The BBC is the world’s leading public service broadcaster. Its mission is to enrich people’s lives with programmes that inform, educate and entertain. It provides services including 9 national TV channels plus regional programming, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and an extensive website. The BBC World Service broadcasts to the world on radio, TV and online, providing news and information in English and 41 other languages.
At BP, the energy we produce serves to power economic growth. The way heat, light and mobility are delivered is changing; we aim to anchor our business in these changing patterns of demand, rather than in the quest for supply. We have a real contribution to make to the world’s ambition of a low carbon future. We are committed to being one of the best and most inclusive employers, attracting, motivating, developing and retaining the world’s diversity of top talent in our industry. Representation of ethnic minorities in our UK workforce is strong but we are committed to doing more to enable all members of our team to fulfil their potential and have thriving careers.
At Deloitte, we are clear that everyone is judged only on the value they bring and that our environment is always inclusive, with respect at its core. We believe that, alongside this focus on culture, we need to drive sustained and meaningful change through targeted actions. From an ethnicity perspective, this approach has seen us develop a BAME action plan, report our ethnicity pay gap, and set targets that by 2021, 10% of our partners will be BAME, our Executive group will have at least one BAME member, and each business leadership team will include at least one BAME member.
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world’s leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground-breaking and business-critical mandates. Our people make our firm, and we are committed to increasing BAME representation at all levels through our global employee network as well as helping to increase access to the profession through talent initiatives aimed at BAME individuals, including through the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme. Our aim is to be a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone has the opportunity to achieve their potential.
HSBC is an incredibly diverse global organisation. With employees representing many different races, ethnicities, nationalities and cultures it is important that the ethnicity and race agenda is integral to all we do. We know that difference of opinion, thinking style, background and culture drives new ideas and innovation, enabling sustainable business growth and commercial success, enabling a great workplace for our colleagues. In an increasingly complex and changing global market place, having a diverse and inclusive workforce will help us achieve our strategy and purpose. We are focused on attraction, retention, engagement and inclusion, ensuring everyone can fulfil their potential.
As a leading professional services firm that specialises in real estate and investment management, JLL’s diversity and inclusion strategy is an essential element of Building a Better Tomorrow, our sustainability leadership agenda. Under this, our dedicated Race for Change BAME Network advances ethnic representation working with the business to attract, retain and grow our talent. As a founding member of Changing the Face of Property, we have worked since 2012 to attract the next generation of property professionals from all backgrounds and cultures.
At KPMG our ambition is to be a magnet for the most talented people, whoever they are, regardless of gender, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion or socio-economic background. In 2014 we published stretch targets for ethnicity, gender, disability and sexual orientation, creating a benchmark against which we would recruit and develop our workforce. In 2017 we reached 8% of Partners are BAME and 11% for Directors, from 7% and 9% respectively in 2014. This builds on our approach of embedding Inclusion & Diversity into our culture – helping KPMG become the clear choice for our clients and our people. We believe that inclusion is both critical for a successful business, and to reflect the society we live and work in.
Lloyds Banking Group is committed to ensuring that our workforce reflects the diversity of our customer base and we were proud to be the first FTSE 100 company in February 2018 to set a public goal to increase B.A.M.E representation at senior levels as part of our Helping Britain Prosper Plan. Our ethnicity strategy is led from the top and supported by comprehensive plans to ensure we make sustainable progress, including targeted career development interventions, a robust focus on increasing visibility of B.A.M.E role models and a range of activities to build cultural awareness understanding and advocacy across our workforce.
Diversity and inclusion in Defence is critical to safeguard our nation’s security, stability and prosperity. Our success is dependent on our ability to harness the diversity of thought, skills and talents within society. We have placed a particular importance on inclusive leadership and culture, and have strong and visible commitment from across the top of Defence, as well as a thriving group of staff networks, advocates and champions to help support our people. We are proud of our progress and are committed to increasing our Black, Asian and Ethnic minority staff’s participation and progress in Defence.
It’s our ambition at RBS to be number one for customer service, trust and advocacy by 2020 and the work we do as part of our multicultural agenda is incredibly important to helping us achieve that. Whether it’s working to improve the ethnic balance of our organisation or bringing focus to the value that our people can add when they bring their whole selves to work, there is no doubt this agenda is playing a key role in helping make RBS even more representative of the customers and communities that we serve.
Asif is the Head of Diversity and Inclusiveness for EY (Ernst and Young) Financial Services UK, he joined EY as an Assistant Director for UK &I and was previously the Head of the Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Unit for the City of London Police. Asif is currently a Special Sergeant within the City of London Police.
Asif is a leading Diversity and Inclusion expert with a proven track record in achieving operational and strategic targets, managing quality, performance, risk and change through promoting equal opportunities and diverse cultures. He is a passionate and inspirational leader with the ability to empower individuals and create a truly inclusive environment for all. He is highly knowledgeable and pragmatic in making strategic and evaluated diversity management decisions based on valuable experience and practical competence.
Asif has received a number of accolades for his professional and volunteering work that include the Mosaic (Prince’s Trust) Award for mentoring, the highly commended European Diversity Award, the Civil Servant of the Year Award and the prestigious Asian Professional Award. Asif was honoured last year in the Queen’s birthday honours list with an MBE for his services to Policing and the Communities. He is a Freeman of the City of London and a member of the HR Guild of Professionals.
He is currently the Chair of the London Hate Crime Board, an Ambassador for Remembering Srebrenica, Member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hate Crime, Special Advisor to the charity Penny Appeal, a trainer for the OSCE (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights) and a Special Sergeant with the City of London Police.
Kene Ejikeme is a Head of the EMEA Global Institutions business and Emerging market execution at Goldman Sachs. He joined the firm in 2004 as an analyst in the Listed Derivatives business, where he worked for three years before moving to GI to cover global equity hedge funds across products. Kene was named Managing Director in 2013. He plays an active role in championing the BAME population at Goldman Sachs. His BAME-related leadership roles include Advisor to SEO London, Co-Head of Goldman Sachs’ Firmwide Black Network and Co-Founder of the firm’s “Africa Recruitment Programme”. Additionally, Kene devotes his time to nurture his mentoring relationships as well as speaking and leading in the BAME community, which resulted in being recognized by Green Park’s BAME 100 Board Talent Index. Prior to joining the firm, Kene was a professional Rugby player.
Mohamed Kebbay is the Diversity and Inclusion Manager for TSB and is responsible for developing, delivering and embedding the diversity strategy at the bank.
Mohamed has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the importance of inclusion in the workplace and the business benefits of having a diverse and included workforce. Mohamed acts as a cultural intelligence advocate raising awareness among senior leaders of the need to broaden the talent pool.
He has provided insightful (thought) leadership and has been instrumental in helping TSB’s four affinity network’s take a holistic approach to inclusion, both for Partners and for customers.
Paulette Mastin is Counsel in the Capital Markets practice at Linklaters LLP, where she advises financial institutions, corporate trustees 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 not-for-profit organisation committed to achieving equality of access, retention and promotion across the profession, with a current membership of over 4,000 members. Paulette is also a BAME/BSN representative Council Member of The Law Society.
