Neil is the Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations in the Metropolitan Police Service and the senior officer in charge of counter terrorism policing in the UK. In a career spanning 26 years, Neil has been at the forefront of counter terrorism policing during an unprecedented shift in threat and has been instrumental in strengthening police capability, an increasing join-up with community policing, closer working with intelligence partners and an increase in preventative interventions to counter radicalisation. He has been commended ten times during his career for bravery, leadership and detective ability. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal (QPM) for distinguished service in 2016.
Arata was a project, programme & service management (PPSM) analyst at Accenture. Arata joined the firm in December 2015 after a series of contracting roles. She worked in Accenture’s technology practice and is aligned to the communications, media and technology division. Outside of her client-facing work, she was nominated for the ‘greater than’ awards for an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Accenture’s People Programmes Award’. She was the inclusion & diversity lead for the Technology Analyst Group, and also serves as the LGBT lead for the group. She has made significant contributions to Accenture’s LGBT work whilst courageously taking a UK role raising visibility for bisexual and transgender inclusion; and is open about her relationship with a transgender partner. She has acted as an Accenture ambassador for Student Pride and an active member of Accenture’s campus recruiting. She was active in the Accenture Christian group, and has spoken on internal panels exploring the intersection of LGBT and religion. She was a role model profiled on grad recruitment channels for her commitment to diversity and inclusion. Arata is now taking a career break to care for her son who has significant medical challenges.
Global Head of Client StrategyHSBC Global Asset Management Ltd
Brian joined JP Morgan in 1987 after graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in Economics. He spent a total of 13 years with JP Morgan in a variety of roles in Fixed Income Sales and Sales Management. His final role was Head of UK Fixed Income Sales.
In September 2000 he joined Bank of America as Head of UK Fixed Income Sales and became Head of EMEA Sales in 2002. In 2004 he became Head of International Sales.
Brian joined HSBC in October 2006 as Head of Global Markets Sales, EMEA. He joined the Global Markets Management Committee in November 2009. In May 2011 he was appointed Global Co-Head of the Financial Institutions Group, Global Banking and Markets and Global Head of FIG in April 2016. Brian was also a member of the HSBC Asset Management Board from June 2011 until March 2015. He was appointed to the role of Global Head of Client Strategy for the Asset Management business with effect from October 2016 and also was appointed Vice-Chairman (International) of the City Mental Health Alliance in December 2016.
Brian is married with 2 children.
Clive is one of the BBC’s most experienced foreign affairs correspondents, and is now an anchor and presenter based in London. He has served as the BBC’s Africa, Asia, Washington and Europe Correspondent, covering several major stories, including the wars in the former Yugoslavia, East Timor and Liberia, and the Palestine/Israeli conflict. He was also a prominent member of the BBC’s reporting and presenting team for the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has covered the administrations of three US Presidents, and reported on six US Presidential elections, including, most recently, anchoring coverage of the victory of Donald Trump. He also co-anchored the funeral of Nelson Mandela from Johannesburg. As well as Clive’s several awards and nominations from the television and broadcasting industry, he has an Honorary Doctorate from Staffordshire University.
Dawn was elected member of parliament for Brent South in May 2005, becoming the first elected African-Caribbean woman to become a government minister. She has served as MP for Brent Central since May 2015. Dawn started her career as a computer programmer and systems analyst. Her decision to enter politics arose from a deep-rooted commitment to address inequality. She continues to commit her time in parliament representing groups and people in society that are often underrepresented. In 2017, for example, Dawn became the first MP to sign a question in the House of Commons using British sign language, highlighting the need to give sign language full legal status. Dawn is also a passionate campaigner for young people, previously acting as minister for young citizens and youth engagement under Gordon Brown. She is currently serving as shadow minister for women and equalities.
Hector Minto has worked at the cutting edge of Assistive Technology (AT) for 20 years specializing in Alternative Communication (AAC) and Home Automation (EC) for people with physical and learning disabilities, most recently driving the growth and awareness of eyegaze technology across Europe.
Hector’s role at Microsoft as an Accessibility Evangelist sees him engaging across the European workforce and stakeholders to showcase inclusive design, product accessibility, the inclusive hiring program, role of disaibility employee resource groups and accessibility innovation. A critical part of Hector’s role is to learn from Microsoft customers how the company can continue to adapt to the changing needs of the diverse population they support, and to provide this feedback directly to the Microsoft product teams for ongoing improvement of the accessibility of their products, websites, and services.
