100 Female Executives 2018
Head of Financial Institutions, Europe
Brenda has more than 25 years of experience in capital markets, investment and relationship banking, with sector expertise in financial institutions. She is also a strong advocate for women’s economic empowerment and has been recognised with several awards for her global campaigning for greater gender balance across organisations as a voluntary, business-led imperative. In 2015 Brenda was appointed Global Chair of the 30% Club, where she works closely with leading Chairs and CEOs around the world to increase the representation of women in senior roles and throughout organisations. For the last two years she has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Finance by Financial News, and is also a regular contributor to the FT City Network, a panel of 50 of the City of London’s most influential individuals. Brenda is also an advisor to UK Government’s Hampton-Alexander Review for increasing the representation of women in the executive level of the FTSE 350, and she leads the Financial Institutions Group in Europe for ANZ Bank and is a member of the UK Management Board. She is a trustee of the EY Foundation and a non-executive director of the England and Wales Cricket Board.
As CEO Jayne-Anne has taken executive sponsorship for gender balance at Virgin Money. Under her leadership they have publically committed to achieving a 50:50 gender balance by 2020 at all levels in the company, and to closing their gender pay gap. She has made diversity and inclusion a key strategic priority for the company. Internally she brings the topic to life through sharing examples in her weekly all colleague email, regularly talking about the topic at colleague gatherings and recognises D&I achievements in their EBO stars awards. The Jayne-Anne sponsored gender equality plan at Virgin Money is based on progressing the top three findings to achieving gender equality identified through extensive research during the ‘Women in Finance’ review. Externally, Jayne Anne was asked by HM Treasury to lead a review into the lack of female representation in senior roles in the financial services industry. The resulting ‘Women In Finance Review’, published in March 2016, recommended setting/publishing targets, aligning remuneration to achieving those targets, and ensuring senior sponsorship. Since publication, she has been appointed the Government’s business champion for gender equality, speaking extensively about the importance of gender equality in business. In July 2018, HM Treasury announced that since publication of the ‘Women In Finance Review’, a further 68 firms have signed the Women in Finance Charter, taking the total number to 273 firms across the financial services sector and covering over 760,000 UK financial services employees.
Melanie is KPMG’s senior sponsor for inclusion and diversity, and has been championing women in the workplace for over a decade. She has personally driven a wide range of programmes and activity to make progress in this field. Thanks to her efforts, KPMG took the ‘industry first’ step of publishing a detailed diversity profile of KPMG’s workforce in 2014. She has since hosted a panel on KPMG’s published gender pay gap, hosted a session on Disruptive Leadership for International Women’s Day, and championed internal research on social mobility, gender and race. Melanie has been instrumental in establishing KPMG’s Inclusive Leadership Board (ILB), and is the sponsor for ‘GROW’ – KPMG’s 360 degree leadership development programme, designed to advance minority groups, including women, to senior positions. In addition, Melanie continues to support mentor women both within and outside the firm, sharing her knowledge and helping them to build their networks and progress their careers. Externally, she leads KPMG’s Senior Business Women Network – a market-leading group of successful women who gather frequently to discuss business issues and build networks. Melanie is one of the founding members of the 30% Club Steering Committee, and she and KPMG are major supporters of the Hampton-Alexander Review.
Chief Marketing Officer and President Enterprise and Strategic Sales
Brightstar / PaddyPower Betfair
Emer acts as an advocate for gender equality by consistently making it a positive regular board level agenda item. She allocates time to act as both a mentor, and importantly a sponsor, to women at all levels which ensures a healthy pipeline of successful female talent. She does this through networking events, ensuring gender balanced short lists for prominent roles, raising the profile of talented women and speaking regularly at events. She replicates this work in PaddyPower Betfair PLC where she is a Non- Executive Director and also as an Ambassador for the Royal Marines Business Liaison Group. A member of the UK government Women’s Business Council since 2013, Emer has represented the UK at the UN Commission on the Status of Women Globally in NYC in 2014, and has been asked to address the UN again in 2019. She was appointed Co-Chair of the Men as Change Agents (MACA) board and, with the support of the Home Secretary and Number 10, MACA launched a toolkit to the Chairmen and CEOs of the FTSE 350 and 150 privately owned companies on how to achieve gender balance in business leadership and thus close the gender pay gap.
Talent & Communications Partner
Deloitte Middle East
Rana is a former member of the Board of Directors, and sits on the regional Executive Committee of Deloitte in the Middle East. She leads a women advancement program (DRAW- Deloitte Retention and Advancement of Women), frequently profiled by global diversity leaders as a best practice in building an inclusive culture and accelerating gender diversity. Externally, Rana is active in championing economic and political participation of women in Arab countries. Rana serves on the advisory boards of organizations such as Reach (Mentoring NGO for women in finance registered in the Dubai International Financial Centre) and the 30% Club – GCC. She is also on the Executive Board of the National Commission for Lebanese Women, and the Middle East Advisory Board of the American University of Beirut’s OSB Business School. Rana has spoken at a wide number of international events, and was invited by UN Women to participate in the Consultation Workshop the Union for the Mediterranean Headquarters in Spain for a “flagship” project in the MENA region. She was then invited to participate as a speaker in the UfM-UNIDO Women Entrepreneurs’ Forum: ‘Promoting Women Business Partnership in the Mediterranean’ as part of the “Women for Mediterranean” Conference in Portugal in October 2018.
Karen is an established leader who champions diversity of all types. In 2012, Karen launched an Apprenticeship Scheme for 18-24 year olds at MediaCom, the first of its kind in the industry. Karen developed Inclusion@MediaCom, where external speakers are invited to give life stories, acting as role models. Karen championed a Women Returners programme with the organisation Successful Mums, and launched Project Blend with the help of Open Blend, focusing on helping everyone reach their true potential blending work with life. Karen introduced a female empowerment programme at MediaCom in 2014 with Shine4women. Karen is a mentor, both internally and externally, as well as taking part in reverse mentoring schemes. Karen helped launch Our Time initiative, a mentoring programme for London Mayor, Sadiq Khan at City Hall. She is a member of Women in Advertising and Communications London, (WACL) and part of their Gather committee. In her new role as WPP Country Manager, Karen is helping to drive through change via creating a UK Inclusion Board with programmes focused on reverse mentoring, cultural inclusion and a leadership exchange programme. Karen was appointed as one of four external advisors to help diversify the Civil Service. Karen is also a Business Ambassador for the Department of International Trade.
Group Chief Executive Officer
Bank of Ireland Group
Francesca joined Bank of Ireland as Group Chief Executive in October 2017. Since joining the Group, Francesca has articulated the ambition to make Bank of Ireland the National Champion bank in Ireland. Francesca joined HSBC as a graduate in 1997, rising through the ranks to become one of the youngest Group General Managers in 2014. In HSBC, Francesca worked in investment banking, private banking, retail banking and wealth management in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Europe. Before leaving HSBC, Francesca was Regional Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management, UK and Europe. In this role Francesca led the largest retail network in the HSBC group, was a member of the UK and European leadership teams as well as a member of the Global Retail Banking and Wealth Management team. Francesca is a member of the PRA Practitioner Panel and sits on the board of IBEC, the Irish Business and Employers Confederation. She has previously served on the Board of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), where she was Deputy Chair and on the Board of the National Centre for Universities and Business in the UK. In 2017 she was awarded an OBE for services to banking.
CEO & Chairman, IBM Asia Pacific
Harriet is a key executive sponsor of Women@IBM, IBM’s own 90,000-strong social community for women. The community directs women to the training, resources and materials they need to progress their careers, and creates a network of women who can share tips, insights and support. Within one month of starting work in Asia Pacific Harriet championed the “Advancing Women’s Leadership” initiative in India to improve diversity and inclusion. The programme continued in India throughout June, with Harriet reaching over 6,000 Indian employees through a series of speeches, fireside chats and roundtables addressing inclusion and innovation. Harriet pioneered an inclusive suite of events in Singapore around International Women’s Day, under the theme #pressforprogress. Over 300 people, including men and women, attended panel sessions showcasing best practice and encouraging discussion around inclusion and women in the workplace. Externally, Harriet regularly speaks at events focused on women in business. Most recently, she addressed Australia’s very first International Women’s Forum event, addressing the role of AI in the advancement of diversity and inclusion and the elimination of unconscious bias. A regular commentator on LinkedIn, Harriet has drawn attention to women-specific issues including gender diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace.
Chief HR Officer
In Leena’s tenure, Unilever’s female representation at managerial levels and above, has moved from 38% to 47% in the last 7 years. Their ambitious programme includes metrics led governance and a robust repeatable model to drive the recruitment, development and retention of women at Unilever. Their holistic efforts have been recognised by multiple bodies including by BITC and they consistently feature on the Times Top 50 Employers for women in the UK. Some of the key initiatives that have made this possible focus on investing in the development of their people, maternity and paternity support, agile working policies, and putting a focus on women in STEM. Externally, Leena’s personal mission is to inspire 1 Million women with the message of what is possible when they apply themselves to their dreams. She speaks at every possible opportunity to groups of young women, attending over 100 external diversity related engagements in 2017 alone. She has driven the participation of Unilever in the HeforShe UN campaign and they are one of the 10 Impact ambassadors for the program. Leena also serves on the World Economic Forum Steering Committee on the Future of Education, Gender and Work.
Milan Capital Markets Partner and WEELEG Managing Partner
As a member of the global executive committee of Linklaters, Claudia is the global champion for gender, the sponsor of the Female Leadership Programme and promotes internal initiatives supporting the enhancement of women’s talent. Currently she is structuring an innovative mentoring programme connecting Linklaters senior people with female top clients and has championed a number of successful initiatives within Linklaters’ network such as Breakfast@linklaters, breakfast forums for the female business community. Externally, Claudia is the ambassador of Inspiring Girls, an international programme launched in Italy by the association Valore D (the first association of large Italian companies supporting women’s leadership) and was President from 2013 to 2016. She has also contributed to the development of In The Boardroom and of The CEO School for women on executive boards. She is often invited to speak in conferences, roundtables, seminars and courses on financial matters and diversity issues, and has been interviewed by national and international media on such topics. Claudia was included in the Forbes classification of most powerful women in Italy and in the last three years she was ranked as “Star Individual” by Chambers. Claudia is also Chair of Allianz Italia and Deputy Chair of the Italian Stock Exchange.
Chief Transformation Officer
Sue has driven change internally including gender equality targets for recruitment and promotion, and for appointment boards. She is co-creator and sponsor of MediaCom’s inclusion network for employees, and features as a panelist in annual Women’s Day events in March. In May 2018 they launched The Glass Wall network specifically for driving change internally and for clients. As co-host of the MediaCom Connected Podcast, Sue ensures that they feature strong women leaders in interviews, including all of their internal women leaders and inspirational women from outside MediaCom. In 2016 Sue wrote a book with co-author Kathryn Jacob: “The Glass Wall, success strategies for women at work and businesses that mean business” which is a business book best seller. Named the year’s most significant addition to the debate on gender diversity at work – its a collection of success strategies for women, and an invaluable guide book for businesses that want to develop the women who work for them. Since publication she has given over 80 talks at businesses, and published numerous blogs on LinkedIn. She is on the key supporters group for Women’s Aid, and has appeared three times on Women’s Hour to discuss gender equality.
