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The HERoes top 100 female future leaders 2020

Yahoo Finance Staff
Photo: INvolve/Yahoo Finance
Photo: INvolve/Yahoo Finance

Giving greater visibility to women who are paving the way for others is essential to making the workplace more diverse and inclusive.

The 2020 HERoes Future Female Leaders list celebrates 100 inspirational women who are not yet senior leaders in an organisation but are making a significant contribution to gender diversity at work.

All of the future leaders — who must identify as a woman at work can be of 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, which includes head of Yahoo Finance UK Lianna Brinded. The panel scored each person on the influence of their role, their impact on women inside and outside the workplace, and their business achievements.

READ MORE:

1) JiHye Bae, head of credit cards, Standard Chartered Bank Korea (SCBK)

1) JiHye Bae, head of credit cards, Standard Chartered Bank Korea (SCBK). Photo: Standard Chartered Bank Korea (SCBK)
JiHye Bae, head of credit cards, Standard Chartered Bank Korea (SCBK). Photo: Standard Chartered Bank Korea (SCBK)

Bae is a senior leader for the SCBK D&I council gender charter, where she takes the lead in implementing gender diversity programmes, and has organised a special Balance for Better lecture series for staff. As retail banking leader for SCBK's women's network, she also ran programmes on career development, mentoring, and a lecture series linked to external institutions.

Bae and the network conduct regular meetings on leadership, overcoming unconscious bias, and international finance, and she has promoted the activities of the network through media engagements.

Externally, Bae has conducted economic education and cultural events for migrant women from multicultural families in conjunction with SCBK and the Jongro-gu Multicultural Family Support Center. She has also been instrumental in the implementation of the Women’s Venture Scale Up Programme, in partnership with the Korean Women Venture Association.

READ MORE: Standard Chartered Korea's JiHye Bae on what it takes to lead equality efforts inside a corporation

2) Eunice Heath, corporate director, EHS & Sustainability, Dow

2) Eunice Heath, corporate director, EHS & Sustainability, Dow. Photo: Dow
Eunice Heath, corporate director, EHS & Sustainability, Dow. Photo: Dow

Through the WIN+5 programme, Heath has provided mentoring and coaching support for women across functions at Dow. Through these engagements, women leaders have been able to position themselves for broader accountability in their roles and for promotions.

Heath has been a panelist and keynote speaker for Dow WIN’s partnership with EY, EY PowerUp, sharing experiences as a successful African American woman in business.

Beyond WIN+5, Heath mentors many women in the business, and was appointed MBA leadership development programme director last year, focusing on accessing top talent from prominent MBA schools and diversity conferences. Among many other high-profile speaking engagements, Heath spoke at FAMU College of Engineering’s freshman and sophomore engineering programme, with an emphasis on what it takes to be a successful woman in engineering. She is a consistent speaker on special panels for women in business, from student leaders at the FAMU School of Business to GreenBiz women leaders in sustainability.

3) Hayley Kahn, senior brand manager of BABE Wine, Anheuser Busch

3) Hayley Kahn, senior brand manager of BABE Wine, Anheuser Busch. Photo: Anheuser Busch
Hayley Kahn, senior brand manager of BABE Wine, Anheuser Busch. Photo: Anheuser Busch

Over the past four years, Kahn has co-led Anheuser-Busch’s largest ERG, Women in Beer & Beyond. Here, she has fostered a community for women and allies to connect, share, and grow within an industry that has traditionally leaned more male-centric.

She has organised speaker series with female executives, networking events, and coffee chats for colleagues to foster relationships, as well as recruited on college campuses to attract more women into the company. Kahn is passionate about enhancing the portrayal of women in advertising.

As a founding member of Anheuser-Busch’s Culture Collective, Kahn reviews marketing creative across brands to prevent potential unconscious biases, reduce negative stereotyping, and elevate inclusion and diversity. Outside of Anheuser-Busch, Kahn founded The Supper Series (@thesupperseries), a speaker series that brings together women over dinner to learn from female entrepreneurs across various industries and donates all proceeds to the Food Bank for New York City.

4) Jennie Koo, head of operations risk management, Capital One

4) Jennie Koo, head of operations risk management, Capital One. Photo: Capital One
Jennie Koo, head of operations risk management, Capital One. Photo: Capital One

Koo is the UK chapter lead for Capital One’s gender BRG, empowHER, and brings a gender lens to the REACH ethnicity network.

On joining Capital One 18 months ago, Koo focused on increasing visibility and awareness within her leadership team, quickly getting appointed to lead empowHER’s UK chapter. In the midst of a global pandemic, Koo joined forces with a newly formed parents network to drive increased awareness of the pressures of lockdown and the danger of the current situation setting gender conversations back years.

As such, she has been driving focused policy change opportunities around increased working flexibility. With intersectionality in mind, Jennie has taken on the work stream of community engagement and role modelling within schools and charities which focus on social mobility. She also volunteers on the board of Women in Banking and Finance, establishing a regional presence to support women in the Midlands & North regions.

5) Justine Zwerling, head of primary markets Israel, London Stock Exchange

5) Justine Zwerling, head of primary markets Israel, London Stock Exchange. Photo: London Stock exchange
Justine Zwerling, head of primary markets Israel, London Stock Exchange. Photo: London Stock Exchange

Within the Women’s Inspired Network (WIN) at the London Stock Exchange, Zwerling has launched and forged partnerships with many organisations to promote gender diversity and women’s inclusion and empowerment throughout the world of finance.

She founded the Jewish Women’s Business Network at London Stock Exchange Group, which supports gender and neuro-diversity throughout the City and internationally. Zwerling volunteers with numerous organisations: with Clare Josa and Joy Burnford she works to combat imposter syndrome and to raise confidence; she is on the board of advisers to Israel Bonds; and on the board of Sahi, supporting the lives of young people at risk through building communities and giving.