Ira Read is Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Diageo plc and is based at their headquarters in London.
Ira has twenty years of HR experience in roles varying from business partnering, talent acquisition, talent management and inclusion and diversity.
Previously, Ira worked at Visa in communications and prior to that was an HR Director at Johnson Controls, a billion dollar US company and market leader in the field of smart buildings.
She began her career as a solicitor and worked in commercial property law before deciding to branch out into human resources. Ira was born in Zambia and lived there until the age of 4 when she moved to London.
Jay Muthu is the VP- Global Talent and Inclusion at Monster Worldwide. In his role he leads talent acquisition, development, engagement and inclusion globally for Monster. Jay has worked across several industries and organizations. Originally from India, Jay has lived in London for the past 5 years.
Jay is a passionate advocate of Inclusion at the work place and has influenced several meaningful changes in all his assignments. An area of inclusion he is extremely committed to is the inclusion of people with disabilities at the work place and society at large. He is a lifetime wheelchair user having had polio as an infant and believes that positive role modelling is essential to break stereotypes and pre conceived notions.
Jay has a broad range of interests including reading, sports, food and travel. He has been to almost 40 countries and lives by the credo, “one life do more”
Leendert is the vice president and general manager at Coca-Cola European Partners in Great Britain, a post he has held since 2014. A native of the Netherlands, Leendert was educated at Erasmus University in Rotterdam. He joined Coca-Cola from Young’s Seafood Ltd, where he was chief executive officer. Prior to that, Leendert was the UK managing director and chief marketing officer of its parent company, Findus Group. Earlier in his career, Leendert spent 15 years at Procter & Gamble in senior (marketing) positions, including leading their Global Household Cleaners business. Leendert was President of the Institute of Grocery Distribution (IGD) until January 2019. He is president of the British Soft Drinks Association (BSDA). In addition, Leendert was elected a member of the newly-established Food & Drinks Sector Council by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. The council is a formal industry partnership with Government to create a more productive and sustainable food and drink sector.
Manisha Mehrotra has an expansive track record in Diversity and Inclusion (D&I), Communications and Organisational Change. Currently Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Bloomberg LP, she brings innovation and tenacity to designing and delivering wide-ranging strategic D&I solutions that drive organisational change.
Prior to joining Bloomberg, Manisha worked at New York Life for 10 years. There, her career spanned Communications, Operations, Management, and Corporate Diversity & Inclusion, where she actively managed strategies to build and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Manisha is a mentor and coach to students and professionals, through a variety of programs and initiatives. She earned a Diversity Management Certificate from Cornell University, a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Communications from the University of Connecticut, and a Master of Business Administration from Cornell University.
Designer turned Brand Strategist, Marianne has worked in a number of leading creative agencies over the past 12 years. Her clients have included; Burberry, HSBC, and the Ministry of Defence.
In 2016, Marianne founded Think Designable an agency thought leadership collective. Their aim is to improve societies relationship with disability and difference by promoting inclusive product and service development and communication.
This initiative earned her a place on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list 2017, the Women Of The Future Award for Media 2017, A Woman of Tomorrow Award 2018, a place on the BIMA Hot 100 list 2018, as well as the Campaign 50 Trailblazers of the Future list 2018.
Marianne is also the UK Government Disability Sector Champion for Brand & Design.
Matthew Syed is one of the world’s most influential thinkers and speakers in the field of high performance and has worked with many leading organisations to build a mindset of continuous improvement. He is the author of five bestselling books on the subject of mindset and high performance – Bounce, Black Box Thinking, The Greatest, and his acclaimed children’s books, You Are Awesome and The You Are Awesome Journal. Matthew is also a multi-award-winning journalist for The Times and a regular contributor to television and radio. In his previous career, he was the England table tennis number one for almost a decade.
In his bold and inspiring new book (September 2019) – Rebel Ideas: The Power of Diverse Thinking - Matthew argues that individual intelligence is no longer enough; that the only way to tackle these complex problems is to harness the power of 'cognitive diversity'. He uncovers the best-kept secrets of some of the world's most successful teams; brings insights from psychology, anthropology and network theory; and draws upon a dazzling range of intriguing case-studies.
Matthew’s work explores a thought-provoking approach to high performance in the context of a complex and fast-changing world. By understanding the intimate connection between mindset and high performance, organisations can unlock untapped potential in individuals and teams, driving innovation and agility to secure a future-proofed environment. A TEDx video of Matthew speaking about growth mindset can be viewed on YouTube.
