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 2021 Rising Star Awards.

Adam Green | CEO, FM Conway

Adam Green is CEO of FM Conway.

Adam joined FM Conway in September 2019 as Managing Director and moved to the role of CEO in the summer of 2020.

He joined FM Conway after working closely with Michael Conway for many years and was drawn to the family ethos of FM Conway and the value it places on its people, as well as its unique self-delivery capability.

Adam is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers with over 30 years’ experience working within the construction industry, previously leading multi-billion infrastructure and construction businesses in the UK and Middle East.

As part of the Infrastructure Client Group Adam supported such initiatives as Project 13 and more recently played a key role in establishing the new Highways Sector Council who have been developing a new sector deal for highways and advising the Department for Transport on COVID-19 related issues.

Adam is also recently retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Staff Corps and a keen cyclist.

Sue Percy | CEO, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation

Sue Percy is the Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation. CIHT is a charity, learned society and membership body with 14,000 members, who are mainly engineers and transport planners, operating in the UK and internationally. Sue’s interests include improving the way transport infrastructure – including roads – is planned, funded, designed, built, managed and operated to meet societal needs, environmental imperatives and supporting a strong economy. She has a deep interest in changing the image of the transport infrastructure industry and making it a more diverse and inclusive career for all.

Sue holds several voluntary Trustee and non-executive Director roles and is a member of the roads expert panel of the Office of Rail and Road. She has worked in the built environment sector for over 30 years in allied professions, Higher Education and in local government. Sue was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s birthday honours in June 2019 for services to transport.

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 a potential COVID therapeutic solution. 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.

June Angelides MBE | Investor, Entrepreneur and Speaker

Born in London and raised in Lagos, June joined Samos Investments in 2018, investing in high growth European businesses. Prior to this, she started the first child-friendly coding school in the UK, Mums in Tech, which taught over 250 women to code in 3 years. She also held roles on the Venture Debt Team and Early Stage Banking Team at Silicon Valley Bank. An active part of the tech and startup ecosystem, she is on the advisory board of mentoring app, Cajigo, a mentor at Oxford University and runs mentoring circles for founders and aspiring VCs.  She is a judge on the Debut Sessions, a monthly pitch session for founders seeking seed investment.  She is passionate about flexible working and getting more women and girls into tech. She is a contributor at The Financial Times.  She has been named by the Financial Times as the 6th Most Influential Tech Leader and by Computer Weekly as one of the most Influential Women in Tech. June recently received an Honorary Fellowship at the Institute of Engineering and Technology and was awarded an MBE for services to women in technology.

Commander Sam Kinsey-Briggs MBE MA | Chief of Staff to Assistant Chief of Naval Staff, Royal Navy

Sam 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, 820 Naval Air Squadron, HMS SOUTHAMPTON – seeing deployments to Iraq, Caribbean and Falkland Islands.

In early 2009 she deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan in support of Operation HERRICK (HQ ISAF Media Officer). She 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 and now Chief of Staff 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 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.

Joe Incutti | Group Managing Director, Kier Highways

Kier is a market leading infrastructure, buildings, development and housing Group with annual revenues in excess of £4 billion employing some 16,000 people in the UK and Middle East.

Joe is the Group Managing Director for Kier’s market leading Highways business which employs 3,000 people operating from over 70 sites across the country and with responsibility for some 30,000 km of England’s strategic and local road networks, enabling some 300 billion vehicle miles to be travelled each year. Kier Highways also undertakes major road building, improvement and renewal projects across the country. With over 12 years experience in the business, Joe has overseen Kier Highways growth from an annual turnover of £70m to over £900m.

Joe is focused on building long-term collaborative business relationships, including with clients and the supply chain, and is actively engaged across the highways sector with peers, clients, DfT and industry bodies.

Joe is a Chartered Management Accountant with extensive post qualification experience in roles that have spanned operational and corporate finance, change management, process re-engineering and business improvement. This experience has been gained in several sectors including the NHS, automotive, rail, defence, banking, construction and infrastructure services, primarily in blue chip organisations but with SME experience also. 