She encourages diverse hiring from grassroots to board director-level and supports interns from the US, UK and Israel to gain summer placements and mentoring. Zwerling advises SafeUP, helping women in distress globally 24/7 with safe guardians for virtual support and physical help. She is a founding member of the UAE Israel Business council, cultivating friendships and impactful business partnerships.

6) Michelle Morgan, associate director, Mindshare

6) Michelle Morgan, associate director, Mindshare. Photo: Mindshare
Michelle Morgan, associate director, Mindshare. Photo: Mindshare

As associate director at Mindshare, Morgan has been working with Dove/Unilever on breakthrough advertising campaigns around women’s self-esteem, alongside cultivating gender diversity within Mindshare itself. As the events lead of Mindshare’s ERG, The Collective, Morgan has created experiences which bring women’s and minority voices to the forefront.

With Dove, she led an award-winning campaign to reframe the concept of beauty, working with Hearst editors from Cosmo, Harper’s Bazaar, O Magazine and others to integrate powerful images of diverse beauty and change young girls’ perspectives on antiquated beauty standards.

Morgan was also involved in a panel for Dove’s Self Esteem Project, an educational curriculum developed to strengthen girls’ self-esteem. She has also been involved in a mentoring programme, which pairs young professionals with teenagers to provide advice and encouragement through their high school years.

7) Melisa Turano, head of sales, HSBC Bank Argentina

7) Melisa Turano, head of sales, HSBC Bank Argentina. Photo: HSBC Bank Argentina
Melisa Turano, head of sales, HSBC Bank Argentina. Photo: HSBC Bank Argentina

For three years, Turano chaired the BALANCE ERG at HSBC Argentina, which is dedicated to supporting the recruitment, development and engagement of a gender-balanced workforce. She has built a team structure with four working groups and designated champions to execute multiple initiatives simultaneously, creating new leadership and development opportunities.

The main initiatives carried out during her mandate include: workshops with parents and children; meet-ups with senior executive women; workshops for female entrepreneurs in low-income neighbourhoods alongside credit support to boost their projects; and training on unconscious biases and domestic violence.

Turano is also a co-founder of ‘Mujeres al Mundo,’ a HSBC programme aimed at accelerating women’s inclusion by providing training, networking, mentoring and financial services. It has already impacted more than 400 businesswomen. Through her work, she believes each day she is taking a step to fulfil a greater purpose, contributing to an environment in which everyone has equal opportunities and rights.

8) Jo Moffatt, practice director, Atkins

8) Jo Moffatt, practice director, Atkins. Photo: Atkins
Jo Moffatt, practice director, Atkins. Photo: Atkins

Moffatt is a chartered engineer and fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers. She co-chairs the transportation ED&I leadership team at Atkins, where she champions part-time and flexible working, having hosted a ‘power part-timers’ event last year, inspiring women to consider flexible working and helping to challenge line managers’ views.

She founded an internal coaching programme and is currently trialling a two-way mentoring programme. This June, Moffatt launched a senior women’s network, providing support and momentum to women across the transportation business in Atkins. Moffatt is leading women in rail and International Women in Engineering Day involvement.

She is deputy chair of the Chartered Management Institute’s CMI Women Board, who have delivered events encouraging sponsorship of women, with themes around BAME, finance and STEM. Moffatt has been instrumental in the Institute’s COVID-19 response events and is also planning events reflecting on 50 years since the launch of CMI Women.

9) Shubha Polisetty, associate director, technology delivery lead, Accenture Solutions Private Limited

9) Shubha Polisetty, associate director - technology delivery lead, Accenture Solutions Private Limited. Photo: Accenture Solutions Private Limited
Shubha Polisetty, associate director, technology delivery lead, Accenture Solutions Private Limited. Photo: Accenture Solutions Private Limited

At Accenture’s Advanced Technology Centres in India (ATCI), Polisetty leads the returning mothers programme, the Parents@Work and the AnitaB.org relationship. She enabled 1,400+ women to jumpstart their second-innings at work with mentorship, training and staffing support. Polisetty ensures that new mothers are offered technology roles with customised learning, re-skilling and growth opportunities. She focused her efforts to retain/re-staff returning mothers, leading to a drop in attrition. Additionally, she launched the ‘I-for-Inclusion’ campaign, engaging 30,000 employees and their children during the pandemic.

Polisetty is the ACTI AnitaB.org relationship lead and has established chapters in Hyderabad, Delhi, Pune, and Chennai. She jointly led the I&D council for a global consumer goods client, driving conversations across countries. Polisetty leads technology delivery for APAC clients. She started her career in an electrical power plant where she was the only woman on the shop floor. Since then Polisetty has been relentlessly advocating to make workplaces better for women.

10) Ramat Tejani, programme lead, Amazon Web Services

10) Ramat Tejani, programme lead, Amazon Web Services. Photo: Amazon Web Services
Ramat Tejani, programme lead, Amazon Web Services. Photo: Amazon Web Services

Tejani leads AWS GetIT an Amazon Web Services’ skills and gender diversity programme, which aims to empower female talent, build confidence and leadership skills, and encourage more young people, especially girls, to consider a career in technology.

Tejani also sits on the board of the Amazon Black Employee Network (BEN) in the UK. She is responsible for developing and executing strategies to support the professional development of BEN UK members in areas such as employability and realising their potential.

Beyond AWS, Tejani has coached almost 100 women in the last two years, utilising her mentoring and confidence coaching skills through The Inspiration Box, a personal development platform. She is also part of The Mentor Circle, which was set up during the pandemic to combat widening inequality in the UK for young people.

