The 2019 HERoes Women Role Model Executives list celebrates 100 women who are leading by example and driving change to increase gender diversity in the workplace.
These executives work within at least three levels from the chief executive at large companies, or are the leaders of smaller organisations.
All of the executives — who must identify as a woman at work but can be any nationality and based in any country — were nominated by peers and colleagues, or put themselves forward. Nominations were then reviewed by the HERoes judging panel who scored each person on the influence of their role, their impact on women inside and outside the workplace, and their business achievements.
1) Nicola Mendelsohn - Facebook EMEA vice president
Nicola has been instrumental in creating an inclusive culture at Facebook across the EMEA region by bringing awareness to Facebook’s impactful, diversity and inclusion initiatives and programmes.
She advances the work highlighted in the annual Diversity Report 2019, now in its sixth year, and increasing recruitment of people from underrepresented groups, through initiatives such as “Diverse Slate” recruitment and internal resource groups. Nicola promotes flexible working and launched BackHer, designed in partnership with Creative Equals, which supports women returning to work. She implemented Managing Bias training and Be the Ally courses across her region, and launched, and is executive sponsor of, Facebook EMEA’s Business Resource Groups (BRG), Women@ and Black@.
Nicola has also built a successful women in leadership development programme across EMEA. This programme reaches out to staff, charities, school children and partner organisations through events, such as Balance for Better, celebrating women in Dubai.
Externally, Nicola launched #SheMeansBusiness in seven markets across EMEA to empower women to start their own businesses by giving them access to advice, support networks, partnerships and events. Previously, Nicola chaired the Women’s Aid Development board and was the first female president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, where she launched the Women of Tomorrow awards and the Creative Pioneers apprenticeship programme. She also served as director for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.
2) Farmida Bi - Norton Rose Fulbright chair, Europe, Middle East and Asia
Farmida is a debt capital markets and Islamic finance partner at Norton Rose Fulbright, and has been European Head of Islamic Finance since 2011. In May 2018, she became Chair of Norton Rose Fulbright LLP (responsible for Europe, Middle East and Asia) after being elected by her peers, the first woman and the first ethnic minority to hold this position.
Her responsibilities include chairing the firm’s Partnership and Audit committees and reviewing the firm’s global business plan, but she has also taken the lead on developing the firm’s diversity and inclusion initiatives and is partner sponsor and steering group member for the firm’s women’s network and a mentor in the firm’s Career Strategies Programme (which aims to improve retention of female and ethnic minority associates and encourage them to enter the partnership) as well as being involved in its LGBT+ and faith networks.
Farmida continues to do fee earning work in debt capital markets and Islamic finance, and has been active in promoting the firm’s pro bono work (after advising on the world’s first Humanitarian Impact Bond for the International Committee of the Red Cross in 2017, which was done on a pro bono basis).
Externally, Farmida is involved in many initiatives promoting inclusion for women, including participating in the Prime Minister’s roundtable on diversity at 10 Downing Street; participating in the Law Society’s Women in Law Leadership Symposiums; and sponsoring and hosting the mother/daughter mentoring programme for Mosaic (part of the Prince’s Trust).
Exclusive Yahoo Finance UK interview: How Farmida Bi is blazing a trail for women in the legal industry
3) Karen Blackett - WPP UK country manager
Karen is an established leader who champions diversity of all types. In 2012, Karen launched an apprenticeship scheme for 18-24 year olds at MediaCom, the first of its kind in the industry. Karen developed Inclusion@MediaCom, where external speakers are invited to share life stories, acting as role models.
Karen championed a Women Returners programme with the organisation Successful Mums, and launched Project Blend with the help of Open Blend, focusing on helping everyone reach their true potential blending work with life. Karen introduced a female empowerment programme at MediaCom in 2014 with Shine4women.
Karen is a mentor, both internally and externally, as well as taking part in reverse mentoring schemes. Karen helped launch the Our Time initiative, a mentoring programme for London Mayor, Sadiq Khan at City Hall. She is a member of Women in Advertising and Communications London (WACL) and part of their Gather committee.
In her new role as WPP Country Manager, Karen is helping to drive through change by creating a UK Inclusion Board with programmes focused on reverse mentoring, cultural inclusion and a leadership exchange programme. Karen was appointed as one of four external advisors to help diversify the Civil Service. Karen is also a Business Ambassador for the Department of International Trade. In the past year, Karen has been named as one of the most influential women in Britain by Vogue 25 and as the Prime Minister’s Race at Work Champion.
4) Terecina Kwong - HSBC China chief operating officer
Alongside being COO of HSBC China, Terecina established the BALANCE network in 2018 to drive gender diversity and support the recruitment, development and engagement of a gender-balanced workforce. Through the network, Terecina organised a series of themed events, inviting keynote speakers and panellists from internal senior executives and external advocates.
She has facilitated knowledge exchange sessions with high potential female talent and mentors colleagues from around the world. As of May 2019, the percentage of women in senior leadership positions at HSBC China has reached 46%.
Beyond HSBC, Terecina has participated in corporate sustainability activities, with a focus on equipping underprivileged women and teachers with financial management knowledge and supporting the learning and growth of local women and children in underprivileged locations. She is passionate about equipping these groups with knowledge to increase their competitiveness in cities, and leads a donation of computers to remote parts of China to aid education.
She also works with external professional women’s communities, participating in and speaking at events aimed at bringing about balance in the workplace.
5) Harriet Green - IBM Asia Pacific CEO and chairman
Harriet is a key executive sponsor of Women@IBM, IBM’s own 90,000-strong social community for women. The community directs women to the training, resources and materials they need to progress their careers, and creates a network of women who can share tips, insights and support.
Within one month of starting work in Asia Pacific Harriet championed the “Advancing Women’s Leadership” initiative in India to improve diversity and inclusion. In January, Harriet was appointed to Singapore’s Economic Development Board, becoming the first female industry board member and resourcing committee member.
Harriet pioneered the second annual inclusive suite of events in Singapore around International Women’s Day, under the theme #BeEqual. Harriet led a live-streamed panel session to 2,500 IBMers to answer tough questions, leading to overwhelmingly positive feedback on attendees’ trust in IBM’s support of an equal and inclusive workplace.
Externally, Harriet regularly speaks at events focused on women in business, including Australia’s very first International Women’s Forum event, addressing the role of AI in the advancement of diversity and inclusion and the elimination of unconscious bias. A regular commentator on LinkedIn and in live media, Harriet has drawn attention to women-specific issues including gender diversity and inclusiveness in the workplace.
6) Leena Nair - Unilever chief HR officer
In Leena’s tenure, Unilever’s female representation at managerial levels and above, has moved from 38% to 49% in the last 8 years. Their ambitious programme includes metrics-led governance and a robust repeatable model to drive the recruitment, development and retention of women at Unilever.
Their holistic efforts have been recognised by multiple bodies including by BITC and they consistently feature on the Times Top 50 Employers for women in the UK. Some of the key initiatives that have made this possible focus on investing in the development of their people, maternity and paternity support, agile working policies, putting a focus on women in STEM, and minimising bias through integrating behavioural science.
Externally, Leena’s personal mission is to inspire 5 Million women with the message of what is possible when they apply themselves to their dreams. She speaks at every possible opportunity to groups of young women and business leaders on the importance of inclusion.
She has driven the participation of Unilever in the HeforShe UN campaign and they are one of the 10 Impact ambassadors for the programme. Leena also serves on the World Economic Forum Steering Committee on the Future of Education, Gender and Work.
7) Hannah Grove - State Street Corporation chief marketing officer
Hannah is a founder of Leading Women, a group established nine years ago comprising State Street’s female executive vice presidents. Their mission is to advance and sponsor senior women across the organisation with the proviso that they pay it forward to junior colleagues.
Additionally, she is a global advisory board member of State Street’s Professional Women’s Network, the company’s largest employee resource group. As a member of State Street’s Management Committee, its most senior policy making and strategy group, she has advanced new multi-year gender diversity goals with the objective of making the company best in class for diversity.
Externally, Hannah served as a board member, and ultimately president, of the Women’s Lunch Place, a shelter for disadvantaged women and children in Boston. While there she established a library and resource centre for guests to access job skills and career support. She is a decade long supporter of the Massachusetts Conference for Women, and speaks regularly at events to share career advice and advocate for more women in the finance industry.
As a Big Cheese Reader with Boston Partners in Education, she reads in public schools to encourage young women to enter STEM track careers. Hannah regularly speaks at events and publishes blogs encouraging companies to evaluate candidates on capabilities more than on experiences in an effort to improve female representation in the industry.
8) Inbal Lavi - Webpals Group CEO
As CEO of Webpals Group, Inbal has ensured that 50% of the 400-strong team is female, which grows at senior management level to 67%. Inbal’s team works with partner organisations to connect female candidates to Hi-tech companies.
Webpals measures and presents its gender equality figures internally to the entire staff and externally through a variety of media encouraging other companies to make gender parity an important issue on their agendas. Inbal’s team works to ensure women are supported on returning from maternity leave, often receiving a promotion and new challenges to look forward to.
Inbal has recently shared Webpals’ story as a case study on cracking gender equality in the private sector at the Commission on the Status of Women in the United Nations. Inbal has partnered with Parliament 51 to share Webpals’ success and influence others, leading to Nokia Israel adopting the Webpals model of promoting women during pregnancy.
Inbal has also taken part in various events, sharing her personal story to inspire young women from different backgrounds in the high-tech sector, with Israel Mass-challenge, Intango, Tsofen, LeadWith and more.
9) Jennifer Rademaker - Mastercard executive vice president of global customer delivery
As an executive woman leading a global technical function at Mastercard, Jennifer is responsible for the end-to-end technical implementation of Mastercard’s products and services worldwide.
She is an active advocate for advancing women globally. Upon joining Mastercard in 2007, she established an internal European Women’s Leadership Network to drive career advancement for European women. Reaching women in 18 offices across Europe, she led a programme of events to educate and empower women.
Now located in the United States, she focuses her efforts on developing and empowering the technical women in her organisation. She established a global ‘Women in Delivery’ group, to provide coaching to technical women to help them succeed in largely male-dominated environments, and to build a support network.
Outside of Mastercard, Jennifer serves as a mentor for the 30% Club, and is a member of the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross in Greater New York, where her work includes mentoring a high potential American Red Cross female employees. She also represents Mastercard externally as an advocate for women, speaking at the 2018 Women in the World event in New York and Chatham House forums on gender and economic growth.
10) Melanie Richards - KPMG deputy chair
Melanie works with her fellow board members to drive KPMG’s strategic direction and works alongside KPMG’s highest-profile clients and key stakeholders, including regulators, industry bodies and the public sector. She has personally driven a wide range of programmes designed to advance inclusion in the workplace.
Melanie chairs KPMG’s Inclusive Leadership Board (ILB), which includes external representation and provides a check and challenge to the executive teams and works to ensure that the firm embeds inclusion and diversity into its strategy.
She is the senior sponsor for ‘GROW’ – KPMG’s award-winning leadership development programme, designed to advance minority groups, including women, to senior positions. In addition, Melanie continues to mentor women both within and outside the firm, sharing her knowledge and helping them to build their networks and progress their careers.
Externally, she has driven KPMG’s Senior Business Women Network for over 10 years – a market-leading group of successful women who gather frequently to discuss business issues and build networks. Melanie is one of the founding members of the 30% Club Steering Committee, and member of the Hampton-Alexander Review steering committee. Melanie uses her platform as a business leader to make equality a reality not just within KPMG, but across society more broadly too.
11) Brenda Trenowden - PwC partner
Brenda has more than 25 years of experience in capital markets, investment and relationship banking, with sector expertise in financial institutions. She is also a strong advocate for women’s economic empowerment and has been recognised with several awards for her global campaigning for greater gender balance across organisations as a voluntary, business-led imperative.
In her previous appointment at ANZ Europe, she led Responsible Business efforts for Europe and the Americas and all gender diversity initiatives. In 2015 Brenda was appointed Global Chair of the 30% Club, where she works closely with leading Chairs and CEOs around the world to increase the representation of women in senior roles and throughout organisations.
For the last two years she has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Finance by Financial News, and is also a regular contributor to the FT City Network, a panel of 50 of the City of London’s most influential individuals.
Brenda is also an advisor to the UK Government’s Hampton-Alexander Review for increasing the representation of women in the executive level of the FTSE 350. She is a trustee of the EY Foundation and a non-executive director of the England and Wales Cricket Board. Brenda has recently taken up a new role within PwC’s People & Organisation consulting practice.
12) Sue Unerman - MediaCom chief transformation officer
Sue has driven change internally, and MediaCom has introduced gender equality targets for recruitment, promotion and appointment boards. MediaCom’s median pay gap has dropped significantly, and Sue continues to fight for its eradication.
In the last year, Sue’s Glass Wall Network for diversity and inclusion has had four very highly attended events, including a cross-industry panel entitled ‘Where are all the men?’. As co-host of the MediaCom Connected Podcast, Sue ensures that they feature strong female leaders in interviews, including all of their internal female leaders and inspirational women from outside MediaCom.
She has also launched a transformation consultancy, Theobalds Road Consulting, staffed exclusively by women.
In 2016 Sue wrote a book with co-author Kathryn Jacob: ‘The Glass Wall, success strategies for women at work and businesses that mean business’. It is a business book best seller, now reprinted in a new edition. Since publication she has given over 200 talks at businesses, and published numerous blogs on LinkedIn. Sue has now created a new proposal for a book aimed at driving the equality agenda still further, this time aimed at men as a guide to championing diversity
13) Francesca McDonagh - Bank of Ireland group chief executive
Shortly after joining Bank of Ireland as CEO in October 2017, Francesca articulated her ambition to enable customers, colleagues and communities to thrive by supporting a diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda. She appointed the CFO as executive sponsor for D&I, thereby demonstrating her commitment with both executive directors fronting the diversity agenda.
