Diversity & inclusion60 min read

UK’s Most Influential D&I Leaders – 2020

2020 has been a transformative year for many of us. That’s especially true for those of us working in the diversity and inclusion space.

We’ve been faced with a continuing global pandemic which led first to budget cuts, redundancies, entire D&I strategies being turned upside down, and in some scenarios D&I leaders being asked to take on new responsibilities like acting as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the organization.

Then, we experienced a surge of interest in the work of diversity and inclusion departments, budgets being replenished, and a spotlight on the need for diversity leaders in the C-suite. Sparked by the tragic killing of George Floyd and increased momentum behind the Black Lives Matter movement, we saw calls for organizations to commit to dismantling systemic barriers and becoming anti-racist.

The work of D&I leaders has been catapulted into the spotlight, and in many cases, already lean D&I teams have been placed under additional pressure to do more with less.

Nevertheless, the work of D&I leaders has never been more valued and more important.

We’d like to take a moment to salute each and every one of you and celebrate the innovative and important work you’ve been doing not only this year but for years previously to help us create long-lasting change and a more equitable world.

After all, what we learn at work we take back to the dinner table.

Organizations simply cannot pay lip service to DEI. It’s clear that new, improved and equitable processes need to be woven into the fabric of our businesses and the time to act is now.

At Hive Learning, we are firm believers that tapping into the power and wisdom of our peers helps us all make progress faster. That’s why we are delighted to share this list of the Most Influential D&I Leaders in the UK for 2020.

These are those people you should follow on LinkedIn, keep an eye out for in panel sessions, and soak up every nugget of wisdom you can from.

The list that we’ve curated is in no way exhaustive and includes just some of the D&I leaders whose work has inspired us in the past year.

We plan to continuously expand this list and keep it current so if you have any suggestions for those all-important ‘ones to watch’, we’d love to hear from you!

Check out our list below (in alphabetic order) to learn more about the most influential D&I leaders you should follow in 2020.

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Amanda McCalla-Leacy

Global Managing Director — Inclusion and Diversity, Accenture
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Amanda Leacy, Top D&I Leaders listAmanda is the Global Managing Director for Inclusion & Diversity at Accenture. At Accenture, Amanda built leadership support from the very top and used innovation to drive change.

Why them?

Under Amanda’s leadership, Accenture made a very public commitment to achieving 50% women by 2025 and has seen the number of women rise from 115,000 to 190,000. They launched the powerful #InclusionStartsWithI campaign to continue the conversation about the importance of a positive, inclusive world and work environment. The campaign has already engaged more than a million people around the globe.

Under Amanda’s leadership, Accenture was also ranked #1 on the Thomson-Reuters Diversity & Inclusion index, and Global Company of the Year by Stonewall.

We recently sat down with Amanda to chat about some of the actions they’re taking to help create lasting change around the Black Lives Matter movement. We especially loved hearing how Amanda and Accenture are helping to increase accountability by publishing their ethnicity data for 2020, which they hope will inspire other businesses to come together.

Asif Sadiq

Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Adidas
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asif sadiq, top D&I leaders list

Asif is a Multi-Award-Winning Diversity and Inclusion expert with over 15 years’ experience. They are currently the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Adidas.
Formerly, Asif was the Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at The Telegraph, as well as the Head of Diversity and Inclusiveness for EY Financial Services and the Head of the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Unit for the City of London Police.

Why them?

Asif has received a number of accolades for their work that include the Mosaic (Prince’s Trust) Award for mentoring, Police Officer of the Year Award, the Civil Servant of the Year Award, the prestigious Asian Professional Award, and the highly commended Head of Diversity Award at the European Diversity Awards. Asif was honored in 2017 in the Queen’s birthday honors list with an MBE for their services to Policing and the Communities and is a member of the HR Guild, The Worshipful Company of Security Professionals, and is a Freeman of the City.

