2022 Winners

Meet our exceptional 2022 Rising Star and Senior Leader winners across all six categories.

Business Person of the Year

Kené Umeasiegbu

Campaigns Director, Tesco

Kené is Campaigns Director at Tesco, where he leads the firm’s public and stakeholder engagement on key social issues such as climate change. Prior to this, in his six years as Tesco’s Head of Environment, he led Tesco to switch to 100% renewable electricity, roll out the UK’s largest retail network of electric vehicle charging points, and agree roadmaps to fully electric delivery vans, zero deforestation soy and sustainable tuna. His experience includes time spent in not-for-profit, consulting and corporate environments. Kené is a trustee of the Leaders Quest Foundation and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and sits on the environment advisory panel of Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Arts and Media

Rising Star

Yinka Ilori

Artist and Designer at Yinka Ilori Studio

Yinka Ilori is a London-based Nigerian artist who uses his Nigerian-British heritage to create new narratives through contemporary design. Drawing on parables and verbal traditions, he brings together themes that resonate with a global audience in ways they can understand. Often using cityscapes as his canvas, Yinka’s artwork reimagines spaces to encourage a sense of community and invites his audience to engage within communities, causing impact at a societal level and evoking joy and optimism.

Senior Leader

Suzann McLean

CEO and Artistic Director at Theatre Peckham

Suzann McLean is an award-winning creative artist, with 27 years’ industry experience as actor director and mentor and recognised for her impact with being selected as a torch bearer for the 2012 Olympics. She is recognised for building safe spaces where marginalised people can unapologetically experience and participate in theatre. Alongside her extensive career in the performing arts, she founded Young and Talented theatre company, which nurtures young talent on stage, on screen and in life. As CEO and Artistic Director of Theatre Peckham, she has been a driving force to ensure inclusion in offering more opportunities for underrepresented voices by championing and channelling local marginalised talent into a national and international focus.

Consumer and Luxury

Rising Star

Prince Chakanyuka

E-commerce Customer Supply Chain Manager, Procter and Gamble

Prince is the Amazon & Ocado Customer Supply Chain Manager at P&G and has extensive experience in Supply chain management. In 2020, he started managing the supply chain of one of the fast-growing businesses during the Covid-19/Brexit transition – Fairy dishwashing business $200M+. In just 10 months, this innovative thinker was given additional responsibilities which put him right near the top spot on one of Northern Europe’s most complex schemes: electronics sales ($0 .5B+) alongside building expertise within distribution networks and working directly with the Finance Vice President/E&I sponsor, co-leading E&I recruitment partnerships for Northern Europe P&G.

Senior Leader

Patrice Gordon

Director, Commercial Strategy Development, Virgin Atlantic

Patrice is an executive at Virgin Atlantic and she uses her leadership skills and experience to drive cross-functional initiatives that ensure they “build back better” post-pandemic. She is a thought leader when it comes to breaking down barriers, building belonging in the workplace and increasing representation at senior levels. She sits on both Steering Boards for Women in Aviation and Cochair for the Ethnic Committee focused on Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure. Her Post Reverse Mentoring ex-Virgin Atlantic CEO Craig Kreeger led her path to conduct detailed research that has been recognised by the TED community, Brene Brown and several international businesses as an expert on implementing Reverse mentoring in a credible and sustainable manner.


Rising Star

Troy Johnson


Troy is an ambitious young entrepreneur who found inspiration in his own family’s history of cooking and eating good food. Juici Jerk, which started out as just one small home-cooking new-age Caribbean restaurant in London was founded with his older brother Jarrell, with just a £500 savings in 2017. Today, Juici Jerk has exceeded over £1 million in turnover due to their diverse range of services including private and corporate catering as well as a nationwide meal kit service, a residency at Soho and a permanent site at Selfridges London.

Senior Leader

Connie Barrett

Owner and Director, Kids in Charge

Connie is a dynamic entrepreneur who has created Ofsted-rated breakfast, after-school, and holiday clubs for children of three to 12 years old through her Kids in Charge company. Connie has also created RightStart Daycare which is the sister company of Kids in Charge, catering to children under five years old. Her impact on the childcare sector is felt by many families who use her flexible childcare services. Connie achieves this excellence by investing time into developing her team of 40 multicultural staff to help them reach their full potential. Kids in Charge also take part in a government holiday club provision that provides support to children in receipt of free school meals through holiday periods. Connie is also a firm believer in developing professionals and business owners of all backgrounds via The Business Network Elite, where she does events and provides ongoing support to ensure the attendees reach their full potential.

Financial Services

Rising Star

Natalie Ojevah MBE

Eagle Labs Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Barclays

Natalie’s passion for business and community led her to create Barclays Black Founders Accelerator, a programme that she runs in partnership with Foundervine. The success of the programme has been overwhelming as it currently supports 65 Black founded businesses with an amazing net promoter score of 88. The 2022 cohort is set to be even bigger than last year and will support up to 115 black-owned businesses. Natalie’s inspiring story of determination and commitment is evident in her accomplishment in becoming the youngest Black female to be awarded an MBE in 2022 for services to Diversity & Inclusion and Business Development as well as becoming the first Barclays apprentice to obtain a degree as part of the Barclays graduate programme.