Matthew is also co-founder of Matthew Syed Consulting (MSC); the company has worked with an impressive portfolio of clients to build growth mindset cultures and drive higher performance in individuals, teams and organisations. Matthew Syed Consulting’s cutting-edge thought leadership programme and digital learning tools are becoming a catalyst for real and lasting change within business and the public sector.
Matthew also works very closely with the education sector to help improve mindsets in schools and young people. He is co-founder of the charity Greenhouse Sports as well as an ambassador for the PiXL Educational Foundation.
Narind is a Partner in the Financial Institutions Group at international law firm Clifford Chance, specialising in banking and insurance mergers & acquisitions. He joined the firm in 2001 as a trainee having studied Law at Cambridge University and he became a partner in 2011.
Narind is the partner champion and senior sponsor for the firm’s LGBT+ network and a mental health advocate. He has been responsible for leading LGBT+ initiatives in the firm for a number of years, supporting the wide range of programmes that have seen Clifford Chance move up the Stonewall Equality index to 4th place. He helped establish the "straight allies" network and regularly speaks internally and externally at events, particularly on the intersectionality of ethnicity and mental health in LGBT+ communities. He mentors LGBT+ lawyers and works closely with LGBT+ networks at clients. Narind takes part in a number of pro bono initiatives including leading the team that is taking HM Passport Office to court for not including a non-gender specific marker in passport applications. Narind regularly appears on the Financial Times OUTstanding Top 100 LGBT+ executives list. He is a Stonewall ambassador, a Governor of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, a Trustee of charity Shivia (furthering economic empowerment in West Bengal) and a Friend of the Terrence Higgins Trust.
Poppy is a mental health advocate, national policy advisor and social entrepreneur. She is the CEO and co-founder of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England which has grown from a small government project into a commercially successful community interest company recognised last year as one of the fastest growing SMEs in Europe. After briefing the prime minister on MHFA, the secretary of state named Poppy one of England’s mental health experts. She was awarded an OBE in 2018 in recognition of her services to people with mental health issues. Poppy is also the CEO of the City Mental Health Alliance (CMHA), a coalition of city businesses working to increase the understanding of mental health issues and to create a culture of good mental health in the city. She is a non-executive director on the board of Public Health England.
Professor Binna Kandola is Senior Partner at Pearn Kandola. He is acknowledged as an expert in the topic of unconscious bias having been researching and writing about the topic for nearly 15 years. He has written extensively about bias and most recently published Racism at Work: The Danger of Indifference.
His work challenges orthodox thinking in the field of diversity and inclusion. He is invited to speak at conferences regularly most recently to speak at the Biased Science event at the Royal Institution.
He has worked with senior leadership teams in many organisations including Citigroup, AXA, Rio Tinto, UBS, Cabinet Office, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Ravi is the chief people officer at the Department for International Development (DFID), holding responsibility for people, operations, IT and systems, estates and change. He was previously the HR director at HM Revenue and Customs with responsibility for workforce management of its 69,000 staff. He led the work on reforming the workforce to deliver the department’s blueprint ambitions for the future. Passionate about diversity, Ravi has previously worked as the director responsible for capability, talent and diversity at the Home Office. He was awarded a CBE in 2011 for his dedicated work on inclusion and diversity which led to the Home Office reaching the gold standard against a number of external diversity benchmarks. Ravi is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. He was awarded the Queen’s Police Medal in 2002 for distinguished service.
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 Oct 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 https://issuu.com/elevationetworks/docs/nv_final_list
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 over 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 now chairs the MoJ’s Diverse Leaders Taskforce in support of the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy. After 35yrs at the MoJ, Rob moved to the Department for Education in April 2019 to lead the Culture Change & Leadership Unit on the Transformation & Digital Directorate.
Rob has been a Trustee with RELATE for ten years and also volunteers as the Social Media Director with the Reach Society.
Rob was awarded an OBE in the 2018 New Year’s Honours list for ‘Services to Race Equality in the workplace and the community’ and received his gong from the Queen at Buckingham Palace in May 2018. Later in the same year Rob became the inaugural winner of Investing in Ethnicity’s Workplace Hero Award in November 2018 before successfully graduating from the Civil Service Future Leaders Scheme in January 2019.
Rob lives with his wife and their two children in Harrow.
Salman Amin was appointed CEO of pladis, the global snacking company behind iconic brands including McVitie’s, GODIVA and Ulker, in February 2019.
