Kyle is the UKI/EMEA Adobe Workfront Operations Lead at IBM, where he played a critical role in building the EMEA Adobe Workfront business by creating the governance and operational rigor behind it. Also, delivering IBM’s EMEA Adobe Workfront Specialisation project & gaining the lead for what is now a core growth account within his practice. He has also provided enablement for IBM’s Adobe practice, facilitating critical training for over 540 people. Prior to IBM, he was a Marketing Executive for a Digital Consulting firm, working closely with the Managing Director to build/maintain the Client Target list, implement new marketing channels & create content.
Rising Stars, Entrepreneur
George Imafidon MBE
George is a 26-year-old humanitarian engineer and social entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Motivez and Race Engineer with Sir Lewis Hamilton’s electric race team, X44 Vida Carbon Racing, and a Board Member at The Co-op Foundation and The Hamilton Commission, improving diversity in STEM and motorsport. George has worked with firms such as Google, McKinsey and Rolls-Royce, where he introduced a novel component resulting in savings of £50 million. In 2015, George co-founded Motivez, supported by influential figures such as Idris Elba, Beyonce and The Royal Family. George received the Young Engineer of the Year Award 2022/23 from the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Senior Leaders, Consumer and Luxury
Senior Creative Director, ASOS
Vanessa is a seasoned fashion industry professional with a career spanning over two decades. Joining ASOS in 2007, Vanessa leveraged her prior design experience at Arcadia and Pepe Jeans. She plays a pivotal role in shaping ASOS’ brand identity, supervising over 300 employees as Senior Creative Director and leading the creative direction of ASOS’ portfolio of 17 brands, driving 70,000+ fashion options annually. In FY22, ASOS generated £4 billion in revenue which Vanessa played a significant part in. Vanessa also serves as a Board of Governors member for the Fashion Retail Academy and is recognised as a fashion retail expert within the Fashion Minority Alliance since 2020.
Senior Leaders – Entreprenuer
CEO & Founder, CheckUp Health
Fungai is a successful multi-entrepreneur, angel investor, business mentor, STEM ambassador. She is the Tech founder of CheckUp Health, an NHS-approved one-stop AI-driven clinical solution that connects patients with appropriate clinicians, improves appointment access, predicts no-shows, and provides actionable insights on demand and attendance patterns. GP Practices can improve their Health Inequalities Strategy (HiQiP) by using data to target action and reduce healthcare inequalities, improve early diagnosis, and enhance health outcomes. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Fungai successfully developed remote monitoring modules for their CheckUp Health app through a grant from Innovate UK’s Sustainable Innovation Fund. With a diverse team of healthcare professionals, they conducted a successful trial, and 545 patients from different UK locations used the CheckUp Health app and remote monitoring equipment to monitor their HBP/T2D symptoms. Through the CheckUp Health Clinician monitoring dashboard, abnormal data triggered an alert action taken by the CheckUp Health clinician, who could then offer support and signpost patients to their GP for intervention saving the NHS approximately £4m.
Rising Stars, Arts & Media
Oluwatobi (Tobi) Demuren
Global Head of Advocacy Marketing, LinkedIn
In his role at LinkedIn, Tobi established the Big Minds Collective, creating a collaborative space for agency leaders to explore and address the most pressing challenges within the advertising industry and beyond. Initiatives such as this have helped to propel the LinkedIn Ads business to over $5B as the advertising business grew by 39% in FY22. Tobi’s dedication to fostering people-centric organisations and leading with empathy has not only cemented his esteemed position within LinkedIn but has also contributed to the broader industry’s progress and evolution. Prior to LinkedIn, Tobi has worked at IBM and top-tier creative agencies.