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.
Priscilla joined ITN in 2017 and heads up the company’s diversity & Inclusion strategy. She has worked with the executive team to set transparent targets and a host of initiatives aimed at increasing representation at all levels of the company, driving an inclusive culture of progression and a new generation of diverse role models. Some of these initiatives include publishing ITN’s BAME Pay Gap and launching a cross-company Reverse Mentoring Programme.
Prior to joining ITN Priscilla spent five years at Channel 4 as their Industry Talent & Diversity Specialist, where she developed and ran 4talent, the Broadcasters outreach and talent programme. After implementing a successful strategy to tackle social mobility in 2013 she won the Deputy Prime Minister’s Excellence Award. Priscilla also played a key role implementing and delivering on a number of commitments in 360 Diversity Charter.
Priscilla has great knowledge and expertise of reaching out to diverse talent and her notable achievements have been managing and delivering successful talent and diversity programmes. Over the past 10 years she has project managed several diversity initiatives with a variety of youth organisations and media companies including BBC, Media Trust, News International, ITV and many more.
Her Mission is to break down barriers, engage with and develop the widest range of diverse talent.
MoJ’s Head of Project Race – Arms Length Bodies & Governance Division. Rob was born in Paddington, London and grew up in the London Borough of Brent. He joined the Ministry of Justice [then Lord Chancellors Department] in October 1983 – starting at Willesden County Court in North London.
Rob progressed to Deputy Court Manager before joining the South Eastern Circuit I.T. Team. In 1998 Rob landed his dream job with Corporate HR as a Development Trainer. Rob studied at the Civil Service College for two years, gaining a Certificate in Training Practice [CTP] and is now a member of CIPD.
Rob was a founding member of the MoJ’s BAME Staff network in 2001, namely P.R.O.U.D. Later in that same year, Rob became the first elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Equality Network [CSREN] – known today as CSRF – the Civil Service Race Forum.
Over the past fifteen years Rob has continued his MoJ career in HR. As an original member of the MoJ’s Employee Engagement Team, Rob led the design, recruitment and launch of the Engagement Champions Network in 2008. As MoJ’s Head of Engagement Networks Rob was responsible for the development of Employee Engagement Champions [EECs] across the MoJ. This pioneering network now boasts over x1000 people across the entire MoJ Family – including; Courts, Tribunals, Prisons and the Legal Aid Agency.
In the summer of 2015 Rob was invited to lead the MoJ’s Diversity & Inclusion Team over the summer as temporary cover for four months. During this period Rob led the delivery of key priorities, including the Department’s response to the Civil Service Talent Action Plan and renegotiating contracts with all Diversity Staff Networks.
In April 2016 Rob was included in the ‘New View 50’ which recognises influential Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) professionals in the public sector.
In May 2016 Rob was chosen to lead the MoJ’s Race Project – an inward facing programme of work aimed at supporting the MoJ’s published Diversity & Inclusion objectives and turning the dial on race equality.
In September 2016 Rob was elected Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum. The Civil Service Race Forum [CSRF] is an umbrella network of BAME Staff Networks across the civil service made up of over 30 Government departments, reaching in excess of 6,000 BAME civil servants working at all levels. Rob ended his one year tenure as Chair of CSRF in January 2018 and remains a member the CSRF Executive Committee as Non- Executive Director [NED]. Rob is also a member of the Civil Service Representational Leadership Group which supports delivery of the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.
Rob successfully applied for the Civil Service Future Leaders Scheme and is now an active member of the 2017-19 cohort which incorporates the META Programme.
Rob is a Trustee with RELATE and a volunteer Social Media Director with Reach Society.
Most recently, Rob was awarded an OBE in The Queen’s 2018 New Year’s Honours list for ‘Services to Race Equality in the workplace and the community’.
Rob lives with his wife and their two children in Harrow.
Sandra Clough is a Database Manager at BNPParibas she is responsible for managing the data content, of the internal procurement, expense and people management systems.
In addition, Sandra has spent the last five years as the Co –Chair of the Banks’s Multicultural Network. Within this role she has spearheaded, many initiatives for the Banks BAME employees. She has also worked collaboratively with the other employee networks in an effort to support and promote the Bank’s Diversity and Inclusion Strategy
Sandra is a Fellow of the RSA and sits on the Board of an Educational Business Partnership.
She is a mother of one and in her spare time tries to emulate Mary Berry with varying degrees of success.
Wincie Knight is Director of Global Inclusion Strategies at Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN), reporting to Marva Smalls, EVP, Global Head of Inclusion Strategies.
Fiercely passionate about the notion of diversity being less about filling quotas and more about creating a sense of belonging, Knight works collaboratively with all of VIMN’s Employee Resource Groups in offices in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Madrid, Milan and Warsaw. Under her strategic guidance, ERGs empower all employees to have a voice as they develop initiatives that positively impact the business and build a sense of community.
She played a key role in launching ViaYou…Getting To Know You, an employee survey focused on better understanding workforce demographics, and organised Unconscious Bias and Inclusive Leadership learning opportunities. Furthermore, Knight has been instrumental in Viacom’s participation in Project Diamond and regularly partners internally in articulating VIMN’s initiatives to Ofcom.
Knight holds an MSc in Organisational Behaviour from Birkbeck, University of London where she conducted research focused on BAME employees in media organisations. In addition, she recently completed an Executive Leadership Programme at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business in the United States.
Knight lives in north London with her family. Her free time is spent with her family and friends, cooking, or enjoying visits to the theatre.
Gautam Bhattacharyya has been a partner of Reed Smith LLP since 2000, having qualified as a solicitor in 1993. He specialises in international commercial arbitration and litigation and has conducted cases in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Gautam was the founding Managing Partner of Reed Smith’s Singapore office (2012-2015), and jointly heads the firm’s India Group.
Gautam is an elected member of Reed Smith’s global board, the Executive Committee. He is a champion for diversity, inclusion and equality in the legal profession, and is a regular speaker at events advocating this. He enjoys being a mentor to young and aspiring professionals from diverse backgrounds. Gautam has contributed several articles in legal publications and participated in television and radio interviews. He has also been the recipient of a number of awards.
Karen is a proven business leader with a track record in creating vibrant cultures, energising teams and consistently delivering business growth and success. She is currently UK country manager for WPP, the world’s largest marketing services group, and Chairwoman of MediaCom, the largest media agency in the UK.
Karen champions diversity and equality of opportunity throughout the advertising industry. In 2012 Karen launched the first ever Government backed Apprentice Scheme for the sector.
In June 2014, Karen received an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours and in 2015 Karen was the first business woman to be named Britain’s Most Influential Black person in the Power List.
Karen is an external advisor to the UK Government Civil Service and a Business Ambassador to the Department of International Trade. Karen sits on the board for Creative England, is a council member for the Creative Industries Federation, and Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth.