11) Olaide Olumide, assistant director, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

11) Olaide Olumide, assistant director, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Photo: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Olaide Olumide, assistant director, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Photo: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Olumide Co-Chairs the Women Empowered Network, where she has re-launched and re-branded the network to emphasise gender equality as a collective issue and recruited a senior male champion to lead 'WE Allies.'

She led the network’s first International Women's Day leadership conference for 200 women championing intersectionality and public and private sector collaboration to tackle gender equality. Olumide spearheaded the development of the first BAME women working group successfully influencing seniors to commit to delivery through the departments trailblazing race action plan. She was featured in the Government Equalities Office #WomenWhoInspiresMe series celebrating women who have challenged gender stereotypes.

As a member of the UKsec steering committee, Olumide advocated for a session to address gender diversity challenges in the cybersecurity sector. Externally, Olumide runs Shades of Success, an online network for BAME women, mentors women within the Civil Service whilst volunteering in outreach activities through Inspiring the Future & Urban Synergy.

12) Margaret Gribben, performance manager, Irish Life

12) Margaret Gribben, performance manager, Irish Life. Photo: Irish Life
Margaret Gribben, performance manager, Irish Life. Photo: Irish Life

Gribben chairs the Women@Work and alumni network, and heads the steering group. Over the last two years, the network and other initiatives she leads have achieved numerous recognitions as industry leading best practice. These initiatives have significantly progressed the agenda with senior leadership and boards, both approving gender targets and a new gender dashboard to provide data and board papers to track progress.

Externally, Irish Life is recognised as industry best practice in diversity & inclusion following a number of D&I audits. Gribben is programme director for the LifeCareers mentoring programme and chairs the steering group.

This programme has become a benchmark, spawning national and international mentoring initiatives. Gribben is the internal network lead of the 30% Club Ireland financial services network, mentors through Pathways in Technology, and instigated and leads a partnership with Skillnet Ireland’s Women TechStart & ReBoot Programme, supporting women with technology skills to return to work.

13) Larissa Dudley, executive director, chief operating officer (COO) for engineering Asia Pacific, Goldman Sachs

13) Larissa Dudley, executive director, chief operating officer (COO) for engineering Asia Pacific, Goldman Sachs. Photo: Goldman Sachs
Larissa Dudley, executive director, chief operating officer (COO) for engineering Asia Pacific, Goldman Sachs. Photo: Goldman Sachs

Dudley co-chairs the Hong Kong women's network at Goldman Sachs, where she planned the firm’s International Women’s Day conference, featuring prominent internal and external women leaders, and sessions with senior leaders on resilience, career development and leadership.

She was instrumental in Goldman Sachs’ sponsorship of The Women’s Foundation and Girls Go Tech, including a STEM competition for female students.

Within the engineering division, Dudley has organised four roundtables with divisional leadership to hear from women engineers, organised roundtables for women engineers with senior visiting engineers, presented at recruitment events targeting women, and spearheaded a volunteer event with the Women Entrepreneurs Network, among other initiatives. Externally, Dudley is part of a 12-person team who will trek 150km across Kyrgyzstan over eight days to raise funds for Women for Women International.

14) KC Boas, vice-president, BlackRock

14) KC Boas, vice president, BlackRock. Photo: BlackRock
KC Boas, vice-president, BlackRock. Photo: BlackRock

Boas co-founded the women in retirement group in her department at BlackRock, which focuses on career development and community building for its members. She leads programming across five offices, alongside a team that seeks to strengthen male allyship and gender diversity across the business. Boas is also the global strategy manager for BlackRock’s Women’s Network, and spearheaded a global campaign for International Women's Day where she engaged thousands of employees across 63 offices in a gender equity pledge.

Last year, she was asked to join the firm’s Global Mosaic Leadership Team as an inaugural member – working in concert with BlackRock’s inclusion & diversity team to cultivate and advance diversity, equity and inclusion at the firm and in the communities in which it operates. Outside BlackRock, Boas is an ambassador for Girls Who Invest and an associate board member for the Council for Economic Education.

15) Samantha Price, head of client engagement, Morson

15) Samantha Price, head of client engagement, Morson. Photo: Morson
Samantha Price, head of client engagement, Morson. Photo: Morson

Price is the founder and a current board member of the Morson Group’s Diversity Champions. The group continues their #gendersnobarrier campaign, and has formalised a partnership with the Northern Power Women.

The Morson Group Diversity Champions support The Girls' Network with strategic support and events, which have included a rail industry experience day.

Price has supported the Morson Group in the initiation of a series of reverse mentoring sessions for directors from Morson’s population of future women leaders. As a co-founder of the Women Leaders in Transport Network and helping to formalise a partnership with Women in Rail, sponsoring its Big Rail Diversity Challenge she has formalised the Morson Group’s outward facing gender inclusion programme within the rail industry.

Additionally, across the group’s strategic client portfolio she works with each organisation to understand their current inclusion practices and to provide a diversity improvement road map for the group’s service to them.

16) Olivia Maguire, portfolio manager, JP Morgan Asset Management

16) Olivia Maguire, portfolio manager, JP Morgan Asset Management. Photo: JP Morgan Asset Management
Olivia Maguire, portfolio manager, JP Morgan Asset Management. Photo: JP Morgan Asset Management

Maguire is an advocate of diversity and inclusion (D&I), both within JP Morgan and at industry level. She collaborates with internal business resource groups to help foster leadership and networking opportunities and advance the firm’s commitment to diversity and community involvement, including chairing EMEA asset management’s Women on the Move, and partnering with Black Organization for Leadership Development and Voices for Employees that Served.

Maguire has mentored colleagues and supported entrepreneurs and young people from disadvantaged backgrounds through the firm’s philanthropic initiatives and charity partners, including the Female Founders Accelerator Program, The Schools Challenge and The Service Corps (Detroit and Dublin).

