Isla Kennedy | Accenture

Isla Kennedy AccentureI am a technology consultant, working within Accenture's Digital Practice and specialising in Mobility, with expertise in corporate mobile device services and operations, as well as Digital project management. I have experience in enterprise readiness and project management within the telecoms, energy and financial services industries, including requirements gathering, process and technology design, multi-supplier project management, stakeholder management and engagement, and mobility strategy. I have completed training in Mobility, presentation skills, app development and more, and I am a certified Scrum Master (PSM I).

I graduated from Christ Church, Oxford university with a 2.1 in Philosophy, Politics and Economics and was very involved in the Officers' Training Corps, including leadership training, field exercises and being promoted to Assistant Adventurous Training Officer. I was also college Freshers Rep and in the committee for Oxford Women in Politics, as well as doing some college rowing.

I am passionate about women's progression in business and getting more women into technology careers. I am involved in my company's women's network and now lead our Digital group. I set up a schools programme for Year 7 and 8 girls, and am now the key point of contact for all girls/women in STEM initiatives across our UKI business.

I am an assistant Girlguiding leader (senior section, age 14-18) in East London, a freeman of the Worshipful Company of Ironmongers and a journeyman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists. I have also recently completed my training with the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (Princess Royal's Volunteer Corps) and am now an active member. I enjoy travel, spending my free time on active and cultural holidays, and I also love property. I renovated my own house and a flat which I rent out, and am currently in the process of buying another property to let and am hoping to build a new dwelling next year if the planning application is successful.

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Rashada Harry

Rashada Harry | Vodafone Global Enterprise

In a professional capacity Rashada is responsible for driving fixed infrastructure business opportunities at Vodafone Global Enterprise. She possesses a strong track record of new business development, account management and consultative selling into Enterprise client organisations offset against aggressive sales targets.

Prior to joining Vodafone Global Enterprise she spent 9 years with Cisco. Rashada joined as the only black female on the highly competitive Sales academy program which was spanned across Europe. She was selected as one of the top 10 graduates in the UK from over 8,000 applicants.

It was during this program that she believed more needed to be done to bring more diverse talent into the organisation. With this in mind and in her spare time she then helped to form and co-lead the Cisco Black Professional Employee Network EMEAR- (CBP) which focussed on promoting inclusive leadership, inspiring and empowering its members to achieve their potential. Through this work Rashada was asked to sit on the board of the global CBP employee group where she led the community pillar advising on different ways to engage the local communities in technology activities.

Rashada was twice promoted during her 9 years at Cisco and worked as Global Business Development Manager covering the EMEAR (Europe Middle East Africa & Russia) region before leaving Cisco in late 2013.

In a voluntary capacity Rashada is co-founder of the innovative social enterprise Your Future, Your Ambition (YFYA) which inspires children and young adults from diverse backgrounds into studying Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) related subjects and pursuing careers in STEM-based industries.

Through YFYA, Rashada helps to bring together big corporations and provides them with a platform to educate, inform, excite and motivate young people from the age of seven to 23 years into an array of career options. Since its launch in July 2012, over 2000 students have attended the YFYA annual event, and 620 students have also participated in the YFYA mentorship programme. YFYA has raised and invested significant finance into community programs which work with young people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds. This has included charities such as 100 Black Men of London, AbleChildAfrica and Street Child Africa.

During her spare time over the last 2 years Rashada has been a volunteer mentor with the 100 Black Men of London Charity where she meets regularly with young students aged between 10 and 14yrs as part of a community mentoring program. Rashada has also volunteered her time abroad in Africa, working in rural villages helping local school children in both Mpraeso in Ghana and also in Mombasa, Kenya.

Jessica Gioglio - Sprinklr

Jessica Gioglio | Sprinklr

Jessica Gioglio is the Head of Content Lab at Sprinklr and co-author of, “The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand.” As Head of Content Lab for Sprinklr, Jessica oversees a global team of social media content strategists and designers who help companies develop meaningful experiences and engagement opportunities with their target consumers.

