The EMpower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives 2019

The 100 most influential black, Asian and minority leaders in the world
The 100 most influential black, Asian and minority leaders in the world

The 2019 EMpower ethnic minority executives ranking celebrates 100 senior people of colour who are leading by example and are removing barriers on the pathway to success for ethnic minority employees.

These executives are within at least three levels from the chief executives at large companies, or are the leaders of smaller organisations.

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All of the ethnic minority leaders were nominated by peers and colleagues. Nominations were then reviewed by EMpower’s judging panel. Each person was scored on the influence of their role, their impact on ethnic minority inclusion inside and outside the workplace, and their business achievements.


1. Ajay Banga - Mastercard president and CEO

Mastercard's Ajay Banga
Mastercard's Ajay Banga

Ajay Banga is president and chief executive officer of Mastercard and a member of its board of directors. Since joining the organisation in 2009, Ajay has led Mastercard on an inclusion journey, including the expansion of its Global Inclusion and Diversity (D&I) Council, which he co-chairs.

Under his leadership, Mastercard embraces, encourages and supports its people to bring their whole selves to work and use their unique perspectives as a competitive differentiator. The company pursues D&I to help people – employees, customers, citizens – succeed and thrive. That begins by opening doors and providing a level playing field, further reinforcing the power of the individual and unique experiences that make business more valuable and life more rewarding.

Ajay regularly speaks to executive groups and students groups, sharing his perspective on issues that help support the principles of D&I. He is a co-founder of The Cyber Readiness Institute, first vice chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, a founding trustee of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum and is chairman emeritus of the American India Foundation. He was awarded the Padma Shri Award by the president of India in 2016 and received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2019.

Ajay – and Mastercard’s – contributions to both social and financial inclusion are helping to make a difference in local communities, a true reflection of a commitment to do well by doing good.

2. Edward Enninful - British Vogue editor-in-chief

British Vogue's Edward Enninful
British Vogue's Edward Enninful

Edward Enninful made history in August 2017 when he took over as editor-in-chief of British Vogue.

Prior to that, Edward was creative and fashion director of the American magazine W since 2011, where he worked with the world's best fashion photographers to produce ground-breaking, highly admired work.

Born in Ghana 45 years ago, Enninful was brought to London as a child and grew up in the city's Ladbroke Grove area. He became interested in fashion as a teenager and at the age of 19 he was named fashion director of i-D, the youngest in the industry. In the years between 1998 and 2011, he contributed extensively to American Vogue and Italian Vogue.

At British Vogue, Enninful strives to create a magazine that reflects the world today to include all race, backgrounds, sexualities, sizes and cultures. He regularly features a diverse selection of people for Vogue editorial and is a strong believer in equal opportunities for everyone.

In 2018, Enninful was awarded the PPA Chairman’s Award for his work in diversity in British Vogue and the industry, nominated for the British LGBT+ Awards 2018, and he was awarded the Media Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. In 2014, he was named fashion creator of the year by the British Fashion Council and he was honoured with an OBE in 2016.

3. Karen Blackett - WPP UK country manager and chairwoman MediaCom UK & Ireland

WPP's Karen Blackett
WPP's Karen Blackett

In January 2018, Karen became the first UK country manager for WPP, whilst also retaining her position as chairwoman of MediaCom in the UK & Ireland.

She has spent seven years focused on changing the diversity of MediaCom in the UK to make it a more inclusive culture via partnerships with specialist talent companies. She launched and continues to evolve an apprenticeship scheme which has now been running for over seven years, setting KPI’s for each managing director across the UK offices focused on increasing diversity of their teams, and launching a programme of talks and training.

In her WPP role, Karen is taking the same systematic approach to ensuring the 14,000 people employed at WPP in the UK truly reflect modern Britain and their clients’ customers. Karen has launched WPP Roots, inspired by Ogilvy Roots, a group-wide cultural inclusion programme. Roots’ mission is to change the way in which the organisation talks, discusses and approaches ethnicity, race, culture and religion within the industry, and through work. The goal is to ensure greater representation across the board.

In September 2018, Karen was appointed by the UK prime minister as the race equality champion for business, supporting companies to sign up to BITC Race at Work Charter, which is committed to increasing ethnic diversity in the workplace. She has advised the U.K. Governments Civil Service on diversity and inclusion (D&I), and in February 2019 was appointed a non-executive to the Cabinet Office.

Karen co-chairs The Advertising Industry Diversity Taskforce and judges the Black British Business Awards. As Chancellor of Portsmouth University, she is committed to increasing the number of BAME students and staff.

4. Anré Williams - American Express group president of Global Merchant and Network Services

American Express' Anré Williams
American Express' Anré Williams

Over his 29-year career at American Express, Anré has served as a role model and advocate for diversity and inclusion (D&I). He founded and leads the executive Black Engagement Network (BEN), a group of 55 members that comprise American Express’ most senior black executives globally.

He hosts a semi-annual conference for this group focused on sponsorship, career development and networking. He was an active participant at American Express’ third Global Women’s Conference in New York in September 2018 and supports Women’s Interest Network (WIN), a global forum that offers career development, support and mentoring related to the unique diversity women bring to the workplace. He regularly speaks at internal and external events and forums, and serves as a sponsor and mentor to ethnic minority colleagues.

Anré has a deep commitment to giving back to the community and specifically aiding people of colour. For five years, he served as chairman of the board of Junior Achievement (JA) of New York, the largest U.S. organisation dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success and plan for their futures, reaching over 85,000 students per year.

He regularly speaks at business events and conferences reaching young ethnic minority people, sharing his experiences and advice on leadership and career development. He is an active member of the Executive Leadership Council, and has presented at Management Leadership for Tomorrow; Ernst & Young’s Black Executive Round Table; and most recently at La Salle Academy’s Career Day, a New York High School committed to educating students of diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.

He was included in Savoy Magazine’s 2018 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America and in 2017, Black Enterprise Magazine’s 300 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.

5. Leena Nair - Unilever chief HR officer

Unilever's Leena Nair
Unilever's Leena Nair

Ensuring true diversity and inclusion (D&I) is key to Leena’s role at Unilever.

In North America, her department has undertaken a variety of workshops, training and conferences, all aimed at understanding and improving the experience of ethnic minorities in the workplace. This is a template now being rolled out across the company globally.

Externally, Leena has been actively involved in the youth employability space for a number of years. She led a collaboration between Unilever and the National Skills Development Corporation of India, with the objective of training 1 million youth in employable skills by 2020. She also has a personal mission to reach 1 million young women with a message of inspiration and hope.

At over 300 speaking occasions, mostly in Asian communities, Leena has shared the story of her rise from humble middle class origins. She sees the tremendous feedback received as testament to the impact of role modelling on young Asian women.

She is also a steering committee leader for the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Education, Gender, Work & Skills committees. She has been recognised by HRH Queen Elizabeth II as one of the most accomplished Indian Business Leaders in the UK and by HR Magazine, Business Today, UK First Women, and as a LinkedIn Top Voice for her D&I efforts.

6. Sarah Jenkins - Grey Advertising chief marketing officer

Grey's Sarah Jenkins
Grey's Sarah Jenkins

Grey London is one of the UK’s largest advertising agencies. It’s also one of the most awarded of the last decade. In her role as agency CMO, Sarah has been instrumental in driving new business and launching legacy initiatives to make advertising and marketing a more accessible place for people from diverse backgrounds.

In 2017, to mark its centennial, Sarah was integral to changing the company’s name to that of its founders, Valenstein & Fatt (V&F), something they could never do due to anti-semitism in New York in 1917. Keen to establish lasting change, Sarah built key legacy initiatives, including The Agency Census to collect in-depth diversity data; the 100 Schools outreach platform, celebrating creativity and helping BAME children understand advertising; a V&F Bursary to attract young low social mobility (LSM) talent; and a push to recruit more diverse talent.

Sarah spends time with every BAME intern at the agency and mentors BAME talent. Recognising that diversity and inclusion (D&I) challenges are too complex to be tackled by one agency, Sarah co-founded the Advertising Diversity Taskforce, a collective of the most progressive UK agencies with a focus on creating change though shared agenda, initiatives and budgets.

The ADT has created the biggest diversity deep dive the industry’s ever commissioned, built a panel of BAME and LSM (low social mobility) role models, supported mentoring schemes, and lobbied for the industry’s poverty pledge. They’re currently working alongside ISBA to commission the widest ever audit of diversity on screen and behind the camera.

Sarah is a regular speaker, news commentator and panel chair for diversity, and she has been recognised through numerous significant diversity positions, including being awarded an IPA Fellowship for exceptional contribution to advertising, citing in particular her work with the ADT.

7. Sanjay Bhandari - EY partner

EY's Sanjay Bhandari
EY's Sanjay Bhandari

Sanjay’s main focus is on practical interventions to accelerate progress of ethnic minorities at EY. He is the partner sponsor for ethnic minorities within the overall UK and Ireland diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy. He also sponsors the Future Leaders Programme (a leadership programme for ethnic minority future leaders), CareerWatch and mentoring programmes aimed at accelerating development and obtaining senior leader participation in programmes.

He is helping to educate the leadership team on ethnic minority issues, to mitigate any potential unconscious cultural bias in all areas of the business. He is a visible role model for ethnic minorities, and actively mentors a number of diverse individuals within EY and through cross-company mentoring schemes.

Externally, Sanjay sits on the Parker Committee, aiming to increase ethnic diversity on UK boards, and the Premier League’s Independent Panel on Equality Standards. He is a judge and supporter of the Asian Achiever Awards, Black British Business Awards, and Black PowerList. Sanjay is a regular speaker on the importance of ethnic diversity, and has highlighted additional issues affecting ethnic minority communities by creating an open dialogue around the topics of addiction and mental health in diverse groups.

He is also a trustee of the Aleto Foundation and supports the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation, both focussed on young people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

8. Michael Sneed - Johnson & Johnson executive vice president of Global Corporate Affairs and chief communication officer

Johnson & Johnson's Michael Sneed
Johnson & Johnson's Michael Sneed

Michael is the executive sponsor of Johnson & Johnson’s employee resource group, focused on Middle Eastern and North African employees.

Additionally, he serves as chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s Lupus Campaign. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that is more common in women, particularly those of African, Hispanic, Asian and Native American descent.

Externally, Michael currently serves on the board of trustees at UnidosUS, the largest Hispanic advocacy organisation in the United States. He also sits on the national board of the Ad Council, which develops communication campaigns aimed at tackling the nation’s largest social issues including bullying, housing and workplace discrimination.

Additionally, he is on the board of trustees of The First Tee organisation, a community-based network focused on developing the social and behavioural skills for young people of colour. He also set up a scholarship providing funding to multicultural students pursuing their education at Macalester College in the United States. In 2017, Michael was the recipient of the Corporate Leadership award from the National Medical Fellowship Organisation. Also, for the last two years he was named on PR Week’s Top Communicators in the United States.

9. Marva Smalls - Viacom executive vice president & executive vice president of Public Affairs and chief of staff for Nickelodeon

Viacom's Marva Smalls
Viacom's Marva Smalls

Marva is the global head of Inclusion Strategy at Viacom and executive vice president of Public Affairs & chief of staff at Nickelodeon. Marva has more than three decades of leadership experience in the public and private sectors, and is widely recognised as one of the most influential leaders in media.

As global head of Inclusion Strategy, Marva reports directly to Viacom’s CEO to drive Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) worldwide. Her role includes implementing strategic initiatives that support innovation and business results, while creating the next generation of leaders. She has established Viacom’s Employee Resource Groups globally and has expanded key partnerships in international markets. At Nickelodeon, Marva collaborates closely with the president in managing day-to-day operations, as well as overseeing all corporate responsibility initiatives and relationships with external advocates and regulators.

Under her leadership, Viacom has garnered top recognitions by GLAAD, Human Rights Campaign, NAACP and Working Mother, among others. Marva’s commitment to inclusion and positive social change has been honoured by numerous national organisations including NAMIC, The National Action Network, and the T. Howard Foundation among others.

She established the Marva Smalls Endowment and has awarded more than $1 million to programs providing opportunities to youth and families, along with an endowment for the University of South Carolina’s Ronald McNair Center which offers scholarship and support to engineering students from the under-represented populations. Smalls is a founding member of the Black Economic Alliance and serves on numerous boards including the American Theatre Wing, the International African American Museum, the James Beard Foundation, and Synovus Bank/South Carolina.

10. Irvinder Goodhew - Lloyds Banking Group transformation director

Lloyds Banking Group's Irvinder Goodhew
Lloyds Banking Group's Irvinder Goodhew

Since recently joining Lloyd’s Banking Group, Irvinder has already driven positive change and made an impact on inclusion, with a particular focus and passion for supporting BAME colleagues reach their potential.

Irvinder is a positive, influential role model and has played key roles in driving higher levels of inclusion for many of the organisations she has served. Irvinder is a member of the Group’s Inclusion and Diversity Forum and after spending only six weeks in the Group, delivered a brave and bold keynote speech for over 300 guests from FTSE100 companies, where she shared her personal story and brought a senior leader’s perspective on inclusion and diversity, focusing on the importance of role modelling to drive change.

At Sainsbury’s, Irvinder co-chaired the Race Reference Group and was instrumental in the launch of a range of inclusion strategies including the national BAME colleague development initiative, which is still going strong. She believes that everyone has the potential to be a role model and throughout her career has leveraged opportunities to ensure that minority colleagues feel they can be themselves at work and have the confidence to explore their potential.

Irvinder has a track record of driving positive change in large organisations, including extensive internal/external and reverse mentoring programs. She now sponsors the Inclusion agenda for Group Transformation and is passionate about creating truly diverse teams that reflect our society and the customers Lloyds Banking Group serves.

11. Sophie Chandauka - Morgan Stanley Global COO of Banking Operations

Morgan Stanley's Sophie Chandauka
Morgan Stanley's Sophie Chandauka

Sophie serves on the International Presence Committee of the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), chairs the Advisory Panel of The Network of Networks (TNON) BAME/Multicultural Chapter and mentors six EMpower Ethnic Minority Future Leaders.

She is co-founder of the Black British Business Awards, which continues to support British business in increasing ethnic diversity and has been endorsed by the prime minister amongst others. In 2018 the BBBAwards launched the Talent Accelerator programme which was hosted by Morgan Stanley. The cohort consisted of 27 BAME professionals who had been identified as high-potential candidates for senior leadership roles from 15 Tier I corporations operating in the UK. Each participant has reported substantial progress in career development in the last year, and each of the original participating companies and new businesses have signed back up for the second year or bespoke in-house programmes leveraging the design of the BBBAwards Talent Accelerator.

At Morgan Stanley, between July 2017 and January 2019, Sophie served as co-chair of the African and Caribbean Business Alliance (ACBA) and now serves as Strategic Advisor to the network. As co-chair, she led a variety of impactful initiatives to contribute to talent attraction, retention and promotion of black talent at the firm.

