaker series, promoting mentorship and leadership development opportunities for Black employees, advocating for diversity in recruitment efforts, consistency and fairness in interview tactics and compensation, and providing corporate philanthropic opportunities that impact and influence the Black community. Additionally, Corey actively attends recruiting events and career fairs at HBCUs and all universities to support building a diverse talent pool at CoStar.
Esohe Denise Odaro, Head of Investor Relations & Sustainable Finance, IFC/World Bank Group
Esohe has led several initiatives to focus on targeted recruitment for people of color into sustainable finance. In addition, Esohe is a mentor to 12 young people of color across institutions and geographies, offering one-on-one counseling and career guidance. She is the Program Champion for IFC’s delegation to the McKinsey Black Leadership Academy, a training program for black senior leaders 1-2 levels below the C-Suite. Most recently, she has used podcasts as a medium to promote ideas around diversity and the inclusion of people of color and women into mainstream business.
She has also been featured on Kenyan Wall Street, speaking on how to bring more African women into leadership positions within finance. She recently co-authored the publications Bonds to Bridge the Gap (2020) and Emerging Practices for the Economic Inclusion of LGBTI People (2021) which offer guidance to financial institutions and corporates to advance equity for women and LGBTI people
Ritu Mohanka-Vedhara, Managing Director & Head of EMEA, Syndio Inc
Ritu is now MD EMEA of Syndio Inc, leading their charge into Europe as a unique provider of hard KPIs on Pay and Workforce Equity that actually deliver the ‘S’ in ESG. At Syndio, Ritu merges a personal passion for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion (DE&I) with making a real difference in workplace fairness, irrespective of gender or race. Previously at Glint (now LinkedIn), Ritu was the only minority member of the Leadership team and made DE&I a priority, adopting colour/gender-blind hiring mirrored in performance management.
Prior to Glint, at IBM, Ritu was already a highly regarded and lauded Diversity Champion. Ritu mentors upcoming diversity colleagues, advising them on career management. Externally, she walks the talk, regularly meets and advises CXOs, making the case for DE&I by living and breathing its values. Constantly in demand for interviews, regularly publishing articles and hosting roundtable discussions to drive the DE&I agenda with HR Leaders across the UK/Europe.
Bahiyah Robinson, Founder & CEO, VC Include
Bahiyah Yasmeen Robinson is a recognized innovator of new avenues for VC and Impact investment. Her expertise in leading technology, investment, and social impact initiatives since the early 2000s culminated in creating VC Include in 2018 to build platforms and programs for diverse emerging fund managers globally. With just 1% of all assets in the U.S. managed by diverse asset managers, VC Include meets this market opportunity by building an ecosystem of women, Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and LGBTQ+ fund managers in alternative investments.
Robinson is a Bloomberg News New Voices Fellow, a member of The Ceres President’s Council, and Private Equity Women in Investments Network. Her work has been recognized by The Stanford University Social Innovation Review, Responsible Investor Magazine, Bloomberg, Crunchbase, Impact Alpha, Entrepreneur Magazine, CNN, and Forbes.
Bahiyah’s companies integrate 7 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, including Gender Equality, Industry, Innovation, and Reduced Inequalities.
Allia McLeod, Head of Development & Partnerships, Yahoo RYOT Studios
During the past two years, Allia’s work has focused on intersectionality, allyship, and belonging, with a key focus on anti-racism practices. She co-led the development and implementation of a racial justice plan that had eight areas, including diversity hiring, internships, career advancement, and D&I training.
In 2021, she spearheaded a first of its kind anti-racism alignment and evolution series of workshops that focused on: building the knowledge, awareness, and capacity of individuals to investigate the need for racial equity work, practicing talking about racism, power, and anti-racist practice constructively within the foundation and with its community, and identifying opportunities and next steps for pursuing a deeper and longer-term commitment to aligning as a Team and building anti-racist leadership capacity. The program led to opportunities for its expansion within the larger company and the development of a second training program with a focus on catalyzing racial healing and justice movements in the organization and communities. Allia aims to challenge the cycle of exclusion and normalize difference.
Hayward Williams, VP, HR Business Partner Global Operations, Corporate Functions and Head of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, Tapestry, Inc
Over the past two years Hayward worked to align leaders and create actionable change through a focused Equity, Inclusion and Diversity strategy at Tapestry, a global house of brands including Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman.
Under Hayward’s leadership Tapestry has introduced a diverse slate requirement in the recruiting process, increased transparency in posting open roles, established an inclusion index engagement goal and tied leadership incentive compensation to Equity, Inclusion and Diversity goals. This work also led to Tapestry's first-ever ERGs – The Black Alliance, Prouder Together, Asian Heritage Alliance and Working Parents & Caregivers – which are partnering to transforming Tapestry’s culture. Along with executive sponsors and a small group of resolute employees, Hayward has created a framework and governance to set diverse communities up for success.
