50 Female Future Leaders 2018

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Susan Robson

1
Principal Consultant
National Grid

Since 2015 and in parallel with a full time role, Susan has been involved in the National Grid gender diversity employee resource group, becoming chair in 2016. She has the raised the profile of the gender diversity network internally through visibly aligning initiatives to the business strategy and creating a much more robust framework for the activities. Susan is committed to raising visibility of  National Grid’s gender diversity commitment externally and has presented at a Westminster Briefing, an Inclusive Employers conference and an UN Global Compact summit. Susan led National Grid’s sponsorship of a European Women in Energy Leadership Conference earlier this year in London, hosting the final panel session of the conference. Building on the success of the female Remarkable Role Model book, Susan co-led the production of a second volume to showcase role models across all minority groups at National Grid, demonstrating a broader commitment to equality. Maintaining close relationships with key partners including the Women’s Engineering Society and the POWERful women, Susan works to promote development partner opportunities to women in National Grid. This year, Susan is leading the design and delivery of a new programme to encourage men to become more active in the gender diversity debate and is mentoring two sixth formers as part of the Future Mentors programme.

Lucinda Wakefield

2
VP, Principal, Administration & Planning
BNY Mellon

Throughout Lucinda’s 3 year leadership of BNY Mellon’s largest business resource group, the Women’s Initiative Network, EMEA (WIN EMEA), she has been a visible and vocal advocate for diversity in the workplace. Lucinda has enabled 45 female employees to be mentored by external senior executives through the 30% Club Cross Company Mentoring Scheme. On International Women’s Day, Lucinda joined a panel at BNY Mellon’s Manchester offices and spoke about the important role we can all play in moving the needle around gender equality. She blogs to raise awareness about significant political milestones that have furthered gender equality and on the importance of men’s involvement in our gender equality mission. In January 2018, BNY Mellon gave Lucinda a Spotlight Award for developing talent by supporting ex-Military Interns who went on to secure permanent roles with BNY Mellon. Since being nominated, Lucinda has been promoted to Director, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, EMEA, BNY Mellon)

Sue McLean

3
Partner
Baker & McKenzie

Sue is a member of the executive committee of BakerWomen, Baker McKenzie’s women’s network and supports the firm’s Senior Female Peer Network. She also leads Baker McKenzie’s women in tech initiative, BakerWomen in Tech. Prior to joining Baker McKenzie, Sue founded and chaired MoFo Women and was on Morrison & Foerster’s global Women’s Strategy Committee. On top of this, Sue provides pro bono legal support to You Make It and Techmums, two social enterprises focused on empowering women. Outside of work, Sue is an Inspiring the Future mentor, Modern Muse mentor and mentor under the GSA mentoring scheme. Recently, Sue co-founded and chairs a Women in Tech Law network with the Society of Computers and Law. On top of this. Sue regularly host events for various women’s networks, such as UPWARD and Precious.

Khalia Newell

4
Vice President
Barclays

Khalia is deeply passionate about diversity and sits on The Black Professionals Forum and also the Chief Controls Office Junior Think Tank – part of the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) at Barclays. As part of the Junior Think Tank initiative she is working to improve the number of female Directors and Managing Directors within the Chief Controls Office; with a focus on progression for women of colour. In addition to this, Khalia has devised Director/Managing Director Leadership training across the Barclays Group to help promote diverse senior leaders and she continues to mentor many women from underprivileged backgrounds along her journey. Her work has been recognised by the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall where she received an invitation to meet Prince Charles at St James’ Palace and also an invitation to assist the Advisory Board for an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM in 2018 following her TEDx Talk in 2017 ‘Why Diversity Initiatives Fail’. She has received numerous awards and accolades, including: Black British Business Awards, Rising Star in Financial Services (2016); We are the City, Female Rising Star (2017) and was listed as Top 3 EM Power Future Leaders in the Financial Times (2018).

Pamela Jones

5
Operational Change and Integration Manager
TPICAP PLC

Pamela has been instrumental in forming ICAP’s Women’s Network, of which she is Co-Chair. Founded in 2009, she has delivered events for employees introducing female speakers such as Michelle Mone and Eve Pollard to illustrate Entrepreneurship and representation of women in male dominated roles. As a result of the network, Pamela has been able to form mentoring relationships with women internally to manage their career progression and navigate the corporate. Pamela is a Board member and Director at WILD (Women in Listed Derivatives), and chairs the Mentoring Committee. Pamela has been an active mentor and coach at Central Foundation Girls School in Bow  spending one hour mornings a month for the academic year working with year 10 and 11 girls. The demographic make- up of the school is 95% Punjabi. Alongside this, Pamela is looking to work with Dr Claudette Bailey Morrisey to create a programme of mentoring focusing on BME girls. Pamela is a committee member of TP ICAP’s global ‘connect’ diversity committee and looking to play an instrumental part in the set- up of the TP ICAP’s first Ethnic Minority and cultural Backgrounds  committee too. She is an Advisory Board member and Brand Ambassador for Dress for Success who work to empower and mentor women back into the workforce.