Prior to Sprinklr, Jessica lead social media for Dunkin’ Donuts, where she lead the development and transformation of the company’s social media strategy. From developing innovative social media campaigns, to live tweeting from a Hollywood Red Carpet and managing high-profile partnerships, her work resulted in numerous industry awards.

Jessica launched her career in 2005 at Comcast, where she learned the value and power of social media customer service. Following a successful time at State Street where she managed 14 global agencies, Jessica joined TripAdvisor as the company launched their social media program.

A recognized thought leader and sought after speaker, Jessica was named one of the top women who rocked social media in 2014 and 2013. She also frequently contributes to industry publications, such as the Convince&Convert blog.

Jessica is now based in London. She holds a bachelor of science in marketing from Bentley University, with a minor in public relations.

Vinita Ramtri - Barclays

Vinita Ramtri ǀ Barclays

Vinita joined Barclays in October 2012 and is the Head of Conduct Risk at Barclays Wealth working with stakeholders globally to ensure the effective management of conduct in the business. Conduct risk focuses on the risk of detriment to customers; either financial or non-financial; and is based on one fundamental principal - it is essential that our clients trust us to put their interests first and do what's right for them.

Prior to joining Barclays, Vinita was a Senior Project Manager at BSkyB, driving strategic change, the most recent one being the creation and delivery of Sky's WiFi proposition through the acquisition of ‘The Cloud'.

Prior to Sky, Vinita was with WNS, India's Leading outsourcing company supporting strategic off-shoring through the transition of significant business processes in the energy sector.

Vinita has also been a senior leadership trainer and has designed and delivered sessions such as Coaching and Emotional Intelligence. Vinita started her career in the hotel industry with The Oberoi Group of Hotels in India.

Vinita is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, PRINCE 2 Practitioner and an accredited trainer. She graduated in Commerce from the Delhi University and has over 15 years of experience spanning across conduct risk, client experience, learning and development, design and delivery of strategic change and continuous improvement (Kaizen). She is passionate about doing what is right and keeping things simple.

In her spare time she likes to blog ( and is now working on a book.

She is an active participant at city events related to her field, the most recent one being OpRisk Europe 2015 where she was a speaker. She will also be speaking at the Big Data Conference in July 2015.


Gemma Stanbridge | Westminster Wealth Management

After graduating in Economics at the University of Exeter, Gemma worked for a small NGO in Cameroon ‘an incredible experience, rewarding and very character building!’ On her return she focused on becoming a financial adviser ‘I have always had a thirst for learning more about finance and economics, having a career in finance was a definitive choice. Having said this I have never been motivated by money and was looking for a career where I could help people and there finance. Becoming a financial adviser was a pretty clear cut decision!’

She started her career in a small IFA practice, growing her own client base and gaining CII qualifications. Today she works for one of the largest chartered IFA firms in London; Westminster Wealth Management, heading up the Estate and Inheritance tax department. She has gained Chartered status and is a Fellow of the PFS – the highest qualification a financial adviser can hold. She has gained qualifications with the Society of Trust and Estate practitioners and now specialises in advising clients in the later years, focusing on income requirements and mitigating Inheritance tax.

She prides herself on looking after her clients for the long term, developing fostered client relationships for years to come. The key to her success is ‘delivering expert advice at a fair price and putting clients at the forefront of her proposition.’ She volunteers at Westminster Citizens Advice, helping people who are experiencing financial difficulties.

Out of the work place Gemma enjoys many a sporting challenge including 100 mile cycle and a couple of half an iron mans, fundraising for a charity close to her heart the Gurkha Welfare trust. Next year she has her sights on doing an ironman 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride and a marathon to finish!


Donna Olliver ǀ KPMG

Donna Olliver

I left Catering College not really knowing what to do, but knowing I didn’t want to be a chef, so I applied for various office type jobs as they were all termed then.

I was working as a waitress to support myself through my Catering course when the owners asked me what I wanted to do when the course finished. I was 18 years old and had no idea. I just wanted normal hours like my friends were doing. Keith and Carl offered me the role as Receptionist and later Head Receptionist at their hotel. I really enjoyed the job and learnt a lot, but after a few years I found it wasn’t challenging enough for me. I was also working alone in the afternoons so I wasn’t really learning anything new from anyone.

