George Awusu is a chartered certified accountant with 17 years’ experience with KPMG. George is one of KPMG UK’s first black Audit Directors and leads teams to deliver value-adding solutions to audited entities across multiple sectors. For many years, George has been an advocate for inclusion, diversity and equality (IDE) at KPMG. Working in Ghana and multiple UK offices at the company, and through his engagement with ethnic minorities, he has built a deep understanding of what good looks like for firms seeking to promote IDE. George devotes time to mentoring and supporting colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds. George is actively involved in the advancement of IDE initiatives at KPMG, including being a member of the Black Heritage Working Group and one of the Sponsoring Directors for the Black Heritage Talent Programme
Mohammed Basid works as the Global Health, Safety and Environment Lead for one of CBRE’s largest clients. In addition to this “day job”, he co-chairs the account’s DE&I committee. Under his leadership, this group has boosted account-wide engagement with DE&I issues, such as allyship, harmful stereotypes and equity. Key recent initiatives include the addition of name pronunciation guidance to team members’ email signatures, as well as the account’s annual DE&I Week commemoration. Recognizing this committee’s company-leading efforts, CBRE awarded his account with its global Diversity, Equity & Inclusion award in 2021. Mohammed continues to lead in this space, striving for even greater user engagement.
Victoria Chan is a Business Analysis and Change Manager at Santander, who has co-chaired REACH – Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage Network since February 2023. Victoria is passionate about championing DE&I and helping individuals to break glass ceilings. Utilising her strong leadership skills and influence, she has made positive changes to the workplace and beyond. Victoria celebrates, raises awareness, and promotes education through empowering events and the #IAmRemarkable campaign, inspiring people to embrace their unique abilities and overcome challenges. Her ongoing work amplifies her commitment to inclusivity and community engagement while demonstrating steadfast dedication to nurturing and motivating others. Victoria is here to help shape the future, pave the way for next generations and drive positive transformation!
Belton Flournoy leads the Digital Identity practice at Protiviti UK and is a longstanding advocate for ethnic inclusion and diversity, frequently speaking on the need for organisations to maintain a diverse workforce. He helped launch the firm’s proCulture network and is part of the Leadership Team for the Technology Community for Racial Equality (TC4RE), a group looking to increase racial diversity in technology. Belton was a host for myGwork’s 2022 WorkPride conference; executive speaker at events through TLC Lions; and is on the advisory board for The Inclusion Initiative at The London School of Economics (LSE). He has featured in the top 20 of both the OUTstanding LGBT+ Future Leader list and the EMpower Top 100 Ethnic Minority Future Leader list, was shortlisted in Inspirational Leader and Diversity Heroes categories at the British LGBT+ Awards and placed in the EMpower Top 10 UK Black Business Role Models presented by Google.
Mandisa Gordon has been described as an inspiring leader by the CEO of JLR due to her success as Chair of the REACH Employee Network. Mandisa’s achievements include creating and implementing a reverse mentoring programme during which leaders are mentored by employees from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Over 250 employees participated in the programme, including all Board of Directors and the CEO. Mandisa also led the Black Futures Project, which aims to address the inequity in recruitment, development, progression and work-life experiences for African and African Caribbean employees, and led workstreams addressing issues faced by South Asian and East Asian employees. More than 1,400 employees have participated in her monthly career development sessions.
Raghu Narula is the Managing Director for Customer Engagement and Distribution at NatWest Group. Working in many countries has given him a deep appreciation of different cultures and he has dedicated his time to promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Raghu is proud to be one of the bank’s DE&I sponsors and he is driven to bring about meaningful change, challenging everyone to break down barriers, eradicate biases and create a culture where everyone’s voice is heard and they can achieve their full potential. Raghu has played a key role in introducing several sponsorship and capability initiatives to develop diverse talent. He leads by example, inspiring others on a daily basis through his words and actions.
Oli O’Donoghue joined HSBC in 2017 having spent the previous 22 years in the Financial Services Industry. She is currently Managing Director for the UK Branch Network, as well as overseeing, in the interim, HSBC’s Direct Mortgages and Wealth/Premier teams. Oli is extremely passionate about facilitating growth in her colleagues, improving customer engagement and driving a wider societal impact in HSBC’s local communities and beyond. Diversity, equity and inclusion are really important to Oli and she was recently awarded an MBE for Services to Diversity in the Financial Services sector. Oli is also a big sponsor for Employee Resource Groups, allowing her to push forward an area that she is so passionate about and which forms part of the legacy she is building.
Vinay Ramkumar began his journey at Avanade 12 years ago as a Consultant, working his way to becoming both a Director and Head of Infrastructure Consulting where he now oversees a diverse department of more than 240 employees, of which 40% belong to ethnic minorities. Vinay’s dedication to personal and professional development serves as a shining example for others. He actively creates growth opportunities, leading an impactful Early Talent programme that nurtures and empowers employees to realise their full and true potential. Through promoting inclusive work socials and encouraging employees to be their authentic selves, Vinay has cultivated a harmonious workplace culture.
Jay Rohman’s journey from a challenging background to becoming a trailblazer in promoting inclusion and diversity is truly inspiring. With a passion for procurement, Jay has excelled in his career and currently serves as the Head of IT Sourcing at Lloyds Banking Group. As the inclusion and diversity lead for the department, Jay has implemented programmes focused on driving colleague diversity and has launched a Supplier Diversity Programme that champions under-represented businesses into the supply chain. Jay’s dedication and accomplishments have garnered recognition, his expertise has led to numerous invitations for panel discussions and he has been recognised as one of the top 50 Ethnicity Role Models in the bank.
Diversity and mobility were the defining aspects of Rakesh Thakrar’s life when he was growing up. Part of a Ugandan Asian family, he spent his early years in Hong Kong, before moving to Leicester when he was eight years old. Rakesh credits his family’s hardworking example for giving him the work ethic that has helped shaped his career. After graduating from the University of Warwick with a BSc in Economics, he worked at Canada Life for three years before joining Phoenix 22 years ago. Since being promoted to Group CFO in 2020, Rakesh has used his senior position to help others follow his path. He passionately believes in seeing the whole person, and works tirelessly to champion diversity and inclusion across the organisation.