We our proud to announce the judges for WeAreTheCity’s Top 100 Rising Stars. All of our judges have been carefully selected based on their industry experience and their passion to inspire future role models.

On behalf of WeAreTheCity, our sponsors and nominees we would like to sincerely thank all of our judges for donating their time to judge the 2019 Rising Star Awards.

Lucy Chamberlain | Founder, C&C Search

With a 20 year career tracking the industry’s leading recruitment companies, Lucy founded C&C search to redefine and elevate client and candidates’ recruitment experience. 

Coming through a challenging personal time – three years as a single mum, single-handedly responsible for her daughter – Lucy found her career was out of sync. In C&C, she’s built a successful business aligned with her high standards, ethics and goals, and created an inspiring workplace for her team to fulfil their own career goals. 

Lucy believes encouraging teams holistically, and nurturing happy, engaged, market-leading talent has the most impact on a company’s success. It’s this foundation that serves to empower, captivate and delight C&C’s clients as they build their own teams, and has been at the heart of our story. 

With her team, Lucy actively collaborates with and supports as many other female business leaders as possible; social consciousness and legacy is at the business’ core. 

Wincie Wong | Head of Innovation for Supply Chain Services, RBS

Wincie Wong works at the leading edge of creative and disruptive innovation in the banking industry with a digital and financial services background and delivers transformation across RBS running a supply chain management team. An international speaker and a digital evangelist, she is passionate about spearheading the growth of a more diverse technology workforce as co-founder of the RBS Girls Can Code network and founding member of Tech She Can, an organisation of 70+ corporates working together to increase the number of women in technology roles in the UK. Having grown up in New York City, she’s spent the last 10 years across the pond in London where she is passionate about making innovation useful for customers.  


Mark Hedley | Group Editorial Director, Square Up Media

Mark is a founding member of the Square Up Media team and has worked on Square Mile since its launch in 2005. He spends most of his time editing both Square Mile and Hedge magazines. Having watched his father and older brothers earn a living in financial services, he decided it would be far preferable to make magazines for the City than work in it. He has a first-class MA in Photographic Journalism and occasionally dusts off his SLR for a shoot – as long as the subject or destination are glamorous enough.

Ania Rontaler | Partner (Corporate, London), Simmons & Simmons

Ania is a partner in the Corporate group in London. She advises on a variety of corporate matters, including domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and general corporate matters particularly in relation to partnership arrangements.

Ania has a particular focus on the asset management sector, advising alternative investment managers on all aspects of their business, including the implementation and structuring of “start-ups” (both on and offshore), acquisitions, incentivisation and retention plans and general operational day-to-day matters.

Ania is a member of the core team dedicated to start-up hedge fund work. The team is behind Simmons & Simmons LaunchPlus: US to UK – the firm’s online resource for US-based fund managers launching in the UK.


Jonathan Prinn | Group Head of Broking, Ed Broking LLP

Jonathan Prinn joined the insurance industry in 1989 when he joined Bowring Ltd (now part of Marsh & McLennan) from Rea Brothers Bank. He assumed a number of varied roles during his time at Marsh & McLennan, initially wholesale broking of both property and casualty lines. In 1993 Jonathan was seconded for 4 years to set up and run the Marsh Global Broking office in Zurich where he concentrated on fortune 500 client work, and pioneered the Marsh centralised placement model.

Returning to the UK, Jonathan lead the creation of a Marsh proprietary electronic trading system (Marsh Express) and following this became eBusiness Leader for Marsh Europe. In 2004 Jonathan moved to the Marsh Global Placement division as international Chief Operating Officer (COO). In 2006 Jonathan moved to be COO of MMC sister company Guy Carpenter Facultative (GCFac).

In 2008 Jonathan was recruited to Willis, and become COO of Willis Global Placement led the creation and implementation of the industry leading Broking system WillPLACE, and was globally responsible for such. In 2015 Jonathan became Deputy Chief Broking officer for Willis GB, encompassing all of the Willis GB based broking from UK retail to the global specialty businesses.

Jonathan joined Ed. as Group Head of Broking in September 2016.

Melanie Seymour | Managing Director, BlackRock

Melanie has over 30 years’ experience in Finance and Banking holding senior roles in Technology, Operations, and Change Management as well as running her own business.

She set up and ran a mortgage distribution business with one partner and over 8 years grew the business to a team of over 200 with 3 offices throughout the UK and a turnover in excess of £20m

She is Co Chair of the EMEA chapter of BlackRock internal women’s committee ( WIN ) where she leads a programme of events to support women ( and men ) in their career journey through the firm.
She is passionate about education and developing the next generation of leaders, mentoring a number of men and women both internally and externally.
She has been a Chair of Governors since 2005 and was a coach for the charity Teach First who provide a leadership route into teaching to encourage the most talented graduates to join the most challenging schools.

In 2015 Melanie was recognised as one of Brummells Top 30 Inspiring Women in the City.

She joined the Advisory Board of Women in Banking and Finance in 2017 after three years as Vice President.

Melanie splits her time between Budapest and London with her husband and 2 sons.


René Carayol MBE | CEO at Inspired Leaders Network

René simply and magically provokes and inspires his audiences to be the best they
can be.

If you are looking for a clever academic who will read out a well-crafted speech on the theory, concept and abstract of ‘thought leadership’ – then stop here.

Whilst being a much-acclaimed Visiting Professor at the distinguished Cass Business School in London, and lecturing on their MSc in Management, René is no academic.

If what you’re after is the most important leadership clarion call to your top people, that will energise them to see the art of the possible and stir the leader inside of each of them – then you must be speaking of René Carayol.

He is not just one of the world’s leading executive coaches, working with some of the Fortune 500’s top CEO’s and their executive teams, but he has also actually been Chairman, CEO and MD of blue chip businesses. He speaks with the authority and confidence of the expert practitioner who has seen and experienced it all before.

René specialises in delivering leadership and culture, which show precisely how contemporary inspired leaders can electrify an audience through a powerful and authentic emotional connection.

René draws much from his own unique experiences on the boards of some of the biggest international organisations; from Marks and Spencer and Pepsi, to IPC Media and the Inland Revenue.


Sian Fisher | CEO, Chartered Insurance Institute

Sian Fisher is CEO of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Leading the professional body for insurance and financial planning since February 2016 follows a distinguished career in the sector, which has included senior roles at a Lloyd’s Syndicate, a UK and European insurance company, a market leading MGA, a major international broker and US corporate.

Sian has also run her own start-up intermediary and was part of the creation of the Managing General Agents’ Association.

A graduate of Oxford University with an Exec MBA from Harvard, Sian is a strong advocate for equality.  She is a founding member and Executive Chair of the Insuring Women’s Futures initiative and a Committee Member of the Insurance Supper Club.

Ms. Fisher is also a Non-Executive Director at Asta Underwriting Management, a Vice President of the Insurance Institute of London and Board Member of Insurance United Against Dementia (IUAD).