Externally, Maguire participates in D&I focused forums, panels and roundtables and is a member of the CFA UK inclusion & diversity committee, the Bank of England’s money market committee and SONIA stakeholder advisory group. She also chairs the investment committee for the Institutional Money Market Fund Association.

17) Ana Perez, senior director consulting, Oracle

17) Ana Perez, senior director consulting, Oracle. Photo: Oracle
Ana Perez, senior director consulting, Oracle. Photo: Oracle

Perez chairs OWL (Oracle Women in Leadership Network) where she has developed and curated an improved programme of events and increased membership from 100 to over 600. She has created a peer network for senior women leaders through a programme of women-only dinners for senior executives.

She has expanded the programme to include participation in the 30% Club cross-company mentoring scheme, and has also developed OWL’s membership of Women on Boards to provide access to external opportunities.

Perez is also a trustee and company secretary of Smart Works Reading, a charity that provides interview coaching and suitable clothing for women, through which she has supported over 800 women in the Thames Valley.

18) René Lumley-Hall, director, product management, BNY Mellon

18) René Lumley-Hall, director, product management, BNY Mellon. Photo: BNY Mellon.
René Lumley-Hall, director, product management, BNY Mellon. Photo: BNY Mellon.

In her leadership position within BNY Mellon, Lumley-Hall has hired and coached women into her team to support large scale, high profile digital and product management efforts. She spearheaded a global Women’s Initiatives Network image consulting event to support women in the workplace with stylists and shoe retailers to provide appropriately-priced, yet polished options for professional women.

Lumley-Hall has been an advisory board member of the Student Leadership Network for 10 years, a network of all girls schools intended to equalise education and success. She established a yoga instruction and wellness education practice to provide tools to encourage women and Black and indigenous people of colour to thrive through holistic health and wellness.

Lumley-Hall is a case writer, presenter and judge for multiple cohorts of Management Leadership for Tomorrow, who work to transform career trajectories of thousands of Black, Hispanic and Native American women and men.

19) Emily Hanson, marketing director, Finecast

19) Emily Hanson, marketing director, Finecast. Photo: Finecast
Emily Hanson, marketing director, Finecast. Photo: Finecast

Hanson chaired GenderM, where she and her team highlighted International Womxn's Day by bringing women from different parts of GroupM and varying seniority to the spotlight.

Hanson ensured the content aimed to be inclusive of trans and non-binary people, women of colour, women with disabilities and all other marginalised genders. She and her team also campaigned successfully for free sanitary products to be available in toilets. Last year, Hanson stepped into a leadership position at Bloom UK, facilitating events with inspiring speakers and workshops.

She also took part in The Exchange, a pilot reverse mentoring program between senior men and women to break down the gender divide. This year, Emily remains on the leadership team at Bloom, looking after how the network expands globally.

20) Aimée Sykes, business liaison manager, University of the West of England

20) Aimée Sykes, business liaison manager, University of the West of England. Photo: University of the West of England
Aimée Sykes, business liaison manager, University of the West of England. Photo: University of the West of England

Sykes spent a year as a coordinator for the Women’s Forum at UWE, where she implemented and managed a social media presence. During her tenure, membership almost doubled and event attendance almost tripled.

Sykes’s efforts formed a partnership with the Red Box Project, leading to each UWE campus hosting a donations box. Additionally, the forum raised funds for Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and CoppaFeel. Sykes encouraged collaboration with other staff networks at UWE, to ensure an intersectional approach. She also founded the Aurora Alumni Network at UWE.

Outside of work Sykes has written regular article for the City Girl Magazine, providing guidance to young women on careers that led to the magazine creating a Careers segment. Last year, Sykes was appointed head of communications & engagement for WHEN (Women’s Higher Education Network). Since then she has contributed to a large increase in social media following and recruited many volunteers.

21) Innocentia Dogbe, head of credit cards, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana

21) Innocentia Dogbe, head of credit cards, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana. Photo: Standard Chartered Bank Ghana
Innocentia Dogbe, head of credit cards, Standard Chartered Bank Ghana. Photo: Standard Chartered Bank Ghana

Dogbe is council secretary for the Standard Chartered Bank diversity & inclusion council, and has been involved in the formulation of a D&I country plan for the past three years, alongside working with the various ERGs to activate programmes in line with the country plan. Dogbe began a partnership with Mentoring Women Ghana, an offshoot of Vital Voices, which focuses on providing young women with the opportunity to learn from more experienced women.

Last year, she was selected by the US Embassy in Ghana to participate in Fortune-US Department of State Women’s Mentoring Programme. Through her work as an alumna of The Ark Foundation Ghana’s Women’s Leadership & Human Rights Institute, Dogbe has trained women in rural areas on financial literacy, economic empowerment, and domestic violence.

During her tertiary education at the Takoradi Polytechnic, she served as women’s commissioner, aiming to get more women interested in leadership roles.

22) Joanna Obstoj, managing director, Goldman Sachs

22) Joanna Obstoj, managing director, Goldman Sachs. Photo: Goldman Sachs
Joanna Obstoj, managing director, Goldman Sachs. Photo: Goldman Sachs

A managing director at Goldman Sachs in Poland, Obstoj sponsors the Women’s Network in Warsaw. When the Warsaw office first opened, Obstoj was passionate about hiring female talent at all levels, and co-founded the Women’s Network to provide members with a platform to enrich leadership skills.

She has been instrumental in orchestrating the Network’s success by inviting external speakers to events, offering one-to-ones and formal mentoring to members, and helping leaders to be creative in this forum. In 2017, the IT for SHE programme was launched in partnership with Goldman Sachs, with the aim of helping talented women studying technology enter the job market.

