MEET THE JUDGES

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 2020 Rising Star Awards.

Amanda Brock | CEO, OpenUK

Amanda is CEO of the UK body for “open”, OpenUK, the Chair of the Open Source and Intellectual Property (IP) Advisory Group of the United Nations Technology Innovation Labs, the European Representative of the world’s biggest defensive patent pool, the Open Invention Network and a member of the OASIS Open Projects’ Advisory Council (open source and open standards).

Amanda was a joint-organiser of the UK Open Source Awards in 2019, having been a judge of the awards in 2014 and 2015; CEO of the Trustable Software Engineering Project, a project focused on solutions to risk in Open Source Software during 2019 and continues as a Director of this organisation; General Counsel of Canonical, one of the world’s biggest open source companies and the commercial sponsor of Ubuntu, setting up the global legal team and running this for 5 years having worked as a lead lawyer in a variety of sectors, ranging from .com to a data centre and Fintech on the mobile, across EMEA, US, AsiaPac and Emerging Markets, based out of both the UK and Amsterdam.

As well as many years of structuring and negotiating a multitude of deals, Amanda’s roles have included contribution to, and leadership of, a number of multi-organisational collaborative projects and open source initiatives. She has expertise in open source software, strategy, governance, IP, compliance audits, policies and processes as well as commercialisation and contracting around open source and provides consultancy and advisory services around these.

Amanda was a member of the Open Stack Drafting Committee during its set up in 2012. She is a regular international keynote speaker and panel member and an author covering open source, collaboration and legal issues, in particular open for good and commercial models of open source. She is an Executive Editor and co-Founder of the Journal of Open Law Technology and Society (formerly IFOSSLR), a Fellow of the Open Forum Academy.

Amanda is the Editor of the book, Free and Open Source Software: Law, Policy and Practice”, 2nd Edition, to be published by Oxford University Press in August 2020 with open access sponsored by the Vietsch Foundation and contributed to by 20 leading figures in open source.

Dr Funke Abimbola MBE | Business Leader, Lawyer and Diversity Campaigner

Dr Funke Abimbola is a global diversity champion. 

In March 2019, she was appointed as a Champion for Action as part of Grant Thornton International’s global diversity campaign, challenging gender-based barriers to career progression including recruitment bias. As part of the Law Society’s Women in Law Group, she contributed to the success of the largest ever international survey of its kind, resulting in the Law Society’s ‘Influencing for impact’ report with practical recommendations for increasing gender diversity across the global legal profession.

Funke provides mentoring and sponsorship to support a pipeline of diverse talent and holds a number of non-exec roles within the diversity space. She has a grassroots approach to driving change and provides talks to approximately 2,000 school children annually.

A regular media contributor for the BBC, Funke has been filmed for the First 100 Years Project celebrating 100 years of achievements by prominent women in law.  She is also a notable alumnus of her alma mater, Newcastle University, and was awarded an MBE for services to diversity in the legal profession and to young people in 2017.

In September 2019, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire, recognising her significant contributions to corporate and social diversity.

Roni Savage | Chartered Engineer, Chartered Geologist and SiLC (Specialist in Land Condition)

Roni, is a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Geologist and SiLC (Specialist in Land Condition). A graduate of University of Portsmouth with a BEng(hons) in Engineering Geology and Geotechnics, she also holds a Masters’ (with distinction) in Environmental Management. She has worked on many major construction schemes, including the widening of the A406 and M25.

She was formerly Associate Director of one of the UK’s largest Engineering Firms.

In 2009, after gaining several years of industry experience, she established Jomas Associates, serving land developers across the UK, and achieving a turnover of £2m in 2017, with further plans for growth. Jomas undertake site investigations, engineering and environmental surveys on construction projects across the UK.
Under Roni’s stewardship, Jomas focus on providing their clients with high quality, high value, expedient, engineering solutions, with emphasis on delivery.

In 2017, Jomas was acknowledged as a high growth company by Goldman Sachs, and Roni took part in the 10kSB business programme run with University of Oxford, Said Business School.
A mother to three boys, Roni is extremely passionate about gender diversity and social mobility, volunteering her time to mentor and coach others.

Roni has a very strong entrepreneurial spirit, with a passion for success and business growth. While acting as sole director of Jomas Associates, she simultaneously co-founded Turner Jomas, a multi-disciplinary civil engineering practice.