Funke Abimbola MBE | Senior lawyer, business leader & diversity campaigner

Funke is a multi award-winning performance-driven Senior Executive offering 18 years’ comprehensive achievements across the not-for-profit, manufacturing, professional services, financial services, technology, biotech, healthcare and retail disciplines. Her experience has been gained within niche ventures, regional and national businesses and global, multinational organisations.

She has leveraged her business acumen across diverse cultures & economies and been recognised for business & operational leadership, change management, compliance & governance leadership in both full time & voluntary C-suite roles. She also has proven success in relationship-building & stakeholder engagement (including working closely with UK Central government), leading productive, engaged teams & driving impactful corporate & societal change.

She is ranked by the Financial Times as being a top 15 minority ethnic leader across the UK, US, Ireland & Canada, a top 20 influencer in British Society (Debretts 500 directory) and one of the top 100 most influential leaders of African/Afro-Caribbean descent in the UK (2017 and 2018 Powerlists). She provides regular media commentary on a range of topics including business and diversity and feature regularly across a number of the BBC’s TV and radio channels.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May awarded her ‘Point of Light’ status in 2016, recognising the positive impact of her voluntary diversity work outside her day job.

In June 2017, she was awarded the M.B.E. (Member of the Order of the British Empire) by HRH Queen Elizabeth II for services to diversity in the legal profession and to young people.

Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE | Chair, African Caribbean Business Network

A dynamic, entrepreneurial business leader with a proven record for building high performing teams.  Since starting her own PR Company over 30 years ago Ms Thompson has acquired an exceptional range of transferable skills that can complement high performing companies and organisations.
Originally from Guyana, South America, Ms Thompson has always shown an entrepreneurial flair. Not taking the usual channel to the small business arena, she evolved from freelance writing for many music industry papers including Music Week the industry bible, and IPC weekly and monthly titles.  She also has been involved in many successful firsts in the UK including, being Music Editor for the UK’s first Black Monthly glossy magazine – Root, and also being a founder and director of the UK’s first Black Music radio station Choice FM, now owned by the Global Radio Group.  Other firsts include, starting the first Black Owned PR company (according to PR Week),now known as ASAP Communications; running the first in depth research of the lifestyle of  the Black community across the UK – The Black Consumer Survey and starting the UK’s first Black Women Business Network – The European Federation of Black Women Business Owners.

Margarete McGrath | Chief Digital Officer, Dell EMC Enterprise UKI

Margarete is the Chief Digital Officer for Dell EMC Enterprises for the UK and Ireland.

Previous to that, Margarete worked as a Management Consultant where she worked for EY and PwC leading complex change programmes. She previously worked for PwC in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and more recently in Ireland. Margarete supported many public and private sector clients with their business transformations.

Alongside this, Margarete previously ran two successful start up’s focusing on sharing models in food sustainability and building social networks while in New Zealand.

Today, Margarete works with a diverse group of Dell Technologies clients to support them with their digital transformation. Dell Technologies provides a wide range of solutions ranging from edge computing delivering smart retail solutions to advanced analytics to drive enhanced customer experiences and new business model opportunities for leading retailers.

Dell Technologies is continuing to invest and innovate in research and development across its seven technology businesses which enables Dell Technologies to partner with leading global clients to support them automate, modernise and transform their business models.

Margarete is a champion of diversity in digital and a strong advocate of STEM. She is big believer in female entrepreneurship and green technology. Margarete is an advocate of Mental Health and Wellbeing in Dell.

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu | Lawyer, Founder of Women in Leadership Publication; Political & Women’s rights activist

Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu is a New York Attorney and Solicitor of England & Wales with broad expertise in the financial services industry, an author, public speaker and political commentator featured in mainstream and online media. A political & women’s rights activist, she also teaches intersectional feminism to female refugees and asylum seekers; scrutinizes government policies from a gender and diversity inclusion perspective; and co-organises women’s marches and social campaigns. She founded the Women in Leadership publication as a platform to drive positive change on topical issues that impact women globally through inspiring personal leadership journeys and established She@LawTalks to promote women & BAME leadership in the legal profession through universities and secondary schools. She is also the Co-Chair of the American Bar Association Africa committee. An academic enthusiast, she has anExecutive MBA (Cambridge); PhD(Birkbeck); LLM (London School of Economics & Political Science); MA (Westminster) and LLB Hons (Buckingham University).

Helen Pankhurst CBE | Writer, Women’s Rights Activist & International Development Advisor for CARE International

Helen Pankhurst CBE is an author and a women’s rights activist and international development practitioner.

Helen studied at Sussex University, Vassar College, New York, and Edinburgh University and has an honorary degree from Edge Hill University. She is a Visiting Professor at MMU and the First Chancellor of the University of Suffolk.

Helen is a Senior Advisor for CARE International. She previously worked for other international development charities including WaterAid, Womankind Worldwide and ACORD. She is currently a Trustee of ActionAid.

The great-granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst, leaders of the British suffragette movement, Helen carries on the legacy. This includes undertaking re-enactment work for current-day awareness-raising including at the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, the 2015 film Suffragette, leading CARE International’s annual #March4Women event ahead of International Women’s Day in London and convening the Centenary Action Group. She has worked with the composer Lucy Pankhurst, on the lyrics of the Emmeline Anthem commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and in 2018 published the book: Deeds Not Words, the Story of Women’s Rights, Then and Now.

Adam Fidler | Principal & Founder, Adam Fidler Academy

Adam Fidler is an Executive Assistant Consultant who offers teaching, training and self-development of PAs, EAs and Administrators. His popular 2-day Executive PA course ‘From good to outstanding’ runs regularly through Pitman Training and in South Africa through CBM Training. After graduating with a degree in business studies in 1999, Adam worked as a Board-level Assistant/business support manager in a variety of public and private-sector organisations, incuding Boots PLC, Bank of America and, more latterly, Salford City College. In addition, Adam is a qualified secretarial and business studies teacher, is a shorthand expert and a well-known trainer and speaker at secretarial events, at home and abroad.

Anne-Marie Headley | Strategic HR Business Partner, Northern & Eastern Europe, Uber

Anne-Marie Headley is Strategic HR Business Partner at Uber, Northern and Eastern Europe. She has close to two decades ‘ experience in the IT industry and specialises in transforming Fortune 500 companies, scaling growth companies and building high-performance cultures.  Her previous role was at Cisco Systems, where she was part of the leadership team of the Service Provider Applications and Platform Group which generated revenues in excess of $1 billion. At Uber Anne-Marie is responsible for organisational development, workplace culture and employee experience.  She is a Trustee of Reedham Children’s Trust, Trustee of The Legacy OnSide Youth Zone, a Group Group Mentor at the Aleto Foundation and Founder of Toastmasters for Cass Business School in London.

Baroness Mary Goudie | Member of the House of Lords

Baroness Goudie is a member of the British House of Lords and a global advocate for the rights of women and children. She works globally to promote gender equality, women’s rights and peacebuilding.