Fiona Bolton, Partner - Employment, Simmons & Simmons
Fiona has ensured that race and ethnicity inclusion is treated as a business priority at Simmons & Simmons, by driving the conversation and acting as a sponsor and spokesperson for race and ethnicity inclusion. She has also helped to oversee the firm's race and ethnicity action plan, based on recommendations and principles of the Race at Work Charter, to ensure that objectives are met.
Fiona has co-chaired the firm's race and ethnicity network 'EMerge' since 2019 and helped launch EMerge's mentoring program, which she also participates in, mentoring senior allies on the challenges and opportunities for ethnic minority employees. Fiona has also taken part in various conferences and seminars, discussing diversity and inclusion.
Mandy Kaur, Legal Director, PizzaExpress Group Limited
Mandy was one of the founding members of PizzaExpress’ DEI and Belonging steering group in 2020. Since then, she led the proposal to sign the Race at Work Charter in 2021 and formally committed to making progress by agreeing to seven key actions, she organized the company’s first-ever ethnicity listening and working groups giving employees a space to be heard and Co-led a project to introduce specific diversity and inclusion characteristic questions into PizzaExpress engagement survey to better understand a breakdown of engagement.
Mandy conducted a panel on race and ethnicity during Black History Month, covering subjects such as the difference between inclusion and anti-racism and how to have progressive conversations about race at work. Mandy also devotes her time to sharing her lived experiences as a Senior Leader at external events, to help inspire hearts and minds of future leaders. In addition, she is passionate about ensuring everyone has the right support in place and relatable role models to inspire them to achieve their potential.
Keshav Suri, Executive Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group
Under Keshav leadership, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group has become the first hotel chain to have adopted UN Standards in the workplace for LGBTQ+. It has been on the front foot to promote diversity and inclusion. They have been case studies for their best practices in several white papers, and books and have won numerous awards and accolades for the same.
The organization is committed to developing skills and providing employable opportunities to the people who are not skilled yet to bring them to the mainstream. Kitty su, the hotel's nightclub, is a leader in providing safe spaces for LGBTQ+ and also had revolutionized drag culture in India. Furthermore, they have initiated a fully sponsored scholarship for students who identify as queer for a food production and bakery diploma course.
Martin Barnett, Global Head of Technical Product Experts, Search Ads 360, Google
Martin is the Executive Sponsor for the Black Google Network (BGN) Employee Resource Group UK Chapter. He is a coach and mentor for BGN EMEA Chapter Leads and members, advising on career development, leadership and engagement of senior executives. He has overseen the expansion of the Employee Resource Group across several regions and been a vital part of establishing chapters in France, Ireland, Nordics & Benelux, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa as well as the recent launch of its newest chapter in Germany.
In addition, Martin coaches senior executives and managers within the organization on inclusive leadership, and promoting the career growth of under-represented talent. For the UK Gov Department of Work and Pensions and Youth Justice Board Mentoring Circles Pilot Program, Martin serves as a consulting mentor.
Kelechi Onukogu, EMEA Head Controls Leader, Wells Fargo
Kelechi is a Managing Director and EMEA Head of Corporate Investment Bank and Enterprise Functions, Risk and Controls. He is a senior risk and control expert with a career that spans 20 years. He has a passion for Diversity & Inclusion and played a pivotal role in creating and co-chairing the UK Barclays Black Professional Forum. His team won the 'Inclusion Champion' category in the 2019 Citizenship and Diversity Awards.
In 2020, he was appointed as the global head for the 'Race at Work agenda' sitting in group HR to design and execute the strategic framework for Barclays and successfully published the Bank-wide commitments in October 2020. Most recently within one year of joining Wells Fargo, Kelechi was instrumental in lobbying the bank to sign-up for the UK Race at Work Charter and was appointed Executive Sponsor in 2021 to help drive the Race At Work strategy in the EMEA region.
Eric Maldonado, SVP, Partner, Head of Sales, Financial Services Group, S&P Global
As one of S&P Global’s top senior sales leaders at S&P Global, Eric strives to ensure that diversity, equity and inclusion is reflected within the S&P Global Market Intelligence’s sales team. Eric is the divisional executive sponsor of the firm’s diversity recruiting initiatives in the Market Intelligence (MI) division, working directly with the senior leaders – from the President of the division, to the head of People/Talent Acquisition and the DEI teams – to continually advance diversity and inclusion in recruiting and ensure all hiring processes are aligned to the firm’s DEI goals.
Prior to IHS Markit’s merger with S&P Global, Eric was the Executive Sponsor of Engage at IHS Markit – the affinity network centered around supporting our black colleagues. He assisted the network with strategy and growth, including the expansion of chapters across the US and sponsoring several high-impact initiatives and programs internally. Eric was also the Co-Executive Sponsor of EMpower, IHS Markit’s multicultural affinity network.