Listen to Asif’s interview with Inclusion Works where they talk on the need the importance of “belonging” in your workplace diversity and inclusion program to ensure that you’re not isolating particular groups. Listen to the full podcast here.

Candice Cross

Global Director of Talent, BRITVIC
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Candice-Cross, top d&I leaders list

Candice is a widely renowned Leadership, Diversity and Inclusion, Talent, and OD expert with over 20 years’ experience in the development and delivery of leadership, talent and transformational people programs; with a special interest in applied neuroscience and inclusion.

Why them?

Candice is a Multi-Award-Winning Diversity and Inclusion expert with a proven track record in adding value, delivering results at pace, and converting comprehensive strategy into action, helping not only deliver the leadership, talent, diversity and inclusion objectives but driving the strategic business objectives.

Dan Robertson

Director, Vercida Consulting

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Dan Robertson, top D&I leaders list

Dan is a Diversity and Organisational Development specialist with substantial experience across the public and private sector. Dan is currently the Director of Vercida Consulting which provides industry-leading strategic insight to improve diversity, inclusion, and accessibility within international business.

Why them?

Widely regarded as a subject matter expert on workplace diversity and inclusion, unconscious bias, and inclusive leadership, Dan sits as an advisor to The Lord Mayor of London’s Power of Diversity program (London) and ICEDR’s QUEST program: Supporting early-career women (Boston, USA). Dan has published a number of publications to their credit such as “The Long Road to Inclusivity: Published in Beyond 2015”, “Shaping the Future of Equality, Human Rights and Social Justice”, and “A Collection of Essays: Equality & Diversity Research Network”.

Daniel Danso

Global Diversity Manager, Linklaters
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daniel danso, top D&I leaders listDaniel is the Global Diversity Manager at the law firm Linklaters, in charge of leading the firm’s D&I strategy for nearly 30 of its global offices.

Why them?

During Daniel’s time at Linklaters, the firm has developed its first global diversity and inclusion strategy, increased female representation at board level to 42%, launched a global LGB&T initiative and increased the firm’s D&I activity from 7% to 90% in just three years. Daniel has also made an impact outside of the firm by writing and producing the 2011 Workplace Equality Index (WEI) as well as starting LGB&T rights organizations in Australia and the Republic of Ireland.

Daniel recently took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on how Linklaters are harnessing the power of the Black Lives Matter movement to create lasting change by ensuring senior buy-in.

Fiona Daniel

CEO & Founder, FD2I

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Fiona is the CEO and founder of FD2I as well as the co-founder of the Black Leaders Network and Inclusive CEOs. Previously, Fiona was the Head of Diversity & Inclusion at HSBC UK, where they grew and lead the global diversity and inclusion agenda.

Why them?

Fiona has been active in the diversity and inclusion world for over 25 years. Starting as a side desk activity whilst at HSBC, growing to become an expert in the field. Fiona is an award-winning practitioner, mentor, D&I innovator, inspirational speaker and thought leader, who is passionate about people and inclusion. They also sit on the UN Women National Committee UK.

Fiona has been working hard to highlight the work of black leaders and of allies through their work with the Black Leaders Network. Fiona has provided a platform to help black leaders speak up, be visible and stand up for change and creating lasting change through actions brought about from the network.

Jackie Beer

Global Director of Diversity & Inclusion, BT
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jackie beer, top D&I leaders listJackie is the Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion at BT and leads the diversity and inclusion agenda across the organization.

Why them?

Jackie drives the creation of an inclusive environment at BT, encouraging the diversity of perspectives, skills and experiences to ensure everyone can flourish and be their best. Jackie has previously held roles as the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at London Underground, Ernst & Young as well as the Communications Director at the UK’s Equality and Human rights Commission.

Jayne-Anne Gadhia

Senior Advisor, Salesforce

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Jayne-Ann-Ghadia, top D&I leaders list

Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia is a senior advisor and former CEO of Salesforce UKI, as well as the Founder and Chair of the start-up Snoop. Best known for their tenure as chief executive of Virgin Money (2007-2018), Jayne-Anne is one of the most powerful women in finance in Britain.