During her tenure, she drove the evolution of ACBA from affinity network to career advancement platform, with a substantial number of senior allies in London. Membership of the ACBA in EMEA significantly under her leadership, and she has fostered impactful partnerships with BBBAwards, Elevation Networks and Success Talks. Sophie has been featured on a large number of prestigious lists for her diversity work and has been recognised by HM Queen Elizabeth for her contribution to the Commonwealth diaspora.

12. Shelina Janmohamed - Ogilvy vice president of Islamic Marketing

Ogilvy's Shelina Janmohamed
Ogilvy's Shelina Janmohamed

Shelina takes an active role in diversity-related and more general events to ensure there is an up-front presence of ethnic minority leaders, and is one of the most referenced spokespeople at Ogilvy in the media. She has written for the Guardian about her experiences as an ethnic minority employee of Ogilvy and was the company’s face at their International Women’s Day event last year.

Shelina is part of Ogilvy’s diversity group, Roots; is on the steering committee for WPP Roots; and she sits on WPP and Ogilvy's inclusion boards. She has ensured that the organisation is producing public facing work aimed at under-served consumers, such as through the ground-breaking “Great British Ramadan” study in 2018 which generated coverage across national media such as Radio 4 and the Observer.

Shelina mentors upcoming BAME talent, particularly younger individuals and women. She highlights the challenges facing BAME individuals in contributions to newspapers and magazines and uses her platform to encourage those from ethnic minority backgrounds to step into new spaces, especially across various sectors of the creative economy.

She has served twice as D&AD New Blood Award Judge, ensuring that people of colour are represented and that briefs reflect areas of focus for people of colour. She is working with various institutions to encourage Muslim creative talent, currently serving as an advisor to the Amal Foundation, working with the British Film Institute and D&AD.

Shelina has also served as an advisor and judge for the Young Muslim Writers Awards, a trustee for the Windsor Fellowship and a judge for The Muslim News Awards for Excellence among other efforts to build awareness for ethnic minority communities in the creative sector.

13. Adrian Joseph - EY partner and head of Artificial Intelligence, UK and EMEIA

EY's Adrian Joseph
EY's Adrian Joseph

Adrian is a member of the EY-initiated Ethnicity in the City group which aims to improve diversity in financial services institutions. He has made multiple presentations to diversity groups including BAME network, Women in Tech and Women on the Wharf.

He is also a member of the EY UK Executive Committee and of the diversity sub-committee, which has been instrumental in driving standards across the partner group and wider organisation. Adrian has personally achieved 50% BAME and 50% female recruitment in leading a team of 200 people in 2018.

Since 2015, Adrian has been a Non-Executive Director to the Home Office, and now to the Cabinet Office, advising on D&I, data and digital transformation, following approvals from the Prime Minister and Home Secretary. He has been a board member of the Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community charity and is currently a member of the advisory board. Adrian chaired the Race Equality Board for five years and is a trustee of Aleto, through which he was invited by the UK Prime Minster to round table consultations on improving BAME participation at Board and senior management level.

He has been recognised for his work in D&I in numerous publications, and in 2018 was named the most influential BAME tech leader in the UK by the Financial Times and Inclusive Boards.

14. Jagdeep Rai - Barclays Bank director, head of Corporate Banking, Heathrow & South West London

Barclays' Jagdeep Rai
Barclays' Jagdeep Rai

In recent years, Jagdeep set up and led the first Barclays regional diversity council in the South East focusing on three core areas of ethnicity, gender and LGBT. She is the co-exec sponsor of the Barclays Embrace Network in UK, and has driven and led on a wide variety of projects to further the ethnic minority agenda in Barclays, dramatically increasing membership and senior sponsorship of Embrace.

She provided senior leadership support for the organisation of the first Multicultural Gala Dinner and delivered the first World Culture week activities, holding sessions on culture and race biases, which included putting case studies together for attendees to discuss real work situations openly with a race/culture lens. She mentors, sponsors and coaches a number of ethnic minority employees across the business, and externally, to support their development and career progression.

Outside of Barclays, Jagdeep regularly delivers keynote speeches and interactive sessions at conferences, events, and in schools and universities that have a high ethnic minority concentration. In addition, she regularly supports local schools with high ethnic minority concentration with 6th form mock interviews. In 2017, among many accolades, Jagdeep was awarded Woman of the Year at the Asian Achievers Awards.

15. Dr Raj Patel - Sainsbury’s head of Labour

Sainsbury's Raj Patel
Sainsbury's Raj Patel

Within Sainsbury’s, Raj co-chairs the BAME network, co-leading all work streams, and organised six BAME inclusion events at regional, zonal and national level.

He supports listening groups and learning sessions for BAME colleagues, and organised an inclusion event for senior leaders, providing insight, support and challenge for leadership. Raj is a member of the inclusion steering group and launched an internal BAME role models campaign for the Southern Zone, which saw more than 50 business leaders share personal stories to inspire other colleagues to take action on their own development.

He is involved in mentoring BAME talent across the company and has sponsored BAME colleagues on courses geared towards fast tracking management promotions. Raj has worked hard to deliver improvements to policy, making Sainsbury’s a more inclusive place to work, and to product proposition, making Sainsbury’s a more inclusive place to shop.

Externally, Raj has organised and led numerous D&I events, helped other corporations launch BAME networks, and delivered insights about what it is to be a BAME role model to various organisations, helping to support them through their D&I journeys. Raj has been recognised as a BAME role model by Sainsbury’s and as a top BAME inspirational leader by The Guardian (Investing in Ethnicity Award).

16. Kamel Hothi - non-executive director and trustee

Kamel Hothi
Kamel Hothi

Dr Kamel Hothi OBE has been breaking glass ceilings in the banking world for over four decades from cashier to director, having been strategist and designer of numerous initiatives that have changed the banking industry.

She was the architect of diversity training courses as part of the Asian strategy and developed campaigns to reach the community who complained that access to finance was difficult. She helped develop the first high street bank Sharia Business Account as well as interactive communication campaigns such as the Asian Jewel Awards; The Asian Women of Achievement Awards.

Kamel was also behind the Lloyds Bank 250th anniversary during which she created a new blueprint of how to develop CSR programmes all aimed at building cultural cohesion and understanding via mentoring initiatives, attracting the attention of universities and cabinet office who wanted to understand & learn this new collaborative approach of bridging empathy across social and cultural divide.

She helped found Lloyds Banking Group’s first Women’s and Ethnic Minority network, winning several awards. Seen as an expert in her field and now as a NED on TLC Lions, she has been supporting over 50 corporates on their inclusion & wellbeing challenges. She has chaired the Government task force to improve their procurement process for supplier diversity resulting in supporting the 2012 Olympic bid. Hothi has spoken internationally on D&I issues and has been interviewed on screen and in print.

She works with numerous businesses as non-executive director to support D&I initiatives, and is a trustee and advisor to multiple charities, spreading relevant messages to the BAME community through the Alzheimer’s Society, the Teenage Cancer Trust, The Queens Commonwealth Trust and the Memusi Foundation.

17. Tonia Bottoms - BNY Mellon Pershing managing director & senior managing counsel

BNY Mellon's Tonia Bottoms
BNY Mellon's Tonia Bottoms

Tonia has sponsored several strategic initiatives geared towards empowering talent of diverse backgrounds at BNY Mellon. She serves as an active appointed member of the firm's diversity & inclusion (D&I) governance body, which includes the Diversity & Inclusion Advisory Council to the CEO.

As a global leadership team member of IMPACT, BNY Mellon’s multicultural business resource group, Tonia spearheads the strategy for recruitment and retention of ethnic minority employees. In this capacity, she directs the IMPACT Mentoring Program, evolving the program to meet the needs of BAME talent at various levels of the organisation – an evolution that has included impactful online learning and senior roundtable components beyond the traditional mentoring form. She has used a variety of approaches to draw attention to the program, as a result making it BNY Mellon’s largest formal mentoring programme in terms of graduates. As a member of IMPACT’s African American Leadership Forum, Tonia has represented and spoken on behalf of the company at numerous internal and external industry events.

Beyond BNY Mellon, Tonia works with multiple organisations in the community to promote D&I, as a board member, scholarship committee member and mentor. She is a member of the Council of Urban Professionals, and has been recognised by Harlem YMCA as a black achiever in Industry for Outstanding Achievement & Leadership Excellence due to her work at BNY Mellon in multicultural talent strategy.

18. Tunji Akintokun - PwC director and head of Sales UK

PwC's Tunji Akintokun
PwC's Tunji Akintokun

Tunji has been involved in a number of key initiatives to progress ethnic minority employees in the workplace, from being co-founder of the black employee resource group at his previous organisation Cisco, to chairing the organisation for 5 years.

He was active in helping Cisco achieve the National Equality Standard, and was a member of the influential organisation The Network of Networks (TNON), sitting on the executive committee.

He continues to mentor and provide counsel for many ethnic minority professionals both externally and within PwC, where he is a member of PwC's Multicultural Business Network. Tunji is active and involved in a number of initiatives outside of the workplace.

As a regular speaker internationally on diversity, he has spoken on several panels for companies such as Channel 4 and Lloyds Banking Group. He has founded two social enterprises which aim to inspire, excite and engage diverse talent in pursuing careers in STEM across Africa, USA and UK.

Through his own charitable trust, The Ilesha Charitable Trust, he provides bursaries, funding and support for many ethnic minority organisations and individuals. Tunji has been featured on numerous lists for his diversity work and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honours List for services to young people from ethnic minorities in science and technology.

19. Nneka Abulokwe - MicroMax Consulting founder; ISACA chair of Board Nominations Committee; BCS board member

Nneka Abulokwe
Nneka Abulokwe

As the first black senior executive in Sopra Steria, a leading European digital transformation firm, Nneka used her platform to inspire and motivate ethnic minority people across the organisation and farther afield.

Following a very successful 25 years in her corporate career, she set up MicroMax Consulting, a board advisory service, to make a greater impact and inspire beyond the bounds of tech industry and to contribute positively to society and foster diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. This is being achieved by bringing diversity to the top table by serving on several boards and shaping the strategic and diversity agendas of large organisations and professional institutions.

Through MicroMax, Nneka acts as an ambassador and role model for BAME women in business. Nneka is the first black woman to be admitted to The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists where she is actively engaged in promoting diversity and continuous giving activities.

Externally, Nneka serves on several boards including being the first black female chair of the Board Nominations Committee for the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA). She recruited a diverse 2018/19 and 2019/20 board in addition to speaking at board nominations and membership events on board governance and the need for women and people of BAME backgrounds in good governance. She also takes on external mentoring relationships with young people entering the workforce and has been recognised in numerous lists and articles for her work in diversity.

20. Nazreen Visram - Barclays head of Charities

Barclays' Nasreem Visram
Barclays' Nasreem Visram

As co-chair of the multicultural Embrace Network, Nazreen has supported the establishment of both the Asian and Black Professionals’ Forums, and has led on key events such as World Cultural Day.

The network supports employees by running events, training programmes, showcasing role models, collaborating with other networks to demonstrate the importance of intersectionality and celebrating cultural diversity, therefore contributing to a more inclusive workplace.

She participated in the Embracing Us campaign and launched the South Asian Proposition, providing cultural awareness training to colleagues and launching a widely attended Diwali Dinner. As well as being a HeforShe champion, Nazreen mentors junior ethnic minority colleagues and regularly runs employability skills workshops at local schools.

Externally, Nazreen is a national council member for the Women’s Portfolio for the Ismaili Muslim Council UK and has started a work experience programme for ethnic minority students. She has delivered numerous conferences, including International Women’s Day and was a finalist for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and for Barclays Global Woman of the Year.

21. Suresh Raj - Vision7 International chief business development officer

Vision7's Suresh Raj
Vision7's Suresh Raj

As an openly gay and ethnic minority senior executive, Suresh continues to champion the diversity agenda, picking up from his previous efforts whilst he was worldwide chief business development officer at Ogilvy Group.

Within Vision7, Suresh is part of a central steering committee on diversity & inclusion (D&I), where he provides senior counsel and active operational guidance to the way the organisation recruits and involves talent and the championing of individuals, with a single focus to make the organisation a welcoming place for all — particularly more inclusive for minority candidates

He is an executive sponsor of a number of professional networks which focus on personal and professional development of LGBT+, black, Asian and latin communities. He is a professional and personal mentor to a number of ethnic minority individuals across the USA, UK, UAE, and Asia.

Externally, Suresh sits on a number of advisory boards and continues to speak on a professional and personal level on the impact of ethnic minority inclusivity on business to drive positive business change and growth.

He has been invited by the TED 2019 conference to chair a conversation on “Remembering Humanity,” bridging the discourse between humanity and race. He was a contributor on the global anthropological study on Leading Humans, an inaugural member of The Alliance, and has been featured in the Huffington Post, discussing the need for belonging and inclusivity.

He is a global influencer for the City of London, an active member of the hosting committee for OutRight International and was involved in a number of diversity panels at Cannes Lions 2018.

22. Albertha Charles - PwC partner

PwC's Albertha Charles
PwC's Albertha Charles

As part of the Talent and Diversity Council at PwC, Albertha helps to define PwC’s overall UK diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy. She launched a culture change programme to drive greater inclusion and promote BAME progression as a lever to deliver better business performance.

She has taken an active role in the launch and promotion of PwC’s Colour Brave campaign; sponsored PwC’s most extensive national BAME focus group campaign; and hosted workshops for senior figures across the industry to explore D&I strategies and BAME inclusion.

Through this work, Albertha has increased D&I engagement levels. New resourcing processes have been implemented to achieve a fairer allocation of work, which is closely monitored. Albertha has challenged exclusion and marginalisation by introducing a range of networking opportunities, including partners and directors promoting lower profile talented employees, many of whom are BAME.

Albertha also works to accelerate BAME progression externally. She recently spoke to an audience at Oxford University, giving an overview of her career as a BAME individual in the financial services sector, focusing on empowerment, sponsorship and authenticity.

Albertha is a judge for the Black British Business Awards, and presented at the fifth year anniversary ceremony. She participated in the Bloomberg Ethnicity panel and is a member of the Business in the Community Race Equality Board.

She has explored the response to the Parker Review, and took part in a number of inclusion panels with professional services firms including Norton Rose and Clifford Chance, where she focussed on navigating a professional services firm as a BAME individual.

Albertha has delivered many other high profile presentations on the D&I agenda, and is part of a newly-formed senior women executives network exploring ways to accelerate the progression of BAME women.

23. Mitul Shah - Deloitte LLP partner and EMEA reward leader

Deloitte's Mitul Shah
Deloitte's Mitul Shah

Mitul provides one-on-one mentoring to high potential ethnic minority colleagues, helping them progress their careers at Deloitte through advice and coaching.

He presented to the tax executive around the challenges and opportunities the business face from a BAME perspective and the impact this could have on delivering on business objectives. He now leads a programme across tax focusing on improving personal data disclosure and diversity composition, and launching a BAME steering group. He feeds into key talent decisions around promotions within his business area, looking at how to progress and retain ethnic minority colleagues in the group.