Rising Stars, Consumer & Luxury
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Talking Drums
Yaa Ofori-Ansah is the Founder and CEO of Talking Drums, an Africa-focused sustainable travel platform and marketplace, partnering with local businesses and entrepreneurs to provide the best travel experiences across Africa, whilst also having a positive impact. The company has provided travel planning services several exclusive client trips, including two milestone events which generated over £20,000 for local businesses and entrepreneurs. Yaa has been featured on several media outlets in Africa and the UK, providing her insights and expertise on travel, tourism and sustainability in Africa. She is also a member of the Board of Trustees at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
Senior Leaders, Financial Services
Managing Director, EMEA Head of Macro Research, Morgan Stanley
Tosin oversees over 40 people and is part of the senior leadership team of a global department that is overall top-3 ranked within the organisation. She also leads Equity Research responsibility for Banks, Insurance and Diversified Finance teams. She also led the effort to remodel the Fixed Income Research business in compliance with industry regulations (MiFID II), which obligate clients to pay for fixed-income research explicitly. She serves on the European Operating Committee, the firm’s most senior group of managers. As Executive Champion for Race, she was a key influencer in the firm, for the first, establishing ethnicity representation targets at UK officer level (VP and above).
Rising Stars, STEM
Management Consultant, Accenture
Tolulope has delivered several manufacturing excellence initiatives that have led to improvements in plant efficiency. One of her key accomplishments involved minimising waste generation at the production stage, which posed financial costs to the plant. She led a multi-disciplinary team which yielded >£375k cost savings over four months and positioned the site as a pioneer amongst its European counterparts. She has a passion for supporting the next generation of STEM leaders collaborating on initiatives such as ‘Making Engineering Hot’ and ‘Children Challenging Industry’. Tolulope is also the creator of inSTEM blog, which showcases diverse STEM career paths.
Senior Leaders, STEM
Cyber Security Data Manager, Lloyds Banking Group
Tanya is a Data Manager in Digital Cyber Security focusing on the threat landscape and safeguarding customers. Tanya has pioneered data initiatives to drive decision-making within threat intelligence to improve the surveillance of digital attacks, monitor security updates for engineers to resolve within new timescales, and implement automation. She maximised efficiency by reducing an 8-hour manual task to 15 minutes using advanced scripting within Power BI to automate the data ingest, cleaning, restructuring and output. She was also instrumental in detecting IP addresses used by a known international hacktivist group against LBG domains.
Rising Stars, Financial Services
European Equity Strategist, UBS AG
Sutanya is a European Equity Strategist responsible for analysing and publishing views on stocks, sectors, countries and regions. Since November 2020, she has published c.200 reports with average readership above c.1,000. Last year, her readership stats were the highest among global Associate Economists and Strategists. Sutanya held various other roles at UBS supporting multiple asset classes where she was a primary stakeholder in several regulatory, industry and business change implementations, such as MiFID and Brexit. Sutanya is the Co-Chair of UBS’s ethnic diversity ERG and the Co-Chair of UBS’s Research & Evidence Lab DE&I Committee.
Senior Leaders, Consumer & Luxury
Head Chef & Owner, Roger’s Kitchen
Roger’s passion for good food began in the hills of Jamaica, cooking on a ‘three-stone fire’ with his grandmothers. Arriving in the UK, Roger worked from washing plates to becoming a head chef at the Mango Rooms in Camden. In the middle of Covid-19, rather than hang up his chef’s whites – Roger’s Kitchen was born. Based in Camden, Roger’s Kitchen combines authentic Caribbean flavours with a classic dining experience; serving beautifully presented but unpretentious food. Three years later, the business is turning over half a million annually and with consistent positive reviews.
Rising Stars, Consumer & Luxury
Founder, Noma Creates
Noma is a Zimbabwean-born entrepreneur. Following her success on BBC’s MasterChef, the vision and mission for Noma Creates is to inspire more people to enjoy eating healthily through healthy cooking masterclasses, sauces and spices. Noma has scaled from selling an individual product to four products and a gift set, which increased sales by 66% from revenues of £1.2k to £2k per Festival. Her healthy cooking masterclasses have now been delivered to 130 students and she is a regular speaker at schools and universities to support the next generation of business leaders.
Senior Leaders, Financial Services
Head of Global FX Trading, Fidelity International
Nigell has global responsibility for the FX Trading desks in Dublin and Hong Kong. He has led projects building the firm’s centralised FX trading capabilities and managed desk location moves between the UK, Ireland, Bermuda, Japan, Australia, and Hong Kong. Nigell implemented strategic technology changes that transformed the FX target operating model. This represented the culmination of nearly three years of work on the design, development and testing of the complex system and data-flow changes required across operations and technology to support the billions of dollars of foreign exchange trades generated daily.
