Kimberley Hunt

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.

Linda Friedman

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.

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.

Maggie Pedersen

When Maggie started to realise the potential impacts of unconscious bias in society, she was inspired to drive change through taking on the role of Global Head of GSK’s Women’s Leadership Initiative. Leveraging her role, she has led a strategy for global growth, developing the WLI presence from two countries to over forty. She has held regular senior stakeholder engagements, with a focus on gender balance, collaborating with external not-for-profits, providing networking opportunities and 50% membership growth. When Maggie relocated to the UK from the US, she found that the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association lacked a presence in London, so she drove the establishment of the UK division; now it is one of the strongest and fastest growing regions of the European Chapter. Maggie has since progressed through various roles, culminating in becoming President of the European Chapter in January 2017. She is responsible for leading the Board to deliver strategic and profitability objectives, centred on advancing the leadership impact of women in healthcare. Maggie is now planning her next initiative; working with expert organisations to develop a secondary school curriculum on beekeeping in Western Africa. This will empower women to be economically independent and provide extra income for families.

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.

Sheri Mullen

Sheri invests a great deal of time in mentoring and coaching colleagues, leading by example in managing work-life balance. She works closely with HR to ensure that the best female talent is being given the chance to come through; her own team is comprised of almost two-thirds female employees. She has been involved with the Women’s Leadership Initiative since it was an informal network in the 1990s, right through its formalisation, and became one of two executive sponsors in 2011. Sheri has been a member of the Healthcare Business Association for over ten years, and has served in an industry advisory nature. She has also shared her perspective in a red carpet interview at the Women of the Year Event and continues to support the development of women through their programming efforts. She participates in and leads initiatives with international charity Dress for Success which helps women with one of the most fundamental barriers to success – what you wear. Similarly, she has focussed on enhancing interview skills with other not-for-profit organisations aimed at developing and supporting women, including GenHERation and Girls on the Run. She has spoken on various panels on gender diversity, and the professional and personal development of female employees.