Parisa Namazi

6
Head of Talent
Cicero Group

Parisa was responsible for signing up Cicero Group to 30% club and women ahead mentoring scheme, and gave all female employees the opportunity to sign up to mentoring. Throughout the process she encouraged male allies, with approximately 35% of mentors being male. She led Cicero through joining Women in Finance Charter, and as a result of this, has held events on International Women’s Day to empower female employees, maintained a level of 50% female new hires,  led focused training sessions and has signed employees up to industry specific women’s networks. Elected in 2016, Parisa is one of 12 to sit on HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter Industry Board to represent SME and professional service signatory firms, and returns to her university to give talks on career progression and provide advice for those who have not been placed on a graduate scheme to consider other options and to be a role model for those looking to enter HR.

Ashlesha Vaishampayan

7
Manager, Consultant Relations
Russell Investments

Ashlesha leads the Gender Equality Network for EMEA at Russell Investments, and is a member of the EMEA Diversity & Inclusion committee. She chaired and organised a panel event for International Women’s Day with 3 prominent industry speakers to educate and spread awareness of key issues. On top of this, she is organising a ‘Gender Equality Skills Based Training Week’ with multiple workshops/events, which will be taking place in September.  Outside of work, Ashlesha is a committee member of the Diversity Project, sitting on the ‘Gender Equality’ working committee. Mentoring up and coming talent is also important to Ashlesha – she mentors 3 women in the asset management industry.

Catherine Yuile

8
Executive Vice President, Insights & Analytics
Edelman

Catherine has been with Edelman for 3.5 years, leading the growth of the Insights & Analytics practice in Canada, and is a member of the Toronto leadership team.  Catherine is also a member of the global steering committee of Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network (GWEN), where she advises on and leads global initiatives designed to increase the presence of women leaders at the most senior levels of the firm.  In 2017, Catherine led the development of new global and regional scorecards and KPIs to track corporate progress and insights towards Edelman’s goal of 50/50 representation of women in leadership positions.  In early 2018, Catherine developed a plan to create and launch a new global Instagram channel for Edelman GWEN. To support this launch, Catherine formed a global team of women community managers across different regions to develop content that helps highlight local GWEN activities, women leaders, and their champions.  Under Catherine’s leadership, the GWEN team has organized regular local office events, such as lean-in circles, to help create a culture where women can lead and succeed.  Catherine is passionate about her mentorship of women in the communications, marketing, and research communities, supporting them to successfully manage their career development.

Carolyn Porretta

9
Head of Portfolio Services
AIG Asset Management Europe

At AIG, Carolyn actively encourages a focus on Diversity & Inclusion. She has regularly helped organise sessions where senior leaders talk to employees about their careers and listen to feedback. Outside work, Carolyn is a volunteer mentor with The Girls’ Network, which aims to inspire and empower teenage girls from the least advantaged communities by connecting them with a network of positive female role models for mentoring. Carolyn is also a mentor with Women in Banking and Finance. In addition, she volunteers with the Junior League of London, a charity that aims to promote voluntary service, develop the potential of women and improve the community through effective action and leadership from trained volunteers. Carolyn is due to speak at the European Women in Finance conference in Amsterdam in November, and was recently invited to the House of Commons for the inaugural Game Changers senior female networking event.

Ngaire Moyes

10
Senior Director, Corporate Communications and Brand Marketing
LinkedIn

Ngaire leads LinkedIn’s EMEA employee resource group, Women at LinkedIn and helped drive initiatives for International Women’s Day. She regularly hosts and takes part in internal panels and workshops on issues related to gender equality, including most recently a panel in Dublin with an audience of 140 people. Ngaire mentors a number of women inside and outside of LinkedIn, and has taken part in a scheme by the Inspiring Women Campaign where professional women visit schools and speed mentor girls. On LinkedIn, Ngaire writes on gender equality and women in the workplace, and has been interviewed for the ‘Human Experience’ podcast on gender equality and the workplace.

