Hessie Coleman

Hessie Coleman | Starling Bank

Hessie Coleman is Head of People Operations at Starling Bank – the first mobile-only bank offering UK current accounts. Since joining Starling in July 2016, Hessie has been responsible for the entire People remit, including growing the company from 25 employees to 150 and creating innovative career development programmes such as the Passport to Starling, for which she has been recognised at the CIPD People Management Awards.

Prior to Starling, Hessie was HR Manager at British Gas with responsibility for c.1000 employees following an intense HR graduate scheme.

She studied International Relations & German at Leeds and is currently completing a Masters-level CIPD qualification.

Alana Drew

Alana Drew | The Marketing Store

I have been working in HR and L&D for the past 4.5 years across Advertising/Marketing, Finance and Hospitality industries.

Kickstarting my career off in Sydney, I worked various unpaid internships whilst studying my degree and then landed my first role in HR & L&D at advertising agency BMF. During the 3.5 years I was there, I learnt and honed the skills needed to build a career in HR, I had fantastic mentors and managers who guided me, which is how I developed a love for L&D. I worked my way up to creating my own content, facilitating in-house workshops and ultimately becoming a certified trainer.

The big change in my career (and life) came in 2017, when I made the decision to move to London by myself and see what the world had in store for me. 2 weeks after I landed, I scored my current role at The Marketing Store.

This has been the biggest leap for me in my career and has retaught me why we do this job - the people - and how to bring them back to the heart of the business. I have been pushed and stretched more than I ever thought I would and am about to embark on the biggest L&D project I've ran - launching and delivering my businesses first L&D Platform.

Cheryl Hart

Cheryl Hart | DXC Technology

Honestly, I've only just formally started my career. Whilst in university I wanted to build up my job portfolio, so I took on three roles - first as a Student ambassador in October 2012, and although I liked giving careers advice to people wanting to come to university I wanted to inspire people at a much younger age, so started Junior university as well which targets Year 9's just before GCSE. Here I found my calling and became a mentor later in October, 2012. As I went from strength to strength in mentoring and coaching I tried teaching and became a research assistant voluntarily to research how young child (4/5 years old) learn and what is the best method to access in the early years where they are likely to struggle in education and then find a fun way to solution that. In 2013 I moved on to tougher challenges, working gaining a place with the wellbeing mentors in June, mentoring people with mental issues, then, moving on to mentoring in the Children's Society with disabled and abused children in the December. After that, I went back to research how best to help students study in the health department at University of Central Lancashire but decided I wanted to be back on the ground, so to speak so began working as a Speech Therapy Assistant to a private family and a TA with severely autistic and mentally challenged children.

After a year of reflecting on my experience so far while I worked as an enrolment assistant and career advisor at Preston's College I decided to start my career - it was time to get in a big company and start making a real difference to people. On a graduate scheme you can move around the company, so I did so to find my calling, and now here I am. I coach and mentor a lot of people about what the business expects from them and about the early stages of raising a job request, over 50 and I formally mentor 2 individuals. I'm doing what I love - giving people the knowledge to do what they do best.

Parisa Namazi

Parisa Namazi | Cicero Group

Parisa is currently Head of Talent at Cicero Group. Having joined Cicero in April 2016, she is responsible for providing strategic business partnering HR advice to Cicero’s Executive Committee and provides a supportive role to our talented employees. She is responsible for all aspects of human resource management including; employee engagement, diversity and inclusion, internal communications, benefits and reward, training and development, CSR and charity initiatives and group wide recruitment of Cicero's top talented teams.

Parisa has a great interest in promoting diversity in the workplace and was appointed as one of 12 on HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter Board in 2016, representing SME signatory firms. Parisa also sits on the Membership Committee for OUTstanding, LGBT+ network and is an associate member of Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

Before Cicero, Parisa delivered HR at international advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson.

Parisa holds MSc in International Human Resource Management and Comparative Industrial Relations from Manchester Business School. She has always been passionate about diversity and conducted award winning research into female leadership experiences in male dominated industries as part of her undergraduate degree at University of Manchester.

Toni Osoba

Toni Osoba | Accenture

I started my career in HR Consultancy, leveraging my Microeconomics skills to advise senior HR executives on how to take their functions to the next level, using tried and tested best practices. This role gave me great C-level client exposure and valuable insight into how the best organisations are run.

Following this, I transitioned to an HR practitioner role, leading a project to help my organisation prepare for upcoming government legislation changes. This gave me great project management experience, as I was in charge of leading the project and mitigating potential risks.

I now work as a Talent Retention lead, in charge of the engagement, leadership development and recognition of over 13,000 employees. I have thoroughly enjoyed this role so far, and have hit the ground running, due to my ability to leverage and build upon the skills gained in my previous role.

In my spare time, I also volunteer as a school governor and a community manager for Lagos Business Academy, which is a not-for-profit organisation, commited to upskilling and connecting BAME individuals in the Tech space.