Why them?

An advocate for gender diversity in business, in November 2016 Jayne-Anne was appointed as the UK Government’s Women in Finance Champion and in July 2017 they became a founder member of its Business Diversity and Inclusion Group. In 2018, Jayne-Anne was named Leader of the Year at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards. They were made a Dame in the 2019 New Year’s Honours list for their contribution to financial services and women in the finance industry.

Listen to Jayne-Anne’s interview with Inclusion Works here where they share their insights on how inclusion can not only add to employee happiness but how it can also have a positive impact economically.

Jennifer Smith

Head of Inclusion, British Film Institute (BFI)
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Jennifer Smith, top D&I leaders listJennifer is the Head of Inclusion at the British Film Institute, responsible for leading inclusion across all BFI activity identified in the BFI2022 five-year strategy.

Why them?

As well as building and implementing inclusion strategies across BFI, Jennifer has a track record of driving transformational change. They previously led on inclusion at Circle housing, moving the organization from 244th to 22nd place on the Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index as well as placing in the Race for Opportunity’s top ten BAME employers within the public sector.

Julie (Treadwell) Thomas

Director, Inclusion & Diversity, Coca-Cola European Partners

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julie treadwell thomas. top D&I leaders list

Julie leads Coca-Cola European Partners’ diversity, inclusion and wellbeing strategy. Julie was previously the Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing at Hogan Lovells, implementing a range of initiatives to attract and retain diverse talent at all levels across the firm’s practices, industry sectors and regions, with a particular focus on retention and career advancement.

Why them?

Julie is an award-winning diversity and inclusion leader who has expertise in gender equality, disability inclusion, mental health, LGBT+, and multi-cultural issues. In 2016, Julie received the WeAreTheCity Rising Star in Diversity award and in 2017 was recognized as one of the Top 50 Diversity Professionals in Industry.

Julie also took part in our pulse report sharing her insights on diversity fatigue and how to overcome it, highlighting the importance of inclusion allies and sharing stories to make actions more personal.

Julie Dennis

Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Acas

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julie dennis, top D&I leaders list

Julie is a Diversity and Inclusion specialist with over 16 years’ experience in the public and voluntary sector. They are currently leading on Diversity & Inclusion, HR Policy, Resourcing and Employee Health & Wellbeing at Acas. Julie is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and strives to create an environment where people can be themselves.

Why them?

Prior to joining Acas, Julie was Head of Diversity at the Land Registry, where their work on D&I was recognized repeatedly winning the department awards in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. In addition, Julie successfully ensured HMLR maintained its Stonewall Top 100 Employers Index position in 2016 & 2017. They are a Stonewall workplace ally and a champion for mental health awareness.

Kathryn Jacob

CEO, Pearl & Dean

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kathryn jacob, top D&I leaders list

Kathryn is CEO of Pearl & Dean and in their pre-cinema life worked in national newspapers, magazines, and radio.

Why them?

Kathryn sits on the board of Women’s Aid, the Development Board at RADA, the board of the Association of Colleges and the Council and Board of the Advertising Association. They’re on the Government Expert Group on Body Confidence. In 2016, Kathryn co-authored “The Glass Wall-success strategies for women at work and businesses that mean business” with Sue Unerman. Drawing on Unerman and Jacob’s own experience in male-dominated businesses, as well as over a hundred interviews with both men and women, The Glass Wall provides clear, smart and easy-to-apply strategies for success. Fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg praised the book for “empowering women”.

Listen to Kathryn’s interview with Inclusion Works here where they share their insights on success strategies for women at work and businesses who want to support them from their book “The Glass Wall“.