Steph MacLeod | Director, Kaizo

Steph MacLeod is Director and co-owner of Kaizo, a top 15 technology PR, social and digital agency that works for two types of clients – big brands or brands with big ambitions. Graduating with a Masters in Politics and International Law from The University of Edinburgh, Steph quickly realised that she was far too opinionated for a career in public affairs and discovered a love of all things tech.

Over the past 25 years she has specialised in developing creative integrated campaigns for clients ranging from Avast, Pure Storage, IP EXPO Event Series, Symantec, CheckPoint, Facebook, Cisco, NetSuite, Apple, HP and Samsung. Before joining Kaizo in 2009, she held board level positions at global PR networks such as NextFifteen and Omnicom.

When she’s not working she’s usually found ranting about politics and being Mum to her four year old son and five year old daughter, usually simultaneously.

Baroness Mary Goudie | Member of the House of Lords

Baroness Mary Goudie is a senior member of the British House of Lords and a global advocate for the rights of women and children. In the UK she is a founding member of The 30% Club which aims to influence chairman to bring more women onto corporate boards. She is an emeritus of the Board of Directors of Vital Voices Global Partnership. Goudie is a trustee of the El-Hibri Charitable Foundation, based in the US, whose aims are to foster interfaith dialogue to establish solutions to global challenges affecting mankind. She is a member of the UK Board of Directors for the Center for Talent Innovation, a nonprofit think tank that focuses on challenges and issues pertaining to the workplace. Goudie is an ambassador for ICRW, and a board member the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security. She is also a member of the board for the Center of Women, Peace and Security at the LSE .
She shares perspectives on her blog www.baronessgoudie.com and can be followed on twitter @BaronessGoudie.

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

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

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 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 has held a number of Non-Executive Director roles on a number of boards, including 4 years as a Deputy Chair of an NHS Acute Trust with responsibility of over £500m annual spend.

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

Anna Delvecchio FCILT FCIPS | Commercial Account Director, Amey

Anna Delvecchio is currently the Commercial Account Director at Amey. Anna started her professional journey at the age of 16 as an apprentice. In her 25-year career since then, she has rapidly risen through the ranks holding several senior commercial, development and supply chain roles.

Anna recently co-led the transport industry’s coordinated response to the Government’s industrial strategy, in the form of an ambitious Sector Deal for the rail sector, which was successfully secured in December 2018.
With a passion for diversity and inclusion, Anna is committed to supporting colleagues across the sector. Anna is the Industry Chair for the Women in Rail South Group and is also on the Women in Transport Board, one of Everywoman’s Ambassadors and is a strong advocate of apprenticeship programmes.

In June 2019, the London Transport Museum unveiled a portrait and plaque of Anna, appointing her as a patron of the museum and recognising her as one of the iconic women of transport. The prestigious accolade was in honour of Anna’s work across the transport sector, including developing the Rail Sector Deal and promoting diversity and inclusion across the industry voluntarily.

Anna was also named the FTA Everywoman Transport and Logistics Woman of the Year 2018. She is a Fellow (FCILT) of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and works with the President and CEO to champion initiatives across the Institute and is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (FCIPS).

Paul Sainthouse FCILT | Managing Director, Dawsongroup & President of CILT(UK)

Paul is Managing Director of Dawsongroup bus and coach limited, a position that he has held since 2002, and also a member of the Dawsongroup plc Advisory Board.

Born in 1967, Paul has a career in Transport spanning almost 35 years. From an operational background in distribution and logistics, Paul joined Dawsongroup Truck and Trailer as a management trainee in 1987, was appointed a director in 1997 and held a variety of management positions with the company, finally moving permanently into passenger vehicles in 1998.

Paul is current President of CILT(UK) and a member of the CILT International Reference Group. He is a Director of the Confederation of Passenger Transport, Vice Chair of their Suppliers Committee, and both Secretary and Advisory Board member of the All Party Parliamentary Group for the Road Passenger Transport Industry.

Paul is involved with charity as a Patron of the London Transport Museum, and through Imberbus – an annual bus industry event. He is a Freeman of the City of London and a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Carmen.

He is the enthusiastic owner of two restored London Transport Routemaster buses and still proudly possesses both LGV and PCV driving licences.