Rising Stars, Entrepreneur
Myles & Bradley Jensen
Founders, Jensen & Jensen
Co-founded in 2018 by brothers Myles and Bradley, Jensen & Jensen is a leading creative and strategic insight marketing consultancy across several industries ranging from Professional Services to Luxury Retail to Real Estate with brands including Apple, Nike, Netflix, Premier League and Pfizer. This year, they successfully delivered their largest production, valued at over £100k. They invest significant time in supporting Black-owned businesses, including partnerships with Inclusion Diversity Nuclear, Chapmans of London, Shakara, MSDUK, and the International Festival of Hip Hop. They have a profound commitment to raising awareness about D&I, specifically disability and deaf awareness, garnering 1.7m impressions on LinkedIn this year.
Senior Leaders, Arts & Media
Co-founder & COO, Kunda Kids
As co-founder of Kunda Kids, an award-winning children’s publishing and media company, Louisa is responsible for driving creative and strategic development. In under 3 years, the business provides children’s books and media to over 300 schools and libraries across 130+ countries. Kunda Kids proudly closed a pre-seed round ($700K) in tandem with the release of a flagship animation Kunda & Friends, produced by Disney Director Raymond Malinga. The business aims to elevati and increase the awareness of high-quality children’s media that celebrates African history and culture.
Rising Stars, Professional Services
Associate, McKinsey & Company
Liseli is an award-winning Associate at global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, advising clients across consumer and TMT industries. After completing her MPhil degree at the University of Cambridge she returned as the youngest guest lecturer on the course, delivering the sales and marketing syllabus. Liseli uses her experiences to support the development of future diverse leaders through public speaking engagements, to both academic and business audiences, and delivering workshops in schools. Outside of work she is also a Committee Member and Mentor for the Amos Bursary. Liseli previously led UK&I Innovation (Beauty and Personal Care) at Unilever as the youngest manager at this work level.
Rising Stars, Financial Services
Kwaku Kyei-Manu, Director of Wealth Application Support, SS&C
Kwaku has worked across the regulatory, public and private sectors. Beginning at the Bank of England, he developed and led some of its first ventures into cloud-based applications, consulting with the public sector to standardise an organisational approach to Public Sector Cloud projects as part of the government’s G-Cloud policy. Moving to Computershare, he led the development and creation of a global IT Operations department. He progressed to Head up Global IT Operations, and after a stint in Blackrock and running Computershare’s Global Risk and compliance technology and projects is now Director of Wealth application support at SS&C, responsible for scaling the business function to grow assets under management and increasing client demand. Kwaku is an advisor to the London Cyber Resilience Centre, focusing on Social Mobility and a school governor focusing on educational content and pathways into the world of technology.
Senior Leaders, Entrepreneur
Ken and Mary Okoroafor
Founders, The Humble Penny and Financial Joy Academy
Ken and Mary have grown The Humble Penny from a 99p blog and side hustle to a respected and award-winning personal finance brand in the UK that reaches over 5 million people, helping them improve their relationship with money and achieve significant life goals like becoming debt-free, investing wisely, owning property, starting profitable businesses, building wealth, and achieving financial independence. It has become an income-generating business making multiple six figures and growing. Their active and engaged audience has grown to almost 200k organically. They’ve established deep trust with their audience and are honoured to have the opportunity to solve real problems affecting their community and improve the financial destinies of millions of families.
Kelsa utilises her expertise in adult learning, organisational psychology, career development, DE&I and programme management to enhance the skills and capabilities of people in the fashion-retail industry. Leveraging the principles of neuroscience, technology and user experience, Kelsa has spearheaded transformative learning and development initiatives. For example, she led the design of an innovative career development toolkit which replaces traditional Personal Development Plans. It challenges the conventional ‘career ladder’ concept, empowering people to gain clarity on their strengths, personal success measures, vision and career priorities. The toolkit supports internal talent mobility and enables individuals to own their careers and thrive. Kelsa’s Conscious Inclusion development program fostered a culture of inclusion throughout a global workforce and achieved exceptional engagement rates, exceeding 80%. Kelsa’s ambition is to continue pushing boundaries in the field of Learning & Development, and to make meaningful and impactful contributions to the fashion-retail industry.