Nazreen Visram is Industry Director for the Public Sector and Healthcare team, Corporate Banking at Barclays. In 2016, Nazreen was a finalist for the Barclays Woman of the Year Award, shortlisted for an Asian Woman of Achievement Award in 2017 and in 2018 was listed in the Financial Times EMpower list as a top 100 Ethnic Minority Role Model. Nazreen also co-chairs the Embrace Network at Barclays, responsible for the multicultural agenda and is very passionate about championing and inspiring women. She is the National Council member for the Women’s Portfolio for the Ismaili Council UK
As an International Manager Raghu has lived and worked in a number of different and varied countries and experienced different cultures, which in turn have enriched his own lived experiences and his ability to understand others. He uses this knowledge to role model inclusive behaviours, leading him to be a highly visible and respected leader both within and outside of HSBC. Not one to shy away from a challenge and focus on action, he set about diversifying the senior leadership in his own team and he is always keen to share best practice with his peers on how to successfully do the same.
He uses his team meetings, to champion an appreciation of the inclusion agenda to connect around 13,000 colleagues across the UK. Raghu was the first leader to approach the conversation regarding Race by introducing training sessions and focus group sessions to talk about race and understand lived experiences of BAME colleagues and customers. He also introduced reverse mentoring within his business area as well as being a mentor to many both formally and informally, inside and outside the organisation. In addition, Raghu volunteered to Chair the D&I Advisory Board to include both Executive Board and senior leaders and to be the Executive Sponsor of the BAME agenda for HSBC UK and non-BAME employees to drive the inclusion agenda more broadly across the UK.
Originally from India, Dr. Raj moved to the UK 14 years ago with limited English skills. However, he studied hard and his potential was quickly spotted in his first role at McDonald’s. Since then Raj has progressed at pace and held a number of senior positions within a range of retailers. He joined Sainsbury’s as a Regional Operations Manager last year, leading a busy South-West London region. He has quickly stepped up as a senior BAME role model, sharing his inspirational story and is a valuable member of our BAME network and steering group. He hosts regular mentoring circles and also bi-annual inclusivity conferences at both a regional and zonal level.
Rupal is Director and Social Impact and Inclusion Strategic Advisor at Oliver Wyman (OW). Her background is in Financial Services, most recently as OW’s EMEA COO.
In 2017 Rupal Kantaria partnered with Moving Ahead to found and launch MissionINCLUDE a cross company eco-system driving innovative tangible solutions to Inclusion. Rupal orchestrated and shaped this programme which is giving mentorship to over 100 high potential leaders across the UK, developing 100 senior executives via Reverse Mentoring Cirlces and engaging all participating firms in best practice and strategic sharing.
She is founder of “GenGive” a movement to inspire a generation of changemakers. Trustee, befriender, and long term supporter of national child bereavement charity The Lullaby Trust.
Vishal Dixit, Strategy and Wholesale Director, was appointed to the UK general management team on 1 April 2018 to drive forward our new transformational strategy and our fixed and mobile wholesale business.
Since joining Vodafone in 2014, Vishal has held senior strategy roles within the UK and Vodafone Group, where he supported the Group CEO and Group CFO on strategic programmes affecting multiple operating companies, and on securing Plc Board approval for Vodafone’s Group strategy and operating company portfolio. Prior to joining Vodafone, Vishal was an engagement director with McKinsey & Company, where he led multiple client accounts across technology, telecoms, healthcare and public sector.
Vishal holds an MBA (with distinction) from the London Business School and a BE (Hons) in Electrical & Electronic Engineering.
Aisha is originally from Nigeria and she works in the Talent Acquisition Team for Amazon Web Services. She is the Co-founder and Chair of the Black Employee Network (BEN) at Amazon in the UK. One of BEN’s goals is to promote the diverse perspectives of people of African and Caribbean descent. She has worked on a range of diversity and inclusion initiatives at Amazon. She is a feminist and very passionate about approaching D&I from an intersectional perspective.
Aji is a social entrepreneur with several years of experience dealing directly with multi-national clients. A qualified lawyer specialising in finance law, Aji has also carved out a niche advising on business development with a specific focus on Africa, advising on diversity issues, assisting with creative events and supporting start-ups and founders.
Aji is also the founder and creative director of an ethical family business and fashion tech company named MIA London, a franchise which both collaborates with tailors based across Africa to make formalwear and streetwear and connects brands and businesses with a network of African-based creatives.
Aji is also the co-chair of a social enterprise named The Law Collective which has been responsible for helping hundreds of Black students secure jobs within the legal profession by connecting them with their network of young Black lawyers, a committee member of the British Nigeria Law Forum and co-head of their junior lawyers’ division, a board member of London-based start-up community organisation ‘YSYS’, a member of the RemitFund Technical Working Group, and a key member of the Black British City Group.
Amani is a Vice President of Credit Suisse in the COO division based in London. She is a multi-asset Risk Manager covering front to back areas. Prior to joining Credit Suisse in July 2015, Amani worked in Risk Management at Barclays Investment Bank and the CEO Office at Wells Fargo.
Amani sits on the EMEA Credit Suisse Black, Asian, and Multi Ethnic (BAME) Advisory Committee and the LGBT Ally Working Group. She co -founded the BAME Network in March 2018 with the aim of creating an empowering environment for professional development for those of BAME background. She championed the vision (initiatives to attract, develop and retain BAME talent) and business case , gaining momentum. As co-chair, Amani introduced a robust governance structure, including a clear vision and deliverables, building credibility for the Network. She engaged senior stakeholders across the bank and secured Executive Sponsors to be the voice for the Network. Amani actively recruited passionate individuals to form what is now an active Working Group to deliver the vision.
Amani holds an LLB Law degree and completed the Legal Practice Course, before moving to Finance.
She is an active supporter of ethnic diversity and social mobility initiatives including the Black Lawyers Directory charity, often participating in panel discussions and mentoring initiatives.
Outside of Credit Suisse, Amani is the founder and CEO of Amatte. Amatte is a luxury coffee brand that celebrates Africa’s rich culture and history of storytelling. The brand partners directly with small-lot, African female farmers across the continent to ethically source the finest Arabica beans and create delicious single origin coffees. Amatte is the culmination of a life’s passion that aims to empower African female farmers.
She’s involved in 2 orphanages in Ethiopia and Eritrea that aim to eradicate poverty and provide protections to orphans.
Chinwe co-founded the Clifford Chance BAME network in 2015 with the primary aim of making BAME issues a business priority at Clifford Chance. As co-chair, she has been instrumental in raising awareness of the network, both within the firm and externally. Key initiatives of the network include arranging a bespoke three part coaching programme for network members, hosting annual Black History Month events, spearheading a collective voice campaign (focused on improving the collective voice of network members) and a cultivating champions campaign (aimed at educating the most senior leaders of the firm on ethnic minority issues, improving the visibility of the network and identifying senior allies for the network).
Most recently Chinwe has been instrumental in establishing a BAME reverse mentoring programme which has enabled members to connect with the most senior partners and business services staff within the firm.