I started my PA career at the age of 20 after I found a role as a doctor’s Personal Assistant. Where I stayed for 4 1/2 years. I decided to move into Finance when an opportunity came along. I loved my job as a doctor’s PA. The job was very pressurised, and you really have to be aware of what was happening at all times. The phone was constantly ringing and you had to help patients who could sometimes be seriously ill. This was my first real taste of the PA role and I loved it. I was really torn to leave my colleagues, the three lovely doctor’s I was looking after as well at the 5 nurses but I wanted to see what Finance would be like.

I then started with one of the Big 4 Accountancy firms – Deloitte and was PA to the Audit Director, the tax Director and the tax team as well as helping out in the finance department. The Director was then promoted to Partner which was great for him and for me. I really enjoyed my time there.

I was then given the chance to move to another finance organisation and as well as being the PA I could also undertake a HR qualification. As I have been doing bits of HR for Deloitte, I decided to move and I really think that this was the making of me as a PA. I was the only PA for the office of 14 and was PA to the 4 Directors. I was also in charge of the HR function and was supported by someone in our sister office until I became HR qualified. I loved the job and even helped with the move into a new office. When they decided to close the Guernsey office, we were all made redundant, and as I didn’t wish to leave Guernsey, I moved to another accountancy firm.

I then found a role at KPMG Channel Islands where I have been for over 3 years now. I look after the Channel Islands Advisory Partner, Advisory Director and the team of 11, which is still growing. I love my role and can hand on heart say this is the best role I have had. I love coming to work in the mornings (just don’t tell my colleagues that). I’m fully supported in all I do and I know that they appreciate all our hard work. I also mentor another PA in the office, who is doing amazingly well in her role, we are very proud of her. My team are amazing and we work together and support each other really well.

In my spare time I mentor for The Hub in Guernsey which is part of Barnardos. We mentor young adults who need someone to talk to about any issue that they are having. This is so rewarding and I’m very proud to be such a small part of this amazing charity.

In February 2015 I decided that I would launch a local PA network in Guernsey called “Guernsey PA Connect” as PA networks in other places are really popular and we had nothing like that here in Guernsey, I believed it was time we had one to. One of my oldest friends came on board and we have gone from strength to strength. We now have over 180 members and are still growing. I’m really proud of the ladies for being part of Guernsey PA Connect. We have truly only just touched the tip of the iceberg as to what we are going to do, but we have already had 4 events, an amazing speaker and we have 1 more event yet to come this year. We have promoted Guernsey and the PA role, the people in Guernsey are talking about PA’s and how important we are – the feedback has been immense and the sleepless nights about launching are a distance memory. It’s definitely #PAPower and we shall ensure that we continue to get the PA’s of Guernsey taken seriously.

Thank you so much for awarding me the “We Are The City” Rising Star award in the Personal & Exec Assistants category. I’m very proud to have been not only shortlisted and voted for but to have been recoginsed. Thank you.


Annie Zaidi ǀ Leicester City Football Club, Centre of Excellence

Annie ZaidiI come from a traditional Pakistani Muslim background, I studied BA Hons English Literature at Northampton University and went onto study Durham University to study MA Community Development & Youth Work Studies. I have since obtained my Masters.

Football has also been & still is a huge part of my life since I was a young girl, not sure why but as soon as the ball touches my sole/soul something magical happens and my heart becomes alive.

When I initially started out my first ever coaching role was whilst I was studying for my Masters, I had to do a placement at North Benwell Youth Project, Newcastle. As the project manager knew I loved coaching, he assigned me to coach a group of 40 young men aged between 16-24 for the next 12 felt like I was literally thrown in the deepest end of the ocean with no arm bands or boat to keep me afloat. Just imagine a 5ft 2inch woman, who was Asian Muslim & wore a headscarf walking onto the pitch with a bag full of footballs introducing herself to the lads as their new coach for the next 12 weeks. One thing I forgot to mention was that this was after the tragic events of 9/11 & 7/7, therefore peoples perception of Muslims was very negative and hostile. The first few weeks the lads tested me as a coach by tackling me very aggressively which left me with bruises on my legs, sore ribs from elbowing me and I've forgotten the number of times I spent on the floor. Despite all this I came back each week more determined and stronger to get the lads to accept me as a coach, which they did and since then they regarded me as a coach.