Niamh Carty

11
Senior Multinational Client Exeutive
AIG Europe

Niamh works in AIG’s Multinational department, and is a Committee member of GEM – Gender Equality Matters – a UK-based Employee Resource Group within AIG. GEM advocates a gender-balanced approach in the workplace both externally, through events and partnerships, and internally, through the support of AIG’s senior leadership. In 2018, Niamh  helped drive a clothes collection campaign at AIG in collaboration with the charity Smartworks, which offers training and career support services for unemployed women from deprived backgrounds. Niamh also mentors colleagues and peers in the industry, and in 2017, was named a ‘Rising Star in Insurance’ as part of the ‘WeAreTheCity Rising Star Awards,’ which recognise emerging female talent across multiple sectors of industry. She holds an Advanced Diploma in Insurance, as well as a BA in International Insurance and Risk Management

Amma Mensah

12
Founder & Executive Director
Beyond the Classroom

Through her work as founder and executive director of Beyond the Classroom (BTC), Amma provides leadership-skills, mentoring and work experience opportunities to girls as young as 11.  BTC’s Girlhood to Womanhood programme is unlocking a well-equipped pipeline of diverse talent, enriched by the resilience and determination forged through difficult life circumstances.  As a trustee of Business Launchpad (BLP), Amma supports thousands of young people launch and grow their own businesses, 85% of BLP clients are still trading after two years. Amma is also the youngest trustee of UnLtd, the UK’s foundation for Social entrepreneurs, where she is responsible for a £100 million endowment.  Not content with activities in the UK, Amma has been commissioned to help steer the UK arm of the Senegal based Kemi Malaika  school and Foundation (KM). One of the key objectives behind KM is to create awareness among parents about the importance of educating young girls and to promote the role of women, as essential drivers of development through education.

Tiffany Poeppelman

13
Head of Sales Productivity, EMEA
LinkedIn

At LinkedIn, Tiffany blends her daily leadership of core business initiatives like the 2018 opening of a new company office in Berlin, with service as both a culture ambassador and mentor to young women across the enterprise. She has coached dozens of young women to pursue leadership positions in technology, tackling deep-rooted imbalances in the sector. Tiffany also served as a board member of Women at LinkedIn, an employee resource group focused on developing female leaders. Tiffany spends much of her time outside of work as a thought leader in the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, serving as a mentor to young professionals new to the field, and writing a quarterly column on the subject. She actively promotes diversity by participating in mentoring sessions and developing “personal branding” events. She also showcases her business leadership through outlets like: Training Industry Magazine; speaking on podcasts; and keynote talks at many events internationally. Most recently, she was a featured speaker at Vodafone’s International Women’s Week, and at the Ericsson Women network resource group.

Angela Oduor Lungati

14
Director of Community Engagement
Ushahidi

Angela Oduor Lungati is a technologist, community builder and an open source software advocate who is passionate about building and using appropriate technology tools to create impact in lives of marginalised groups. With over 7 years experience, she currently serves as Director of Community Engagement at Ushahidi, providing support and building programs for Ushahidi’s diverse global community of users and contributors.  At Ushahidi, Angela  serves as a mentor to several female colleagues, in her capacity as the Director of Community Engagement at Ushahidi, and has been part of a team that has developed progressive policies that allows for a flexible work-life balance of all employees. In April 2010, Angela co-founded AkiraChix, along with a group of friends working in the tech industry.  AkiraChix is a non-profit organisation that nurtures generations of women who use technology to develop innovations and solutions for Africa. AkiraChix provides technical training for young girls from low income areas, high school students and primary school children, with the goal of increasing technical capacity of women, and ultimately increasing the number of women working in the tech industry.

Jayashree Mitra

15
Head, Global Regulatory Portfolio Management, Information Technology & Operations
Standard Chartered Global Business Services Private Limited

Jayashree heads the Gender Diversity & Inclusion programme for Standard Chartered Bank Technology, India. She has led campus recruitments in women’s colleges across India, designing a programme to demonstrate that IT engineering roles can be interesting and fulfilling. She created a global programme promoting leadership for high potential women in the historically male- dominated field of IT Infrastructure. Jayashree also mentors junior women building networks and enabling to promote themselves positively. To recognise women doing amazing things in the field of technology, Jayashree launched a company newsletter featuring them, circulated globally and instituted awards for recognising Women talent and achievements. At Standard Chartered Jayashree has led the creation of parenting circles, and is working on in-house creches and family networks to support children while the mother is working.

Lauren Gemmell

16
Manager, Software
Amazon

Lauren plays a key role in the progression of women at Amazon. For the past four years, she’s led Amazon’s Women in Engineering Group at the Edinburgh Development Centre, an internal group which supports female engineers through mentoring, networking and identifying new career progression opportunities. Lauren is also mentor for Claire Doherty, one of the Amazon Women in Innovation Bursary participants, providing her with advice on how to pursue her career in tech. She regularly organises and speaks at diversity events, and her most recent panel discussion was broadcast to hundreds of employees across the UK for International Women’s Day. Lauren is the lead sponsor for Amazon’s Early Insights Scheme, a community outreach programme in Scotland designed to encourage more young girls to study STEM subjects. Overseeing strategic direction and finances for the programme, the Scheme helped build confidence in the technical skills of the participants, and encourage a career in technology through workshops, talks, social events and a ‘hackathon’ for 12 female early years students. Lauren has also hosted workshops for Women Who Code Edinburgh, a global non-profit inspiring women to excel in technology careers, and Scotland Women in Technology.