She is an advisor to the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, which examines and highlights the roles and experiences of women in peace and security worldwide through cutting edge research, timely global convenings, and strategic partnerships. She is also on the advisory board for the London School of Economics – Centre for Women, Peace and Security and a member of the advisory board of Womens Forum, a leading platform dedicated to highlighting women’s voices and perspectives on global issues.

Baroness Goudie is also a member of the Gender Action for Peace and Security (GAPS) management board of advisors. A trustee of the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation, which foster interfaith dialogue and establish common ground and solutions to global challenges affecting mankind.

Baroness Goudie is an active ambassador for ICRW, a global research institute whose mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty. As well as a founding member of the 30% Club steering committee, which aims to influence chairman into bringing more women on to corporate boards across the world.

She was a member of the Select Committee on Sexual Violence in Conflict, a task force appointed to consider the UK’s policy and practice for preventing sexual violence in conflict, and a is currently a member of the Finance Committee for the House of Lords.

Baroness Goudie is an active ambassador for ICRW, a global research institute whose mission is to empower women, advance gender equality and fight poverty. As well as ecoLegacy, a next-generation, environmental and ethical alternative to burial and cremation.

Dr Maggie Semple OBE FCGI | Entrepreneur & Founder, Maggie Semple Limited

Maggie is a successful business woman and entrepreneur. She owns two companies – a management consultancy firm that works with global businesses on leadership development & Semple, an international bespoke womenswear fashion brand. Maggie is a former Non-Executive Director of the Criminal Cases Review Commission where she chaired the Audit & Risk Committee and is currently a Member of the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel, a Director of the Southbank Arts Centre and Chair of the Kerry Nicholls Dance Company. She is a Fellow of the City & Guilds Institute, one of 500 Fellowships awarded since 1878 and an Associate Member of the Senior Common Room of Exeter College, Oxford University. Maggie is cited in the World’s Who Who and was awarded an OBE in 2001. 

Heather Melville OBE, CCMI | Director Sales & Marketing & Head of Client Experience, PwC

Heather Melville OBE, CCMI, JP,  joined PwC in November 2018 as Director, to lead the  Client Experience Business for the UK.

Following a successful 37 year career mainly in financial services and international sales (IBM), with the last 17 years focused around International trade/Domestic Cash Management and most recently Director of Strategic Partnerships and Head of Business Inclusion at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

A passion for Inclusion and the ability to transform the gender agenda within business has led to being recognised by a number of industry bodies, i e 2010 awarded Champion for Women, by Women in Banking & Finance (appointed as a Patron of Women in Banking & Finance), 2016/2017 Financial Times Top 100 UK & US BAME Leaders, 2017/2018 , Upstanding FT Sheroes, 2018 listed on the Power List as one the UK’s most influential black people and Top 30 most influential black people in the city. In 2016 she was made a Companion by the Chartered Management Institute , where she currently sits as a NED and Chair of CMI Women. Heather also holds a Trustee role with Enterprise Enfield, a position she has held for 7 years.

In 2017 Heather was awarded an OBE for her services to gender equality in business.

Heather is mother to 2 entrepreneurial sons, grandmother (nana) to 5  beautiful granddaughters and 2 handsome grandsons and loves fast cars!

Jane Ayaduray | UK Head of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), BNP Paribas

Jane Ayaduray joined BNP Paribas as UK Head of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) in 2017.  She is responsible for developing and leading the organisation’s D&I strategy and initiatives in line with the business agenda. 

Prior to joining BNP Paribas, Jane led the Global LGBT, Disability and Flexibility agendas at Standard Chartered, where she spent 10 years in a variety of HR roles in Asia and the Middle East.  She has twice been named one of the Top 50 Diversity Professionals in Industry, and has spoken internationally on a number of diversity related topics.

Jane has an MBA (Hons) from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and is a passionate mentor of emerging talent.

Caroline Williams | Director of Open Programmes, Saïd Business School

Since taking on the role of Director of Open Programmes, Caroline has expanded the programme portfolio; significantly increasing overall enrolments, revenues, and overall growth rate.

Under her leadership Oxford Saïd’s Open Programmes business is ranked 2nd in the world for quality of overall executive education experience, securing the business school the UK number one spot four years in a row in 2018.

Currently working with a consortium of global organisations to develop high quality development experiences for senior leaders both on campus and online, Caroline is Kirkpatrick qualified, which enables her to create a high-impact post programme experience, resulting in higher transparency on return on investment from executive education programmes.  Committed to supporting Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, Caroline is part of a global network of thought leaders creating opportunities for women from all sectors to experience high quality executive education.

Tamara Box | Managing Partner, EME, Reed Smith

Tamara Box is the Managing Partner for Europe & the Middle East of top 20 international law firm Reed Smith LLP, a member of the firm’s Senior Management Team and its global board, as well as a market leading finance lawyer. She was ranked 15th in the Financial Times HERoes 100 Champions of Women in Business List in 2018, 9th in the Financial Times & HERoes 50 Champions of Women in Business List in 2017, awarded Mentor of the Year by Women of the Future in 2016 and named a top 30 Inspirational Woman and Champion of Diversity by Brummel Magazine in 2015. She is a founding member of the Steering Committee of the 30% Club. She is also the chair of the “Women of Influence” advisory board and campaign for the charity Cancer Research UK and sits on the Advisory Board of charity Theirworld. Finally, she is a member of the Court of Governors of the London School of Economics and sits on the school’s audit committee.

Lorraine Candy | Luxury Content Director, The Sunday Times

In November 2016, Lorraine Candy was appointed to the newly created position of luxury content director of the Sunday Times and editor in chief of Style. Candy joined from Elle UK, where she spent 12 years, most recently as where she was appointed to the position in 2004; during her first five years the publication won ten awards, including Candy’s consecutive wins of the BSME women’s monthly Editor of the Year award, in 2009 and 2010.

She joined Elle from Cosmopolitan where she was editor-in-chief. Prior to Cosmopolitan, Candy’s career was spent working on newspapers, beginning aged 16 when she took her first job at her local newspaper, The Cornish Times. She would go on to be a features writer at the Daily Mirror, columnist for the Daily MailThe Sun’s women’s editor and features editor at The Times, where she was also appointed deputy editor of the paper’s Saturday Magazine, and oversaw the supplement’s re launch.

Laura Barrowman | Global Group Chief Technology Officer and Group Chief Information Security Officer, Credit Suisse

Laura Barrowman is the global Group Chief Technology Officer and Group Chief Information Security Officer, based in London. During her 24-year tenure, Laura has had many leadership positions in the various IT organisations. Laura joined Credit Suisse First Boston in September 1994. Throughout her career at Credit Suisse, Laura has passionately championed and empowered females through leading women’s groups, such as the IT Women’s Council. She is also very committed to the advancement and globalization of STEM programs. She also serves on the Board of Teach for All.