As part of this award-winning programme, Obstoj has been involved in Europe’s biggest themed camp for young women in IT, ‘Women Tech Camp,’ as a formal mentor to encourage girls to learn programming. Joanna is also sponsor of the Warsaw LGBT Network.

23) Stephanie Ramos, events manager, Internet Creations

23) Stephanie Ramos, events manager, Internet Creations. Photo: Internet Creations
Stephanie Ramos, events manager, Internet Creations. Photo: Internet Creations

In 2017, Ramos led the successful effort to implement comprehensive paid family leave at Internet Creations with equal access to men and women. She went on to found and co-lead the women’s ERG, WomenSurge, aiming to allow women and their allies to come together and support each other through life transitions, personal and professional development, and career challenges.

The group have achieved high engagement with both women and ally members through monthly educational programming which speaks to improved conflict resolution, promoting speaking opportunities, and holding social gatherings to promote fellowship. Externally, Ramos served as a vote captain for TheSkimm, where she helped to increase millennial voter turnout in the 2018 US midterm election. She has also served as a mentor and advocate for PaidLeaveUS, and participated in the first-ever Ways & Means Committee hearing at the House of Representatives on family leave.

24) Mairi Dean, engineer, Buro Happold

24) Mairi Dean, engineer, Buro Happold. Photo: Buro Happold
Mairi Dean, engineer, Buro Happold. Photo: Buro Happold

Dean co-founded and chairs FAIR (Fairness, Awareness, Inclusion, Respect), which aims to promote intersectional dialogue, understanding and action at Buro Happold. FAIR leverages the voices and achievements of women and minority groups in the business, launched a bookclub to promote broader engagement on issues faced internally and externally, and acts as a sounding board for HR and leadership on inclusion strategy.

This year, Dean and her team expanded FAIR across Buro Happold’s UK offices and are in discussion with colleagues setting up FAIR in Europe and the Middle East. Dean is also a co-lead on a WomEng collaboration, where she develops STEM workshops for girls and trains colleagues to become WomEng ambassadors. The team reached over 200 students this year and aim to reach 400 by December. Dean’s team developed an online workshop to be delivered during lockdown, and engages with parents and teachers to encourage girls into STEM.

25) Margherita Fontana, purchasing director EMEAI, Dow Chemical

25) Margherita Fontana, purchasing director EMEAI, Dow Chemical. Photo: Dow Chemical
Margherita Fontana, purchasing director EMEAI, Dow Chemical. Photo: Dow Chemical

Over the last four years, Fontana led the Dow Women’s Inclusion Network, WIN. Under her leadership, the WIN ERG has helped move the needle for representation of women at leadership levels.

Fontana developed and implemented a strategy for the EGR which introduced bold initiatives, such as sponsorship of female talent in partnership with INSEAD Business School, an equal pay initiative with EDGE to gain equal pay certification for Dow Switzerland, a role model stories initiative to showcase Dow’s hidden heroes, and the MARC Catalyst workshops to promote male allies in driving gender equality.

Fontana has engaged with the European Chemical Industry Council and the European Petrochemical Association on devising D&I best practice to be shared across the chemical industry in Europe. She is one of the founding members of ETH Zurich Circle, which promotes women role models in STEM education, and mentors young MBA women graduates through the INSEAD Women in Business Club.

26) Debbie Phillips, head of campaigns, NatWest

26) Debbie Phillips, head of campaigns, NatWest. Photo: NatWest
Debbie Phillips, head of campaigns, NatWest. Photo: NatWest

Phillips is the global chair of NatWest Women’s Network, and in the last year she has introduced a global speed mentoring programme, launched a book club, created a global calendar of activity and hosted the bank’s top 100 leadership conference to encourage leadership engagement with challenges in gender inclusion. She advocates for the network and for the bank at external fora to share best practice on D&I.

As head of campaigns, Phillips applies a gender lens to her day job, supporting the CEO’s communications, and leading PR campaigns designed to resonate with a female audience, such as the women in business campaigns addressing women’s investment.

Additionally, Phillips established The Breakfast Club, initially conceived to create more women-friendly networking opportunities, but now tackling issues that disproportionately affect women in the workplace. Externally, Phillips is a communication committee member for WACL, a member of Bloom, and a Brownie Guide leader.

27) Jess Gosling, senior international policy adviser, UK Government

27) Jess Gosling, senior international policy advisor, UK Government. Photo: Amanda Summons
Jess Gosling, senior international policy adviser, UK Government. Photo: Amanda Summons

Listed as one of the UK’s Top Most Influential Women in Tech, Gosling champions intersectionality at every opportunity. She used her role as a diversity & inclusion ambassador in her directorate to recognise the intersectionality of culture and gender, organising the rollout of #IamRemarkable training for 100+ colleagues across government, a Google initiative that encourages women to speak openly about their accomplishments.

Externally, Gosling co-founded the Growth & Grace Collective, a global professional platform changing the narrative of upskilling and development with a focus on women’s issues, like the gender pay gap. Over their first year, they upskilled 2500+ people across 70 events focused on social mobility, women’s issues and D&I, hosted events with a truly global attendance and won the UK Social Mobility Honour Role in 2019.

She has spoken at many global events, conferences and leadership sessions, and has built her network to 5,000 women globally.

28) Paola Maffezzoni, head of marketing & communications, GroupM Italy

28) Paola Maffezzoni, head of marketing & communications, GroupM Italy. Photo: GroupM Italy
Paola Maffezzoni, head of marketing & communications, GroupM Italy. Photo: GroupM Italy

Maffezzoni is the operations director on the Winspire board, a cross-agency WPP Italy project whose aim is to support female talent into leadership positions, build gender balance, and undertake D&I activities with internal and external audiences and stakeholders. After WPP’s participation in the Female Employment Manifesto, organized by Valore D, Maffezzoni mentored people through ‘Quick Fix Training: Speed mentoring for colleagues to discuss how to become a future leader.’