MaameYaa Kwafo-Akoto

17
Senior Associate
Allen & Overy LLP

MaameYaa is an active participant in the firm’s female development programme and is often sought as an informal mentor/role model to junior associates. She has undertaken various speaking engagements at schools and universities, discussing a career in law. MaameYaa regularly speaks at female universities in Saudi Arabia such as Dar El Hekma with the aim of inspiring female law students. She is also working with a number of Saudi government agencies to implement Saudi Arabia’s vision of increasing the amount of females in the work place. She also hosts career insight days at A&O for young black girls from a local school interested in a career as city lawyers and took part in a graduate recruitment event for prospective trainees discussing both the firm’s gender strategy and BAME initiatives. She spearheads the firm’s BAME initiatives and is a founding member of the BAME network.

Laura Tynan

18
Manager EMEIA Restructuring
EY

At EY, Laura’s focus has been largely on cultivating female leadership. She serves as a mentor for a number of women in the firm including Lena Forster, winner of EY’s inaugural Corporate Finance Woman of the Year 2018 award, supporting her in navigating through difficult decisions. Aside from these individual efforts, Laura is the co-lead of EY’s ‘Gender Debate’ initiative, an important part of the firm’s effort to elevate the discussion around women’s issues. In this role, she organised and chaired EY’s inaugural ‘Profitability of Parity’ event, where gender parity was discussed as a critical business issue that impacts the long-term success of the firm. Outside of EY, Laura coaches a number of women, helping them navigate through career challenges, and build their confidence in order to overcome setbacks.

Emma Summerfield

19
Digital Product Manager
Aviva

At Aviva, Emma took a leading role in organising International Women’s Day events across London; particular focus was taken on the Women in Tech event at Aviva’s digital office. Emma formed a working group in order to deliver the event and department wide communication; utilised senior network of contacts to source speakers and gain sponsorship. Now the driving force behind a programme of events across all diversity characteristics including gender as part of her role in the global D&I working group. Utilising previous experience as women’s network chair in previous organisation to share best practice in Aviva.

Joanne Borrett

20
Senior Software Development Release Project Manager
IBM UK Ltd

Joanne is a Senior Software Development Release Project Manager in IBM UK.  In addition to this role she is the Diversity & Inclusion lead supporting the IBM UK Laboratory’s in the UK & Ireland, where she leads, coordinates and runs many gender related initiatives.   She has played a pivotal role in the organisation, development, delivery and leadership across a number of initiatives and special gender diversity programs, in order to support women’s career and skills advancement in IBM.  She leads many Women in IT events  where the theme was ‘Press for Progress’ – progress in careers, progress in technology and progress in diversity.  She is the co-founder and launched a pilot program to support women with their careers –  Developing Your Technical Career.  Joanne has been a key sponsor of a number of programs at IBM including the UK wide Connecting Women @IBM where she is involved in running events to encourage women to network across the organisation. She is a powerful advocate and role model regularly being a guest speaker or running events for local schools, colleges and universities  to encourage more women through the use of STEM workshops to join the IT industry.

Catherine Lang-Anderson

21
Counsel
Allen & Overy LLP

Catherine is a champion for part-time working parents within the firm and was named in 2017 on the Power Part Time Ones to Watch List. She has been the senior partner’s reverse mentor for 18 months and several initiatives to support the firm’s gender diversity strategy have been implemented as a result of this experience. Catherine is an active role model within the firm, participating in the firm’s womens’ network and taking part in a Q&A session which was filmed and shown at female talent programmes taking place around the global network. In the last year, Catherine has been promoted to Counsel, recognised as a key individual in the trade and commodities sphere by Legal 500 and has led on developing ground-breaking and innovative structures in her product area, winning several industry awards for her practice and for key deals from four major trade and commodity finance publications.

Sherah Beckley

22
Sustainability Specialist and Editor, Thomson Reuters Sustainability Site
Thomson Reuters

Sherah Beckley is Sustainability Specialist for Thomson Reuters, as part of their global Corporate Responsibility & Inclusion team. Sherah is the Editor of the Thomson Reuters Sustainability site and supports global corporate responsibility and sustainability efforts for the business. As part of her role, Sherah also leads a network of environmental ambassadors called “Green Teams” across their global office locations. Born and raised in Ghana, West Africa, Sherah has a diverse and international background both studying and working in Ghana, Finland, and the UK and has a passion for international development particularly in Africa. Sherah has previously worked in third sector, NGOs and financial services, and holds a BA Honours degree in Politics & International Relations from the University of Kent.