Catherine Schlieben | Head of Group Talent Acquisition, Worldpay

I lead the Talent Acquisition team across the globe. I lead the team of around 40 colleagues, devise the strategy for attracting and assessing talent and overall make sure that we are meeting the business needs when it comes to hiring across all our locations. We have recruiters in the UK, EMEA, India and all across the US covering all lines of business. In the UK I manage the relationship with our contractor supplier. I also look after the HR Nerve Centre, co-ordinating with Finance and the IMO (Integration Management Office) amongst others making sure that any initiatives around people and locations relating to the synergies are reported on and handled in the right way. We are also a general advisory function for HRBPs if they need some additional support. Anything recruitment related, market intelligence around talent and skills, leadership expertise, questions about location strategy, wave activity outside the US, coping with teenagers! Also leadership and how to engage a team that’s spread across the world.

Simone Roche MBE | Founder, Northern Power Women

Simone Roche, CEO and Founder of Northern Power Women, launched this campaign out of a passion to connect and engage with people about gender equality.

Simone started her career in the male-dominated military and then held roles at Aintree Racecourse, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the Arena Convention Centre Liverpool and the Olympics, and she is quick to note that she was not treated differently because she was female.

So it wasn’t until she became the Director for a campaign supporting women in the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism industry – and she was asked to be a champion for the Government Equalities Office – that gender equality grew to be her passion.

When the International Festival for Business was held in Liverpool in 2014, Simone campaigned to include businesses’ role in promoting gender equality and developing talent, and held a sell-out event focused on the role women played in driving the economy.

Men and women suddenly saw women’s benefit to the economy – and the role the North could play in driving that. And Simone saw the need and opportunity to focus on gender balance in the northern powerhouse region. Northern Power Women was born.

Katie McEwan | Executive Support Manager to Jacqueline Gold CBE, Ann Summers

Katie McEwan has been Executive Support Manager to Jacqueline Gold CBE, CEO of Ann Summers for 9 years.

Before taking the role for Jacqueline, Katie had quite a colourful career in television and film working her way up the ladder from production runner, to production assistant and finally production secretary.  During her time in television and film, Katie was fortunate enough to work on a number of award-winning productions, including Waking the Dead and The Diary of Anne Frank for BBC 1 and the international box office success, Run Fat Boy Run starring Simon Pegg and directed by David Schwimmer.

Katie’s role working for Jacqueline is quite extensive and has grown in recent years to include people management, business project management and also the leadership of the Ann Summers Executive Support Team.

In the last few years, Katie has been incredibly fortunate to present at a number of conferences most recently including the Hays PA Network, the PA Hub, Manchester PA Network, ACE’s Scotland, the Office Management and PA Conference & OFFICE, as well as proudly judging the Executive PA Magazine awards in 2012 and the Hays High Achieving PA of the Year award 2013.  In 2014 Katie was awarded the SecsintheCity award for Social Networking PA of the Year and finally, in late 2015 Katie took up the post of Chair of the Executive & Personal Assistant Association (EPAA) General Advisory Board.

Pips Bunce | Director, Head of Global Markets Technology Core Engineering Strategic Programs, Credit Suisse

Pips is a Director and Head of Global Markets Technology Strategic Programs and co-chair of the LGBT & Ally Program at Credit Suisse, a proud champion of Women in IT as part of the IT Women’s Council and part of the EMEA Women’s Network STC and a member of the CS BAME network..

Pips identifies as gender fluid and non-binary hence both identities within the Trans umbrella.

Pips was awarded a prestigious position in the 2018 OUTStanding and Financial Times Executive Leader list, featured at number 32 in the 2018 Financial Times and HERoes Female Executives list and won the Inspirational LGBTQI Leader category as part of the British LGBT Awards.

She is an active proponent for many of the firms holistic Diversity and Inclusion activities and also works with many mainstream firms including the BBC, Financial News and Parliament to highlight the importance of Ally programs, the importance of LGBTQI inclusion and Trans* and non-binary identities.

Katie Kelleher | Crawler Crane Operator/ Trainee AP, Tideway London

After a life time of sales positions and more recently working as a Recruitment Consultant Katie Kelleher had a change of career and started a Lifting technician apprenticeship with Select/ Laing O’Rourke in October 2014.

The lifting technician apprenticeship provided her with training and tickets in Slinging, Traffic Marshalling, Pedestrian operate crane, crawler crane, tower crane, mobile crane and IPAF.

Following training in college and in Select plant hire’s different yards Katie’s first site based job was working at Tottenham Court Road Crossrail site where she has been based in a crawler crane since May 2015.

As well as working 5/6 days a week based on site she believes it is important to make women and school leavers aware of the opportunities within the construction industry and to be a positive roll model for change.

Within her short time working for Crossrail she has spoken with schools, taken part in the parliamentary sub committee into apprenticeships, been filmed for the BBC5 live 100 women series and London Live, Stylist magazine, the metro, construction news, won Crossrail infrastructure apprentice of the year 2016 and has recently been appointed as a board member for the Strategic Transport Apprenticeship Taskforce.

Phillip Palmer | Chief Executive, Collyer Bristow

Phillip is the Chief Executive of Collyer Bristow, a long-established law firm based in London which provides a wide range of legal services to commercial organisations, particularly SMEs, and to high-net-worth individuals and families, based in the UK and internationally. The firm has a particular reputation for its dispute resolution, real estate and private wealth services. This is a full time executive role in which he is a member of the firm’s Board and has day to day responsibility for the operations (both internal and client facing) and the performance of the firm. He works closely with partners and other firm leaders to shape the firm’s strategy and to implement initiatives and projects designed to realise that strategy, to improve firm performance and to ensure the delivery of premium client service. He has a particular interest in attracting and developing young talent in today’s legal marketplace. Phillip formerly practiced as a banking and financial markets lawyer and was a partner at global firm Clifford Chance, where he trained and worked for 25 years, latterly holding practice and firm leadership roles. He worked extensively with international clients and spent a number of years based in the firm’s Tokyo office. He is married with 3 grown up daughters and, outside of work, particularly enjoys watching sport (especially tennis) and listening to jazz

Dr. Diahanne Rhiney BCAe | Founder of Diahanne Rhiney Consultancy, Strength With In Me Foundation (S.W.I.M) & The Baton Award

Dr Diahanne Rhiney BCAe is an award-winning women’s empowerment ambassador who steadfastly established an award-winning reputation as the first to specialise in diversity marketing and race relations almost three decades ago. Having travelled the world in her mission to empower women all over the globe, studied extensively, and consistently implemented her methods for female empowerment; she is a renowned speaker on the topics of business, wellness, empowerment, diversity and entrepreneurship.

The Natwest Every Woman Award winner has recently been awarded a British
Citizen Award for her positive contribution to educating and empowering women. Her upcoming book, ‘All About Me’, is an on-time, self-improvement book which expertly explores empowerment as a practical and applicable method for change.