Managing Director, Global Head of Service Directors, Client Experience
Carol serves on the Leadership Committee for BNY Mellon’s Women’s Initiative network (WIN), the largest and longest running ERG with over 4,000 internal members. Under her leadership, BNY identified a gap in information on women in management, and co-sponsored the “Women in Management” research. Furthermore, she supported the implementation of internal focus groups following Business in the Community’s Project 28-40 report. The report alongside the focus groups, ultimately led to an internal media campaign featuring a video of BNY’s Chairman dispelling myths around agile working. Carol also began the company’s Ireland Corporate Social Responsibility programme and continues to support local efforts. Externally, she is one of the co-founders of the 30% Club in Ireland and currently the country lead for the Ireland chapter. In this role, she was part of the 30% Club 4th Annual Chair and CEO conference, showcasing research on gender diversity in the financial services and the importance of engaging men. Carol is also in the process of completing the final stages of her Master’s degree at the University of Cork (IMI). As a senior female business leader, she has entered academia again to develop the skillset needed to interface with diverse people and inspire their success.
The Crown Estate
At The Crown Estate, Alison ensures they’ve got the basics right on issues like equality of pay, hiring and promotion, and building a strong pipeline of female talent. They have “family friendly” policies such as extended paternity leave, adoption and care leave, and emergency care support. She recently appeared on Bloomberg TV to discuss the GPG statistics and champion momentum for change, after The Crown Estate published figures showing that women in the organisation are paid marginally more than men. Externally, Alison is an active champion of Pathways to Property; an internship and mentoring programme, which supports young people from diverse backgrounds to get into property. She speaks at a huge number of events, and was keynote speaker at Bisnow’s inaugural women in property event, the awards dinner hosted by Women in Property. She also supports Real Estate Balance; Chicks with Bricks; The Mentoring Foundation; the Honour Chapman memorial lectures and RICS Inspirational speaker series. Alison has mentored and coached several women over the years, including the only current female CEO of a construction company.
General Counsel & Head of Financial Compliance
Whilst at Roche, Funke was the most senior black lawyer in UK pharmaceuticals and was the Roche UK diversity champion. A global female role model, she extensively mentored and sponsored her Roche colleagues and established a summer work experience and internship scheme for students. She regularly presented on the importance of D&I to all 2,000 Roche UK staff and new joiners and partnered with local and global D&I teams to progress D&I across 100,000 Roche staff globally. Following UN Women’s HeForShe campaign, she also engaged with strong male champions of diversity. Externally, Funke is an Advisory Board Member of Women in Law London (WILL), and Aspiring Solicitors. She is heavily involved with First 100 Years and the Precious Awards, as well as being the Founder of the global network, Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law. Funke regularly provides free inspirational diversity in leaderships talks to over 2,000 school and University students annually, as well as engaging with mentoring and sponsorship opportunities. She has been a commentator on gender for the BBC, and regularly campaigns on gender issues in the media and in the government. Among many accolades, in 2017, Funke was awarded an MBE for services to diversity and young people.
Funke left Roche in July and is currently a post graduate student at Cambridge University before embarking on the next chapter of her career.
Managing Partner Europe & Middle East
Reed Smith LLP
Tamara leads by example, working with Reed Smith’s active women’s network (known as WinRS) for years. Now, as the firm’s most senior person in the EME, she uses her influence to leverage the sponsorship of young women aspiring to partnership has increased. She has been instrumental in the promotions of dozens of women across all areas of the firm. Viewed as a role model for young lawyers, she is active in firm-wide recruitment and seeks to inspire all women to achieve their potential. Externally, Tamara is generous with her time and contacts. She is heavily involved in a number of organisations, including the 30% Club Steering Committee, founding member of Paradigm for Parity, C200 Membership Committee, and a sponsor and judge for Asian Women of Achievement Awards. She also works closely with universities and international organisations, advancing the pipeline of talent female leaders. Tamara has won many awards for her legal expertise, including Euromoney’s “Best in Structured Finance”, as well as for her activities around diversity including Women of the Future’s Mentor of the Year, and being featured as on of Brummell’s 30 Inspirational Women Champions of Diversity.
As one of the first two women in Ireland to qualify as actuaries, Evelyn has always supported and encouraged women to take on new challenges in their careers. She believes that championing the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace makes huge business sense. Evelyn is proud of the fact that Bupa currently has 50% female representation on its Board, and 41% of its executive team is female, and says it is her personal mission to ensure talented women continue to take on key roles across Bupa. During her time as Bupa’s Group CEO, the company has signed the UK HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and joined The 30% Club. In 2017, Evelyn hosted the annual International Women’s Forum Jean Denton Lecture at Bupa, bringing together high-profile speakers to discuss the challenges and opportunities for women in the workplace. Externally, Evelyn spent two years as a Non-Executive Director of Opportunity Now, and she regularly speaks at events which support women in their careers, including delivering a speech at The Pipeline: Top Flight, an executive leadership programme, founded by Baroness McDonagh, designed to help women with potential to take the final difficult step to Executive Committee and CEO roles.
Head of Commercial Banking UK
Amanda is committed to building an inclusive culture and has driven a number of initiatives to create a workplace where people feel they can be themselves and realise their potential. Amanda is a mentor to many colleagues and is the Executive Sponsor for BALANCE UK, promoting a gender-balanced workforce within HSBC. Outside of HSBC UK, Amanda plays an active role in championing female entrepreneurs and businesswomen, and regularly speaks at events designed to share best practice and help them succeed in business. She was keynote speaker at the, “EQ vs IQ in the Workplace” event, and a panellist at an event sponsored by Robert Walters PLC & Women in Banking & Finance, “Empowering Women in the Workplace”, where she shared her experience of the benefit of having mentors and sponsors. In addition to involvement with International Women’s Day events externally, Amanda also hosted several BALANCE events at HSBC UK and established a series of female development events in the Commercial Bank.
Caroline’s inclusion journey started with sharing her own personal story with everyone in the business, when she first took on the role of Lightspeed’s Global CEO. Since then, her proactive approach has seen her increasing the female representation on the Board of Directors from 27% in 2016 to 44% in 2017. She has introduced a 3 Year Plan of Transformation for the business, including new transformation-focused global values, which encourage everyone, especially women, to be bold in their careers. She regularly encourages the business to take time out to the celebrate important landmark anniversaries for diversity e.g. International Women’s Day, Black History Month, and Mental Health Awareness Week. Not only has her work lead to implementations of policies on agile working and addressing the gender pay gap, Caroline also makes time to mentor female colleagues. Externally, Caroline has been hugely involved in conducting pro bono research to provide an initial baseline view of ‘what the Market Research Industry truly looks like when it comes to Inclusion and Diversity’. Results from the research led to a large number of projects and policies to address the lack of female representation at senior levels.
Charlotte brings 25 years of experience in financial services, bank operations and management consulting to Visa, which she joined as CEO Europe in October 2017. She has been leading the charge on ensuring gender balance and a culture of inclusion and recently signed the company up to HMT Women in Finance Charter. She co-leads Visa’s Global Gender Inclusion Council, is an Executive Sponsor for the Visa Young Professionals network, and has recently been involved in International Women’s Day activities, supporting the new Return to Work programme and is a mentor in the company-wide mentoring scheme. Externally she supports NowTeach, an organisation that exists to help career-changers who’ve already made a success of one profession to retrain as teachers. She is a regular speaker at events to champion women in business, including most recently a client event in Paris bringing together 26 female policy leaders from banking and retail . She is a vocal advocate for women in FinTech, passionate that Visa should take the lead developing more female leadership talent in the payments sector.
Group Chief Commercial Operations and Strategy Officer
Serpil has championed a women’s inclusion programme across Vodafone markets, serving as the Chairwoman of Vodafone Group’s “Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee”. She is committed to helping to increase the proportion of women in management and leadership roles by helping build a pipeline of talent, specifically through initiatives such as “50/50 female/male graduate recruitment”, Vodafone’s pioneering “Global Maternity Policy” and “ReConnect”, the world’s largest recruitment programme for talented women on career breaks. Serpil also launched the ‘Connect’ initiative in 2017, a commitment at Vodafone to provide 50 million unconnected women in emerging markets with access to mobile technology, thereby narrowing the gender connectivity gap by 2025. This initiative is designed to provide specific products and services for women that enable financial inclusion, build skills and promote entrepreneurship, improve health and wellbeing. To date, the programme has reached more than 15 million women; 33% of the target. She also launched ‘Women First’ in Turkey, in partnership with the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Affairs. She is a regular mentor to a number of senior women professionals at Vodafone, and served as a selected mentor for the ‘Women on Board Association” (WBAT Turkey).
Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Security Officer
Laura is not only a technologist, she is a trailblazer in promoting and empowering women in IT. As the global sponsor of Credit Suisse’s IT Women’s Council (ITWC), Laura works with colleagues around the globe to attract and retain female tech talent and fuel the pipeline for the future. Programs and initiatives within ITWC are intended to increase promotability of deserving female staff, impart career skills, and more fundamentally, bring together diverse voices to create a real community and powerful social network for women at Credit Suisse. Recently, Laura’s efforts have led to a change in job descriptions to remove gender-specific language or biases, and to promote programs that help women progress. Externally, Laura is a big proponent of STEM education for girls – and advocates on its behalf whenever and wherever possible. Earlier this year, she met with members of the UK government to discuss STEM education for young girls, and was asked to participate in a panel event at EPFL in Lausanne with other STEM advocates and business leaders. Laura is also the Credit Suisse Champion for Million Women Mentors – which strives to build the global number of volunteers and mentors driving girls toward future STEM ambitions and careers.
Recently appointed as Operating Executive at APAX, Tanuja advises Apax portfolio CEOs and teams on accelerating business and organisation performance. She leads the Human Capital Practice for Apax and is responsible for putting in place the methodologies to develop and retain the best management talent across the portfolio. Tanuja is also a Non Exec Director at Proximus Group, and was CEO UK & IR for Schneider Electric. Tanuja is a champion of women in business and founded PowerWomen Network in 2015, a network of and for senior women leaders committed to advancing women in leadership roles and developing the next generation of female talent. The network operates as a non-profit, hosting quarterly events with leading business and academic leaders to share perspectives on themes such as Digital Transformation, Strategy + Culture, Innovation and Risk, among others. In addition, Tanuja is a supporter of a strategic philanthropy foundation, Dasra focused on supporting vulnerable adolescent girls 10-19 and eradicating child marriage. Tanuja is frequently called on to speak on Diversity & Inclusion at conferences, for senior management teams, and in the press, and has published blogs on social media and in We are the City. She was also ranked #23 in FT & HERoes 2017.
Partner, Head of People
As KPMG’s Head of People, Anna has put Inclusion and Diversity at the heart of their People strategy. Her action plan focusses on many activities to champion women in the workplace, most recently involving developing and setting equality targets, developing a firm-wide narrative about levelling the playing field, and designing content for an inclusive behaviour session for the Executive Committee. She champions multiple parental and return to work programmes, and hosts a range of internal events, from firm-wide discussions on gender pay gap, to smaller focused events for specific groups such as Women in Consulting or the Future Leader Technology Programme, our work experience programme for Women in Technology. Externally, Anna meets regularly with clients and other businesses to debate how best to further women in business, and share best practice. Most recently she lead a discussion with senior head hunters and recruiters on this topic. She often visits schools to talk to girls about the opportunities to them, particularly in STEM, and sits on the Learning and Professional Development Board for the ICAEW.
Head of LinkedIn Ireland
Sharon has always strived to recruit diverse teams, with her current team at Linkedin in Dublin being 50/50 male/female balanced. She mentors up to 20 people at any one time, men and women, and encourages diversity by supporting both men and women succeed equally. She also advocates and sponsors women as part of the internal promotions process, as a result of sitting on the European and global leadership teams, to ensure they are not only recruiting but promoting women. External to her role, Sharon is also the executive sponsor and external spokesperson for a Linkedin initiative to recruit people who are relaunching their careers after taking time out to care for children or parents. It is a pilot program in Ireland in 2018, with hopes of a global launch later. As part of the external launch campaign she is encouraging other companies to look at this untapped and talented talent pool. She has also worked to change the board composition of the American chamber of commerce from 2 females and 10 males to 6 female and 6 male, while improving all the chamber operating and strategic objectives.