Francesca launched a 50:50 public commitment for all senior appointments by 2021, which has also heralded a sense of ambition for upcoming female talent. The bank has delivered a female talent accelerator programme, and Francesca has introduced “Modern Ways of Working,” allowing greater flexibility to those with outside responsibilities. She initiated a returners’ network and has spoken at the bank’s Role Model lunch series on gender diversity.
Outside of her regular work, within the last year Francesca has given the keynote speech at the 30% Club annual conference, also ensuring that the Bank of Ireland actively supported and embraced the pilot ‘Board Ready Programme for Senior Female Executives’ run by the 30% Club.
She has supported a number of ‘100 Women In Finance’ events, welcomed the ‘Fearless Girl’ to the Bank of Ireland, penned an OpEd for the Irish Independent and welcomed the Minister of Finance to the bank to present the Balance for Better Business first annual report.
14) Emer Timmons - Brightstar chief marketing officer and president of strategic sales
Emer acts as an advocate for gender equality, consistently making it a positive regular board level agenda item. She allocates time to act as both a mentor, and importantly a sponsor, to women at all levels to ensure a healthy pipeline of successful female talent. She does this through networking events, ensuring gender balanced shortlists for prominent roles, raising the profile of talented women and speaking regularly at events.
She works with SoftBank Vision Fund to deliver their strategic engagement programme and support entrepreneurial women. Emer also uses her position to encourage more young women to work in IT, opening them to the possibilities of a STEM career. She replicates this work at PaddyPower Betfair PLC where she is a non-executive director and also as an ambassador for the Royal Marines Business Liaison Group.
A member of the UK government Women’s Business Council since 2013, Emer has represented the UK at the UN Commission on the Status of Women Globally in NYC in 2014, and has been asked to address the UN again in 2019.
She created the Men as Change Agents (MACA) board in 2015 and, this year, designed the MACA Academy professional development programme for senior businesswomen who have the potential to fill a CXO role within the next 3 years.
15) Dr Funke Abimbola MBE - Cycle Pharmaceuticals Limited general counsel
Funke is the most senior black lawyer within the UK’s pharmaceutical industry. She joined Cambridge-based Cycle Pharmaceuticals in July, becoming a member of the global leadership team with strategic responsibility for providing legal and compliance leadership of the company’s global operations.
She is a global diversity champion. In March 2019, Funke was appointed as a Champion for Action as part of Grant Thornton International’s global diversity campaign, challenging gender-based barriers to career progression including recruitment bias.
As part of the Law Society’s Women in Law Group, she contributed to the success of the largest ever international survey of its kind, resulting in the Law Society’s ‘Influencing for impact’ report with practical recommendations for increasing gender diversity across the global legal profession. Funke provides mentoring and sponsorship to support a pipeline of diverse talent and holds a number of non-exec roles within the diversity space.
She has a grassroots approach to driving change and provides talks to approximately 2,000 school children annually. A regular media contributor for the BBC, Funke has been filmed for the First 100 Years Project celebrating 100 years of achievements by prominent women in law. She is also a notable alumni of her alma mater, Newcastle University, and was awarded an MBE for services to diversity in the legal profession and to young people in 2017. In September 2019, she received an honorary doctorate from the University of Hertfordshire, recognising her significant contributions to corporate and social diversity.
16) Alison Rose - RBS Deputy CEO, NatWest Holdings CEO of commercial and private banking
Alison is passionate about achieving gender balance at RBS and is executive sponsor for the bank’s employee-led networks, including those for women. Alison is championing action on RBS’s target to achieve gender balance by 2030 through development, networking and performance support. RBS’s networks have delivered unconscious bias training and Alison has introduced programmes supporting women returning to work.
Alison has insisted on a 50:50 gender split on each of RBS’s regional boards and she frequently engages with government officials and MPs on diversity. Alison is also involved in an RBS initiative in which Women in Business specialist bankers offer bespoke mentoring, networking and professional business advice to women-led and owned SMEs.
In September 2018, Alison led a review on behalf of the UK Government to identify barriers faced by women when starting a business and most importantly what can be done to overcome them. She set out a series of recommendations designed to deliver significant and co-ordinated action to ensure female entrepreneurs across the UK have ample opportunity.
As a result, the Prime Minister set out the government’s ambition to increase the number of female entrepreneurs by 50% by 2030, and numerous leading financial institutions are reviewing policies and products, and developing further investment opportunities for female entrepreneurs.
17) Emma Codd - Deloitte global special advisor on inclusion
In her previous role as managing partner for talent, Emma’s activities internally focused on changing the culture of the workplace, the gender pay gap, increasing the number of female partners and creating an inclusive atmosphere for all.
Since being appointed to the UK executive committee, she has driven significant change within the firm on gender parity. Emma led the design and implementation of Deloitte’s approach to agile working, including the award-winning Time Out programme and the firm’s gender balance action plan. She also launched the industry-leading “Return To Work” internship programme which to date has enabled almost 50 women to re-enter the workplace after a career break.
Emma established Deloitte’s approach to respect and inclusion, including devising and commissioning the multi-award winning film Ask Yourself… She also created the respect and inclusion advisor role, a group of 39 senior leaders from across the firm who provide all employees with a safe space to confidentially raise concerns and call out inappropriate behaviour. Emma acts as a formal and informal mentor and sponsor to many women, both within and outside the firm.
Externally, Emma is a regular speaker at events around gender diversity, the gender pay gap, and social mobility. She sits on the Business in the Community Gender Equality Leadership Committee, and has been recognised as Ambassador of the Year at the Women in Finance Awards 2018. Since judging, Emma has become Deloitte’s Global Special Advisor on Inclusion.
18) Evelyn Bourke - Bupa group CEO
Evelyn has long had a passion for helping people reach their full potential and believes that championing diversity and inclusion in the workplace makes huge business sense. In 2019, Bupa committed to building a strong pipeline of female talent; working towards more balanced gender representation in recruitment; and doing more to support people returning to work, particularly those with care responsibilities. I
n her time as Bupa’s Group CEO, female representation on the Bupa Board is 41.6% and the Bupa executive team is 45% female; both above the 33% set by the Women on Boards, Lord Davies review. Bupa is also a signatory of the HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and The 30% Club; global campaigns for a better balance of women at all levels.
Bupa has a global footprint. In creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, Evelyn believes that Bupa’s workforce must reflect the global reach and needs of its customers. In 2018, the ‘Be you at Bupa’ pledge was launched, encouraging its people to bring their whole selves to work. In 2019, the internal engagement campaign, #together, celebrates an inclusive culture.
Evelyn spent two years as a non-executive director of Opportunity Now and is now non-executive director for the Bank for Ireland and London First, supporting their diversity and inclusion agendas. She is also a member of the Insurance Supper Club, and regularly speaks at events to support women in their careers, including The Times CEO Summit, Opportunity Now’s ‘Same But Different’ Summit, the International Women’s Forum and Pipeline.
19) Aline Santos - Unilever EVP global marketing and chief diversity and inclusion officer
Aline continues to lead Unilever’s Unstereotype internal change programme, aiming to remove all stereotypes from Unilever’s advertising and branded communications, and includes unconscious bias training, best practice sharing and inspirational examples to help marketers challenge bias and harmful stereotypes.
During Aline’s time as chief diversity and inclusion officer, representation of women in managerial levels at Unilever has increased from 46% to 49%. In 2017, the Global Maternal Well-Being Standard was introduced, enabling greater attraction and retention of women across all countries Unilever operates in. In 2018, this was built upon with the Global Paternity Leave Standard. Last year, Aline launched the “Gamechangers for Gender Equality” campaign to celebrate male and female employees who are breaking stereotypes and driving positive change.
Working with UN Women, Aline is the Vice Chair for the Unstereotype Alliance, bringing together a powerful and growing global coalition of leading industry players with the common goal of eliminating gender bias and harmful stereotypes from their advertising by 2020.
She also plays an active role in the Women’s Network Forum, chaired by Her Royal Highness, The Countess of Wessex, focusing on driving gender balance in UK corporates. Aline is also an active member of the 30% Club, and a mentor with The Mentoring Foundation on its FTSE Next Generation Women’s Leaders Programme which helps companies develop their talent pipeline.
20) Charlotte Hogg - Visa Europe CEO
Charlotte is an active role model in business, advocating for better inclusion of women at all levels across the business. She has been involved in numerous events aiming to challenge assumptions, prejudices and biases about women.
She hosted a Leadership Forum in Europe, bringing women from different organisations together to inspire and learn from one another, leading to the creation of a network. Charlotte is co-lead for Visa’s global Gender Inclusion Council, focusing on accelerating progress around inclusion and representation of women. Initiatives include mandatory diverse candidate slates for recruitment.
She has committed all European managers at Visa to complete Inclusive Leadership Training this year, raising awareness around barriers to inclusion. Recently, Charlotte has strongly advocated for the creation of part-time roles and flexible working initiatives.
Externally she supports NowTeach, an organisation that exists to help career-changers who’ve already made a success of one profession to retrain as teachers. She is a regular speaker at events to champion women in business, including to external networks such as the Mentoring Foundation, Adelaide Group and Women in Finance in the UK and Europe. She is a vocal advocate for women in FinTech, passionate that Visa should take the lead developing more female leadership talent in the payments sector.
21) Serpil Timuray - Vodafone Group Europe Cluster CEO
Serpil champions women’s inclusion across Vodafone’s markets as the chair of the global Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee. She is committed to helping to increase the proportion of women in management and leadership roles by helping build a pipeline of talent, specifically through initiatives such as Vodafone’s pioneering “Global Maternity Policy” and “ReConnect,” the world’s largest recruitment programme for talented women on career breaks.
In March 2019, a new initiative was introduced to support colleagues affected by domestic violence and abuse. Vodafone has built credibility already in this space helping thousands of people via Vodafone Foundation’s TecSOS, Easy Rescue app in Turkey and the UK’s Bright Sky app. Inspired by the work of the Foundation, Serpil’s team has launched a new global HR policy and specialist manager training to support employees affected by domestic abuse.
Vodafone Europe has already exceeded its 2020 female leadership target, currently at 31%, and aims to reach 40% by 2025.
Externally, Serpil mentors numerous senior women and served as a selected mentor for the ‘Women on Board Association’ (WBAT Turkey). She is also mentoring female undergraduates studying in rural parts of Turkey as part of the ‘A New Leader Association’ initiative. Additionally, Serpil regularly speaks at global events to champion diversity and inclusion.
22) Tracey Groves - Intelligent Ethics Limited CEO and founder
As a PwC Partner, Tracey established and led the Gender Balance Network UK & sat on the leadership council for talent and diversity. This involved overseeing the development and delivery of a 2-day leadership development module on unconscious bias as well as sponsoring a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives.
At PwC she was an active sponsor of Women & Girls in Cricket, the WeAreTheCity Rising Star Awards 2016, Women in Compliance, Women on Boards and The Enjoyable Life Series 2017, alongside being a founding member of PwC GLEE network and establishing the PwC Network of Networks trade fair series.
Tracey has been a regular mentor and coach to professional services women looking to develop their careers in the City, both internally at PwC and externally. Tracey is a Board Member of City Women Network (CWN) and an Advisory Board Member for Gender Networks (WeAreTheCity).
A prevalent speaker on diversity in the workplace, she has delivered a TEDx Talk as part of Whitehall Women in 2015, and has been interviewed in trade journals and the press on diversity and inclusion, including by BBC News 24 celebrating 100 years of the vote. Tracey is also a business partner with the BBC 50:50 Project, focusing on increasing the number of women online, digital and on air.
23) Anna Purchas - KPMG partner and head of people
Anna champions leadership accountability for increasing the diversity of KPMG’s workforce. She led the setting of KPMG’s publicly declared targets to increase representation of female talent through to 2022. This clear focus on gender parity has increased executive membership to 33% female.
Anna ensures transparency over pay gaps and works with KPMG’s women’s network to lead popular pay gap workshops across the country to generate ideas and drive KPMG’s response. She support’s KPMG’s programme to support working parents, has championed numerous return to work programmes for women and is leading a project on agile working.
Anna proactively supports female promotion candidates and KPMG’s GROW programme, from which 44% of female delegates were promoted at least one grade in FY18.
Anna also promotes positive change beyond KPMG. She appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018, sharing KPMG’s approach to parental leave. In February this year, she was asked to give evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee on the best practice use of settlement agreements. She published a letter in March 2019 offering advice to young women on self-confidence in salary negotiation. She has spoken with the Department for Transport about job sharing, is an active fellow of the Forward Institute, is chair of Access Accountancy and is on the Learning and Professional Development Board of the ICAEW.
24) Ann Cairns - Mastercard executive vice chairman
Ann champions gender diversity from the top at Mastercard, working with the full management committee to make gender balance a reality.
Her work includes advocating for gender balanced slates for every senior appointment; sponsoring women’s executive training; sponsoring Mastercard’s Gender Steer Co, focused on People, Market and Society; sponsoring and mentoring top female leaders and bringing in more female executives; getting more women into external board seat appointments; sponsoring focus groups to understand the key issues women at all career levels face; and driving and sponsoring company-wide strategy and narrative on gender equality.
Ann advocates for STEM and has set a goal to reach one million girls aged 10-13 around the world with Mastercard’s signature Girls4Tech™ programme by 2025. She also promotes global standards in parental leave policies.
Beyond Mastercard, Ann is the new co-chair of the 30% Club, looking to campaign for greater representation of women in and beyond the board. She is a member of the UK AI Council, hoping to eliminate bias in algorithms. Ann also chairs the board of the Financial Alliance for Women.