Dr Heather Melville OBE CMMI | Director, People Networks & Client Relationship Programmes, PwC

Dr. Heather Melville, OBE is a thought-leader on leadership, an innovator in business and has a notable track record of delivering strong financial performance and building high performing inclusive teams across both financial and professional services.

Heather also holds a number of Trustee positions: Chair of Chartered Management Institute Women, Board Trustee CMI and Enfield Enterprise, Patron of Women In Banking and Finance and, most recently, a member of the PwC Colour Brave Charity Committee.

Paul Sainthouse FCILT | Managing Director, Dawsongroup Bus and Coach, International President Elect of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and a Vice 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 International President Elect and Trustee for the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport and a Vice President for CILT (UK). 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.

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.

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) and the KDE Advisory Board.

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 2021 with open access sponsored by the Vietsch Foundation and contributed to by 20 leading figures in open source.

Melanie Seymour | Managing Director, Head of BlackRock Budapest

She is responsible for Global Implementation, Contracting, AML/KYC, Client Order Management (COM), Reporting, and Invoicing as well as the Service delivery for Strategic clients including Outsourced CIO (OCIO ) and Separate Managed Accounts (SMA). She is a key partner for the global client businesses, helping to define and implement improvements to the digital Client Experience.

Prior to this Melanie was Head of BlackRock Budapest, responsible for establishing a presence and building out the footprint in Hungary.

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 part of the Technology and Operations Leadership team, the EMEA Executive Client Committee and a Human Capital Committee Alumnae..

Melanie is passionate about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. 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.

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

As British Gas Energy Trust’s 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 25 years of experience across both corporate, grant funding and charity leadership sectors.

Charly Young | CEO & Co-Founder, The Girls’ Network

Charly Young is CEO and Co-founder of The Girls’ Network – a charity that provides 14-19 year old girls from the least-advantaged communities across England with a female mentor and a network of professional female role models. As a secondary school teacher, she saw first-hand how girls and young women were limited by their gender and background, and knew she had to do something!  She left teaching, and has since grown the charity from supporting just 30 girls in 2013, to over 1,200 in 2020. 

Charly has experience in scaling organisations from idea to reality, and has supported social entrepreneurs working in the education and social justice space through Teach First, the Fair Education Alliance and Expert Impact. 

She previously worked at the Royal Society of Arts as a researcher, was a primary school governor, and sits on the Expert Impact Alumni Board.

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 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 and convenes the Greater Manchester focused GM4Women 2028. 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.

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.

Rav Bumbra | Founder, Structur3dpeople & Cajigo

Rav is a diversity champion creating opportunities for women in technology careers and  leadership.

She is founder of Structur3dpeople, a tech business that helps organisations attract, recruit and retain talent. She is also founder of Cajigo, an app that connects like-minded women and provides mentoring and support to women of all ages, building their confidence and knowledge so they can reach their highest potential.

Rav works closely with girls in education delivering Cajigo Schools, a programme developed to demystify what it means to be a “Woman in STEM” in the 21st century and is empowering more girls into STEM.

Before she embarked on her entrepreneurial journey in 2016, Rav had spent over 20 years working as a consultant in the tech industry, delivering services and solutions to the NHS, retail, leisure and telecoms sectors.

Rav sits on the Women in Business Group in Bristol which promotes gender equality in business, through a city-wide Charter.

She also sits on the advisory board of Learning People, to develop new solutions that will help to reduce the skills gap.

Dr. Diahanne Rhiney BCAe | Social Change Advocate

Dr Diahanne Rhiney BCAe is a Social Change Advocate who has been at the forefront of high-profile campaigns championing personal, business, and governmental changes to positively affect the society we live and work in.   