Katherine (Katia) Ramo

23
Associate - Technology, Media & Telecommunications
CMS

Katherine (Katia) Ramo is an Associate in Technology & Media at CMS. She is also the Founder and Chair of CMS’ ENABLE Network (disability and wellbeing) and supports the other internal diversity networks (Women, BAME and LGBT+). Katherine acquired visual, hearing and other disabilities as an adult due to a civilian tour of duty in Afghanistan and diagnosis of an elusive genetic condition. Katherine uses her disabilities, legal and business acumen as a platform to break down barriers and challenge stereotypes and misconceptions associated with disability to progress the agenda for disabled talent. Her unwavering spirit and determination make her a role model for all.

Pippa Murray

24
Founder
Pip & Nut

Pip champions gender equality in the workplace – two thirds of Pip & Nut’s small team are women. Pip strongly believes in nurturing talent from within. In the past year Pip has given over 20 talks about her experiences. Pip has been awarded 30 awards during Pip & Nut’s 3 years of trading. Highlights including 2016 Natwest Everywoman Award, First Women Young achiever Award 2017. Startups.co.uk Women in Business Award 2017, The Grocer Top Talent 2017, Regional HSBC Forward ladies winner 2017 and Listed in Forbes 30 under 30 2018.

Smita Joshi

25
Energy & Infrastructure Lead
Edelman India

At Edelman India, Smita has instituted several informal knowledge building platforms for women members willing to expand their sectoral knowledge and thus open career path in otherwise male dominated sectors within India. She personally mentors close to 10 women members of different teams, and has setup informal cross-gender reciprocal mentorships between varied team members aimed at nurturing skill and career development across practices and skillsets. In 2015, Smita co-founded a social development organisation JanmFoundation.org which is presently operational in two Indian states of Uttarakhand and Haryana, creating financial inclusion for women in rural communities of these states.

Akansha Goyal

26
Vice President, Product Control
Barclays Bank

Akansha is an international mentor, successfully steering women to achieve strategic goals and unlock their potential. She carries this with her both inside and outside the workplace. At work, she is helping drive the campaign for diversity, leading a team where women hold 80% of roles across various levels. Outside the workplace Akansha engages with schools to help improve literacy for young women in India. She was a part of the Women Leadership development program in Barclays, and was awarded the CFO award in Fidelity.

Val Risk

27
Client Executive
Fujitsu

The 2018 BITC Gender Champion and previously chair of the Women’s Business network, Val has created a clear Gender Strategy and Action Plan embedding change so women can succeed, close the gender pay gap and increase the representation of women especially in leadership, technical and customer facing roles. Val represents the company in the 30% Club, sits on the Everywoman Industry panel, supports Women in Automotive and was a non-executive Director for six years for an NHS Health Trust championing patient equality and chairing a health charity. A role model for diversity and its impact on business success Val was awarded the Global President’s Award 2017 and the Top Performers Award for her work on customer digital transformation and co-creation.

Tanveer Kaur Nandhra

28
Executive Principal; Head Financial Market Sales Kenya
Standard Chartered Bank Kenya

Tanveer is part of the working group for the Africa Financial Markets Women Agenda. The broad agenda is to develop a mentorship framework for the female talent; promote career development and leadership base via Short Term & Long Term assignments across the SCB footprint. Tanveer is currently coaching a female graduate on expressing her interest to join the global Foreign Exchange trading team. On International Women’s Day Tanveer celebrated women in Financial Markets East Africa by conducting a session focused on #Pressforprogress motivating the wider community to be gender inclusive. Outside of work, Tanveer is part of Ramgharia Youth Association volunteering on social and welfare programs. Prior to this she was part of  the mentorship program at Kibera School for Girls under the Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO).

Melisa Turano

29
Corporate Sales Team Leader
HSBC Argentina

In 2017, Melisa was selected Chair of Argentina’s BALANCE Group, HSBC’s ERG dedicated to supporting the recruitment, development and engagement of colleagues, managers and senior leaders in driving towards a gender-balanced workforce. The Group has undertaken many activities to promote dialogue on gender diversity challenges and progress, including workshops, breakfasts with employees and their daughters and monthly networking walks. Last year Melisa, along with Argentina’s BALANCE members, carried out a challenge of innovation and inclusion in partnership with Junior Achievement: One-day activity with high school students working together in developing ideas for a more inclusive workplace. Melisa has been in charge of Corporate Sales Team for the last three years. Throughout her career in Commercial Banking, she notes that business and finance have historically been men’s areas. She believes it is time to challenge the current paradigm. “If there are some inhibitors taking women away from decision-making positions, we all have to take action to bring them closer, because this is the only way we will be laying the foundations for a sustainable future”, she says.

