Pamilla Sidhu

Pamilla Sidhu | PwC

Pamilla Sidhu

Coming from a working class and part-time carer background, Pam had little connection to accountancy.

After securing and completing 4 prestigious internships across one summer, Pam joined PwC in 2016 and passed all 15 chartered accountancy exams first time. She became one of the highest ranked graduates in her cohort nationally, developing a strong specialism in internal audit. Pam’s unique work experience across journalism and accounting allows her to explain complex, technical items in a readable way to senior executives.

Recently, she led a set of internal audit reviews at several major universities around the submission of their data to the regulator. This is a high profile area for universities, which can garner significant negative press attention if universities are found to submit misleading information to league tables. Pam’s reviews raised several significant findings for board audit committees. In one instance, due to the nature and severity of findings she raised, she was asked to perform a follow-up review in the next academic year to provide assurance to the board around progress made. Pam’s reviews provided a platform to bring these issues to the agenda of many university boards, and became a junior subject matter expert at PwC in this niche.

There was no diversity and inclusion network when Pam joined PwC in Manchester. To solve this, she co-founded and chaired the ‘Cultural Difference’ network to attract and retain diverse staff, organising high profile events and the PwC Diversity Mentoring Scheme for university students.

Pam has consistently worked hard to facilitate diversity and inclusion. From the age of 14 she began working for Voice 21 Magazine - written by students from under-privileged or under-represented backgrounds, with a readership of around 10,000 young people. Pam was the editor for 2 years - interviewing celebrities, liaising with PR firms to successfully grow the brand, and mentoring junior staff, before going on to write for Channel 4, The Guardian and The Independent.

Pam was recently approached by the Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAEW) to be one of their ‘diversity champions’, applying knowledge gained from her experience. She spoke at their 2019 Executive Board meeting and is currently working with them to attract and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Nadia Mensah

Nadia Mensah | PwC

Nadia Mensah

Nadia is a Senior Associate at PwC. Alongside her day job, Nadia helps run PwC’s Diversity Mentoring Scheme and is Co-Chair of PwC’s Multicultural Business Network.

At 18 years old, Nadia started her first corporate job in the city through an organisation called The Brokerage Citylink before going to study an Economics and Finance degree at the University of Southampton. It was this experience that opened Nadia’s eyes to the corporate world and led to her getting a role in PwC where she now works as a Senior Associate in Assurance Transformation.

In her spare time, Nadia is heavily involved in her church, Kharis Church and also spends time mentoring and providing career support through helping with applications, personal statements, interview advice etc. to people/organisations who reach out to her through her organisation, NadiaAbena.

Nadia has a strong passion for diversity and equal access in the workplace, social mobility and giving back to local communities. Nadia enjoys presenting at local schools and helping with career workshops.

Nadia was recently listed as one of Future of Ghana’s Top 30 under 30 Pioneers for 2019 and is a nominee for an Empower Ethnic Minority Future Leader award.

Liz Williams

Liz Williams | Moorhouse

Liz Williams

I am currently a Manager at Moorhouse; a dynamic consulting firm, focused on delivering change and helping clients succeed in their long-term goals.

Over the last eight years I have been lucky enough to have a varied and exciting consulting career, working with a wide range of clients from investment banks to public sector organisations. Whether implementing new regulatory processes, leading global operating model transformation or analysing customer journeys, I have always been fascinated by people and their needs.

As my career has progressed, this fascination has extended to the needs of those around me. Specifically understanding how we can support people to be their ‘best-self’ inside and outside of the workplace – a question which is increasingly important as the world we operate in is becoming more uncertain, complex and ambiguous!

Exploring this question has taken me on an exciting journey, learning more about the world of mental health and wellbeing. Within the first 6 months, I created a mental health framework, trained as a Mental Health First Aider and set up a small team to raise awareness. I was amazed by the interest in this topic and the number of people who wanted to share their own experiences.

Two years on, as well as continuing my job as a consultant and manager, I now lead our Moorhouse Health and Wellbeing Team, which is one of the core pillars of our business and tasked with empowering, equipping and enabling our people to be healthy and happy. Some of my proudest achievements to date include:

  • Seeing the cultural impact of a firm wide Health and Wellbeing event
  • Being awarded “Second Healthiest New Entrant” and overall “Third Healthiest Workplace” within the Small company category in the 2018 Vitality Britain’s Healthiest Workplace survey
  • Being invited to talk about Health and Wellbeing on the Chris Evans Virgin Radio Breakfast Show
  • Seeing our people live and breath healthy behaviours and supporting one another

I’m looking forward to continuing on this health and wellbeing journey and inspiring others to make impactful changes!

Kenda Macdonald

Kenda Macdonald | Automation Ninjas

Kenda Macdonald

I am an Automation Ninja.

With a background in Forensic Psychology and an affinity for statistics and behaviourally intelligent automation – I'm not your average expert.

I've been living and breathing Infusionsoft for over 5 years and has spent over 14 500 hours learning new ways to automate what people think is impossible.

I'm a true nerd, and I spend my waking hours helping businesses understand behaviour for super effective marketing, and relish in simplifying over complicated processes for truly intelligent automated marketing.