Whilst doing my FA Level 2 coaching badge, I became a Sunday league manager (out of 400 managers I was the only female manager) i have experiences some vile racism & sexism abuse from opposition managers. I recall one experience in which the opposition manager not only refused to shake my hand before and after the game, but throughout he kept making sly comments about me. After I left the game, I parked my car and started to cry as not his words impacted than his actions of refusing to shake my hand, I was very upset about this as it felt like I wasn't accepted in the game. Sadly this resulted in me stepping down & quitting being a manager, as i didn't want this experience to poison my love for the game.

Despite experiencing some very low moments throughout my coaching journey, there have been some achievements in my coaching career, including Winning the Asian Women Achievement AAward 2015 in the sports catergory, & Coaching U11's at LCFC Girls Centre of Excellence, being a Asian Muslim Female who wears Hijab. I have had people tell me that no professional club or the sport itself would employ me as their coach as I don't fit the right image/brand, so for me to wear LCFC kit & represent the club every weekend, whether the team are playing home or away against other professional clubs, standing in the manager's stand feeling proud of how far I had come despite the many barriers, racism & sexism I had to experience.

Currently I am working towards my UEFA B License & even though these may seem like big achievements, I still haven't achieved anything yet as there is still a long way to go until I achieved what I set out to achieve. Until then, I will continue to eat, breathe, sleep coaching football 25 hours a day 8 days a week.

Nathalie Majlis Barclays

Nathalie Majlis ǀ Barclays

Nathalie Majlis joined Barclays’s Corporate Banking Insurance Coverage team in 2013. She is responsible for building strategic relationships at the C-Suite and Treasury level to deliver Barclays’ global Corporate Banking product capabilities including cash management, debt and trade finance as well as risk solutions in the context of foreign exchange and rates. Nathalie also focuses on excess reserve financing and collateral transformation solutions for life insurance companies.

Nathalie has over 12 years of experience in the insurance and banking sector. Prior to Barclays, she has worked at HSBC in Dusseldorf, Hong Kong, London and New York for over 7 years. Her experience includes roles insurance and FIG coverage roles in corporate banking and debt capital markets as well as corporate and investment banking strategy positions.

Prior to HSBC, Nathalie ran an insurance and financial broker franchise business for three years and later specialised in mortgage sales.

Nathalie attended the University of Cologne and studied Business Administration with focus on Corporate Finance and Insurance Science.


Julia McColl ǀ Capco

Julia McCollJulia McColl is a Principal Consultant at Capco London, with a proven track record of defining and delivering transformation programmes in Retail and Wealth Management, excelling in customer experience and return on investment. She has a strong track record of defining and delivering digital portfolios of over £30m of annual investment and is passionate about developing propositions that meet customer need whilst delivering business results.

As a leader she is passionate about career development and invests time both in diversity and inclusion initiatives under the #BeYourselfAtWork banner within Capco and in coaching others to support their progression.

emma mason rising star

Emma Mason ǀ Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP

I am a trainee solicitor at the firm of Squire Patton Boggs (UK) LLP but alongside this I have held a number of positions within international badminton and am also currently a member of British Showjumping’s Disciplinary Panel. I set out below a brief outline of my journey, my education, publications and awards in the sporting world to date.


I would like to start by saying that I’m incredibly honoured to have been nominated for a WeAreTheCity Rising Star Award and would like to thank whoever was responsible for nominating me. Throughout my sporting and professional life I have been inspired by both male and female role models. Consequently, I am a strong believer that the celebration of female accomplishments plays an essential part in inspiring others and that it can help to close the gender gap by showing other females what is possible. Therefore, regardless of the outcome of my own nomination, I believe that the Rising Star Awards are an important aspect of supporting and promoting female talent in the City.

