Oliver Holmes

Oliver Holmes | Accenture

Oliver Holmes

Oliver joined Accenture in 2014 from the Home Retail Group (Argos, Homebase & Habitat).

He is currently is the Accenture UK Technology Inclusion and Diversity Engagement Lead; driving the strategy, initiatives and engagement around Inclusion & diversity to ensure it is holistically embedded into the fabric of the organisation. He works very closely with senior leadership in the various business areas & functions to ensure that programmes are put in place to support Accenture's ambition to be the most inclusive organisation in the world.

He has made a significant positive impact to Accenture Technology's metrics around Gender & African-Caribbean representation (2019 all-time high) and helps govern leadership around the recruitment, retention & progression of women whilst leading & advocating for all of Accenture's inclusion pillars (LGBT+, Enablement, Family, Social Mobility, Gender and Ethnicity) to Technology's c.6000 employees.

He has driven the development and growth of many of Accenture's Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) to ensure maximum engagement from employees and the measureable impact it makes the the business by increasing retention & progression of diverse talent.


Joy Foster

Joy Foster | TechPixies

Joy Foster

Joy Foster is an award winning entrepreneur who helps women upskill with modern technology in order to return to work, change careers or start a business.

Most recently she was recognised by Grant Thornton as one of the 100 Faces of the Vibrant Economy 2018, she was awarded Startup Director of the Year for London and the South by the Institute of Directors (May 2018). She was the only Startup female finalist in the national IoD awards (Oct 2018). Her business, TechPixies was named Women in Business Startup of the Year 2018 and Enterprise Nation Female Startup of the Year 2017. Joy and her company have recently been profiled in Forbes for raising £150,000 and Stella for breaking down barriers for women wanting to re-ignite their careers and in April 2019, TechNation has named TechPixies ‘one to watch’ in the EdTech space.

She is a Mum of 2. Her husband is Tim Foster MBE, one of the awesome foursome who won the Coxless 4 Rowing event at the Sydney 2000 Olympics.


Jim Bichard

Jim Bichard | PwC

Jim Bichard

I was a professional rowing coach prior to joining PwC in 1996. Like many colleagues, I joined PwC to get my accounting qualification but loved the client and people experience as well as the opportunity to do different things.

Like a lot of people I didn’t choose Insurance - but my first client was in the industry and I immediately liked that they had a positive impact on people’s lives and could model the future!

After qualifying I had five great years in PwC New York where I met my wife before coming back to London and taking on a role running our risk & regulation team, then our London Market practice.

I now lead our UK Insurance practice with responsibility for all PwC's services to insurance clients across every industry segment, from global groups to InsurTech startups. In the summer I will take over responsibility for our practice globally and will continue to enjoy working with some of our largest international insurance clients.


Bea Jackson

Bea Jackson | Royal Marine Cadets

Bea Jackson

Bea has been a Royal Marine Cadet for 18 months now.

She joined as she was being bullied at school and wanted to develop the confidence to deal with that situation. During this time Bea has taken to Social Media to speak out against bullying in any form and to let people of all ages know that there is help out there.

To help spread the work of the Cadets Bea has launched OPERATION BUMBLE which will see here doing two of the four Commando tests. She will be completing the 30 mile march in less than 8hrs and the 9 mile in less than 4. At the time of writing she has raised over £5000 in sponsorship. She has also attracted over 30 adult instructors to join along with the 50 and still counting Cadets.

Bea’s long term goal is to become one of the first female Royal Marines Officers, and then a Royal Marine Female Junglie Pilot.

Ever active on Twitter so has attracted quite the following, with even a follow form the First Sea Lord. Bea lives in West Yorkshire with her Mum, Dad and older sister who is to join the world famous Royal Marine Band this September.

To donate to Bea's campaign, click here.


Sam Cooper-Gray

Sam Cooper-Gray | HSBC

Sam Cooper-Gray

Sam Cooper-Gray is the Global Head of Propositions for HSBC Global Business Banking, based in London. Sam was appointed to this role in 2019.

In this role, she is responsible for leading the proposition for Global Business Banking, supporting over 1.3 million customers in 53 countries.

In addition to her responsibilities at HSBC Global Business Banking, Sam is the Global Co-Chair of HSBC BALANCE, an employee resource group focussed on ending gender imbalance within the bank and across the industry, by creating an environment where gender balance is the norm, impacting over 50,000 members, 150 Senior leader ambassadors and advocates in 43 countries around the world. Sam regularly speaks at industry events on the topic of gender equality and empowering women in financial services. She is also a Board member for Women on the Wharf, leading the creation of the new Beyond Mentoring programme connecting mentors and mentees across businesses. In addition to this Sam is a Non Exec Director for Mason Breese, a Jersey based change management company, advising on diversity and inclusion and is a mentor both internally and externally.

Prior to taking on her current role, Cooper-Gray was the Global Head of Learning for HSBC Commercial Banking, supporting the development of over 24,000 employees across 53 countries and has held senior positions within HSBC for 20 years, having joined as a graduate in 2000. These roles include, Chief Operating Officer, HSBC Channel Islands Commercial Banking, Regional Head of Client Experience HSBC Global Trade, Europe as well as relationship management and leadership roles in both HSBC UK Commercial and Retail Banking and Wholesale Risk.

Cooper-Gray holds a Bachelor’s degrees in History and Politics from the University of Kent at Canterbury and in Banking and Finance from the University of Manchester.