30 years ago, she set up the first social change agency, Naked Truth, specialising in diversity marketing and race relations. Today her thought-leadership skills as an authority in social change for personal and business success is sought after and has been rewarded with big business contracts worth £3.2b. Her agency supports entrepreneurs, and professionals from the world of sports, fashion, education, politics, music, and journalism through her mentor and thought-leadership programmes and professional coaching.  She believes that to develop and empower oneself is the best armament one can have.  

Diahanne is also renowned internationally for her integrity and profound passion to raise awareness of specific challenges that women in general face, which resulted in her establishing the ‘Baton Awards’ – celebrating the achievements of women pioneers and trailblazers from diverse racial groups; and ‘Strength With in Me’ Foundation – promoting healthy relationships through preventative measures. One of her proudest moments was when she led the development and implementation of an All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), lobbying continuously for healthy relationships to form part of the compulsory teaching in UK schools.  In September 2020, this ground-breaking change was passed and announced by legislature to the Children and Social Work Bill. 

Working closely with many multinational businesses, SMEs, Government, teachers, and leaders in the community with the vision of ensuring social justice for all, Diahanne endorses her life-long pledge to give, support, and equip everyone with an opportunity to succeed in life and at work.

Diahanne’s professional stamina has merited her and her Agency many awards including British Citizen Award (Education) for her positive contribution to Britain; NatWest Everywoman Athena Award (Most Inspirational Woman Running a Business); Violent Crime Prevention Board (Championing Social Wellbeing Award).

At her happiest Diahanne can be heard or seen either interviewing or contributing to debates, chat-shows, and social media platforms where she feels everyone’s views count.

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.

Dania Lyons | Talent Partner to Founders and Leaders of Tech Start-ups, Scaleups and Fast Growth Tech companies

Dania Lyons is a Talent Partner to Founders and Leaders of Tech Start-ups, Scaleups and Fast Growth Tech companies. A talent expert with 13 years’ experience, helping fast growth tech companies scale at pace without compromising on quality, culture or skills.

Organiser of #YouEqualTech community – Diversity & Inclusion champions for the Tech industry, removing barriers for tech talent

Judging panel member for Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Woman in UK Tech award

Tech Talent Charter Ambassador – Bringing together industries and organisations to drive diversity and collaborate to build a more inclusive tech industry.

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

Ania is a partner in the Corporate group in London and heads up the Private Markets group. She advises on a variety of corporate matters, including M&A, 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”, general operational day-to-day matters and ever-increasing M&A in the sector.

Ania is co-chair of the Simmons & Simmons women’s network, TNOC. She is also on the firm’s ESG steering group.

Jenny Garrett OBE | Coach & Leadership development consultant

Jenny Garrett OBE is an Award Winning Career Coach and Leadership Trainer, with over 15 years experience of running a Global Business.

Jenny empowers people to make the transformation that they are seeking actually happen, that could be: navigating their career successfully finding work that is more on purpose for them or getting the best from their team.

Everything she does is aimed at either advancing gender balance, creating inclusive workplaces or equipping young people with the skills that leaders of the future need.

What she is best known for is her book Rocking You Role which is a guide to success for female breadwinners, delivering inspiring talks, career coaching, delivering leadership training, speaking in media, facilitating retreats and running teen conferences.

Margarete McGrath | Chief Digital Officer, Dell Technologies UK

Margarete leads strategic partnerships and new go-to-market initiatives at Dell Technologies, leveraging her extensive experience from leadership of complex change programmes while at EY and PwC.

At Dell Technologies UK, Margarete leads a diverse and highly skilled team who are working with partners and customers to help redefine the future of work. By providing innovative, technology lead solutions that are focussed on driving productivity, safety and trust outcomes anywhere, anytime.   

Margarete is widely recognised as an industry thinker on the future of work, digital transformation, diversity, inclusion and positive mental health initiatives.

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.