Chief People Officer, Aviva Plc
Under Sarah’s leadership, inclusive diversity is now a fundamental part of Aviva’s company strategy. She was key to Aviva’s new group-wide parental leave policy, launched last year, offering equal parental leave to men and women regardless of gender, sexual orientation or how an individual becomes a parent. Since the launch, she has been vocal on the benefits when speaking to the press, peers and Aviva partners. She encouraged Mark Wilson, Group CEO, to sign up to the Executive Committee commitment outlined by the 30% Club. She also advocated publishing their Gender Pay Gap Reporting early, and sponsors the Aviva Balance Community, regularly talking at events and holding ‘listening lunches ‘ with members in all the different markets. A regular voice on the topic, she has recently spoken to senior leaders at Changeboard, Vote 100, and SAID Business School, as well as at Sheffield Academy through Speakers for Schools. She is a member of HRH Women Network Forum, the 30% Club global steering committee, and regularly holds breakfast meetings to encourage CEOs to sign up to the 30% Club commitment. Additionally, Sarah champions Aviva’s sponsorship of the Women of the Future Awards, and the Asian Women of the Future awards.
Executive Vice President, General Counsel
Astellas Pharma US
As part of the globalisation of Legal, Linda became the first global General Counsel and first women to sit on the Executive Committee. Linda launched the WLN (Women’s Legal Network) to bring women in Legal and IP together focusing on education, networking, mentoring and resources to address work life balance. WLN is the first global women’s network in the company, and was officially launched on March 8th to coincide with International Women’s Day. The launch included a program where influential women in Japan, Chicago and London presented their own inspirational stories. She has also developed and Co-Chairs the first network in Japan for senior women to come together. Externally, Linda is a mentor with WOMN LLC, and is a member of the Healthcare Business Women’s Association, both with the aim of furthering the advancement of women in business. She also regularly participates on GC and Leadership Panels at the American Conference Institute Annual Women in Life Sciences Conference. In April 2018, Linda was selected as Pepper Hamilton LLP’s 2018 Champion of Diversity, recognising her work in promoting diversity in the legal profession.
Founder and CEO
Prior to founding her own company in 2018, Cate spent the last sixteen years in financial services leading various efforts around women internally and externally. She led the internal employee women’s group at both HSBC (North America) and JPMorgan (EMEA) respectively and spearheaded the development of the Women’s MD Forums at both. Cate has been an Advisory Board member of her organisation’s respective D&I committees representing women for the last 10 years, building and launching the HSBC – Girls Inc. National Mentoring Program. Given her global role, Cate had the opportunity to lead panels, sessions and events around the world with female, and male, employees focused on gender diversity and parity. She was regularly asked to champion women’s initiatives and act as spokesperson for HSBC. Externally, Cate is an executive sponsor of the Women in Finance Mentoring Program for the University of Maryland as well as Adele’s Circle of Women. She is a member of the American Banker Young Women’s Leadership Award Advisory Board and has spoken at numerous events and organizations globally in support of women in the workplace.
Head of Commercial Banking Argentina
Patricia is executive sponsor of “Balance”, HSBC’s employee resource group dedicated to support the recruitment, development and engagement of a gender-balanced workforce. She has been involved in several activities to empower women, focusing on the importance of building relationships for career development, and looking for mentors and sponsors. Balance organize monthly networking walks, as a new way to expand personal networks and strengthen ties. For the last International Women’s Day, Balance organized a workshop for HSBC talented women, where Patricia held a panel with Inés Bertón and Gabriela Arias Uriburu, with the aim to sharing thoughts and experiences to inspire women. In addition to Balance sponsorship, she hosts roundtable discussions with female employees across the Commercial Banking area, to encourage and support their professional development, providing them with greater internal and external exposure to accelerate their careers. Outside the workplace, Patricia attends women’s roundtables and workshops organized by the Argentine Institute of Financial Executives, sharing HSBC’s diversity and inclusion work, and encouraging others to take action. This year, Patricia was also sponsor of Ring the Bell for Gender Equality (Argentina), to raise awareness of the pivotal role the private sector can play in advancing gender equity.
Managing Director of IT
Rachel designed, delivered and now sponsors BT TechWomen, which in its 3rd year is delivering a year-long development programme for 385 women across BT. This is different to similar gender focussed initiatives, in that is both a network and a development programme for talented women in under-represented roles across our business. Development topics include personal brand, courageous speaking and purposeful teams, leading change in self and others, building confidence and impact, and politics and networking. By vocalising the issues facing women in technology and demonstrating the impact that targeted investment can have, it has influenced BT’s broader Diversity and Inclusion agenda and transformed the careers of 635 women in our business. Externally, Rachel actively shares the design and learnings from TechWomen with partners and corporate customers through our NextGen CIO events in order to spark and generate momentum to address the technology gender gap. She has recently supported events at the BBC, CMI and Imperial College London celebrating women in business and promoting her approach. She has also visited schools to promote STEM careers and recently launched the 2018 Step into STEM programme mentoring young girls in Sixth Form colleges across London.
EVP for Global Marketing
As Executive Vice President for Global Marketing, championing gender equality in the workplace and advertising is a top priority for Aline. In the last two years, she has been responsible for leading Unilever’s gender balance efforts, aiming to increase female representation in management. On International Women’s Day, Unilever launched the ‘Unstereotype-Changing Mindsets’ programme that aims to remove the limiting power of stereotypes and unconscious bias in the workplace. Aline works with external organisations including INSEAD and Harvard to study the market for the most progressive ways of working to incorporate into Unilever’s policies. Recognising the power of partnerships to accelerate progress, Aline led an initiative with United Nations Women to unite industry leaders to tackle the widespread prevalence of stereotypes in the advertising industry. In 2017, 24 global companies including Facebook, Google and Diageo, came together to make Unstereotype a reality cross-sector and to create impact at scale. She also plays an active role in the Women’s Network Forum, chaired by Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex, focussing on driving gender balance in UK corporates. Aline is a mentor with The Mentoring Foundation on its FTSE Next Generation Women’s Leaders Programme which helps companies develop their talent pipeline.
Siobhan is one of two executive committee sponsors for Diageo’s Diversity and Inclusion goals, responsible for ensuring the business achieves its aim to have more than 35% of female senior leaders by 2020 and 40% by 2025. To achieve these goals she has worked with her co-executive sponsor and market teams to establish multi-year talent plans with built in gender diversity actions and milestones. She is also executive sponsor and an active member of the employee-led ‘Spirited Women’s’ network which aims to celebrate everyone’s individuality and exchange ideas. Externally, Siobhan has been a part of the Speakers for Schools organisation for 5 years. She gives talks to pupils who are at the point of identifying potential careers, and focuses on inflection points that drive career choices, women in the law and opportunities for women in business. She has also spoken at a number of law events on gender equality in the legal industry, including to the American Bar Association, the Association of Corporate Counsel and, most recently, at the London Irish Lawyers Association. Siobhan also co-hosted Diageo Singapore and the Singaporean chapter of ‘Lean In’ at their “#PressForProgress” International Women’s Day event.
Director / Head of Global Markets Core Engineering Strategic Programs
Pips is a key proponent for many of Credit Suisse’s gender focused initiatives and regularly promotes the importance of intersectionality. This spans the LGBT & Ally Program, which she co-leads, the European Women’s Network and the IT Women’s Council where she is a ‘Champion of Women in IT’, designed to promote the changes needed to build the pipeline of female and non-binary talent in the workplace by being a visible ambassador. Externally, Pips regularly speaks at external high profile gender network events to promote the importance of gender equality & parity. She uses these as a platform to promote the good work being done and to articulate why such initiatives are so key, what good looks like and how firms can improve their support for a more diverse gender workforce where there is the parity, equal representation and equality across all 3 genders. Recent events include Women of the Square Mile Diversity Conference, the ‘Sit With Me’ campaign from the National Centre for Women & Information Technology coalition, and the Diversity In Technology conference – other examples include presenting to the Lords in the Houses of Parliament on topics such as non-binary/gender fluidity and changes sought to the Gender Recognition Act.
Dispute Services Partner, EY (previously Managing Partner for Talent until June 2018)
In her role as Managing Partner for Talent, Maggie has championed gender and other diversity at EY. She has given her sponsorship and personal presence not just to the EY Women’s Network, but to many diverse Network events. She has built a strong intersectional viewpoint – and an appreciation that women have different ethnicities, abilities, sexual orientation, faith and mental health issues. She led EY’s early disclosures under Gender Pay Gap legislation, effecting additional voluntary disclosures on ethnicity and partner remuneration. She has also been persistent in driving up the numbers of women to the profession and to EY, a top ten UK employer in size, both in terms of transforming the student recruitment process and championing the Women Returners Campaign. She is a mentor to many women. Maggie is a regular speaker at conferences and in the last year one of EY’s top 3 most quoted spokespeople. She also blogs and speaks openly about being a flexible working champion. In her client work within the Forensic & Integrity services team, she is a recognised accountancy and finance expert, being listed in the Who’s Who for her specialism. Maggie was recently ranked in the Accountancy Age Top 5 Women in Finance.
Chief Transformation Officer, WPP and GroupM
Concerned by the lack of senior female peers, Lindsay launched a global gender strategy in GroupM, beginning with “Mind the Gap”, an initiative reviewing external barriers to women; pay, flexible working and parenting policies. She then launched Walk the Talk, a global programme aimed at helping senior women identify and overcome any internal barriers. They saw amazing results: accelerated promotions, heightened confidence and ambition, and a powerful women’s network across the agency globally. This success led to change at scale and it is now a global initiative at WPP level. She is now focused on ensuring that women are (at least) shortlisted for all senior roles at WPP, and she personally mentors women of all levels across the WPP network. Externally, Lindsay is an active member of WACL (Women in Advertising & Communications London) serving 5 years on the ExCo and a term as President. Our purpose is to accelerate gender equality in communications and marketing. Alongside programs to accelerate gender equality, they provide inspiration to aspiring female talent via Gather, the annual conference, and quarterly mentoring sessions. She regularly appears on public platforms to champion the importance of gender equality, and writes extensively on the subject.
Managing Partner for Talent
Emma’s activities internally focus on changing the culture of the workplace, the gender pay gap, increasing the number of female partners and creating an inclusive atmosphere for all. Since being appointed to the UK Executive Committee, she has driven significant change within the firm on gender parity. During her tenure, senior female appointments, promotions and retention rates have all increased, and the most recent engagement survey showed women as 2% more engaged than their male counterparts. She also launched the industry-leading ‘Return To Work’ internship programme which to date has enabled 37 women to re-enter the workplace after a career break. Emma is a vocal advocate of gender pay gap reporting; she led Deloitte’s approach to voluntarily reporting its gender pay gap in 2015, and championed the firm’s involvement in the GEO ‘Trailblazing Transparency’ report in 2016. She also acts as a formal and informal mentor and sponsor to many women, both within and outside the firm. Externally, Emma is a regular speaker at events around gender diversity, the gender pay gap, and social mobility. She is a member of the Patron Group for Access Accountancy and also sits on the Business in the Community Gender Equality Leadership committee.
Allen & Overy
Denise is the partner champion for “A&O Women Making their Mark”, a training programme designed to engage with women earlier in their career around gender issues and building a successful career. She is also part of a focus group to refresh the firm’s recently launched gender strategy. Additionally, she is a speaker on various internal panels and a mentor to a number of female associates across the business. Externally, Denise has participated in a number of diversity ‘think tank’ sessions with investment banks, and hosts an annual networking event for female investment bankers at Goldman Sachs to encourage women to build networks early in their careers. She is a committee member for the 2018 inaugural Gala Dinner for Womankind Worldwide and a member of London Women’s Forum, a network for senior female leaders in London’s Financial Services. She is ranked as a top lawyer for finance in Chambers, and this year was awarded Lawyer of the Year at the Legal Business Awards.