Katy Murray

Co-Founder, Catalyst Collective

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katy murray, top D&I leaders list

Katy is a speaker, writer, coach, facilitator, and catalyst who creates and resources a community of world-changing women and D+I leaders at Catalyst Collective.

Why them?

Katy is a co-founder of Catalyst Collective, a consultancy creating resources and community for leaders who want to shift the dial on diversity and inclusion, share their views on what’s wrong with our traditional models for measuring worker success. Katy is also the author of the powerful report Gender Pay Gap – What Next? where they provide a 10-step Action Plan to combat the gender pay gap.

Listen to Katy’s interview with Inclusion Works here where they share their views on what’s wrong with our traditional models for measuring worker success and how to reset the bar.

Kim Wylie

Global Director of People Development, Farfetch

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kim wylie, top D&I leaders list

Kim is an Ex-Googler and current Global Director of People Development / Organisational Culture at Farfetch. Kim is a regular keynote speaker and their insights are frequently published in Forbes and The Economist.

Why them?

In 2019, Kim was recognized by Drapers as one of the most influential HR Directors in Fashion. Kim is a guest lecturer on Innovation & Organisational Culture at London Business School & Imperial College London and is passionate about helping organizations achieve business and cultural transformation through the use of technology. They’re also a board advisor at Temporall – an Enterprise Software company that specializes in helping organizations measure and manage the ROI of Culture and Culture Analytics

Kim recently took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on how Farfetch are harnessing the power of the Black Lives Matter movement to create lasting change. We loved Kim’s thoughts on the desire to change being genuine and that desire to come from the top to help everyone to join the inclusion journey.

Lauren Von Stackelberg

Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity, Expedia Group

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Lauren Von Stackelburg, top D&I leaders list

Lauren joined Expedia Group in the newly created position of Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity in 2019. Lauren created and leads on the organization’s first company-wide inclusion and diversity team. Previously, Lauren spent a decade in finance at J.P. Morgan founding the Head of Female Client Strategy to support women-owned businesses.

Why them?

Lauren’s passion for people and entrepreneurship has led them to co-found CEO Action Inclusive Travel Sub-Group, founder of a micro-fund in Ghana and co-founder of the WealthiHer Network. Lauren’s work both in and out of the corporate world has led them to be named on the Forbes 30 under 20 and Management Today 35 under 35.

Lauren also took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on diversity fatigue and how to overcome it, highlighting the importance of reminding people that D&I is a journey and sharing the small steps can be monumental to the journey.

Liz Burton

Executive Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Morgan Stanley

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liz burton, top D&I leaders list

Liz is the Executive Director, Diversity & Inclusion at Morgan Stanley and was previously the Head of Global Inclusion and Diversity at GSK. At GSK, Liz helped define and activate their Global Inclusion and Diversity plans across the organization and provide subject matter expertise and guidance on GSK’s Global Inclusion and Diversity priorities.

Why them?

Under Liz’s leadership, GSK was recognized by INvolve for their work focusing on LGBT and inclusion. Liz takes pride in championing inclusion and diversity through GSK’s culture, values and the global policies they have in place to protect employees from discrimination on the grounds of their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Lucinda Wakefield

Head of Diversity and Inclusion, EMEA, BNY Mellon

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lucinda wakefield, top D&I leaders list

Lucinda is Director, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, EMEA at BNY Mellon.

Why them?

Throughout Lucinda’s three-year leadership of BNY Mellon’s largest business resource group, the Women’s Initiative Network, EMEA, they have been a visible and vocal advocate for diversity in the workplace. Lucinda has enabled 45 female employees to be mentored by external senior executives through the 30% Club Cross-Company Mentoring Scheme.

Lucinda blogs to raise awareness about significant political milestones that have furthered gender equality and on the importance of men’s involvement in our gender equality mission. In January 2018, BNY Mellon gave Lucinda a Spotlight Award for developing talent by supporting ex-Military Interns who went on to secure permanent roles with BNY Mellon. Lucinda has also been recognized for their contributions to gender diversity in the Financial Times (FT) & HERoes Champions of Women in Business 2018 lists.