I'm the founder of Automation Ninjas - Experts in behavioural automation. Expect enthusiasm and a wealth of knowledge – not normalcy.

Mary Agbesanwa

Mary Agbesanwa | PwC

Mary Agbesanwa

I work at PwC as a Management Consultant providing advice to financial services firms to support them to solve operational issues.

I am also Co-Chair of our Multicultural Business Network which has over 900 members and celebrates the multiculturalism of our UK Firm. We hold regular events supporting our members with personal and professional development, encouraging cultural awareness and provide platforms for mentoring and serving the local community. Outside of work, I also run a community for ambitious young female professionals called Now You’re Talking. We motivate each other on a daily basis and host events such as goal-setting brunches and career-related workshops.

I studied Economics at the University of Birmingham where I founded the Women in Finance Society to demystify the financial services industry for young women. As Chair of the Women in Finance Society we accrued over 120 members, held over a dozen events and received over £7,000 in sponsorship from top companies.

Serita Murray

Serita Murray | EY

Serita Murray

Serita is a CIMA Qualified Senior Consultant in Advisory at EY.

Serita has demonstrated her passion to not only progress her development and career but to ensure students and young professionals are equipped with the tools to successfully apply and succeed in the work place.

Above her day role Serita has taken on various other roles which demonstrates her core values.

Serita Co-lead the Financial Transformation of the SAP implementation in EY for the Treasury Stream and has gathered a wide range of experience in Treasury and Finance during her time at EY. Her vast experience has enabled her to progress the Enterprise stream of Managed Services advisory transforming the back office of various companies. Serita’s drive has enable her to be a fundamental member of the team and a leader of progressive automations initiatives regarded as game changers.

Sharing her experience by mentoring employees and running workshops internally and externally to EY with the aim of preparing individuals for career progression and the work place of the future.

Serita is the Chair of the EY Black Network (EYBN) and plans the programmes for the network and has been integral in promoting D&I both internally and externally.

Promoting change in areas of Recruitment, L&D and Career progression of BAME individuals. Working closely with recruitment to develop relationships with Colleges, Universities and programmes eg Reach Society, Your Future Your Ambition to target a BAME audience and promote BAME recruitment.

Promoting the value of Gender and BAME networks in the work place, conversations on Race by organising and speaking at events.

Serita organises the EYBN Black Tie Ball recognising and celebrating Black Excellence.

A TNON member working & sharing to promote change across organisations.

Member of the Baton Awards Team the inaugural awards ceremony 2018 recognising the substantial contribution women are making across a wide range of industries.

Recognised as one of 100 most influential Black British Women, International Women’s Day 2019 celebrating the contribution Serita has made. Banking & Finance finalist, Precious Awards 2018.

SM Events Management Founder supporting Gender and BAME initiatives.

Margarita Economides

Margarita Economides | Oliver Wyman

Margarita Economides

I joined Oliver Wyman as a Management Consultant in 2016, having previously worked at BlackRock and Morgan Stanley.

I lead high impact engagements, focusing primarily on clients in the Public Policy and Wealth and Asset Management domains.

I am driven by creating impact for society by using my investment expertise to drive the sustainable development of local capital markets and create better outcomes for people saving for retirement.

I am passionate about Inclusion and Diversity and have recently published research in the World Economic Forum on increasing agility of company boards, emphasising the need for inclusive boards that harness diversity of their members.

Serving as the Global Co-Chair and London Lead of Oliver Wyman's Women’s Network, my work has removed barriers to women fulfilling their full potential. I have created behavioural change both through grassroot initiatives and engagement with senior leaders. I am a strong advocate of cross-gender sponsorship and I am currently launching “Men4Change”, a global network at Oliver Wyman engaging men in conversations around gender equality.

In recognition of my impact at the Firm, I have received a ‘Firm Contribution’ award 3 years in a row (awarded to top 10% of Consultants).

I hold an MA in Geography from the University of Oxford where I was awarded a Merit Scholarship. I also received a Merit Scholarship to study for a Part-time Masters in Finance at London Business School, and graduated with Distinction in July 2016. I am a CFA Charterholder.

Meera Kotak

Meera Kotak | innogy Consulting

Meera Kotak

Meera’s career in Professional Services stemmed from a University module on the 1967 and 1973 Oil Embargoes, where she learnt the art of diplomacy and power of natural resources in global and domestic policy.

She started her career as a strategy and management consultant at a Big 4 firm, advising a broad set of clients on how to reach their strategic goal before choosing to specialise in the energy and utilities industries. Meera now works at innogy Consulting, advising clients across the energy value chain on key strategic topics such as merger integration/deal strategy, digital transformation and go-to-market strategy, in Europe and the Middle East.

She has harnessed her position in Professional Services by using the platform to drive gender parity and future talent initiatives. Meera was the youngest Steering Board member for Women in Nuclear UK, driving to increase the ~22% female nuclear professional workforce to 40% by 2030, and the youngest Chair of the Nuclear Institute’s Investment Appraisal Panel, leading a team to ensure accurate budgeting and forecasting for investment proposals. After recognising the absence of consultants in the broader energy and utilities network, she became a Steering Committee member for the Young Energy Professionals to bridge the gap between Professional Services and industry.

