Zainab Atta

Zainab Atta | RBS

From the young age of 11 I was interning at my father’s business as an office assistant, and from him I learned really strong work ethics although I didn’t realize it at the time. I went on to study accounting for 4 years at university, and by the time I graduated I knew I did not really want to be an accountant. I always had an entrepreneurial flair so I decided to pursue a Masters degree in International Business and hoped it would guide me to my calling, but it did not quite work out that way. I spent the last 10 years gaining a vast range of experiences in finance and project management roles and finally my current role in financial crime compliance.

Outside my day job I pursue other passions and have held a range of roles at various charities including a Trustee position. One of such roles is as Chief Operating Officer at Career Masterclass where I have the opportunity to support the founder’s vision of giving women and BAME professionals a fighting foot by organising events and Masterclasses that improve soft and interpersonal skills. I am extremely passionate about fairness and equality issues faced by women and BAME professionals in the workplace. I also love to support and mentor young women when I can. At Career Masterclass I am responsible for driving operational effectiveness and driving the activities that ensure we meet our organisational objectives. Ultimately I find fulfillment in volunteering and being able to give back

People would describe me as passionate; always ready to challenge the status quo, dependable and adaptable. I am also a bit of a perfectionist and probably my own biggest critic, but only because I always want to put my best foot forward.


Rachel Scandling

Rachel Scandling | Barclays

I grew up surrounded by military stories of courageous behaviour and risky adventures; my father and grandfather were both in the Armed Forces and from an early age my ambition was to follow in their footsteps. Growing up in a small rural, farming community, my career choice of a life at sea was definitely viewed as out of the ordinary. However, my determination paid off and in the late 80’s I was accepted into the Women’s Royal Naval Service as a Wren Writer.

After 5 years as a non-commissioned officer, I passed the selection process for Officer training and went on to attend Britannia Royal Naval College.  I have always strived to be ‘my very best self’ and following an extremely rewarding and challenging career spanning 27 years, I left the RN as a Commander having served overseas, at sea and in Afghanistan as well as at home in the UK. In 2015 I was ready for fresh adventures and exchanged my military career for one in financial services. Whilst these two sectors may seem poles apart, they both require courage, tenacity and resilience along with the ability to make things happen, get things done and deliver results. I started working in Barclays, initially as a Project Manager supporting Structural Reform and more recently as the Optimisation Lead within Global Markets Operations.

Outside of work I love sport and travel, ideally combining the two; I have cycled across Kenya, Cuba and most recently, Vietnam and Cambodia fundraising for female cancer charities. I am passionate about supporting young women to achieve their potential and volunteer as a mentor for the Girl’s Network, supporting young women from disadvantaged communities, with career and professional development advice. My philosophy is one life, live it; don’t let your own fear hold you back.


mary mosope adeyemi

Mary Mosope Adeyemi | Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Mary Adeyemi is a Credit officer (VP) at BAML, where she started her career in 2008 at the age of 20.

Mary started in banking via SEO London, a charity that helps organizations to meet their diversity needs. Since then, Mary has progressed through the ranks gaining both sectorial, product and regional experience. She is regarded as a top performer in her department, one who is ‘able to provide a balanced risk/reward assessment whilst building strong relationships with stakeholders at various levels’.

Her appreciation of her SEO pathway continues to fuel Mary’s passion for promoting social mobility, ethnic and gender diversity in the workplace.

Within BAML, Mary leads her department’s Female Forum, is a committee member on Multicultural Leadership Network (MLN) and mentors for the Africa Recruitment Program.

Outside of BAML, Mary is a Co-chair on the Alumni board of SEO London. This pioneering leadership role is one that Mary uses as a platform to gain further support for the SEO program in the banking industry and further create opportunity for social mobility.

Through key collaboration with sister Charity, SEO Africa, Mary is starting a Virtual mentoring program where young women in Africa, who are about to start their professional careers and experienced Female professionals in London, are given the opportunity enter into a mentoring relationship.

Mary holds a  1st Class bachelor’s degree in Accounting & Finance from Lancaster University and a Masters in Management from Imperial College. She is also a Chartered Accountant with the ACCA.

She is of Nigerian Descent, a singer; serving as a worship leader in her local church, an avid traveler and a fashion enthusiast.


Ashleigh Harvey

Ashleigh Harvey | RBS

During  working hours I am a Business Manager for RBS, proactively driving improvements to simplify our business and enhance our customers experience. But  in work I am a commissioned Flying Officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Training Branch. I help to train, teach and prepare young people to be better citizens and develop an array of skills to further develop their future careers. This training twice a week and some weekends, involves  a wide range of activities including shooting, flying/ gliding, archery, kayaking, first aid and radio communications just to name a few. All of which I need to be proficient in myself in order to train others. I am a fully trained Fieldcraft Instructor and work with the RAF to teach these survival skills used in the field. My aim is to support young people to foster the spirit of adventure and provide them with the life skills they need to be successful in whatever ambitions they may have, whether that be a civilian or military.
During my career in the Royal Air Force Air Cadets I have completed 4 flying scholarships towards my pilots license, Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, won best Sports cadet in the country (47,000 people) and participated in an International Air Cadet Exchange (IACE) spending 3 weeks in Ghana, and then hosting over 20 countries the following year in the UK.
Last year I successfully graduated at Military Acadamy Sandhurst with a degree in Leadership and Management through CVQO. I completed my degree in my spare time alongside my full time career, whilst playing for a football team and completing my volunteer work, which I am extremely proud of. I am currently now completing my Masters whilst also having recently started my Chartered Banking qualification to further support my finance career.
After a shoulder injury ruled out joining the RAF as a pilot I started RBS in 2013 as  a telephone/webchat advisor in Fraud and Chargebacks. I was then promoted after 9 months to a Customer Experience Manager and then to a Senior Customer Experience Manger after another 8 months. After completing the RBS Talent Programme in 2016, I recently started a new role this year as a Business Manager in Large Corporate and Sectors UK and Western Europe- which I love.
Being from a small Island in Essex called Canvey, I never thought it would be possible to achieve the things I have. I ow a large proportion of it to the Royal Air Force which just proves what you put into life you get out.   I believe my experiences in the above are very transferrable in the work place, which at the age of 22 has lead me to my successful career so far, which I hope continues within the financial sector.

Annie-Mbako

Annie Mbako | BNY Mellon

Annie consistently exemplifies role-model behaviour, highlighting the importance of diversity and inclusion. Her passion, energy and ability to engage people have made her a catalysing force in fostering inclusion in Manchester and across BNY Mellon since she joined in 2008. Her career with BNY Mellon began in the Income and Tax division, before she moved to Corporate Actions in 2010, working with various teams before ultimately joining her current client-facing role.

In 2016, Annie was recognised as a Diversity and Inclusion Champion, one of the company’s most highly regarded and visible honours, for her stewardship of regional and companywide diversity and inclusion initiatives.

Annie does not view diversity and inclusion initiatives merely as business prerogatives but rather as fundamental human rights, which emanates from her own personal narrative. Born in Buea, Cameroon, Annie moved to Wrexham, North Wales at age eight. Annie recognizes first-hand the importance of fostering an ethic of responsibility for making the world more just, sustainable and inclusive.

Annie holds a B.SC. (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Manchester. She has also achieved an Investment Operations Certificate and Certificate for Risk in Financial Services.