Manisha Mehrotra

Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Bloomberg LP
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Manisha-Mehrotra - Hive Learning Most Influential D&I Leaders List

Manisha Mehrotra is a subject matter expert in Diversity and Inclusion, Communications and Organizational Change. Currently, Manisha is a Diversity and Inclusion Manager at Bloomberg where their primary responsibilities include the implementation of the Global Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Why them?

Manisha serves as Board Chair for Sakhi for South Asian Women, which exists to end violence against women. Manisha is also a mentor for Pencil and volunteers with several non-profit partners of Bloomberg. Manisha brings innovation and tenacity to designing and delivering strategic D&I solutions that drive organizational change.

Mark Lomas

Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, High Speed Two (HS2)

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Mark Lomas, D&I leaders list

Mark is a published author on the topic of Equality and Diversity having authored the Law Society E&D Risk & Compliance Toolkit which assists law firms to comply with regulation and is the co-author of research published for Arts Council England on Goal 5: Equality & Diversity for Young People in the arts.

Why them?

In January 2016, Mark took up the role as Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion for HS2. HS2 have won a number of EDI Awards including the 2017 ENEI Awards for Inclusive Procurement, Innovation with impact and Overall Public Sector Winner categories, four REACH Society awards for its work Inspiring Young BAME Individuals, Professional Role Models & Corporate Champions categories, The Apollo Award for Best Supplier Diversity Programme, the Women in Rail “Top Employer” 2018 award, ENEI Inclusive Procurement Award 2018, Gold Award for the ENEI TIDE benchmark, MSDUK Global Inclusive Procurement Award 2018 and the VERCIDA No.1 Gender Inclusive Employer in the UK 2018 and two RIDI 2019 Awards for Disability Confident Employer & Supply Chain management. HS2 is the first organization in the UK to reach GOLD standard against the Clear Assured Accreditation Framework.

Mark also took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on diversity fatigue and how to overcome it. We loved hearing how HS2’s leadership team have inclusion baked into their objectives.

Mark McLane

Head of Diversity and Inclusion, M&G Prudential

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mark mclane, top D&I leaders list

Mark McLane is Head Diversity, Inclusion and Wellness for M&G Prudential, an international savings and investments business with over 7 million customers across the UK, Europe, Asia, and the Americas.

Why them?

Mark is a commissioner for the UK Equalities and Human Rights Commission, a member of the Lord Mayor of London’s Appeal fundraising Board, and a past Master of the Guild of Human Resource Professionals. In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2019 Mark was recognized on the UK LGBT power list, the Financial Times 100 LGBT business leaders and named to the top 50 global Diversity Executives by the Economist.

Mitra Janes

Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion, RSA

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mitra janes, top D&I leaders list

Mitra is the current Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion at RSA and leads on the organization’s D&I strategy

Why them?

Mitra is passionate about D&I and is a firm believer in not only talking about it but being actionable. This is clear throughout all of RSA’s strategy, ensuring their employees have the resources to create impactful change throughout the organization.

Before joining RSA, Mitra previously worked as the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at DLA Piper where they led the implementation of the firm’s D&I strategy. Mitra helped develop D&I training for all regions, introduced resource groups and helped introduce more flexible working policies. Mitra has also been recognized on The Economist’s first-ever Global Diversity List as one of the top diversity professionals, as well as appearing on The Telegraph’s Global Diversity list.

Mitra recently took part in our latest pulse report where they shared their insights on how RSA is harnessing the power of the Black Lives Matter movement. Mitra highlighted the importance of being comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Nazreen Visram

Head of Charities and Citizenship, Barclays

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nazreen visram, top D&I leaders list

Nazreen joined Barclays in 2005 as a Relationship Director in the London Industry team, managing a portfolio of clients within the Retail and Wholesale sector. Their current role is Head of Charities and prior to that, Nazreen led a team of industry specialists, providing banking services to the Government, Healthcare, Charities and Education sectors.