Victoria Williams | Vice President, Medicine Commercialisation Leader, GSK

Victoria Williams started at GlaxoSmithKline on a commercial graduate scheme and over the last 20+ years her career has spanned a range of different commercial functions as well as geographies. She is currently the Global Commercial Lead for one of GSK’s key medicines for severe asthma, working with different markets and functions across the world. Before this role she was General Manager in GSK Austria after spending 10 years in France on the local management team.
Victoria is passionate about the development of talent in the Healthcare and Pharmaceutical industry and is also the UK sponsor for the Women’s Leadership Initiative at GSK. She is delighted to be one of our judges this year and hopes the awards will help develop more female leaders in this industry in the future.

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.

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.

Adam Fidler | Principal and Founder, Adam Fidler Academy

Adam Fidler is the Principal and Founder of Adam Fidler Academy, which offers inspirational teaching and learning for PAs, EAs and business support professionals. His most popular courses ‘Get Ahead as an Executive PA’ and ‘The Strategic Executive Assistant’ run regularly in Manchester, London – and abroad.

After graduating with a first degree in business and economics in 1999, Adam worked as a corporate Board-level Assistant in a variety of organisations, including The Boots Company PLC, Bank of America and Salford City College. He qualified as a teacher in 2008 and has, since then, educated hundreds of Assistants all over the world.

In 2017, Adam Fidler Academy was appointed preferred training provider to the Executive & Personal Assistants Association (EPAA), the UK’s leading professional body for EAs and PAs.

Adam is also the author of the ‘EA Manifesto: What I Am’ which elevates and articulates the true role of the Executive Assistant, a definition which has gone viral on social media with some 1 million views on social media alone.

Adam’s cutting edge perspectives on the true role of the Executive Assistant make him a leading authority and thought-leader in the industry, where his work has received worldwide acclaim.

Paulette Mastin | Counsel in the Capital Markets practice, Linklaters

Paulette Mastin is Counsel in the Capital Markets practice at Linklaters, where she advises financial institutions and multinationals on a wide spectrum of capital market transactions, structured finance products, infrastructure/project financing, renewable deals and Islamic finance.
Paulette is co-Sponsor of Linklaters’ BAME Network, and Chair of the Black Solicitors Network (BSN), an award winning non-profit organisation committed to achieving equality of access, retention and promotion across the profession, with a membership of several thousand. Paulette was made a Companion (CCMI) in 2018 and a Chartered Manager (CMgr) in 2019 by the Chartered Management Institute.

In 2015, Paulette won the Champion and Executive Sponsor Award presented by BITC’s Race for Opportunity for her work on improving diversity both within her firm and externally. In 2017, Paulette received the Outstanding Woman in Professional Services Award at the 11th Precious Awards ceremony and in early September 2019 she was included in the Brummell Magazine 2019 Top 30 Inspirational Women: City Leaders.

Melanie Seymour | Managing Director, Head of BlackRock Budapest

Melanie Seymour, Managing Director, is Head of BlackRock Budapest. She is responsible for establishing our presence and building out the footprint in Hungary. She is a key partner for global businesses, helping to identify BlackRock teams that can take advantage of the city’s technology, language and quantitative analysis capabilities.
Melanie is part of the Technology and Operations Leadership team and a member of the Human Capital Committee.

Melanie has been an active member of WIN EMEA since she joined the firm and took over as co-chair in 2015.

She joined BlackRock in 2011 to review the strategic direction of DC and took over the Operations in May 2013. Most recently she transformed our UK DC Administration business and led its sale and transition to Aegon.

Prior to joining BlackRock, Melanie worked for Hewitt as the operational lead for their European benefits business where she was responsible for setting up a near shore location in Eastern Europe and developing a TOM to incorporate this.

Melanie is passionate about education and people development. She is on the Advisory board of Women in Banking and Finance where she actively supports all levels of women in the industry. She coaches and mentors both internally and externally.

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 or on 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.

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).

Julie Baker | Head of Enterprise And Community Finance, NatWest

Julie Baker is Head of Enterprise and Community Finance at NatWest with a 30+ year career in the world of banking covering leadership roles and was ‘Highly Commended’ at the Women in Finance awards for the program she leads at NatWest supporting female entrepreneurs. Julie is an external influencer and has chaired the BBA Diversity & Inclusion Council, the Access to Finance Group at the APPG for Women in Enterprise and was Business lead on the Rose Review research and sits on several external boards. Julie is an international speaker and expert on Women’s Market programs. She acts as an Enterprise Ambassador and is an inspirational role model who is passionate about helping others succeed.

