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Melanie Richards

As Deputy Chair of KPMG UK, Melanie advises business leaders and Boards, and is a strategic, collaborative and compassionate leader. She has worked in both banking and professional services for nearly four decades and been a long-standing champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Melanie is tireless in her efforts to improve inclusivity in the workplace. Throughout her career, Melanie has supported, mentored and coached women from within and outside of KPMG, helping them grow their networks and progress their careers. Thanks to her influence, in 2014 KPMG was one of the first to publish detailed diversity workforce targets. She was named the #1 Financial Times Female Champion of Women in Business in 2017, is a member of the Hampton-Alexander review Steering Committee and is a founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee. Melanie sits on the Employer’s Board for the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London and is the Chair of The Eve Appeal, a charity which raises awareness and funds research into the early detection of gynaecological cancers. In 2019, Melanie received a CBE for her contribution to business and the diversity and inclusion agenda.

Anna Purchas

Anna is a Member of the Inclusive Leadership Board, Chair of the Black Heritage Working Group and a mentor to the Chair and regular contributor the KPMG Network of Women. She has spearheaded initiatives that have advanced women’s professional careers across all levels of KPMG and beyond and instills in them the confidence to move up the career ladder. A passionate advocate for creating inclusive workplaces, this year, Anna has been a member of the ICAEW Leadership and Professional Development Board, a Judge for Changemakers, Women in Software and a member of the Forward Institute. Additionally, Anna is a coach to women across industries and is committed to actively championing gender equality in business.

Bina Mehta

Bina has over 20 years’ international experience in Corporate Finance and Restructuring, is Chair of KPMG UK’s Emerging Giants practice and a member of KPMG UK’s Board.  She is a role model with a strong voice who actively promotes inclusivity and is a regular speaker at events and quoted in the media. She champions KPMG’s Global Diversity and Inclusion agenda taking a leading role with Women of the Future as well as with KPMG’s India Club, bringing together diversity networks to promote inclusion and recognise intersectionality. Included in India Inc’s Top 100 Most Influential in UK-India Relations, Bina is also a Member of the HM Treasury and BEIS co-sponsored Council for Investing in Female Entrepreneurs and is an Ambassador for Code First: Girls. She is passionate about inspiring diverse talent to consider careers in technology and mentors junior female and BAME colleagues at the firm as well as entrepreneurs.

Anna Purchas

Anna champions leadership accountability for increasing the diversity of KPMG’s workforce. She led the setting of KPMG’s publicly declared targets to increase representation of female talent through to 2022. This clear focus on gender parity has increased executive membership to 33% female. Anna ensures transparency over pay gaps and works with KPMG’s women’s network to lead popular pay gap workshops across the country to generate ideas and drive KPMG’s response. She support’s KPMG’s programme to support working parents, has championed numerous return to work programmes for women and is leading a project on agile working. Anna proactively supports female promotion candidates and KPMG’s GROW programme, from which 44% of female delegates were promoted at least one grade in FY18. Anna also promotes positive change beyond KPMG. She appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018, sharing KPMG’s approach to parental leave. In February this year, she was asked to give evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee on the best practice use of settlement agreements. She published a letter in March 2019 offering advice to young women on self-confidence in salary negotiation. She has spoken with the Department for Transport about job sharing, is an active fellow of the Forward Institute, is chair of Access Accountancy and is on the Learning and Professional Development Board of the ICAEW.

Melanie Richards

Melanie works with her fellow board members to drive KPMG’s strategic direction and works alongside KPMG’s highest-profile clients and key stakeholders, including regulators, industry bodies and the public sector. She has personally driven a wide range of programmes designed to advance inclusion in the workplace. Melanie chairs KPMG’s Inclusive Leadership Board (ILB), which includes external representation and provides a check and challenge to the executive teams and works to ensure that the firm embeds inclusion and diversity into its strategy. She is the senior sponsor for ‘GROW’ – KPMG’s award-winning leadership development programme, designed to advance minority groups, including women, to senior positions. In addition, Melanie continues to mentor women both within and outside the firm, sharing her knowledge and helping them to build their networks and progress their careers. Externally, she has driven KPMG’s Senior Business Women Network for over 10 years – 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 member of the Hampton-Alexander Review steering committee. Melanie uses her platform as a business leader to make equality a reality not just within KPMG, but across society more broadly too.

Anna Purchas

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.

Melanie Richards

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.

Karl Edge

Since Karl’s return to the Midlands and promotion to Senior Partner, he has personally led the way in championing female talent and crucially has brought the wider partner group along with him. His ‘What Shadow Do We Cast ?’ program has inspired all of the partner and director group to implement new techniques for inspiring and leading their teams. His focus on creating an environment where females can be successful including personal mentoring of female partner candidates has already led to 3 female partner appointments in Watford/Milton Keynes and the strong positioning where by the end of 2019 the Midlands partnership will move from 4 to 10 females. He has led on the female partner mentoring programme as well as driving an external network of senior females in the region to drive opportunities from our Women In Business forum.

Christopher Stirling

Christopher has been driving KPMG’s Exceptional Women in Life Sciences initiative to promote female talent and gender parity internally and in the industry. He has supported the development of women’s networks within KPMG, and recently sponsored a global study to explore innovative solutions to the barriers to progression women are facing. This enabled the women in the Life Sciences sector to engage with Leadership, and he has since observed an increase from 13% to 35% of women in leadership roles in the Life Sciences practice in the past year. Externally, Christopher set up an advisory board to discuss gender diversity and inclusion issues with Global Life Sciences companies and academia. He is an annual sponsor of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Woman of the Year award, and encourages HBA membership across KPMG and industry contacts. With Christopher’s encouragement, the HBA has become a platform for leadership development at KPMG, as women colleagues have adopted volunteer HBA leadership roles that have raised their visibility and influence at KPMG.

Melanie Richards

Melanie works with KPMG’s Chairman and Board to set the firm’s strategic direction and determine major policy positions.  Melanie is a Partner in the Debt Advisory practice and has more than 30 years of experience in Financial Services, with expertise in banking, lending and debt restructuring. She is KPMG’s senior sponsor for inclusion and diversity, and leads the firm’s external Senior Business Women’s Network. Under Melanie’s direction, KPMG published a detailed diversity profile of its workforce, looking at under-represented groups throughout the organisation. This move was an industry first and demonstrated the importance of this issue both to colleagues and to the wider market. Melanie has been instrumental in establishing KPMG’s Inclusive Leadership Board and invited three leading diversity experts, Tanni Grey-Thompson, John Amaechi and Nicolas Miller, to join. She has championed KPMG’s ‘Return to Work’ programme, designed for women who have taken a career break of 18 months or more, and sponsors ‘GROW’ – KPMG’s leadership development programme, designed to advance minority groups to senior positions. She has personally supported, mentored and coached women within and outside the firm. Melanie is one of the founding members of the 30% Club Steering Committee, and has facilitated a variety of research projects into women’s experience in the workplace. She sits on the steering group of the Hampton-Alexander Review, which aims to increase the number of women in senior positions in FTSE 350 companies and is joint Vice-Chair of The Eve Appeal and a member of the Harvard Women’s Leadership Board. In June 2016, Oxford Brookes University awarded Melanie an Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration for her achievements in business and her promotion of gender equality.