Dr Funke Abimbola MBE

Funke is the most senior black lawyer within the UK’s pharmaceutical industry. She joined Cambridge-based Cycle Pharmaceuticals in July, becoming a member of the global leadership team with strategic responsibility for providing legal and compliance leadership of the company’s global operations. She is a global diversity champion. In March 2019, Funke was appointed as a Champion for Action as part of Grant Thornton International’s global diversity campaign, challenging gender-based barriers to career progression including recruitment bias. As part of the Law Society’s Women in Law Group, she contributed to the success of the largest ever international survey of its kind, resulting in the Law Society’s ‘Influencing for impact’ report with practical recommendations for increasing gender diversity across the global legal profession. Funke provides mentoring and sponsorship to support a pipeline of diverse talent and holds a number of non-exec roles within the diversity space. She has a grassroots approach to driving change and provides talks to approximately 2,000 school children annually. A regular media contributor for the BBC, Funke has been filmed for the First 100 Years Project celebrating 100 years of achievements by prominent women in law. She is also a notable alumni of her alma mater, Newcastle University, and was awarded an MBE for services to diversity in the legal profession and to young people in 2017. In September 2019, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire, recognising her significant contributions to corporate and social diversity.

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