Executive Vice President
Standard Chartered Bank Korea
As a Chairperson of Diversity and Inclusion Committee of Standard Chartered Bank Korea and now a member of Global D&I Council, HyonJoo has promoted Advancing Women’s Leadership by influencing Korea HR, Executive Committee and CEO to offer a variety of advancement programs and policies. These include Women Development & Leadership, Unconscious Bias Training for line managers, succession planning of key positions, and an on-site Day Care Centre at head office. She launched a Parents & Caregivers Network to support work life balance of working parents, and hosted #BeBoldForChange, #PressForProgress and #HeForShe Gender Equality Forums. Externally, HyonJoo has served as a Steering Committee Member of Korea Network of Women in Finance since 2014, and has driven various industry wide women initiatives including hosting local forums and International Women Conference with influential speakers. The Conference served as a breakthrough occasion for Korea to change gender perception and learn from advancing institutions like Standard Chartered. Beyond her industry, with the support of SCBK Women Network, HyonJoo launched SoongEui Girls’ Highschool mentoring program and has arranged several corporate tours and career coaching sessions, with the aim of instilling social and economic skills in less privileged teenage girls.
Director, Baby & EU Programmes
Jacqui launched and leads Amazon’s UK Women@ employee affinity group, providing thousands of employees with resources and activities to develop skills, manage their career and expand their network. She leads teams of Women@ employee volunteers to create and deliver initiatives that support gender diversity in recruitment, policy, community and learning and development. She advocated for and steered delivery of Amazon’s Flexible Working Guidelines, which are today in place across five EU countries. Jacqui initiated and led growth of Amazon’s UK mentoring schemes, including Peer-to-Peer Groups and One-to-One Mentoring. She steers other employee teams of Women@ volunteers working on a range of initiatives including paternity leave, return to work support and female recruitment candidate support. Externally, Jacqui has mentored female residents of the Centrepoint charity, to help women in making the steps from living on the street to independent working and living in their own home. As head of Women@, Jacqui speaks and encourages members to speak regularly at external events such as Women in Silicon Roundabout. She also provides support to Amazon’s Cambridge development centre Diversity affinity group, who amongst other initiatives have established a program for schoolchildren to visit, engage and be inspired about learning and working in STEM.
Executive Vice President, Global Customer Delivery
As an executive woman leading a global technical function at Mastercard, Jennifer is responsible for the end-to-end technical implementation of Mastercard’s products and services worldwide. She is an active advocate for advancing women globally. Upon joining Mastercard in 2007, she established an internal European Women’s Leadership Network to drive career advancement for European women. Reaching women in 18 offices across Europe, she led a programme of events to educate and empower women. Now located in the United States, she focuses her efforts on developing and empowering the technical women in her organisation. She established a global “Women in Delivery” group, to provide coaching to technical women to help them succeed in largely male-dominated environments, and to build a support network. Outside of Mastercard, Jennifer serves as a mentor for the 30% Club, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross in Greater New York, where her work includes mentoring a high potential American Red Cross female employee. She also represents Mastercard externally as an advocate for women, speaking at the 2018 Women in the World event in New York and Chatham House forums on gender and economic growth.
President and CEO
Lisa has sat on the Steering Committee for Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN) since its inception, and took on the role of chair in 2017. GWEN champions programs and policies to help Edelman reach its global target of 50/50 gender parity at the most senior ranks by 2020. GWEN was conceived to increase the presence of women leaders at the most senior levels of the firm, and to create an environment where women are encouraged to lead and succeed. When GWEN began in 2011, women represented 33 percent of the company’s most senior leaders of the firm. As of April 2018, this number has climbed to 47 percent. Externally, Lisa devotes a significant amount of time to engage in speaking and editorial opportunities to advocate for women in the workplace, on subjects ranging from the importance of diversity on boards, to boosting self-confidence. Recent engagements include participation in a #MeToo debate at Women’s Forum Canada and a panel discussion on sexual harassment in the workplace organised by the Canadian Club, the most preeminent business forum in the country. She continues to support future leaders through mentorship programs with various women’s organisations.
Joanna has been partner sponsor for EY Women’s Network for eight years, doubling its membership in that time and extending its reach to all offices. The network runs a variety of learning and development events to help women be the best version of themselves, alongside events that showcase inspirational role models. The network has created a best in class International Women’s Day Celebration and awards programme where they presented 22 awards across the UK last year. She also takes part in mentoring and sponsorship of up and coming female talent both formally and informally. Under the banner of the Women’s Network Joanna runs a full external programme with events for different groups. They have a market leading group for women on boards of FTSE companies to discuss current business topics. Separately she has brought together a group of female entrepreneurs providing a forum for them to learn from each other. She has been a member of the 30% club steering committee for 7 years, and was instrumental in creating the cross company mentoring scheme and running the pilot at EY. She currently mentor two female entrepreneurs in the early stages of their start up journey.
Chief Customer and Innovation Officer
Sigga has passionately tied the innovation agenda of the bank to the diversity and inclusion ambitions, linking innovation and business results to a more diverse workforce. She is UK Executive Sponsor for the Global Santander D&I Council and, having completed Santander UK’s unconscious bias training, over 50 of her immediate team have also completed the workshop. Her role on the global diversity and inclusion steering committee sees her influence and challenge her peers and the wider leadership teams on raising awareness of all diversity challenges, including gender parity at senior levels. Beyond Sigga’s contribution at steering committees, she regularly identifies opportunities and leads best practice for Santander UK. Externally, she has championed mentoring circles, regional events, round table discussions and outreach to other organisations to create a culture of learning and best practice sharing. Sigga’s drive to address diverse and female talent within workplaces is not restrictive to just Santander UK, and she also champions diversity at industry events and sits on the Business in the Community Race Equality Board. She regularly attends external speaker events/talks/discussion, and as a speaker, about diversity in the workplace.
Partner, Co-chair of the International Trade and Government Regulation practice
Within Dechert, Miriam has championed the Global Women’s Initiative, which provides opportunities for development, advancement and leadership for women within the firm. She works on the Sponsorship and Sustained Support (SASS) programme, which helps senior female associates navigate the path to partnership. Participants receive individual and small-group support, skill-appropriate training, individualized attention from Dechert partners, access to consultants and advisors, and networking opportunities with other programme participants and Dechert partners. She is also a Local Women Liaison, a network of women located in Dechert offices in the United States, Europe and Asia who host welcome receptions for new women associates and organize business and legal community events, including networking events for International Women’s Day. Externally, Miriam founded and currently chairs Inspiring Girls International, a charity that helps girls build self-confidence. Together with Melanie Hall QC, a barrister with Monckton Chambers, Miriam also co-founded the Lawyers’ Circle, a 100-strong association of female lawyers who channel their legal skills, networks and resources to furthering women’s rights. She is a prominent thought leader and forthright speaker, regularly exploring gender equality and related issues in the world’s print and broadcast media, including the Telegraph and the Guardian, GQ magazine, and BBC Radio 4.
Over the past year, Mel has strengthened Wunderman’s reputation across EMEA as a leading global digital agency. With the courage and commitment to lead 4,500 people towards the future, Mel has spent much of her time focusing on creating a strong culture and building diverse leadership teams within Wunderman. Responsible for 72 offices across 23 markets, Mel recognises the importance of recruiting great talent and then empowering people to do the best work of their careers. Throughout her own career, she has developed industry-leading, future-ready programmes for both clients and staff. For Wunderman, she helped develop ‘Pass It On’ a global initiative designed to provide women with a structured programme to enhance leadership skills, including 1:1 mentoring and direct access to senior executives throughout WPP. Mel is regularly named as one of the most influential people helping to shape the world of digital. She features in some of the most respected awards line-ups, including Campaign’s A List, The Drum’s Digerati and BIMA 100. Most recently, Mel was named one of Ad Age’s European Women To Watch, as well as earning a spot on the Steering Committee for Gender Parity for the World Economic Forum.
Pinch Point Communications
This year, Sarah has appointed a female Non Executive to her company, to advise on growth plans – but also to underpin the company’s commitment to diversity. In May she launched Pinch Point’s inaugural conference – Spring Forward – aimed at women who want to run the show and are looking for inspiration in their careers and lives. She continues to mentor a number of women, including cementing her relationship with Anne-Marie Lacey, from Filament PR, by becoming the first NED for Filament PR. She was also appointed Chair of the Taylor Bennett Foundation in 2017, and is the youngest board member to be appointed to HSE. Externally, Sarah has been a volunteer with One Million Mentors, and mentored a young women who has now, with her support, taken the leap to move city and industry. Sarah continues to dedicate a lot of time to mentoring and coaching young women in PR, including assisting with a complaint of sexual harassment. As a past President of the CIPR she still speaks out on issues of diversity and unequal treatment of women; recently chairing debates and discussions, and talking at conferences and events.
Jennifer has long recognised the need for equal opportunity, especially when it comes to entrepreneurship. She launched Girl Brands Do It Better (GBDIB), a Berlin Cameron division, to empower female entrepreneurs through connections and creativity. GBDIB touts Chromat, The Other Festival and Kidfund amongst its impressive roster. In addition to GBDIB, Jen instituted “Side Hustle Days”, where employees are allowed one additional PTO day per month to work on their passion projects. Once a quarter, the agency discusses potential collaborations, and some staffers’ brands have even made their way to GBDIB. While many leaders shy away from “vulnerability”, Jennifer spearheaded industry-shifting research this year on workplace standards and found that 96% of respondents feel that they learn more from a leader who shows vulnerability than from one who doesn’t. She is a frequent thought leader, appearing on stage at the Women’s Convention, Cannes Lions, Advertising Week and more, as well as in print in outlets like The Huffington Post and Adweek. Jennifer sits on the boards of advisors for the National Kidney Foundation and global leadership development initiative Girl Up. Through Girl Up, she’s been able to directly encourage young girls to take action and empower each other.
Deputy Chair and General Counsel EMEA
Susan is an Executive Sponsor of BNY Mellon’s Women’s Initiatives Network (WIN) EMEA, and has played a critical role in furthering the WIN mission of ‘advancing female potential’, acting as a bridge between WIN and senior leadership. She regularly participates in internal panels and writes internal blogs to share her passion for this subject, as well as motivating aspiring women and emerging leaders. Most recently, she was the executive delegate at an employee forum on ‘Gender equality and culture’, where she tackled important questions around the gender pay gap approach and broader inclusivity. Susan has also leveraged her network to set up the Senior Women’s breakfast group. Acting as an informal think tank, the group use collective experiences, connections and leadership skills to support the advancement of female leaders and drive corporate diversity strategies. She has led the creation of the EMEA Legal Department’s Legal Citizenship network which consists of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), Community and Pro Bono streams, and championed a “Male Allies” programme, to raise awareness of the important role we can all play in furthering gender equality efforts. Externally, Susan is an advocate and participant of mentoring programmes that support diversity, including the 30% club mentoring programmes.
Founder & Owner
Tracey established and led the PwC Gender Balance Network UK & sat on the PwC UK Leadership Council for Talent & Diversity, as a former PwC Partner. This involved overseeing the development and delivery of a 2-day leadership development module on unconscious bias as well as sponsoring a number of D&I initiatives. At PwC she was an active sponsor of Women & Girls in Cricket, the WeAreTheCity Rising Star Awards 2016, Women in Compliance, Women on Boards and The Enjoyable Life Series 2017. Tracey has been a regular mentor and coach to professional services women looking to develop their careers in the City, both internally at PwC and externally. Tracey is a Board Member of City Women Network (CWN) and an Advisory Board Member for Gender Networks (WeAreTheCity). A prevalent speaker on diversity in the workplace, she has delivered a TEDx Talk as part of WhitehallWomen in 2015, and has been interviewed in trade journals and the press on diversity and inclusion.