Moreover, Maffezzoni was instrumental in organising a series of activities, such as the training programme for WPP women called ‘Fast Forward’ carried out with industry player such as Facebook Italia. She implemented a ‘I’m Remarkable’ workshop with Google Italia and has been collaborating with numerous associations within the industry to develop D&I strategy and activities, embedding them into the company.

Externally, she has contributed to the ‘Women4Women: Hack your campaign’ bootcamp on digital media, among other initiatives.

29) Hanne Tuomisto-Inch, head of Chrome and web partnerships EMEA, Google

29) Hanne Tuomisto-Inch, head of Chrome and Web partnerships EMEA, Google. Photo: Google
Hanne Tuomisto-Inch, head of Chrome and web partnerships EMEA, Google. Photo: Google

Tuomisto-Inch chairs Women@Google UK, and has previously led the ItsUptoMe allyship campaign to energise leaders, managers and employees, which resulted in the implementation of inclusive hiring practices and a culture of inclusion.

With Women@, Tuomisto-Inch co-led the UK part of a global walkout to end forced arbitration, increase transparency, and launch a sexual harassment investigation report and an investigation care support programme. A key Women@ focus for 2020 is the gender pay gap, and the network is challenging leaders to focus on progression and setting ambitious goals, with recommendations now incorporated into the UK DEI market plan.

Women@ has launched a career conversation series with the Black Googler Network, reintroduced stretch training in the UK, run a ‘How to Own the Room’ future female leadership pilot, and a three month Grow Your Career Your Own Way programme. Externally, Women@ hosted the first Each for Equal summit this year, among other impactful initiatives.

30) Elena Koycheva, senior RFP writer, BlueBay Asset Management

30) Elena Koycheva, senior RFP writer, BlueBay Asset Management. Photo: BlueBay Asset Management
Elena Koycheva, senior RFP writer, BlueBay Asset Management. Photo: BlueBay Asset Management

Koycheva contributed to the establishment of BlueBay’s women’s forum, and has since been elected co-vice chair, where she led a proposal to restructure the forum’s activities to become the diversity and inclusion forum, building greater intersectionality.

She has contributed to a D&I vision and strategy, and has worked on strategic projects, such as organising working groups on data, volunteering, and interview practice. Koycheva has also supported the inclusion of BlueBay’s female portfolio managers in the 100 Women in Finance FundWomen initiative, and backed the participation of BlueBay’s employees in the Women in Investment Festival 2020.

Externally, Koycheva leads the CFA UK careers in the investment sector working group, and supports greater D&I awareness as a CAIA London chapter executive. Koycheva mentors in the CityHive, Women in Banking and Finance, and the CFA UK cross-industry mentoring programmes and is a Diversity Project Ambassador.

31) Sarah Chapman, technical manager, 3M

31) Sarah Chapman, technical manager, 3M. Photo: 3M
Sarah Chapman, technical manager, 3M. Photo: 3M

Chapman is the founder and lead events organiser for the Bracknell Wellbeing and Inclusion Forum, which hosts speakers discussing topics impacting women, such as unconscious bias, managing maternity, mindfulness, menopause, confidence, mental health, self-promotion, mentoring, and personal brand.

Chapman won the WISE Outreach and Engagement Award, and featured in 3M’s success in winning the prestigious Catalyst award. As a role model for women in STEM, Chapman is a successful technical manager in a traditionally male-dominated industry, championing flexible working, wellbeing and inclusion through her role as a mentor and champion for female colleagues.

She has appeared on the BBC, including as a guest on Sunday Politics, and has spoken at the House of Lords. She has spoken about how diversity drives innovation at the 3M Buckley Innovation Centre, and her STEM Supper Club featured in the Kids Zone of the 2020 WeAreTechWomen Conference.

32) Leya Teo, director, Edelman Shanghai

32) Leya Teo, director, Edelman Shanghai. Photo: Edelman Shanghai
Leya Teo, director, Edelman Shanghai. Photo: Edelman Shanghai

Teo leads Edelman’s Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN) APAC, a global initiative dedicated to fostering an environment where women of all backgrounds can enjoy equal opportunities to grow, lead and succeed within and beyond Edelman. She began by initiating ‘Lean-In Circle’ sessions and a cross-market talent mobility program in Beijing. In 2018, she was selected as Edelman APAC’s representative at the IWF World Leadership Conference.

Teo was later elected global lead for mentorship programmes and APAC Lead for GWEN. She created ‘SHERO Showcase’ to invite inspiring women leaders to speak in Edelman offices and ignited a new mentorship program across three China offices.

Over the years, Teo has represented GWEN in partnering with external organisations to drive a broader impact in business and the community. With more than 500 engaged members across APAC, Teo continues to work with the GWEN committee, committed to ensuring women feel motivated and empowered.

33) Alice Jefferis, senior associate, global financial markets, Clifford Chance

33) Alice Jefferis, senior associate – Global Financial Markets, Clifford Chance. Photo: Clifford Chance
Alice Jefferis, senior associate, global financial markets, Clifford Chance. Photo: Clifford Chance

Jefferis is co-founder of the global gender parity group Accelerate >>> and chairs its UK arm. She led on design and delivery of a reverse mentoring scheme, collaborates with other affinity groups to ensure intersectionality and incorporates diverse feedback to ensure inclusivity. Jefferis helps support and launch Accelerate>>> in unrepresented offices across Clifford Chance's network and actively promotes gender parity internally and externally through a targeted strategy.