Brenda Trenowden CBE | Global Chair, 30% Club and Head of FIG Europe, ANZ

Brenda has more than 25 years of experience in capital markets, investment and relationship banking, with sector expertise in financial institutions. She is also a strong advocate for women’s economic empowerment and has been recognised with several awards for her global campaigning for greater gender balance across organisations as a voluntary, business-led imperative. In 2015 Brenda was appointed Global Chair of the 30% Club, where she works closely with leading Chairs and CEOs around the world to increase the representation of women in senior roles and throughout organisations. For the past three years she has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Finance by Financial News, and is also a regular contributor to the FT City Network, a panel of 50 of the City of London’s most influential individuals. In 2018 she was voted #1 Female Role Model in the FT & HERoes Champion of Women in Business Awards. Brenda is also an advisor to UK Government’s Hampton-Alexander Review for increasing the representation of women in the executive level of the FTSE 350, she leads the Financial Institutions Group in Europe for ANZ Bank, is a member of the UK Management Board and ANZ Europe & America’s Lead on Environmental Sustainability. She is a trustee of the EY Foundation and a non-executive director of the England and Wales Cricket Board.  In 2018 Brenda was awarded a CBE in recognition for her work in the Financial Sector and Gender Equality in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Mairi McHaffie | Founder & Managing Director, SceneChange

Mairi is a Personal Impact Expert and MD of Scene Change Creative Consultants Ltd, providers of bespoke people development and talent initiatives across the sectors. She is Director of Coaching Squared™, an award nominated cross organisational leadership development programme spanning the diversity strands which has been shortlisted for several diversity awards.

She is founder of the House of Commons Women into Leadership (WIL) programme and has designed and delivered successful Presentation Skills workshops for their Senior HR Leadership Team.

She is the Coca Cola European Partners Storytelling Expert for their global Women in Leadership Programme, a senior trainer for KPMG Civil Service Learning and associate trainer for many other global consultancies with whom she delivers high level role-play sessions on Client Relationship Building.

As a trained professional actress and BBC TV presenter, Mairi uses her skills to enable individuals and groups to communicate and present better, build confidence, increase visibility and align personal branding to organisational values.

As a sought-after speaker, Mairi regularly speaks across the City with practical sessions on confidence and influencing skills combining her theatrical training with business and social psychology.

Mairi has been a judge on the BBC Apprentice Final as part of a team of business experts assessing the market potential of a key product and is a judge for the prestigious WeAreTheCity.Com  Rising Stars Awards for female pipeline talent across industries. She is the mother of two young boys, a School Governor and occasionally dabbles in stand-up comedy.

Paul Sesay | CEO & Founder, The Inclusive Companies and The National Diversity Awards

Paul Sesay is the Founder/CEO of The National Diversity Awards, The Inclusive Companies Awards, The Inclusive Companies Membership, The Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers List and The Diversity Group. Paul’s business acumen has mainly been with a social focus.

With over ten years’ worth of experience within the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion sector, Paul has worked with some of the largest organisations in the world on their diversity and inclusion profiles. He has also worked within local communities to help people from various backgrounds to achieve and empower disadvantaged groups throughout the UK.

Lieutenant Colonel Sulle Alhaji | Royal Army Physical Training Corps

Lieutenant Colonel Sulle Alhaji was born in Newcastle where he spent his childhood.

At 13 years old he joined the Army Cadet Force, at 16 he joined the Royal Marine Reserves.  In June 1978, he joined the Parachute Regiment and was posted to the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment located in Osnabrück, Germany.  In 1979 he deployed to Armagh, Northern Ireland.  In 1982 he deployed to the Falkland Islands on OP CORPORATE with B Coy where they captured Mt Longdon.  In 1984 he served six months on an operational tour in the jungle of Belize protecting the border.

In 1986 he transferred into the Royal Army Physical Training Corps (RAPTC) and served in various locations, of which highlights are, 7 Parachute Regiment Royal Horse Artillery and as the Chief Instructor at the Army School of Physical Training in Sennelager, Germany.  He commissioned in January 2000 and was posted to the Army Training Regiment Pirbright, then attended Junior Commend Staff College in preparation for a Staff Officers appointment at Headquarters Initial Training Group.  On promotion to Major he served in various staff appointments including tours in Germany and Canada, where he was responsible for the delivery of Adventurous training for over 5000 troops per annum.  In 2015 he was offered a new Full Time Reserve Service assignment in Army Headquarters, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and responsible for designing the assurance process for all physical development in the Army.  In 2017, he took on his current assignment as director of the Army Youth Outreach Team, responsible for identifying opportunities to engage with diverse youth communities across the country.

Lieutenant Colonel Alhaji is a very keen mountain biker and a qualified mountain bike tutor.  He is also a fully qualified bike mechanic.  In his spare time, he relaxes by making furniture and bespoke wooden items.

He is happily married to Nicky, no children.  He provides carer support for Nicky as she has Multiple Scleroses.

Diana Kennedy | VP, Såtrategy, Architecture and Planning, IT&S, BP

Highly experienced, energetic, executive-level CTO, Chief Architect, Engineer and technology strategist, with extensive experience of leading global teams in large organisations. Strong technical leadership and delivery with experience of leading large, global transformation programmes. A passion for talent development and committed to attracting and developing the best technology leaders with diverse talents, backgrounds and perspectives who will enable the digital leadership of our industry.

Rob Neil OBE | MoJ’s Head of Project Race – HR People Group

Rob was born in Paddington, London and grew up in the London Borough of Brent. He joined the Ministry of Justice [then Lord Chancellors Department] in Oct 1983 – starting at Willesden County Court in North London.

Rob progressed to Deputy Court Manager before joining the South Eastern Circuit I.T. Team. In 1998 Rob landed his dream job with Corporate HR as a Development Trainer. Rob studied at the Civil Service College for two years, gaining a Certificate in Training Practice [CTP] and is now a member of CIPD.
Rob was a founding member of the MoJ’s BAME Staff network in 2001, namely P.R.O.U.D. Later in that same year, Rob became the first elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Equality Network [CSREN] – known today as CSRF – the Civil Service Race Forum.

Over the past fifteen years Rob has continued his MoJ career in HR. As an original member of the MoJ’s Employee Engagement Team, Rob led the design, recruitment and launch of the Engagement Champions Network in 2008. As MoJ’s Head of Engagement Networks Rob was responsible for the development of Employee Engagement Champions [EECs] across the MoJ. This pioneering network now boasts over x1000 people across the entire MoJ Family – including; Courts, Tribunals, Prisons and the Legal Aid Agency.

In the summer of 2015 Rob was invited to lead the MoJ’s Diversity & Inclusion Team over the summer as temporary cover for four months. During this period Rob led the delivery of key priorities, including the Department’s response to the Civil Service Talent Action Plan and renegotiating contracts with all Diversity Staff Networks.

In April 2016 Rob was included in the ‘New View 50’ which recognises influential Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) professionals in the public sector

In May 2016 Rob was chosen to lead the MoJ’s Race Project – an inward facing programme of work aimed at supporting the MoJ’s published Diversity & Inclusion objectives and turning the dial on race equality.