Justin is a multi-asset fund manager working at Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM). He is a CFA charterholder sitting within a wider investment team that manages near to £50 billion for pension funds and savers across the world.
Throughout his career Justin has been active in joining and contributing to diversity and inclusion initiatives at the companies in which he has worked. He currently co-chairs the Investment Diversity Working Group for LGIM, which has set about making change in five key areas for the investment floor: recruitment and retention (including mentoring), culture/cognitive diversity, agile working, barriers to diversity and inclusion and understanding the business risks stemming from a lack of diversity. Due to the successes of the initiatives that have been put in place, he was asked to join the diversity and inclusion team at group level (L&G).
Outside of LGIM, Justin has recently featured in the 2018 EMpower Ethnic Minority Future Leaders List. He is adviser to the board of City Hive Ltd, which focuses on driving diversity initiatives throughout the asset management industry, including gender, ethnicity and LGBT. Justin has also taken the role as Diversity Lead on the Association of Professional Fund Investors (APFI) to help drive diversity across the industry.
Finally, Justin sits on the ethnicity workstream of the industry-wide Diversity project, established by Dame Helena Morrissey. His focus on the workstream is the representation of BAME and in particular, the severe underrepresentation of black people at senior levels within the asset management industry..
Keon co-founded Fieldfisher’s first employee group for staff belonging to an underrepresented ethnicity, ‘the network’. As part of ‘the network’, Keon set up a reverse mentoring programme within the firm allowing business managers to be mentored with a focus on department culture and recruitment. She has also overseen the discussion events held at the firm, including e-Race which was a discussion on diversity in the tech sector and hosted a talk with the CLO of S&P Global Platts based on mixed race identity. Separately, Keon is also a keen mentor and has been a panellist for a number of events and discussions on the topic of diversity.
Mushtaq has excellent leadership and communication skills and has championed diversity and inclusivity in the workplace by making significant positive changes in the working environment. Mushtaq has campaigned tirelessly for race equality with moral courage and strength, supporting the Home Office and Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Agenda He has broken down barriers by leading on interventions on unconscious bias, bullying, harassment and discrimination/recruitment and selection and talent management.
Mushtaq was recognised in the 2016 Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Awards for “Championing Minority Ethnic People”. Awarded an MBE in 2018 for Services to Race Equality- Diversity and Inclusion.
Nina Bhagwat has been on secondment working as Change Lead for the BAME Action Plan. Leading on the BAME agenda at C4 she has responsibility for devising and delivering the broadcaster’s new BAME strategy. In her substantive role as Off Screen Diversity Executive within the Creative Diversity team at Channel 4, her focus in on delivering on the commitments in C4’s 360˚ Diversity Charter.
Working in partnership with Commissioning at C4, the independent sector and talent, her job is to ensure the best people are being recruited from the widest possible pool.
Prior to joining Channel 4 she headed up the Short Course Unit at the NFTS. An experienced Talent and Training Manager, specialising in diversity initiatives, she has over ten years’ experience in TV production.
She has experience of working across a broad range of programmes and genres, from serious social documentary through to factual-entertainment. Credits include Modern Times, Police 2001 and Last White Kids.
Advance is Mott MacDonald’s umbrella employee network which delivers our equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) strategy with Advancing Race (AR) the group which drives focus on race and ethnicity. AR is led by co-champions who are supported by a board level sponsor; the group helps deliver our reverse mentoring and cross-organisational mentoring circles for BAME staff. AR has also supported our peer learning forum on race equality in engineering, and this year are hosting an open day for BAME engineers. The group host open dialogue through a dedicated yammer group and deliver insight toolkits from Ramadan to Chinese New Year.
The Army BAME Network is an employee support network with a core purpose to INFORM, SUPPORT and INSPIRE BAME Service Personnel and civilian employees, to achieve their full potential.
The Network has provided a range of support to individuals, units and the highest level of Army decision making – the Executive Committee of the Army Board.
The Network launch attracted over 360 delegates, drawn from all three Services, Government, private and charity sectors.
The Network feels proud of what has been accomplished, the support gained is stirring the Network to reach for the stars to allow Army personnel to benefit from the information, support, and inspiration it is determined to provide.
Cultural Fusion is the employee network for people from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background at Network Rail. Cultural Fusion’s aim is to ‘Embrace differences to make a difference’ supported by three objectives: 1) the aspiration to challenge yourself; 2) embrace and be proud yourself; and 3) be a positive influencer and role model for others.
Cultural Fusion delivers these objectives through a range of initiatives including career workshops; health and wellbeing events; and working with schools and charities to attract and encourage the next generation to Network Rail. The network continually explores and promotes issues that affect black, Asian and minority ethnic employees.
Cultural Fusion works closely with various teams to support Network Rail becoming a more diverse and inclusive organisation. With nearly 500 members the network has increased its activities and is proud of its achievements. Cultural Fusion has been recognised by other organisations keen to collaborate with them and this has raised its visibility, profile and impact.
Embrace network is an inclusive employee resource group focused on the inclusion of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic employees. They, helps us attract, retain and engage a more diverse ethnic and multicultural workforce within HSBC.
The Embrace Network are fully aligned to the business and fully support the UK D&I agenda. Their business alignment has seen them refocus their governance, refresh their strategy leading to clear business integrated activities, professional informative newsletter, key partnerships established internally and externally and active support and engagement of their business sponsor.
Their increased activity and visibility has led to increasing visible role models, with some members of the network being recognised in external power lists e.g Empower FT List. Their activities and external partnerships has supported BAME colleagues and BAME individuals in the communities we serve.
The Hogan Lovells Multicultural Network aims to promote an inclusive working environment by raising awareness and understanding of issues relating to culture, ethnicity and religion. The network has an active steering committee, led by partner Neil Mirchandani, committed to encouraging employee engagement and client business development through a variety of events. The network also supports the firm’s recruitment and citizenship initiatives and maintains a number of external partnerships. Since its inception, the network has assisted with the widening access programme, provided education and awareness around religious and cultural holidays, driven policy change and received excellent feedback and engagement internally and externally.
Moody’s Multicultural ERG seeks to leverage diverse talent by promoting recruitment, professional development and networking opportunities for all ethnically diverse employees at Moody’s. Beginning in the UK in 2014, it is one of Moody’s most popular staff networks with almost a third of UK employees having joined.
‘ONE’ Employee Resource Group (ERG) is National Grid’s multicultural network. ‘ONE’ supports BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) employees and shares the benefits of diversity in the workplace. ONE breaks down barriers and celebrates the successes of our BAME talent. ONE’s ambition is to support National Grid’s inclusion and diversity ambition to become a valued employer of choice, attracting, and retaining the best talent and representing the communities we serve.
Lloyds Banking Group is committed to ensuring that our workforce reflects the diversity of our customer base and we were proud to be the first FTSE 100 company in February 2018 to set a public goal to increase B.A.M.E representation at senior levels as part of our Helping Britain Prosper Plan. Our ethnicity strategy is led from the top and supported by comprehensive plans to ensure we make sustainable progress, including targeted career development interventions, a robust focus on increasing visibility of B.A.M.E role models and a range of activities to build cultural awareness understanding and advocacy across our workforce.
