Mike Adebiyi is an Enterprise Business Development Lead for Google Cloud UK & Ireland, where he works with customers to adopt new Cloud technologies and processes to transform their business for the fast-paced digital age. Mike has a passion for helping under-represented groups across the industry and creating a workplace where people feel a sense of belonging. He recently spoke on a panel at the Dublin Tech Summit about how organisations can embrace diversity and encouraged them to take action now in order to build a truly diverse workforce for the next generation. Lastly, he was recently shortlisted for The Race Equality Champion Award at The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Tech 2023 Awards.
Marina Ebrubah is one of the founding members of Man Group’s Black Employees and Allies network, BEAM. She is also a member of Man Group’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Steering Committee, involved in setting the DE&I strategy for the firm as well as overseeing initiatives. Marina’s passion for DE&I continues through her roles as a committee member of #TalkAboutBlack, mentor at EnCircle and an ambassador for the Diversity Project. Last year, Marina had the opportunity to speak on panels for EnCircle, Black Women in Asset Management (BWAM), the Diversity Project and Blackrock about career progression and the barriers faced by black talent.
Leanna Hay has significantly contributed to diversity, equity and inclusion at Experian, launching the first race and ethnicity employee resource group in 2020 for black employees. Leanna advocated for greater transparency and reporting of DE&I and has spearheaded Black History Month celebrations with the aim of celebrating and uplifting black culture. Leanna established a volunteer-led community outreach programme, focusing on careers and financial education and covering the importance of credit, impacting the lives of more than 600 young people from underserved communities. Leanna’s leadership, dedication, and passion for promoting DE&I has created a positive impact and culture shift at Experian.
Jyoti Jassi has been a driving force behind promoting and celebrating ethnic diversity while creating a safe space for ethnic minority colleagues at Network Rail. Her initiatives include South Asian Heritage Month celebrations, industry-wide panel discussions and weekly wellbeing calls. Jyoti uses her expertise to provide recommendations to senior leaders and diversity and inclusion teams. Passionate about inclusivity, Jyoti channels her drive to ensure that in her role managing early careers schemes there is accessibility for all, while fostering advocacy and awareness among colleagues entering the industry. She actively educates and supports her peers in embracing active allyship and anti-racist practices.
Junaed Khan is a Senior Advisor for the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, covering the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) – a $11.5bn multilateral fund that has mobilised billions for climate solutions in 72 countries. He is co-Chair of the Civil Service Race Forum (CSRF), a collaborative group of staff race networks working to advance diversity and inclusion. Previously, Junaed has worked in a ministerial private office and in the UK’s UN climate negotiations team. Prior to joining the Civil Service, he has worked for Three Faiths Forum to build university student leaders who work across faith backgrounds, and for MyLifeMySay, an organisation empowering young people to engage in politics.
Tashan Dwyer launched the Intersectionality Series initiative at A&O, as a young recently qualified lawyer. He felt that diversity, equity and inclusion analyses typically did not capture the nuanced lived experiences of heterogeneous communities. The Series invites guest speakers to discuss intersectional issues in DE&I and fosters a culture of interdisciplinary learning within the firm. Later that same year, he earned an opportunity to study a Masters at Columbia Law School in New York, and will study how to reshape legal services to better serve under-represented creators and entrepreneurs and catalyse their scalability. Alongside this, Tashan founded Franklyn’s Forum, which provides strategic consultancy to content creators.
Laura Rice is a highly skilled individual who has consistently delivered equitable outcomes for both customers and colleagues at Motability Operations. With her strong, compassionate leadership abilities, she successfully led the organisation’s inaugural Cultural Day, with a focus on increasing the employee network to 250 people. Notably, she took the initiative to change internal systems, ensuring visibility for Black History Month. Laura’s first-hand experience is evident in every step she takes; she played a pivotal role as a critical friend to stakeholders, driving positive changes to embed inclusivity for black, Asian and ethnic colleagues. Her advocacy led to policy changes designed for black colleagues.
Alexinder Riyat is the co-Chair of Citi’s first Asian Heritage Network in London. Alexinder launched the employee resource group last year, hiring a committee of 25 volunteers from across the bank. Prior to this, he was the Events & Communications Officer of Citi’s Multicultural Network. He has taken the lead on a number of events from interviewing esteemed guests to hosting his own Bhangra dance workshop. Outside of his DE&I efforts, Alexinder is the Product Owner of the Data Toolkit application in the FX Technology team at Citi. He joined the bank in 2019 on the graduate programme, after completing Spring Week and summer internships.
Cecilia Adjei-Sarpong truly embodies EssenceMediacom’s “always include” behaviour and has established agency-wide recognition for her extensive involvement in the Roots Ethnicity employee consultative group. Since Roots launched in 2018, Cecilia’s involvement has including leading content on monthly newsletters, planning and facilitating key cultural events and personal development initiatives, and more recently as co-Chair, representing Roots across the agency network and beyond. She has organised Windrush 75 celebrations and championed EM’s Claiming Your Power series for black and brown staff. Her contribution to Roots is a fantastic example to the wider agency in supporting and celebrating inclusion and providing a stronger sense of community.
As a co-Lead of the Believe Network at OVO since 2021, Ahmed Yusuf has been instrumental in fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity within the company.
Among other things, Ahmed played a crucial role during learning sessions to foster understanding of beliefs and in facilitating multi-faith rooms in all offices, providing employees with spaces to observe their beliefs comfortably. Additionally, he contributed to the implementation of a streamlined process that enabled scheduled workers to book off religious holidays at short notice, accommodating Lunar calendar-based observances.
Through a mixture of passion and tireless effort, Ahmed and the wider network have left a lasting impact on the organisation.