Mitul is the lead adviser to the board of c.15 FTSE 350 companies on executive and board director remuneration matters, showcasing the benefits of diversity in the board room.

Outside of Deloitte, Mitul is a lead mentor in the Business in the Community mentoring circles, working with a group of ethnic minority employees from different organisations looking to progress in their respective careers. Additionally, he contributes to Deloitte’s “BAME in the Boardroom” programme for ethnic minority leaders in industry who are looking to progress to board level roles.

24. Dr Miranda Brawn - Daiwa and The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation director

Miranda Brawn
Miranda Brawn

Miranda works hard to increase the number of diverse employees, especially from ethnic minority backgrounds. These relationships saw the launch of a diversity week and mentoring programmes.

She also launched The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation in 2016 to provide the next generation of leaders with opportunities via innovative scholarships, funding, lectures, work experience and mentoring to help increase diversity and equality while supporting other charities.

Miranda is an ambassador, patron and board adviser to a wide variety of groups including the University of Law’s Business School aiming to increase ethnic minority and other diverse representation, and she has often spoken at conferences including a TEDx Women Talk in Italy and in the media around race equality and representation, including platforms such as BBC Breakfast, Good Morning Britain, Sky News and more recently London Live Capital Conversations.

She judges numerous diversity awards and launched the UK's first diversity lecture aimed at young BAME children. Miranda has been awarded a Global Goodwill Ambassador title, Freeman of the City of London by invitation and honorary doctorate of letters at the University of Brighton, honorary doctorate of laws at the University of Law for her international diversity work and contribution to business, finance and law, among many other accolades.

25. Mandeep Heer - Telefonica O2 UK director of People Strategy & Transformation

Telefonica O2's Mandeep Heer
Telefonica O2's Mandeep Heer

As a member of a UK inclusion steering committee, Mandeep was instrumental in creating Telefonica O2 UK’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) ambition and strategy. She organised a number of events to raise awareness for employee networks and inclusivity, on one occasion working with June Sarpong as a keynote speaker.

Mandeep has also written blog posts on her own story, presenting greater BAME visibility in senior positions. Eighteen months ago, Mandeep established Telefonica O2 UK’s BAME network to foster debate, raise awareness and educate on race-related subjects, such as “O2 Culture Club,” which is a fun monthly BAME film review for all their members to see the world through another’s perspective. She has held open forums for BAME employees to encourage bold and open discussions and tangible insights and actions. She also engaged with Telefonica Global on D&I and people strategy to encourage them to take a broader view of the future workforce, within the UK agreeing upon targets for BAME representation in hiring.

Changes inspired by the network can be seen from senior levels to customer-facing roles in store. Mandeep works across the business with Telefonica’s sister companies to support their D&I agenda. She also works with external organisations in this capacity, helping to create bespoke strategies to drive greater change. She manages a network of organisations in her spare time to ensure a continuing dialogue and to accelerate BAME D&I across businesses.

Mandeep mentors BAME talent internally and externally, and supports start ups in their cultural growth with a diversity lens. She regularly speaks to students from underrepresented backgrounds at schools, and has received numerous accolades for her work on D&I.

26. Andrew Pearce - Accenture managing director

Accenture's Andrew Pearce
Accenture's Andrew Pearce

Globally, Andrew is one of Accenture’s cross-cultural leads, tasked with educating and setting best practice examples for working across cultures and ethnicities.

With most Accenture operations colleagues based in India, Andrew’s role is integral to ensuring the success of cross-cultural business relationships that are built on mutual respect and understanding. He has been the executive sponsor for Accenture’s African-Caribbean Network for the last five years, representing the interests of its 360+ employee members at UK board level and working with global leadership on the broader diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda.

He is accountable for all annual network events, including a series of prominent Black History Month events, and oversees several ethnic minority recruitment, development, progression and retention activities. Under his leadership, they also won Network of the Year for their internal inclusion efforts.

Externally, Andrew mentors three ethnic minority individuals from various industries, providing them with career guidance and helping to maximise their potential. He regularly speaks at inner-city schools on race, authenticity and aspiration and collaborates on a number of school role model schemes.

He co-founded and chairs the UK Executive Leadership Council, and co-leads the global expansion committee. He also co-founded the inside track series of events, which offer the opportunity for senior black leaders to spend time and discuss current events and challenges with political figures and the media, and is an advisory board member of CareerEar, a social mobility platform.

Andrew has been recognised as a diversity champion at the Global Accenture Inclusion & Diversity Excellence Awards.

27. Michael Greene - Intel Corp. vice president and general manager of the System Technologies & Optimisation, Intel Architecture, Graphics and Software Group

Intel Corp.'s Michael Greene
Intel Corp.'s Michael Greene

Michael is a strong advocate for diversity within his division at Intel, and across the tech industry. He has been active in championing diversity and inclusion (D&I) at Intel for last 15 years, where he founded the Network of Intel African American employees (NIA) and continues to serve as a member of the Intel Black Leadership Council, helping grow the organisation’s participation by VP and executive level members.

In addition, he also has mentored and supported the promotion of diverse candidates to leadership and management positions. Michael has been particularly active in working to help Intel attract, retain, and advance the role of women in technology and STEM.

Externally, Michael has been engaged in a wide array of STEM-centred contributions, all designed to inspire the next generation of innovators and scientists, including sponsoring the creation of “Engineers 4 Tomorrow”—a non-profit organisation which leverages Silicon Valley’s technical workforce to encourage youths to STEM careers.

He has also sponsored the creation of “Women in Big Data” – a global organisation to strengthen diversity in the big data field by attracting more female talent to the big data and analytic space, helping them connect, engage and grow.

He serves as chairman of the board for the National GEM Consortium, a non-profit which provides programming and full fellowships to support under-represented individuals who pursue a master’s or doctorate degree in science or engineering.

Michael regularly undertakes speaking engagements on D&I issues, including The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) Conference, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Grant Program and the Blacks in Technology Inaugural Conference.

28. Sarah Lee - Slaughter and May partner

Slaughter & May's Sarah Lee
Slaughter & May's Sarah Lee

Sarah currently leads on enhancing ethnic minority recruitment and retention practices, and is the partner champion and sponsor for the ethnic minority network (DIVERSE) within the firm.

Her work through DIVERSE, includes considering the firm’s recruitment approach and launching “Diversity in the City,” giving BAME employees the opportunity to feed back their views and suggestions on the firm’s inclusion approach as part of their retention of BAME talent initiative. These efforts won the Law Society Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). Sarah also sponsors the firm’s female leadership development programme and ensures that BAME women are represented on this scheme.

Sarah is a Judicial Appointments Commissioner, through which she promotes the opportunity of judicial careers to those from underrepresented groups. She has undertaken many speaking engagements to profile ethnic minority leadership as a lawyer, including speaking at secondary schools and university careers events with significant populations of ethnic minority students. She has sponsored and presented at a collaborative project between Oxford University’s ACS and Slaughter and May’s DIVERSE network, which provides practical skills based workshops to BME GCSE students at schools across London, and works with the charity Pilotlight, which brings together senior business leaders and charities/social enterprises to develop strategic and business plans.

She has been recognised as a leading lawyer in her field by Chambers UK, The Legal 500, The International Tax Review: Tax Controversy Leaders Guide and the Women in Business Law Guide.

29. Dominic Mignon - Aon chief of staff, Office of the CEO

Aon's Dominic Mignon
Aon's Dominic Mignon

Having supported the Aon multicultural network in the UK, Dominic took an active role in working with the US Black Professional Network following his relocation to Chicago. He now serves as co-executive sponsor for the Aon Black Professional Network (BPN).

He helped develop the network from a series of chapters to the first coordinated national business resource group with clear goals. Dominic mentors several BAME colleagues at Aon in the UK and the US. As a member of the Aon executive leadership team, Dominic has specific diversity & inclusion (D&I) goals in his annual performance measures.

Beyond Aon, Dominic is on the board of Embarc, a Chicago based non-profit, focusing on high schools in low income Chicagoland neighbourhoods, driving student success with long-term social and cultural exposure. He has developed the Aon/Embarc relationship and held community socials which serve to connect students with Aon colleagues, delivering the sharing of experiences and inspiring the art of the possible.

Dominic has also organised discovery sessions with corporate community affairs leaders from around Chicago to test Embarc’s value proposition/partnership model and learn what was most important from their perspective, with the goal of developing Embarc’s corporate engagement strategy.

30. Chris Kojima - Goldman Sachs global head of the Alternative Investments & Manager Selection Group in the Consumer & Investment Management Division

Goldman Sachs' Chris Kojima
Goldman Sachs' Chris Kojima

Chris is one of the early leaders of Goldman Sachs’ Asian Professionals Network (APN), an award-winning organisation of their Asian professionals, focused on enhancing the professional development for this highly-diverse population, which originates from many different countries and cultures.

As the most senior Goldman Sachs sponsor of the APN in the Americas, he has had the opportunity over these decades to mentor hundreds of their professionals from the Asian community. Building on his experiences as a member of the Goldman Sachs Americas Diversity Committee, Chris co-founded the Asian Talent Initiative, a data-driven initiative focused on accelerating the leadership potential of Goldman Sachs’ mid-level Asian population, which has been consistently recognised by leading industry organisations, such as The Asia Society.

Chris is also on the board of overseers of Launch with GS, an important firm-wide initiative focusing on advancing entrepreneurs and investors who are women and people of colour. He co-chairs the investment committee and directly oversees the AIMS Imprint team, a team of industry-leading ESG experts, which focus on analysing the diversity dimensions of investments.

Externally, Chris serves as vice chair of the board of The Juilliard School, where he is passionate about extending the opportunities for an education in the arts to all communities, and has long focused on initiatives which enhance diversity and inclusion (D&I), such as the Juilliard Music Advancement Program, seeking students from diverse backgrounds under-represented in the classical music field, and committing to enrolling the most talented students regardless of financial need.

31. Ugo Ojike - Accenture managing director

Accenture's Ugo Ojike
Accenture's Ugo Ojike

Ugo is the co-executive sponsor of Accenture’s African Caribbean Network where she actively represents the interests of the 360+ employee members at UK board level.

She has been an active member of the network, sponsoring annual events and spearheading conversation around BAME development activities. She has worked with leadership on the broader diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda to further the retention, progression and development of black talent, co-sponsoring the ethnicity D&I work stream in the legal function.

Ugo spearheaded a series of workshops for colleagues, where she led discussions around the challenges and opportunities for BAME legal professionals in the work place. She also lends her time to the D&I agenda by passionately sharing her “Colour Brave” story (available on YouTube), and speaking regularly at Accenture events.

Ugo works with a number of schemes to mentor ethnically diverse small business owners, including the joint Accenture MSDUK Innovation Hub. She has spoken about D&I issues for HuffPost and the House of Commons, and has co-hosted roundtable discussions with law firms and clients about why it is necessary to make an impactful change in the ethnicity and gender space, how we can achieve this and why it makes good moral, social and business sense.

32. Li (Shelley) Yu - HSBC senior global product manager, China specialist (SVP)

HSBC's Li Yu
HSBC's Li Yu

Li chairs HSBC China Connect (HCC), promoting a greater understanding of Chinese business, culture and language, and to help colleagues make connections, support and inspire each other through networking opportunities.

HCC runs business forums, social events and cultural events including business talk series, social dinners, Chinese New Year celebration and a Mid-Autumn Festival. They also work with numerous affiliate communities in other businesses.

Li is also an advocate in gender diversity and has been an active member of the 100 Women in Finance, Women in ETF and Women in Banking and Finance.

Li has spoken at forums organised by non-profit organisations, universities and business associations focusing on diversity and inclusion (D&I), including at the CFA Institute Talent Summit, Asia-Scotland Institute International Women’s Day business talk. She discussed women in leadership at London School of Economics, and at the Generation Success Power Series: Chinese New Year Special.

She was shortlisted in the Chinese Business Leaders Awards in 2018.

33. Kelly McDonald - Irish Life executive manager, HR business partner

Irish Life's Kelly McDonald
Irish Life's Kelly McDonald

At National Australia Bank (NAB), Kelly supported the African Inclusion Program, by providing work placement opportunities for people with African heritage (often refugees) offering meaningful work and enabling a number of participants to attain permanent roles.

Kelly has always been passionate about diverse recruitment and has supported graduates from ethnic minority backgrounds through career guidance and sponsorship into new roles. Also at NAB, Kelly developed a program leveraging her internal network to support girls from minority backgrounds into higher education. She has acted as a mentor to women from ethnic minority backgrounds, providing them with support as they set up a not for profit business to drive social inclusion.

Last year, Kelly took a central leadership role in the diversity and inclusion (D&I) programme at Irish Life Group, supporting key initiatives to build greater inclusivity at Irish Life. This included the rollout of unconscious bias training for all employees, LGBTQ inclusion and improving the visibility of mental health and wellbeing.

Kelly will be supporting the partnership between Irish Life and P-Tech, acting as a mentor and assisting in finding workplace experience for underprivileged children. She is currently connecting with the 30% Club Ireland, which focuses on gender balance to introduce an ethnic minority focus.

34. Piers Linney - British Business Bank non-executive director

British Business Bank's Piers Linney
British Business Bank's Piers Linney

Piers is personally involved in a number of businesses as an investor, shareholder, director or adviser, and diversity and inclusion (D&I) from the board down is fundamental. Until 2017 he was a director of a listed company with Sir Ken Olisa also on the board, which is rare representation on the board of a UK PLC.

He regularly leverages his public profile to bring about change by raising awareness and inspiring ethnic minority people to aspire. This has included being visible as an investor on prime-time TV shows such as Dragons’ Den or as a non-executive director of the government-owned British Business Bank. He has also been recognised on the Power List 100 and was the winner of the inaugural Black British Business Awards as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014.

Additionally, Piers is a founding trustee of The Aleto Foundation, which hosts multi-day leadership programmes structured to provide delegates with a life-changing confidence boost which will enable them to deal as equals with their student peers.

He is also a regular public speaker for corporates and in schools, colleges, and even prisons, instilling confidence and opening minds to empower ethnic minorities. Piers now creates content across social media and speaks publicly to promote diversity and inclusion.

35. Ather Williams III - Bank of America Corporation managing director, head of Business Banking, global anti-money laundering executive, member of the Management Committee

Bank of America Corporation's Ather Williams. Photo: Tim Knox
Bank of America Corporation's Ather Williams. Photo: Tim Knox

As head of one of the company’s eight lines of business and member of the Management Committee, Ather leads the banking group that helps mid-sized companies grow and thrive. Within his organisation, he insists on a broad candidate slate for all open roles, plus a pipeline of diverse talent for the future. When traveling, he makes time to meet with the 29 chapters of the bank’s Black Professionals Group and Black Executive Leadership Council.