Victoria Wratten | 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 Wearethecity.com ‘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.

Jessica Wade BEM | Physicist, Imperial College

Jessica Wade is a British physicist and early career researcher in the Blackett Laboratory at Imperial College London. Her research investigates polymer-based light emitting diodes (LEDs). She also carries out public engagement work in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), particularly in the promotion of physics to girls. Wade won the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) Robin Perrin Award for Materials Science in 2017, the Institute of Physics (IOP) Daphne Jackson Medal and Prize in 2018 and was included in Nature’s 10 people who mattered in science in 2018

Wincie Wong | Head of Rose Review Implementation, NatWest

Wincie Wong uses her background at the leading edge of creative and disruptive innovation in the banking industry to break down barriers and tap the huge unrealised economic potential of female entrepreneurs by making the UK one of the best countries in the world for women to start and grow a new business as recommended in the Alison Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship. An international speaker and a digital evangelist, she is passionate about spearheading the growth of a diverse technology workforce as co-founder of the NatWest Girls Can Code network and founding member of Tech She Can, an organisation of 140+ corporates working together to increase the number of women in technology roles in the UK through education. She is also co-host of the NatWest Technically Speaking podcast series discussing current topics in the evolving world of tech. A serial entrepreneur herself, she has been featured in Season 2 of BBC’s My Million Pound Menu with host Fred Siriex for her business running Burmese supper clubs – now available on Netflix globally. In 2019, she was named one of the Top 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in UK Tech by Inclusive Boards & the Financial Times. 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.

Terri Duhon | Board Director, Keynote Speaker, Educator, Finance and Risk Expert

Terri Duhon is the Chair of the Board of Morgan Stanley Investment Management for the EMEA business, on the board of Morgan Stanley International and Rathbone Brothers plc, a FTSE250 UK Wealth Manager. On these boards, she also chairs the Risk Committee. She is an Associate Fellow at The Said Business School at Oxford University, on the MIT Corporation Visiting Committee for the MIT Math Department, a motivational speaker for Speakers for Schools and a frequent Keynote Speaker on Culture, Career Management, Diversity and Corporate Purpose.

After graduating from MIT in Math, Terri started her career at JPMorgan and spent 10 years working as a derivative trader. In particular she was part of the team that developed the credit derivative market globally as documented in Fool’s Gold. Later she became an entrepreneur and started a consulting business where she lead expert witness teams in unwinding some of the more complex products from the credit crisis. She has been on the board of CHAPS Co (the UK high value payment system), the board of Operation Smile UK and was a founding member of the Women’s Leadership Group for the Prince’s Trust. She is the author of How the Trading Floor Really Works.

Elizabeth Vega | Group CEO, Informed Solutions

Cabinet Office Small & Medium Business Panel, Member & Chair of the Meet the Buyer Working Group, Digital Leader Founder Award Winner, DIT Northern Powerhouse Export Champion, ScaleUp Institute ‘Access to Markets’ Committee Member.

Elizabeth set up Informed Solutions in the UK in 1992 and has built the company into a multi award-winning market leader, trusted and respected in both public and private sectors in the UK and Australia.
Elizabeth was the first person to be an elected Director of both techUK’s Main Board and the National Board of the Australian Information Industry Association. As a member of the Cabinet Office SME Panel, she is a key opinion former in the UK SME community.
Committed to sustainable business and good corporate responsibility, Elizabeth champions important economic issues such as government spend with SMEs and the equitable treatment of SMEs (in many cases delivering innovation and high value specialist skills) within supply chains. She is equally committed to addressing the Digital Skills Gap and sees the integration of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) into the national curriculum as critical to success in this area.
The continuing success of the Company’s global scale up has seen key changes at Main board level, with Elizabeth assuming the role of Global CEO for the Informed Group, while remaining CEO in Australia.

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

Dr Diahanne Rhiney BCAe is an award-winning social cause PR and Diversity Marketing entrepreneurial pioneer who has made an immeasurable impact.

Diahanne defied the odds to steadfastly establish a global reputation in PR as the first to specialise in diversity marketing and race relations almost 30-years ago. Instrumental in negotiating big business contracts worth £3.2bn, Diahanne is a recognised and authoritative commentator on business success, PR and branding, media, personal development and the theory of change.