Colette joined LGIM in 2018 from M&G Investments where she spent nearly a decade working to create and maintain a balanced workforce. During her tenure, she helped grow and implement M&G’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) strategy addressing gender, ethnicity, nationality, LGBT, cultural diversity, social backgrounds and mental health/wellbeing. During her career, she also held senior roles in employer brand, talent attraction and retention, delivering innovative solutions to ensure a diverse candidate pipeline.
Colette is responsible for driving the achievement, evolution and continuous improvement of LGIM’s culture, as well as LGIM’s diversity and inclusion objectives. Colette works closely with the Executive Team, LGIM’s diversity and inclusion team (LEGIT), and Legal & General’s Group Diversity and Inclusion team.
Colette is a member of the Diversity Project’s Steering Group – an initiative which aims to accelerate progress towards an inclusive culture and achieve diversity across all dimensions in the investment profession, and an LGBT Great Role.
Emma is the Managing Partner for Talent for Deloitte NWE and Deloitte UK and sits on the Executive Committees for both. Alongside these roles, Emma leads a client service team of over 50 people within the firm’s Financial Advisory practice.
Since being appointed to the UK Executive Committee in 2013, Emma has led significant change to the firm’s talent agenda – most notably in relation to agile working, gender balance, respect and inclusion, BAME and social mobility.
More specifically, she commissioned the award winning ‘Ask Yourself…’ film; rolled out unique mandatory inclusive leadership workshops to over 6,000 senior leaders in the business (and is now in the process of rolling out follow up workshops to all partners); created a network of Respect & Inclusion Advisors to provide all employees with a safe channel to confidentially raise concerns and call out inappropriate behaviour.
Emma has introduced BAME mentoring schemes and has led the firm’s voluntary disclosure of the ethnicity pay gap. She established a BAME Advisory Council to seek open and honest feedback from employees to shape our BAME action plan. She has also introduced a BAME reverse mentoring programme, pairing 24 junior BAME individuals with some of our most senior leaders.
Emma is a member of the Patron Group for Access Accountancy and also sits on the Business in the Community gender leadership group. Emma lives in London with her husband and their twin 9-year-old daughters.
Georgia Arnold is Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility at Viacom International Media Networks and the Executive Director of MTV Staying Alive Foundation.
Ms. Arnold was instrumental in establishing the MTV Staying Alive Foundation in 2005, and was appointed Executive Director in October 2007. MTV SAF is a global charitable body that provides grants to grassroots, youth-led organisations to set up HIV and AIDS awareness campaigns in their communities, and have supported 207 organizations, totaling over $6million. MTV SAF also produce the multi award-winning MTV Shuga – a 360-degree mass-media HIV prevention edutainment campaign.
Karen has supported the creation and set up the Diversity and Inclusion Department with the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Network Rail. She works closely with the Director, Programme Manager and Access and Inclusion Manger to establish new practices, systems and direction for the Diversity and Inclusion Team. She has established many of the core practices, systems and principles under which it will operate through its next five-year plan including the set-up of six employee networks and the Built Environment Accessibility panel.
Karen has over 20 years’ experience in Diversity and Inclusion and was an integral member of the multi award winning Equality, Inclusion, Employment and Skills team at the Olympic Delivery Authority and acted as the focal point for the development, co-ordination of the Equality and Diversity Teams extensive programme of work by providing effective and timely project management, research assistance and administration of programmes.
Kevin Ellis, PwC’s Chairman and Senior Partner, joined the UK firm’s Executive Board in 2008, first as Head of the Advisory business and from 2012, as Managing Partner. He was elected Chairman and Senior Partner with effect from 1 July 2016. He joined the firm in 1984 on the graduate training programme and qualified as a chartered accountant (ICAEW). Kevin specialised in providing turnaround and crisis management support to businesses in the public and private sectors for over 25 years.
Marjorie has 25 years experience of working cross industry in people, change and organisational development roles.
Following a variety of line management roles, predominantly in financial services and utilities, Marjorie spent five years running an internet services business before joining Accenture as an Executive in their Talent & Organisational Performance Practice. During her time there, Marjorie led the Change Management Practice for Accenture’s UK Financial Services client group and had responsibility for all Human Capital consulting across Capital Markets in the UK and across all industry groups in Scotland.
Marjorie re-joined RBS as a COO for HR in 2011, following a period where they were her client. She has global responsibility for RBS’ inclusion agenda and is driving change across the organisation to ensure RBS is an inclusive organisation for their customers and their people.
Specialising in organisational effectiveness and performance optimisation, Marjorie has degrees in Industrial Psychology and Business Administration from The University of Strathclyde and has qualifications in Human Resource Management and Culture from Napier University and The University of Harvard. She is a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.
Marjorie is married with two teenage daughters and a toddler son.
Nancy Lengthorn has been in the Media Industry since 1999, spending much of this time at MediaCom. Having worked on clients such as Sky, Direct Line and Cancer Research UK, a passion for people and equity meant that she began to focus her attention on internal projects and set up the industry’s first Apprentice scheme in 2011. This is a role that evolved into her current position of Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Future Talent. Nancy is a mother of 4 young children and is Trustee of a charity that helps Mothers who are living below the poverty line.
Neil Prime is Head of Central London Markets & UK Office Agency and member of the UK Board at JLL. Alongside having been involved in some of the most significant major office developments in Central London, Neil is the board level sponsor for the JLL BAME network ‘Race for Change’. In this role he has worked actively with the co-chairs to shape the agenda, providing senior leadership guidance and insights to ensure that the Network closely aligns its objectives with the corporate strategy, helping improve its visibility and engagement across the business.
Neil is a strong advocate for diversity, he strongly believes that diverse businesses are better businesses, he is keen to act as an advocate and ally to ensure that every individual regardless of who they are has the chance to fulfil their potential.
Alesha Dixon is a British singer, rapper, model, television presenter and talent show judge. Her career began in all-female R&B/garage trio Mis-Teeq, before pursuing a career as a solo artist. In 2007, she won Strictly Come Dancing, and later became a judge of the show in 2009. She then moved to ITV and became a judge for Britain’s Got Talent.
Babita Sharma is broadcaster and presenter for Newsday on BBC World News & the BBC News Channel. She studied journalism, film and broadcasting at University of Wales and began her career working at BBC Radio Wales. She has been presenting BBC World News show, Newsday, since 2015. Earlier this year, she spoke out against Lord Alan Sugar’s racist tweet about the Senegal football team at the World Cup.
Chiwetel Ejiofor is one of the UK’s most critically acclaimed actors, best known for his award-winning role in 12 Years a Slave. Ejiofor attended London’s Dulwich College and prestigious drama school LAMDA, before Steven Spielberg cast him in Amistad. He was appointed an OBE in the 2008 birthday honours.