Rising Stars, Financial Services
VP – Debt Syndication, SMBC Nikko
Josh is responsible for pricing the new bond and ABS transactions for clients across Western Europe and emerging market borrowers. As a result of Josh’s role in improving the efficiency and quality of pricing indications, intelligence and market colour, market share has consistently grown over the last two years. A key project of Josh’s was to revamp communications around the deals that were on the screens and any macro themes. His end-of-week market wrap was sent to both internal and external stakeholders and became one of the top-read emails across the firm, winning recognition from senior management in Tokyo’s headquarters. He is also responsible for training and managing junior members of staff within the debt capital markets division in London and has delivered numerous training sessions to colleagues in New York and Tokyo.
Rising Stars – Professional Services
Senior Manager – Transformation & Change, KPMG
Harold is Transformation & Change Senior Manager at KPMG and a former auditor, who delivers strategic change projects for the Audit business. Harold has been involved in key project including the End-to-End business subsidiary model, the Team Optimisation project and he is currently leading the Delivery Project, specifically focusing on governance and project management in the Banking Audit Quality Improvement Programme. He also works on the Audit Quality Indicators (AQI’s) projector whose objective is to develop a suite of firm and engagement level indicators to support the proactive monitoring, reporting and delivery of audit quality throughout the audit lifecycle.
Senior Leader, Professional Services
Global Director – Head of DEI Colleague Engagement – Barclays
Hannah is an award-winning Global Director leading the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Colleague Engagement strategy at Barclays Bank. She is responsible for global strategic oversight of DEI campaigns, communications, and the global employee resource group strategy, plus the bank’s global socioeconomic agenda. Hannah has been working for Barclays since she was 17 years old and has spent time in the retail bank, business and corporate bank before transitioning into DEI in 2019. She has recently been appointed as a non-executive director for the UK government membership body ‘Progress Together.’
Senior Leaders, Entrepreneur
Co-Founder and Owner, Watermans Corporate Enterprises Limited
Gail has established a multi-million-pound, award-winning company creating and retailing luxury hair-growth products. Watermans stocks retailers such as the national chain Boots, and 400 UK-based salons. They have been featured in Vogue, Glamour and Grazia, with The Independent naming Watermans hair growth shampoo as ‘number one’ in 2019. Watermans is based in Rotherham yet serves 17 international markets, and in 2022, won a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for export. Gail has donated 85,000 products to cancer patients and chemotherapy wards and during Covid-19, donated more than 10,000 hand sanitizers to the police, Royal Mail, the NHS and the local community.
Senior Leaders – STEM
Evelyn (Eve) Kamau
Senior Director DCT strategy and Innovation – PPD part of Thermo Fisher Scientific
Eve has been a nurse for over 20 years with UK and international nursing experience. She moved through various nursing and lecturing roles before starting her career in clinical research 13 years ago at Cambridge University’s Neurosurgery department. During her tenure at the Medical Research Network (2016-2021), she established a multi-dimensional nursing group which grew from a team of 4 to 22 members: increasing diversity within the company and providing a platform where people from ethnic minority backgrounds could achieve a sense of belonging. This led her to her current role, Senior Director at Thermo Fisher Scientific- where she has set up a new revenue generating business unit which is developing decentralized clinical trials poised to enhance patient diversity in clinical research globally.
Senior Leaders – STEM
Erica Nyoni – Solanke
Senior Product Owner, Supply Chain and Technology, S&P Global Mobility
Managing two invaluable automotive digital platforms at S&P Global, Mobility provides in-depth analysis and forecasting of key trends and developments in the automotive industry and the impact of emerging technologies on vehicle design. Erica excelled in overseeing their developments including rebranding initiatives which subsequently allowed the platforms to go to market 14 times in 2022 with new products. Erica’s exceptional leadership and visionary approach have resulted in ground-breaking achievements that extend to passionate dedication to DEI. Erica has fostered inclusivity and nurtured growth within the Employees Resource Groups at S&P Global Mobility.