As global executive sponsor for Diversity and Inclusion Victoria leads the drive for equality and inclusion across the group. At a global level they have defined a vision and mission to challenge the status quo, inspire the global board and give different perspectives. They published their gender pay gap figures in April 2018, after Victoria pushed for greater visibility and accountability. She has been spearheading a programme in the UK to improve the results, involving mentoring, coaching, pulling out future female leaders and investing in them. Externally, Victoria is on Executive Team for WACL (Women in Advertising London) and will this year be chairing the Future Leaders Awards which offers bursaries to over 30 women in the industry to further themselves and boost their chances of reaching leadership positions in next 5 years. For past 3 years she has been on the committee organising WACL Gather, a training event for 500 women in the communications industry, the next generation of women leaders. She also sits on the WACL partner committee, working with 10 organisations that are affiliated with WACL. As a committee they offer support, advice and community to these groups so they can collectively drive towards equality.
Head of Financial Markets Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan Sales
Standard Chartered Bank
Souad is currently with Standard Chartered Bank in the UAE and manages a team of approx. 120 people. She is very passionate about identifying, nurturing and promoting female talent especially in the Financial Markets business which historically had a low female front office representation. Souad is a member of the Standard Chartered MENAP Diversity & Inclusion Council and has been instrumental in introducing new processes aiming to attract more females into the Bank. Under her leadership, 75% of the 2017 and 2018 Financial Markets UAE graduate hires were female. Throughout her career, Souad has mentored many women from different divisions and countries. She also takes time to provide guidance to male colleagues who ask for advice on various aspects of diversity. She is a regular speaker at universities and conferences. She was also a panellist at the first ever Arab-German Women Leaders Forum in Berlin. Souad holds a Master from the University Paris Dauphine and a Master from the Frankfurt University with specialisation in Financial Engineering. Souad is originally from Algeria and speaks five languages (Arabic, German, English, French, Italian). She is married with two young children.
Chief Operating Officer
Veolia is now entering a new phase, and to lead it, Estelle has been chosen as part of the new generation of leaders who have a deep knowledge of Veolia’s businesses, its culture and its people. Since application Estelle has moved to Paris to be part Global team (the only female). Estelle leaves behind a vast legacy to champion women which will continued. Her highlights have included hosting the 2018 Women in Leadership programme in UK and Ireland, a Veolia initiative that takes place over a nine-month period, designed to help bolster high-potential, current and future women leaders within the business. She also worked with Employer Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei) to develop a proposed ‘Inclusion Strategy’ for 2018-20 and build a priorities action plan. Estelle believes in building and retaining a diverse workforce that is resilient, innovative and inclusive. She is committed to women in STEM and has partnered with the Government to help encourage more female students into STEM. She has always internally championed younger women, employing 300 apprentices, and works to upskill the future workforce.
Sue understands that unconscious bias – both in recruitment and management – is still a challenge in many industries. As such, she believes in having strong female role models and mentors, and relevant training, which has included sponsoring female leaders to attend ‘Women on Board’ training, supporting their leadership development. M&S Bank have an equal 50:50 gender split at the most senior management level, with 65% of other managerial roles held by women, and the lowest gender pay gap in the industry (2%). They have also done a lot to break down taboos, like talking openly about fertility struggles and enabling new parents to bring their baby in to work to attend events/roadshows, making it easier for them to stay connected and feel less isolated. Sue has also implemented a D&I committee – covering five strands, including Gender, Ability & Well-being, LGBT, BAME and Faith. Externally, she is an advocate of mentoring and firmly believes that empowered women really do empower women and that you can learn a huge amount from the experience of others. She also regularly gives her time to speak on the importance of inclusion at both national and regional events and in the media.
Chief Marketing Officer
Hannah is a founder of Leading Women, a group established nine years ago comprising State Street’s female executive vice presidents. Their mission is to advance and sponsor senior women across the organization with the proviso that they pay it forward to junior colleagues. Additionally, she is a global advisory board member of State Street’s Professional Women’s Network, the company’s largest employee resource group. As a member of State Street’s Management Committee, its most senior policy making and strategy group, she has advanced new multi-year gender diversity goals with the objective of making the company best in class in terms of diversity. Externally, Hannah served as a board member, and ultimately president, of the Women’s Lunch Place, a shelter for disadvantaged women and children in Boston. While there she established a library and resource centre for guests to access job skill and career support. She is a decade long supporter of the Massachusetts Conference for Women, and speaks regularly at events to share career advice and advocate for more women in the industry. As a Big Cheese Reader with Boston Partners in Education, she reads in public schools to encourage young women to enter STEM track careers.
Slaughter & May
Sara is head of Slaughter and May’s Tax Practice. She was one of the founding partners of the firm’s Women’s Network and continues to champion the network’s activities as one of their supporting partners. Since organising the firm’s first International Women’s Day event, Sara has sponsored a number of high-profile events including inspirational talks from the likes of Deborah Frances-White, Laura Bates and Annie Lennox. She has also supported the introduction of speed networking events, which aim to provide women trainee lawyers with access to a diverse range of female role models. She is passionate about progressing women throughout the talent pipeline, and is a sponsor of the firm’s Female Leadership Development programme, now celebrating its fifth anniversary. Sara is a visible role model has mentored a significant number of women lawyers and other employees, both formally and informally. Externally, she is a member of several organisations that aim to further gender equality, including the 30% Club, through which she mentors high-potential women as part of their cross-company mentoring scheme. Sara has also supported The Lawyer’s Circle, a network of female lawyers from across the UK, in addition to organising a number of women in tax events.
Chairwoman and Chief Creative Officer
Nicky has introduced ‘FlexyForty’ at her agency, MRM-Meteorite, in order to retain and invest in a talented female workforce. Through this, employees need to be in the office for their core hours [10-4] but can work the rest around them. Freeing mums up to drop-off or pick up their kids up, without guilt or raised eyebrows. She has also given two young female creatives the opportunity to work on every new business pitch this year. There are only three female Creative Directors in Ireland, so on International Women’s day Nicky took a day off work and flew to Dublin to speak about what it’s like to be a female creative leader. Externally, she is a regular speaker on the importance of diversity. At Eurobest, she gave a personal account of her journey and how not to let the buggers get you down. At the WACL Gather conference, she did a talk entitled ‘I am not Sheryl Sandberg’ to 250 young women. She is on the Creative Equals Advisory Board and the Women for Women International marketing board; the charity that helps women affected by the horrors of war start their own businesses and thrive.
Head of Financial Inclusion, Corporate & Private Banking
Royal Bank of Scotland
Heather founded and led the RBS women’s internal network for over 12 years, and has now assumed an advisory role to ensure the strategy of the network supports the delivery of RBS gender targets. She mentors a number of women across the different franchises, and engages front line staff around the gender & ethnicity agenda. She organised and sponsored the 2017/2018 Women in trade , WINTRADE conference for 200 plus global female entrepreneurs representing RBS/Natwest. Externally, Heather is the Chair & Trustee of CMI Women, which has a membership of 16,000 members. She is also an NED for Enterprise Enfield, and is involved in an initiative which is focused on coaching & mentoring 80 young black girls in supporting their aspirations. She was invited to speak at the UN Spring summit in Washington, on behalf of the World Bank, IMF, UN & Global Banking Alliance, in the presence of HRH Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. She has also been invited to participate in a round table of Dutch Bankers to share best practise around the WIB proposition for Female entrepreneurs.
Gaia Innovation Ltd
Julia founded the social enterprise Gaia Innovation to inspire young people from less affluent backgrounds to aim higher and to equip themselves with the skills to escape the poverty trap of low skilled insecure employment. She employs women through spotting their potential and their transferable skills rather than relying on evidence of past performance or specific job experience, and trains and encourages them to believe in themselves and their abilities. She achieves a high level of productivity and employee engagement in the business through flexible and agile working, and her team are women returners with caring responsibilities who are trusted to fit their work around these responsibilities and deliver high quality output. Gaia Innovation runs the Inspiration for Innovation programme that is free of charge to state schools and funded by employers, universities or altruistic donors. Within the programme, they facilitate meaningful interactions between female students and employers in male dominated sectors such as automotive, engineering and technology in order to raise the students’ awareness of all the opportunities available to them. Externally, Julia is also an adviser to The 5% Club, a steering committee member of the 30% Club, and founder of the UK Automotive 30% Club.
Jomas Associates Ltd
Roni is an Engineering & Environmental Geologist, working for clients in the Construction Industry. She is hugely passionate about diversity and inclusion, and speaks regularly within her company, and the institution boards/committees that she is part of, on the importance of not making preconceived adverse decisions against candidates based on their gender. She empowers women to believe in themselves and to go for opportunities that they would normally feel insecure to go for. In her previous employment as Associate Director of a major UK Engineering Company, her team comprised a good mix of men and women. In her own business, she has a diverse team who are recruited based on their technical abilities. Externally, Roni has both initiated, and partakes in, initiatives empowering women and mothers. She is part of FSBWomen taskforce, helping to raise profile and support women in business across the UK. She is a volunteer for the YMCA, working to get young women who have lost hope, back on track. She is also part of the Women in Engineering society, helping to raise profile of engineering and construction as a suitable career for women. Additionally, Roni is a regular speaker, coach and mentor.
Events 1st Ltd
During her role at People 1st, Simone led and grew the Women 1st campaign to increase women in senior positions in the hospitality industry by creating a community and support framework delivering an annual conference, awards and establishing an active and organic mentoring platform reaching over 300 relationships. In 2015 she created Northern Power Women (NPW) to accelerate gender equality from the North of England by recognising, celebrating and showcasing role models. NPW engages all genders across the Northern Powerhouse including the launch of a reverse mentoring pilot and a monthly, live recorded podcast and annual awards. Simone has recently created Northern Power Futures to discuss the future of the world of work, designed by the generation of future leaders. She has also been working with leading business schools to incorporate a student engagement programme to help students connect with business, gain exposure to the NPW community, and access mentoring opportunities. Externally, Simone is licensee for TEDxWhitehallWomen, sits on the advisory board for World Merit, the Gender Network and is a committee member for the Women of the World Festival. She is a regular judge at diversity awards, and often speaks in the media on the importance of gender balance.
Head of Group Architecture, Strategy and Innovation
Lloyds Banking Group
Since completing her Masters thesis exploring the gender gap at c-suite within the UK Financial Services sector, Bijna has advocated exercises to help establish ‘new ways of working’ and to re-skill staff, and female colleagues in particular, so they are equipped for jobs of the future. One example was the development of a Data Science Lab, which she championed internally in 2016. She invested in video content, seminars and training to develop existing female staff within the division, and to attract other women into STEM roles internally. Bijna also mentors women internally, and through LBG is a Mentor to the CEO of a global RegTech. Externally, Bijna serves on advisory Boards for CIO Net, CDO (Chief Data Officer) Exchange Series and the Inclusive Companies Network. Through her various roles, she advocates for equal opportunities for women in the workplace. She is also a presenter for the Women in Business (WIB) TV show and has appeared on Disruptive TV, where she discussed key statistics, research on women in the workplace and associated topics. She has also been mentoring for Women in Technology in London for three years and has filmed a series of leadership videos for their new mentoring-on-the-go app, ‘Cajigo’.