His experience spans over 30 years working for some of the world’s largest FMCG companies including SC Johnson, where he served as Chief Operating Officer of the Global Commercial Division with overall leadership responsibility for the commercial organisation, and before that as the Chief Operating Officer of North American Markets.
Prior to his roles at SC Johnson, Salman worked for PepsiCo for 17 years. He held various roles including the position of President of PepsiCo UK & Ireland and Global Chief Marketing Officer. Earlier in his career he also spent 10 years at Procter & Gamble in brand management, working in the United States, Germany, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland.
Shailesh is executive editor of Asian Media Group (AMG). He has 30 years' experience in journalism, overseeing a raft of leading titles, including Eastern Eye, Garavi Gujarat, Asian Trader, Pharmacy Business, Asian Hospitality as well as the Asian Rich List and GG2 Power List. An economics graduate, Shailesh has chronicled the Asian community in the UK and US for nearly three decades. He has a strong interest in diversity, inclusion and integration sitting on the board of the think tank British Future and is an advisor to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on their south Asian strategy.
Shamil Thakrar co-founded Dishoom in 2010. Dishoom now has five sites in London, one in Edinburgh and one in Manchester and employs over 900 people. Before 2010, he had, amongst other things, been a management consultant for 5 years and worked in the food industry for 8 years. Shamil and the Dishoom team care enormously about creating beautiful and democratic shared spaces which pay homage to the old Irani cafés of Bombay. They also care deeply about creating a company which is an awesome place to work. The Sunday Times ranked Dishoom #19 in its ‘100 Best UK Companies To Work For’ list in 2019. Dishoom was also voted Most Admired Brand by leading operators in the 2018 Peach Heroes and Icons awards, given the Best Concept award in the 2018 Retailers’ Retailer Awards and the Best Small Group award from the Good Food Guide UK in 2017.
Vanessa Kingori MBE has worked for media publishing house, Conde Nast UK for a decade.
In September 2017, she was appointed Publishing Director of all British Vogue platforms. This makes Vanessa the first female publisher of the company's flagship brand in its over 100-year history. Vanessa is the first person of colour in the role and Conde Nast UK's youngest serving Publisher.
Vanessa began her role as Publishing Director of British Vogue in January 2018. In her first year as Vogue’s Publishing Director, Vanessa helped lead the team to its most successful digital revenue in the website’s 30-year history, nearly doubling revenue year-on-year, simultaneously maintaining British Vogue’s large print revenue, as well as leading the team to an increase of 750% in profits year-on-year for British Vogue events.
Vanessa’s role at Vogue has involved a significant shift in the brand’s purpose and working practices with an emphasis on diversity of perspective, social responsibility and female empowerment.
Prior to British Vogue, Vanessa was Publisher of British GQ across all platforms. Again, marking several firsts for the company.
Following this appointment in 2015, Vanessa gave particular focus to building GQ’s digital fortunes whilst simultaneously growing and maintaining the print elements of the GQ Portfolio. A method she has since used in her role at British Vogue.
2016 marked her first full year as Publisher and GQ’s most successful year of revenue generation of the last decade. After significant changes in management, restructuring her largely print heritage team, digital revenue performance peaked, up 115% year-on-year. GQ won several digital commercial awards externally and internally including the Conde Nast International award for the best digital native advertising performance across all CN global brands whilst maintaining print revenues.
Vanessa has a keen interest in youth development and in her longstanding role as Visiting Fellow at the University of the Arts London, Vanessa supports students through panel discussions, project evaluations and mentoring. She has sat on the judging panel of the Black British Business Awards since 2015 with a personal emphasis on rising stars and businesses focused on the arts and media.
Vanessa's extensive networks saw her listed as one of the UK's 20 Most Influential Black Britons under 40 in 2013 by the Powerlist magazine. This was elevated to the overall Most Influential Black Briton’s list on each of the 2016 - 2019 lists.
Vanessa was awarded an MBE on the Queen's 90th Birthday Honours Lists 2016, making her the first Conde Nast UK Publisher to have received a Royal Honour. In the same year she was awarded 2016's 'Leader in Luxury' at the Walpole British Luxury awards.
In May 2018, the Financial Times listed Vanessa in the 100 ethic minority business leaders making British workplaces more diverse on their 'EMpower 100 Ethic Minority Leaders' list. Vanessa was listed as 2nd in the list of 100.
In July 2018, Vanessa was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from UAL for her services to the media and fashion industries. In the same year, Vanessa was placed onto The Female FTSE Board Report 2018 - 100 Women to Watch list.