25) Syl Saller - Diageo CMO
On Diageo’s executive committee Syl has supported policies which support gender equality in the workplace, such as flexible working practices and equal parental leave. Diageo’s global executive committee is 40% women, and the company is aiming for 40% women on senior leadership teams across the 180 countries Diageo operates in by 2025.
Syl has led Diageo’s work on gender balance in advertising, sharing their framework broadly with other companies. Diageo were one of the first signatories to the UN Unstereotype Alliance and to Free the Bid, aimed at driving gender equality for directors in advertising. Syl has held Diageo’s agencies across the world to account, calling on them to commit to advancing gender equality in advertising. To back this up, Diageo sponsored the Creative Equals Returners programme, supporting women returning to work.
Syl also drives change through her position as president of the Marketing Society, where she has supported an agenda on “Brave Leadership” that has raised the profile of and championed many issues linked to the success of women in business.
Syl regularly speaks on gender equality and gender portrayal in advertising, and often appears on panels and steering committees, alongside mentoring numerous women and being a board member for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.
26) Lisa Kimmel - Edelman chair and CEO, Canada and chair, Latin America
Lisa has sat on the steering committee for Edelman’s Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN) since its inception, and took on the role of global chair in 2017.
GWEN is an internal initiative with a mission to continue to foster an environment where women of all backgrounds can enjoy equal opportunities to grow, lead and succeed in and beyond Edelman. When GWEN began in 2011, women represented 33% of the company’s most senior leaders. As of June 2019, this number has climbed to 47%. Through GWEN, Lisa has championed the introduction of two mentorship programmes, based on group mentoring and peer coaching, a global pay analysis, and the inclusion of male and female candidates for senior roles.
Externally, Lisa devotes a significant amount of time to engage in speaking and editorial opportunities to advocate for women in the workplace, on subjects ranging from the importance of diversity on boards, to boosting self-confidence.
Recent engagements include participation in a #MeToo debate at Women’s Forum Canada and a panel discussion on sexual harassment in the workplace organised by the Canadian Club, the most preeminent business forum in the country. She continues to support future leaders through mentorship programmes with various women’s organisations. Lisa is also a member of the UN Women’s Empower Advisory Group.
27) Rachel Hussey - Arthur Cox partner and head of business development
In 2009, Rachel founded the Women in the Firm initiative within Arthur Cox. This involved bringing the women partners together to formulate a strategy to empower women in the firm. The initiative included training for women partners and associates on a range of subjects, as well organising talks and presentations by external speakers on key issues.
Arthur Cox was the first Irish law firm to introduce maternity coaching. For the past seven years, the firm has hosted a lunch event for 200 women clients on International Women’s Day.
Rachel also played a key role in bringing the Catalyst programme, Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) to the firm, running over two days and fostering inclusive leadership through understanding privilege. 33% of the firm’s partners are now women and in May the firm’s first female chair was appointed.
Externally, Rachel is currently the Deputy Chair of the 30% Club in Ireland, and co-heads the club’s Professional Services Firms’ Group. She is a regular speaker in various fora on women in the workplace – she recently spoke about gender diversity in the legal profession at the Annual Conference of the Society of Young Solicitors, she was a panellist for Dublin City University Law Society, and she spoke at a Grant Thornton-hosted event on Women in Tax. Rachel is also a member of the committee of the Irish Chapter of the International Women’s Forum.
28) Stacey Hawes - Epsilon president, data practice
In 2017, Stacey co-founded Epsilon’s first ever Women in Leadership initiative, which is now available to female associates across the international organisation. A champion for female representation and leadership, Stacey makes it a priority to reach a hand back and help pull other female leaders forward, having not had a mentor to lean on herself.
A working mother of two children, she understands the importance of women in the workplace and promotes a culture that fosters confidence, inclusion and positive outcomes for women. She regularly mentors up and coming female associates each year from across the business.
In her local community, Stacey is actively involved in supporting Leadership Ascent, a Denver not-for-profit that helps to support women in leadership. The programme provides education to women in leadership roles in business that focuses largely on emotional intelligence, how women and men approach business differently and how to ‘reach a hand’ back to help other women as they progress in their careers.
Stacey also serves on the board of directors for a local not-for-profit called Denver Urban Scholars, and is an active speaker and thought leader in the industry, having spoken this year at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Women’s Visionaries conference to an audience of over 600 women.
29) Bijna Dasani - Lloyds Banking Group head of architecture and innovation
Since completing her Masters thesis exploring the gender gap at c-suite within the UK financial services sector, Bijna has advocated exercises to help establish new ways of working and to re-skill staff, and female colleagues in particular, so they are equipped for jobs of the future.
One example was the development of a data science lab, which she championed internally in 2016. She invested in video content, seminars and training to develop existing female staff within the division, and to attract other women into STEM roles internally. Bijna also mentors women internally, and through Lloyds’ accelerator programmes, mentors women CEOs in fintech.
Externally, Bijna serves on advisory boards for FinTech Connect, CIO Net, CDO (Chief Data Officer) Exchange Series and the Inclusive Companies Network. Through her various roles, she advocates for equal opportunities for women in the workplace. She has also been a presenter for the Women in Business (WIB) TV show and has appeared on Disruptive TV, where she discussed key statistics, research on women in the workplace and associated topics.
Recently, she has been interviewed for three international publications, including Forbes, and is championing the importance of women in the workplace and gender parity in the boardroom. She has also been mentoring for Women in Technology in London for three years and has filmed a series of leadership videos for their new mentoring-on-the-go app, ‘Cajigo’.
30) Tamara Box - Reed Smith managing partner, EME
Tamara leads by example, working with Reed Smith’s active women’s network (known as WinRS) for years. Now, as the firm’s most senior person in the EME, she uses her influence to leverage the sponsorship of young women aspiring to partnership.
She has been instrumental in the promotions of dozens of women across all areas of the firm. Viewed as a role model for young lawyers, she is active in firm-wide recruitment and seeks to inspire all women to achieve their potential. With WinRS, Tamara hosted an event this year called “The Art of Success” and moderated a panel on gender balance in financial services at the “Deal Us In” event in New York.
Externally, Tamara is generous with her time and contacts. She is heavily involved in a number of organisations, including the 30% Club Steering Committee, founding member of Paradigm for Parity, C200 Membership Committee, and a sponsor and judge for Asian Women of Achievement Awards.
She also works closely with universities and international organisations, advancing the pipeline of talented female leaders. Additionally, Tamara is a sponsor and co-founder of the Women in Corporate Trust Network, and founder of the Women in Structured Finance Network.
31) Caroline Frankum - Kantar (Lightspeed) global CEO, profiles division
Caroline is a powerful and vocal agent for change, refusing to be seduced by progress,” advocating instead for urgent and committed change. Over the past 12 months, Caroline has focused on three major initiatives. She has pushed to implement a zero tolerance policy on any discriminatory or harassing language or behaviour.
She has also undertaken pro bono work to support Kantar’s Reykjavik Index for Leadership, which was created by Kantar and Women Political Leaders to support the journey of gender equality through substantial and meaningful research, and is now rolling out across all G20 countries.
Caroline also plays an active role in Kantar’s partnership with the Special Olympics, supporting 5 million people in 170 countries by driving the “Inclusion Revolution” and “Unity in Diversity.” Meeting the Special Olympics Athletes, presenting medals to the female Power Lifters, and being the keynote speaker at The Global Youth Summit whilst she attended the Special Olympics 2019 World Games inspired Caroline to get intellectual disabilities on to the agenda of the world’s Top 500 brands and help develop a 360 mentorship programme between senior leaders at Kantar and Special Olympics Athletes.
Externally, Caroline mentors a diverse mix of inspiring women at different career levels across the globe, supporting them to flourish in their professional lives and ultimately progress to senior roles. She is Kantar’s Exec sponsor for Pride in the UK, she continues to do pro bono D&I work for the Marketing Research Society, and she is working with CEOs of other leading organisations to drive a CEO pledge of commitment to creating an environment where the only barriers to progress are personal choice and professional competence.
32) Dr Kamel Hothi OBE - TLC Lions trustee, advisor and non-executive director
Dr Kamel Hothi OBE has been breaking glass ceilings in the banking world for over four decades, from cashier to director, having been strategist and designer of numerous initiatives that have changed the banking industry.
She championed the cause for Asian businesses who complained that access to finance was difficult by developing the banks Asian strategy which included designing and delivering her own cultural diversity training, influencing the first high street bank Sharia Business Account as well as creating an interactive communication campaign sponsoring over 35 national events such as Asian Jewel Awards and The Asian Women of Achievement Awards; which resulted in numerous corporates also pursuing the community.
Her passion for diversity and a level playing field included the founding of the Women’s and Ethnic Minority networks, resulting in increasing recruitment, retention and mentoring initiatives thus helping the bank winning numerous awards. The decades of dedication were awarded by an OBE for diversity in banking by the Queen in 2017.
Since retiring, Kamel has been invited to sit on several boards as advisor and Non Exec to such organisations as the Queens Commonwealth Trust support 53 countries, Teenage Cancer Trust, Alzheimer’s Soc to name a few. Her knowledge and expertise as a Corporate banker and diversity champion has helped support TLC Lions in her capacity as a NED to assist over 65 companies on their inclusion and wellbeing challenges.
In the past she chaired the Government task force to improve their procurement process for supplier diversity resulting in supporting the 2012 Olympic bid and has spoken internationally on inclusion and leadership challenges and been interviewed on screen and in print.
33) Dr Miranda Brawn - Daiwa head of derivatives - legal and transaction management EMEA
Miranda has worked on driving diversity with senior management across numerous organisations and has participated in mentoring, media interviews and public speaking, resulting in an increase in diverse recruitment. She has spoken out internationally in support of young people and diversity on TV, radio and in the press.
Her work across the UK has helped her to close diversity gaps in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, Europe, the US and Scotland. Miranda has also given speeches on diversity and inclusion at a number of events, conferences, seminars, schools, universities and venues across the UK and Globe. More recently, Miranda gave a talk to Pakistan's first and only female university being the first UK speaker to speak to their female students on STEM and diversity.
In 2018, Miranda launched a women’s empowerment scholarship via the multi-award winning Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation, which was launched in January 2016 to help increase all forms of diversity including gender diversity. This year, Miranda has launched women of colour in tech and engineering scholarships. Her foundation has helped over 50,000 young people to date and has attracted the support of highly influential individuals across the Globe.
Miranda has also been a board member for various organisations and charities, such as Cancer Research UK Women of Influence, helping to raise £1 million and mentor female scientists who are new to leadership positions. Her Tedx Women Modena Talk in December 2018 highlights some tips on how together we can close the diversity gap.
34) Carol Andrews - BNY Mellon global head of client service directors (asset servicing)
This year, Carol’s focus has been mentoring and developing women leaders, participating in several mentoring programmes (both internally and externally), including a reverse mentoring programme. She uses her position of influence to further advance female potential, particularly at senior levels, and to act as a proactive ambassador for gender parity both within and outside BNY Mellon.
Carol led the BNY Mellon partnership with the 30% Club in Ireland to co-sponsor the “Women in Management” report, now in the fourth year of this five year survey, with results showing increased participation rates of women at all levels in the management hierarchy. She supported the implementation of BNY Mellon focus groups following Business in the Community’s Project 28-40 report, seeking to identify hidden tensions within workplace cultures that may explain why UK employers are struggling to create a more gender-balanced workforce.
Externally, Carol is a co-founder of the 30% Club in Ireland and is currently country lead for the Ireland chapter. Under her leadership, the 30% Club in Ireland has grown to 250 Chairs and CEOs of Ireland’s largest businesses committed to better gender balance in senior decision making. The 30% Club Ireland’s cross-company mentoring programme has supported more than 700 women and in 2019 will offer 22 executive education scholarships.
Carol is also personally supporting, the ‘Balance for Better Business review’ under the leadership of the Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, which will set voluntary gender targets for Irish Business. Carol is a Certified Investment Fund Director (CIFD) and holds an MSC in Business Practice from the Irish Management Institute / University College Cork.
35) Claudia Parzani - Linklaters LLP managing partner western Europe, global BD and marketing partner
As a member of the global executive committee of Linklaters, Claudia is the global champion for gender and promotes internal initiatives supporting the enhancement of women’s talent. Currently she is working with the HR department on a new action plan to accelerate progress on gender diversity.
She has championed a number of successful initiatives within Linklaters’ network such as Breakfast@linklaters; the Linklaters’ Women Leadership Programme and the Stepping Forward programme for developing talented women at Linklaters.
Externally, Claudia has been an ambassador of Inspiring Girls, an international programme launched in Italy by the association Valore D (the first association of large Italian companies supporting women’s leadership) and was president from 2013 to 2016. She has also contributed to the development of In The Boardroom and The CEO School for women on executive boards. She is often invited to speak at conferences, roundtables, seminars and courses on financial matters and diversity issues, and has been interviewed by national and international media on such topics.
This year, Claudia has been interviewed by DiverCity, a new Italian magazine on inclusion and innovation, and held a masterclass and released an interview for FREEDA, the first Italian social media platform for young women.
36) Sharon Thorne - Deloitte chair of the global board of directors
In 2006, Sharon was the first woman to join Deloitte’s UK executive and since then her energy and passion for making the workplace more welcoming for women has grown. She is the first woman to be appointed as chair to the Deloitte global board of directors.
Sharon is a passionate advocate for inclusion with a focus on gender. In 2007, Sharon established Deloitte UK’s diversity networks including the Women’s Network. She also established a “Women in Leadership” group which comprised some of the most senior male and female partners in the organisation with the aim of increasing the number of women in leadership through tangible actions such as identifying the pipeline of women, mentoring and sponsoring. She also introduced flexible working arrangements, childcare support and maternity coaching.
Since 2008, the number of women in Deloitte UK’s top 100 leaders has trebled. Sharon champions and speaks at firm-wide development programmes, such as the Female Manager Development Programme and Women’s Network events, in addition to participating in external engagements and conducting media interviews. She mentors women across the organisation, many of whom are now in senior roles, and is a senior sponsor to Deloitte’s LGBT+ network.