Most recently, Rob was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list for ‘Services to Race Equality in the workplace and the community’ and received his gong from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in May of this year.
Rob lives with his wife and their two children in Harrow.

Paulette Mastin | Counsel, Linklaters LLP

Paulette is Counsel in the Capital Markets practice. She has been part of the Corporate Trustee team in Capital Markets since joining in 1997, and advises corporate trustees, other service providers and companies on a wide variety of capital market transactions, including medium term notes, equity linked and regulatory capital issues, loan participation notes, high yield bonds, covered bonds, securitisations (e.g. CMBS, RMBS and whole business), project bonds, collateralised debt obligations and other forms of structured finance products; secured lending transactions; PPP/PFI and renewable deals and Islamic finance, including Sukuks and the first internationally rated Sharia securitisation.

She also advises corporate trustees and issuers on post-issue matters, ranging from advising trustees on the exercise of their powers and discretions (including modifications, waivers and substitutions) to advising when an issuer goes into default or goes through a corporate or debt restructuring, which may involve bondholder meetings, consent solicitations, tender offers or exchange offers.

Commander Sam Truelove MBE | Staff Officer Operational Support for the Standing Joint Force Logistics Component, Royal Navy

Sam was born in South Africa and went to school in Stellenbosch, South Africa and Coronado, CA, USA.  She worked as a scuba instructor in Egypt for 4 years before joining the Army Air Corps in 1998.  After a short period as an Air Trooper she commissioned into the Royal Logistics Corps from Sandhurst in April 2000.  During her time with 17 Port and Maritime Regiment, Marchwood she deployed on Operation AGRICOLA (Kosovo) and took part in Exercise Saif Sareea II in Oman (RFA Sir Galahad).

On transferring to the Royal Navy she spent some time in HMS Ark Royal before completing Junior Supply Officers Course 86 at HMS Raleigh and joined 820 Naval Air Squadron.  During her time on the Squadron, she was involved in the rededication of the Squadron on transition from Sea King to Merlin helicopters, deployed to Oman (RFA FORT GEORGE and in Seeb, Muscat) and also completed a short stand-alone tour to Iraq (Operation TELIC) as an individual augmentee in 2004.

Sam completed Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Maritime) at the Defence Academy in July 2006 before joining the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood where she worked in the J1 Division working with the Permanent Joint Operating Bases (Cyprus, Gibraltar, British Indian Ocean Territory, Falkland Islands) and took part in Exercise Bersama Padu in Singapore.  Post Northwood, she joined HMS Southampton as the Deputy Logistics Officer at the end of an Operation VELA deployment (West Coast of Africa) and completed an Atlantic Patrol Task (South) [APT(S)] deployment (Caribbean, South America and West Africa) before joining the Maritime Battlestaff.  As Military Assistant to Commander United Kingdom Task Group they deployed to the Gulf (HMS Campbeltown, HMS Chatham, RFA Cardigan Bay) as Commander Task Force 158 (Operation TELIC) working in the Northern Arabian Gulf and on the Iraqi Oil Platforms (routinely travelling from Baghdad, Basra, Kuwait, Bahrain, Dubai to the ships and platforms in the northern Gulf).

After a series of pre-deployment courses in early 2009 she deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan in July 2009 in support of Operation HERRICK (HQ ISAF Media Officer).  She completed Advanced Logistic Officers Course 0903 in April 2010 and joined HMS EDINBURGH as the Logistics Officer in May 2010, bringing the ship out of refit and taking her through Basic Operational Sea Training and an APT(S) deployment back to the South Atlantic via Africa.  She joined Commander United Kingdom Amphibious Forces in September 2011 as the Military Assistant to the Commandant General Royal Marines and deployed on Ex Cold Response in Norway and Ex Eager Lion in Jordan.  She joined the Naval Staff in August 2013 as an International Defence Engagement Officer. She was awarded an MBE for her contribution to Diversity and Inclusion and Women’s Sport in the 2016 NYHL.  On completion of ACSC 20 in July 2017 she joined the Standing Joint Force Logistics Component as SO1 Op Sp in August 2017. 

Sam is the Royal Navy Triathlon Association Ladies Captain and coach, a committee member of the Naval Service Women’s Network and CO-Chairs the Navy Compass Network (Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Network).  She enjoys many sports, a good book, a mean game of chess and a glass of red wine if it is raining.  As an Ambassador for the Inspiring the Future Campaign, she regularly speaks at local schools and supports local charity events in various guises.

Sue Clayton | Executive Director, CBRE

Sue is an Executive Director at CBRE, the world’s leading real estate advisers. She is also a Non Executive Director at SEGRO Plc, a FTSE 100 company and a Non Executive Director at Helical Plc. She sits on the Committee of Management of the Hermes Property Unit Trust and is Chair of the Barwood 2017 Property Fund.

Tamara Kaye | Head of Women in Leadership, Sky UK & ROI

Tamara Kaye is Head of Women in Leadership for Sky UK and ROI.  She has been with the business for seven years working in Content, Planning and Marketing. Before joining Sky, Tamara worked in TV production at Universal, BBC and Disney as well as smaller independent companies, helping produce documentaries for Nat Geo, Discovery, Channel 4 and BBC amongst others.

In her current role, Tamara helps drive Sky’s Diversity and Inclusion agenda, with a specific focus on promoting a gender balanced leadership team and developing Sky’s pipeline of female talent. She works closely with the Women in Technology and Women in Home Service teams to address historically male-dominated STEM areas.

Justine Simons OBE | Deputy Mayor for Culture and Creative Industries

Justine has worked for the Mayor of London for over 15 years playing a central role in the cultural revitalisation of London. Awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for Services to Culture in London in 2015, she has shaped a strategy to establish London as a leading global creative capital. Justine staged the capital’s biggest ever festival for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games with over 5000 events and established the Fourth Plinth as a global exemplar for public sculpture.

As Deputy Mayor she is pioneering groundbreaking cultural policy. From the first ever Cultural Infrastructure Plan, to ‎Cultural Enterprise Zones – ‎dedicated areas to support artists, a London Borough of Culture Award to celebrate the best of London’s neighbourhoods and the UK’s first Night Czar, championing the night time economy‎.

Justine founded and is Chair of the World Cities Culture Forum – an influential network of 39 global cities championing the pivotal role of culture.

Charlotte Sweeney OBE | Managing Director, Charlotte Sweeney Associates and Creating Inclusive Cultures

Charlotte Sweeney OBE has specialised in Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) for nearly 20 years and was recognised by The Economist and The Daily Telegraph as one of the Top 10 D&I Professional Consultancies in the world.  She runs a consultancy specialising in D&I strategy and their effective and sustainable implementation. Her clients include many global companies and gained much of her global experience leading D&I in a number of companies in both Retail and Investment Banking (Barclays, Barclays Capital, HBOS and Nomura). 