Group Director for People
As a Director in HR, Deborah’s team is responsible for several initiatives that fall within the Women in Leadership (WiL) programme. Activities have included upskilling programmes for high potential women, introducing gender-balanced shortlists for all job vacancies, and implementing inclusion training. She is also building Sky’s reputation as a leading employer for women through targeted recruitment events and media coverage. As a result of the Women in Leadership programme, Sky announced that nearly 40% of their senior leaders are now female, up from 31% since the launch of the initiative 2 and a half years ago. Their aim is to move this to half by 2020. Externally, Deborah has been involved in speaking platforms such as The Women in Media Awards and also in press articles talking about what they are doing at Sky in the gender diversity space and to create a more inclusive culture, and how other organisations can learn from this, for example in ‘HR magazine’.
Baker & McKenzie
Joanna co-leads the London office’s gender initiative, Baker Women, which aims to ensure that there are no barriers to career progression for women at the firm. They have introduced agile working, mentoring circles, maternity coaching for leavers and returners, sponsorship programmes for high performers and reviews of data to understand when and why women leave the firm. She has also introduced a programme of female client networking events and are active supporters of HeforShe. Externally, Joanna is actively involved in the King’s College London Global Institute for Women’s Leadership and participated in its launch event panel with Chair, Julia Gillard. She mentors King’s College London female law students, and speaks regularly at industry events on the subject of gender equality and the challenges faced by the legal profession. Joanna is one of GIR’s 100 Women in Investigations, and is listed in the Who’s Who for Investigations 2018.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Mairead has ensured Diageo has a holistic plan in place which will result in the business achieving a senior leadership team which is 40% female by 2025 and has committed to ensuring that 50% of hires to Diageo’s global graduate programme are women. She has worked to galvanise each Managing Director of Diageo’s 21 markets to establish a diversity and inclusion plan that meets these targets as well as locally relevant goals to ensure the business reflects local consumers. Through her ownership of succession planning to the most senior roles in the company, as well as partnering with the CEO and Presidents on hiring decisions, she has supported the promotion and acquisition of women into a significant number of critical roles. Externally, Mairead is a vocal advocate of Diversity and Inclusion in business – most recently writing an opinion piece for City AM on the subject. She has put her support behind key campaigns championing women in business, and diversity and inclusion more generally, including the 30% Club, Free the Bid and Open for Business.
Chief Planning Officer
Nicole believes empowering her colleagues is critical to success, so she ran a companywide workshop for all female staff and male managers that openly addressed the unique challenges women face in the workplace – from not speaking up in meetings and going for promotions, to the importance of supporting other women and creating a work/life balance that actually works. She was then invited into other companies she works with to present the session to their teams. She also worked with her team to promote International Women’s Day, involving inspirational speakers inside and outside the business promoting their successes and the importance of creating a personal brand. Externally, in 2017, Nicole started work creating a Diversity and Inclusion network – Balance – across Out of Home advertising to drive more balanced representation in all companies. She has signed 10 businesses up to Balance, who are now actively involved and making real change happen. The network is open to everyone who works in Out of Home advertising and provides information, training and advice to inspire women and BAME employees to stay in the sector longer while attracting new diverse talent.
Partner, Head of Business Development
In 2008, Rachel founded the Women in the Firm initiative within Arthur Cox. This involved bringing the women partners together to formulate a strategy to empower women in the firm. The initiative included training for women partners and associates on a range of subjects including Mastering the Unwritten Rules of Work and Developing a Personal Brand, as well organising talks and presentations by external speakers on key issues. Arthur Cox was the first Irish law firm to introduce maternity coaching. For the past five years, the firm has hosted a lunch event for 200 women clients on International Women’s Day. Rachel also played a key role in bringing the Catalyst programme, Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) to the firm which was attended by partners over two days in Dublin in September 2017. Externally, Rachel is currently the Deputy Chair of the 30% Club in Ireland, and co-heads the club’s Professional Services Firms’ Group. She is a regular speaker in various fora on women in the workplace – she has recently chaired an event for the Irish Society for European Law and has been invited to give the key note address at the Society of Young Solicitors’ conference in November.
Managing Director, Corporate Banking
Sarah is a driving force behind Balance, MUFG’s gender diversity network, which she co-chairs with a male colleague. Since its launch, her leadership has seen the group go from strength to strength, with a balanced membership base of both men and women who regularly interact with its campaigns and initiatives, plus the launch of several Network chapters across MUFG’s EMEA region. Her ability to engage male champions in gender agenda has not only contributed to a sea-change in company culture, but has also been a catalyst to organisational change, with MUFG making its first public gender diversity declaration in 2017 when it signed the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter. This saw several internal changes to policy and practice to support the progression of gender diversity at the firm. This also saw MUFG listed as a finalist in the 2017 Women in Banking & Finance Awards for Team of the Year. As a mentor to a number of women at MUFG and other organisations, Sarah utilises her extensive network to assist women seeking new roles, particularly post-redundancy. Sarah has also been involved in a programme, which saw her visit sixth form female students to promote the finance sector.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Raquel regularly takes opportunities to advocate for women in the workplace, including speaking on panels for the Global Sponsorship Programme, a bespoke 12-month talent development programme for high potential mid-level/senior women associates, and featuring in the firm’s internal campaign for International Women’s Day which profiled 27 women across 5 regions sharing their #pressforprogress statements. As part of the “Stronger Together” network, she encouraged partner firms to promote diversity, and tries to influence decisions on speakers. Externally, Raquel is an active member of the Women Partners Forum in Spain, which aims to promote gender diversity in law firm partnerships. She hosts events for external attendees, including men, covering topics such as how best to support talent pipelines, flexible working arrangements and modernising perceptions of legal institutions. She is an active member of a Senior-Women group for members to the International Bar Association, and organises a now traditional group lunch at the IBA’s global conference.
Director, AWS S3
Lauren is Director for Amazon Web Services S3 based at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, U.K. She is the executive sponsor of the Diversity Working Group at Amazon’s Development Centre in Cambridge, which aims to create and foster a diverse workplace. Under Lauren’s leadership the Diversity Working Group focuses on: building the recruiting pipeline to get more women into key positions; fostering internal knowledge and skill building; and inspiring young women to get into the STEM field. She has been named 100 Women to Watch in 2018 and was awarded the 2017 everywoman in Retail Ambassador of the Year awards for her dedication to addressing the gender gap in retail and technology. Lauren has led outreach efforts to inspire girls to continue studying STEM subjects at school by inviting them to Amazon’s drone lab in Cambridge and regularly visited schools as a Prime Air STEM and AWS Cloud Computing Ambassador. She is also a STEM Ambassador for Connect Education and Business since October 2016, where she is a role model and mentor to women and mothers looking to return to work. She often speaks at events to inspire women to embark on a career in technology.
Head of Regulatory Solutions and Innovation
As a member of State Street’s EMEA diversity council, Cristina is in charge of developing and driving initiatives that affect gender diversity at State Street, in Luxembourg specifically. To raise awareness and engagement, several breakfast sessions have been held with female managers to understand their career aspirations, as well as the challenges and opportunities when developing more diverse teams. In addition, as part of State Street’s ‘Speak up / Listen Up’ initiative, which aims to support and create an open and inclusive culture, Cristina facilitated training sessions to Assistant Vice Presidents and above, providing them with tools and strategies to improve communication and dialogue within their teams. She has also been an active member of the Luxembourg chapter of State Street’s Professional Women’s Network (PWN) for several years, and became its Chair in 2017. Externally, Cristina takes part in a number of speaking opportunities, including panels at the German Women’s Network “Fondsfrauen” regional meeting, and the Swedish-Nordic Chamber of Commerce conference. She is also a member of the “Gender Diversity Lobby”, which is a group of companies in Luxembourg driving change and creating an environment attractive to female talent to further economic competiveness and social progress.
Human Resources Director
Enterprise Rent-A-Car UK & Ireland
Leigh is the Chair of the UK/Ireland diversity team and founded a ‘Mum & Tots’ group, allowing women and men to bring babies into the office when on leave. She launched Enterprise’s first women’s networking group ‘Enterprising Women’ and developed an award-winning ‘Diversity Scorecard’ – a company-wide benchmarking tool. She also created the internal gender diversity magazine ‘DRIVE’ and Twitter page to engage leaders/customers/universities and profile successful women in the business. Additionally, she helped sponsor #inpursuit, an Enterprising Women’s annual customer event focusing on diversity and inclusion, attracting 100+ customers. Externally, Leigh was appointed to the BITC Leadership Team for Gender Diversity, championed BITC’s #EqualLives research, and is a regular speaker at conferences, in HR press, and at events on gender diversity, recently speaking on inclusion at DEFRA. She is a sponsor of the Women of the Future and Asian Women of Achievement Awards, and championed the BITC Race At Work Survey 2018.
President, Data Practice
Stacey is an executive co-chair of Epsilon’s first ever Women in Leadership initiative, which she helped establish in 2017. The initiative is now available to female associates in 25 offices including Toronto and Bangalore. A champion for female representation and leadership, Stacey makes it a priority to reach a hand back and help pull other female leaders forward after not having a mentor to lean on herself. A working mother of two children, she understands the importance of women in the workplace and promotes a culture that fosters confidence, inclusion and positive outcomes for women. She regularly mentors “up and coming” female associates each year from across the business. In her local community, Stacey is actively involved in supporting Leadership Ascent, a Denver not-for-profit that helps to support women in leadership. The program provides education to women in leadership roles in business that focus largely on emotional intelligence, how women and men approach business differently and how to “reach a hand” back to help other women as they progress in their careers. Stacey also serves on the Board of Directors for a local not-for-profit called Denver Urban Scholars, and is an active speaker and thought leader in the industry.
Managing Director and Co-founder
Abi has taken Spabreaks.com from a two person business in 2008 to 80 members of staff today (the majority of which are women), with a strong focus on ensuring that all employees feel appreciated and have the chance to progress in their career. She recently opened a second call centre in Brighton to encourage more women to be able to be able to return to work. This shows in the company’s near perfect 4.8 score on Glassdoor. Abi has won numerous awards since launching Spabreaks.com 11 years ago including the European Business Award for Leading Woman in Business for Inclusivity and Diversification, the First Women in Travel and Leisure Award in June 2017, and she won the Natwest and Everywoman Female Entrepreneur of the Year in November 2017. Abi works with a number of women within her industry to improve opportunities for women and to help improve women’s work opportunities, as well as their confidence, health and wellbeing. She has also recently joined the board of the CEW. She pioneered Recovery Retreats for people with cancer in 2008, working alongside other leading women in the spa industry has broken down prejudicial barriers against cancer patients and other individuals in spas.
Lazard Asset Management
As CEO of LAM’s business in the Middle East, Farah internally connected Lazard asset management (LAM) to the 30% Club in the UK, US, Australia & Singapore to launch diversity initiatives. Subsequently, LAM hosted the 30% Club US mentoring program in 2016, and Farah has actively mentored women at LAM in US, UK, Australia, China and Middle East. She recommended an amendment to the LAM HR handbook in Middle East to enhance maternity leave, in line with global standards, and has enrolled all female staff and senior male directors in a regional mentoring program (Reach). Externally, Farah co-founded Reach, which has mentored over 300 professional women in the UAE, Lebanon, Bahrain & Saudi Arabia since launch in 2013. She also co-founded the 30% Club GCC in 2015 and currently chairs steering committee, with over 150 member firms.