Gemma Chan is an actress, most famous for her role in Channel 4’s Humans. Her maternal grandparents were the first Chinese family to live in Greenock, Scotland, after fleeing Communist China. Chan has spoken up about racism in the industry, saying that she didn’t think being an actress was a viable option after being turned away from auditions because they were “only going to see white women”.
Born in Guyana and raised in London, Letitia Wright starred as Shuri in box-office triumph, Black Panther. An inspiration to young girls around the world, Wright has been working in film and TV since 2011, with roles in Black Mirror, Top Boy and Doctor Who. She was selected as one of Screen International’s UK Stars of Tomorrow in 2012.
Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, has single-handedly diversified the image
of the Royal Family. In May 2018, she became the first-ever woman of colour to marry a British royal, holding the most ethnically-diverse royal wedding that the UK has ever seen. Over 500 million people tuned in to watch the ceremony on television, which included the Rev Michael Curry delivering a sermon, a performance by a gospel choir, a solo by cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason – the first black musician to win the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year – as well as a reading by Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the first black woman to hold the role of Queen’s chaplain.
Already a national hero his native Egypt, Mohamed Salah is a footballer for Premier League club, Liverpool. Undoubtedly one of the highest profile Muslim footballers in the UK, Salah proudly practices his faith in the public eye, despite the undercurrent of Islamophobic sentiment in British media.
On-air, on-screen and on stage, Ore has established himself as a true all-rounder since winning the 14th series of Strictly Come Dancing.
He has fronted some of the biggest national events, from the Queen’s 90th Birthday celebrations to One Love Manchester for BBC1. Other notable high-profile credits include regular presenting slots on The One Show and ITV’s This Morning, while Claimed and Shamed continues to be a ratings winner in the daytime schedule. Ore also dedicates much of his time to charitable causes including Comic and Sport Relief, Children in Need and Stand Up to Cancer.
Ade Hassan is the creator and founder of Nubian Skin, a nude bra and skin tone hosiery brand for women of colour. Since its launch in late 2014, Nubian Skin has been featured in every major fashion magazine; supplied the wardrobes of major productions in the West End; won the Great British Entrepreneur Award for Fashion in 2015; and provided the intimates for the Beyoncé Formation Tour in 2016. In 2017, Hassan received an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for the impact she has made on the fashion industry.
When Doreen Lawrence’s son Stephen Lawrence was murdered in a racist attack in 1993, she began a fight to bring the institutional racism of the Metropolitan Police to the limelight. To this day, she continues to campaign for the victims of racist crimes. She founded the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and also sits on various panels across the UK. In 2003, she was awarded an OBE for services to community relations, and in 2013, she was appointed Baroness, and sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords as a working peer.
Harun Khan is Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), the first second-generation Muslim to be elected into the leadership. The MCB serves to empower the Muslim community to contribute towards achieving a cohesive, just and successful British society. Khan has volunteered with the MCB since he was a teenager, and founded the Eid celebrations in London’s Trafalgar Square in partnership with the Mayor of London and attended by up to 20,000 visitors.
Jasvinder Sanghera is the founder of Karma Nirvana, an award-winning charity that supports both men and women affected by honour based abuse and forced marriages. At 14 Sanghera ran away from home rather than suffer a forced marriage and was determined that her own children would be in control of their own lives. Her work is recognised as being pivotal to the creation of a specific UK forced marriage criminal offence in 2014. Her bestselling memoir Shame was described in the House of Lords as a ‘political weapon’ and Prime Minister David Cameron stated that her work ‘turned my head on the issue of forced marriage’.
Leon Lopez is a filmmaker and actor. Responding to the lack of diversity in the film and television industry, Lopez began Brown Boy Productions. He uses his filmmaking to talk about issues within society that he feels are neglected by mainstream media. His most recent film ‘Almost Saw The Sunshine’, is about violence towards Trans women of colour.
Paul Reid is Director at the Black Cultural Archives, home to the UK’s first permanent collection of Black cultural heritage. Reid has a long history of working at community level. He was Vice Chair for Lambeth’s Commission into Gang and Gun Crime and a Founder Member of New Initiatives Youth and Community Association, a Charity that specialises in delivering African-Centred rites of passage programmes that engage young people and their families in transition processes.
Paulette Simpson is the executive director of The Voice, the only British national black weekly newspaper. She is also Executive of corporate affairs and public policy at Jamaica National’s (JN) representative office in the UK.
Yvonne Thompson is managing director of the marketing and PR company ASAP Communications, a former director of Choice FM radio, and president of the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners. Her work has had a particular focus on women-owned businesses as well as on global diversity and gender equality. Thompson has been described as Britain’s first black self-made woman millionaire. She was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honour List in 2003 for her services to women, small business and minorities.
According to Adidas, “diversity isn’t a box to check, it’s our secret formula for inventing the future of sport”.
This ideology has been evident in Adidas’ recent global campaigns, ‘Calling all Creators’ and ‘See Creativity’. Both campaigns feature, celebrate and empower diverse voices by championing the message that one must look beyond gender, colour, and background to appreciate creativity. Celebrities and models of various ethnicities and races are depicted as role models providing valuable representation in the sports industry.
During their New York Fashion Week outing this year, Adidas presented its Originals collection with more than half of the models being of non-Caucasian ethnicities in order to promote inclusive athleisure. The models represented everyday women, with one of them in a hijab.
British Vogue went through a raft of changes when Edward Enninful, the title’s first black, male, and openly gay editorial chief, took over. He addressed historic criticisms that Vogue was racially non-diverse in both its content and staff base, by selecting Adwoa Aboah as his first cover model.
Since then, Vogue has continued to champion diversity explicitly; this became even more clear when the publication made history by featuring a hijab-wearing model on its cover for the first time in its 102-year history.
“When I say diversity, I want to be clear that it is never just about black and white for me. “It’s about diversity across the board – whether that’s race, size, socio-economic background, religion, sexuality. That’s what I want to celebrate…” – Edward Enninful.
According to Emily Weiss, Glossier’s founder and CEO, “Inclusivity is really our number one value.. we want to inspire, but we also want to be realistic and show beauty in real life.” The brand’s newest ad campaign elegantly shows an inclusive range of women’s bodies as they are in real life.
By showcasing several women with different body types who work in a variety of professional fields, the brand makes its message clear: anyone can have glowing, dazzling skin! Their slogan, “Skin first. Makeup second.” illustrates clearly the brand positioning.
From their ethnically and racially diverse festive ad offerings (which end up becoming viral cultural phenomenons!) to their inclusive in-house practices, John Lewis has continued to celebrate diversity in creative ways.
“We positively celebrate diversity. That’s what makes you, you. It’s why we find discrimination intolerable and why we embrace individual talents regardless of age, gender, sex, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, social background, religion and/or belief as we understand that it’s our personality, values, beliefs and attitudes that are at the centre of who we are.”
In McCain’s recent “Here’s to love” advert, an extension of their widely successful “We are Family” campaign, the narration punctuates vignettes of people, including mixed-race couples, ethnic couples, gay couples and disabled couples.