Her gift for combining leading-edge PR with methods tailored for minority and unheard groups is unwavering. Having consistently putting marginalised groups on the map via national cutting edge media campaigns, events and platforms, her work has had a long-term impact in changing mind-sets and practice as she continues to use her networks to promote social change with women and girls as her central focus, having founded social cause PR company Naked Truth PR and Management in 2017. Her mentor and client list of dynamic young change-makers at Naked Truth PR is ever-growing and includes change-makers Kenny Imafidon, Amani Simpson and Joss Cambridge Simmons.

Her global work in empowering women is particularly notable, she has been awarded a British Citizen Award for her positive contribution to Britain as she continues to utilise her entrepreneurial savvy to shape the future and invest in generations via her leading female empowerment platforms including The Baton Awards and Strength With In Me Foundation (S.W.I.M).

Lieutenant Colonel Sulle D Alhaji | Royal Army Physical Training Corps

Born in Newcastle, Sulle joined the 3rd Battalion the Parachute Regiment in June 1978 and was posted to Germany, his first active duty was in 1979 in Northern Ireland. In 1982 he took part in the Falklands War where his unit captured Mt Longdon. In 1984 he served 6 months on an operational tour in the jungle of Belize protecting the border.

In 1986 he transferred into the Royal Army Physical Training Corps where he ensured each unit he served with, was physically fit to be deployed worldwide for any operation, this is also where he learnt the skills to be an effective mentor. He attended Farnborough college in the evenings to study Sport Science and sport therapy. He was promoted up through the ranks and commissioned to the rank of Captain in 2000. He completed the Junior Command Staff College course in 2002 at Shrivenham. Gaining much experience (and further promotion) through a variety of jobs he was selected for Lieutenant Colonel and responsible for designing the assurance process for all physical, adventurous and sport development in the Army. In 2017, he took on a new assignment as the director of the Army Youth Outreach Team, responsible for identifying opportunities to engage with diverse youth communities across the country. During this assignment he was awarded a commendation for an act of bravery from the Chief of General Staff.

Lieutenant Colonel Sulle Alhaji has an interesting story of overcoming adversity, social mobility, bullying, dealing with dyslexia and much more. He uses his story to mentor disenfranchised youths, which includes students at pupil referral units and secure homes. His story is changing the way audiences assess their own situation. Consequently, he won the Business in the City 2018 Best Employer for Race Award for the Army, his contribution ensured the Army won the European Diversity Team of the Year 2018 and is currently nominated for 2020 Soldiering on Awards.

Kaela Fenn-Smith | Managing Director, Real Estate Balance

Kaela Fenn-Smith is Managing Director of Real Estate Balance working with CEOs and leaders across the property sector to increase the number of women in senior positions in real estate and to ultimately achieve gender balance across the sector.

Kaela has over 26 years of experience in commercial real estate. She spent the first 9 years of her career in Canada at CBRE in the retail sector and for the past 17 years has focused on large scale mixed-use development in London. Kaela was a Director of CBRE and JLL and went onto Landsec for 7 years where she was a member of the Executive Committee running their £8bn London business. As Head of Commercial she was responsible for new revenue and capital value growth leasing their 3.5 million square foot office and retail development pipeline. Kaela was also responsible for customer service, commercial strategy, workplace innovation, design development, residential sales, marketing and PR, and research insights.

Kaela is a main Board Trustee of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity where she Chairs the Property and Development Committee overseeing the redevelopment of the Hospital including the new Children’s Cancer Centre and Zayed Centre for Research.

Seyi Akiwowo | Founder and Executive Director, Glitch

Seyi Akiwowo is the Founder and Executive Director of Glitch, a growing not-for-profit organisation that aims to end online abuse through advocacy, campaigning and education. She is a graduate from the London School of Economics, a Fellow of the Royal Society of
the Arts and recently became a Fellow of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

At the age of 23, Seyi was elected as the youngest black female Councillor in East London and established Glitch in 2017 after she faced horrendous online abuse, when a video of her speech at the European Parliament went viral. Since then, she has published a
number of reports and has been interviewed for various news channels; including BBC Radio London and Sky News. She has also written for the Guardian and HuffPost.

For nine years Seyi has worked in the charity, politics and policy sectors, both in the UK and Brussels and is an expert facilitator in skills and inclusion; delivering workshops around the world, including the UK, Kuwait and the UAE. She is also a TedxLondon
Speaker and a UN Goalkeeper: a leader and influencer who is dedicated to accelerating progress towards achieving the UN’s global goals.