Over the last two years, she has successfully campaigned for and helped deliver the signing of the Law Society's Women in Law Pledge, the introduction of time-specific diversity and inclusion targets and equalisation of shared parental leave.

She has also worked with Spark21, a charity aimed at raising visibility of women in law, and, following the onset of COVID-19, persuaded Clifford Chance to allocate funds to enable the London Black Women’s Project to open a new refuge required due to increased domestic violence.

34) Camila Davoglio, head, underwriting centre Brazil, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

34) Camila Davoglio, head, underwriting centre Brazil, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. Photo: Swiss Re Corporate Solutions
Camila Davoglio, head, underwriting centre Brazil, Swiss Re Corporate Solutions. Photo: Swiss Re Corporate Solutions

Davoglio is a local ambassador for Swiss Re’s D&I group, Impact, organising local meetings and discussions. Davoglio has acted as a member of the committee dedicated to gender equality, Women in Leadership.

She co-founded the Associação das Mulheres do Mercado de Seguros (AMMS), a women’s association in the Brazilian insurance market. AMMS champions women’s inclusion through events, sponsorship, a podcast, and live webinar sessions. Davoglio’s role is to procure sponsorship, prepare strategy, choose topics for discussion across the year, and create a set of best practices for the industry.

This year, Davoglio will appear in a book telling the story of 30 women in the insurance market.

35) Nikki Jamieson, business support lead for chief digital information officer, NatWest Group

35) Nikki Jamieson, business support lead for chief digital information officer, NatWest Group. Photo: NatWest Group
Nikki Jamieson, business support lead for chief digital information officer, NatWest Group. Photo: NatWest Group

Within the NatWest Group, Jamieson acts as a gender champion in technology & digital, and is a member of the NatWest/RBS women Employee Led Network (ELN), the NatWest gender ELN, the Women in Technology ELN and is an ally in the Rainbow ELN.

She promotes intersectional D&I in all aspects of her work, bringing together gender, LGBT+, ethnicity, disability and multigenerational age groups to foster greater inclusion. Additionally, Jamieson is a member of Enable, the disability ELN, and is an MS Ambassador both internally and externally. She mentors numerous women across the group, including through the CEO-4 Female Talent programme, which she attended herself last year.

She is currently helping the families and carers ELN to find solutions for those juggling caring responsibilities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jamieson has supported an all-female cohort through the ‘Determined Leader’ development programme, and assisted many women technology graduates on the necessary soft skills to succeed in a largely male-dominated working environment.

36) Anoushka Mehta, head of gender lens finance, Americas, HSBC

36) Anoushka Mehta, head of Gender Lens Finance, Americas, HSBC. Photo: HSBC
Anoushka Mehta, head of gender lens finance, Americas, HSBC. Photo: HSBC

Mehta recognised that HSBC could play a larger role in promoting gender equality with its clients and the communities where it operates. This realisation led her to successfully propose and then lead Gender Lens Finance (GLF) at HSBC. GLF is a formal, business-led initiative that aims to leverage HSBC’s position and products to extend financing and resources to women globally. GLF has become a part of HSBC’s business strategy by addressing gender equality as both a social and business imperative.

Mehta also founded the Coaching Circles programme within the firm’s gender equality employee resource group. Participants in Coaching Circles receive group coaching from senior managers on career development. Based on its success in the US, Coaching Circles is being rolled out to HSBC markets globally.

Mehta has represented HSBC on WeConnect International’s Council Scaling Women-Owned Businesses and currently serves as a global board member at Women for Women International.

37) Divya Steinwall, director, head of sales enablement & business management for iShares Canada, BlackRock Asset Management

37) Divya Steinwall, director, head of sales enablement & business management for iShares Canada, BlackRock Asset Management. Photo: BlackRock Asset Management
Divya Steinwall, director, head of sales enablement & business management for iShares Canada, BlackRock Asset Management. Photo: BlackRock Asset Management

Steinwall is the chair of the Canadian chapter of BlackRock’s Women’s Initiative Network, where she focuses on providing educational opportunities to support career advancement. During her tenure, network membership has increased by 23% and male membership by 83%.

The network has piloted a local two-year facilitated training programme to develop important skills for career progression, encouraged participation and leadership involvement in an annual programme for female associates, and coordinated events with external partners to hear from senior industry leaders and expand professional networks, among many other initiatives.

Steinwall has mentored through the Women in Capital Markets’ UniConnect Mentorship Program, and is an executive committee member for the Toronto chapter of 100 Women in Finance, where she co-heads the education subcommittee. She is also a board member for the Canadian chapter of Women in ETFs, where she co-heads the mentorship committee.

38) Tanisha Sharma, junior business analyst, News UK

38) Tanisha Sharma, junior business analyst, News UK. Photo: News UK
Tanisha Sharma, junior business analyst, News UK. Photo: News UK

At News UK, Sharma is a member of the steering committee for Women in Tech, where she will be presenting on Expressing Accomplishments at the upcoming event. She has hosted 12-year-old school girls at News UK to give them tech insights and promote women’s inclusion in STEM.

Sharma has participated in a GenZ forum event discussing gender balance, age barriers, and women’s inclusion in the media; and she engaged in a Women in Agile meet-up, influencing women from outside News UK to promote diversity and STEM careers.

Externally, Sharma founded SHEisRARE, a non-profit dedicated to break down barriers to women’s inclusion, instil passion for STEM careers in young women and to see more women in leadership roles. She featured in the 1 Million Women in STEM campaign, volunteers as a STEM Ambassador with STEM Learning UK, and has participated in high profile interviews and media engagements discussing gender diversity.