Why them?

In 2016, Nazreen was a finalist for the Barclays Woman of the Year Award, shortlisted for an Asian Woman of Achievement Award in 2017 and listed in the Financial Times as a top 100 Ethnic Minority Role Model in 2018. Nazreen also co-chairs the Embrace Network, responsible for the multicultural diversity agenda. Nazreen is very passionate about championing and inspiring women.

Priscilla Baffour

Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Financial Times

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Priscilla Baffour, top D&I leaders list

Priscilla joined The Financial Times in January 2019 in the newly created role of Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion. Priscilla is responsible for driving diversity and inclusion at the Financial Times and has been the driving force behind the publication of the FT’s BAME pay gap report. Previously, they were the Head of Diversity and Inclusion at ITN where they pioneered work on the gender and BAME pay gap reports whilst also overseeing the organization’s diversity and inclusion strategies.

Why them?

Priscilla’s work goes beyond just their day-to-day role at the Financial Times. Priscilla has led a number of diversity initiatives within the media industry at companies like the BBC, ITV and News International. Priscilla was also named one of the top eight BAME workplaces Heroes in 2018 at the Investing in Ethnicity Awards.

Rachel Osikoya

Director, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Maersk Group

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rachel osikoya, to D&I leaders list

Rachel is the Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Maersk, a global transportation and logistics company.

Why them?

In addition to their corporate roles, Rachel served as a lay member for the Equality and Diversity Committee for the Bar Standards Board and as a patron for the student NGO Elevation Network. Rachel is currently a member of the Conference Board’s Global Centre for Diversity and Inclusion’s Advisory board

Rachel also took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on diversity fatigue and how to overcome it.

Reena Chawla

Co-Chair, Cultural Diversity Network, Fujitsu

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reena chawla, top D&I leaders list

Reena is the Co-Chair of the Cultural Diversity Network within Fujitsu. Their mission is focused around three pillars: Raising awareness of Cultural Diversity issues internally and externally, improving standards within the organizations, and helping the community.

Why them?

Reena has been involved in a number of Governmental initiatives around Diversity and Inclusion with a particular focus on BAME. One of the areas Reena is most proud of is being involved in the BITC/DWP “mentoring circles” helping unemployed people, from a BAME background, develop core skills to enter the working world.

Richard Chapman Harris

Global Head of Inclusion and Responsibility, Mott MacDonald

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richard chapman harris, top D&I leaders list

Richard is the current Global Head of Inclusion and Responsibility at Mott Macdonald and is responsible for delivering culture change with a focus on equality, diversity and inclusion.

Why them?

Richard designed and delivered the first equality, diversity and inclusion strategy for the organization. Helping to advance the employee networks at the organization which has been key in embedding the strategy. Richard has also helped raise the profile of the business throughout the industry as an influencer for diversity and inclusion.

Richard took part in our latest pulse report sharing their insights on how Mott MacDonald are harnessing the power of the Black Lives Matter movement. We loved how Richard highlighted that we shouldn’t expect our Black employees to take on the burden of educating people.

Rob Neil

Head of Culture Change & Leadership, Department for Education

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rob neil, top D&I leaders list

Rob is currently the Head of Culture Change & Leadership for the Department of Education.

Rob was a founding member of the MoJ’s BAME Staff network in 2001 and later that year became the first elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum (CSRF). Rob previously led Project Race at the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) where them and their team support the delivery of MoJ’s published objectives to deliver increased numbers of BAME staff at Senior Civil Service.

Why them?

Recognized in ‘New View 50’ as an influential Black Asian Minority Ethnic professional in the public sector. In September 2016, Rob was elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum; an umbrella network of BAME Staff Networks across the civil service which includes over 30 Government departments and reaches in excess of 6,000 BAME civil servants working at all levels. Rob was awarded an OBE in The Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honours list for ‘Services to Race Equality in the workplace and the community’. They were also shortlisted as an Ethnicity Awards Top 8 BAME Workplace Hero in August 2018.