Ather also helps lead a “Courageous Conversations” series and informal fireside chats to share his unique experiences as a black executive, engaging in open Q&A with employees. As a member of the Black Executive Advisory Council, he helps lead the Black Executive Leadership Summit, bringing together 200 managers to engage directly with the bank’s CEO, global HR and top executives. Among the Council’s most impactful outcomes has been the CEO’s and management team’s commitment to advancing ethnically-underrepresented groups, particularly at the senior leadership level; expanding recruitment to more diverse schools and professional organisations.

Ather serves as an alumni admissions interviewer for Harvard College, promoting diversity and serving as an alumni career mentor. He is an active member of the senior sponsorship board of the Women’s Leadership Council and an executive sponsor of “Network to Net Worth”, a joint program offered by National Association of Black Accountants (NABA), Accenture and Bank of America.

36. Chika Aghadiuno - Aviva Group risk strategy & analysis director

Aviva's Chika Aghadiuno
Aviva's Chika Aghadiuno

Chika seeks to be a visible and accessible presence in the organisation, expanding on her role as co-chair of the Aviva London Women’s Network.

She blogs to raise awareness and interest among Aviva’s ethnic minority community and allies, and has supported the process of establishing an ethnic minority network at Aviva. She has represented Aviva at parliamentary roundtables on the topic of race and is a group executive nominee on the Aviva Global Inclusion Council.

Chika has sought to connect Aviva with her activities outside the workplace, such as working with the Amos Bursary, and smaller social enterprises including Beyond the Classroom and Brilliant Aspirations. This has provided young people with exposure to a range of careers and senior leaders, and also internships within Aviva.

External to her role, Chika is a mentor for the Amos Bursary and chair of the Diversity Advisory Group for the UK actuarial professional body. She has written a number of articles and participated in panels on diversity for the profession and has been exploring the establishment of a UK African Actuarial network.

37. Dawood Gustave - Reluctantly Brave CEO and imagination officer

Reluctantly Brave's Dawood Gustave
Reluctantly Brave's Dawood Gustave

Dawood built Reluctantly Brave to improve access for ethnic minorities and other underrepresented groups to the creative industries. This is at the core of Reluctantly Brave’s competitive advantage – being creative requires diverse thinkers.

This year, he directed the setup of the London chapter of the (Young) Braves program that trains 16-24 year olds in key skills for the industry and gives them real experience. He also grew the US network of College Braves to involve US college students in training and creative work, and ensured that Reluctantly Brave’s client work focused on getting their team and clients to work closely with young people from a wide variety of backgrounds. He continues to speak at schools across London, championing diversity in creative industries. Dawood has also formed a movement of entrepreneurs from non-conventional backgrounds, with a significant BAME focus, which aims to be a coalition of companies dedicated to bringing difference to the heart of business.

Externally, Dawood was a commissioner on the London Borough of Islington’s Fair Futures Commission, through which he focused on improving the lives and opportunities of young ethnic minority people. He regularly takes on numerous speaking engagements to inspire young ethnic minority people and share learning on inclusion best practice. Dawood has deepened and broadened his advisory role for the NGO Bite the Ballot on how to get more young BAME people involved in the democratic process. He was a finalist for the BBBAwards, Black entrepreneur of the Year 2018 and won the DIMA 50 Male Advocates for Equality in Marketing & Media 2018.

38. Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick - KPMG global head of citizenship

KPMG's Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick
KPMG's Lord Michael Hastings of Scarisbrick

Lord Michael is a passionate sponsor and advocate of KPMG UK’s reverse mentoring for partners and the linked KPMG Black Enterprise Awards. He is the most senior public black leader at KPMG and actively mentors younger black staff, promoting career development to leadership positions.

He has led the Vodafone Scholarship for Urban Black Ambassadors to One Young World for the last 6 years and is committed to minority internships within his team. Lord Michael has previously served as KPMG’s global head of diversity and inclusion (D&I).

Externally, Lord Michael hosts a major international mentor network called Men of Purpose, providing expertise training and development skills, network relationships and international growth assignments to millennial black men of great potential.

He uses his office at the House of Lords to host regular parliamentary events for black talent within the Palace of Westminster, such as the annual Baton Awards recognising black women who are the change they want to see. He is co-leading the development of the first black think tank in the UK and the first black led development agency and served as a Commissioner for Racial Equality for nine years.

39. Michael Sherman - BT chief strategy and transformation officer

British Telecom's Michael Sherman
British Telecom's Michael Sherman

Michael is the first and currently the only black executive committee member at BT Group and uses his position to pull together those of black, Asian and minority ethnicities in order to improve networking across the business.

This has meant working to identify people of colour throughout the organisation and championing the improvement of the organisations data collection to help in tracking people of colour through their careers to support in their development and performance as well as to look at how BT can underpin this with appropriate measures. This has also included individual mentorship of employees of colour to support and guide them through their career.

Having piloted a reporting and score carding initiative within his own team, Michael is working with his leadership team and HR to spearhead more black, Asian and ethnic diversity across BT. He has been an active board member, investor and mentor to students through the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, who focus on helping students and historically black colleges and universities to develop next generation African-American leaders.

He is also an active member of the Executive Leadership Council, supporting growth and development of black d-suite executives and board members. In addition, Michael is an active member of Sigma Pie Phi (Boule), raising money for the Boule foundation and its associated scholarship funds, with a focus on children of African American descent.

40. Mandhir Singh - BP Lubricants chief operating officer

BP'S Mandhir Singh
BP'S Mandhir Singh

Mandhir has actively contributed to making BP a more inclusive place for ethnic minorities through diversifying his leadership team. His engagement in recruitment to attract diverse talent early on and his guidance and leadership as chair of the BP Positively Ethnic Network governors’ board in the UK since 2017 has promoted the business case for increasing the representation, inclusion and advancement of UK-based ethnic minorities, as well as supporting ethnic minority employees in the workplace.

Mandhir has hosted various PEN panel events including external speakers with representation from the sports, legal and music world. BP are now in the 6th year of their Widening Participation Program (WPP) which aims to develop the potential of under-represented minorities in the graduate recruitment cycle. Mandhir participated on the panel of their diversity and inclusion (D&I) webcast representing senior leaders with a different ethnic background to promote diverse ethnicity in the business.

Externally, he mentors a wide range of individuals across all age groups and cultures, and is BP executive sponsor for Durham University, where he has taken an active lead to encourage people from different backgrounds and cultures to apply to BP. Mandhir and his team have received numerous accolades for their work on promoting D&I.

41. Femi Bamisaiye - HomeServe chief information officer

HomeServe's Femi Bamisaiye
HomeServe's Femi Bamisaiye

Femi chairs the inaugural HomeServe Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Council and is the executive sponsor for D&I across the organisation.

Through his sponsorship, four diversity networks have been established for BAME, LGBT+, disability and gender, appointing volunteer senior leads and deputies to lead these steering groups and devising an inclusion strategy and set of goals for HomeServe.

In his previous role at Royal Mail, Femi sat on the Diversity Council for over three years and was the BAME Network sponsor for the company. There, he launched mentoring circles to help BAME colleagues, improved recruitment methods to attract more diversity, and contributed to the development of initiatives to target improving BAME representation in more senior roles.

Externally, Femi has participated as lead mentor in the BITC mentoring circles initiative, where he mentored a circle of eight BAME middle managers from five FTSE and public sector organisations. He has also spoken at a number of BITC BAME events particularly around their mentoring circles initiative and wider ethnicity activity.

42. Kai Exos - Isobar Canada co-CEO

Isobar's Kai Exos
Isobar's Kai Exos

As an artist, Kai has headlined at Sundance, Cannes Lions, SXSW alongside an all-black performers programme; as a record label founder, his corporate art fund has invested over $4 million in black art this year alone. He hosts Black Excellence events in LA and Toronto and enacted a Global Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Charter at Isobar.

Frequent initiatives for his internal project, The Intersectionality Forum, continue to take place at their Toronto headquarters to highlight shared values and encourage representation. Kai also established a Culture Potluck within the organisation to celebrate the diaspora; promotes a Nike Run Club alongside “The Real Toronto”, an advocacy group in the Toronto community; and is the executive sponsor of a weekly book club and library initiative that promotes underrepresented voices in literature.

Kai’s approach to allyship and focus on equality has been featured in international magazines as all VPs in his organisations are trained for unconscious bias. His team of award-winning creative directors + 100 creative staff write inclusive briefs/castings for the likes of Cadillac and Stoli Vodka.

Kai is a member of the NAACP, PETA, NARAS and the ACLU, and an very proud ally of @Unity_In_Color. In addition to his philanthropy and executive mentorship, Kai’s global activism extends further as a a Billboard Top 40-charting musician.

43. Segun Osuntokun - Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner managing partner, London Office

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner's Segun Osuntokun
Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner's Segun Osuntokun

As managing partner of the London office of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP), Segun is a visible advocate for social inclusion and ethnic diversity.

He has spoken at and actively participated in firm wide and office specific events and initiatives, reiterating the firm’s and Segun’s own commitment to ethnic diversity in their workforce. He is a founding member of BCLP’s Global Diversity & Inclusivity Board and co-chaired the firm’s social inclusion and ethnicity network. He spearheads “Race for Change”, an award-winning initiative addressing the lack of black representation in the legal profession and supporting black students and graduates by providing access to role models, networking, and guidance on applications to law firms.

Segun led a delegation of London BAME lawyers to the firm’s Lawyers of Colour retreat in Denver providing the opportunity to forge relationships between BAME lawyers and to share best practice in relation to the intersection between socio economic background and ethnicity.

He is actively involved with a number of mentoring schemes encouraging diversity in the legal profession. Segun has been recognised for his work in diversity by JP Morgan and for his legal expertise by the British Nigeria Law Forum, Legal 500 and Chambers.

44. Raj Verma - Sodexo senior vice president of Human Resources

Sodexo's Raj Verma
Sodexo's Raj Verma

As a British born Sikh, Raj was Sodexo’s first ethnic minority global senior vice president in human resources, and continues to be very visible across the organisation.

Over the past 12 months, he has voluntarily coached chairs of the Cultures & Origins ERG. He regularly presents at conferences and panels and is a member of Sodexo’s Culture & Origins Advisory Board, leading the workstream on local minorities. Raj encouraged Sodexo to sign up to the EMpower Ethnic Pay Audit charter and is sponsoring the firm’s first national local minorities event. He participates in numerous mentoring schemes and has been appointed to the steering committee of the Warwick University Business School Mentoring programme. He continues to make presentations at schools and universities on different subjects to a cross-section of backgrounds.

He was appointed as the first BAME board director of a property management company in the local area and hopes to provide visibility at grassroots level, so ethnic minority leaders are not seen as unusual.

45. Richard Iferenta - KMPG partner

KPMG's Richard Iferenta
KPMG's Richard Iferenta

Richard championed the creation of a KPMG Black Heritage (BH) Working Group, which brings together BH partners, head of People, co-head of Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality and the chair of the African Caribbean Network to track progress on targets, deliver specific actions to advance BH inclusion and provide challenge and critique to internal strategies and campaigns.

The group has developed strategies to address BH recruitment shortfalls, including supporting and refreshing the firm’s BH Talent Insight Programme. They have also given input into the broader project happening across the firm, where the way in which project work is allocated is being reviewed. For the BH Working Group, the focus has been on ensuring that Black Heritage colleagues gain the broad experience required for progression.

In 2018, KPMG tailored exit interviews to include a dedicated face-to-face meeting for BH colleagues to fully understand their reasons for resigning and minimise future attrition and Richard often personally meets with colleagues to overlay additional insights. As partner sponsor for the African Caribbean Network, Richard has hosted events to understand challenges faced and showcase a road map of how to succeed, and secured external speakers to inspire colleagues.

Richard is chair of the Race Diversity Board of Business in the Community, championing the creation of the Race at Work Charter; leading the consultation and socialisation of the five charter focus areas via a series of events with CEOs of various businesses; and collaborating with the Government, BITC and other businesses to encourage target-setting and ethnicity pay gap reporting. Richard set up the KPMG Black Leaders Network and mentors a wide range of individuals. He is regularly asked to speak at events on diversity and inclusion (D&I).

46. Rupal Kantaria - Oliver Wyman director

Oliver Wyman's Rupal Kantaria
Oliver Wyman's Rupal Kantaria

Rupal is a strategic advisor at Oliver Wyman on inclusion, with a specialism in race and ethnicity and gender. In particular she has worked to expand the focus on gender to race and ethnicity, moving away from a “them and us” mentality, key for real behaviour change.

She co-designed, organised and led the first ever BAME International Women’s Day (IWD) speakers’ showcase at the House of Commons for IWD 2019 giving a voice to transgender, BAME and other often “unheard” women. As part of Lord Gadhia’s multi-cultural race awareness House of Lords forum, Rupal has expanded and helped structure the 60+ BAME network leads community, chairing the advocacy group and uniting efforts to speak with one, more powerful voice to government, for example representing grassroots feedback to the government’s race charter consultation.

She is also spearheading a board-level roundtable for executive sponsors of ethnicity to share learning and co-create, to support change from the top. Rupal co-founded and designed an innovative cross-company movement, Mission INCLUDE, with specialists Moving Ahead, launching with three FTSE 250 CEOs and 13 companies (including the British Army, AIG, RBS) coming together at c-suite level to foster inclusion across all diversity strands.

Internally at Oliver Wyman, Rupal has engaged fellow senior leaders by recognising diversity as a competitive imperative and advantage, calling for more diverse racial pitch teams and visuals amongst other things. Rupal provides strategic sparring to the Race and Ethnicity Network, and raises awareness through race discussions and BAME reverse mentoring to provide a safe space for “uncomfortable conversations”. She also acts as a mentor and a sponsor for various mentorship schemes. Rupal works with various charities to support BAME women and has spoken at numerous ethnicity inclusion events and in the media to promote diversity and inclusion (D&I).

47. Rob Mukherjee - EveryCloud Security director of Transformation

EveryCloud's Rob Mukherjee
EveryCloud's Rob Mukherjee

In his previous role at Vodafone, Rob launched and led Vodafone’s regional ethnic minority network in Manchester, building the greatest volume of attending members of all UK regions. He uncovered issues around conscious and unconscious bias towards the BAME community and was able to initiate remediation plans to improve the situation.

Now on the board of EveryCloud, a cloud security and digital workplace consultancy, Rob ensures that their messaging and flexible working policies are welcoming to all. He has established links between EveryCloud and the Indian High Commission, to explore how cloud technologies could enhance engagement with the Indian diaspora in the UK – and supports the Manchester India partnership, a group of business leaders promoting Manchester as a gateway to the North for Indian influencers.

Rob appears on various panels, podcasts, and other speaking events discussing matters relevant to diversity and inclusion, including Great Exhibition Of The North and Northern Power Futures. He is a trustee of GreaterSport, a charity which aims to improve lives through physical activity, including a focus on the disproportionate challenge affecting young BAME individuals. He judges the Northern Power Women Awards and the UK Business Tech Awards and has been recognised in numerous publications for his work in diversity.