Ana Battung

30
Global Director
Hyatt Hotel Corporation

Ana is currently on the Executive Leadership team for the Women@Hyatt West Chapter which encompasses 10 cities with 300 members. Their mission is to provide resources, learning & networking opportunities for our members to grow both personally & professionally. Ana has also been asked to be on the panel for a Women’s Empowerment Series in Washington DC aimed to guide young women professionals. Ana was recently appointed to oversee global Inclusion and Diversity Sales for Hyatt globally and is also the Membership Chair for the Hyatt Asian-Pacific Islanders DBRG Corporate Chapter.  

Coleen Mensa

31
Trainee Solicitor
EY

Coleen created a video for EY’s global website to shine a light on amazing women in the workplace whilst encouraging other females to join EY. She is also the founder of a focus group which is dedicated to bringing females in law together who share the same desire to excel at work. Coleen mentors 12 young women, assisting them with getting with entry level law positions or trainee solicitors roles in FTSE 250 companies. Coleen is a regular speaker at diversity and inclusion events and often speaks on the importance of this in the workplace. Coleen hosts quarterly roundtable masterclass sessions for her mentees which mainly focuses on the tips she learned through her own journey. In addition, Coleen is the co-founder of Power Up – an initiative which helps women get into their chosen career paths. This is done through “power dinner” events where individuals can connect with others who are excelling in their field.

Katja Butler

32
Partner, Private Equity
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP

Katja regularly acts as a mentor to junior attorneys at Skadden and has been heavily involved in women’s initiatives both at Skadden and at her previous firm. She was recently appointed co-head of the Skadden Women Attorneys Network (SWAN) and as a member of the Firm’s Global Women’s Initiative Committee, both of which work to help connect, support and sponsor women firm-wide, as well as within the legal and business communities.  Katja regularly plays an active role in mentoring junior lawyers from outside of her organisation to help support them in their own careers. One of her mentees is now in a senior in-house role whilst another is running for partnership at an international law firm this year. Katja also participates in a number of industry events, which offer opportunities for her to take part in candid discussions about improving gender diversity in the industry.

Anna Stables

33
Digital Innovation Manager
Aviva

Anna supports Aviva in working with innovative technology startups. She finds ways for them to collaborate and solve customer problems through technology. She’s also on both the Digital Diversity & Inclusion working group, and the Global Inclusion Committee, to promote diversity and women in to technology roles. This year, and five years in to her career, Anna was named in the ‘Top 25 Women in Tech 2018’ by Code First: Girls. She hopes to support them in achieving their goal of training 20,000 women in coding by 2020.

Kathryn Cripps

34
Partner
Knight Frank

Kathryn sits on Knight Frank’s People Board and is a member of their Gender Focus Group where she has been positively championing gender diversity and an improved working environment for working parents. Kathryn has regular 1:1 sessions with young women in the business, acting as an informal mentor. Outside of Knight Frank Kathryn provides advice to several aspiring women across the industry and is a mentor for the OBREMS network. Kathryn is a member of Real Estate Balance, an association focussed on addressing the gender imbalance and Women Talk Real Estate. She was shortlisted in 2016 for ‘Young Property Person of the Year’ at the PROPS awards, the longest running UK industry awards.

Samantha Jayne Nelson

35
Vice President Risk Engineer
Marsh

By openly and honestly sharing the story of her extraordinary journey, transitioning in the male-dominated workplace of oil rigs, Samantha serves as a role model to the diversity community and helps people better understand the power of inclusion. Samantha developed the concept of the Marsh & McLennan Companies #InThisTogether an Intersectional Diversity event held at the Tower of London in September 2017 aimed at Engagement, Education and Empowerment focused on topics which looked to unbundle diversity, covering Gender, Race, Disability and Mental Health through discussion and developing understanding as to why these topics are still relevant today.
She has presented at events on D&I, Gender Equality, LGBT+ and Trans*Womans issue, for the Vanguard Network, GLOW ‘Gender Identity and Trans Inclusion’ , Mercer ‘Unbundling Gender Identity & Sexuality’, the Royal Society’s very first Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) event, AIG’s ‘Bring your whole self’ event and the Financial Times ‘How to be an Ally’ to name but a few.