Sally Bucknell

Director, Diversity & Inclusiveness, UK, Ernst & Young

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Sally Bucknell, top D&I leaders list

Sally is the Director, Diversity and Inclusiveness, UK at Ernst & Young. Sally leads on building strategy to ensure that diversity and inclusion is imperative for all people across the business.

Why them?

Sally has driven EY’s approach ensuring D&I is at the center of the organization’s strategy. Introducing groundbreaking initiatives focused on supporting women and BME professionals to achieve their ambitions. They’ve also introduced inclusive leadership training for EY’s leaders.

Sally recently contributed to our pulse report. Sharing their insights on how EY is harnessing the power of the Black Lives Matter movement to create lasting change, Sally stressed the importance of ensuring everyone joins in on the journey, not leaving the work to our Black colleagues.

Sarah Churchman OBE

Chief Inclusion, Community & Wellbeing Officer, PwC UK

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Sarah Churchman OBE, top D&I leaders list

Sarah is the current Chief Inclusion, Community and Wellbeing Officer at PwC UK and leads on the organization’s diversity and inclusion strategy, with an increased focus on mental health.

Why them?

Sarah is an award-winning thought leader and specialist having worked in the D&I space for over 15 years. Sarah was an early adopter of unconscious bias training introducing it to PwC, they identified the link between diversity and talent management as an obvious mechanism for target setting and brought in sponsorship programs to PwC that won an Opportunity Now award in 2013.

Sarah’s extensive work in the D&I space has meant that they’ve been recognized in a number of lists including Personnel Today’s Most Influential People in HR, Diversity Leader of the Year in the 2015 Excellence in Diversity awards, as well as being recognized for their work on gender equality at PwC. Sarah was also awarded an OBE in 2018 for their service to women in business, equality, diversity and inclusion.

Sarah Kaiser

Head of Employee Experience, Fidelity International

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sarah kaiser, top D&I leaders list

Sarah is Head of Employees Experience and former Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Fidelity International.

Why them?

Prior to joining Fidelity, Sarah was the Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Lead for Fujitsu EMEIA. They have driven Fujitsu’s activity to become recognized as an exemplar on gender pay gap reporting, a Times Top 50 Employer for Women, a Disability Confident Leader, a Stonewall Top 100 Employer, a BITC Top Employer for Race and a Top 50 Social Mobility Employer. Sarah is passionate about finding creative solutions to unusual diversity challenges, developing cultures where everyone can achieve their full potential, and the representation of diversity in contemporary culture.

Sarah also took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on if unconscious bias training doesn’t work then what’s the alternative.

Sarah Kirk

Global Diversity & Inclusion Director, PageGroup

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sarah kirk, top D&I leaders list

Sarah Kirk is Global Diversity & Inclusion Director at PageGroup, a global specialist recruitment company, and is the driving force behind Women@Page which was launched by PageGroup’s CEO, Steve Ingham, in 2012. Sarah joined the company in 1996 as a consultant and was promoted to manager one year later.

Why them?

Sarah is a multiple award-winning D&I leader whose D&I program incorporates the core values: “take pride; work as a team; be passionate; never give up; make it fun into a clear diversity and inclusion program allowing our people, and our business, to thrive.”

Sereena Abbassi

Independent Equity, Inclusion & Diversity Consultant

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sereena abbassi, top D&I leaders list

Sereena is an activist, writer, public speaker, consultant and former worldwide head of culture and inclusion at M&C Saatchi. Sereena also serves as an advisory board member for diversity-promoting platform The Other Box. Sereena has spoken at D&AD, Campaign 360, The Mill, ICA, Viacom, YCN, and the Oxford Media Convention, to name but a few. They have written for Campaign Live, Communication Arts and The Drum.