Julie Baker | Head of Enterprise and Climate Engagement at NatWest

As Head of Enterprise and Climate Engagement at NatWest, Julie leads on working with external strategic partners from both the Private and Public Sector who are valued supporters of entrepreneurs in the UK.  Julie’s primary focus is  to help those that have traditionally faced the highest barriers to entry such as females, Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority communities and Social Enterprises.

With a 30+ year career in the world of Banking Julie has gained  significant knowledge from a variety of leadership roles across the Corporate, Commercial and Retail Bank.  Julie presently has responsibility for the Bank’s Enterprise Agenda including the multi award winning Women in Business program and leading on the Rose Review interventions on behalf of Alison Rose.

Julie is an ardent supporter of business expansion, job creation and economic growth and is seen as an external influencer  who sits on the board of the EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership, The Investment Committee of Innovate UK , the  X-Forces Enterprise advisory board and is Chair of  the Access to Finance Group at the APPG for Women in Enterprise.  Julie is passionate about supporting the next generation of Entrepreneurs and Future leaders through mentoring opportunities  and valuable connections.

Carol Ann Whitehead FRSA | Founder, The Zebra Partnership

Founded in 2000, The Zebra Partnership is headed by Carol Ann, a Royal Society of Arts Fellow, an advocate of women’s rights, equality, diversity and inclusion.

The Zebra Partnership, is a UK based agency that brings together talented freelancers in the fields of publishing, campaigns, communications and event management on a project by project basis across all sectors.

A flexible team that can white label, co-produce or work under their own brand.

Carol Ann is a communications expert that has had over twenty years publishing, promotions and organising events of all shapes and sizes from 8 to 8000, indoors and outdoors, in the U.K. and overseas, plus experience of developing and organising five royal visits since 2004.

Recipient of the Inclusive Companies Certificate of Excellence, Carol Ann is winner of Entrepreneur Jacqueline Golds #WOW Award, #QueenOf Engaging Events award, in addition to Regional and National Winner of the Forward Ladies Mentor of the Year 2019, WeAreTheCity Rising Star award Champion 2020 and on the Northern Powerwomen Power List 2020

Carol Ann, is an award-winning publisher from the European Publishing Institute, and the publishing arm of the business, is managed by Editorial Director and games veteran who is a voting member of BAFTA with over 20 books, graphic novels and comics under their belt.

Representing ‘The Peoples Hub UN’ 2018-2020 she has championed the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Campaign especially gender equality and improving inequality sdg5 and sdg10. Plus sdg17 Partnership working. Carol Ann has delivered lecture at the UN Youth Association in Denmark, a participant of the Global Festival of Action in Bonn, Germany and she was awarded the honour of Global Goodwill Ambassador title where she continues to champion the SDG’s.

Carol Ann is a founding member of BURN (The Black United Representation Network) which is actively tackling persistent racial inequalities in Greater Manchester through economic empowerment of communities and businesses.

A Wiki Editor she is co-founder of the Ada Lovelace Day Zebra Global Wikieditathon, a quest to improve wiki diversity their base is at the Pankhurst Centre, home of Suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst. Carol Ann is also a 50:50 Parliament and Pankhurst Trust Queen Bee Coaching Ambassador.

Lecturer since 2014 at Manchester Metropolitan University, Fashion, Buying & Merchandising Faculty, Access Creative College and guest lecturer at The University of Manchester.

Nabeela Butt | Medical Standards Director, GSK

Currently the Programme Director of Written Standards and process simplification across R&D within GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), I have been in the wider pharmaceutical industry for just over 20years holding a variety of roles within the Packaging Technology and also Regulatory functions.  These roles and opportunities have provided a great breadth of understanding of how the industry operates both internally and externally and what it takes to be at the beating heart of serving consumers and patients with the highest level of service and integrity.

With a passion for diversity and inclusion, I am committed to influencing a positive change to organisational attitudes towards equity whether that be in race, gender sexuality etc.  My drive to ensure our generation, and those following us, have a fair and equitable opportunity has led me to volunteer as an Operational Excellence lead in our EMBRACE GSK Employee Resource Group (ERG).  Our mission is to ensure that GSK is racially and ethnically diverse at every level.  Steps are being made in the right direction and I do see positive changes around me, the key is to keep momentum and make these changes together as a workforce and society.