Helen Baker

36
QA Director Interim Director of Payroll and Services for UK & I Product Engineering
Sage

As an LGBTQIA+ woman, Helen takes an intersectional approach to gender equality. Helen champions diversity initiatives in her sector alongside her role at Sage. She mentors up and coming talent, and regularly takes part in the Women in STEM Accenture annual event where she hosts a Sage stand to encourage girls to get curious about tech and open their minds to the skills and roles available. She repeats this exercise at numerous colleges and local digital events every year.

Mary Ellen Oare

37
Senior Vice President, Head of US International Banking Center
HSBC Bank USA

Mary Ellen Oare is the Executive Co-Chair of Balance in the U.S., which is HSBC’s largest employee resource group focusing on gender parity to drive meaningful conversations, influence policy and make an impact on gender issues. In this capacity, Mary Ellen spends her time educating both internally and commercially on the benefits of gender balance, encouraging a shift in attitude, conduct and culture throughout our business. She advocates for recruitment processes, promotion procedures and advancement opportunities that deliver a gender-balanced workforce. Externally Mary Ellen is a featured workshop facilitator at Woman Up conference held in Buffalo, NY speaking on Executive Presence and Personal Branding. She has presented to Women in Management club at University of Buffalo focusing on Unlocking Your Potential and initiated a partnership with the West Side Bazaar in Upstate NY which enables immigrant and refugees to pursue their dreams of small business ownership.

Sharon Malhi

38
Senior Associate - Antitrust, Competition and Trade
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Sharon is a senior associate in the London Antitrust, Competition and Trade team. She has experience of assisting clients with complex multi-jurisdictional mergers, competition law litigation and broader behavioural, strategic competition law matters. She is a founding member and former co-chair of the Freshfields London Women’s Network where she helped to co-create an online cross-departmental mentoring scheme for female associates and co-founded the London Women’s Network client speaker series. Externally, Sharon has been a trustee non-executive director of Rosa – the UK Fund for Women and Girls, since October 2015.  She is also the founder of a soon-to-launch women’s ethical fashion label.

Plaxedes Makura

39
ILDP Manager
Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP

In South Africa particularly, given its racial history and patriarchal culture, it is extra-ordinarily difficult for a black woman to be in a senior management role. Plaxedes Makura, through hard work and an unparalleled perseverance, has risen through the ranks of the South African legal fraternity to be appointed as the most senior lawyer in the Johannesburg ALT practice group at the global law firm, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP (Johannesburg). She runs a department of approximately 18 legal analysts, and deals with work that is cross-border, large-scale and commercially complex. . She encourages diversity of all types, has an open-minded and respectful approach to her team and their work style. She is a remarkable woman with a work-ethic next to none, who always encourages her team to reveal the strengths of their nature regardless of the stresses of the job.

Pauline Wong

40
Senior Vice President, Head of Global Services, Hong Kong
State Street

Pauline leads State Street’s asset servicing business in Hong Kong and is a champion for diversity in all its forms. She is the executive sponsor of State Street’s Hong Kong PRIDE network, which creates a safe networking environment for LGBT+ employees and their allies. Previously she was also the executive sponsor of the Bank’s Hong Kong Professional Woman’s Network. Externally, Pauline is a member of the steering committee of Women’s Foundation’s Life Skills Programme. Together with some friends, she also set up a social enterprise that brings together young designers to design upcycling products produced by women from minority groups. Finally, Pauline has been a mentor to many female mentees within and outside the company.

Rachel Pashley

41
Head of Female Tribes Consulting
J Walter Thompson London

Having become frustrated with the narrow lens through which women were represented in popular culture, Rachel developed Female Tribes- a global insight study, a book and a business consultancy. Rachel defined and qualified the term ‘Female Capital’ – the value that women bring to the world as women. In March 2018, Rachel was personally awarded Female Future Leader IPA. Rachel has championed many varied initiatives aligning with this agenda, including a 4-part documentary, ‘Her Story: the female revolution’, with BBC World News., #drawaline with UN Women to end violence against women.

Shruthi Rao

42
CEO
Adapt Ready

Shruthi Rao is CEO of Adapt Ready, an early stage business in the InsurTech space. Under her leadership, the company has won major industry awards for its innovative risk intelligence platform, including “Risk-Modelling Technology of the Year”, “Excellence in Technology”, and “Best Customer Service Product”. As a longtime proponent of “women-in-tech” (and gender equality in general), Shruthi was featured in major publications for International Women’s Day in 2018. Diversity is one of the top agendas at her company, from 50% board representation to advisers and team. She is a firm believer that “good business” and “good for businesses” do not have to be mutually exclusive. Shruthi began her career as a software engineer, later moving onto management consulting. She holds a BE in electrical engineering and an MBA.