Why them?

In 2018, Sereena was nominated as one of Campaign’s 50 Trailblazers of the Future and Stars of 2018, Pitch Magazines 100 Creative Superwomen, and The Dots 100 top Black Creatives. This year, Sereena was nominated as one of Pitch Magazines 100 Creative Superwomen, and they also sat on this years DIMA Summit Advisory Board. Sereena is also the founder of ‘All Here’ – a social enterprise that connects individuals, brands, and agencies; supporting them to think more critically about the world and the work that they create.

Listen to Sereena’s interview with Inclusion Works here where they share their insights on how a critical part of building a more inclusive culture is to take time to interact with people that you wouldn’t usually interact with.

Staynton Brown

Director D&I and Talent, Transport for London

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Staynton-Brown, top D&I leaders list

Staynton is Director D&I and Talent at Transport for London and is responsible for organizational development, leadership, talent, strategic workforce planning, D&I and performance management. Staynton leads the strategy to develop people across the organization.

Why them?

In 2013,  Staynton was nominated and made a Health Services Journal BME pioneer in the inaugural list of the top 50 people in the NHS. In 2014, they were recognized as a top 50 NHS Black pioneer and was the Winner of the Mayors for London award in 2015. Staynton is also on the Board of Directors of a charity that runs a college and number of schools across London.

Sue Unerman

Chief Transformation Officer, MediaCom

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sue unerman, top D&I leaders listSue’s latest book – “The Glass Wall-success strategies for women at work and businesses that mean business” which they co-authored with Kathryn Jacob has been called 2016’s most significant addition to the debate on gender diversity at work – a collection of success strategies for women at work, and an invaluable guide for businesses that want to successfully develop the women who work for them. Fashion icon Diane von Furstenberg praised the book for “empowering women”. Sue is one of the FT’s HERoes – Champions of women in business 2018 and one of Female Lead’s 20 in data and tech. Sue has also been named by Campaign magazine as “Media Strategist of the Year” on more occasions than any other individual.

Listen to Sue’s interview with Inclusion Works here where they share their insights on success strategies for the woman at work from her book “The Glass Wall“.

Vessy Tasheva

Founder, Vessy.com

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vessy tasheva, top D&I leaders list

Vessy Tasheva, runs Vessy.com, an inclusion consultancy in the US, Canada, Germany, the UK, Ireland and Bulgaria.

Why them?

Vessy’s coming out story in the 2007 American University in Bulgaria Magazine blazed a trail for others, and they also founded the university’s first gay-straight alliance in 2009. Since then, Vessy’s worked at a number of fast-growth companies in strategy and marketing, notably as CMO at Enhancv. Vessy is also the author of “2019 Diversity in the Workplace” report which takes a comprehensive look at the companies across the globe who are doing diversity and inclusion ‘right’.

Listen to Vessy’s interview with Inclusion Works here where they shared their insight into how companies can get inclusion right by taking action, getting senior buy-in and mixing culture and business to create a space where everyone – and in particular, members of LGBTQ+ communities, feel like they belong.

Vessy also took part in our pulse report sharing their insights on diversity fatigue and how to overcome it.

Zella King

Senior Associate, Care City

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zella king, top D&I leaders list

At Care City, Zella tries to apply strategic thinking and analysis to the challenges faced by the health and care system, to help find solutions for healthy aging and local regeneration.

Why them?

With Amanda Scott, Zella co-founded Personal Boardroom, a company that helps people design and build the network they need to succeed. They work with companies to develop their employees into people who surround themselves with diverse thinking and have an impact on their world.

Listen to Zella’s interview with Inclusion Works here where they spoke about the 12 types of diverse perspective you need in your network, how women network differently to men and why we’re failing the older generation.

 

Have you checked our “Interviews” section where we share stories from the leading movers, shakers and change-makers who are shaping the inclusion debate? Check them out now!

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