Meera has received an Upper 2:1 BA in History from UCL, London, and the CIMA Certificate in Business Accounting. Whilst completing her A-Levels, Bank of America Merrill Lynch selected Meera out of 5,000 applicants to be a UK representative for a global future leaders programme in Washington, USA. During University, she attended Spring Week and Summer Internship placements at a range of financial, professional services and communication firms, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, EY and Bell Pottinger.

She speaks intermediate German and Gujarati and is a keen fitness challenge enthusiast, having recently summited the highest peak in North Africa and completed the London Marathon. She is currently training for her first Triathalon in June. Meera is an avid reader, primarily on social psychology, geopolitics and Middle Eastern history, and has recently begun the process of writing a novel. She is an opinion editorial writer on politics, social norms, both on a personal medium and formerly for the London Globalist and Global News Hub. Meera is a volunteer in her local community, supporting initiatives that provide education to disadvantaged children in South Asia.

Megan Cross

Megan Cross | Accenture

Megan Cross

Prior to joining Accenture, I was an English Secondary School Teacher on the Teach First Leadership Development Programme.

I was an out and active LGBT+ role model to students – who were from a socioeconomically deprived background and surrounded by homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. I worked hard to promote an atmosphere of inclusion and celebrate diversity in a hostile environment and make it safer for all students – some of whom came out to me.

At Teach First, I collaborated with Diversity Role Models and Stonewall to tackle homophobia in school and the local area. I am extremely proud to have developed and delivered Teach First’s first ever teacher training on homophobic bullying at their national Summer Institute (2016) to c.60 qualified teachers. Alongside this, I had a proven track record of strong academic results in my classroom and was graded as an ‘Outstanding’ trainee and was awarded a ‘Distinction’ in my PGCE.

I joined Accenture at entry-level as a Consulting Analyst in October 2016 and I was selected to lead Accenture’s UK Pride network, in addition to my client responsibilities, after less than 12 months on our graduate programme, which represents over 250 LGBT+ colleagues and 3500 Allies (c/30% UK headcount). This role is usually only given to Managers/Senior Managers in the organisation.

Under my leadership over the last 18 months, our committee has grown from 8 members to c.30 members (with a 50% gender balance) who organise related events, communications, campaigns and training across all levels and areas of our business. Never has there been a time where women have been so engaged with the network. My Consulting and extracurricular achievements at Accenture ensured that I was promoted to Management Consultant in December 2018.

Monique Malcolm-Hay

Monique Malcolm-Hay | PwC

Monique Malcolm-Hay

By profession, I am an ICAEW Chartered Accountant working as a Business Restructuring Services Senior Consultant at PwC.

Through my role, I have worked on a number of high-profile insolvencies, including the UK’s largest ever trading insolvency. I worked as part of the team who supported the Official Receiver to deliver continuity of key public services across hospitals, schools, prisons, transport networks and military bases nationwide and transfer over 80% of approximately 18,000 employees to new roles. As a result, we were recognised alongside The Insolvency Service for our work at the Turnaround, Restructuring and Insolvency awards in November 2018.

Outside of client work, I contribute to driving positive cultural change through proactively advocating for diversity, inclusion and wellbeing within both PwC and the ICAEW through my roles on the PwC D&I Council, the Multicultural Business Network steering committee, as an ICAEW Diversity Champion and a blogger for the wellbeing charity, CABA. I was also trained by Google to become an #IamRemarkable facilitator which enables me to run sessions with female colleagues from Associate to Director level to encourage them to promote themselves in the workplace.

As part of my mission to educate, empower and inspire, I spearheaded the creation of New Gen Accountants (NGA), a non-profit organisation which provides advice and continued support to more than 200 individuals in the UK who are pursuing accountancy as a career. I led NGA’s first event #MyAccountancyJourney in which 100% of attendees stated they left the event feeling empowered to take action within their own careers. I also ran the #MyAccountancyJourney social media campaign which profiled accountants from a BAME background in an aim to empower more ethnic minorities to consider accountancy as a career. The campaign received more than 500 likes on Instagram and 7,000 impressions on Twitter. As a result of the impact New Gen Accountants has made in the accounting industry, the ICAEW invited myself and several of the NGA team members to attend the signing of the Social Mobility pledge and meet with Justine Greening MP to discuss our future plans. I am now encouraging accountants to be more forward thinking in their roles by considering how they can use emerging technologies to be more efficient.

After being awarded a first class honours in BSc Business and Management, I remain an active alumni member of Aston Business School and mentor students via the Aston Professional Mentoring Scheme. Following a number of 1 to 1 interview skills sessions, my most recent mentee was able to secure a placement at one of the Top 25 UK undergraduate employers, despite it being the first time he had interviewed for a corporate role.

Having studied abroad at the University of Florida, undertaken a secondment at the PwC Middle East firm and volunteered in Brazil and Kenya, I now consider myself to be a global citizen who is endlessly giving back, connecting people and empowering those around me.