I am delighted to support and highlight the fantastic work being progressed by the dedicated individuals and organisations in the diversity agenda and am looking forward to being a judge this year for WeAreTheCity!

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.

Penny Triantafillou | Business Development Manager, Warwick Business School

Penny has been working in diverse industries and several countries for over 30 years. She began in the finance industry in Toronto and Vancouver, then moved to Greece where she ran her own business in the Education Sector before settling here in the UK and pursuing a career in Higher Education in 2015.

Her current role is Business Development Manager at Warwick Business School (WBS), focusing on the Executive Diploma suite of programmes. She also co-led the “Succeeding through Change: Reflect. Reimagine. Reset” campaign, offering a wide variety of free resources and events to help push through the global pandemic crisis. She is a passionate champion of the gender agenda and “WBS Inspiring Women.” This is a platform for students and academics to showcase their amazing achievements and research which is critical to further amplify the female voice.

Penny is a super-proud mum to two high-achieving daughters.  One just completed a PhD in Computer Science (Artificial Intelligence) at the University of Toronto, the second just finished a Master’s degree in Marketing and Strategy here at WBS. Both are now living and working in London.

Dame Inga Beale DBE | Chair of Mediclinic International plc and Portfolio Director

Dame Inga Beale is an experienced business leader having spent over 38 years in the insurance sector.  From 2014 to 2018 her final executive role was as CEO of Lloyd’s of London.  She now has a portfolio of non-executive roles being Chair of Mediclinic International plc, an independent board member of Crawford & Company and London First, and a member of the London Mayor’s Business Advisory Board,. 

During her 5 year tenure at the 330-year-old financial institution of Lloyd’s, Dame Inga was responsible for accelerating the modernisation of the insurance market, embedding an innovation culture, 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.

Dame Inga started her career in London in 1982, qualified as an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute in 1987 and is now a Chartered Insurer.  She was awarded her Damehood in 2017 for services to the UK economy.

Her philanthropic interests include being a member of the Pitt Rivers Museum Advisory Board at Oxford University, and Patron of Insuring Women’s Futures, a not-for-profit aimed at improving women’s lifelong financial resilience. 

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’ core business 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 a

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.

Khayala Eylazova | Senior Manager at PwC UK

With over 15 years of experience in Technology and Financial services, Khayala enjoyed a variety of experiences and leadership roles. Prior to joining the PwC Insurance practice in 2017 Khayala worked at Microsoft Global HQs for nearly 10 years holding various senior roles in Technology.

In her current role as Senior Manager at PwC UK, Khayala is responsible for driving growth, building Insurance propositions, serving clients across all lines of services, proactively taking industry expertise to clients.

Khayala is the Winner of Women in Finance Awards 2020 under ” Advocate of the Year” category and was the finalist for Women in Insurance Awards 2020, 2019 under the category “Insurance Women of the Year”. Khayala also won the PwC Empowerment award in 2019 and made the Chairman’s empowerment list in the same year for her leading role in driving Diversity and Inclusion in the industry. She is an active supporter, ambassador and speaker on D&I, Insurance Technology, Leadership and Equality topics.

Khayala holds an an ExecutiveMBA degree from Cambridge Judge Business School and MSc degree from BI Norwegian Business School. In 2016, Khayala was awarded ”Best Start-Up”  at Cambridge Judge Business School for proposing a wearable technology for children with epilepsy.  

Khayala was born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan lived & worked in Norway, China, Russia, Ireland, now residing in London, UK. Her biggest pleasure is watching her nieces grow and learn to have a voice. She enjoys philosophy, learning different languages/cultures, discovering new thoughts and meeting new people. 

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.

Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE | Founder, WinTrade Global Network

Honoured by Queen Elizabeth II, with a CBE, she has also received 2 doctorates for her work in the Entrepreneurship, Global Diversity and Equality arena, and  was recently invited onto the prestigious St George’s House, Leadership organisation based at Windsor Castle.  June 2019 will see her invested with an Honorary Fellowship by Kings College London University.

She published “7 Traits of Highly Successful Women on Boards”, promoting  greater gender and race diversity in company boardrooms and  sits on several boards, and public appointment committees. Her most recent appointment as Chair of the Radio Academy, representing the  UK’s Radio Industry, and Advisory Panel for OFCOM. 

Celebrating the 22nd anniversary of her women in business network  she  also  founded  WinTrade Week  convention and Awards themed “Womenomics” hosting and celebrating over 600 global women through a week of global business connections, networking, contracting and business development.


Khayala holds an an ExecutiveMBA degree from Cambridge Judge Business School and MSc degree from BI Norwegian Business School. In 2016, Khayala was awarded ”Best Start-Up”  at Cambridge Judge Business School for proposing a wearable technology for children with epilepsy.  

Khayala was born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan lived & worked in Norway, China, Russia, Ireland, now residing in London, UK. Her biggest pleasure is watching her nieces grow and learn to have a voice. She enjoys philosophy, learning different languages/cultures, discovering new thoughts and meeting new people. 

Funke Abimbola MBE | Chief Executive Officer, The Austen Bronte Consultancy

Dr. Funke Abimbola is a performance driven BBC commentator, C-suite leader, solicitor and pharmaceutical healthcare executive with20 years’ global professional experience. She qualified as a solicitor in 2000 and spent the first 12 years of her career working as a corporate lawyer within 4 different law firms,

In 2012, she became Managing Counsel (Head of Legal) at Roche UK, becoming the most senior black lawyer working within the UK’s pharmaceutical industry, male or female.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company.

After almost 7 years, in 2018, Funke left Roche as General Counsel & Head of Financial Compliance to undertake a year-long sabbatical, pursuing a range of postgraduate studies at Cambridge University (amongst other notable institutions). On completing her postgraduate studies, she joined Cycle Pharmaceuticals (a global pharmaceutical company based in Cambridge University) as General Counsel.

A passionate and committed strategic and operational business leader, Funke leads by example and believes in putting people at the heart of decision-making, driving higher productivity and engagement, performance, and delivery. Her first career in law has ensured high standards of governance, steering organisations through uncertain times. She has successfully leveraged this foundation to develop as a commercial, business leader.

She founded the Austen Bronte Consultancy in September 2020. The consultancy’s main goal is to provide a range of business services with one aim: empowering corporates and firms to improve leadership by leveraging the impact of diversity, inclusion, belonging and equity across the business world.

She is a recognised equality, diversity, and inclusion leader with a strong track record in the field. Funke is also a notable alumna of her alma mater, Newcastle University. Her leadership and influence have been recognised by the Financial Times who listed her as being one of the top 15 ethnic minority leaders globally. The Prime Minister awarded her ‘Point of Light’ status in 2016 due to the positive impact of her equality, diversity, and inclusion work.

In 2017, she was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list for services to diversity and young people. She was subsequently awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws by the University of Hertfordshire in 2019 for contributions to social and corporate diversity.

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.

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 ‘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.

Christina Riley | Senior Planner, ISG Engineering Services & Managing Director, LGBT Construct Ltd.

Christina Riley is a Senior Planner at ISG Engineering Services & Managing Director of LGBT Construct Ltd. She is a leading voice on LGBTIQ+ inclusion in  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 global work on diversity and inclusion in Engineering.  Christina transitioned back in 2014 at Balfour Beatty following the launch of their LGBT & Allies Network & has gone on to be a public speaker on inclusion at companies like Rolls Royce, Walt Disney Company and Institute of Engineering & Technology. Christina was awarded Corporate Rising Star at the 2017 British LGBT Awards. More recently Christina has been recognised in the Involve OUTstanding lists supported by Yahoo Finance. Christina hosts the main stage at London Build Expo , held at Olympia ,on subjects including diversity , inclusion and  Women In Construction. Christina is also on the diversity and inclusion advisory group for the Chartered Institute of Building. During 2019 , Christina helped launched the first industry disability network, Construct-Ability for the  construction sector.

