Edleen John

Edleen is currently in the People function at KPMG and is responsible for co-leading KPMG’s Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality Team.

She is incredibly passionate about diversity and has spent a lot of her personal and professional life focusing on driving gender equality and equality more broadly across society. She is focused on ensuring that gender diversity and equal access to opportunities is a top-priority in the recruitment, retention and progression of women. Edleen’s passion is not just restricted to the corporate environment and she believes that she has a key role and responsibility to inspire future generations of young women. To that end, she spends significant time engaging with and mentoring students and young people from all backgrounds and focuses on sharing her experiences, providing academic support and encouraging them to strive to be their best.

In the world of work, Edleen’s career has enabled her to work with and support students, experienced professionals and employees to drive gender equality as a business critical agenda. Key initiatives she has driven include delivering organisations’ Return To Work Programmes making sure that mothers returning from a career break have an entry-route back into the world of work, designing career development programmes for women at specific career stages, and engaging with men and women through Employee Networking Groups. Edleen vocally advocates for empowering women to drive and shape their own careers in a way that suits them, and that enables them to balance their work and personal lives for the maximum benefit of their wellbeing. She believes that progressive organisations also strive to support this through action and not just lip-service.

Recognising that organisations benefit from diversity only when people can be themselves and are engaged in their roles, she is avid about focusing on creating a culture of inclusion. She believes that individuals can only thrive in an environment where they are valued, respected and listened to and can just be themselves. She firmly believes that diversity isn’t just about those from underrepresented groups and is passionate about driving meritocracy. Edleen believes that it’s vital for organisations to recognise intersectionality and advocates that creating a world with equality for all means engaging with everyone to achieve success.

Edleen has worked across a number of organisations and has done a variety of roles across the HR and client-facing spectrum. Due to her expertise and experience, she has also shared her learnings, insights and experiences with corporate clients, government agencies, third-party suppliers and the wider business community to help others with the implementation of their Inclusion, Diversity and Social Equality policies, processes and practices across all diversity focus areas. To further the diversity cause across society, Edleen firmly believes in collaboration, sharing best-practice and working with others to drive large-scale change.

Edleen aims to inspire, educate, challenge and influence others and regularly shares her insights via multiple platforms, including at schools, universities, industry and company conferences, diversity focused conferences and female-focused campaigns such as the IAmVisible.

As a British-born Sierra Leonean, she attended local non-selective Comprehensive Schools, before completing her MA (Cantab) in Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge and subsequently her MSc in Organisational Psychiatry and Psychology at King’s College London. She is a GBR member of the British Psychological Society and was recently awarded a Chartered Fellowship (CIPD). In terms of career achievements, Edleen is the youngest person to be promoted to her current level within KPMG Business Services and is the youngest member of the People Leadership Team. In her previous role at Morgan Stanley, she was also the youngest person in EMEA to ever be promoted to Vice President within HR.

Before her career in HR, Edleen started her career as an Investment Banker at Lehman Brothers International.