Sharon speaks publicly about gender inclusion at events around the world, including in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. She speaks openly about her experience of imposter syndrome. Sharon established a cross-organisation Women’s Network in Manchester in 2008 and recently joined the Board of Directors of the Social Progress Imperative.
37) Sarah Morris - Aviva (outgoing) chief people officer
Under Sarah’s leadership, inclusive diversity is now a fundamental part of Aviva’s strategy. She led the introduction of Aviva’s new global parental leave policy, offering equal parental leave to men and women regardless of gender, sexual orientation or how an individual becomes a parent.
Since the launch, she has advocated continually to help others take a step in the same direction. She also sponsored the Aviva Balance Community, regularly talking at events and holding listening lunches to encourage a bottoms up engagement and approach.
A regular voice on the topic, she has recently spoken to senior leaders at Changeboard, Vote 100, and SAID Business School, as well as at Sheffield Academy through Speakers for Schools. She is a member of HRH Women Network Forum, the 30% Club global steering committee.
Additionally, Sarah has championed Aviva’s sponsorship of the Women of the Future Awards, and the Asian Women of the Future awards. Sarah mentors and coaches a number of talented women across industry.
38) Souad Benkredda - Standard Chartered head of financial markets MENA - managing director
At Standard Chartered Bank, Souad has focused her activities in several areas to reach maximum impact. Since Souad joined SCB in 2017, 80% of graduates hired into Financial Markets (FM) UAE have been female.
She has pushed for the promotion of existing female talent, running confidential 1:1 career sessions for all front office female staff in FM MENA, leading to 54% of FM MENA front office promotions being female. She gave a presentation at the launch of the SCB ‘GOAL’ programme in Dubai to inspire young girls to positively shape their own futures. Souad is a member of the MENAP D&I Council, influencing SCB MENA’s hiring procedure by suggesting more diverse slates for senior roles, which has also been implemented by the global FM D&I Working Group.
Souad has ensured exit interviews are carried out with all outgoing senior front office women, and has implemented a reverse mentoring programme with senior male colleagues, among many other internal initiatives.
Externally, Souad spoke at the Dubai Bloomberg D&I lunch in April and was interviewed on the power of diversity by the Arabian Business Magazine. She was also selected as one of the 50 most influential women in ME Finance by FN London.
39) Felicia Meyerowitz Singh - Akoni CEO and co-founder
Felicia’s startup, Akoni, has committed to maintaining a minimum gender balance within the firm’s employees through the Tech Charter, restates this commitment in any grant funding applications and actively pursues a gender balanced recruitment approach.
Felicia mentors young women in business and supports a range of public initiatives including speaking relating to Innovate Finance’s Schools and Girls initiatives. She actively promotes women in business with Hambro Perks, a startup hub which directly engages entrepreneurs and is a role model for younger team members as a way to actively encourage young girls and women to enter into the tech and startup space.
Externally, Felicia speaks on panels and podcasts about gender equality. She has been featured in Forbes on normalising female leadership and on Women in Business radio hour discussing issues around the lack of diversity in the workforce.
Earlier this year Felicia won the FDM Everywoman in Tech Woman of the Year award, adding to a list of prestigious awards for women in fintech. She is also Co-founder of a group which helps mentor younger female entrepreneurs.
40) Shenan Chuang - WPP Taiwan chairwoman, Ogilvy Greater China vice chairman
WPP Taiwan’s culture of diversity has led to a 70% female workforce, and 60% of WPP Taiwan’s leadership are women. Therefore, Shenan’s focus has shifted to supporting her female staff members.
In 2018, Shenan and her team established the Stella Community, composed of nearly 40 senior women leaders. Shenan also joined an organisation of female leaders, the Taiwan Women on Boards Association (WOB), becoming supervising director of the executive board. WOB’s key missions are to raise Taiwanese society’s awareness of the substantial business contributions of female leaders; to influence the government on a wide range of policies; to increase the percentage of women on boards of directors; and to build international networks. WPP Taiwan supported WOB in hosting an anniversary forum in Kaohsiung this year, attended by city government officials and female business leaders.
Shenan was a keynote speaker at this successful event, which will now tour major cities around the island. Shenan’s team will present the 2019 Taiwan WPP Thought Leadership event on “Women in the Digital Age” on August 20th in Taipei. WPP’s most recent survey, on how Taiwanese women use digital devices in their lives, finds that technology empowers them to be confident and pragmatic, but they are concerned about privacy.
On May 17, 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legally recognise same-sex marriage. As Taiwan’s leading communication group, WPP Taiwan gave impetus to LGBT rights in our inaugural thought leadership campaign on the subject of Millennials in Taiwan in 2018.
41) Simone Roche - Northern Power Women founder and CEO
During her role at People 1st, Simone led and grew the Women 1st campaign to increase women in senior positions in the hospitality industry by creating a community and support framework delivering an annual conference, awards and establishing an active and organic mentoring platform reaching over 300 relationships.
In 2015 she created Northern Power Women (NPW) to accelerate gender equality from the north of England by recognising, celebrating and showcasing role models. NPW engages all genders across the Northern Powerhouse including the launch of a reverse mentoring pilot and a monthly, live recorded podcast and annual awards. Simone has recently created Northern Power Futures to discuss the future of the world of work, designed by the generation of future leaders.
She has also been working with leading business schools to incorporate a student engagement programme to help students connect with business, gain exposure to the NPW community, and access mentoring opportunities.
Externally, Simone is licensee for TEDxWhitehallWomen, sits on the advisory board for World Merit, the Gender Network and is a committee member for the Women of the World Festival. She is a regular judge at diversity awards, and often speaks in the media on the importance of gender balance. Simone is also Leader in Residence at Lancaster University and part of the round table for British Council for 100years, Chinese Delegation of Women Leaders with Gov Equalities Office and judge for Queens Awards for Innovation and also We Are the City Rising Stars, NW Charity Awards and Top 100 Asians in Tech.
42) Amanda Murphy - HSBC UK head of commercial banking
Amanda is a passionate and visible role model, responsible for almost 1 million commercial banking customers. She has led HSBC UK Commercial Bank in the drive to improve gender balance with a core focus on female representation at senior to mid-management level roles.
Amanda launched a Female Talent Development programme for high potential colleagues, focusing on core leadership and behavioural capabilities, generating 22,000 hours of development opportunities for women at the bank. Amanda also launched the Engage programme targeted at nearly 600 people leaders to build a more inclusive working environment.
As a result of these programmes and other efforts, HSBC UK Commercial Bank now boasts 50% female representation. Amanda is also executive sponsor of HSBC’s BALANCE UK ERG.
Externally, Amanda champions female entrepreneurs and businesswomen through mentoring and other support. She mentors female talent at HSBC through the CEO’s involvement in the 30% Club CEO Campaign to reach 30% women senior leaders across the bank by 2020. She speaks at numerous external D&I-focused events, and recently led a talk on sexual orientation and gender diversity to property professionals.
43) Jacqui Chin - Amazon director of EU consumables
Jacqui launched and leads Amazon’s Women@ employee affinity group in the UK, providing thousands of employees with resources and activities to develop skills, manage their career and expand their network. She leads teams of Women@ employee volunteers to create and deliver initiatives that support gender diversity in recruitment, policy, community and learning and development.
She advocated for and steered delivery of Amazon’s Flexible Working Guidelines, which are today in place across five EU countries. Across the last 12 months, she championed the development and launch of updated UK Parental Leave Guidelines. Jacqui initiated and led growth of Amazon mentoring schemes, including One-to-One Mentoring and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Groups, where she steered automation of P2P mentoring management enabling increased participation by over 150% in 2019 to involve thousands of employees.
She led Women@ input to launch the Amazon Amplify programme to increase the number of women working in tech and innovation and to inspire the next generation of women innovators. Amplify includes initiatives such as the Amazon Web Services Return to Work programme, which gives people who have not been in work a chance to come back to full-time employment with training and coaching on new cloud technology skills.
Her leadership of such initiatives helped Amazon to be recognised as Female Tech Employer of the Year in the 2019 Women in Tech Awards, and supported Amazon’s first place ranking in the LinkedIn UK Top Companies 2019 list.
44) Jo Wallace - Wunderman Thompson UK and EMENA creative director
Jo is a creative director, which is rare given that only 12% of creative directors in advertising are female. A large part of this imbalance stems from a lack of female role models in the creative industries because, as the saying goes: if you can't see it, you can't be it. Therefore, Jo is an outspoken advocate for female talent and regularly mentors female creative teams.
She also regularly speaks at events, on panels, podcasts and in industry press, and hosts in-house events with an equal representation of female role models.
Externally, Jo collaborated to create an exhibition called “There's a Good Girl” which celebrated and showcased 20 women artists (the first all-women exhibition), including Alison Jackson, Sara Pope, Pam Glew and Hattie Stewart. The exhibition received wide-ranging press attention, featuring in The Independent, The Sunday Times Style Magazine, and on BBC Radio amongst others.
For the past four years Jo has run the popular, non-profit event called ‘Good Girls Eat Dinner’ which has one simple mission: provide kick-a$$ female role models across the creative industry and beyond. Speakers to date include Cathy Newman (CH 4 News), Amanda Foster (Hollywood Stuntwoman), Lisa Smorsarski (Editor in Chief, Stylist Magazine) and many more.
45) Rachel Higham - BT managing director of IT
Rachel designed, delivered and now sponsors BT TechWomen, which in its fourth year has delivered a year-long development journey for 970 women across BT and has created an alumni network of 1,595 women. 67% of the participants have moved into bigger roles and local cultural barriers to women’s progression in the UK and India are being addressed.
A core element of BT TechWomen is their 2-way pact, with more experienced members mentoring more junior women, engaging in STEM outreach initiatives in schools and university, and supporting the recruitment of female apprentices and graduates.
Rachel also launched the Reignite programme with TechWomen India, focussed on building confidence and helping women return to work after a career break.
Beyond BT, Rachel is Chair of the board of FACT, the Foundation of Arts & Creative Technology that has a strong diversity policy and social engagement programme. 45% of the board are now women and FACT have recently appointed their first female CEO. FACT runs a number of learning and engagement programmes providing access to digital art, media and tech skills for over 2,800 women for 1,600 young girls each year.
46) Ann Pickering - O2 (Telefonica UK) chief HR officer and chief of staff
As O2’s chief HR officer, Ann has led the business in achieving a majority female board, ensured gender parity across its annual apprentice and graduate recruitment programmes and ingrained a flexible working culture into O2’s DNA.
Ann has been instrumental in leading key initiatives encouraging gender parity and driving positive change at O2, including increasing paid paternity leave to 14 weeks for all permanent employees, for heterosexual and same-sex couples and partners welcoming a baby via adoption or surrogacy. She led O2’s development of a career returners programme, which saw 100 percent of its latest cohort of women accepting offered roles at O2.
Ann is an advocate for getting young women into challenging roles early in their careers. As a result, she was appointed a trustee of Step up to Serve, providing opportunities for millions of young people and giving them the skills to be successful in their careers.
Ann is also passionate about improving social mobility in the workforce. Ann is both Chair of the Advisory Board and Visiting Professor of HRM & Employability at Sheffield University Management School, and is a trustee of research charity Breast Cancer Now.
47) Kathryn Koch - Goldman Sachs Asset Management co-head of fundamental equity
Having benefited from mentorship, networking and sponsorship in the past, Kathryn is now passionate about providing other women with access to these advantages. She connects the dozens of women she manages and mentors with each other and with industry leaders and seeks to raise the profile of high-potential women internally within senior management, with clients, with industry leaders and in the media by delegating speaking roles of panel participation to them.
Kathryn has sought to hire and promote women in her division for more than a decade. 43% of assets under management within the Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) Fundamental Equity business are managed by female portfolio managers. Kathryn has mentored and coached women through the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses and 10,000 Women initiative.
She has been involved in research efforts which led to the first global financing facility dedicated to women, and she is champion of the Launch with GS capital commitment to invest in female investment fund founders and managers.
Externally, Kathryn is actively involved in building a strong pipeline of female talent through the ‘Girls Who Invest’ programme. She also serves on the Board of Trustees for Patton’s Veterans Project, and works with a number of clients and competitors who have asked her to mentor and coach high-potential women.
48) Charlotte Duerden - American Express UK managing director
As managing director of American Express in the UK, Charlotte has launched and championed a number of incremental internal initiatives to continue to build a more inclusive work environment where women are encouraged to speak up and take control of their own careers.
She signed American Express UK up to the Women in Finance Charter and invested in transformational Diversity and Inclusion training for 120 of the company’s most senior leaders. Charlotte is executive sponsor of the Women’s Interest Network and regularly participates in internal diversity panels and events for employees.
Combined with an active talent strategy, these measures have helped Amex to increase the number of women in senior roles from 36% to 41%.
Externally, Charlotte is involved in a number of organisations where she works to motivate and inspire other women. She is a UK Finance board member and diversity lead, and an awards committee member of professional network Women in Payments UK. She regularly talks publicly about important topics affecting women in the workplace at industry events and in the media. Charlotte also sponsors the American Express UK Leadership Academy which helps develop emerging leaders in the not-for-profit sector.
49) Barbara Harvey - Accenture Research managing director
Barbara leads Accenture’s global programme on equality in the workplace – “Getting to Equal.” Her research investigated challenges behind the gender gap in career advancement and pay, providing encouraging and actionable news about equality in the workplace, helping Accenture to cultivate a more inclusive environment.
Under her direction, the research, surveying over 22,000 people across 34 countries, identified 40 factors that are statistically shown to influence advancement of women, including 14 that are most likely to effect change. Since publishing her study, Barbara has reached hundreds of HR professionals and business leaders internally and externally with her findings.