Jenny Raynor | Deputy Director for Local Transport Recovery and Infrastructure, Department for Transport

Jenny has worked for over a decade as a civil servant at the Department for Transport and the Cabinet Office. She has worked across most transport modes including roads, rail, maritime and aviation; as a Private Secretary to two Ministers of State and as the UK environment representative at the UN International Civil Aviation Organisation. She is a committed member of the Department’s Gender Equality Network and acted as its co-chair between 2016 and 2018.

Charlotte Sweeney OBE | Founder and Managing Director, Charlotte Sweeney Associates

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 is a Fellow of the CIPD, CMI and a member of the Society of Leadership Fellows as well as a Chartered Management Consultant.

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.

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.

Jenny Blackford | Head of Project Finance, EMEA, Energy Sector, Siemens Financial Services

Jenny is the Head of Project Finance, Energy Sector in Siemens Financial Services’ Project & Structured Finance Debt Business Unit for EMEA. In this role, she leads an experienced cross-border team focussed on the identification, origination and structuring of transactions in the energy sector, taking a leading role in lending mandates. With nearly twenty years of energy experience, Jenny is passionate about supporting Siemens Financial Services in its endeavours to promote the energy transition.

Prior to joining Siemens Financial Services, Jenny spent more than thirteen years in various project finance roles at BNP Paribas and Fortis Bank, focussing on lending and debt advisory mandates in the power and renewable energy sectors in the EMEA region.

Dr Jess Wade | Imperial College Research Fellow

Dr Jess Wade is an Imperial College Research Fellow working in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London. Her research considers new materials for optoelectronic devices, with a focus on chiral organic semiconductors. She previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Fuchter group at Imperial College London, where she optimised these chiral systems such that they can absorb/emit circularly polarised light as well as transport spin-polarised electrons. For her PhD Jess concentrated on new materials for photovoltaics and the development of advanced characterisation techniques to better understand their molecular packing. Outside of the lab, Jess is involved with several science communicate on and outreach initiatives. She is committed to improving diversity in science, both online and offline.

India Gary Martin | Entrepreneur, Speaker, Coach & Advisor, Leadership For Execs

India Martin is a 25 year veteran of financial services and a member of the Forbes Coaches Council. She has held a number of global C-Suite roles including expatriate assignments in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo and Hong Kong. In her final role at JPMorgan, India was Managing Director & Global Chief Operating Officer  for Investment Banking Technology and Operations where she had multi-billion dollar budgetary management responsibility for 15,000 staff in more than 40 global locations. 

India is a globally recognized leadership expert and coach with a clientele of Fortune 500 and C-Suite executives from around the world. Formerly an adjunct professor of Corporate Education at Temple University in Japan, she is a well known keynote and panel speaker. India is on the coaching faculty at Georgetown University for the Executive Master’s in Leadership and is also on the coaching faculty of the New York City Bar Association’s Associate Leadership Institute. 

Richard Pickard | Chief Executive Officer, Inclusive Search

I am CEO of recruitment firm, Inclusive Search. My background is in personally delivering exceptional recruitment solutions, both on a contingent and retained search basis; whilst managing and developing high performing teams delivering to a wide range of clients – from FTSE100 global brands to boutique SME businesses. I have grown teams as part of large international recruitment organisations, and also launched start-up business units. Inclusive Search was created after I spent 20 years working with international recruitment organisations.

