Jeanette Pope

Jeanette Pope | BAE

Project management Professional Development Manager | BAE Systems | Defense


An advocate for women in business at BAE Systems, a blogger on female talent, a steering board member for female talent within the workplace and a committee member for the APM Women in Project Management and the Henley Women in Leadership Forum.

In her current role Jeanette’s responsibilities include all aspects of resource management including the promotion of skills, capability & knowledge development for 1200 Project Management employees. She is also responsible for creating and implementing ideas to enhance diversity and inclusion and for managing the impact of transformational change.

Jeanette has previously worked in a number of Project Management leadership roles, focusing on delivering business operations activities and managing large project control teams. Prior to that Jeanette’s career was within Finance, qualifying as a Chartered Management Accountant with BAE Systems in 2004, after starting on the graduate finance leadership development programme in 2000. She holds an APMQ, an MBA from Henley Business School (2009) and a BSc in Psychology & Health Psychology (1997). She is married and has two daughters aged nine and five.

Rising Star Champion 2016 Shortlist

Carolyn Pepper

Carolyn Pepper | Reed Smith

Partner | Reed Smith | Law


Carolyn is a partner at Reed Smith specializing in litigation, entertainment and media and intellectual property law. Carolyn sits on the firm's Executive Committee and is an advocate for diversity and equality in all its guises.

She chairs the firm's award winning Disability Task Force in London and has mentored two young women with disabilities seeking to enter the legal profession. She is a regular speaker at the firm’s Insight Days which enable young people to learn more about working in the legal profession and has offered work experience and work shadowing to many students over the years. Brummell Magazine named Carolyn as one of its Inspirational Women 2015: City Champions of Diversity last year and she was recently invited to speak at the Law Society’s City Firms Diversity Forum.

Tamara Box

Tamara Box | Reed Smith

Global Chair, Financial Industry Group | Reed Smith | Law


Tamara Box is an internationally recognised expert in legal and financial structuring and in strategic financial advice.  She is currently Global Chair of the Financial Industry Group at international law firm Reed Smith, where she also serves on the firm’s Executive Committee.

A founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee, Tamara is knowledgeable and passionate about the efforts to establish gender parity in corporations and professional organisations.  In order to achieve gender balance, she focuses strongly on the pipeline of talent that takes rising stars up the leadership chain.‎

A few years ago, she created Women in Structured Finance to actively encourage and mentor women in the male-dominated sector.  She is a member of the Board of Governors of the London School of Economics, where she is also a frequent speaker.  For the past two years, she has been the chair of “Women of Influence”, an initiative that has raised almost £1 million in support of the senior women fellows of Cancer Research UK.‎

Tamara was a commissioner on the All Party Parliamentary Group’s first Commission on the Future of Management & Leadership, which launched at the House of Commons in 2014. She has lectured at the University of South Bank, debated at the Oxford Union, and written articles for many publications on the topic of gender balance and the pipeline of talent women offer‎.  Tamara is also a member of The Committee of 200 (C200), an invitation-only organisation of women who mentor future female leaders through scholarship programmes at the world’s foremost universities.  Last year she was instrumental in selecting three rising stars at the LSE for this honour.

Funke Abimbola

Funke Abimbola | Roche UK

General Counsel & Company Secretary | Roche Products Limited | Rising Star Champion


A senior leader for Roche, the world’s largest biotech, Funke leads the legal & corporate compliance functions supporting Roche’s pharmaceutical operations (UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar).

She is a multi award winning solicitor and diversity campaigner and has received national and European recognition for her work, speaking regularly at conferences (UK and abroad), to school students (as part of Speakers4Schools) and to University students (as a Professional Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors).  She is a Champion for Women in Law London network (supporting the pipeline of women lawyers) and the First 100 Years Project (a digital library celebrating 100 years of women lawyers). In 2015, she founded Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law, a network supporting the international pipeline of female legal talent within life sciences.

A mentor, sponsor and proud working mother, Funke advises working mothers on achieving life balance. She is passionate about the law, diversity, education and healthcare and a regular media commentator, keen fundraiser for various charities and has twice served as school governor and as a board director.

She was recently admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, recognizing the outstanding contributions she has made to society as a whole.