Seyi is passionate about inclusion and leadership and has written several critical pieces and delivered talks around the world – including Washington DC, Istanbul and Geneva – on widening participation and representation of diverse groups in public life.

Diana Kennedy | VP, Strategy, 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.

Shing-Wai Wong | Associate Director, Executive Education, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Shing-Wai is a member of the senior management team within the Executive Education business at Saïd Business School. Here she directs the business development and marketing activity for a portfolio of programmes which provide short and intensive transformational personal development experiences for senior industry leaders and has expanded the business in terms of revenue and profit targets. Shing-Wai has strong financial management skills including planning and budgeting of revenue/expenditure and financial control and accountability with a commercial focus. She has an entrepreneurial mind set to achieve business growth and is responsible for diversifying the portfolio where she has developed new innovative executive education programme options.

Additionally, Shing-Wai is responsible for the School’s reputation through the annual Financial Times rankings of global business schools for Executive Education Open Enrolment Programmes where she has achieved unprecedented success for the School following her appointment in post. In 2015 Oxford Saïd entered the No.1 place in the UK and Top 10 worldwide for the first time. By 2018 the School advanced to No.2 worldwide and as of 2019 has been ranked No.1 in the UK for 5 consecutive years.

Shing-Wai launched the School’s Women Transforming Leadership Programme in 2013 designed exclusively for female leaders, which she subsequently participated in 2016, and has a lead role in the School’s commitment to the development of women in Executive Education. She is also a committee member of the School’s Athena Swan project, an initiative for achieving excellence in diversity. Shing-Wai’s achievements have been recognised by the School and by her peers in achieving excellence in elevating the department’s impact within the global community.

A business development professional with over 14 years’ experience, Shing-Wai started her career at a British Sky Broadcasting, a FTSE 100 News International Company where she gained several accolades for her achievements around commercial success towards the vision of achieving 12 million subscribers by 2010. Shing-Wai has also led the business development and marketing strategies for executive education at two London-based Universities. Most recently in her previous organisation, Shing-Wai launched the commercial training and consultancy division, a first in the charity’s history, where she oversaw the management and operations of a sustainable business as an additional income stream to traditional fundraising as a common income generation activity within the not-for-profit sector. Here she chaired the Business Development Committee, advised on market growth and made recommendations for strategic direction to the Executive Management Group and Board of Trustees.

Dr Heather Melville OBE CCMI | Director & 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!

Sir Peter Hendy CBE | Chair of Network Rail & Chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation

Sir Peter Hendy has been the Chair of Network Rail since July 2015, and Chair of the London Legacy Development Corporation since July 2017.

Sir Peter was previously Commissioner of Transport for London (TfL) since 2006, having served since 2001 as TfL’s Managing Director of Surface Transport. He led, and played a key role in preparing for, the successful operation of London’s transport for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He was formerly Deputy Director UK Bus for FirstGroup and previously Managing Director of CentreWest London Buses.

He started his transport career in 1975 as a London Transport graduate trainee. Sir Peter was President of the International Public Transport Association (UITP) from 2013 to 2015. He was International President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in 2019, a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport and a fellow of the Institute of Civil Engineers.

He supports the Railway Children and London Poppy Day Charities, is a trustee of London’s Transport Museum and of the Science Museum Group. He holds honorary doctorates from the City University, the University of Leeds, the University of Bath and Queen Mary University London. He was knighted in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List, having been made CBE in 2006

Sophie Walker | Chief Executive, Young Women’s Trust

Sophie Walker spent twenty years at Reuters as an international journalist and news editor. After a long and trying journey supporting her elder daughter through a diagnosis of autism, she started campaigning for disability rights, particularly those of girls on the autism spectrum, for Ambitious About Autism, Include Me TOO and the National Autistic Society. In 2015, she helped to create the Women’s Equality Party, Britain’s first feminist political party, which she led and grew into a movement of thousands across the UK. Sophie ran for London Mayor in 2016, and in 2017 stood for election to Westminster, campaigning for equal pay, affordable childcare and an end to violence against women. She was named by Vogue in 2018 as one of the ‘New Suffragettes.’ She is now co-director of Activate Collective, a fund to support female community activists to run for political office and Chief Executive of Young Women’s Trust, which campaigns for economic justice for young women.

Commander Sam Kinsey-Briggs MBE MA | Executive Assistant to Assistant Chief of Naval Staff, 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.