According to Mark Hodge, marketing director at McCain Foods, “… it is important that as a big brand we’re there to champion and celebrate diversity in this nation. The world is changing and I think as a brand rather than resist it we should embrace and celebrate it”.
In celebrating diversity, the McCain has seen a 10% increase in brand meaning and brand perception, plus a 14% increase in brand difference.
Fashion brand Missguided’s latest campaign #InYourOwnSkin follows a string of empowering and transgressive messages perpetuated by the label, from body positivity to diversity.
Missguided has also unveiled a diverse range of mannequins being displayed in stores in an effort to be more representative of all women. The new collection of mannequins includes female figures of different ethnicities, in addition to highlighting skin conditions such as stretch marks and vitiligo.
‘Do not Stereotype’ is the tag line of River Island’s important new campaign which states that labels are for clothes not people. Zara Sheriff, a British born Muslim woman with Pakistani heritage, who wears a hijab in the campaign, a first for the brand, represents more than hijab fashion or modest clothing.
According to the brand, “This spring we celebrate 30 years of River Island with an exciting people positive campaign. Bringing together a diverse cast as the faces and voices of RI, we explore identity and reject the idea of labelling.”
“My parents are from Pakistan. In the beginning, it was an identity crisis, I didn’t want to be from there. Then it was like, yes this is where I am culturally from, and I love that, but I am British.” The shot of Zara used in the Britain-wide campaign urges: “Do not stereotype. Do mix cultures. Treat with respect.”
Spotify has recently started pushing for a more musically diverse landscape. Likening music from various countries around the world to cuisines, the streaming titan announced in a post on its official blog that it’ll push music from different parts of the world further to the forefront through the Global Cultures Initiative. This is a network of “several expertly curated playlists, some of which feature top songs, both old and new, from diasporic communities around the world”.
According to it’s recent statistics, half of the ‘Top-streamed artists of all time’ on Spotify are people of colour with Drake topping the charts.
The release of the hugely anticipated Black Panther film created a major social buzz around the celebration of black culture. The star-studded cast of largely black talent, both on and off screen, resonated with the audience, and particularly ethnic minority viewers who finally saw Marvel create a black superhero. Black Panther acknowledged everything from traditional African society to the power of black women, and the preservation of identity.
It might have been uncomfortable viewing but Eastenders tackled the emotive issue of teenage knife crime and looked at its impact on society. Black and minority ethic actors featured heavily in the storyline but in a dramatic first for the BBC One soap, the real-life relatives of real knife crime victims also appeared on the programme. The episode won praise from fans and anti-knife crime campaigners
Enninful became the first black male editor of British Vogue in 2017 and immediately set about celebrating diversity in the publication. His first issue shone the spotlight on diversity in politically art and culture with features on model Adwoa Aboah, Sadiq Khan and Naomi Campbell. During a stint at Italian Vogue, Enninful led the magazine’s first “Black Issue” which featured only black models.
When director Jordan Peele received four Oscar nominations, he was only the fifth black director in 90 years of academy history to be acknowledged. Get Out was seen and much-loved by many as it welcomed rave reviews in the wake of its release, and depicted a plot explicitly driven by racism, whilst also entwining humour, horror and gore.
Oprah Winfrey delivered a rousing acceptance speech when she became the first black woman to win the lifetime achievement award at the Golden Globes in January. The star used the opportunity to reflect on her astonishing media career but significantly spoke up for the women and the “me too” movement.
All eyes were on Windsor Castle in May when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry tied the knot at a lavish ceremony that had the world watching. 500 million television viewers tuned in to see global superstars and political leaders attend the service which was described as a breakthrough moment for women of mixed race heritage.
More than 1,000 soldiers took part in the Trooping of the Colour parade to mark the Queen’s 92nd birthday but it was the first-ever Sikh Coldstream Guards soldier to take part in the ceremony that attracted headlines. “I hope that people watching, that they will just acknowledge it and that they will look at it as a new change in history,” said 22-year-old Charanpreet Singh Lall before the parade.
The grime artist pulled out all the stops to create an epic show for his Brit Awards performance in February. The impressive set started with a powerful rap in the rain and went on to include a 40-piece symphony orchestra, 100-foot flames, and giant video screens. The musician also scooped two major awards and used his platform on the night to call for justice for those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster.
Adwoa Aboah has quickly become one of the most-talked about women of her generation. Unafraid to tackle the issues that matter, Aboah founded Gurls Talk, a project which gives young women a platform to discuss feminist issues. As a model, she has starred in global campaigns for major fashion houses and became the cover girl for Edward Enninful’s debut issue of Vogue as editor-in-chief.
Farrah Storr is Cosmopolitan magazine’s award-winning editor-in-chief. Since taking over the monthly mag in 2015, she has diversified the brand and increased circulation by a whopping 59%. In 2017 she was named as a ‘BAME leader’ in The Guardian & Operation Black Votes UK’s 100 Power List.
Humza Arshad created the comedy web series sensation, Diary of a Bad Man, which focuses on a range of issues affecting young British Muslims. His YouTube channel currently has 91 million views. Arshad also works with counter-terrorism police to prevent British teenagers being radicalised by extremists. He won an award for his efforts from Scotland Yard in 2017.
Jamal Edwards MBE rose to fame after launching SB.TV, a music platform which he started from his bedroom, aged 15. The success of SB.TV has seen expand the media company and also launch a record label, Just Jam. Edwards was made an MBE in the 2014 New Year Honours list for services to music.
Despite being told she was “too old, too ethnic and too fat” to launch a career in the US, Jameela Jamil became an overnight sensation on The Good Place. Already famous in the UK for her presenting skills on T4 and the BBC, Jamil has used her platform to speak out about body image, racism and sexism in the industry.
London College of Fashion graduate Kojey Radical focuses his MOBO-nominated music and art on themes of race, class and justice, creating “socially conscious rap music”. Radical is also the creative director of London men’s fashion label Chelsea Bravo and founder/director of media collective Pushcrayons.
Nadir Nahdi is the founder and creator of BENI, an online project highlighting young people from diverse backgrounds with the aim of reclaiming the misrepresented narrative they face from mainstream media. His “Happy British Muslims!” video of Muslims dancing went viral in 2014. Nahdi’s channel BENI is part of the YouTube Creators for Change fellowship program, as well as YouTube’s Internet Citizens program.
Reni Eddo-Lodge is the author of Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, a Sunday Times bestseller, which was voted non-fiction book of the year by both Foyles and Blackwells bookshops. Earlier this year, her work was named as one of the “Top 10 books by women that changed the world”.
Alan Mak became the first person of Chinese origin to be elected to the House of Commons at the 2015 general election. He has used his time in Parliament to campaign on a variety of social mobility issues and in 2018 was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Greg Clark MP, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Dubbed the ‘black Blair’ Lammy became the youngest Minister in Tony Blair’s Government shortly after his election to represent the Tottenham constituency in 2000. As a backbench MP, he has developed a reputation as a campaigner fighting for justice for those affected by the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Windrush generation, as well as calling for reform of the formal justice system.