Onyeka Anugwom, Commercial Excellence Director - GB and Ireland, GSK Consumer Healthcare
Onyeka helped create the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion team at GSK Consumer Healthcare UK&I in 2019 and has been the leader and leadership team sponsor since 2021. He organized & facilitated "Let's Listen" and "Let's Talk" sessions within UK and Ireland plus the wider EMEA leadership team in 2020 after the George Floyd incident.
Onyeka led the change in recruitment practices to bring in more ethnic minorities by expanding the scope of talent searches and inspired changes in the Graduate Recruitment Program to ensure ethnic diversity. He is a role model for ethnically diverse employees, driving the development of overlooked colleagues. GSK Consumer healthcare UK&I now focuses on differentiated development plans for people from diverse backgrounds, thanks to his efforts.
TJ Lim, Managing Director, Head of US Private Bank Client Digital Platforms, JP Morgan
TJ Lim is a passionate advocate of diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in and outside of J.P. Morgan. At the firm, TJ is an active member of the Asian Leadership Forum as well as the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender+ (LGBT+) Executive Forum. He is actively involved in promoting inclusion topics into the workplace.
In February of 2022, TJ led a Lunar New Year celebratory lunch for Private Bank employees (complete with red envelopes!), and recently delivered remarks at the firm’s Asian American Pacific Islander kickoff event about being a leader during a time of rising anti-Asian sentiment. He has also hosted small group “open conversation” sessions with global employees from the United States, India and the Philippines about inclusion, covering topics such as sexual orientation, gender and race. TJ also represents J.P. Morgan on the Technology Council for Asia Society.
Priyanka Aggarwal, Managing Director and Partner, Boston Consulting Group
Priyanka is a Managing Director & Partner at BCG, and co-leads the India Healthcare Practice. Since 2019 has been leading Women@BCG for the Asia Pacific and beforeg that, she led Women@BCG in India for three years. Women@BCG is Boston Consulting Group's global initiative to attract, retain, and promote talented women and make the firm the most attractive workplace for women's talent. She focuses on building an inclusive culture for Women at BCG and runs initiatives across Recruiting; Career Support, Affiliation, Policies, and External Engagement at the Asia-Pacific level. Under her leadership, BCG in the AP increased the entry-level women recruiting ratio.
From 2020, Priyanka has also led Asia Pacific Women CEO Forum where they run dedicating networking sessions to discuss topics such as business transformation, leadership, volatility, and inclusion and diversity with the goal to shape the perspectives of Asia Pacific's largest corporations and create a cohesive force to make further change happen.
Crystal Wallace, EVP, Data Operations & Infrastructure, Publicis Media
Crystal is the Chair of the Accountability Measurement Committee for Spark Foundry’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Council, and co-chairs Publicis Media Atlanta’s Women In Technology (VivaWIT); a Business Resource Group for women in technology and their allies. She is also an active participant in numerous other BRGs, such as Égalité (an LGBTQ+ BRG), VivaWomen of Color, and enABLE Publicis Groupe’s BRG for colleagues with visible and invisible disabilities and their allies.
For the second year, Crystal has overseen the deployment of Spark Foundry’s Equity and Inclusion Measurement Framework and Employee Survey at Spark Foundry, using data and metrics to decide upon action items for growth and development. These insights have led to positive quantifiable impact for Spark Foundry’s inclusive community.
Beyond Spark Foundry, she serves as a volunteer and mentor across several community organization including, the Emma Bowen Foundation, HBCU first, Career Talks and Powerplay to help girls build confidence through improv.
Mercheley Beuns, Vice President, Head of Talent Acquisition, Fox Corporation
When it comes to D&I at Fox, Mercheley is focused on leading from a data driven standpoint to implement strategic initiatives that will attract, build, and diversify candidate pipelines at all levels, from campuses to senior committees. Mercheley has also concentrated on leaning into the company’s diversity partners, educating on the value of diversity and ensuring aspirational diversity goals are tied to recruitment initiatives. The combination of programs she has championed have led to continuing improvements in diversity across various levels of the business.
Mercheley’s other efforts to bring in diverse talent include recruiting for Fox at diversity journalism conferences every year, an effort which has resulted in numerous hires. Unsurprisingly, Mercheley is often asked to share her expertise on recruiting and diversity, and she has been featured as a panelist on topic for various organizations and recruitment podcast.
Rupinder Bains, Managing Director, Pinder Reaux & Associates Ltd
As the first-ever Asian person to have been appointed to the Board of the Football Association, Rupinder has helped elevate D&I within the organization, ensuring that this subject is on every Board agenda. She was part of the committee that formulated the Leadership Diversity Code for football clubs to sign up to, looking at increasing diversity at the senior management levels and for coaching roles. All signatories to the code will report back on their recruitment annually, introducing accountability.
Rupinder is also a member of the McKenzie Delis review committee, which produced the most comprehensive D&I review ever carried out, looking at race, gender, age, ethnicity, mental health, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic background, nationality, religion, and parenthood in the UK's top 500 companies. In addition, she has taken on Mentoring roles to encourage individuals from ethnically diverse backgrounds to work in football.