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 New Year’s Honours List. On completion of Advanced Command and Staff Course 20 in July 2017 she joined the Standing Joint Force Logistics Component as Staff Officer Operations Support in August 2017; and deployed on Ex Saif Sareea 2 (Oman) and also to Germany. Since Sep 19, she has been the Executive Assistant to the Assistant Chief of Naval Staff in the Ministry Defence.

Sam is a Royal Navy Triathlon Association coach, a 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.

Dame Inga Beale, DBE | Founder & CEO, Noringa Consulting

Dame Inga Beale took over the helm of the 330-year-old City financial institution Lloyd’s of London in 2014, after working in senior leadership roles in some of the world’s largest insurance companies. With over three decades of global business experience she was awarded her Damehood in 2017 for services to the UK economy.

During her 5 year tenure at Lloyd’s, Dame Inga was responsible for accelerating the modernisation of the insurance market, embedding an innovation culture with the opening of the Lloyd’s Innovation Lab in the heart of the market, and expanding the market’s global access across new, high-growth markets including China, Dubai, and India. As the first female Chief Executive of Lloyd’s, she also played a critical role in advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives across the global insurance sector.

Before joining Lloyd’s, Inga was Group CEO of Canopius with its principal operations at Lloyd’s. Prior to that she was on the Global Management Board of Zurich Insurance Group. Earlier roles include Group CEO of Swiss reinsurer Converium, and a variety of international leadership positions for GE Insurance Solutions. She started her career as an underwriter with Prudential in 1982.

She currently has several non-executive roles including Clyde & Co, the London Mayor’s Business Advisory Board, Deputy Chair of London First, and is an advisor to NTT Data UK. She is Patron of Insuring Women’s Futures and her philanthropic interests include being a member of Stonewall’s Development Council and the Pitt Rivers Museum Advisory Board at Oxford University.

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.

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 business, 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 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 practised 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.

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.

Katie McEwan | Business Affairs and Communications Manager, Ann Summers

Katie McEwan is Business Affairs and Communications Manager for Ann Summers.

Having previously worked as Executive Support Manager to Jacqueline Gold CBE, CEO Ann Summers for 11 years, Katie was promoted to the role of Business Affairs and Communications manager, as a result of winning the WeAreTheCity Rising Stars award in the EA/PA Category in 2017.Katie now leads the delivery of Ann Summers’ 3-year strategy, manages the delivery of key business-critical projects, as well as owning corporate reporting, communications and reputation for the organisation.

Despite moving away from the EA role, Katie still has a real passion for brilliant executive level support and continues to play a key role in driving the EA/PA profession forward, as Chair of the General Advisory Board for EPAA, the Executive and Personal Assistants Association. In addition, Katie has been incredibly fortunate to present at a number of conferences 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 and the Hays High Achieving PA of the Year award. In 2014 Katie was awarded the SecsintheCity award for Social Networking PA of the Year.

Finally, outside of work Katie is Musical Director of a brilliant community choir, Southend Vox, based near her home town of Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, which allows Katie to bring her love of music and singing to a varied and dynamic group of people.

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 [email protected] 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).

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 Network at Credit Suisse, a proud champion of Women in IT as part of the IT Women’s Council, member of the EMEA Women’s Network STC, committee member of the GM Women Connect initiative and a proud 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 OUTStanding, Involve and Yahoo Finance executive Leader list, featured in the HERoes Female Executives list, shortlisted or the European Diversity Awards and won the Inspirational 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, Parliament and the Government Equalities Office to highlight the importance and impact of Diversity and Inclusion, Ally programs, the importance of LGBTQI inclusion, Trans* and non-binary identities, the power of authenticity and why intersectionality is needed.

Elliot Shaw | Executive Director of Strategy and Planning, Highways England

Elliot Shaw is the Executive Director of Strategy and Planning at Highways England. Within Highways England, he has responsibility for the development of the strategy for the Strategic Road Network, the company’s organisational transformation agenda, it’s analytical and economist functions and the relationships with key statutory and regulatory bodies, including the Office for Rail and Road and Transport Focus.

 Before joining Highways England, Elliot was a civil servant at the Ministry of Justice and Department for Transport. Prior to this, Elliot was a management consultant, working in Accenture’s UK and US strategy practices. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, has been a Public Policy Fellow at Cambridge University and completed the Major Projects Leadership Academy at Oxford Said Business School.

