NATIONAL GRID - TOP 10 WORKPLACE HEROES

OE National Grid
WH Bianca Mason

BIANCA MASON

Mason is one of the Co-chairs of investment company Abrdn’s employee-led network, which is focused on ethnicity and multi-culturalism. Born to Jamaican immigrant parents, Mason comes from a family that has a diverse cultural and ethnic background. Championing ethnicity and multiculturalism across the US in her role as Chair, Mason has worked closely with executive leadership to improve diversity and inclusion. Alongside this, she has brought her unique perspective and global mind-set to collaborating across regions and diversity characteristics. Her dedication, tireless inclusion and challenging of ideas has led to the Unity network being in its strongest position to the background of company rebranding.

 

WH El Kanagavel

EL KANAGAVEL

Kanagavel is the driving force behind marketing solutions company Dentsu’s Ethnic Minority ERG, Represent, which continues to ensure that race and ethnicity policy is at the forefront of their business strategy. He acts as an advisor and sounding board to HR and the leadership team to influence and impact activities affecting their community. Under Kanagavel’s stewardship, Represent enables honest and invaluable discussion that has given underrepresented individuals a voice, ensuring they are seen and listened to (e.g. team-organised listening lounges following the racial abuse of footballers at last year’s Euros). Kanagavel’s leadership and engagement has delivered the successful uptake of reverse mentoring programmes across the UK and countless events to raise awareness of topics that matter. In January, Kanagavel was instrumental in the launch of a flexible bank holiday policy, which allowed employees to swap holidays to reflect their own belief systems and ‘celebrate who they are’.

WH Johanna Copol

JOHANNA COPOL

Copol is EMEA Co-chair of investment bank BNY Mellon’s multicultural Business Resource Group, Impact. Consistently demonstrating one of the company’s core values, strength in diversity, Copol is committed to educating herself and others on DEI and consistently promotes a culture of inclusion through courageous and candid conversations. As a well-connected spokesperson for DEI, she has been leading and supporting the group in delivering initiatives focused on advocacy, the promotion of inclusive leadership, recruitment, the retention of diverse talent and community outreach.

WH Mandy Mayers

MANDY MAYERS

Mayers has worked within the Programme Acquisitions team (bought series and feature films across the platform) at Channel 4 for the last 20 years as a Programme Finance Manager. Co-Chair of The Collective, C4’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic ERG and a strong believer in authenticity, Mayers has been across many areas of the business for 2021’s Black to Front project. She has boldly challenged language and actions deemed derogatory and/or ’othering’ and continues to inspire change, encouraging improvements in current Channel 4 culture by brokering solutions with action, aiming for ALL staff feeling heard, secure, safe and seen.

Ramesh Pani

RAMESH PANI

Pani is a Senior Associate at Ashurst LLP and has been a lead member of the multiculturalism and Black, Asian and minority ethnic networks during his time at the firm, most recently leading a pilot client-facing reverse-mentoring programme. He is co-chair of Noticed, an inter-law firm diversity network that aims to promote networking, collaboration and thought leadership across the legal sector. Pani is also an alumnus of the Pathway to Success political and civil leadership programme organised by Operation Black Vote in collaboration with the House of Commons and Oxford University’s Magdalen College and the Blavatnik School of Government.

REESHA SINIARA

After growing up in Leicester, Siniara graduated from the University of Sheffield with degrees in English Literature (BA) and Management (MSc) before kicking off her career in the telecommunications industry with Openreach, firstly in operations and now in culture and engagement. Passionate about all things D&I, Siniara is part of Openreach’s Ethnic Diversity Network (EDN). Guided by her own personal experiences and challenges, she brings stories to life through simplicity, championing minority voices across the company as well as actively challenging business leaders to think differently about how they operate to create more inclusive environments for people to thrive.

WH Ronke Phillips

RONKE PHILLIPS

Phillips’s career as a journalist includes stints in print, radio and television, as a presenter and reporter in both national and regional media, in the UK and abroad. She is currently Senior Correspondent at ITV London working on big investigations and breaking stories, including key investigations impacting the Black community and other national issues. In May, she was appointed as ITN’s first Editorial Diversity Partner, a new role working across their three newsrooms – ITV News, Channel 4 News and 5 News – and ITN Productions. The position is rooted within editorial teams and aims to support ITN’s commitment to developing the careers of journalists from underrepresented groups into middle and senior editorial roles in news and production.

WH Tolu Falade

TOLU FALADE

Falade has 10 years of experience in the energy industry and is a former Powerful Media Top 100 Future Leader. A tireless advocate for D&I, he leads BP’s Positively Ethnic Network (PEN) and has been instrumental in growing it to more than 800 members, leading several sessions with key stakeholders and C-suite leaders towards progressing commitments in line with BP’s Framework for Action. Falade also chairs the AFBE Ethnic Leaders Network, creating a forum for adopting best practices in the engineering sector. As Co-chair of BP’s wellbeing network, he actively advocates for policies and initiatives to improve wellbeing in the offshore workforce.

WH Tonie Odeniyi

TONIE ODENIYI

Odeniyi is a Senior Business Manager at Amazon Web Services where he leads a specialist team that focus on helping public sector customers across EMEA modernise their IT infrastructure with cloud services. He co-founded the UK’s corporate chapter of the Black Employee Network (BEN) in 2017 to support Amazon’s goal of becoming a more diverse and inclusive employer, while also showcasing the organisation as a great place for Black talent to build their careers. Odeniyi is currently the Co-Chair for BEN UK, and has been instrumental in creating a range of annual flagship events, including a recruiting event for students of Black heritage at Notting Hill Carnival and Black History Month celebrations. More recently, BEN UK brought Windrush Day celebrations to Amazon for the first time. Odeniyi represents BEN UK on various discussion panels and works with other leaders to influence policies and make Amazon a diverse, inclusive and equitable place to work.

WH Zee Botchway

ZEE BOTCHWAY

Botchway is a Senior Procurement Manager at Wickes and in 2018 she launched the Raising Awareness and Action on Culture and Ethnicity (RAACE) colleague network. Botchway’s key focus areas of the RAACE network are celebrating and educating her colleagues on race and ethnicity, shining a light on ethnic communities and supporting existing and new colleagues’ progress into senior leadership positions. She has established three major events: the , South Asian Heritage Month and Black History Month. Botchway has influenced change to the recruitment policy to promote inclusion of ethnically diverse candidates on interview shortlists, increasing ethnic minority representation at senior leadership, executive and PLC board levels.