Barbara is a particularly passionate advocate for BAME women, LGBT+ women and women who experience mental health difficulties, lending her support to numerous inclusion initiatives, including as executive sponsor for mental health where she has driven forward a programme that has trained over 2000 mental health allies.
Barbara has also launched a development programme for female managers in her team, through which she mentors a number of women.
50) Jean Becker - Accenture products group operating officer
Jean has championed gender equality throughout her time as finance director and now products group operating officer at Accenture. In 2017, she became products diversity and inclusion (D&I) lead, aiming to achieve greater impact in creating a culture of transparency, belonging, and stewardship.
She has enlisted Accenture’s products leadership team and elevated the D&I agenda throughout the organisation. During Jean’s tenure as D&I lead, significant improvements have been made in culture and D&I metrics, including an increase in gender mix at leadership level and overall, improvements in the female leader attrition gap, proper sponsorship of women up for promotion to managing director and above, and the establishment of an active D&I leadership network across 43 countries.
Jean has personally coached over 100 women leaders, launched a Diverse Referral Cultivation programme, required D&I metrics be added to leadership performance objectives, led the Products Women’s Network, collaborated with clients on joint initiatives to further their mutual D&I agenda and required a diverse gender slate for every position recruited in Products.
Externally, Jean has dedicated countless hours to championing women’s issues through her involvement with the Society of Women Engineers at Portland State University, Assistance with Grief Board, Women’s Vision Foundation, WiseWomen Council and the University of Colorado Engineering Advisory Council among many others.
51) Sylvia Noury - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP partner and head of international arbitration, London
Sylvia is a role model at the firm and beyond, particularly in the international arbitration community.
Sylvia founded the Equal Representation in Arbitration (ERA) Pledge to improve gender diversity in the world of arbitration, in particular the appointment of female arbitrators on an equal opportunity basis. The Pledge now has more than 3,500 signatories from over 110 countries, including 672 organisations.
Sylvia also influences the visibility and appointment of female arbitrators through her membership of various arbitrational institutions. Her role as founder and now co-chair of the Global Pledge Steering Committee opens the door to wider involvement of people within the firm in this important gender diversity initiative.
More broadly within the firm, Sylvia is a key promoter of the associate-led Every Day Gender Equality (EDGE) commitment, acts as a sponsor for the Global Sponsorship Programme for high-performing women associates, and as a mentor in the Dispute Resolution mentoring scheme.
She has trained as a Mental Health First Aid Champion to increase dialogue and break down stigma in this area. Sylvia also plays a role in the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Committee for Dispute Resolution and speaks at internal events and on panels about diversity and inclusion, including hosting an internal global training session regarding the Pledge. Externally, she ensures D&I (including EDGE and the Pledge) is on the agenda at client relationship meetings, has spoken on various panels at industry-wide events and has published on these topics.
52) Julia Muir - Gaia Innovation CEO
Julia founded the social enterprise Gaia Innovation to inspire young people from less affluent backgrounds to aim higher and to equip themselves with the skills for the jobs of the future, and to escape the poverty trap of low-skilled insecure employment.
She employs women through spotting their potential and their transferable skills, rather than relying on evidence of past performance or specific job experience, and encourages them to believe in themselves and their abilities. She achieves a high level of productivity and employee engagement in the business through flexible and agile working, and many of her team are women returners with caring responsibilities who are trusted to fit their work around these responsibilities and deliver high quality output.
Externally, Julia founded the UK Automotive 30% Club and is on the steering committee of the Global 30% Club. As a result of Julia’s work, 33 of the largest UK automotive companies have set the ambitious gender diversity goal of achieving a 30% female representation in their key roles through all organisational levels, by 2030. She designed the four phase “30 by 30” strategy that the companies have adopted, to encourage the effective hiring, retention and promotion of women in the automotive sector.
Each year she runs an Inspiring Automotive Women Day, bringing 100 girls to meet women in the sector, and sending 60 volunteer “real model” women into 30 schools across the country. This year also saw her launch the Inspiring e-zine - a digital magazine aiming to create a grassroots movement to inspire women to progress, and the inaugural Inspiring Automotive Women Awards.
53) Sarah Carroll - MUFG managing director UK and Ireland coverage
Sarah co-founded Balance, MUFG’s gender diversity network with a male colleague in 2016 and currently performs an advisory role supporting the new co-chairs. Since its launch, her leadership has seen the group go from strength to strength, with a balanced membership base of both men and women who regularly interact with its campaigns and initiatives, plus the launch of several network chapters across MUFG’s EMEA region.
Her ability to engage male champions in the gender agenda has been a catalyst to organisational change, with MUFG making its first public gender diversity declaration in 2017 when it signed the HM Treasury Women in Finance Charter. This saw several internal changes to policy and practice to support the progression of gender diversity at the firm.
Sarah is a leading figure in MUFG’s senior women’s networking forum and was a member of the Director Promotion committee this year. Sarah mentors a number of women externally and frequently attends thought leadership forums which address gender diversity in order to expand her network.
She has been involved in a programme to demystify the finance sector for female sixth-form students and participates in a Senior Women’s Network hosted by KPMG.
54) Sue McLean - Baker McKenzie partner
Sue is a member of the executive committee of Baker McKenzie’s women’s network BakerWomen, aiming to proactively engage with the firm’s leadership, to serve as a think tank regarding gender issues and to create a networking community.
Recent initiatives include creating programmes for returners, introducing expert allies and inclusion champions and increased use of capacity managers for work allocation. BW’s current focus is increasing partner accountability for diversity and inclusion. BW’s previous efforts have led to a huge increase in agile working and take up of paternity leave.
Sue is also a partner sponsor for the Baker G.E.N. (Gender Equality Network), working group which brings together women lawyers, business professionals and allies.
At her previous firm, Morrison & Foerster, Sue founded and chaired MoFo Women and was on the global Women’s Strategy Committee. Sue coaches three junior women in her department, alongside colleagues in other male-dominated teams.
Beyond Baker McKenzie, Sue is a trustee of the Society for Computers and Law (SCL) and founded the SCL Women in Tech Law Network to help advance, celebrate and connect women in the technology law sector. She is a member of the Law Society's Women Lawyers Division executive committee. She has focused her pro bono efforts on social enterprises aimed at improving the life chances of girls and young women, supporting You Make It, Techmums and Stemettes.
55) Sara Luder - Slaughter and May partner
Sara was one of the founding partners of Slaughter and May’s Women’s Network and continues to champion the network’s activities. Since organising the firm’s first International Women’s Day event, Sara has sponsored a number of high-profile events including inspirational talks from the likes of Deborah Frances-White, Laura Bates and Annie Lennox.
She has also supported the introduction of speed networking events, which aim to provide women trainee lawyers with access to a diverse range of female role models, and helped to organise an event to celebrate 100 years of women in law. She is passionate about progressing women throughout the talent pipeline, and is a sponsor of the firm’s Female Leadership Development programme, now running for six years.
Sara also devised and sponsored a series of drinks and discussion evenings in 2018, hosted by female partners for female associates and trainees. Sara is a visible role model has mentored a significant number of women lawyers and other employees, both formally and informally.
Externally, Sara was lead sponsor of the firm’s innovative partnership with The Old Vic, promoting Sylvia, a hip-hop musical detailing the suffragette movement. She is a member of the 30% Club, through which she mentors high-potential women as part of their cross-company mentoring scheme, and trustee of School-Home Support. Sara has also supported The Lawyer’s Circle, a network of female lawyers from across the UK, in addition to organising a number of women in tax events.
56) Cate Luzio - Luminary founder and CEO
Last year, Cate left a senior career in finance, where she was a powerful supporter of women’s inclusion. She now focuses on advancing and connecting women across all industries, ages, levels and backgrounds through her new company, Luminary, a collaboration hub for professional women and women-identified to advance their careers, further develop their skills and expand their networks.
At Luminary, Cate is committed to nurturing and advancing women’s careers, businesses, economic opportunities and aspirations, while also welcoming male allies. Luminary offers a robust 10 for 1 scholarship programme and partners with many non-profits and organisations across NYC.
Cate has driven her organisation’s partnership with other spaces and communities throughout the US to deliver greater collaboration, including Ellevate, The Well, Six Degrees Society as well as WE.NYC, where she acts as a Mentor, and Girls Inc., where she is a National Board Member, a Board Member for WaterAid, and on the Advisory Board for Girls Inc NYC.
Cate enjoys mentoring dozens of young women, helping them to start and scale their businesses as well advance their careers for those in the corporate workforce. She recently started a Female Founders Support Group, and holds ‘office hours’ open to women. She is a regular event speaker on gender diversity and often writes pieces on leadership and diversity and inclusion for the press including Fast Company and Forbes.
57) Patricia Bindi - HSBC Bank Argentina S.A. country head of commercial banking
Patricia is executive sponsor of BALANCE, HSBC’s ERG dedicated to supporting the recruitment, development and engagement of a gender-balanced workforce. BALANCE gained enormous visibility last year as many initiatives materialised into concrete actions with impressive results.
Patricia is actively working to strengthen mentoring and sponsorship relationships and has challenged BALANCE to organise monthly meet-ups with executive leaders. This initiative is underway, with video conferences including diverse senior female leaders to act as visible role models. Patricia is also inviting women from across HSBC to join her at monthly roundtables as a way of supporting professional development globally.
She is mentoring two future women leaders and continues to sponsor top performing women in her area to take leadership programmes in recognized institutions. In addition, Patricia launched the “Mujeres al Mundo (Women in the World)” initiative, aiming to connect businesswomen with new markets and opportunities. As part of the initiative, Patricia included ‘Female Leadership’ as a category in the HSBC-La Nación SME Awards, with over 400 applications from women leading Argentine companies.
She also led the first “Women in Business” chapter in a commercial mission to the UK, organised by the British Argentine Chamber of Commerce. She often speaks at events on gender diversity and participates in panels and roundtables.
58) Simone MacLeod-Nairn - Irish Life (outgoing) chief people officer
At Irish Life Group and in the wider sector, Simone has taken a root to branch approach to stamping out gender bias in financial services and beyond.
She established the Achieve Your Potential ERG to drive gender balance across Irish Life; she introduced policies allowing both parents to share responsibilities more equally; she rolled out unconscious bias training to over 800 people managers, with 83% of staff reporting heightened diversity and inclusion awareness as a result; she introduced a full parenting support pathway with workshops and resources; she established a female leadership programme; and she undertook a complete review of recruitment practices and policies to remove any bias from the process and ensure a wider pipeline of diverse candidates for the future, among many other successful initiatives.
Externally, Simone developed Irish Life’s involvement with Irish government-launched P-Tech, promoting social inclusion of young people in the north east inner city of Dublin. She is a member of the financial services working group of the 30% Club and has been instrumental in the development of the new Girls in Financial Services Schools’ programme.
Simone is also a board member of Business to Arts, and is a regular keynote speaker at events in Ireland and internationally, fostering a sense of belonging for women in financial services.
59) Rachel Izzard - Aer Lingus chief financial officer
Four years ago, Rachel joined Aer Lingus as the first female executive board member and only the second woman at executive level in 83 years. She is responsible not only for all areas of finance, including actionable financial insight to drive business performance, but also for the technology functions, covering day to day operations across all systems, cyber security and development of new technology solutions.
Rachel acts as a powerful and visible role model for women in the sector. She has developed diversity from an initially uncomfortable conversation to a regular point of discussion. She sponsors the LIFT (Let’s Inspire Female Talent) network, enabling a 9% improvement in women at senior management level in the last three years.
As a result of Rachel’s commitment to diversity, a number of positive changes have been introduced, including annual International Women’s Day all female flights; and the engagement of the company’s first female engineering apprentices. Rachel allocates time to act as a mentor and sponsor to women at all levels across Aer Lingus and the IAG Group.
She also participates in panels at events and conferences, such as Hackathon – The Levers of Change, the 2018 Women in Tech conference and the 2019 Dublin Tech Summit. Furthermore, Rachel has supported the launch of the first Irish Girl Guides Aviation badge.
60) Catherine Yuile - Edelman executive vice president of insights and analytics
Catherine has been with Edelman for 4.5 years, leading the growth of the insights and analytics practice and team of 17 research professionals in Canada, and is a member of the Toronto leadership team. Catherine has 25 years of research and analytics experience, is a Canadian Advisory Council Member of the Insights Association, and has been recognised for industry leading insights, winning four Research Excellence Awards.
Catherine is a member of the global steering committee of Edelman’s Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN), where she leads and supports global initiatives designed to increase the presence of women leaders at the most senior levels of the firm. She led the development of new global and regional scorecards and KPIs to track corporate progress and insights towards Edelman’s goal of achieving equal female representation at the most senior levels of the firm.
Catherine also developed a plan and led the launch of a global Instagram channel on International Women’s Day last year, broadening awareness of the network and profiling Edelman’s women leaders in the market. Catherine is Edelman’s Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN)’s leader in Toronto, championing a volunteer team of women to drive local initiatives such as Lean in Circles, mentoring sessions, celebrations of International Women’s day, panels, and other community events designed to support a culture that helps women lead and succeed.
Catherine mentors numerous women in and outside of Edelman, and supports organisations who help women in business management and women and girls in the wider community.
61) May Tai - Herbert Smith Freehills managing partner for Greater China
May, the first female managing partner in Asia, has been instrumental in creating a more diverse and inclusive working environment at her firm, and promoting and protecting individual rights in Hong Kong.
In 2018, May led the firm to sign up to a Code of Practice against Discrimination in Employment on the Grounds of Sexual Orientation. She has simplified and updated the firm’s agile working policy to allow more flexible and efficient ways of working for employees.
The firm has also seen improvements in terms of maternity and paternity leave policies under May's leadership. May represented the firm's Hong Kong office to sign the Fair Hiring Pledge, committing the firm to encouraging their employees in Hong Kong to hire domestic workers fairly.