Rising Stars – STEM
Dr Azzedine Dabo
Investigator – GSK
Dr Dabo is the scientific lead of in-silico modelling, quality by design (QbD) method development and the transfer of analytical methods and results between chromatography instruments for GSK’s Method Innovation Team. He developed the Future Scientists: Diversifying Pharma programme, which enabled 19 students from an ethnic minority background to get laboratory experience at GSK and complete a workshop at the University of Oxford. He has been awarded 12 Bronze, 2 Silver and 2 Gold awards at GSK and gained a Community for Analytical Measurement Science (CAMS) Award to supervise a PhD student.
Senior Leaders – Professional Services
Partner FS Intelligent Process Transformation, KPMG
Dinah joined KPMG in 2020 as its first Black female Partner. She immediately focused on driving strategic change to create opportunities to improve recruitment, progression and retention at senior levels. Within a year at the firm, she built a team which focused on the design, development and delivery of financial process automation solutions to enable clients to improve efficiency and decrease costs by 15-40%. Now leading a global team, their services are used across the KPMG Global network and are key contributors to major assignments and pipeline growth of the firm.
Senior Leaders – Professional Services
Head of Prudential Regulation, ABI
David leads the development and promotion of ABI policy on Solvency II, financial and corporate reporting and wider issues impacting the UK Insurance and long-term savings industry. He led the industry’s Solvency II reform efforts culminating in a reform package announced by HM Treasury in 2022 that released up to £100bn for investment in infrastructure and green investments over the next 10 years. David actively lobbied Government, the Prudential Regulation Authority, HM Treasury and other stakeholders for meaningful reform that provided a significant Brexit dividend for the industry and also ensured that this central piece of Prudential Regulation reflected UK market specifics.
Rising Stars – Entreprenur
Founder & CEO, SHFT
Chloë is the Founder and CEO of SHFT, an influencer talent management agency. SHFT represents creators from multiple verticals and was founded after observing that talent agencies lacked internal diversity. SHFT’s mission is to represent Creators who provide value to their audience, with the content they create. In less than two years, they have grown to a team of four and currently represent 15 creators. SHFT had a revenue of just under £1m in year one and achieved a revenue of £1.3m in year two. They are change-makers in the industry and have pioneered a new hiring structure that aims to bring more people of colour and people from working-class backgrounds into the industry. Chloë is a 2023 ‘Future Is Female’ Ad Week Europe Winner.
Senior Leaders – Arts & Media
Sky Sports Assistant Producer, Sky UK Limited
Over a 14-year career Charlene has developed a strong reputation as a key contributor to Diversity and Inclusion content while contributing to ground-breaking programming on Sky Sports. Charlene’s highly-acclaimed body of work has won multiple awards, including being named on the Premier League Football’s Black List in 2020. Following the murder of George Floyd, she collaborated with the leadership teams to tell stories that were not being told, specifically reflecting those from underrepresented groups. Last year, Charlene collaborated with Unedited to create podcast pilots for Spotify to increase diversity and inclusion for Black and Asian women in sports. She was named the 2022 Gamechanger in Sport winner at the Great British Businesswoman Awards earlier this year. Her contribution to F1, most notably at the BAFTA award-winning Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2021, facilitated viewing figures on Sky Sports News (after the race) to reach as high as figures seen on Football’s Transfer Deadline Day.
Rising Stars – STEM
CEO & Founder, Kweevo
Audrey is an award-winning entrepreneur and AI expert. Audrey’s passion for technology led her to form her data consultancy, L.Y. Corp, in 2016. Audrey has worked with various Tier-1 organisations to drive value, innovation and digital transformation. She also worked as Chief Data Officer for an EdTech company before founding Kweevo in 2020. Kweevo is a Microsoft partner and offers an AI-powered Supply Chain & Carbon Intelligence Platform hosting innovative data apps that accelerate insight generation. They were recently selected to join Greentech Europe 2023 and Accenture’s 2023 Diverse Supplier Development Program.