48. Margaret Anadu - Goldman Sachs head of the Urban Investment Group

Goldman Sachs' Margaret Anadu
Goldman Sachs' Margaret Anadu

As a partner, Margaret engages the firm’s leadership in bold new initiatives for progressing the inclusion and advancement of black professionals. Together with her fellow black partners, Margaret works directly with the firm’s co-presidents to take deliberate action to improve the progression of black talent and build on the firm’s aspiration of being an “employer of choice” for diverse professionals.

She is a lead investor for Launch with GS, an initiative aiming to close the gender investing gap. The initiative has recently extended beyond women to include investments in businesses founded, owned or led by people of colour. Leveraging her role as head of the Urban Investment Group (UIG), Margaret is working to help further close the investment opportunity gap, with strategy rooted in deep community engagement to ensure investment capital can be a catalyst in the revitalisation of distressed neighbourhoods. Margaret currently serves on the boards of several community and economic development non-profit organisations including: the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, Center for an Urban Future (CUF), Core Innovation Capital, and Ascend Learning.

Through serving on the Ascend Learning board, Margaret was able to help in structuring the financing to allow for the redevelopment of an under utilised building be turned into the Brownsville Ascend Lower and Middle Schools, and Brooklyn Ascend High School. Additionally, through serving on the board of CUF, a New York City think tank, Margaret has helped with their mission of developing a sustainable middle-class economy.

49. Naren Patel - Primesight CEO

Primesight's Naren Patel
Primesight's Naren Patel

At Primesight, Naren ensures that diversity and inclusion (D&I) is at the forefront of his team’s minds. He regularly monitors the ethnic make-up and recruitment of his workforce to ensure that they truly reflect the society they work in.

He also serves as chair of the Primesight Diversity Group, to ensure that diversity initiatives have the support from the top of the organisation and has implemented a mentoring system to provide career advice to their ethnic minority employees. Naren has recently put the company through a benchmarking process, to understand where they sit among competitors and how they can improve their inclusion efforts. Primesight has been nominated for a variety of industry awards, and Naren is featured on the Campaign A list.

Externally, Naren is a Trustee for NABS (National Advertising Benevolent Society) and sits on their Finance Committee. Last year, he set up Media for All, was on the Media Diversity Task Force, and also an advisor to Creative Access. He regularly speaks at industry events on the topic of diversity in the media, and has been involved in Speakers for Schools. Through all of these activities, Naren forms mentoring relationships to pass on his advice and passion for diversity to the next generation. Following the successful sale of Primesight to Global Radio, Naren will be stepping down as CEO and continuing as a consultant for the next 12 months.

50. Roni Savage - Jomas Associates managing director

Jomas Associates' Roni Savage
Jomas Associates' Roni Savage

Roni is an engineering and environmental geologist, working for clients in the construction industry. As a British female of African heritage, Roni is passionate about empowering other women as well as those from an ethnic minority background, by putting herself forward as a role model.

She speaks regularly at events aimed at this cause, and regularly offers free mentoring, coaching and sponsoring opportunities. Roni is committed to social mobility and supports the YMCA, Mayor’s Fund, Churches and Colleges, demonstrating that people who look like her can attain leadership positions if they are willing to work for it. Roni set up a BAME Women Leaders in Engineering Movement to identify women who have been able to step up and step out, so that together, they can support future ethnic minority women.

She regularly speaks at BAME empowerment events and was elected as FSB national lead for Women in STEM. Roni was named Black British Business Person of the Year in 2018 and uses her platform to speak openly about the need for diversity. She has received many industry awards and has been recognised in numerous publications.

51. Arlene Isaacs-Lowe - Moody’s Corporation global head of CSR and president of The Moody's Foundation

Moody's Corporation's Arlene Isaacs-Lowe
Moody's Corporation's Arlene Isaacs-Lowe

Appointed to the newly created role of global head of CSR, Arlene developed a global strategy that aligns with Moody’s businesses and promotes diversity and inclusion (D&I) externally. Moody’s CSR strategy seeks to empower people, particularly women and BAME entrepreneurs and students, with the knowledge, resources and confidence they need to create a better future — for themselves, their communities and the environment.

Arlene works in partnership with D&I to advance a diverse talent pipeline by advocating for leadership development opportunities for Moody’s BAME employees. She regularly mentors BAME professionals at varying levels and stages of their careers. She is a frequent speaker for multicultural and women’s ERGs around the world, sharing her career journey and advice.

Arlene chairs the Executive Leadership Council’s International Presence Committee, whose mandate is to promote the brand in the UK by identifying potential members who demonstrate the organisation’s commitment to building and supporting a pipeline of black talent poised for business leadership.

She serves as the vice chair for the board of Visitors for Howard University’s Business School, one of the top Historically Black College and Universities. She has been featured in numerous lists including Savoy’s 100 Most Influential Blacks in Corporate America, and Black Enterprise’s 100 Most Powerful Women in Business.

52. Quentin Roach - MSD chief procurement officer & senior vice president of Supplier Management, Business Development & Enterprise Services

MSD's Quentin Roach
MSD's Quentin Roach

Quentin has been essential in ensuring inclusive environments and cultures, based on values established in collaboration with his executive leadership team.

He is the executive co-sponsor for the development and delivery of a diversity leadership programme and leads the economic inclusion programme and processes that have led the company to prestigious Billion Dollar Roundtable Membership.

He sponsors the Supplier Diversity Summit to share best practices in growing diverse businesses and speaks at various internal diversity and employee resource group sessions. He sponsors various other diversity networks and commissioned a reverse mentor programme.

Externally, Quentin currently maintains board positions with various organisations, with specific focuses on diversity & inclusion (D&I), and regularly speaks on D&I at conferences and universities. He is a passionate youth advocate and works with numerous mentorship schemes.

53. Habib Motani - Clifford Chance partner

Clifford Chance's Habib Montani
Clifford Chance's Habib Montani

Habib was one of the first ethnic minority partners at a magic circle law firm, and has always seen it as important for young lawyers in the firm to be able to look to him as a role model.

He is on the steering committee of the Clifford Chance BAME Network, of which he is a champion. Through this role, he has mentored young lawyers and is currently working with Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and HSBC to mutually support the BAME agenda internally. He championed Clifford Chance’s support for London Black Women’s Project, and liaises between Clifford Chance’s Muslim Network and the Canary Wharf Chaplaincy Multifaith steering committee.

He supports the Society of Asian Lawyers and has held a number of senior positions within the Ismaili Muslim community, such as chair of the International Conciliation and Arbitration Board. Habib is a member of the Canary Wharf Chaplaincy Multifaith Steering Group, a trustee of Bow Arts Trust, and actively supports the work of Patchwork Foundation. He has been recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers UK.

54. Melvin Williams - Nicor Gas president

Nicor Gas' Melvin Williams
Nicor Gas' Melvin Williams

Melvin leads the way in the continuing dialogue of diversity and inclusion (D&I) as president of Nicor Gas and founding chairman of the Illinois Utilities Business Diversity Council.

Through both organisations, Melvin has increased spending with diverse businesses to record numbers. Melvin has committed Nicor Gas to an inclusive workforce that reflects the customers it serves. There are eight employee resource groups that support both the company’s priorities and the interests of members, such as En Rapport, which Melvin is the executive sponsor of, and focuses on African American issues in the workplace through networking opportunities, community activism and professional and personal development.

For more than 25 years, Melvin has been a member of the national organisation American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE), including having served as a board member, and remains active member of the Chicago Chapter.

He is also a member of The Executive Leadership Council, committed to advancing the role and contributions of black executives and preparing the next generation of corporate leaders.

Having experienced the benefits of strong African American community role models, Melvin supports the United Way and is a lifetime member and Hall of Fame inductee of the Frank Callen Boys & Girls Club of Savannah, Georgia, continuing the legacy of his predecessors.

55. Netsai Mangwende - WillisTowersWatson head of Finance for Great Britain

WillisTowersWatson's Netsai Mangwende
WillisTowersWatson's Netsai Mangwende

Netsai is the business partner to the CEO and is responsible for the commercially focussed financial management of the GB Operations.

Prior to joining WTW GB, Netsai worked at AIG where she was head of Finance Business Partnering for UK & Europe and before that she worked for RSA, Deloitte and PwC. She is a member of the WTW UK Inclusion and Diversity (D&I) Council and is the executive sponsor for the UK Multicultural Network. The network is partnering with human resources to review recruitment policies and practices with an aim to increase diverse talent representation across the organisation.

To drive an inclusive culture, the network is raising awareness of the BAME community by contributing to company strategy and educating allies by holding business focussed events centred on topics such as innovation and AI. As executive sponsor, Netsai has introduced BAME colleagues to external organisations and associations to collaborate and contribute to the wider market, share best practice and develop new business partnerships.

Being the most senior woman of African origin in the UK insurance industry, Netsai finds it paramount to be a trailblazer for diversity initiatives focussed on the BAME demographic and has actively participated in external forums as a guest, speaker or panellist. She is an active sponsor and mentor to BAME colleagues and her contributions to inclusive talent strategies has been recognised on the top 100 Powerlist black Britons and BAME 100 Board Talent Index. She is a strong advocate for Education and has recently joined the Insurance Institute of London as a Council Member, recently joined the Lloyds Tercentenary Research Foundation as a Trustee and in January spearheaded a campaign to rebuild a dilapidated school in rural Zimbabwe which will help keep 214 children in school.

56. Paris Petgrave - We Love Work CEO

We Love Work's Paris Petgrave
We Love Work's Paris Petgrave

Across her entire career in recruitment and HR, Paris has designed and delivered a series of initiatives to support diversity in the workplace. She founded We Love Work, a HR Technology start-up which works with companies to improve workplace culture using an AI platform which collects real-time data from employees on workplace culture to ensure the working environment is more inclusive.

Paris has been commissioned by London councils, The Princes Trust and The European Social Fund to run diversity initiatives to help ethnic minority candidates access employment. She is now taking her experience and expertise into the tech sector and venture capital world, to continue to help companies globally build diverse teams and inclusive working cultures.

Externally she has been involved in a number of different projects to inspire entrepreneurs from the ethnic minority community. Paris is a regular mentor to and investor in ethnic minority start-ups through her organisation, Rare Seed Capital, and has spoken at a number of high profile events including The London Business Show and Campus Party EU. She is regularly recognised for her diversity and inclusion (D&I) efforts as a Lotus Award Winner, Powerlist Rising Star, Black Women in Business honouree and by Forbes.

57. Annette Byron - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Annette Byron
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer's Annette Byron

Annette is the driving force behind Freshfields’ Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme, aiming to address the disproportionate underrepresentation of black and black mixed-race men from less privileged backgrounds in large commercial law firms and other City institutions.

The scheme brings together Freshfields, big business and universities in a unique initiative, which is run by volunteers from Freshfields and its clients, with more than 130 members contributing to the scheme’s recruitment, development programme and mentoring. Learnings from the scheme have influenced other areas of the firm, including enhanced awareness around unconscious biases, and diversity and inclusion (D&I) best practices.

Beyond the scheme, Annette co-leads Freshfields’ Black Affinity Network, mentors BAME colleagues at the firm and beyond, facilitates discussions with senior leadership, hosts events and is a driver for frank discussions on issues such as reporting on and closing the ethnicity pay gap.

Externally, Annette sits on the board of PRIME, the legal sector charity which forms an alliance among law firms committed to improving access to those from less socially mobile backgrounds to the legal profession through work experience. She and the scheme have been widely cited in the press as innovative and inspiring. Annette supports by charitable donation arts projects that bring on new theatre writing and productions by BAME artists.

58. Madhavi Reddy - Fujitsu Services UK head of Digital Business Services

Fujitsu's Madhavi Reddy
Fujitsu's Madhavi Reddy

As chair of the Cultural Diversity Network last year, Madhavi set out the vision, strategy and objectives for the CDN network, organised panels and discussion groups to raise awareness about race, ethnicity and intersectionality, engaged with external bodies such as Investing in Race and Ethnicity, and spoke at many public engagements and panels.

She is an active mentor and is part of Fujitsu’s Diversity Diagnostics programme. She organises and hosts diversity and inclusion (D&I) events for Fujitsu every quarter, creating an inclusive environment, raising awareness, inspiring BAME members with role models and providing practical tips for progression.

Within her own team, Madhavi is working with HR to trail new models of recruitment to increase diversity, resulting in a very diverse team and a zero gender and race based pay gap. She speaks at numerous public engagements and panels to progress the conversation on race.

Madhavi is using her growing voice on social media and uses her Linkedin profile to raise awareness on diversity, having authored articles on diversity and reverse mentoring which have been widely shared.

59. Nadun Muthukumarana - Deloitte partner

Deloitte's Nadun Muthukumarana
Deloitte's Nadun Muthukumarana

At Deloitte, Nadun has been in lead roles as talent partner, diversity and inclusion lead partner and respect and inclusion advisor.

He has initiated, driven and supported key activities with significant positive outcomes, including changes to recruitment policy to support further BAME and female talent, plus training on unconscious bias and the value of diversity.

This has also involved the creation of an inclusivity charter, promoting diversity within project teams; the creation of respect and inclusion walk-in sessions to provide advice and positive avenues of communication for BAME colleagues; and the support and leadership of over 10 diversity groups at Deloitte, including the Hindu Network, Multicultural Network, Sikh Network and the Muslim Network.

A lot of Nadun’s external work involves helping young people, the majority of whom are BAME, to develop their skills and careers. He is the lead board member for diversity at the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), promoting all aspects of diversity & inclusion (D&I) across firms covering over 60,000 practitioners in the UK. He is also a young MCA advisor, mentoring on various topics, and he also mentors young people in his local community. In addition, he works with schools, universities and charities to promote D&I.

60. Vidisha Joshi - Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors managing partner

Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors' Vidisha Joshi
Hodge Jones & Allen Solicitors' Vidisha Joshi

Vidisha was recently involved with the review of her firm’s equality, diversity and inclusion training, in which she identified a need to include social mobility, hidden disabilities and unconscious bias.

In her experience, awareness and education are the only ways to bring about positive change. As well as this the firm have launched their LGBTQ employee network this year to not only support their own employees, but also those outside the organisation. Having noticed a need to overhaul trainee recruitment for the purposes of diversity, Vidisha introduced a totally blind recruitment process, removing name, education and background, and leading to a wider range of candidates being judged on the criteria that matter.

Vidisha regularly speaks at large external events on the topic of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace and particularly the legal industry, including the Legal Futures 2018 Conference, the Women in Law committee, the Legal Practice Management Association and the Society of Asian Lawyers’ International Women’s Day panel.

She has judged on legal awards panels in a bid to champion women and people of colour and is an active member of networks such as Asian Women of Achievement. Vidisha is a Women of the Future ambassador and mentors young women.

61. Chinwe Odimba-Chapman - Clifford Chance partner

Clifford Chance's Chinwe Odimba-Chapman
Clifford Chance's Chinwe Odimba-Chapman

Chinwe co-founded the Clifford Chance Black & Minority Ethnic network in 2015 with the primary aim of making BAME issues a business priority at Clifford Chance.