Externally, May is passionate about nurturing new generations of legal talent including a number of young female lawyers-to-be, and she leads the firm's efforts in developing home-grown PRC lawyers under the firm's PRC Scholarship Programme.
62) Hiltrud Dorothea Werner - Volkswagen AG board member, integrity and legal affairs
Hiltrud is an active mentor to numerous women both within and beyond VW, within Germany and internationally.
She has been involved in national and international groups active in the field of diversity for many years, such as Women Corporate Directors, the G(irls)20 Summit and the Women Political Leaders Forum.
Hiltrud is passionate about helping young women to break the glass ceiling, raising awareness of gender issues and equal pay, and advocating for women whenever possible.
As a board member, Hiltrud also gives interviews and participates in panel discussions on issues surrounding diversity.
63) Mel Edwards - Wunderman Thompson global CEO
Mel Edwards is the global CEO of Wunderman Thompson, the largest advertising agency in the world today, employing more than 20,000 creatives, data scientists, technologists, and storytellers across 90 markets. Mel came to Wunderman UK as the CEO in 2012 and soon built a reputation for recruiting great talent and empowering people to do the best work of their careers.
In 2015, she was named CEO of Wunderman EMEA and in 2018 global CEO of Wunderman. She then successfully led the agency's transition to Wunderman Thompson, a global agency designed to inspire growth for the world’s leading brands. Today, some of the agency’s largest clients include Shell, Best Buy, Samsung, BT, EE, Duracell, and HSBC.
Mel has a true passion for inclusion and is recognised globally as a leader seeking to address the historical imbalances in the advertising industry. At Wunderman Thompson, she has implemented a strong female leadership team, making it the only major agency today with females as CEO, CFO, and Chairman.
She spearheaded “Pass It On,” a programme that provides space for reflection and access to other women who serve as mentors and help grow careers. She also created the Female Tribes programme, which is changing the narrative around women in the industry by finding great female role models in content, culture, and society. For all of these efforts and more, Mel has been named one of Ad Age’s European Women to Watch, a group of 20 executives making a difference in the industry.
64) Maëlle Gavet - Compass chief operating officer
Maëlle is an executive advocate for the Women at Compass group, where she engages with other women in the organisation and within the industry.
She hosts a monthly Women in Tech meet-up for female tech talent to have a safe space for open discussions.
Externally, Maëlle has been a panellist at Fortune Most Powerful Women, and won the Inspiring Fifty award, which aims to make female role models in tech more visible. She spoke at the Global Agents of Change conference organised by the Consulat Général de France à New York, Consulate of Canada in New York and the New York Stock Exchange.
She was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, one of Fortune's 40 Under 40 and one of the Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company. As more doors are opened for Maëlle, she is able to open more doors for other women, helping them to find their way through the industry.
65) Amanda McKay - Balfour Beatty quality director, major projects
As Woman with a Trans* history and a senior leader within Balfour Beatty, Amanda supports her female colleagues and works to demonstrate that Balfour Beatty is a diverse, inclusive and accepting employer.
She is co-chair of Balfour Beatty’s Gender Equality network and chair of its LGBT+ network, both of which she promotes internally and externally through public speaking, running internal events and workshops, contributing to internal media and communications and acting as support and mentor to three female staff members and reverse mentoring a female apprentice.
Amanda is a member of Balfour Beatty’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) working group and has been one of the leads for the company’s approach to International Women’s Day since 2015. She has supported and provided input for the company’s Empower course, which helps build confidence and skills for women across the organisation, where she is also a Fairness, Inclusion and Respect ambassador.
She is actively involved in the development of policies and guidance in relation to D&I, and regularly contributes to leadership and business unit conferences, speaking on women’s issues and STEM recruitment for women in the organisation. She has also helped many other organisations in their approach to gender equality.
Externally, Amanda supports gender equality and women’s rights though mentoring, coaching, public speaking and community work. She is currently mentoring several women and is part of the HERoes mentoring scheme, among others. She has won numerous awards for her work in diversity and advocates passionately for LGBT+ and women’s policing groups.
66) Anne Ackerley - BlackRock managing director, head of the retirement group
A seasoned senior executive with over 30 years of experience, Anne is committed to empowering and advancing other women in financial services – and beyond. Throughout her career, she has devoted significant time to mentoring and sponsoring women – frequently speaking on career-building panels and advocating for gender equality in the workplace.
Anne’s proudest achievement was co-founding BlackRock’s first employee affinity group, the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) in 2009. Since its launch, she has helped grow the network to over 4,000 members across 63 offices, impacting the careers of thousands of BlackRock women. Most recently, Anne has served as head of WIN for the Americas and as Chair of the Global WIN Executive Committee, working to accelerate the network’s mission at scale.
Anne also contributed significantly to the creation of the Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF), a state-of-the-art and successful development program for high-performing women. She was also instrumental in the creation of Leadership, Excellence and Development (LEAD), a development program for under-represented populations at BlackRock, including women of colour.
Outside the firm, Anne has been honoured by the YWCA Academy of Women Leaders, as well as the National Council for Research on Women (NCRW), and was awarded the Women’s Bond Club 2018 Merit Award. Currently, she is developing content in partnership with Girlboss, an online and events-driven female community, to empower millennial women to take control of their financial futures.
67) Payal Jain - JCURV managing director
Until January 2019, Payal was the first woman in a commercial executive position in a FTSE 250 Bank, which had previously gone through a number of turbulent years. Payal spearheaded the group diversity and inclusion (D&I) strategy to combat this, which included the Bank joining HM Treasury’s Women in Finance Charter and bringing about change in the bank’s recruitment policy by ensuring gender parity on shortlists.
Payal also initiated a D&I Speaker Series, bringing key women working in the D&I space into the Bank to provide powerful female role models. Both the CEO and chairman have championed and participated in the Speaker Series. Having left the bank, Payal is proud that the D&I agenda is now firmly embedded into the strategy.
Externally, Payal is Chair of Women in Data (WiD), a not-for-profit organisation that is seeking to achieve gender parity in data and technology roles, especially at senior levels. Under her leadership, the network has grown from 125 in 2015 to 28,000. She co-opened the latest annual conference with Liz Truss, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who recognised the WiD network as an influential group that’s creating change in the data and technology industry.
Within the last 12 months, Payal has attended forums at Downing Street and has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences raising awareness of the importance of diversity.
68) Amanda Blanc - Zurich Insurance Company Ltd CEO Europe, Middle East & Africa and bank distribution
Amanda is passionate about driving gender equality in the workplace and has introduced a number of initiatives, both as CEO of AXA UK & Ireland and in her most recent role as CEO of Zurich EMEA.
When recruiting for senior leadership positions, gender-neutral language is embedded into job descriptions, candidate lists for senior management positions are gender balanced, coaching is offered on presentation and interview techniques and targets are set for increasing female representation in senior positions.
To share first hand experiences with others, she talks of frequently being the only woman in the boardroom, holding open-mic sessions with women in business and writing online blogs about balancing being a CEO with having a family. Amanda also often uses her own network to advocate women for roles in other organisations which helps to develop careers and ensures barriers to women’s progression are tackled. Amanda signed the Women in Finance Charter for Axa UK and became one of the global executive sponsors of the Zurich Women’s Innovation Network.
Externally, Amanda was the first female chair of the Association of British Insurers, the first female chair of The Insurance Fraud Bureau and the second female president of the Chartered Insurance Institute. As chair of the ABI she supported the September 2018 ABI Gender Report which identified tangible actions to ensure women’s career progression. She has taken part in the House of Commons’ Treasury Select Committee on Women in Finance and regularly speaks at industry events and to the press to raise awareness and act as a catalyst for change.
Amanda is also involved with “Speakers for Schools,” a non-profit aiming to “end educational inequality by giving young people access to the same prestigious networks available to the top fee-paying schools.” She chooses to try and make a difference at schools located close to her family roots in the Rhondda Valley in Wales.
69) Carolyn Porretta - Macquarie Bank managing director
In her previous roles such as at UBS Investment Bank and AIG Asset Management, Carolyn has organised regular meetings where women Managing Directors or senior leaders speak to other women about their careers and listen to their female colleagues’ issues.
These meetings are a great networking opportunity for more junior women to build relationships with those in senior positions. When she noticed that her firm did not have a mentoring program in place, Carolyn found mentors for her staff herself.
Now at Macquarie, she is part of the steering committee of Balance EMEA, its women’s network, and continues to organise intimate ‘non-corporate’ brunches in private houses to create a strong bond between the few women working in front office, leading to better retention of female staff through support and sponsorship.
Externally, Carolyn volunteers with The Girls’ Network, spending time with teenage mentees over coffee, lunch or museum and cinema trips, and inviting them to her office and introducing her to colleagues. Carolyn also volunteers both at committee level and on the ground with the Junior League of London a women-only charity that aims to promote voluntary service, develop the potential of women and improve the London community through the effective action and leadership of its trained volunteers.
70) Mairéad Nayager - Diageo chief HR officer
This year, Mairead led the transformation of Diageo’s parental leave policies globally – offering female employees globally a minimum of 26 weeks fully paid maternity leave. Diageo also set a global minimum standard of four weeks fully paid paternity leave, with a majority of Diageo’s businesses adopting 26 weeks fully paid paternity leave including the UK, North America, Europe, Thailand, Philippines, Colombia and Australia amongst others.
The new policy is the latest move to achieve a senior leadership team which is 40% female by 2025 which includes a commitment that 50% of hires to Diageo’s global graduate programme are women. Mairead has worked to galvanise each managing director of Diageo’s 21 markets to establish both a diversity and inclusion plan and local goals.
Through her ownership of succession planning to the most senior roles she has supported the promotion and acquisition of women into a significant number of critical roles. Today, 44% of Diageo’s board and 40% of Diageo’s executive committee are women. Additionally, Mairead has worked with the board and their advisors on considering a diverse group of candidates for NED appointments.
Externally, Mairead is a vocal advocate of diversity and inclusion in business – speaking at major conferences and putting her support behind key campaigns including the 30% Club, the Race at Work Charter, Free the Bid and Open for Business.
71) Roni Savage - Jomas Associates Ltd managing director
Starting her career as a graduate engineering geologist, Roni was the rare woman on the construction site, with no visible female role models in the industry. After years of working in the industry, she founded Jomas Associates in 2009, working for land developers across the UK.
As a result of her own experiences climbing the ladder, Roni is determined to reduce gender disparity in the construction and engineering industry. Roni employs and mentors women both in and outside of Jomas, and enjoys watching them excel in their careers. She is a regular speaker on the topic of engineering, construction, diversity and inclusion.
Roni is passionate about parity and social mobility, having initiated and participated in several initiatives empowering women and mothers. She is part of the Federation of Small Business Women taskforce, where she is National Lead for Women in STEM. She is a member of committees and advisory boards, with focus on social mobility. She also volunteers for, and is a trustee for the YMCA, empowering young women to get back on track.
She is an active part of the Women in Engineering Society, and has spoken to many girls at primary and secondary schools. She took part in the women mentoring programme for the Geological Society of London. Roni has also written articles for numerous media outlets on women in engineering and construction.
She is a multi-award winner, named Black British Business Person of the Year in 2018, as well as Natwest Athena Inspiration Woman, Best European Female Consultant in Construction and Engineering, amongst others.
72) Mélanie Dunn - Cossette president and CEO
At Cossette, Mélanie encourages her team to embrace everyone’s natural leadership style and works hard to advocate for women’s empowerment. As a result, women hold 47% of senior and 45% of management roles in the agency.
Mélanie reinforces the importance of diversity and inclusion (D&I) at every occasion, from within the executive team to meetings with all staff. She has also made diversity training mandatory for every leader across the country.
As a member of the executive team of Vision7 International, a global agency network, and its Diversity, Individuality and Inclusion (D&I2) committee sponsor, Mélanie has championed the roll-out of a D&I2 benchmarking survey that enables network agencies to track the evolution of their team makeup over time.
Externally, Mélanie has shared her views on changing the way we understand leadership qualities in Canada’s leading newspapers, on panels, and in a book called “Your Turn: Powerful Thoughts from Today’s Women to the Next,” which compiled advice from 150 of Canada’s leading women to those of tomorrow.
73) Marlene Olsavsky - Pearson Canada managing director
As the first female managing director, Marlene is making Pearson Canada a welcoming and inclusive place for women. She has ensured female representation is present on her leadership team, with 60% direct reports being women, and that women at Pearson and in the education space are prominently featured at internal and industry events.
Marlene has championed opportunities for flexible working and celebrates International Women’s Day by hosting employee engagement events. She also sponsors team members to attend women’s conferences in leadership, and established the first chapter of the ERG for gender at Pearson outside of the US.
Beyond Pearson, Marlene champions diversity and inclusion across the industry through her work with the Canadian Publishers Council. She mentors aspiring female leaders at Pearson and on the Pearson Student Advisory Board, and coaches educational female social entrepreneurs in the MaRS Discovery District.
Marlene has spoken about her experiences as a woman in leadership at community and school events, and is training for a martial arts black belt, where she is mentored by experienced women and passes that on to younger female students, including her daughter.
74) Teresa Ko - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer China chairman
Teresa is executive sponsor of Freshfield’s Asian women’s network, through which she hosts activities, International Women’s Day celebrations and sponsors initiatives from members.
She regularly mentors female associates, guiding them in their work and strategic thinking and helping them to navigate the world of M&A and IPOs. She supported the women’s network’s “Every Day Gender Equality” initiative (EDGE), a set of ten everyday actions that everybody in the firm can take to demonstrate gender inclusion and to break down the current unequal status quo.
The actions include championing women as a fundamental part of business success, making sure everyone can fully participate and be heard, calling out inappropriate behaviour and representing these values to clients. Teresa ensured that maternity and paternity leave entitlements are substantially above market norms for Asia, promoting a better work-life balance.