Senior Leaders – Ars & Media
Managing Director, Douglas Road Productions
Angela’s primary role has been building the scope, range and output of Douglas Road TV Productions. Through successful programmes such as ‘Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle’, ‘Judi Love: Black, Female and Invisible’, to the upcoming six-part drama, ‘Three Little Birds’, the company has steadily grown, employing and upskilling Black producers, telling unknown and important stories, and being a trusted supplier, delivering on time and budget. Angela is a DEI Ambassador for Banijay UK, which includes mentoring, providing work experience, CV and general support. She is the Chair of their in-house employee resource group, Embrace. Angela is also a co-founder and Trustee of the Black Funding Network and a Governor at (state-funded) the Brit School.
Senior Leaders – Consumer & Luxury
Alexis Cepeda Maule
Managing Director of UK, Europe – Reformation
Alexis is the Managing Director of UK and Europe for Reformation, a sustainable women’s brand founded in Los Angeles and backed by Permira Private Equity. She is responsible for opening the first global Reformation Office in London and doubling Reformation’s store fleet in the UK. In 2022, Alexis was responsible for doubling the UK and European business, growing wholesale by double digits and tripling retail sales. She closed a major resale partnership supporting sustainability initiatives for the UK and Europe in addition to forming partnerships with the Fashion Minority Alliance and 10,000 Black Interns.
Senior Leaders – Financial Services
Managing Director, Head of UK, Africa and Israel Banks Coverage, CIB – Wells Fargo
Adejuwon is a coverage banker in the Financial Institution Group (FIG) Client Coverage division within Corporate & Investment Banking at Wells Fargo. He is responsible for providing holistic, multi-product coverage; delivering Wells Fargo’s capital markets solutions and traditional banking products to its financial institution clients in the UK, Africa, and Israel.
Before joining Wells Fargo in 2016, Adejuwon spent several years at J.P. Morgan as a FIG Coverage Banker within the Corporate and Investment Bank in London primarily focused on Financial Institutions in the UK, Ireland and Netherlands. In this role he closed over $30bn in financing deals across multiple sectors within the Financial Institutions space.
Rising Stars- Arts & Media
Author, Publisher, Director – Hastag Press Ltd
Abiola is a award-winning and bestselling children’s and young adult (YA) author including award-winning fantasy series Emily Knight. Abiola was nominated for the CILIP’s Carnegie Award, won London’s BIG Read 2019, and was a finalist for the People’s Book Prize Best Children’s Book. Her debut YA, Love in Winter Wonderland, sold in a six-figure pre-empt and published in November 2022. Abiola is the co-founder of Hashtag Press, Hashtag BLAK and The Diverse Book Awards, which is in its fourth year. Abiola has also appeared on BBC’s The Apprentice, Got To Dance and Street Dance AllStars The Movie.
Rising Stars- Arts & Media
Senior Manager, Global Creative Marketing – Netflix
Aaron is a marketing leader with 12+ years of experience working in scripted and non-scripted content across BBC One, BBC Three, Channel 4 and now Netflix. Since joining Netflix over five years ago as the Global Creative Marketing manager, Aaron relaunched the rebooted Top Boy and Black Mirror franchises – including the groundbreaking interactive special ‘Bandersnatch’. Aaron is a key driver of content for Netflix, leading initiatives such as the ‘Black British Stories collection’ and working alongside the content teams to bring new and classic Black British voices to Netflix’s audience of 230m+ people in 190 countries.
Dr Ambily Banerjee
Global Head Clinical Development Equity, Novartis
The smartest career decision I have made so far is to take a 25% pay cut and change direction of travel to join the pharmaceutical Industry (after 12 years in academia).
The most difficult lesson I have learned so far in my career is that I shouldn’t compare my journey to others’, as I am on an untrodden path.
The best career advice I’ve ever received is to not just aim for the destination but to enjoy the journey too.
My favourite quote is “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” – Robert Frost.
My father (Mr Krishnan Bhaskaran) is someone who has inspired me to be the person I am. He taught me not to underestimate myself.
When I was five, I was pretty sure I’d be a teacher/stewardess/dancer when I grew up.
I start my day by giving thanks for something I am grateful for.
If I could invent a holiday, it would definitely involve ancient artefacts and animals.
If I were a superhero, my superpower would be to slow down time.
If I didn’t live in London, I’d live in Rome.
When I read the The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, it really had an impact on me.
The luxury item I would take on a desert island is a notebook and pen set.