Dawn Butler made history as the first black woman to speak from the Despatch Box in the House of Commons in December 2009 following her appointment as Minister for Young Citizens and Youth Engagement. After Jeremy Corbyn’s election to the Labour leadership she was appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities and has used this platform to promote opportunities for BAME individuals in education and the workplace.
Abbott became the first black woman to hold a seat in the House of Commons when she was elected as the Member of Parliament for Hackney North and Stoke Newington at the 1987 general election. The prominent Labour politician is a leading campaigner on equality issues and as Shadow Home Secretary, has been working vociferously for justice for the Windrush generation.
Magid Magid is a British Somali activist and politician who has served as the Lord Mayor of Sheffield since May 2018. His appointment generated significant media attention, as he is the first Somali, the first Green Party council and the youngest-ever person to hold the position.
Labour’s Rushanara Ali was the first person of Bangladeshi origin to have been elected to the House of Commons at the general election in 2010. She is also one of the UK’s first female Muslim MPs. In April 2016, Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Ali as UK trade envoy for Bangladesh, as part of the cross party trade envoy network.
Javid was appointed Home Secretary in April 2018 becoming the first Asian and the first from a Muslim background, to hold one of the great offices of state. He was elected as the Member of Parliament for Bromsgrove in 2010 after a career in international finance with Deutsche Bank.
After serving as a local councillor and Mayor of Gravesham, Dhesi became Britain’s first turbaned Sikh MP at the 2017 general election when he was elected to represent the Slough constituency. “A glass ceiling has truly been broken and I sincerely hope that many more like me will follow in the years and decades to come”, said Dhesi in his maiden speech.
AWAAZ is a charity that provides a mental health service to individuals from the BME and new emerging communities with a mental health problem. The organisation also provides self-directed support for individuals from the BME communities.
Black History Month (BHM) is an annual nationwide celebration of Black History, Arts and Culture in the UK, United States and Canada. It began as a way for remembering important people and events in the history of the African diaspora. Black History Month was first formally celebrated in the UK in early 1987, following the suggestion of Ansell Wong, the Head of the Ethnic Minority Unit at the Greater London Council and with the support of Linda Bellos, campaigner and politician.
FORWARD (Foundation for Women’s Health Research and Development) is a charity that founded in response to the continuing practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) among migrant communities and are one of the longest standing organisations tackling FGM in the UK. The charity work to frame FGM as a human rights violation, inform affected communities about the health implications and laws.
gal-dem is an online and print magazine and creative collective comprised by over 70 women and non-binary people of colour. Founded by Liv Little in response to the lack of diversity at her university and in the mainstream media, the aim of gal-dem is to open the experiences of women of colour to a wider audience.
Karma Nirvana is an award-winning British human rights charity supporting victims of honour-based abuse and forced marriage. The charity run a national helpline offering direct support and guidance to victims and professionals, provide training to the Police, NHS and Social Services, act as expert witnesses in court, speak out in schools and attend awareness raising events nationally and internationally. In addition, the Karma Nirvana team lobby government.
Notting Hill Carnival is an annual carnival event and parade that celebrates Caribbean history with colorful and vivid representations of Caribbean traditions and music. The first Carnival events were arranged as a demonstration of racial unity after the Notting Hill Race Riots of 1958. The Carnival is one of the world’s largest street festivals and is a significant event in Black British culture. Organised and managed by the people of British West Indian communities, close to two million people attended the event in 2017.
Sangam is a not-for-profit charity based in Barnet, established and managed by Asian Women. It was founded in 1971 as a result of the large influx of immigrants from South Asia and East Africa in the sixties and seventies as a result of the lack of both language proficiency and understanding of the systems of Government which left many vulnerable Asians feeling helpless and often with nowhere to turn. It was recognised by Her Majesty the Queen in 2006 when Sangam received the coveted Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.
The Aleto Foundation is a charity that was established for the next generation of BAME leaders in the UK. The aim of their leadership development programmes, ongoing mentoring support and networking opportunities is to help to increase the representation of young BAME people from communities that have historically found it challenging to access jobs due to their background.
Alan Yau is famed for revolutionising the way British people looked at Asian food by creating some of the most memorable restaurants in the UK, such as the casual Japanese chain, Wagamama and Thai chain, Busaba Eathai. He was awarded with an OBE in 2006 for his contributions to the UK’s restaurant industry.
Grace Jones is a music icon, supermodel, actor, dancer and style symbol. Jones entered the public eye as a young model and was told that there was only room for one black model at a time in society. She went on to become an icon of fashion and music. Subverting societal norms of gender, race and sexuality, Jones gave a voice to the oppressed and celebrated blackness.
Kanya King CBE is the CEO and founder of the MOBO Awards, which now reach more than 400 million viewers in over 200 countries. Since the organisation’s inception in 1996, the MOBO organisation has established itself as a champion of diversity, inclusion and recognition for BME talent within music, culture, arts, fashion, media and larger society as a whole. King was presented with an MBE in 1999 for services to the music industry.
Multimillionaire media mogul Lord Waheed Alli founded Planet 24 and was the Managing Director for Carlton Communications. He is currently the Chief Executive of Silvergate Media, Co-Owner of Olga TV and vice president of UNICEF. In 1998 he became the youngest member of the House of Lords, as well as the first openly gay peer. The BBC summarised his appointment as “the antithesis of the stereotypical ‘establishment’ peer – young, Asian and from the world of media and entertainment”.
Meera Syal MBE is an actress, writer, producer, comedian, playwright, singer and journalist. Syal is one of the UK’s best-known Indian personalities, who first came to prominence as one of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me. She was awarded an MBE in 1997, and a CBE in 2015 for services to drama and literature. Her awards include the Guardian Whitbread First Novel award, Women in Film and Television’s Creative Achievement Award, two British Comedy Awards, two International Emmy Awards and a BAFTA nomination. She has an honourary doctorate from SOAS university.
Ozwald Boateng OBE is a Savile Row tailor and celebrated British designer who has been a significant figure in the in both the UK and international fashion scene for almost 30 years. Boateng was the youngest and first African to open a shop on Saville Row and was Givenchy’s first black menswear designer. In 2006, Boateng was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He was appointed Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2007 and received a Veritas Award from Harvard in 2014.
SIR Trevor McDonald is one of Britain’s most recognisable and respected broadcasters and journalists, best-known for his work with ITN. McDonald was the UK’s first black male newsreader. He has interviewed such prominent world figures as former US President Bill Clinton, Nelson Mandela and Saddam Hussein. He was knighted in 1999 for his services to journalism.
Vanessa Kingori MBE is the publisher of British Vogue, the first woman and first black woman to hold the role in the magazine’s 102 year-long history. She began her career at the Evening Standard, before moving to Condé Nast, where she became the youngest and first female publisher of GQ, and Condé Nast UK’s first black publisher. Kingori was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2016 for services to the media industry.