Externally, Teresa is a leading voice in combatting Hong Kong’s board culture, where women represent only 13% of directors. She is a founding member and steering committee member of the 30% Club Hong Kong and is an active supporter of The Women’s Foundation. Teresa was the first female chair of Hong Kong’s Stock Exchange Listing Committee, where she introduced initiatives to promote board diversity throughout Hong Kong’s listed companies.
75) Demet İkiler - WPP Turkey & GroupM Turkey country chairperson and CEO
Across the 28 WPP agencies for which Demet is responsible in Turkey, she is committed to supporting diversity in recruitment policies, workplace culture and office facilities.
She was instrumental in implementing the “Walk the Talk” initiative across WPP Turkey, an award-winning equality movement positively impacting the lives of hundreds of women across GroupM and WPP. WPP launched the WPP Culture Project in April 2019 to address our approach to a scope of issues including gender equality, and Demet remains very active in this area.
Demet has ensured that WPP offers one of the most comprehensive parental packages in Turkey, and she launched the GroupM Mother Support Programme, which provides returning new mothers with a one-to-one mentor for the first three months back at work.
Externally, Demet is Vice Chairperson of the UN Global Compact Turkey roundtable of CEOs. She is also an ambassador to Unilever and the Advertising Association for their gender equality and female stereotype initiatives. Demet has entered into a partnership with Yanındayız (We Are With You), an association tackling gender inequality based on the principals of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
76) Naheed Afzal - Contracts IT Recruitment Consulting CEO and co-founder
As CEO, Naheed ensures recruitment is inclusive and is a strategic partner of The Tech Talent Charter. An Alumni of the Mayor’s International Business Trade Programme she has championed inclusive recruitment in tech and business globally or 20 years, emanating from her background as a human rights lawyer and her dedication to social inclusion, equality and justice.
She has built strategic partnerships with organisations who share these values, and created a diversity recruitment plan, leading to 60% female representation, with all staff regularly trained on diversity and inclusion (D&I). As a result, Contracts IT Recruitment Consulting has won accreditations and awards for D&I. The company uses numerous resources, including advances in technology, to ensure they are attracting and sourcing a larger percentage of women through their activities than their peers.
Externally, Naheed is vice chair of the London and South East leadership team for the Prince’s Trust. She has been heavily involved in the primary girls’ and mothers’ mentoring programme to support with cultural barriers to progression for girls and their mothers within BAME communities. Naheed is also the UK advisor for The Wonder Women Tech Foundation US and an ambassador for Diverse In. She also chairs TLA Pakistan, a working group of Tech London Advocates and Global Advocates.
77) Natasha Harrison - Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP managing partner, London
Fostering, advancing and accelerating diversity is core to Natasha’s business strategy and at the heart of the London office of Boies Schiller Flexner, which she built from scratch.
Natasha is a leading international disputes lawyer, one of the UK’s only female managing partners and one of the firm’s first women to be elected to the executive committee. Natasha has built a team with two women partners out of six, 50% women associates, 75% female staff and all three senior managers are women.
Boies Schiller Flexner UK support the brokerage, a charity creating internship opportunities for high calibre candidates from diverse and under-privileged backgrounds. Natasha has personally made a public stand in the press against the billable hour and how it holds back female lawyers.
Externally, Natasha mentors a number of high-flying women looking to return to the workplace, matching them with the right coach. She has also counselled women through discriminatory dismissals when they have found themselves dismissed following pregnancy or children, put them back on their feet and helped them find new roles.
78) Abbi Cohen - Dechert LLP partner
Abbi has strived to create opportunities for women since becoming a partner at Dechert in 1992. She has chaired Dechert’s Global Women’s Initiative (GWI) since its establishment in 2013, connecting and supporting Dechert’s women attorneys at all levels, across practice groups and 28 offices.
The initiative now has dedicated local or regional chapters around the globe, which hold meetings, events and activities, and offer skills training and development as well as opportunities for internal and external professional and social interactions. Abbi also helped develop and implement the firm’s Sponsorship and Sustained Support (SASS) programme which focuses on supporting the firm’s most senior female associates, counsel and national partners in navigating the path to partnership.
As of July 1, 2019, Abbi was appointed Dechert’s partner in charge of Diversity and Inclusion globally, representing the interests of all diversity affinity groups and women attorneys at the firm and ensuring maximum inclusion across all groups. Dechert today counts 4 women on its policy committee, 5 women office managing partners, 8 women practice group or industry sector leaders, and the firm has added more than 15 female lateral partners in the past year.
Beyond Dechert, Abbi sits on the Dean’s Council for Penn Law Women as well as the Board of Managers for the Penn Law Alumni Society and regularly mentors students in both capacities, alongside mentoring women lawyers in the wider legal community. She also holds a number of leadership positions in organisations focused on targeting social injustices.
79) Joanna Santinon - EY partner
Joanna led the women’s network at EY for 10 years, handing over responsibility in July this year. She continues to run EY’s FTSE women’s group which brings together women who are or aspire to be FTSE directors.
She has been a steering committee member of the 30% Club in the UK since its inception and led the creation of the 30% Club cross-company mentoring scheme which has now seen over 2000 mentees pass through the programme in the UK alone.
She is currently Co-Vice Chair of the Women's Network Forum (WNF) which brings together the broadest of industries, from tech to retail to business services to PR, to work together to showcase and share best practices that are driving change in the gender space. WNF recently released a research report “Fuelling Gender Diversity - Unlocking the impact of the next generation on the workplace,” an important look at how much ground we can gain by adapting working practices for all to recruit and retain the next generation.
Joanna leads the Entrepreneur Of The Year programme at EY and works to support female entrepreneurs through mentoring scale up entrepreneurs and bringing together a peer group of over 100 female entrepreneurs to share experiences and support each other.
80) Joanna Ludlam - Baker McKenzie equity partner, dispute resolution
Joanna has been part of the BakerWomen Leadership team since 2010, and spearheaded the launch of the original BakerWomen Client Event Programme which provided a networking forum for senior business women.
These targeted events have helped to shift the culture of the firm – talking and thinking about gender diversity is no longer just "the right thing to do," but it’s commercially critical for building stronger relationships with clients.
Joanna championed the development of granular gender reporting at the firm. From evaluation, promotion and retention statistics, to recruitment and salaries; these tangible statistics have enabled the BW leadership to raise awareness of the issues, and facilitated BakerWomen to develop a clear plan of action, identifying key areas that need to change. As a direct result, initiatives such as agile and flexible working have been promoted in order to support women in their careers.
Joanna also mentors women throughout the firm, both informally and formally through the firm's Career Guidance Scheme. Externally, Joanna is part of the King’s College London Alumni group and is involved in the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership. She spoke at the inaugural event “Gender Equality: what's holding back greater change?” event, celebrating the achievements of the impressive King’s alumnae community and showcasing the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership.
81) Danielle Ofek - Genddex founder and CEO
Danielle has more than 15 years of experience in business development in various industries, and from the age of 16, alongside her career, she's always had social activities. She's passionate about innovation, tech, and communications. Within her artificial intelligence and data-driven startup, Genddex, Danielle has committed to numerous initiatives to bring about gender parity.
Danielle is also co-founder and the leader of Parliament51 ('P51'), a social impact venture aiming to achieve gender equality and equal opportunities for women in the workplace.
Parliament51 has established a close international community of influential top executives in their fields in London, Berlin, Melbourne, Tel Aviv and New York. P51 is working with companies to narrow gender gaps through its “Statement of Principles Women in the Workplace Standard,” currently working with more than 50 companies in Israel and more companies abroad covering 350,000 employees.
Danielle created a unique methodology called: "Design Equality", which uses a number of innovative tools and applications including cross-company, cross-industry and cross-cultures working groups, knowledge and information sharing, guidance and mentoring. P51 works first within companies, then uses these organisations as role models for other companies and industries. Danielle mentors women extensively throughout the industry and around the globe.
82) Danny Harmer - Metro Bank PLC chief people officer
As chief people officer, Danny encourages diverse applicants to vacancies at Metro Bank through specific wording on job adverts and transparent salaries for all positions.
She has introduced a gender balance check as part of the annual reward review recommendations to help leaders understand the gender impact of decisions during the reward process, and a requirement for diverse longlists for all jobs, especially more senior hires.
Danny speaks at and supports events and panels for the Metro Bank Women on Work ERG and signed up to the Women in Finance Charter alongside many other initiatives, leading to one of the lowest gender pay gaps in banking, an increase in women in senior leadership roles and more women appointed to the Board. Danny is passionate about making sure that men and women are included in conversations on gender and Metro Bank offers equal shared parental leave to all colleagues regardless of their gender.
Danny is Master of the Guild of HR Professionals. She mentors several women and attended the BBC 50:50 initiative to have more women included in the media.
83) Mariquit Corcoran - Barclays managing director, head of group innovation partnerships, programmes and Rise fintech platform
Mariquit is setting an example as an active and vocal champion for firm-sponsored initiatives focused on diversity and inclusion (D&I). She has led fireside chats and mentored with Encore, a 12-week paid fellowship programme aimed at helping professionals, primarily women, return to work. She has also participated in panels with the firm-wide women’s network, WIN, focusing on career progression and supporting initiatives to promote professional growth.
Mariquit is leveraging her network to help women at all levels increase their experience in the fintech space, expand their network and grow their skills. Mariquit drives “Women in Technology” initiatives, and recently moderated a panel comprised of female senior business executives and entrepreneurs at an event in which Women’s Bond Club scholarships were awarded to remarkable young women graduating high school.
She has been asked to represent Barclays at the 2019 Grace Hopper event, where she will share insights on the firm’s focus to support women in technology. Mariquit is also currently leading the development of a flagship programme to back female entrepreneurs.
Externally, Mariquit led the launch of ‘Female Executives in FinTech,’ which aims to develop an engaged community of executives and investors focused on established, growth-stage and early-stage companies led by women, ultimately working towards levelling the playing field. She also regularly participates in gender diversity-focused events as a keynote speaker and panellist.
84) Aisling Ryan - WPP managing partner, The Corporate Practice
The Corporate Practice that Aisling leads at WPP is a committed agitator for positive impact. As well as championing diversity among clients, Aisling is involved in a wide range of mentoring and training for women of all levels and functions at WPP.
She personally supports female colleagues through training, career development, conflict resolution, challenges returning to work from time off, and salary negotiation. Aisling also contributes to WPP’s formal mentoring programmes, such as their X Factor programme which prepares women for the next level of executive leadership. Aisling herself is an alumnus and shares what she learned with the women she manages and mentors. Aisling negotiated free office space for the WOW Foundation, the organisers of the annual Women of the World Festival.
Beyond WPP, Aisling is passionately involved in wildlife conservation, supporting numerous NGOs. She advises and mentors many women who are senior in these organisations, and in August she hosted some of them in her home.Recently, Aisling joined the Board of Trustees of CSL (Conservation South Luangwa) an anti-poaching and wildlife rescue NGO based in Zambia.
As the WPP lead for the United Nations, Aisling has been an advisor to the UN Women. Aisling also helped create The People’s Seat campaign with the UN and UNFCCC. The People’s Seat gave people the opportunity to have their voice heard directly by world leaders. Launched at the 2018 UN Climate Change Conference, Aisling interviewed Greta Thunberg, amplifying the inspirational activist’s voice on the global stage.
85) Nicole Lonsdale - Kinetic chief planning officer
Throughout her time at Kinetic, Nicole has dedicated herself to helping both male and female staff understand the challenges faced by women in the workplace. Using her extensive network of industry peers, she regularly arranges for speakers to present to the business on a broad range of diversity and inclusion topics, whilst also championing a dedicated training programme for female staff on topics such as leadership, effective communication and empowerment.
From her experiences returning to work following maternity leave, Nicole has worked with Kinetic’s Talent team to develop a programme to help returning mothers settle back into the workplace – she also wrote a blog for IWD on this subject. In 2017, Nicole broadened her focus to help improve working conditions for women across the wider industry.
She established “Balance”, a diversity and inclusion network for out of home advertising, with the ambition of inspiring women to stay in the sector longer and attract a more diverse range of talent. Balance regularly publishes on a range of topics, and has also hosted three industry conferences focused on educating leaders and senior managers on how to understand unconscious biases and the impact of improving processes and business cultures to create a more diverse and empowering workplace.
Looking ahead, a new event is planned, aimed at breaking the silence on some of the more challenging issues specifically faced by women in the workplace, such as miscarriage, infertility and menopause – overcoming taboos and showing our industry how to better support women in order to keep them succeeding.
86) Lisa Quest - Oliver Wyman partner and co-head of economic crime risk
Lisa is a global executive sponsor for Oliver Wyman’s inclusive leadership initiatives, encouraging global programmes which increase gender diversity. This includes setting ambitious gender balance targets across senior teams at the firm. She also sponsors work with an advisory firm aimed at increasing the number of female partners in leadership positions.
Lisa is executive sponsor for Women of Oliver Wyman (WOW), where she leads the team to promote gender diversity, supporting the firm’s UK gender pay gap response, reviewing parental policies, establishing a “Men4Change” programme and leading a “sharing stories” initiative.
In addition, Lisa is UK&I Executive Committee Sponsor for diversity and inclusion (D&I), where she ensures all D&I activities are brought to the leadership team.
Beyond Oliver Wyman, Lisa sponsors various organisations and mentoring schemes. She is a board member of Best Beginnings, a charity focused on helping new parents give every child in the UK the best start in life; the Green Hat Foundation, a charity focused on helping individuals re-enter the workforce. She also regularly speaks at events and published articles on female inclusion.
87) Kim Mustin - Alliance Bernstein senior managing director
Kim is executive sponsor of Women of Wealth, a group within Bernstein Private Wealth designed to add additional training and mentorship for skills development of next generation women.