In 2014 she authored an independent review for the UK Government Secretary of State Dr. Vince Cable on Women on Boards and Executive Search Firms and is the co-author of the recent Financial Times published book ‘Inclusive Leadership – the definitive guide to developing and executing an impactful Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, locally and globally’, which was shortlisted for Management Book of the Year by The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) in 2018.

She was recognised in the New Years Honours 2017 list with Officers of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to Women and Equalities.

Dr Rannia Leontaridi OBE | Director, Business Growth & Office for Artificial Intelligence, Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy

Rannia Leontaridi is the Director for Business Growth at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy since May 2016.  Recently she has also taken responsibility as the joint Director for the Office for Artificial Intelligence for the UK Government.  In her dual role Rannia leads the Government’s work to start up, grow and scale productive businesses in the economy.  She also focuses on the role that technology plays in creating economic value and disruption in existing sectors as well as the creation of new business and new emerging sectors in the economy.  As the joint Director lead for Artificial Intelligence in government and has responsibility for the AI Sector deal and AI grand Challenge in the Industrial Strategy.  She is also the Government’s senior sponsor for the British Business Bank, the UK’s development Bank, and “Be the Business”, the new organisation created by the Productivity Leadership Group, chaired by Sir Charlie Mayfield.  Rannia began life as an entrepreneur and later went on to be an Assistant Professor in Economics.  She is a Carnegie Scholar and holds a PhD in Labour Market Economics.  She  began her career in the civil service in the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office and has held senior positions in the University sector, Cabinet Office and the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs.  Rannia is a co-founder and sits on the board of Crown Hosting Services, a start-up and joint venture between Government and Ark Data centres, set up to deliver hosting services for legacy public sector infrastructure. In February 2016 Rannia received the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for public service.

Alex Pierre | Global Head of Structured Solutions, MUFG

Alex Pierre is responsible for leading MUFG Global Markets Business Groups’ Structured Solutions business globally.

Alex is a member of the EMEA Joint Management Committee, the Global Front Office Committee for the Global Markets Business Group, and the International Management Committee for the Securities business. He manages on a day to day basis the Markets Structuring teams, as well as the Structured OtD, Structured Financing and Equity Solutions businesses, with teams in New York, London, Singapore, Hong-Kong, and Tokyo. He also supervises the Equity Derivatives and Equity Financing businesses in MUFG Securities EMEA.

Alex has over 20 years of banking experience and joined MUFG in 2014 from UBS, where he has held several management positions in Structured Products and Financing over the years, most recently as Global Head of Credit and Financing Structuring.

He started his career in Risk Management at Banque Paribas in Paris, before working on the Structured Credit Derivatives desk in London. He then joined Citigroup’s Structured Credit team, and moved in 2006 to UBS in their Structured Products Group. Alex served there for eight years and held various senior positions in Structured Rates, Credit, Emerging Markets and Balance Sheet Management structuring, trading and marketing multi asset class products and strategies, and most recently developed their Structured Financing business.

Helene Reardon-Bond | Former Director of the Government Equalities Office and international gender pay gap expert

Helene is a leading international expert on the Gender Pay Gap and how to support women to progress in the workplace.

As the former Director of the Government Equalities Office, Helene has worked closely with Cabinet ministers and No10 . She has also worked in several Government Departments and been responsible for a number of high profile, successful programmes, legislation and campaigns. These range from same sex marriage, violence against women and girls campaigns, maternity rights and action to increase the numbers of women and greater diversity in senior positions in business as well as in public and political life.

Helene has extensive practical experience of working with employers to deliver successful policies supporting women, including the gender pay gap legislation.

She is also the Chair of a Governing Body at a London school and was awarded the OBE for her work in the public and voluntary sector.

Sherry Coutu CBE | Chair of Founders4Schools, Workfinder & The Scaleup Institute

Sherry Coutu is serial entrepreneur and angel investor who serves on the boards of companies, charities and universities. She chairs Founders4Schools, WOrkfinder, the Scaleup Institute and the Financial Strategy Advisory Group for the University of Cambridge and is a non-executive member of Cambridge University (Finance Board), Cambridge Assessment, Cambridge University Press and a NED of the London Stock Exchange plc and Raspberry Pi.

 Philanthropically, she supports the Prince’s Trust, the Crick Institute and serves on the Harvard Business School European Advisory Council. Sherry has an MBA from Harvard, an MSc (with distinction) from the London School of Economics, and a BA (Hons with distinction) from the University of British Columbia, Canada. She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to entrepreneurship in the New Year’s Honours List 2013, is author of ‘The Scale-up Report’ on UK economic growth and serves as an Ambassador for London.

Victoria Darragh | Founder, Executive & Personal Assistants Association (EPAA)

Victoria is a former Multi Award Winning Executive Assistant from the United Kingdom.

She is extremely passionate about the role of the Assistant and actively encourages it as a truly fantastic career choice, after experiencing an extraordinary career journey herself.
Victoria spent the first five years of her career, from the age of sixteen, working her way up the secretarial career ladder. She commenced her work as an Office Junior for a car leasing firm, before moving to a Junior Personal Assistant role at her next company. She then became a Secretary, until receiving her first Executive Assistant position at the age of 21, this was for Susan Scott-Parker OBE, CEO of the Business Disability Forum.

Victoria then went onto to join one of the world’s leading specialist recruitment firms as an Executive Assistant and shortly after joining, went on to set up an award winning Internal PA Network in November 2009.

In 2008 Victoria was a Finalist in the Hays/Times PA of the Year and in October 2011 Victoria received ‘Outstanding Contribution to the PA Profession’ at the Mayfair PA Magazine awards.

Victoria has appeared as a judge on many prestigious awards for Assistants, most recently ‘Rising Star Awards’.

Victoria contributes to industry press on a regular basis and has appeared on the BBC Breakfast Show, BBC Radio 5 and in newspapers/magazines such as The Times, The Daily Mail, London Business Matters, People Management Magazine (CIPD), Executive Secretary Magazine, former Office Secretary Magazine and Management Magazine to name but just a few.

In 2015 Victoria was placed into the City AM Newspapers ‘Women in the City Power List’ and is currently in the Top 30. She was the first Executive Assistant to be recognised in a list such as this!

Victoria regularly presents and trains Assistants at events and conferences across the UK and also internationally including; Belgium, Dubai, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, South Africa and the USA.

Carolanne Minashi | Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, UBS

Carolanne joined UBS in February 2016 as the Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, for UBS.  Prior to joining UBS she spent 29 years at Citi and has an extensive background in senior HR leadership positions including Leadership Development, Employee Engagement, Talent Management and Employee Relations.

Carolanne is an experienced Coach and qualified Mediator.  Passionate about working with leaders to drive real change on the Inclusion agenda she is focused on fixing the ‘system’ rather than fixing the ‘women’ (or any other under-represented group!) She has a proven track record of creating impact.

