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Lauren Gemmell

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.

Lauren Kisser

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.

Jacqui Chin

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. 

Brian Cornell

The representation of female and diverse leaders across the business is a source of pride for Brian. His desire for a diverse team extends all the way up to the Leadership Team and Board of Directors. One of the areas where Target has focused on engaging and advancing women is STEM. Programs for the team include Target Women in Science and Technology, which helps foster connections, inspiration and knowledge sharing. The Engineering Management Immersion Program is a 12-month global leadership development program that offers immersive and personalized experiences to increase participants’ leadership ability. Externally, Brian signed the CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion pledge, which aims to create a more inclusive society where all perspectives and experiences are welcome. He is the co-chair of NEW’s Future Fund, which provides meaningful tools and training that women can use to advance their careers in the retail and consumer packaged goods industries. He also recently joined Catalyst’s board of directors, to play an active role in accelerating the progress of women’s inclusion in the workforce.

Katie Bickerstaffe

Katie believes that, without setting specific gender targets, companies should always employ the best person for the job. The attitude has seen a steady increase in the number of senior team members who are female. They attract and then support women with genuine opportunities to work more flexibly: from home, from out-based locations, or flexible hours for example.  Externally, Katie is an active supporter of the annual ‘Power Part Time’ List, which garners immense interest and national coverage. The list promotes flexible working for men and women. Having been listed herself four years ago, she is now a judge and speaker at the event. Dixons Carphone are sponsoring more of this going forward and, through connections made on the Power Part Time List, they’re founding members of ‘Be Inspired’, the retail change programme to encourage more women to join the industry. She has also spoken at her daughters’ school on valuing difference in the work place. Additionally, she is also non-executive director of Scottish and Southern Energy plc.

Robert Swannell

Robert has been a key supporter and champion of the formation and development of M&S Women’s Network, to ensure M&S continue to develop and inspire their female workforce. Externally, he is a formal mentor to two senior women, and informal mentor to many others at varying levels of seniority. He is a founder member of Chairman’s Advisory Group of  30% Club and recruited many Chairmen to the cause. He regularly speaks on the importance of women in business, whether through the 30% Club or on other panels. During his tenure as Chairman, M&S appointments have been more than 50% female. As Chair of UK Government Investments Robert promoted and supported an innovative scheme to bring women onto Boards of HMG owned bodies through shadow roles. He is also an investor in and supporter of an all-female venture capital body, which invests solely in women-led businesses.