Parisa Namazi

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.

Deborah Baker

As a Director in HR, Deborah’s team is responsible for several initiatives that fall within the Women in Leadership (WiL) programme. Activities have included upskilling programmes for high potential women, introducing gender-balanced shortlists for all job vacancies, and implementing inclusion training. She is also building Sky’s reputation as a leading employer for women through targeted recruitment events and media coverage. As a result of the Women in Leadership programme, Sky announced that nearly 40% of their senior leaders are now female, up from 31% since the launch of the initiative 2 and a half years ago. Their aim is to move this to half by 2020. Externally, Deborah has been involved in speaking platforms such as The Women in Media Awards and also in press articles talking about what they are doing at Sky in the gender diversity space and to create a more inclusive culture, and how other organisations can learn from this, for example in ‘HR magazine’.

Rachel Higham

Rachel designed, delivered and now sponsors BT TechWomen, which in its 3rd year is delivering a year-long development programme for 385 women across BT. This is different to similar gender focussed initiatives, in that is both a network and a development programme for talented women in under-represented roles across our business. Development topics include personal brand, courageous speaking and purposeful teams, leading change in self and others, building confidence and impact, and politics and networking. By vocalising the issues facing women in technology and demonstrating the impact that targeted investment can have, it has influenced BT’s broader Diversity and Inclusion agenda and transformed the careers of 635 women in our business. Externally, Rachel actively shares the design and learnings from TechWomen with partners and corporate customers through our NextGen CIO events in order to spark and generate momentum to address the technology gender gap. She has recently supported events at the BBC, CMI and Imperial College London celebrating women in business and promoting her approach. She has also visited schools to promote STEM careers and recently launched the 2018 Step into STEM programme mentoring young girls in Sixth Form colleges across London.

Emer Timmons

Emer acts as an advocate for gender equality by consistently making it a positive regular board level agenda item. She allocates time to act as both a mentor, and importantly a sponsor, to women at all levels which ensures a healthy pipeline of successful female talent. She does this through networking events, ensuring gender balanced short lists for prominent roles, raising the profile of talented women and speaking regularly at events. She replicates this work in PaddyPower Betfair PLC where she is a Non- Executive Director and also as an Ambassador for the Royal Marines Business Liaison Group. A member of the UK government Women’s Business Council since 2013, Emer has represented the UK at the UN Commission on the Status of Women Globally in NYC in 2014, and has been asked to address the UN again in 2019. She was appointed Co-Chair of the Men as Change Agents (MACA) board and, with the support of the Home Secretary and Number 10, MACA launched a toolkit to the Chairmen and CEOs of the FTSE 350 and 150 privately owned companies on how to achieve gender balance in business leadership and thus close the gender pay gap.

Serpil Timuray

Serpil has championed a women’s inclusion programme across Vodafone markets, serving as the Chairwoman of Vodafone Group’s “Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee”. She is committed to helping to increase the proportion of women in management and leadership roles by helping build a pipeline of talent, specifically through initiatives such as “50/50 female/male graduate recruitment”, Vodafone’s pioneering “Global Maternity Policy” and “ReConnect”, the world’s largest recruitment programme for talented women on career breaks. Serpil also launched the ‘Connect’ initiative in 2017, a commitment at Vodafone to provide 50 million unconnected women in emerging markets with access to mobile technology, thereby narrowing the gender connectivity gap by 2025. This initiative is designed to provide specific products and services for women that enable financial inclusion, build skills and promote entrepreneurship, improve health and wellbeing. To date, the programme has reached more than 15 million women; 33% of the target. She also launched ‘Women First’ in Turkey, in partnership with the Turkish Ministry of Family and Social Affairs. She is a regular mentor to a number of senior women professionals at Vodafone, and served as a selected mentor for the ‘Women on Board Association” (WBAT Turkey).

Rob Mukherjee

Rob inspired the creation of Vodafone UK’s first-of-a-kind “ReConnect” event, helping women on a career break get back to work. He also drove the introduction of a Northern Women’s Network, engaging that network to support local communities of women and girls. He regularly mentors, and actively seeks out female talent to guide through their career. Rob has spoken passionately about diversity and inclusion at events such as “Northern Power Women Live”, “Guys That Get It” and “The Northern Powerhouse Business Summit” at the Great Exhibition Of The North.  In recognition of his work in this area, Rob is the current holder of the Women In Sales Awards (Europe) “Best Male Mentor” Award and the Northern Power Women “Agent Of Change” Award.

Andrew Penn

Under Andrew’s leadership, Telstra sets clear targets for gender representation, with the current Telstra CEO Leadership Team being 50% female. There is also a huge focus on gender pay equity, and comparing like-for-like roles, the gender gap as at 30 June 2017 is 2%. In March 2017 they also introduced a requirement that interview shortlists include at least 50% female representation. Tesltra encourages different ways of thinking about gender equality through ‘Brilliant Connected Women’, a network of almost 3,000 Telstra women and men who champion gender diversity and equality. Andrew is a passionate advocate for women in business through Australia’s longest running women’s awards program – the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. Externally, he is a member of Male Champions of Change, an initiative for male CEOs to step up beside women to ensure a sustained increase in the representation of women in leadership. This year their major project is an examination of the Future of Work, Technology and Implications for Gender Equity. He gave a keynote speech for AustCham in Hong Kong focussed on the role of diversity and inclusion in corporates and recently participated in a panel session for the Women in Rotary Breakfast celebrating International Women’s Day.