Group Technology Officer, Communications, Media & Technology at Accenture
Emma has spent many years championing women in Accenture from running early stage networks 15 years ago to sponsoring global attainment programs today. With a focus on retention, progression and recruitment in her former role, she increased the percentage of women at every level, exceeding the global targets. She pioneered Accenture’s outreach work with Stemettes, a program which started with 14 school girls in London in July 2014 and today reaches >4,000 girls in over 8 countries annually. Externally, Emma sits on the advisory board of Digital Leaders, CBI Innovation Council, and is Treasurer of Orchid Project. She recently stepped down from board of techUK as the sponsor for diversity. She is a regular speaker and panellist pushing the agenda for women in business, from keynote at the GSMA Women4Tech Summit at MWC Barcelona 2018 to speaking at local schools. She is also on the Women in Business board for the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, is a Godmother Stemette and acts as a judge for several UK women in business awards.
Executive Director Human Resources
Bank of England
Lea has been a long-standing sponsor, mentor and champion of female colleagues in the workplace. In her current executive role she has initiated a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives aimed at further embedding the Bank’s inclusive culture. This includes launching the Bank’s first pilot sponsorship programme for diverse talent. She co-chaired the Bank’s gender network for 3 years, and led a professionalization of the network – expanding its membership, influence, effectiveness and impact. Achievements included the establishment of a parents’ network, a strengthened training offering for managers of maternity leavers/returners, and the establishment of an ‘Allies’ pillar to facilitate the inclusion of male colleagues in the push for greater gender diversity. She has also been involved in social media campaigns, via the Bank’s channels, to champion women in the Bank and celebrate international women’s day. Additionally, she has had numerous mentoring and sponsorship relationships with female colleagues over the years. Externally, Lea maintains a number of informal mentoring relationships, and regularly attends roundtable discussions on how to support gender progression.
Ann has led many initiatives that improve the lives of women and girls at Mastercard. These include the creation of GiveMe5, Mastercard’s umbrella programme for all gender diversity initiatives, aligning with the UN Sustainable Development Goal Number 5, the empowerment and enablement of women and girls. She has driven initiatives to ensure a balanced pipeline of future women leaders is in place, focusing on entry-level recruitment, and ensuring balanced candidate slates at entry level in every country. She is the main sponsor of Mastercard’s returnship programme, which helps employees return to mid-senior level management positions after an extended career break. Externally, Ann has led partnerships around the world with UN Women to advocate for and develop digital identities for women. She has led the creation of partnerships between Mastercard and organisations including the Vietnamese Women Union and the China Women’s Development Foundation. She also created the global networking initiative Leave a Legacy, a coming together of senior women executives from around the world to create a community designed to promote and create legacy initiatives for the next generation of women leaders. Additionally, she regularly speaks at global organisations dedicated to closing the gender gap and promoting empowerment of women.
VP Hybrid Infrastructure Services and Networks & Telecoms, EMEIA, DTS
As the UK Executive sponsor for Women in Business, Wendy has a clear strategy with measurable goals to ensure women can succeed in Fujitsu. She has been key to driving the gender pay gap actions, which included getting an external audit to address any issues. She mentors women internally, and externally, to help them find confidence and realise their ambitions. She championed a new way of writing role descriptions so that they could eliminate male orientated language and encourage more women applicants, which resulted in an increase in the number of females who applied and who were appointed to senior roles. She has also been hosting the Fujitsu Women in Technology event for Fujitsu customers where they bring the latest thinking and insight to the senior customer base. Externally, she has been re-elected to sit on the techUK council and has been leading a work package promoting a Returners programme which can be accessed via the techUK portal. She also wrote a blog for International Women’s day which was published on the techUK portal called Press for Progress. She has been collaborating with customers and partners to share the latest thinking on how women can succeed.
Head of Citi Private Bank North America
Since 2015, Tracey has been the Co-Chair of Citi Women, a global effort designed to empower and promote women at Citi. In this role, she has had the privilege of receiving feedback from women across the globe and escalating appropriately, one important example, Citi signing the UK Women in Finance Charter. In partnership across Citi, Tracey has driven multiple initiatives in support of women, such examples include Pay Equity, Girls’ Education, and increased female representation across Citi. Earlier this year, Tracey made the business case at the United Nation Women’s Empowerment Principles Forum that sourcing from women owned businesses is important globally and promoted for the UN/Citi created guide which emphasizes The Power of Procurement. Leading by example, female representation on her Leadership Team is at 40%, and taking into account other diversities, ethnic and LGBTQ, the team is 60% diverse. With this diversity of thought and experience, her business has achieved double-digit growth YoY since 2014. By understanding this business imperative, Tracey has led trainings for her staff to communicate, educate, and help women align their investment objectives with their life goals. Under her leadership, Citi Private Bank will soon be launching a gender lens investment offering to clients.
Head of Finance, Legal & Strategy Community
Lloyds Banking Group
Elizabeth leads a cultural change programme with targets including 40% female leaders by 2020. It upskills colleagues to value diversity and inclusion and be aware of unconscious bias. She runs an Inclusion & Diversity working group, a women’s leadership programme, and contributes to the Group’s women’s network, Breakthrough. She mentors female colleagues and role models best practice. She speaks at internal and external events, and hosts visits from organisations to promote the benefits of an empowering, inclusive culture. Externally, Elizabeth has spoken at conferences such as PwC’s Finance Leaders’ Summit, its Women in Finance Network, and Deloitte’s Shared Service Forum, about the value in empowering, inclusive working practices, and is participating in a panel discussion on gender pay. She talks to girls at schools, supports with work placements, and has won an award for work with local charities.
Partner, Litigation Department
Gotshal & Manges LLP
Diane knows first-hand how transformative the mentoring experience can be, and in turn has worked hard to promote and mentor young women lawyers. She has demonstrated how they can excel as jury trial lawyers in “bet the company” cases and helped talented litigators develop the strengths and skills to be top trial attorneys. Also, as a member of Weil’s Management Committee, she advocates for women at the highest levels of leadership and has helped address firm wide issues, including the retention and advancement of women attorneys. Externally, she has been an active supporter of organizations such as Coastal Volunteers in Medicine and Womanspace, which offer critical support for women and families in need. She was also proud this year to work on a pro bono matter in the interests of academic freedom, securing asylum in the U.S. for a female Syrian professor who was fired and tortured for speaking out against the Assad regime and for aiding victims of the conflict in Syria.
Co-founder and CEO
Development Partners International
Within DPI itself, Runa prides herself in promoting equality across every level of the business. Three of the six current company partners are women, putting DPI well ahead of the industry average. This diversity is apparent across all levels of the firm – over 40% of the firm are women and she actively supports DPI’s staff in their professional development through mentoring. DPI invests in the emerging middle class in Africa, where women are increasingly influential, looking after investments based in 27 countries. Externally, Runa played a role in the establishment of AVCA, the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, where she was chairperson and remains an active director. She is also the Chair of the AVCA Sustainability Committee, a Board and Africa Council Member of EMPEA and a steering committee member of PEWIN, the pre-eminent organisation for senior women leaders in private equity, where she has been instrumental at driving the organisation’s growth and regularly host and contribute to events aimed to promote and support women in private equity. In 2016, she was invited onto the board of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.
Sue has made much progress in establishing a culture which embraces gender balance in the workplace, striving for gender parity in the leadership team and always working hard to seek out talent. She co-founded the Santander Women in Business network to inspire, educate and recognise women across the bank and it now has nearly 3,000 members. She also mentors 8 women internally. Given her extensive network of external contacts, Sue has organised trade missions; launched business education programmes; and given female business leaders access to high profile business women who can help them transform their business. She has also worked with partners including Cause 4, Blooming Founders, Enterprising Women, Forward Ladies, Prelude and PRECIOUS. She has also sponsored and spoken at events and awards that celebrate female entrepreneurs.
Senior Partner & Managing Director
The Boston Consulting Group
As the leader of BCG in Greater China, Carol is responsible for four offices and over 500 staff members. In the past three years, 11 women have been elected partners in China—one-third of their partner group in the region. Through investment in recruiting, women comprise more than 50% of the entry-level cohorts in the region. Carol leads a cross-functional committee dedicated to providing career support to women, including programs focused on sponsorship for mid-level and senior women and flexible working arrangements. Externally, she is involved in a number of organizations that promote women in business, including the Mu Lan Club, an organization of female entrepreneurs sponsored by China Entrepreneur magazine. The group comes together to discuss topics impacting women in business. In 2017, she attended Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Conference in Hong Kong, and has spoken on gender-equality issues at the Women of Our Time conference, sponsored by the South China Morning Post. In addition, she co-authored the BCG research paper Creating the Diverse Organization: How to Thrive in a Complex World (April 2016), in which they advocated that a diverse workforce is imperative for meeting the demands of diverse customers.
Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions, EMEA
Following her appointment as head of TTS, Ebru also joined Citi’s executive committee (ExCo) for the region. She is one of four women out of 22 members to sit on the board. In January 2017, Ebru also joined the Board of Directors of Citibank Europe Plc. She is heavily involved in the talent development and diversity agenda, and actively promotes and supports development of female diversity and inclusion as a senior leader through mentorship and coaching. She is a regular speaker at Citi run ‘women in leadership’ events throughout the region, speaking to audiences comprising of both senior women as well as junior talent. She is also currently working with senior colleagues globally, to create a formal women’s network specifically designed for the TTS business. Externally, Ebru has been invited to speak at a number of industry events championing women in the workplace, including the Women in Treasury conference sponsored by Treasury Today, keynote speech at Financial News FN100 dinner as well as participating and speaking at the graduation ceremony of the 2017 ‘Momentum’ program. Ebru has encouraged a number of her senior management team to participate in this particular program over the past years as mentors themselves.
Mazuin in a career spanning two decades has built an industry reputation of playing a business transformation leader. Having led three successive business turnarounds for Malaysia’s leading international Marketing Communication Groups in Edelman, MullenLowe and Leo Burnett, she brings with her the tenacity and rigor required to influence the business trajectory. An avid proponent of ‘playing a meaningful role in the Clients’ business journey’, Mazuin today is one of the very few women business leaders in Malaysia who continue to invest in nurturing and building a startup based corporate culture that shines light on young talent. A natural mentor at heart, she continues to take immense pride in creating entrepreneurial abilities across workforce, as she continues to steer Malaysia’s leading Reputation Management Consultancy with over 70% women as part of the workforce.
SVP, Client Relations
Helene believes that supporting women’s professional development and advancement is crucial to the success of an organization, and relies on fundamentals of role models, mentors, connections and support. She has made addressing these fundamental needs a central part of her career, and was a founding member of the Women’s Mentor Program at Information Resources. This group established mentorship best practices, identified mentor pairings, and provided ongoing support to mentees through one-on-one sessions, group workshops and inspirational yet practical guest speakers. She brought this experience with her to future employers and continues to play a role in formal mentor programs. At Lightspeed, she is currently a mentor in the LEAP program, which pairs influential senior women with high potential women in other parts of the company. She is currently developing a program to bring one-on-one mentorship to a broad group of employees, to go beyond existing invitation-based mentoring. She is often sought out as a mentor and coach, particularly in the areas of communication, employee engagement, and difficult conversations, and has developed mentoring relationships both internally and externally.
Managing Director, Head of UK, Ireland & Nordics Corporate Banking
Holly is an active supporter, sponsor and role model of gender diversity at MUFG, and is a critical enabler to its success. She was a key player in driving the development and launch of MUFG’s EMEA Inclusion and Diversity strategy in 2015 and is a founding member of the EMEA Inclusion and Diversity Steering Committee. She was influential in the establishment in MUFG’s employee network for gender-balance, which launched in 2016, She also took on a key role in leading in the development of the proposal and securing buy-in to the signing of the Women in Finance Charter in July 2017, the first public commitment for MUFG in the gender diversity space worldwide. Holly exemplifies the company culture being built through her mentorship of many employees, sharing her knowledge and expertise to enable and empower others to drive change, and mentoring other women throughout her career. Holly’s mentorship extends beyond her business role, as a volunteer with Working Chance, an award winning charity partner of MUFG committed to getting female ex-offenders back into employment This programme provides careers advice and interview practice to equip female ex-offenders with invaluable skills and to ultimately help them secure jobs.
