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Funke Abimbola

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.

Funke Abimbola

Funke is the most senior black lawyer in pharma, the only such leader in Roche globally, and a multi award-winner. She was appointed as Roche UK diversity champion, as a strong, visible female role model, who mentors, coaches, and sponsors female colleagues. She regularly presents on importance of diversity and inclusion to all 2,000 new joiners, and is filmed for transmission globally. In line with the UN HeForShe campaign, Funke engaged strong male champions of diversity, and supports the UK General Manager in achieving diversity goals. She established a summer work scheme, and an annual paid school leaver internship, changing trajectories of over 30 students from a range of backgrounds. She is also executive sponsor of a company-funded University bursary scheme to support students from underrepresented groups, specifically female graduates. Externally, Funke holds numerous voluntary leadership roles with strong gender equality campaigning focus, and grass roots approaches to removing barriers for women in the workplace. She also provides free diversity in leaderships talks, and has mentored thousands of individuals, impacting both men and women. Funke is one of the few female world news reviewers regularly presenting on BBC 1, and is a regular speaker and campaigner on gender diversity issues.