Initially as co-chair and now as partner champion of the Clifford Chance BAME network, she has been instrumental in raising awareness of what is now an active and visible network, both within the firm and externally. She introduced a bespoke three-part coaching programme, aiming to assist black and minority ethnic employees living in London in their personal and professional development, successfully launched the BAME network reverse mentoring programme and organises regular events, including for black history month.

Chinwe is a professional ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors, aiming to increase diversity in the legal profession by assisting aspiring solicitors from underrepresented backgrounds. She has been identified as a role model by the Clifford Chance Women's Network and Legal 500. Chinwe is partner sponsor for the London Black Women's Project, an organisation focused on addressing violence against women and girls by providing advice, guidance, support, advocacy and accommodation.

She mentors on the Black Solicitors Network Creating Pathways Mentoring Scheme and is a regular speaker and panellist at conferences aimed at developing BAME employees.

62. Rocki Howard - Resource Solutions client services director

Resource Solutions' Rocki Howard
Resource Solutions' Rocki Howard

Rocki’s passion is to create a work place where people can focus on having impact while leveraging their unique strengths and experiences.

She has created a culture of acceptance and inclusion that facilitates the hiring of diverse team members, including the creation of hiring process that is focused on talent and potential. This process has resulted in unprecedented workplace diversity.

Rocki mentors three female ethnic minority team members and, after joining the global diversity team, has conducted and presented research into suggestions on improving the impact of the organisation’s diversity program.

Rocki is a sponsor for Girls Rock and JASMYN, both of which support teens in the LGBT+ community through counselling and activities to build self-esteem. Rocki is growing a digital community to empower and support ethnic minority women over 40 and has received several accolades for her work in diversity.

63. Jatin Patel - TSB products and digital director

TSB's Jatin Patel
TSB's Jatin Patel

Jatin places a large emphasis on people development and talent management and actively promotes inclusive cultures. He is passionate about innovation and believes a more diverse workforce is an obvious starting point for greater innovation at TSB.

He is an active mentor to TSB Partners and supports Business in the Community’s mentoring circles. He has hosted internal and external events including the Investing in Ethnicity Race conference, where he championed race issues.

Jatin has used his influence and leadership to shape the bank’s diversity agenda, specifically implementing an internal cultural awareness session to better understand the cultural differences that all partners bring to the workplace. He will sponsor an internal data collection campaign this year, and has sponsored TSB’s support of the Race At Work Charter, a voluntary charter developed to help organisations take action to tackle barriers that BAME staff place in recruitment and progression.

Outside of TSB, Jatin has taken part in a cross-organisational mentoring circle as a lead mentor, and often speaks at conferences and organisations advocating the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I). He has also done work to help improve education and access for young people from under-privileged backgrounds, particularly in areas with high concentrations of ethnic minorities.

64. Quita Highsmith - Genentech head of Alliance and Advocacy Relations

Genentech's Quita Highsmith
Genentech's Quita Highsmith

Quita Highsmith is head of Alliance & Advocacy Relations in Government Affairs, and is also the co-founder of Advancing Inclusive Research™ at Genentech.

Quita is passionate about incorporating the patient voice in healthcare, developing others and creating vision in the biotech industry for women and people of colour. Her work at Advancing Inclusive Research highlights her commitment to addressing barriers in clinical research and the need for diverse and ethnic communities to participate. Quita is one of the named authors of “US Cancer Centers of Excellence Strategies for Increased Inclusion of Racial and Ethnic Minorities in Clinical Trials,” published in the Journal of Oncology Practice.

Quita’s leadership is evident within nonprofit and professional organisations as well, serving as the vice chair of the Alliance Development Committee for the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), as a member of the Global Nominating Board and Past President of the San Francisco Chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), as a member of the Delta San Fran-Peninsula Foundation Scholarship Board for black college students and on the board of Genentech’s Political Action Committee (GenenPAC).

She has been recognised by numerous institutions and is a leading voice for promoting people of colour and women in the workplace.

65. Tevin Tobun - Gate Ventures Group CEO

Gate Ventures' Tevin Tobun
Gate Ventures' Tevin Tobun

At GV Group, Tevin leads a diverse senior management team in terms of ethnicity and gender, and the company constantly review their recruitment policy to reflect the general society. GV has quotas of advertising in ethnically led publications and continue to monitor the ethnic make-up of its staff.

Under Tevin’s leadership, GV monitor languages spoken by staff and issue memos accordingly. GV is proud of its success in attracting and retaining highly qualified BAME talent.

Externally, Tevin chairs a charity called Inspirational You, which provides guidance to people of BAME background starting out in business through a range of initiatives, such as work experience, mentoring and business workshops. He recently chaired an Inspirational You event at the Houses of Parliament, designed to help young people understand the challenges of the world. Tevin is the only black board member of Middlesex University, a university with over 60% ethnic minority.

Along with other members, he encouraged the university to set up a buddy system to support new students throughout their first year, helping in particular the inclusion and retention of foreign students. He regularly contributes to university workshops and events, focusing on employment opportunity for students. Tevin also chairs and sponsors a university scholarship programme for people from underprivileged backgrounds, and is a patron of Springboard.

66. Raph Mokades - Rare Recruitment founder and managing director

Rare Recruitment's Raph Mokades
Rare Recruitment's Raph Mokades

At Rare, Raph is at the forefront of diversity recruitment, deliberately recruiting his own team from a diverse pool.

He goes beyond basic attraction and development, working closely with firms to review and improve their on-boarding practices and their approach to assessment and retention. He hires the same calibre of graduate that he places with clients, aggressively seeking people out at the start of their careers and developing them on an ongoing basis.

The culture at Rare is built around creating as inclusive an environment as possible, through team building activities, which are respectful of a wide variety of cultural and personal preferences such as non-drinking, daytime activities.

Raph is also actively involved in increasing access to the best education to ethnic minority students. Target Oxbridge is Rare’s project to develop more competitive and successful applicants of black heritage to Oxbridge than ever before, with the end goal of increasing their presence in the business world.

Every year for the past decade, Rare has identified the UK’s best black students, Rare Rising Stars, and honoured them at a high-profile awards reception at the Houses of Parliament. Among many awards for Rare as a whole, Raph also received the Legal Week Outstanding Innovator Award in 2017.

67. Rashada Harry - Amazon Web Services enterprise account manager

Amazon Web Services' Rashada Harry
Amazon Web Services' Rashada Harry

Having recently joined the business, Rashada has already successfully organised an International Women’s Day, mentoring and insight day at Amazon Web Services for students of predominantly BAME backgrounds.

Here, they were introduced to the world of artificial intelligence and machine learning technology and how it impacts everyday life. The students were introduced to the global head of professional services at Amazon Web Services and were able to hear his story on why diversity and STEM is important. The event was well-received by the business, the students and their teachers.

Externally, Rashada is co-founder of London’s largest STEM initiative Your Future, Your Ambition (YFYA) which has a focus of ensuring that STEM based careers and opportunities are accessible for all. To date over 5,000 young people have attended YFYA and over 900 have received mentoring.

She has also been actively involved in a large number of activities and initiatives in a voluntary capacity that support the BAME narrative both in the UK and in Europe. Rashada has been recognised in numerous publications for her work in diversity and inclusion (D&I), most recently placing in the Black Girl Magic 100.

68. Dorothy Burwell - Finsbury partner

Finsbury's Dorothy Burwell
Finsbury's Dorothy Burwell

Dorothy serves on Finsbury’s Global Diversity Committee, which focuses on supporting initiatives around the business to foster a more balanced workplace across gender, racial and sexual orientation bounds.

This includes initiatives such as delivering unconscious bias training to leadership, ensuring that recruitment practices encourage the interviewing and selection of individuals from varied backgrounds, as well as developing affinity networks within the company. Additionally, as part of this role, is involved with Finsbury’s ongoing support of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, which seeks to address the need for greater diversity in the public relations industry.

Dorothy also serves the wider WPP organisation as Finsbury’s executive sponsor on the WPP Roots Steering Committee, a committee which seeks to promote diversity and inclusion through the culture and work across agencies.

Away from the office, Dorothy has helped to establish of the London (UK) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, a 73 year-old international charity and NGO which is committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of those of African descent.

Dorothy has served as vice president of the chapter and was recently elected president and trustee. Dorothy has been listed in the Top 100 Women to Watch by Cranfield University, and co-leads the Investor Relations practice for the EMEA region as Finsbury seeks to expand its footprint.

69. Elizabeth Scarpelli - BNY Mellon head of Global Operations & Privacy Compliance

BNY Mellon's Elizabeth Scarpelli
BNY Mellon's Elizabeth Scarpelli

As a member of BNY Mellon’s extended diversity and inclusion (D&I) governance body, Elizabeth has been actively involved in a number of key initiatives that drive the company’s D&I strategy, including leading programs designed to increase consideration of diverse individuals throughout the organisation’s talent lifecycle – from recruitment/development to retention/advancement.

By serving on the firm’s D&I Advisory Council to the CEO, in numerous leadership team positions within the company’s multicultural business resource group, and as a steering committee member of key external partnership initiatives, Elizabeth has helped to broaden perspectives and foster change within the company and deliver against D&I goals as set by the firm. She has helped drive further pipeline diversification at senior levels through BNY Mellon’s Signature Leadership Forum, and acts as a sponsor and mentor as part of BNY Mellon’s multicultural and women’s business resource groups.

Elizabeth also provides external mentorship through the Women in Finance Mentorship Program with Columbia University & NYU, has provided career coaching to students from Ma’ayanot High School and served as volunteer instructor for Junior Achievement. Elizabeth is a lifetime member of the Association for Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA), and as the appointed liaison for BNY Mellon’s corporate relationship with ALPFA, leverages the organisation to engage top Latino talent.

Beyond her track record for mentoring, sponsoring, developing and recruiting talent, Elizabeth is a vocal champion and speaker on D&I issues and professional development strategies and best practices.

70. Gautam Bhattacharyya - Reed Smith equity partner

Reed Smith's Gautam Bhattacharyya
Reed Smith's Gautam Bhattacharyya

Gautam always finds the time to represent ethnic minority lawyers and welcome the future generation of lawyers to Reed Smith, where he sits on the firm’s global board.

He actively mentors and encourages the firm’s young and aspiring lawyers, and regularly takes part in panel discussions at Reed Smith, sharing his experiences as a diverse senior lawyer. He also regularly meets students at open day events where he provides advice and insight to those wanting to enter the profession, offering work placements wherever possible.

Additionally, he actively champions the firm’s London Multicultural Network whose objective is to provide all Reed Smith employees with the opportunity to experience and celebrate their differences and raise awareness of issues that are pertinent to ethnic minority legal professionals.

Externally, Gautam regularly takes part in panel discussions at diversity events to discuss the importance of ethnic minority inclusion. In March 2018, he was awarded the leading international lawyer award for work for Indian clients at the Legal Era Awards in Mumbai. He is also highly ranked in the Chambers & Partners Global Rankings, Legal 500 and Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration.

71. Nilufer von Bismarck - Slaughter and May partner

Slaughter and May's Nilufer von Bismarck
Slaughter and May's Nilufer von Bismarck

As a high profile ethnic minority role model, Nilufer acts as a role model and mentor both formally and informally to ethnic minority employees throughout the firm.

She is the first woman and Muslim to lead a corporate group at the firm and hopes to serve as an inspiration to others. She supports the firm’s Muslim Network, aiming to provide practical support for Muslims, particularly during Ramadan. Nilufer also works with the firm’s DIVERSE (ethnicity and social mobility) network to discuss a range of workplace challenges and opportunities, including the ethnicity pay gap, which Slaughter and May voluntarily reported on this year.

Externally, Nilufer is on the board of trustees of IntoUniversity, leading on hosting workshops for students to introduce them to the legal profession as a career option and supporting events to raise the charity’s profile. She has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honours list for services to financial services. Career highlights have included advising on the UK Government’s post-crisis bailout and re-privatisation of Lloyds Banking Group.

She is listed for M&A in The Legal 500, and as a leading lawyer in the Capital Markets – Equity section of IFLR1000. She has also been profiled in Black Letter Law, a directory that showcases achievement of ethnic minority lawyers, since it began in 2006.

72. Ajay Khindria - IBM global client director

IBM's Ajay Khindria
IBM's Ajay Khindria

As executive sponsor of the BAME Employee Network and a member of the IBM UK Inclusion Council for eight years, Ajay’s mission has been to raise awareness of the challenges facing ethnic minority employees, and to drive initiatives to attract, develop and progress ethnic minority IBMers.

The strategy has been “top down,” ensuring the IBM UKI board understands the importance of ethnic minority employees as part of the workforce and “bottom up”, encouraging all employees, members and allies, to be actively involved. A recent initiative around ethnicity pay gap reporting has provided the opportunity to further the dialogue in relation to data capture. At the same time, he is a mentor to managers and professionals, helping manage their careers within the IBM Corporation.

Ajay is passionate about intersectionality, and the BAME Employee Network successfully collaborates with other minority network groups to collaborate and deliver a consistent message with greater impact. IBM has been recognised for openly embracing the diversity agenda, which has provided Ajay several external opportunities including being a reverse mentor to the prior director general of the House of Commons, delivering lectures, as well as sitting on panels on the importance of ethnic minority inclusion.

Additionally, he is a trustee of OneKindAct, a charity granting c.20% of funds to support education needs, and 80% of funds in Asian/African continents. He is currently working on harmonising momentum with major corporates to deliver a more significant and sustainable impact in the UK, by sharing experiences and increased collaboration around BAME, people with disabilities, gender and LGBT.

73. Oliemata O’donoghue - HSBC UK regional director, Premier Network

HSBC UK's Oliemata O’donoghue
HSBC UK's Oliemata O’donoghue

Oliemata sponsors the BAME “Embrace Network” and has worked alongside colleagues to drive a strong agenda around “Attract, Grow and Engage” of BAME and non-BAME colleagues.

In this role, she has promoted discussions about race in the workplace, led panel and listening events and career enhancing workshops. She also undertakes reverse mentoring and coaches colleagues to achieve their career aspirations. In her current role as regional director and sponsor for all things inclusivity, Oliemata has supported many BAME colleagues to ensure that there is a strong talent pool of BAME candidates internally and externally for senior leadership appointments. Externally, Oliemata has volunteered as part of a mentoring programme that coaches and supports undergraduates from ethnic minority backgrounds.

She also mentors young adults as part of The Prince’s Trust mosaic programme, and hosted over 100 students in the young enterprise challenge finals. She leverages her position and influences by supporting and influencing colleagues to take part in the Business in the Community unemployment circle mentoring programme and was recently invited to the Houses of Parliament alongside her colleagues as a recognition for the success of this programme. She also coaches and supports women of BAME backgrounds who are in middle management and have high potential to reach directorship levels and also Women Entrepreneurs, using her skills and experience she has gathered over the years as a business area manager and experience in supporting women in business.

Oliemata has recently completed the board readiness programme and is looking to use her experience in the capacity of non-executive director in the education and charity sector. She is also very proud that the Embrace Network won an award last year in the investing in ethnicity awards 2018, as well as being nominated in the Green Park top 100 BAME Leaders in Business list 2018.