Bianca Miller-Cole

43
Entrepreneur, Author & CEO
The Be Group & Bianca Miller London

As the CEO of The Be Group, Bianca ensures that their personal branding workshops and keynote talks inspire others to be their best, futureproof their careers and work towards achieving their long term goals. Bianca works with a number of Gender/BAME networks as she is passionate about diverse talent, specifically helping women and gender parity. Bianca is also CEO of diverse hosiery brand ‘Bianca Miller London’ which provides a nude ‘skin tone’ shade for every woman. Bianca’s accolades include being listed on Forbes Lists 30 under 30, being a bestselling author of Self Made: The Definitive Guide to Business Start Up Success, being one of Richtopia’s top 100 Most influential Entrepreneurs and a LinkedIn’s Power Profile, as one of the most influential people out of 20 million members.

Shuchi Sharma

44
Global VP & Head of Gender Intelligence
SAP

Shuchi leads Gender Intelligence for SAP globally, and is charged with ensuring SAP is attracting, retaining, and promoting women to achieve a goal of 30% women in leadership by 2022. She is currently helping SAP renew its EDGE certification and implement action plans in over 12 countries where 80% of our population resides that will help us ensure gender equality. In addition, she is spearheading initiatives designed to enhance sponsorship, create flexible working arrangements, and a culture of male allies that understand gender diversity is good for everyone, not just for women. Shuchi also speaks at global conferences on gender equality and is active with UN Women helping to drive Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that address gender equality.

Laura Wallis

45
Head of EU Withdrawal Unit
Bank of England

Laura co-chairs the Bank of England’s women’s network, and has recently created an Allies pillar within the network, to broaden engagement particularly with men. Using her position as co-chair, together with a colleague she recently run a project on gender progression, looking at both data trends and colleague’s perceptions. Laura also co-organised a flag-ship international conference on gender progression in economics. On top of all of this, Laura is a mentor to up and coming talent at the Bank of England.

Sayli Chitre

46
Associate (Manager)
Oliver Wyman

Sayli co-led Empowered UK – Oliver Wyman’s network for racial, ethnic & cultural diversity with a view to fostering inclusion and enhancing the culture of the firm. In her capacity as the co-lead, she has driven a variety of initiatives for the network across graduate recruiting, internal community building through various discussion events and upwards mentoring to senior management to communicate the challenges faced by women of colour. She is also a formal mentor to a number of junior women consultants within the firm.

Kenesa Ahmad

47
Partner & Co-Founder
Aleada Consulting

Kenesa Ahmad is an attorney and risk advisor, widely recognized as a leading expert in privacy, data protection and information security. She is co-founder and partner at Aleada Consulting, a Silicon Valley based  business consulting firm, where she advises a diverse portfolio of clients including cloud service providers and financial technology companies, among others.  She is also co-founder, board member and the former Chair of Women in Security and Privacy (WISP), and is frequently a featured speaker at industry events around the world.

Siva Karthikeyan

48
Senior Finance Business Partner
Aon

As Chair of Aon’s Multi-cultural network, Siva leads the inclusion and equality agenda focussing on raising the profile of the unique challenges faced by BAME women within the Insurance and Financial Services sector. The network recently launched a speaker series focussing on C-Suite executives sharing their success stories on building diverse teams, driving collaboration and ultimately business results. Siva has a passion mentoring, and currently mentors entrepreneurial women through her involvement in community networks and provide them with the guidance and strategic advice to achieve growth within their business. In 2017, Siva won the Rising Star Award within Investment Management as part of the We Are The City initiative.

Rochelle Parry

49
CEO
Wealth of Knowledge LTD

Being CEO at Wealth Of Knowledge, gives Rochelle the opportunity to hire and give women opportunities to grow and manage their own businesses. She personally coaches women through our leadership program, aiming to open doors for them, and show them more of the world of business. She works with a charity In Greater Manchester and often gives talks to children and young adults at their events on getting women into business and the fight to be female leaders. She also has connections with local schools and works alongside them to help encourage girls in to business. Rochelle is a leader at a local Girl Guiding Unit, she work with Girls ages 5-11 and helps them think about where they want to be and encourages a girls can do anything attitude, her girls are working in the new term to start a simple Girl guiding business/ charity drive and the hope is that this will help instil the belief that they want more, as many of them have C-level aspirations.

Elena Elkina

50
Partner/Co-Owner
Aleada Consulting

Elena is a partner and co-founder of Aleada Consulting, a minority and female owned business – one of the first privacy and data protection consulting firms in Silicon Valley. Elena also co-founded a non-profit organization called Women in Security in Privacy to advance women in the fields. She serves as a Board Member for WISP spreading awareness and building champions for women across different industries. Up until recently, she served on the Board of LWT, a non-profit organization that empowers women to grow their knowledge, leadership skills & networks for greater professional & personal impact.