The Workplace Hero award will go to a diversity champion who is able to exhibit that they have worked passionately to move the dial on the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Agenda within their workplace.


Head of Threat Intelligence, Global Security


Alan is an experienced business leader in geopolitical risk, business intelligence and physical security who partners closely with internal clients to deliver strategic insights for their business problems. He and his team played a core role in shepherding Macquarie through its pandemic response. His other passion is driving change in the workplace to ensure everyone feels included and knows how to be an ally, through his role as co-chair of Fusion, Macquarie’s ethnic diversity employee network group. As co-chair, he helped grow membership, arrange race allyship workshops, ESEA heritage month and support colleagues’ BAME recruitment and Black History Month initiatives.

WH Ifrah Samanter


Corporate Affairs Professional


A refugee from Mogadishu, Ifrah was raised in The Netherlands, developing strong views for equal rights and workplace inclusivity which has led her to make a mark in the PR industry as a Somalian, Muslim woman.

During her time as a member of Openreach’s Ethnic Diversity Network (EDN), Ifrah has chosen to be part of the solution, ensuring that as a company they’re encouraging a more diverse workplace and unlocking access to a much greater network of BAME talent. She has created and launched an internal newsletter for EDN to empower and amplify the voice of her diverse colleagues



Territory Manager- Sports Medicine

Smith & Nephew

An ambitious and highly self-motivated individual with a success sales record with over 16 years in the medical sales industry in both pharmaceutical and medical devices. Implementing new products from launch to established solutions in both the NHS & private sector. More recently in sports medicine with Smith & Nephew. A former sports athlete, a strong team player with a competitive edge to breaking barriers, embedding change, optimizing new opportunities, adding value and achieving results. James was instrumental in challenging and embracing the need for change and a key member of the UNITY steering group @ Smith & Nephew.

WH Jed Khan


Director | Global Data & AI Partner Ecosystem Lead


Jed is Avanade’s Global Data & AI Partner Ecosystem Lead. Driven by his passion for equality, equity, and justice, Jed is a committed diversity advocate, amplifying key Inclusion messages and leading initiatives inside and outside of Avanade.


Jed is an active member of the Wellbeing team focused on Mental Health & Wellbeing and acts as the Executive Partner for the UK BAME Employee Network. Jed has supported panel discussions for Women’s ERG including Men as allies, BAME Recruitment Panel discussions, and supports business partners on LGBTQ+ events. Jed helped drive Avanade’s anti-bullying campaign focused on taking a stand against bullying in the workplace, and became Co-Chair for DiversAbility, Avanade’s Europe Disability Employee Network. Having Dyslexia and ADHD has motivated Jed to support others with visible & invisible disabilities, help them overcome challenges, and ensure Avanade is a safe place for everyone.

WH Kassiepic


Head of Digital Marketing


Kassie Siwo-Gasa is head of Digital Marketing at LGIM. She has worked in Investment Management marketing for over 10 years. Kassie is a firm believer in the power of technology to drive operational efficiencies, measure impact, prioritise and scale effort and enable better decision making. Kassie is co-chair of LGIM Culture Club (the LGIM Culture Awareness Employee Resource Group). Here, she works to nurture workplace inclusion through building awareness, recognition and celebration of different cultures. She believes in the power of dialogue, listening and creating safe spaces for both the minority and majority.

WH Sami Helapota


Police Constable

Surrey Police

As a Muslim in the post 9/11 world, Sami grew up scared of the police. He used to stiffen up in fear seeing police officers and avoided eye contact in order to not draw attention. Yet, due to this fear he was intrigued to understand the police better. Having joined, he was amazed by how his views were largely unfounded and why so many in ethnic minority communities hold similar views. This now drives him to ensure the police are sensitive to BAME needs, have a nuanced approach and truly police by consent when it comes to BAME communities.



Student Talent Attraction & Acquisition Assistant Director


Shabrina is an Early Years Talent professional, with over 16 years experience in the Student Recruitment domain. A vocal supporter of all D&I issues, she champions the lived experiences of ethnic minority candidates and colleagues. Creating and delivering workshops across a range of allyship topics for the Talent function, Shabrina is a keen advocate of educating and inspiring others along their D&I journey and fosters a culture of inclusion and belonging. A member of the Institute of Student Employers D&I Taskforce, Shabrina is passionate about driving change across all industries and improving employment outcomes for students from all backgrounds.


WH Shahazad Khalid


Development Manager

Johnson and Johnson Medical UK

Shahazad Khalid was born in Huddersfield and raised in Glasgow. His parents are of Pakistani origin. Shahazad graduated from Strathclyde university with a BSc(Hon) in Biomedical Biotechnology and went on to study Bioinformatics and Gene technology at Kings College London. In 2011 Shahazad joined Johnson and Johnson. Whilst working at J&J, Shahazad found his passion in DEI, and in 2020 he joined the newly formed BAME ERG. His desire to drive the ERGs vision of inclusion and equity lead to him spearheading the development of a bespoke career support and development program for BAME employees. Shahazad has also been instrumental in raising the profile of BAME within the company and this has resulted in an increase in BAME Allies supporting the ERG and its initiatives.

WH Shamraz Begum


Co-Lead of Racial Equality Taskforce

NatWest Group

Sham has 20 years of experience within NatWest Group across several leadership roles. In 2019 Sham was elected to become one of the Global Co-chairs of the Multicultural Network driving the bank’s agenda on racial equality.


In 2020, in response to the events surrounding the death of George Floyd, She was appointed to Co-lead NatWest’s Racial Equality Taskforce to examine the key issues facing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues, customers and communities. The subsequent Banking on Racial Equality report resulted in 10 commitments focused on supporting colleagues, customers and communities, including specific targets on racial diverse recruitment. These commitments will change the landscape for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups in the bank forever. Sham is on a mission to challenge inequality and build a better future, one where the richness derived from diversity is valued, an inclusive society where everyone is given equal opportunity – a society where everyone thrives.

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Assurance & Controls Manager

Network Rail

I am an Assurance & Controls Manager at Network Rail. A determined, highly organised Project Manager with 17 years rail experience specialising in assurance, compliance and project controls. Before joining the railway, I worked in a variety of fields construction, engineering, manufacturing and telephony which has provided me solid leadership and developmental skills within diverse backgrounds. I have always been an advocate for diversity and inclusion and for Cultural Fusion for several years before joining the leadership team. Outside of work – Sonia supports her passion for mental health as a Samaritans volunteer and running a local stroke club.