Human Capital & Diversity Executive Sponsor
Payal is a managing director who sits on the Accenture United Kingdom & Ireland (UKI) Board with singular accountability for Inclusion & Diversity, and leads the Talent & Organisation UKI practice. Payal is the sponsor of a coordinated programme around the recruitment, development, progression and retention of female employees. In her capacity as a People Advocate, she has overseen the establishment of Accenture’s market-leading Shared Parental Leave provision, and is a key contributor to many of Accenture’s events aimed at promoting female progression, including the annual flagship International Women’s Day celebrations. Externally, Payal is a Trustee on the Board of East London Business Alliance and part of the Business in The Community (BITC) Gender Equality Leadership Team, with a focus on intersectionality and challenging gender norms. Payal has been recognised in prominent global diversity rankings, and is regularly invited to speak at conferences such as Critical Eye CEO Retreat, CBI, European Business Summit, STEM Gender Equality Congress as well as senior leadership forums on the topic of the future workforce and inclusion. She has founded a scholarship program in Mumbai for under-privileged girls, and is co-founding a ‘not for profit’ helping youth from disadvantaged backgrounds build life and leadership skills.
In 1999 Jill launched Rauxa, which has grown to become the largest independent women-owned agency. She has maintained Rauxa’s culture of being “upside down” from the start with 70% of the leadership team being female. Jill has prioritized mentorship with an internal program to lift younger women and increase their chances of visibility within the industry. She also supports industry mentorship programs including that of longtime client with Verizon AdFellows. She is outspoken in the industry, penning a call to action for Campaign U.S. to champion women in the workplace. RauxaGives is Jill and Rauxa’s give-back program aimed at giving back to its communities. They partner with local non-profits to give time and money. She hosts a quarterly “RauxaGives Day of Service” where organized activities are set up in each major office for employees to participate in – from beach clean ups, to toy drives, painting classrooms or making signs for marathon runners. They also created a “Build Your Brand” workshop that aims to help youth understand how to build and own their brand (professionally and socially) as it relates to who they are, what they stand for and what they want to accomplish.
VP of IT Enterprise Application Delivery (Global)
Sage Group PLC
Kerry Sinclair leads a team of technology specialists at Sage – one of the UK’s largest technology companies. She is mindful that a career in technology development and delivery hasn’t historically been a favoured career choice of women. To help address the challenge of gender diversity in her field, Kerry is involved in a number of Sage, industry and educational programmes. Kerry helped build a leadership programme to support high potential females in technology, a yearlong programme that focuses on women in STEM. She speaks at industry events such as the North East Chamber of Commerce and has worked with local schools and in order to change mind-sets amongst young women considering their career options. At Sage Kerry coaches women through the Women@Sage programme, designed to support talented females through their careers. She also works across various programmes including: return to work, diversity training, unconscious bias awareness and much more.
Chief Information Officer
As HarperCollins UK’s CIO, Laura oversees the company’s technology division, and has oversight for Distribution and Production, which includes the company’s distribution centre in Glasgow. She believes passionately in redressing the existing gender imbalance by championing women in technology and emphasising the message that women can enjoy enormously interesting and rewarding careers in the sector. Laura sits on HCUK’s Executive Committee and regularly interviews colleagues at all levels up to and including CEO as a leadership resource for HarperCollins intranet training hub, speaking at and sharing best practise at trade and technology events and conferences. She also sits on the employee led diversity and inclusivity council where she supports and helps promote progressive initiatives across the business. Mentoring is a key passion of Laura’s and something she has been actively involved in for over fifteen years. As well as mentoring female employees within HarperCollins she has acted as an external mentor for two mentoring organisations, SWIMM and WING. WING is a cross-industry organisation that helps mentor women in the workplace, which she co-founded whilst at Time Warner, and now includes businesses such as Oracle, Condé Nast, MVF Global, News UK, and of course HCUK.
VP Commercial Excellence EMEA & Americas
Having herself benefitted from the support and mentorship of colleagues in developing a highly successful career in the fields of Sales and STEM, where women have traditionally been underrepresented, Kimberley has been keen to pay this forward to the next generation of up-and-coming women. In particular, she is a strong advocate of mentoring, having mentored approximately 50 people over the course of her career, the majority of whom have been women. In addition to being a mentor herself, Kimberley has also encouraged others to do the same, by becoming a sponsor of GSK’s mentoring programme in the US. Externally, Kimberley sponsored the partnership with the LEAD Network (Leading Executives Advancing Diversity), which has a mission to attract, retain and advance women in the retail and consumer goods industry in Europe through education, leadership and business development. Kimberley prioritised investment from her operating budget to support the enterprise partnership with LEAD, ensuring GSK were one of the early ‘Gold’ sponsors of the network. Most recently, Kimberley has also supported LEAD by producing an ‘Inspirational Journeys’ video, which showcases her own success story and was circulated to LEAD’s 2,700 members, as well as being available to all to view on their website.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
At all opportunities Noiana endeavours to act as a role model for diverse lawyers and women in the firm. As US partner for gender diversity, she guides women lawyers in their careers, works for smarter workplace policies, and thinks more broadly about the firm’s strategy to increasing gender diversity at senior levels. Additionally, she has served as a mentor on the US Women’s Mentoring program and has been asked to act as a partner, as well as acting as sponsor on the firm’s Global Sponsorship Program, a bespoke 12-month talent development programme for high potential mid-level/senior women associates. Externally, Noiana helped establish, and sits on the steering committee of, Equal Representation in Arbitration, a group of professionals committed to improving the profile and representation of women in arbitration, particularly in the tribunals themselves. This initiative has gathered over 3000 signatories worldwide, including law firms, corporations, arbitral institutions and arbitration practitioners, all of whom are committed to achieving gender balance in international arbitration.
Parter Student Property Team
Merelina is an active member of the Women in Real Estate Organisation. She runs focus groups and speaks at regular internal panels and debates to tell her story in Knight Frank, but also to enable Women to speak to her as a role model. She specifically runs the graduate scheme, with a focus on providing women entering the profession with support and direct guidance. She runs the commercial graduate scheme at Knight Frank, liaising with circa 50 graduates this year and assisting with interviews, mocks and APC preparations. This also includes the recent innovation of starting a pioneering internship scheme for the first time in Knight Frank’s history. Merelina regularly mentors interns and graduates personally, and takes a hands on approach to advising and nourishing the next generation of real estate professionals. She has already supported 90 graduates from interview stage through to APC. She is a Registered APC councillor and this year became an official RICS trained APC assessor. She has also been part of a panel event at the Hotels and Alternative Conference, speaking confidently and knowledgeably on the student sector with her peers.
At her firm, Nicci’s vision statement is “Making D&I Win!” with a special lean towards gender diversity. They look for clients that have a good D&I attitude and support them in favour of their less diverse competitors. Specifically they have declined to work for organisations where the board or management team is All Straight White Male. Vincis is 75% Female. They have two recently returned to work mothers and have adapted contracts and practices designed to make this easy. They are also supporting 3 apprenticeships, where 2/3 are females and they are currently paying for and supporting one young lady to complete her bachelor’s degree on day release. Externally, Nicci presents about D&I and in particular gender diversity. One of her standup shows, “Prey”, is about raising awareness of Domestic and sexual abuse of women and children. She supports a national trans charity, and has recently been appointed as the Head of Diversity for “Wings” which is one of the largest International Scout camps taking place every 4 years, the next is in 2020.
Partner, Goldman Assessment Management - Fundamental Equity Business
Katie spends many hours mentoring the women within her own group and across the Firm. She strongly encourages the women she mentors to take a seat at the proverbial table, to be transparent about their own ambitions, and to invest in both knowledge and networking. In the group she leads, more than half the assets are run by women portfolio managers, and she makes efforts to formally and informally connect women to one another, and to other influential leaders in the industry. Additionally, she has conducted various research efforts at the firm that focus on women’s roles in the global economy. One of her studies helped create the first global financing facility dedicated to women, conducted in partnership with the International Finance Corporation. Outside of the firm, Katie is very dedicated to building the industry-wide pipeline of female talent, through investing in the programs and resources to encourage female undergraduates to pursue careers in finance and investing. She is actively involved in the “Girls Who Invest” program both through Goldman Sachs and her alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.
Senior Managing Director- Head of ESG Investing & Asset Stewardship
State Street Global Advisors
Rakhi has been a key speaker at the firm’s Professional Women’s Network (PWN) events in various geographic locations. She met with female employees in Boston, Tokyo and London offices in formal and informal settings to discuss her personal challenges in managing work-life balance, particularly as a mother. She is trying to highlight the need for more awareness on the role of organizational, team and societal culture in facilitating gender diversity. She is pushing for more accountability at the individual manager level and greater exploration of team culture to better understand which practices are helping or hindering achieving gender diversity at all levels. Additionally, Rakhi helped develop and implement the engagement and voting guidelines behind SSGA’s Fearless Girl campaign that calls on companies that have no women on their boards to enhance gender diversity within their organization. Through her association with the Fearless Girl, she serves as both a spokesperson and role model in the industry on matters related to gender diversity. In honor of International Woman’s Day, she addressed the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris, and called on companies to disclose gender data across their entire businesses to build more diverse leadership pipelines for the future.
Biola Alabi Media and Entertainment
At Biola Alabi Media and Entertainment, from the beginning they committed to economically empowering women. The company is has over 75% female staff and the leadership is all women. Externally, Biola is the founder of Grooming for Greatness, a foundation committed to the development of future leaders . The organization makes a concerted effort to select 70% women for each cohort. Every week on her TV show, she interviews, showcases and highlights female entrepreneurs. She is also a regular speaker at Female leadership events across Nigeria : Wimbiz, WeConnect, iWOW, Ladies in Business. Biola is also a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a Yale Greenberg World Fellow.
Head of HR EMEA
Over the last two years, as she met with candidates, talked to hiring managers, and shared experiences with fellow HR professionals, Lisa became increasingly focussed on the problems preventing potential talent from reaching the stage of making an application. As a result of lengthy discussions, she started looking at ‘returnship’ models that have emerged elsewhere, but saw the chance to go further. LinkedIn’s programme, ReturnIn, would be real, full time jobs, not work experience. It would have a unique recruitment process, additional help with onboarding, family friendly features and specialist help, and mentoring from people who understand the circumstances. Last November at the All Hands event, at which CEO Jeff Weiner was present, they officially launched LinkedIn’s ReturnIn programme. Lisa also speaks regularly internally and externally on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, including hosting CWIT (Connecting Women in Tech) events and International Women’s Day at LI.
Managing Director, Head of Risk and Controls Framework, Design & Execution
At each of the places she has worked, Bukola has actively championed the progression of women by ensuring that women are aware and are prepared for opportunities that exist. She sponsors the careers of several junior women within Barclays and has done the same at other banks she has worked at. She is an executive sponsor for the EMBRACE multicultural network and through this work, she speaks and acts as a champion at several inclusion events. At a previous bank, she helped design an accelerator program that saw junior women undergo training that will move them from the branch network to corporate roles in head office. She also dedicates several hours a month mentoring and advising women across Barclays. Externally, Bukola is a very vocal advocate for women progression in the workplace. She actively mentors numerous high potential women across all industry sectors. Through her work with her non-profit enterprise which was set up in 2015 to enable the career progression of women and ethnic minorities, she has been able to positively impact and inspire countless women, several of whom have gone on to change roles, negotiate better pay and outcomes and secure promotions as a result of her guidance.