74. Anit Chandarana - Network Rail group director of Business Planning and Strategy

Network Rail's Anit Chandarana
Network Rail's Anit Chandarana

Anit is executive sponsor for the Cultural Fusion staff network, which aims to spread awareness of race issues in the company and to provide all employees a place to promote the opportunity bought by a diverse culture.

His specific role is to give mentorship and support to the team that run the network and to use his role as a one of the few senior ethnic leaders in the business to act as a role model. He has been nominated for internal awards, recognising his inclusive leadership style and diversity activities.

Externally, he has used his place on last year’s EMpower list as a platform to speak on ethnic minority diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. He has been invited to speak at various events on how to overcome discrimination in the workplace, and what organisations can do to make their workplace more inclusive to ethnic minorities.

Recently, he has been appointed as a NED of the East London NHS Foundation Trust. Anit took a deliberate decision to target this sector after identifying that this essential national entity does not adequately represent the populations that it serves.

75. Donna Herdsman - Former Emergn client partner

Donna Herdsman
Donna Herdsman

As a client partner, Donna is at the heart of creating long-term relationships based on trust, thereby enabling an environment where the {Emergn} team can do their best work. As the most senior person of colour, Donna’s initial priority has been on leveraging her experience of working at a senior level in large corporations, to the benefit of one that is on a journey of growth.

Donna is a leader in business growth, working with both sales and delivery on a global scale (USA,UK, Russia and Latvia). She has also been asked to play a central role, working with the rest of the team, in driving the recruitment initiative and thereby acting as a role model by focusing on the value that people can bring, and in alignment with providing leadership, guidance and purpose to the client teams.

Donna is also a judge for the Black British Business Awards (and Women in Trade Awards). Donna has given numerous presentations on the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) and mentors BAME talent through various schemes. One of her mentees cited Donna’s inspiration in her creation of the BBB Awards. (Donna has recently left Emergn)

76. Ernest Nicolas - Rockwell Automation vice president of Global Supply Chain

Rockwell Automation's Ernest Nicolas
Rockwell Automation's Ernest Nicolas

As Rockwell Automation began its Culture of Inclusion (COI) Journey in 2007, Ernest was already busy diversifying his global teams and providing opportunities for people of colour. Following the company receiving the prestigious 2017 Catalyst Award, Ernest was asked to provide his unique perspective in a Bloomberg article entitled, “White Men Can Change at Rockwell Automation: A Common Sense Approach has Diversified the Workforce.”

Ernest also leveraged his influence and established the Black Executive Leadership Council for director and vice president level leaders at Rockwell and serves as the first executive advisor for the African American Professionals Network. As the first Rockwell Automation executive invited to join the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the preeminent membership global organisation for the development of black leaders, Ernest, in turn, introduced the ELC to the company to help continue to develop leaders whose impact would permeate throughout the company.

Additionally, he leads Rockwell Automation’s recruiting efforts at key national diversity engineering and tech conferences, such as the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE).

Ernest is regularly called upon by external organisations to help address diversity issues and consult on initiatives to help increase opportunities for people of colour. He is an advocate of building sustainable change on a local level, he served on the board of directors for the Milwaukee Chapter of Habitat for Humanity and is currently serving on board of directors for the Milwaukee Urban League as they usher in their centennial year of existence. A continual advocate for students of colour graduating from college, he regularly contributes to the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) through his financial and volunteer efforts.

77. Justin Onuekwusi - Legal & General Investment Management - fund manager, head of Retail Multi-Asset Funds

Legal & General Investment Management's Justin Onuekwusi
Legal & General Investment Management's Justin Onuekwusi

Justin is a fund manager at LGIM and a member of the Asset Allocation team which manages over £50 billion for pension schemes and savers throughout the world. He is the lead fund manager on the award-winning Multi-Index Funds.

Justin co-chairs the Legal & General Inclusion Team (LEGIT), which aims to create a culture that supports all of LGIM through networks and events across five key areas: leadership engagement, talent attraction and development, leadership development, marketing and communications and community engagement. He also chairs the Investment Diversity Working Group (IDWG), which focuses on driving inclusivity across the investment floor.

One initiative from the IDWG was working with HR and colleagues to create an entry-level recruitment scheme dedicated for the investment floor. As well as personally mentoring LGIM BAME members of staff, he runs a number of informal mentor sessions with BAME employees across the UK.

Externally, Justin is an adviser to the board of City Hive Ltd, which focuses on driving diversity initiatives throughout the asset management industry. In addition, he sits on the ethnicity workstream of the industry-wide Diversity Project forming part of the steering committee of the movement #talkaboutblack, which focuses on creating more black senior leaders in the asset management industry and beyond as well as addressing the taboo that surrounds conversations about ethnicity. In particular, Justin has been instrumental in creating the #tallaboutblack cross-industry mentoring groups, where senior investment professionals give new starters in the asset management industry career guidance and advice. He also acts as a regular speaker at events and in the media to promote diversity and inclusion.

78. Cecilia Harvey - Quant Network chief operating officer

Quant Network's Cecilia Harvey
Quant Network's Cecilia Harvey

As an outspoken advocate for gender and ethnic diversity, Cecilia works tirelessly to close the gender and racial gap while opening doors in the corporate technology sector.

During her time as COO of Citigroup Markets and Securities Services Technology, Cecilia launched Prometheus, an initiative to develop the female talent pipeline to achieve leadership positions, serving as an African American role model in her own right.

She is founder and chair of Tech Women Today, a platform that showcases women in technology and a resource for women who want to be leaders and increase their influence in the workplace. Cecilia also consults with companies to help them identify and attract talent from BAME backgrounds, and has been featured in Precious, women of colour magazine and Kontrol magazine.

She is an active spokeswoman on the subject of ethnic diversity across the tech industry and multiple organisations. She has participated in a WonderWomenTech talk about BAME inclusion in technology and the importance of diversity, and was chairperson of the Women of the Square Mile Conference for women who work in finance.

79. Sabrina Lynch - Exposure Head of Culture

Exposure's Sabrina Lynch
Exposure's Sabrina Lynch

Sabrina passionately spearheads opportunities and initiatives that open doors to a new generation of BAME professionals. At Zeno Group, she was the first Black female executive in the agency’s New York office co-leading the consumer marketing practice under the New York MD and became a mentor to junior BAME employees.

She lobbied for and founded the first ever diversity and inclusion council, presenting the case for its establishment, writing the mission statement, the council’s responsibilities, convening members across the US network and was the chairperson – overseeing ideation and execution of the council's activities. Sabrina organised workshops for staff with D&I experts to build awareness of governmental policies and societal movements that are impacting staff and the public the group are in service to.

Externally, Sabrina is an Adjunct Professor at Manhattan College teaching Advanced Communications and Strategic Planning to students. Sabrina was handpicked by Fordham University to facilitate its Leadership Communications Lab, creating rigorous exam settings to prepare business graduate students for the workforce; in addition to giving talks with BAME students at the University of East London.

She is also a member of the Taylor Bennett Foundation, mentoring young BAME professionals on their career trajectories, and is a contributor to HuffPost, Forbes, CultureBanx and PR Week, providing insights on important issues affecting people of colour today.

80. Sarah Nelson - Sainsbury’s head of Finance

Sainsburys' Sarah Nelson
Sainsburys' Sarah Nelson

This year, Sarah has built on her success as founder of Sainsbury’s BAME network by growing members from 400 to over 1,200 and has refreshed the strategic agenda of the network, engaging operating board members and senior management, while ensuring the diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda continues to progress across the business.

She organised and hosted the first intersectional event at Sainsbury’s (Diversity within Diversity) celebrating LGBT colleagues of colour, increasing awareness and creating a lasting and visible partnership between the LGBT and BAME networks.

She has created a popular and impactful corporate BAME quiz, leading to more open discussion of BAME topics and organised and led two senior management and line manager engagement sessions for over 80 directors, senior managers and line managers, aiming to engage them on the strategic objectives and role of the BAME network.

Outside of Sainsbury’s, Sarah continues to mentor and coach individuals from her BAME mentoring circles and speaks at external events to provide guidance and share her experiences and insights, including engagements at local schools during Black History Month.

81. Shanika Amarasekara - British Business Bank general counsel & company secretary

British Business Bank's Shanika Amarasekara
British Business Bank's Shanika Amarasekara

As general counsel and company secretary at the British Business Bank, Shanika was a founding member of the bank. She was the first ethnic minority member of the senior leadership team, was instrumental in establishing the organisation’s diversity & inclusion (D&I) group.

She has also ensured that as the bank has grown, the senior leadership team and board membership have good representation of individuals who are from an ethnic minority background. Shanika is spearheading a drive for suppliers to have to provide diversity data as part of their tender process, in particular in the area of suppliers of legal services who are currently under represented by ethnic minorities in senior positions.

As a board member of the London Legacy Development Corporation and London Stadium, Shanika is responsible for ensuring that the legacy of the Olympic Park in East London and development which takes place within the park is inclusive of local communities, which is significantly represented by ethnic minorities. She frequently speaks at legal community events as a senior leader and an ethnic minority role model.

Shanika also works with the law society’s D&I agenda, with the civil service recruitment team to encourage more EM applicants, with the Mayor of London’s D&I programme and with a number of universities to promote graduates from ethnic minority and underprivileged backgrounds to progress into careers in financial services.

82. Jose Ramon Gonzalez - QBE North America chief legal officer

QBE North America's Jose Ramon Gonzalez
QBE North America's Jose Ramon Gonzalez

As a member of QBE NA’s Executive Committee and the most senior Latino employee in the organisation, Jose applies his unique role and perspective to promote the interests of QBENA’s diverse employees in multiple ways.

Jose advocates for increased representation of minority communities within QBENA’s senior ranks as well as appropriate development opportunities for diverse employees. He also serves as a role model, sounding board, and senior management point of contact for all of QBENA’s diverse employees, served as the executive sponsor for QBENA’s Multicultural & Inclusive Xtension (MIX) for approximately two years, and remains active in MIX as an advisor.

Jose additionally oversees QBENA’s partnership with the City Bar of New York, offering internships to law students of colour, a programme Jose benefited from as a law student. Externally, Jose serves as vice chair of the LatinoJustice PRLDEF, which focuses on using the law to promote Latino causes throughout the United States. He also serves on the Senior Leadership Council, New York (SLC-NY) of the Association of Latino Professionals For America, and on the Advisory Network of the Latino Donor Collaborative.

Jose is part of the AdvanceLaw GC network’s mentorship program to associates and is included in New York Law Journal’s 2019 New York Trailblazers list for his role as a changemaker and in this year’s Legal 500 GC Powerlist United States, identifying the most influential and innovative in-house counsel.

83. Carey Mendes - BP head of Executive Office, Group CFO

BP's Carey Mendes
BP's Carey Mendes

Carey served as a board member of BP America’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Council and as executive sponsor for two of BP’s employee business resource groups, Energía (Hispanic) and the BP African American Network and is also actively involved in the Positively Ethnic Network (PEN). These organisations empower employees, encourage cultural fluency and drive a focus on D&I.

He is also a mentor and sponsor to numerous minority employees to help drive their development. He participates in regular roundtable discussions with employees at all levels to seek feedback on how to be more inclusive.

Externally, Carey is active in the community, including representing BP’s and his own passion for D&I as a 2017 Chicago United Business Leader of Colour.

He encourages active BP engagement in diverse local schools, exemplified through their recognition as 2017 Corporation of the Year by Working in the Schools (WITS). He also pioneered a BP partnership with Howard University to encourage recruitment of African American employees.

84. Cindy Rampersaud - Pearson senior vice president - BTEC & Apprenticeships

Pearson's Cindy Rampersaud
Pearson's Cindy Rampersaud

Cindy is one of two executive sponsors that initiated the establishment of a new employee group at Pearson called PRIME for BAME colleagues, and mentors a number of people across all levels including BAME staff both within Pearson and externally.

Cindy is passionate about the role of education in helping individuals make progress and she made a conscious decision to move into education in 2011 after mentoring a BAME teacher as part of a Teach First programme when she took up the role of deputy principal at City & Islington College. In 2016 she was appointed as deputy further education commissioner by the Department for Education.

Currently she is responsible for the development of Pearson’s UK technical and vocational qualifications, supporting over one million learners annually from a diverse cross section of society including both young people and adults from a BAME background. She has focused on repositioning the BTEC brand to align it clearly to the future of skills and careers. The current marketing campaign, “BTEC Works,” focuses on careers in industries covering robotics, creatives and health with individuals from diverse backgrounds including BAME in marketing videos, social media campaign and telling aspirational, positive stories of personal journeys.

Cindy is active in ensuring Pearson engage with high profile BAME BTEC alumni as role models and she also works with HR to identify talent and partners with expertise in reaching BAME talent. Cindy was a member of the Commission on Sustainable Learning and she sits on the board of the Speakers Trust, a charity that helps unlock potential through communication, The Royal College for Psychiatrists and is an honorary lifetime member of The Children's Society.

85. Julia Brown - Carnival Corporation chief procurement officer

Carnival Corporation's Julia Brown
Carnival Corporation's Julia Brown

Julia has created a highly diverse leadership team at Carnival Corporation by hiring and promoting people of colour.

Her direct staff is over 40% people of colour and that percentage is continued at deeper levels. As the most senior woman of African descent at Carnival Corporation & plc, she has purposefully and intentionally built a diverse leadership team through hiring and promoting from within.

Julia’s team is known for having driven transformational results to the company and is recognised internally and externally within the cruising industry.

She has been recognised in Black Enterprise’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, and in their Top 100 leaders in Corporate America, in addition to being recognised in Savoy Magazine’s Top 100 Leaders in Corporate America.

86. Gian Power - TLC Lions founder and CEO

TLC Lions' Gian Power
TLC Lions' Gian Power

As founder and CEO, Gian has placed inclusion at the core of TLC Lions. On induction and joining the company, joiners share their stories to provide others with an understanding of what it's like to “be in my shoes.”

The company has had internal get-togethers to discuss BAME and held events with companies such as AXA, Lloyd's, PwC, Deloitte, Just Eat and Hyatt on this topic globally. The outcome of these efforts has been a more welcoming and open culture, staff speaking up about challenges at home as well as feeling confident to bring their own cultures to the workplace. Gian has created a safe space for his team to speak to each other regardless of background and encouraged empathy and emotions to be displayed and shown as a strength.

Externally, Gian has supported Alzheimers Society during a dinner discussing mental health in the South Asian community, and joined the advisory board of This Can Happen, a mental health conference opened by Prince William in 2018, to ensure these discussions are continued. He also provided the content for the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards in the Grosvenor House focusing on the story of a man of colour.

Gian has spoken globally on the topic of culture to ensure it is widespread, and not confined to the UK. He has also spoken in schools across the country around ethnicity to ensure that BAME young people entering the workplace are encouraged and inspired.