Emma Codd | Partner, Deloitte

Emma is a Partner of the professional services firm Deloitte, where she is Special Advisor on Inclusion for Deloitte Global.  Prior to her appointment to her current role, Emma was the Managing Partner for Talent for Deloitte UK (a role she held for 6 years) and Deloitte NWE, sitting on the Executive Committees for both.

Since 2013, Emma has designed and led significant change to the firm’s talent agenda – most notably in relation to agile working (including the design and implementation of the award-winning Time Out programme); gender balance (a focus on culture change alongside targeted interventions, which has seen the firm make meaningful progress on this issue); Respect and Inclusion (including the award-winning Ask Yourself film and the firm’s unique mandatory inclusive leadership sessions); and Social Mobility (including the introduction of academic institution-blind recruitment and contextualisation of academics). These changes have led to a significant positive change in the firm’s diversity metrics.

Emma – who is also a strong advocate of Gender Pay Gap reporting – was named the 2015 Woman of Achievement by Women in the City and featured in the 2017 and 2018 Financial Times HERoes list which celebrates the top 100 female leaders who support women in business; in October 2018 she was also named as one of the top 50 LGBT Ally Executives by OUTstanding. In April 2018 Emma came second in Accountancy Age’s list of most influential Women in Finance and in June 2018 she was named Ambassador of the Year at the Women in Finance Awards. Emma sits on the Business in the Community gender leadership team.

In September 2019 Emma became a member of the Lead the Change board, a board established by the UK Government to take forward work to increase the diversity and inclusion at the top of the UK’s leading organisations.

She lives in London with her husband and their twin 10-year-old daughters.

Jessica Taplin | Chief Executive Officer, The British Gas Energy Trust

As British Gas Energy Trust’s first full time CEO, Jessica brings with her significant sector leadership, together with an innovative approach to developing services and a track record of developing and supporting effective partnership collaborations. People are her passion, and Jessica has over 20 years of experience across both corporate, grant funding and charity leadership sectors.

Christina Riley | Senior Planner, Morgan Sindall

Christina Riley is a Senior Planner at Morgan Sindall. She is  a leading voice on LGBTQ+  inclusion in the Engineering & in the Construction sector. Christina is a founding member of the Building Equality Network , an alliance of over 40 tier one construction engineering companies and consultants. She is also a steering committee member of InterEngineering – who look at empowering LGBTQ engineers of all sectors. Christina runs the LGBTconstruct global forum on social media , and has just been recognised over in the USA by the leading Engineering magazine ENR for her work on diversity and inclusion in Engineering.  Christina transitioned back in 2014 at Balfour Beatty following the launch of their LGBT & Allies Network &  gone on to be a public speaker on inclusion at companies like Rolls Royce, Disney and Institute of Engineering & Technology. Christina was awarded Corporate Rising Star at the 2017 British LGBT Awards.

Dr Ruth Oshikanlu MBE | CEO, Goal Mind & Founder, Tune In To Your Baby™ Parenting Academy

Ruth Oshikanlu is the CEO of Goal Mind and founder of Tune In To Your Baby.  Owner of a private practice on London’s Harley Street, Ruth enables women who have had assisted conception or pregnancy loss to enjoy their pregnancy without fear.  A multi award-winning expert nurse, midwife, health visitor and parenting coach, she has supported thousands of women from preconception, pregnancy, labour and childbirth, the postnatal period and beyond.

Ruth is the author of Tune In To Your Baby: Because Babies don’t come with An Instruction Manual.  She is a speaker, mentor, and a guest lecturer at several universities.  Ruth is a Queen’s Nurse, Fellow of The Institute of Health Visiting, Fellow of The Royal College of Nursing, Fellow of The Royal Society of Arts and A Churchill Fellow.  She is the recipient of several national healthcare and business awards.  Ruth is a regular columnist and has published several feature articles in numerous national nursing and healthcare journals.  She is a judge on several healthcare and business awards.

Ruth was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the New Year 2019 Honours List for being an Ambassador for the Health Visiting Profession and for services to Community Nursing, Children and Families.  She was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from London South Bank University.

Margarete McGrath | Chief Digital Officer, Dell Technologies

Margarete McGrath is the Chief Digital Officer for Dell Technologies 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 and security transformations. Dell Technologies provides a wide range of solutions ranging from edge computing delivering smart solutions to advanced analytics to drive enhanced and secure customer experiences and new business model opportunities for leading financial institutions.

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.