At UBS, Carolanne has been driving a cultural change agenda to support the Boards objectives to have a greater number of Women in Senior Leadership roles.  With a pragmatic approach underpinned by metrics, UBS is seeing genuine change that is delivering positive outcomes for employees, clients, investors and other stakeholders.  Her body of work has been broad but 3 highlights; a) embedded management accountability for progress in every line of business, b) launched a global returner programme Career Comeback that brings people back into the industry after a period of career break, c) lead and authored a Global Study looking at the root causes leading to senior Female Attrition producing some myth-busting findings that are helping UBS rethink retention strategies.

She is a member of the Womens Leadership Board at the Women and Public Policy unit at Harvard Kennedy School, a Chartered Fellow of the British Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development and has been recognised by Women in Banking and Finance with Award for Outstanding Achievement

Outside of work, Carolanne and her Husband Mark live in Hertfordshire and have 4 children aged between 14 and 23, she is a member and student of the Royal School of Needlework based at Hampton Court Palace.

Kate Stephens | CEO, Smart Works

Kate Stephens is CEO of Smart Works, leading our mission to roll out nationwide and help ever more women into employment. Based in London, Kate runs our HQ operations and oversees our long-established London service, ensuring it remains best-in-class and that we share our learnings across the Smart Works family. Kate combines senior private sector experience with a passion for the entrepreneurial, dynamic and inspirational charity sector, learnt first as Trustee, Vice Chair and then Chair of a leading family charity and now as CEO of Smart Works.

Susan Allen | Head of Retail and Business Banking, Santander

Susan has worked in the Financial Services industry for over 25 years and has extensive experience across Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Global Banking, Operations and strategic central functional roles.

Before joining Santander Susan was the CEO, Customer Solutions Group, Commercial and Private Banking at RBS, which included the UK asset management, invoice finance, cash and trade businesses supporting a wide range of businesses from SME’s to major international corporates.

Since joining Santander in 2015 she has held the positions of Managing Director, UK Banking; Chief Transformation Officer and Head of Customer Interactions.  In January 2019, she was appointed to Head of Retail and Business Banking and sits on the Executive Committee and Santander UK Board.  Her responsibilities encompass the leadership of Santander’s retail contact centres, branches, provision of mortgages, wealth and private banking and Cater Allen services.

Throughout her career Susan has been a champion of diversity and inclusivity and is currently the Executive Sponsor of the Santander LGBT network.  Under her leadership and guidance the network has trebled in membership and been recognised externally for its progressive achievements.  She is also an active sponsor of the Santander Returnships, Apprenticeships and Traineeships, all of which reflect her personal drive and commitment to ensure we have a working environment that allows everyone to thrive. Susan is a member of the Advisory Board for Women in Banking and Finance.

Mark Looker | Managing Director, Morgan Stanley & EMEA Head of Infrastructure & Global Head of the Enterprise Computing Service

Mark Looker is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and is the EMEA Head of Infrastructure & Global Head of the Enterprise Computing Service organization based in London. Mark joined Morgan Stanley in 1999 as an Associate within the Fixed Income Technology Team and has since served in a number of infrastructure roles within Enterprise Computing. He was named Vice President in 2003, Executive Director in 2008 and Managing Director in 2012.

Mark’s current role includes regional responsibility for all technology infrastructure services supporting the European business as well as local accountability for all the regional infrastructure resources supporting the global business lines.  Along with his functional role, Mark is an active participant on the Firm wide Diversity Action Council.

Lydia Knight | Head of Fundraising Strategy and Operations, NSPCC

Lydia Knight is the Head of Fundraising Strategy and Operations for the NSPCC. In this role, Lydia oversees the delivery of £24m of income for the charity annually, from legacy giving and mass participation events, and is responsible for core fundraising functions such as business planning, strategic projects, innovation, donation management and supporter systems.

Lydia started her career in the charity sector as a volunteer manager, heading up mass volunteering for a small international children’s charity. Working in a grass roots organisation, and experiencing the power of supporter action after the Kosovo war, sparked a lifelong commitment to the sector. Lydia has worked for the NSPCC for 12 years in a variety of  project based and direct fundraising roles, gaining experience in multiple fundraising disciplines and developing an ever growing appreciation of the needs of our incredible supporters, our passionate fundraisers, and their power to change the landscape for children today.  

Bev Shah | Founder & CEO, City Hive – A Network for Change

Bhavini ‘Bev’ Shah is Founder and CEO of City Hive – A Network for Change. Prior to founding City Hive in 2016, Bev gained more than 15 years’ experience in the City at some of

the world’s largest financial institutions – Aviva, Aviva Investors, Merchant Securities (now part of San Lam UK), HSBC, Bear Stearns & Lehman Brothers. As a British/Indian dyslexic woman (and married mother of two), Bev is passionate about empowering the investment and asset management sector to forge a more equitable and inclusive culture. She passionately believes in the value of diverse thought and experience in rebuilding trust in financial services and enhancing investment performance.

Bev is a media commentator on topics of gender equality and all aspects of diversity in the investment sector. She is frequently quoted in The Financial Times, The Telegraph, Investment Week, Money Marketing, Citywire and many more. She is equally comfortable with print and broadcast media.

She has been a judge at the Women in Investment Awards 2017 and 2018, is keynote speaker at industry events and a panel moderator, most recently at the London School

of Economics’ Phenomenal Women Conference. Bev is also active across work streams at the Diversity Project (including gender and neurodiversity) and an Advisory Board

Member of the Association of Professional Fund Investors (APFI). She holds a BSc (Hons) in Economics and Accountancy from City University (CASS).

Rob Harley | Managing Director, Head of GTI Europe & Asia, Royal Bank of Canada

Rob Harley joined RBC as Managing Director of GTI Europe and ASIA in November 2015 assuming responsibility for IT Infrastructure services across both regions.

Starting his career at the very birth of distributed systems computing , Robs early career was spent developing financial models before moving on to focus on Infrastructure  and enterprise systems entirely in the Financial Services sector.  

The consolidation of the financial services industry in the late nineties and early two thousand created a smaller number of larger banks that really accelerated the growth of enterprise technology and subsequently the need to consolidate and automate.  The unique skills and experience Rob gained through this period helped to pivot Rob into leadership roles.

Work his way on from coding and systems design and administration Rob has held a series of Global leadership roles managing teams in multiple geographies, at Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and Brevan Howard. Developing global teams and service functions across the entire Infrastructure space.

Prior to joining RBC Rob spent a number of years applying the global experience he gained, through Blue Chips, as an Consultant leading IT Transformation and Separation programs for various Financial Services organizations. These assignments offered a fantastic opportunity to deliver modern enterprise class Infrastructure and services leveraging contemporary technologies whilst standardizing and simplifying legacy tech and lowered operating costs.

Rob has experienced the dramatic evolution of technology first hand from mainframe and console only days to the exciting times we now live in working out how to leverage artificial intelligence, automation, robotics and machines that continuously learn. 

How we apply IT to our business and customer challenges and how we continuously improve our services remains a huge motivator for Rob.

Privacy Preference Center