Senior Leader

Sean Alleyne

Chief Operating Officer, Credit Suisse International

Sean is the Chief Operating Officer for Credit Suisse International. His role includes ensuring effective governance and oversight as well as driving a control culture. He has led several important programmes including the UK response to Covid-19, and he continues his work on global booking model system implementation across investment bank entities. Sean has been instrumental in increasing representation for Black talent at Credit Suisse and holds several voluntary positions including acting as trustee of Credit Suisse’s EMEA Foundation, and as senior sponsor of the UK BAME Employee Network. He was recognised by Credit Suisse as a culture carrier, and mentors young professionals pursuing careers within and outside of banking.

Professional Services

Rising Star

Vincent Egunlae

Strategic Leadership Team, Assistant Manager, Grant Thornton

Vincent is a qualified accountant working with the GTUK Strategic Leadership Team, and an inaugural Inclusion Advisory Board member at his firm to support inclusive decisions at the board level to create opportunities for diverse talent and representation. He advocates for greater diversity through a company he founded, Ethnicity Network, which comprises 600+ members that drove the creation of the Ethnicity Action Plan, an initiative designed to reduce the ethnicity pay gap, and increase ethnic minority representation. He is also a co-founder of The Open Private School, a charity that has connected state-school students with 60 experienced mentors in a 6-month comprehensive program. He is also a NED at Capital City College Group and a governor at Crowland’s Primary School.

Senior Leader

John McCalla-Leacy

Partner and UK Head of ESG, KPMG

As KPMG’s UK Head of Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG), John is responsible for embedding ESG practices into the company’s UK strategy and leads the delivery of solutions, products or services to clients. As part of the Global ESG Steering Committee, he plays an integral role in implementing KPMG’s ambitious strategy that will invest $1 billion globally over three years. He is a seasoned ESG professional with 21 years of experience in ever-increasing senior roles at the UK, Regional and Global levels within KPMG. He is a former KPMG UK Board member and currently a KPMG Foundation Board member. As Vice Chair of the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange (IBDE) Inclusion Advisory Group, he is a strong external advocate for ESG, championing the ‘S’ in driving inclusion, diversity and equity.


Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Technology

Rising Star

Ivan Kayima

CEO, Spiela

Ivan is a tech business leader with over a decade of experience in product management, business development and entrepreneurship. He oversees the technical and non-technical delivery of two BACS payment projects for the NHS and DWPs universal credit projects. He also coaches his team on the agile methodology. His entrepreneurial work has provided him with a national platform and recently, he appeared on GB News for Nike’s Black Community Commitment Fund through which he judged 17 black-led organizations that were selected for funding by Nike London. He was also sponsored by OYW to host the Spiela Blue Borough Summit at Goldsmiths University in 2019 as a One World ambassador for Lewisham’s first youth summit designed to empower, inspire and celebrate the South Londoners through 4 themes: Arts, Tech, Youth and Culture.

Senior Leader

Ike Olowoye

Senior Director, Late Oncology Global Portfolio and Project Management, AstraZeneca

As a medicine developer, Ike aims to deliver potentially curative treatments for patients and with her breadth of experience, she has contributed to the discovery of innovative drug candidates, early and late-stage clinical trials and regulatory filing for new drugs. She was awarded GSK’s highest scientific honour, a Transformational Medicine Award, for her contribution to the development of a precision cancer treatment and its application to a new medicine (Zejula) that helps extend both the life expectancy and quality of life for breast cancer patients. She is also a recipient of GSK’s President’s Award for her work in business development in the Oncology field, helping acquire innovative pipeline medicines to accelerate through development and reach patients sooner. She is living proof of what can be achieved through diverse representation in corporate leadership and as a role model, this inspires her to mentor and coach the next generation of diverse leaders in STEM.

Ally of The Year

Brian Corr

Head of Market Intervention, Retail BankingFinancial Conduct Authority

Brian is Head of Department for Market Intervention in Retail Banking at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Prior to this, he served as Interim Director of Retail Lending at the FCA. Brian has held several senior leadership roles across the competition, supervision and authorisation functions of the FCA in a career that started in 1997. He has also been an executive consultant to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Influencer of The Year

Dr Shirley Thompson OBE

Composer and Artistic Director – Shirley Thompson Music

Shirley is an English composer, conductor and violinist of Jamaican descent whose music is performed and screened worldwide and whose prolific range of compositions includes symphonies, ballets, operas and concertos. Shirley is also Professor of Music at the University of Westminster, where she has taught since 2001. In 2019 she was appointed an Officer of the British Empire (OBE) for services to music. Shirley has composed music for contemporary choreographers, including fulfilling commissions for the Royal Ballet School’s choreography workshops. Her most famous dance composition for solo cello and string orchestra, Shift, forms a score for the award-winning ballet, PUSH, whose international tour has included performances at major venues in over 30 countries including Germany, Greece, France, Italy, Spain, Australia, Russia, Australia and New Zealand. Her music for the stage includes her score for the play, The Lodger, as well as for A Child of the Jago, an opera in two acts presented by the South Bank Centre with sponsorship from the Arts Council. A Child of the Jago earned Shirley a nomination in 1997 for Woman of the Year in recognition of her contribution to the arts.e.