Having served as a Board Director for 7 years, I wanted to create a business that had a clear purpose & vision to reach out to a broader talent pool of candidates. There is growing awareness that diverse companies achieve better results, with most successful companies now viewing Diversity & Inclusion as essential to their business performance and growth. Inclusive Search has a deep dedication to partnering with the highest quality diverse candidates in the market. We then build relationships with clients who value, reward, respect and celebrate everyone’s diversity – and who wish to be proactive in recruiting, retaining and developing high-performing diverse talent.

Dr Ruth Oshikanlu MBE FiHV FRCN FRSA | Multi-Award Winning Nurse, Midwife and Health Visitor

Ruth Oshikanlu is a multi-award winning nurse, midwife and health visitor.  A nurse entrepreneur, consultant, leader and parenting expert, she is passionate about supporting vulnerable children and their families to reduce health inequalities and improve their life outcomes.  Her previous roles include: HIV specialist midwife, Family Nurse at one of the first pilot sites of The Family Nurse Partnership, and Nurse Leader of The Lewisham Young People’s Health and Wellbeing Service.

Ruth is the author of Tune In To Your Baby: Because Babies Don’t Come with An Instruction Manual and Not Another Parenting Book.  She is a Queen’s Nurse, Fellow of The Institute of Health Visiting, Royal College of Nursing and The Royal Society of Arts.

Ruth is the recipient of several national healthcare and business awards.  She is a regular columnist and has published several feature articles in numerous national nursing and healthcare journals.  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 is a Churchill Fellow and was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from London South Bank University in November 2019. 

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.

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).

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.

Tracy Westall | Board Executive in the Digital and Technology sector

Tracy was a Board Director at midlands tech firm, SCC plc running a £350 million public sector business. Latterly Director of Corporate Services, Tracy ran a range of operational functions overseeing in excess of 250 staff and is very experienced in high growth business building.  

In addition to her corporate career, Tracy was the Director of GBSLEP responsible for Stimulating Innovation in the West Midlands, sat on the Smart City Commission,  Birmingham Science City Board, championed the Digital Leaders West Midlands programme and supported the West Midlands Mayor through the West Midlands Digital Advisory Board.

Now a Non Executive Director at the Department for Transport, sitting on the Future of Transport Advisory Board supporting the BEIS Industrial Grand Challenge. She is a Non Executive Director at  WM5G Ltd, Birmingham Tech Week. Tracy is Chair at Curium Solutions, an Advisory Board Member for Bruntwood Scitech Birmingham, a Governor at Birmingham City University and founder of her own board advisory business helping businesses scale up.

Tracy spent several years on the Main Board of Tech UK, the trade association for the UK tech sector and is passionate about increasing diversity and inclusion in the sector, speaking regularly at events. She was recognised as the Digital Leaders West Midlands Champion in 2018 and has recently joined the Executive Board for the Coventry City of Culture 2021 as a Non Executive.

Charlene Hunter | Founder & CEO, Coding Black Females; & Lead Software Engineer, Made Tech

Charlene has been a software developer for over 10 years in a range of languages and technologies. She is the founder and CEO of Coding Black Females, a non profit organisation to inspire, provide opportunities, and showcase the talents of black women in tech. She is also the co-founder of Meet Up and Code, a community to bring developers together and code together. Charlene is passionate about increasing diversity in tech.

Steve Brewster | Associate Director, Executive Education, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

Steve is an Associate Director at the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. He has responsibility for the school’s executive education programmes in finance and investment which enable professionals to refine their investment strategy with outstanding Oxford University faculty, guests from top international firms and senior level peers from across the globe.

He has worked with faculty to launch a range of programmes including the Oxford Impact Investing Programme, and the related Social Finance, Impact Measurement and Impact Finance Innovations programmes. In 2021 we will also launch the new Oxford Programme on Valuation of Private Assets, which complements our market leading Real Estate and Private Equity programmes.  

Prior to joining Saïd he was Senior Marketing Manager at global academic publisher Elsevier, also in Oxford. Previously he worked in London where he has developed training courses and conferences for financial institutions in London and Europe.