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.

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.