She sits on the global culture committee for the CEO to design a workplace of inclusion, diversity and individual/corporate success. She is also national leader for diversity and culture, designing better recruitment and retention strategies to enhance the firm’s workforce for future business success.
Externally, Kim is executive sponsor of Thinking Out Loud, supporting events for UHNW women to explore traits of highly successful women, designed to inspire women to take calculated risk, to push for higher plateaus, to advocate for equality and to build a community that can support and lift each other up.
She is also development chair for Sheltering Arms, raising awareness and money to support disadvantaged children and families, with an emphasis on fundraising to sponsor young girls’ education, increasing confidence and advancement.
88) Wendy Warham - Fujitsu VP of digital transformation and innovation
Wendy’s mission at Fujitsu is to create an organisation where women thrive and are represented equally at every level of the business. A senior leader with Fujitsu since 2009 in the UK and EMEIA, Wendy operates at Board level, has led cross-cultural teams of 2000 and uses her influence to make a positive difference.
Executive sponsor for the “Women’s Business Network” at Fujitsu, Wendy led the gender pay gap report, drove all arising actions and has initiated multiple programmes for women to build confidence, develop capabilities and create resilient leaders of the future.
Recent leadership programmes initiated by Wendy include “Future Me” and “Leading Lights” which are developing 80 women this year. She is a hands-on visible leader, a committed mentor and host for the Women in Technology Event. During Wendy’s tenure more women have been recruited into the organisation, the gender pay gap is on track to be eradicated by 2021 and >50% of the UK P&L is now led by women.
Externally Wendy is a proactive member of the techUK Diversity Council where she has been a leading force in the Returners Programme. Wendy is also a member of the Diversity & Inclusion Board for Fujitsu EMEIA.
89) Casey Ryan - Reed Smith LLP global head of legal personnel
As the global head of legal personnel, Reed Smith’s diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiative and the Women’s Initiative Network (WINRS) report directly to Casey, providing a great opportunity to innovate and drive positive change.
Reed Smith was an inaugural signatory to the Mansfield Rule, through which Casey and her team guided the firm’s efforts to ensure women and diverse attorneys comprise at least 30% of the candidates for leadership and governance roles, equity partner promotions, and lateral positions.
Casey also has introduced innovative initiatives to address demands on working women, including an online course assisting pregnant women to plan for leave and to return to work; a breast milk storage and shipping service to assist breastfeeding attorneys who are travelling for work; a “Ramp-Up/Ramp-Down” programme, allowing attorneys on extended absences to ramp up and down from 60% of expected hours to full time over 16 weeks with no impact on their compensation; and an Associate Life initiative, aimed at providing business skills and an overall positive experience at work.
Externally, Casey has co-chaired the United Way of Allegheny County’s Women’s Leadership Council, during which time the number of members in the WLC increased to more than 2,000 and significant finances were raised for women’s causes. She has also been a long-time supporter of the Girl Scouts, who have recently honoured her for her efforts as Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania’s Woman of Distinction in Government & Law.
90) Sandra Federighi - Stella McCartney CFO and business service director
Given that the workforce at Stella McCartney is 80% female, Sandra guides women through nurturing and supporting them in the workplace.
She actively supports women in the organisation to complete core hours, ensuring a beneficial work-life balance. She is actively supporting women’s emotional intelligence in the workplace, helping them to grow and nourish their talents and build careers to be proud of.
Externally, Sandra acts as a mentor for The Girls Network, helping to guide young women with the direction of their career and to make worthy business choices. She has been collaborating with the Istituto Marangoni and has recently joined the INvolve mentoring programme as a mentor. Sandra regularly speak on panels, sharing her mentoring experiences and helping to empower young, ethnic minority women.
Sandra has also judged on the panel at the Barclaycard “Every women in retail” awards, where she supported other women who share her hard work ethic. Alongside this, Sandra joined the Financial Times as a speaker at the CFO dialogues in November; where she guided aspiring CFOs on the importance of changing the workforce, and talent management.
91) Shruti Ajitsaria - Allen & Overy LLP partner and head of Fuse
In 2017, Shruti launched tech innovation space Fuse, which is designed to help lawyers to touch, feel and understand the impact of technology.
As an Asian female partner, she is acutely aware of the lack of diversity on the tech sector generally as well as specifically in LawTech. She seeks to redress this balance by providing opportunities for females within A&O.
Examples include hosting and participating in a Women in Derivatives session on tech innovation and organising Code First: Girls to teach coding to emerging female leaders at A&O alongside their counterparts at a key client. As a school governor at Haberdashers' Aske's School for Girls in Elstree, Shruti is on the strategy committee, on which she has a focus on ensuring that the young women leaving school are well prepared for the future.
She is also an active member of the all-female fundraising committee of the charity, Noah’s Ark Childrens Hospice. Shruti participates in female mentoring, including through the LegalGeek network. She works hard to support female entrepreneurs and women in STEM careers.
92) Alysia Silberg - Street Global Venture Capital general partner
Alysia founded and is a general partner at Street Global Venture Capital where an appreciation for diversity’s value is embedded in her firm’s strategy, engagement with the market and standard operational behaviour.
Practically speaking, Alysia’s firm engages with more women in business, science and finance than is typical, finds more opportunities because they are diversity-friendly and capitalises on more opportunities because they engage with a wide range of people.
Alysia invests globally to improve financial freedom, health, entrepreneurial productivity and economic security, a group of investing themes for empowering women. The firm reinforces embracing diversity in their brand articulation and public media presence. The firm has also done philanthropic outreach and education via online media and public speaking.
Externally, Alysia is a UN Global Champion for Women’s Empowerment and Entrepreneurship. She created a radio show that democratised access to advice on entrepreneurship, technology and investing. She advises government ministers from a globally diverse group of countries, both in private and in public forums and has one-on-one relationships with key people and leaders in governments in Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, the UK, the US and Canada. Alysia also speaks before officials at development forums on economic development and empowerment, and at educational institutions and general public education forums.
93) Christa Markgraff - Nicor Gas vice president of operations
Throughout her 27 years with Nicor Gas, Christa has acted as a prominent role model for women in the energy industry. She is a founding member and executive sponsor of Nicor Gas’ ERG Inspire, an inclusive network focusing on women’s issues, working to inspire women to fulfil their personal and professional potential.
Christa regularly speaks at Inspire events. Other Nicor Gas ERGs have benefitted from Christa’s experience through presentations and panel discussions. Christa makes herself available for one-to-one meetings with employees to discuss career progression.
She has encouraged women in the workplace to step up into leadership positions within their boards, ensuring they have an opportunity to develop professionally outside of the company.
She is board chair of Voices for Illinois Children, an independent, nonpartisan advocacy organisation that champions strong public policies and investments for all Illinois children. She brings her leadership and mentorship to the classroom where she regularly presents on “The Future of Energy” to high school students. Christa is also a founding member of the Women’s Energy Network and third president of the Chicago chapter, an organisation which educates girls on STEM careers and seeks to attract, retain and promote women in the energy industry.
94) Nancy Wisniewski - Standard Chartered Bank chief operating officer, Americas
Nancy has been the chair of Standard Chartered Bank’s Gender Engagement Network (GEN) in the Americas for the last five years. When she took over the leadership of the network, she successfully spearheaded the effort to change its name from “Women’s Initiative Network (WIN)” to the “Gender Engagement Network,” recognising the imperative to include men in the conversation.
The rebranding in the Americas region led to a swift tripling of membership over the course of the first six months. Nancy campaigned for the network’s UK counterparts to do the same, which has also resulted in significant growth. In 2018, GEN undertook over 45 events, both internal and client-focused, with activities including a client recognition award in honour of International Women’s Day, a movie screening of and conversations around RBG, a Meet and Eat series with senior management, creation of Lean In Circles, and a number of career building and networking workshops.
GEN also led the charge to have Standard Chartered publish an Influencer Statement for International Women’s Day 2019 in support of #BalanceforBetter. Nancy also ensures that graduate recruitment has ample female representation through participation in the steering committee.
Externally, Nancy is an active member of the Wall Street Women’s Alliance Governance Board and participates in a number of formal and informal mentoring relationships with women covering different aspects of their career within Standard Chartered, plus involvement in many other efforts to drive gender equality.
95) Nicky Bullard - MRM//McCann chairwoman and chief creative officer
Nicky is leading the diversity charge in the marketing industry, with the board at her agency MRM-McCann boasting a 50:50 gender split, including the recent hire of a female chief financial officer.
The agency has also become a founding supporter of the Creative Equals Returnship programme, welcoming women back in to the industry following a significant absence. MRM-McCann continues to invest in retaining female talent, sending four women to the Global Web Summit in Lisbon and maintaining their Flexy Forty programme, allowing women to “work work” around their lives and family commitments without judgement.
Externally she has been working with NoMore, the charity working to end domestic and sexual violence against women, creating work that will use voice technology to highlight the warning signs of verbal abuse – a common precursor to physical violence.
She has also worked with the Miscarriage Association on their Cards of Acknowledgement project, allowing the charity to, quite literally, put help in the hands of those who need it most. She was also President of the Direct Jury at the Cannes Lions Festival 2019, the most prestigious industry awards show in the world.
96) Sarah Pinch - Pinch Point Communications managing director
Sarah is committed to diversity and runs Spring Forward, an annual conference encouraging women to think about leadership positions and providing life and career inspiration. In 2019 the conference explored the theme of authentic leadership and 100% of delegates said they would recommend it to a friend.
In February 2019, Sarah published a white paper titled “The C Words: culture, confidence and choice, Women in the Boardroom”. The paper draws on research from the inaugural Spring Forward conference and makes a number of recommendations for women and employers; including introducing Rosie’s Rule, calling on organisations to interview at least one competent and qualified women for every senior leadership position.
Sarah is exploring the launch of a mentoring programme in 2020 and continues to mentor a number of women within the fields of PR and communication and beyond. She was appointed Chair of the Taylor Bennett Foundation in 2017, and is a Non-Executive Director at the HSE - their youngest board appointment.
Externally, Sarah has joined the charity Speakers for Schools, delivering talks on PR, journalism and being a woman in business. She has also been appointed as an independent advisor to the Welsh Assembly Commission and Chair of their Workforce, Engagement and Remuneration Committee.
97) Einat Nemesh - Google head of Israel
Einat is a senior member of Google Israel’s management and is constantly striving for gender equality, promoting women to senior positions and acting as a very visible female role model.
As a member of Parliament 51, she has signed Google up to the statement for gender equality. Externally, Einat is a mentor to many women at different stages in their careers.
98) Nadjia Yousif - Boston Consulting Group managing director and partner
Nadjia is the diversity and inclusion lead for BCG UK, overseeing all four diversity networks: Women@BCG, Pride@BCG, London Black Network and Family@BCG. This is in addition to her client service role in helping banks, central banks, payments providers and insurers fundamentally change their technology systems, organisational structures and digital customer experiences.
A passionate advocate for empowering individuals and technology in the workplace, Nadjia is heavily involved in shaping and progressing both BCG’s own diversity agenda, and those of other organisations and society more broadly. She heads up the local Women@BCG network, through which she drives gender inclusion through recruiting, mentoring, career support, bonding, policies and external engagement. She has co-authored various research pieces on diversity, the findings of which have helped to drive BCG’s internal policies and the work the group does with clients.
Externally, Nadjia is an advisor to a number of organisations on their diversity policies, particularly those related to gender. She strives to act as a mentor and role model both within BCG and with external networks. Nadjia launched Diversity Drivers, an external network of leaders from across industries who are passionate about D&I to create a platform for other organisations to replicate successful models.
She is a member of the Women’s Forum Daring Circle for STEM, which aims to increase the number of women in STEM roles. Outside of work, Nadjia is a supporter of the charity Women for Women International, helping female survivors of war rebuild their lives.
99) Nina Stepanek - Warner Music Central Europe deputy director of marketing, international
Nina is a strong advocate for equal rights and equal pay. She ensures that mothers on her team are offered more flexibility in their contracts to allow them to balance work and family.
She has created a training programme for interns, many of whom are women, to enable them to develop their potential, help them build their confidence and to support them in their next career steps.
The programme has led to an increased number of young professionals being offered long-term jobs at Warner Music Central Europe after successful internships. Nina keeps closely connected with all her female former employees to offer support and networking opportunities.
Externally, Nina was a member of the Board of Trustees and speaker at the newly-founded Recorded Music Summer School in 2018. Alongside designing modules and lectures on the course, Nina held a lecture with two other female marketing experts in Music, providing a great opportunity for young female professionals to gain more insight into the Music industry, to get a clearer idea of potential employers and to find female mentors to guide them on their career paths.
100) Diane Gilhooley - Eversheds Sutherland LLP global practice group head of human resources and pensions
In addition to her role as the global head of the employment, labour and pensions legal practice, Diane is the firm’s first gender champion and the diversity and Iiclusion sponsor across Eversheds Sutherland’s international business.
She is working to increase diversity in all areas and to drive change and embed a culture where women have opportunities to progress their careers. Last year, she spearheaded the launch of the firm’s new Development Plus programme, which invited 130 female participants from countries across five continents to join four sessions across the year designed to aid their career progression, with some excellent feedback and outputs.
As leader of the Gender Network, Diane has co-ordinated focused activity around career and skills development, flexible working, raising awareness of parental leave, tackling unconscious bias, providing access to role models and personally worked to mentor others and supported colleagues to act as champions of change.
Externally, Diane has worked on an initiative in the further education sector to increase the number of female college governors across England. She has supported the women’s development programme network at a major financial institution for a number of years, and as part of that programme worked with around 40 talented women in their business group. She has championed equality, diversity and inclusion issues, with a focus on gender diversity for many years, by speaking at events, including the Women’s Leadership Network.