Catherine Coltart

Catherine Coltart | Northern Trust

Catherine Coltart

With over 15 years of experience within the recruitment Industry, Catherine has established herself as a pragmatic leader with a strong focus on inclusion and minimising unnecessary barriers, allowing the business to broaden their pool of talent.

After completing her Bachelor of Business in Australia, Catherine moved to the London, where she formed a global resourcing team across Australia, South Africa & UK. Catherine has continued to built her in-house Talent Acquisition career at Northern Trust and now leads a team of senior consultants across EMEA, embedding diversity as a business as usual aspect of the recruitment process and advising beyond expectations. An advocate of the firm’s Business Resource Counsels, a former co-chair of Women in Leadership and currently a member of the EMEA Diversity Counsel; ‘Her understanding of the business and its culture is highly appreciated within the firm and will ensure her place as a future leader in the industry.’ David Mapplebeck, EMEA Chief Administrative Officer at Northern Trust.


Charlotte Allen

Charlotte Allen | Alexander Mann Solutions

Charlotte Allen

Charlotte graduated in 2011 and has since worked in multiple roles within recruitment.

Since starting her career in agency, she soon moved into RPO, working with financial service clients including Deutsche Bank, Societe Generale, BlackRock, and most recently at Barclays. Charlotte soon discovered that she enjoyed sourcing for candidates, but mostly enjoyed the message that went to those candidates. Since joining Alexander Mann Solutions in 2015, Charlotte has been able to explore that, working with her client to ensure the message to candidates is the best it can be.

Outside of work, Charlotte does a number of different voluntary activities to support her passion for diversity. She helps young women to perfect their CV's as part of the Young Women's Trust, and mentors an female entrepreneur in India through Cherie Blair's Foundation for Women. As well as this, she has recently started as a helpline volunteer supporting women with cervical cancer or changes with Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust. Supporting the local community is a big part of Charlotte's life, and she volunteers at a local soup kitchen and supports local women's events and initiatives on an ongoing basis.


Farrah Ekeroth

Farrah Ekeroth | EY

Farrah Ekeroth

Farrah currently leads EY’s EMEIA Financial Services Employer Brand team, overseeing their talent attraction strategy across 18 countries.

Born in Canada but raised in the Philippines, Farrah obtained her bachelor’s degree in Sweden before moving to London in 2012 to pursue a career in marketing. In her current role, Farrah is responsible for attracting a broad range of talent into EY’s financial services business which comprises 15,000 people across 18 countries. Through storytelling, social networking and creative campaigns, she champions new ways to engage with recruitment audiences and raise awareness of the brand.

Raised by immigrant parents, Farrah has always been passionate about multicultural diversity and it was her global mindset that drew her to EY. More recently, she’s been helping to address the skills shortage in financial services through changing industry perceptions and attracting a broader, more diverse range of applicants from different social and academic backgrounds. This included launching the region’s first pan-EMEIA campaign to attract early female talent and those from non-traditional backgrounds into financial services, resulting in a 15% increase in applications, as well as a 30% increase in traffic to EY’s career portal and over 80,000 views of the campaign online. The project has also been shortlisted for external graduate recruitment awards in the UK.

Farrah has been actively involved in diversity and inclusion initiatives across the firm which has included leading on communications for EY’s disability and mental health network as well as participating in mentoring opportunities and facilitating marketing workshops for charity.

Farrah is a keen public speaker, regularly hosting internal events and speaking at external conferences to share best practice in the field of recruitment marketing, including the upcoming World Employer Branding Day, HR CoreLab and IHR Employer Branding Conference.

Prior to EY, Farrah worked in brand reputation for an energy company where she ran an educational programme for young people, facilitating educational experiences and workshops in schools across the country.


Anisa Aksar

Anisa Aksar | 11:FS

Anisa Aksar

An experienced Senior HR Business Partner, I've had the incredible opportunity to develop pre-boarding and on boarding strategies, performance enablement processes, developing intuitive people practices and launching wellbeing initiatives.

I currently spend my days building and nurturing purposeful teams at 11:FS (the hypergrowth startup on a mission to create truly digital ventures that customers love) by engaging, supporting, retaining and developing the best talent.


Laura Brunton

Laura Brunton | Amey

Laura Brunton

Laura currently leads the Early Careers team for Amey, a 17,000-employee business who is a leading supplier of consulting and infrastructure support services both in the UK and internationally.

A chartered HR professional, Laura has also worked in business improvement, project management and management consulting.

Laura is a highly experienced HR Business Partner and has worked in operational roles in the following sectors - Highways, Waste, Facilities Management, Group Functions and Consulting. Laura also has led teams in specialist HR roles in talent, OD, resourcing and HR helpdesk. This exposure to the business from many differing perspectives has allowed Laura to develop real depth and breadth as a credible and competent leader who specialises in people. Committed to working out of her comfort zone and keeping her business skills and commercial acumen sharp, Laura has recently returned from an international assignment in Sydney, Australia where she undertook a hybrid role of project management, client advisor and people & culture lead.

Laura instigated this role whilst on maternity leave with her second child and was over the moon to be able to pursue this once in a lifetime opportunity with her husband and children as a family. Her husband was highly supportive (if a little nervous about the huge change for the family at first!) and left his job in the UK to fully support Laura and their family in this great transition.

• Education: BA (Hons) Business; MSc Project Management; MCIPD; Dip Coaching and Mentoring (currently studying)
• Previously a Management Graduate at an International Manufacturing and Logistics Company – Assa Abloy