My life in the sporting world began in earnest in my early teens, although, there had been a great many years before that stage where my parents ferried me round from tournament to tournament; from city to city; and from one cold badminton hall to the next. I am sure that is a debt it will be nigh on impossible to repay. However, I hope that it went someway to making their sacrifices feel worthwhile that for approximately 5 years I was a full time international badminton player representing Scotland at European, Commonwealth and World Championship level. Very unfortunately, through a combination of illness and injury in my mid-twenties, my career was cut short and I was forced to reconsider my future.

By the time I retired, I was already heavily involved in sports administration and governance as Vice-Chair of the World Badminton Federation’s Athletes Commission (a peer elected body of 6 that represents the views of the athletes to their International Federation). It was my enjoyment of this role that prompted my decision to re-train as a solicitor following the completion of my undergraduate degree in Chemistry. In 2013 I was appointed Chair of the Athletes Commission, a role which I carried out for approximately 2.5 years with my term coming to a natural end earlier this year. Working with the athletes and representing their view to the World Badminton Federation was a role I was passionate about and one in which I took great pride. I was the first female Chair of the modern day Athletes Commission since Gill Clark MBE who was President and Chairman of the Athletes Commission’s predecessor the International Badminton Players’ Federation from 1990-1995. I was also incredibly proud that my election meant I was one of the 6 women who became Council Members of the World Badminton Federation in 2013. This was a historic first for our International Federation and one which meant that we were one of the few International Federations to surpass the International Olympic Committee’s then recommendation of 20% of women on decision making bodies in sport. During my term as a Council Member of the World Badminton Federation, we collectively worked together and approved: (i) the introduction of Hawk-Eye to some our premier events, (ii) a US$400,000 end of year bonus for top 10 Superseries players, and (iii) a record breaking deal that would see the end of year Superseries finals be located in Dubai for at least 4 years. During my time in the Athletes Commission I was also proud to, as Vice-Chair, personally contribute to the Athletes Commission’s successful campaign to have a controversial clothing regulation (that required females to only wear skirts or dresses in competition) overturned and, as Chair, to successfully argue that (for purposes of protecting the players’ health and safety) the regulations relating to the standards and types of flooring that could be used in competition required tightening up.

My experience as a Council Member of an International Federation also opened up a great many doors for me professionally and allowed me the opportunity as a young female sports administrator to develop my network and enhance my profile. It was through this role that I was asked to Chair the Women in Badminton Working Group for Badminton Europe and to participate in UK Sport’s International Leadership Programme. As I have previously mentioned, I am passionate about promoting the achievements of women and also firmly believe that visible role models are an important part of attracting and retaining young and talented females to an organisation. To that end, during my term as Chair of the Working Group we: (i) published regular “Women in the Spotlight” features on the Badminton Europe website, (ii) put on two international conferences on Women in Sport, and (iii) hosted a networking breakfast for International Women’s Day 2014 in conjunction with the All England Badminton Championships. UK Sport’s International Leadership Programme, was a great opportunity for me to grow my profile within the UK, to learn from experienced sports administrators and to develop my professional skills. It was through the programme that I was offered my current position with British Showjumping and for which I can now be called upon to adjudicate, review & punish potential breaches of British Showjumping’s Disciplinary Rules by their members. While I will shortly be taking up another post within badminton, I am looking forward to doing so alongside a new challenge in a new sport. I hope to be able to bring my experiences from badminton to my role in Showjumping and to learn as much as possible from my new colleagues in the Equestrian world.

Despite retiring from international sport, I have retained my competitive mentality and love of an active lifestyle. I am now a regular runner and gym goer, or as my flat mate would say, addicted to exercise(!). I have put these to good use by participating in a number of charitable sporting events including the MoonWalk 2012 (Edinburgh) and 2015 (London) for WalkTheWalk, the Halloween Moonriders (2014) and the Loch Ness Marathon (2013) for Kidney Research. I really enjoy the physical challenge and raising money for worthy causes and hope to continue participating in these throughout my professional career.