87. Sujata Bhatia - American Express senior vice president for Merchant Services, Europe

American Express's Sujata Bhatia
American Express's Sujata Bhatia

Sujata is committed to ensuring American Express is a place where colleagues of all nationalities, backgrounds and beliefs can grow and thrive.

Early in her career, Sujata was a co-founder of the Black and Asian Employee Network in Europe whose mission is to support and raise American Express’ culturally diverse profile for and with colleagues with an interest in BAME communities. More recently, she co-led inclusive leadership training sessions for all European VPs.

Sujata is also a leading supporter of women of all colours at American Express. She serves as chair of the Executive Women’s Interest Network (Exec WIN) Committee in London, which runs an ambitious program of events related to ambition, leadership and community. Sujata led the planning of American Express’ International Women’s Day 2019 celebration in the UK and participated on a panel of senior female leaders to discuss the importance of achieving gender balance.

She also serves as a sponsor and mentor to many colleagues of diverse ethnic backgrounds. Sujata is active in the South Asian community, and works with organisations that encourage Indians to get involved in politics, make their voices heard and make their marks on their communities. She is also involved in several charities in India focused on providing medical and educational services to rural Indians.

88. Manroop Singh Khela - Santander chief transformation officer

Santander's Manroop Singh Khela
Santander's Manroop Singh Khela

Manroop is an executive sponsor of the ethnic minority colleague network, Ethnicity@Work, and regularly mentors young internal ethnic minority talent.

He is an internal speaker on diversity & inclusion (D&I), sharing advice on creating more inclusive work spaces and driving the ethnic minority inclusion agenda in Santander.

Outside of Santander, Manroop is a member of the BITC Race Leadership team and promotes visible ethnic minority role models in business through mentoring.

He has a focus on diversity intersections, especially ethnicity and LGBT+.

89. Bansi Nagji - McKesson Corporation EVP and chief strategy & business development officer

McKesson Corporation's Bansi Nagji
McKesson Corporation's Bansi Nagji

As a visible senior executive with a diverse cultural background, Bansi uses his own story to illustrate the potential career progression available to all people in the workplace.

He also makes himself available as a mentor to all employees, particularly ethnic minority people and women, to help them understand and navigate their particular challenges. As the most senior ethnic minority executive at McKesson and a member of its Executive Committee, he is a core member of McKesson’s Chairman’s Diversity Council, which is responsible for the enterprise’s diversity strategy.

Externally, Bansi makes himself available for career advice, and regularly speaks about his own experience as a successful member of an ethnic minority. He is member of the campaign board of INSEAD, and is particularly interested in personally sponsoring scholarships there for ethnic minority people.

He was named as one of the Top 50 Multicultural Leaders in Technology by the California Diversity Council in 2017 and has been recognised by many other organisations, including by EMpower in 2018.

90. Sonia Sng - Intuit director of Business Operations

Intuit's Sonia Sng
Intuit's Sonia Sng

Driven by her upbringing in Singapore, Sonia has a lifelong appreciation for multicultural environments and has led globally diverse teams around the world.

During the 17+ years she was at Visa, she championed a host of diversity & inclusion (D&I) initiatives to counter potential biases. In 2017, she co-hosted a Visa volunteer event with Peninsula College Fund to help low-income ethnic minority students navigate the journey from college to career. She was also the co-chair for Visa Women’s Network in 2017, and up until April 2018 when she joined Intuit.

Sonia now sits on the steering committee of Intuit’s Women Network and she is determined to continue her diversity work at Intuit and is committed to building a pipeline of diverse talent.

Externally, she mentors individuals with diverse backgrounds, including payment professionals around the world, women from the charities and social enterprises sector around the world, and ethnic minority talent in tech, to help them fulfil their potential and reminding them they are worthy. In June 2018, Sonia joined the board of SPARC Initiative, a non-profit in San Francisco, focused on empowering the next generation of young leaders, especially those from underprivileged and underrepresented backgrounds, to catalyse and achieve their dreams through project-based learning and mentorship.

91. Kam Pooni - Glyconics CEO

Glyconics' Kam Pooni
Glyconics' Kam Pooni

At Glyconics, Kam’s team have always embraced a diverse hiring and inclusivity policy, to ensure that the business was culturally diverse from the outset.

The company culture is focused on working together to successfully create a product that benefits the patient. Team member equality is the mantra at Glyconics and they have embedded diversity and fairness into their everyday company life from hiring, meeting etiquette and even reward and recognition schemes. As a result, Glyconics have reaped the rewards in terms of speed of product development, fundraising, achieving external recognition and becoming a top company described within the industry as ‘one to watch’ within a short timeframe.

Externally, Kam mentors young BAME entrepreneurs at Qincubator, an inclusive community for future founders at Queen Mary’s University. He also mentors at Accelerate Cambridge, a University of Cambridge start-up ‘accelerator’ established by Cambridge Judge Business School for entrepreneurial talent development and commercialisation of new ideas.

In addition, Kam provides advice and coaching through his personal consultancy, Yellow Planet Consulting to fellow CEOs and those requiring support with starting up their business. Kam is a firm believer in sharing the knowledge and experience he has gained over the years to ‘give back’ to others.

92. Dr Bijna Dasani - Lloyds Banking Group head of Architecture and Innovation

Lloyds Banking Group's Dr Bijna Dasani
Lloyds Banking Group's Dr Bijna Dasani

Bijna has been serving as a member of Lloyds’ REACH (Inclusion and Diversity (D&I) SteerCo) for three years, since she has been with Lloyds.

Bijna has brought in external relationships to establish new ways of working and to 'break barriers' internally, promoting a culture whereby colleagues can bring their authentic selves to work.

This includes serving on various LBG panels internally and as a mentor and speaker for various events. She is also recognised by Lloyds as one of their Top 100 BAME Role Models (for the second consecutive year).

Externally, she is an advisory board member for the Inclusive Companies Network (for the second consecutive year) and judge for the Inclusive Companies Awards (for the third consecutive year), promoting benchmarks for inclusivity across sectors and regions for people of BAME backgrounds. Bijna also judges and speaks for various D&I initiatives globally to promote the agenda.

93. April Crichlow - SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass VP of Global Customer & Ecosystem Marketing

SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass' April Crichlow
SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass' April Crichlow

To truly drive an inclusive culture within SAP Ariba and SAP Fieldglass, April is instrumental in aligning business goals with HR goals, and has helped push an innovative diversity initiative.

Through a variety of diversity and progression programmes, she has set targets for diversity representation with the organisation, to be reached by 2022. She has also worked to promote supplier risk and supplier diversity solutions that help SAP Ariba buyer and supplier customers support ethnic-owned and women-owned businesses.

Externally, April mentors and coaches young future business leaders through a variety of community projects aimed at students from ethnic minority backgrounds. April serves on the board of GiveClear, and has served on the board of Liberty Foundation, and served for 2 years as the lead of Visionaries, the business community of Liberty Church in NYC.

In these roles she mentored, coached and supported business people in both the entrepreneurial fields and corporate functions. April is regularly asked to speak on gender and ethnic pay parity, and often appears in the media discussing the importance of diversity & inclusion (D&I).

94. Rajesh Gupta - Sainsbury’s Bank head of Trading for Argos Financial Services

Sainsbury's Bank's Rajesh Gupta
Sainsbury's Bank's Rajesh Gupta

Rajesh has chaired the BAME + Allies network for the last four years, celebrating diversity, increasing development opportunities to achieve equal representation in management positions while reflecting our diverse customer base and driving retail success.

He was instrumental in setting up the network and in getting board sponsorship around the network’s objectives, and he has developed BAME-specific mentoring schemes with director-level sponsorship. With the help of the BAME network, Sainsbury’s continues to create a more welcoming environment by celebrating diversity very visibly. From developing engaging and educational content, to using Yammer internally to create discussion and highlighting ethnic minority role models, through to celebrating important cultural occasions, such as Diwali and Chinese New Year and attending this year’s Black Pride, the network actively engages with the business around a variety of topics such as the need for diverse recruitment pools and the need to measure BAME recruitment and retention statistics.

They also hold an annual BAME conference, attended by members of the board, to discuss the importance of BAME inclusion and methods for increasing diversity.

Externally, Rajesh operates within an informal network for accomplished BAME professionals and regularly attends BAME networking events in London organised by various thought leadership groups to share his experience and learn from what others are doing.

95. Kalpana Shah - RiverStone Managing Agency, RiverStone Insurance, Asta & Unitas chairman and non-executive director

RiverStone Managing Agency's Kalpana Shah
RiverStone Managing Agency's Kalpana Shah

Kalpana is a financial services non-executive director sitting on the boards of RiverStone and Asta, and a highly visible member of the 30% Club.

She is a fellow of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries and is currently a committee member of both their non-executive directors MIG and non-executive directors guidance working party. She is also a senior liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Insurers and a freeman of the City of London. Kalpana is a regular speaker at a number of events for the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries and London Market Association.

She also speaks at schools and colleges supporting the Inspiring The Future campaign, focusing on the importance of advancing ethnic minority talent. Additionally, she has been a mentor and role model to ethnic minority colleagues throughout her career, becoming part of the Slaughter and May mentoring programme.

Kalpana was a member of the working group for the inaugural Dive In Festival at Lloyds, and a founder member of the diversity & inclusion (D&I) steering committee at Hiscox.

96. Rory Campbell - The John Lewis Partnership Partnership registrar

The John Lewis Partnership's Rory Campbell
The John Lewis Partnership's Rory Campbell

Rory has played an active role in championing and creating more inclusive workplaces for a number of years, most recently through mentoring ethnic minorities in the John Lewis Partnership, sponsoring one of their inclusion networks, informally advising senior leaders on their approach to inclusion, establishing a reverse mentoring initiative, and talking both internally and externally on matters of relevance to inclusive workplaces – engagement, inclusion and mental health.

Outside his immediate workplace, Rory is a formal member of a number of external groups that seek to better enable people to “bring their whole selves” to work.

Through these communities, Rory undertakes speaking engagements, mentoring and networking with a focus on social change. Noting that BAME groups living in the UK are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health problems and yet are also less likely to engage with mainstream mental health services, he has enjoyed the opportunity to speak at industry and business conferences on the topic of diversity and inclusion (D&I), and mental health.

Over the coming year, he is looking to work with charities and community interest groups that address themes that are of particular importance to BAME communities.

97. Jennifer Williams - Fox News channel executive producer

Fox News' Jennifer Williams
Fox News' Jennifer Williams

Jennifer’s program, The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino, pushes back on simplistic explanations of partisan division and instead supports narratives that tell real stories about real people.

As a Seneca Indian, Jennifer prioritises nurturing relationships with people of colour in earlier stages of their careers. She also does a lot of charitable work in the area of disability, and is currently raising and training a service dog. She is passionate about educating the public on how to interact with someone with a disability, and produces a weekly blog about her work with Canine Companions.

Externally, Jennifer provides mentorship and guidance to young individuals of colour, including those from the Cattaraugus reservation outside of Buffalo, New York. She is also a member of an Al-Anon and regularly attends to discuss her family’s struggles with alcoholism, which is pervasive in Native American communities.

Through this, she connects with and mentors others who struggle with alcoholism in their families, many of whom are from BAME backgrounds.

98. Sanjeev Sharma - M&G Real Estate chief property portfolio officer

M&G Real Estate's Sanjeev Sharma
M&G Real Estate's Sanjeev Sharma

Sanjeev is an executive sponsor for the real estate business on diversity and inclusion (D&I) including M&G Group's Cultural Awareness Network and is an ally in M&G's LGBT Network.

Recently, he wrote an article for M&G Group on International Women's Day on the importance of gender equality. He extensively promotes the BAME agenda within the organisation, including chairing debates on topics with external speakers such as lack of diversity on UK Boards (Parker Review). He has been involved in D&I initiatives for over 25 years including Race for Opportunity, the National Mentoring Consortium as a mentor, where he has received three awards for his dedicated service, and various other D&I initiatives.

He is also on the management committee of Real Estate Balance, which seeks to address gender and broader diversity imbalance in senior positions in the sector. Sanjeev participated in the Deloitte Academy BAMEs on Board Programme for 2018, chairs meetings promoting D&I for the People in Property Network, and participated 2018's Dive In Festival video "Awareness into Action" as a D&I champion within M&G.

Additionally, Sanjeev is a regular speaker at external events on D&I and specifically the need for businesses to focus on ethnic minority considerations. On 9 May 2019 Sanjeev was appointed Non-Executive Director for Urban & Civic plc.

99. Hina Nagarajan - Diageo managing director of Africa Emerging Markets

Diageo's Hina Nagarajan
Diageo's Hina Nagarajan

As managing director for Africa Emerging Markets at Diageo, Hina has the opportunity to lead one of Diageo’s most dynamic and culturally diverse regions including Ethiopia, Cameroon, Mozambique, Angola, Ghana and more.

The role is a natural platform for her to role model diversity and inclusion (D&I) by giving respect to all and treating everyone as a member of the large Diageo Africa Emerging Markets team. It is Hina’s mission to inspire and mobilise those she works with to deliver high performance standards, realise their full potential and be recognised within the larger Diageo ecosystem. She works with her leadership teams to create powerful opportunities for people to demonstrate their capabilities, potential and then highlight their achievements and talent to the Diageo executive to give them career progression.

She supports many BAME colleagues through mentoring, which she extends beyond Diageo through Menttium, a cross company corporate mentoring platform for high potential future female Asian leaders. In India, Hina was on the national and regional boards of AMCHAM driving advocacy for companies providing part time opportunities to Indian women.

In Malaysia, she was involved with TalentCorp, an agency that works with the government to attract, nurture and retain the right talent to enable Malaysia to reach its potential, helping raise career aspirations of local talent. In China, Hina was an active member of Women for Women, which meets to discuss barriers at work for Asian senior women and how to overcome them.

100. Gail Peterson - Ecolab VP Global Marketing

Ecolab's Gail Peterson
Ecolab's Gail Peterson

Gail founded the Black Leaders Forum at Ecolab, a group of black directors and above whose purpose is to raise courageous truths about the experience of black employees throughout the organisation.

The insights this group has provided have been invaluable in enhancing Ecolab’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) practices, improving the connection between black employees and top executives, and has even become a sounding board for non-D&I specific initiatives well before implementation. She is also a member on Ecolab’s executive D&I council, with the influence and power to help move the organisation in an accelerated way towards their desired end goal.

Through this work the council has reshaped ERG leaders as a truly differential development opportunity, helped retool recruiting and interview practices, and provided oversight to ensure the company is making progress against key leading and lagging metrics in the day to day practices of business groups.

Externally, Gail participated in the 2019 rites of passage cohort, sharing stories and tips on how to best manage a personal brand to 15 promising black high school seniors. Additionally, she serves on the board of the Minnesota Children’s Museum (MCM), where she is helping to promote a D&I agenda, removing barriers to museum access. She has also been part of many outreach efforts to ensure diverse communities in Minneapolis and Saint Paul are aware of what the museum has to offer for their families.

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