39) Preeti Mascarenhas, head of product & strategy, Mindshare

39) Preeti Mascarenhas, head of product & strategy, Mindshare. Photo: Mindshare
Preeti Mascarenhas, head of product & strategy, Mindshare. Photo: Mindshare

Mascarenhas was instrumental in the development and delivery of GroupM’s Walk the Talk initiative, designed to empower women to identify and achieve their purpose by providing the tools to confront barriers and create a more balanced vision for the future through sharing experiences and learning to become more effective leaders.

This year, Mascarenhas was honoured at the Women Leading Change Campaign Asia Awards for her leadership in fostering innovation in the media and marketing industry. One of many campaigns headed by Mascarenhas which sought to bring change was NAYI SOCH, designed to challenge stereotypes and build new role models in India, which was shortlisted at Cannes.

Previously, Mascarenhas headed a campaign with Indian cricketers to question why they shouldn’t have their mothers’ names on their jerseys, which was well-received across the country.

40) Shelina Janmohamed, vice-president, Islamic Marketing, Ogilvy

40) Shelina Janmohamed, vice president, Islamic Marketing, Ogilvy. Photo: Ogilvy
Shelina Janmohamed, vice-president, Islamic marketing, Ogilvy. Photo: Ogilvy

Janmohamed is a member of the Ogilvy UK and WPP UK inclusion boards. She has chaired key public and internal sessions, such as an industry discussion on unconscious bias in the gender space.

Janmohamed has represented Ogilvy at their International Women’s Day celebrations, and hosted a women’s speed mentoring scheme last year. In addition to her work on gender diversity, Janmohamed is a member of Ogilvy Roots, focused on ethnic diversity, and is on the steering committee of WPP Roots.

Externally, Janmohamed is a board member for IMPRESS, the UK press regulator, and is an adviser for the AMAL Foundation, an arts body encouraging investment in Islamic art and culture. She is serving as a judge for this year’s Gerety Awards, celebrating women’s work in advertising, she is a judge for new blood at the D&AD awards, and regularly contributes to industry press discussing women’s experiences through an intersectional lens.

41) Sueli Nascimento, senior product manager, SAP Brasil

41) Sueli Nascimento, senior product manager, SAP Brasil. Photo: SAP Brasil
Sueli Nascimento, senior product manager, SAP Brasil. Photo: SAP Brasil

Nascimento leads the Black employee network at SAP Brasil, has previously led the business women’s network, and is now a member. She has run monthly sessions with internal VPs and external guests on gender equality, personal experience and successful projects, and she has developed a close relationship with the communications and HR departments, participating in programmes and processes to showcase and champion the company’s women.

Under her direction, SAP Brasil signed the Women’s Empowerment Principles with the United Nations, and she brought men into the gender discussion through her introduction of the UN HeforShe programme. She is coaching numerous women for leadership positions, and is involved in talks at universities and other companies on gender equality and women in technology careers.

Nascimento helped to introduce a mentoring programme for returning mothers, and created a room for breastfeeding at the São Paulo office. Externally, Nascimento is a member of ‘Ser Mulher em Tech.’

42) Sally Keane, head of sales, LinkedIn

42) Sally Keane, head of sales, LinkedIn. Photo: LinkedIn
Sally Keane, head of sales, LinkedIn. Photo: LinkedIn

Keane co-founded Parents At LinkedIn UK, an ERG working with managers to understand the experience of colleagues returning to work after having children and offer appropriate support. Sally creates a safe space to have open conversations about difficult topics by sharing her own experiences with infertility and miscarriage.

She offers mentoring to female talent across different levels of seniority both within LinkedIn and outside of her network. Keane has been a member of Bloom since 2017, holding several leadership positions, and is the president for 2020.

In the past six months, Sally and her team have brought over 200 women into the organisation, launched a mentoring programme for over 600 women, and introduced Bloom Boost, a bridge between the mentee programme and a mentor partnership in association with the Believe charity.

43) Nina Ma, technology, data & analytics senior associate, PwC

43) Nina Ma, technology, data & analytics senior associate, PwC. Photo: PwC
Nina Ma, technology, data & analytics senior associate, PwC. Photo: PwC

Ma is a member of the national comms team for PwC’s gender balance network, and is a committee member for the Midlands. She is also a member of the women in tech team in the Midlands, which organises office-wide lunch & learn events to attract and retain female talent in the tech sector.

As a core member of the women in technology data & analytics team, Ma aims to create an environment where everyone feels empowered, inspired and supported to bring their authentic self to work, allowing greater career progression. She is also a #IamRemarkable trainer, a Google initiative empowering women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond. Last year, Ma was a member of the advisory board for GirlDreamer, a charity aiming to empower millennial and GenZ women of colour and provide them with life-changing opportunities.

44) Lin Yue, executive director, Goldman Sachs Asset Management

44) Lin Yue, executive director, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Photo: Goldman Sachs Asset Management
Lin Yue, executive director, Goldman Sachs Asset Management. Photo: Goldman Sachs Asset Management

Yue is a thought leader on decoding cultural, gender and generational differences and how it impacts career strategies. Across industries, she is a highly sought-after speaker and she’s an advocate for women to find their own voice by building awareness of their unique experience to help them achieve not just equality, but equity.

Within the firm, Yue works with Chinese and Asian professionals groups, addressing differences between Asian professionals and tailoring their career strategies. Yue is the president of the rising women’s network in London. She is also a founding member of UK Chinese Women Connect, which helps women in breaking the glass and bamboo ceilings. She is also an executive member for Chinese Women in the City.

Yue has pioneered a diversity session for Chinese professionals in light of recent racial injustice events. She is also active in charities work, especially for BAME communities, and is a mentor with Migrant Leaders.

45) Kam Dhillon, head of services marketing NWE, Fujitsu

45) Kam Dhillon, head of services marketing NWE, Fujitsu. Photo: Fujitsu
Kam Dhillon, head of services marketing NWE, Fujitsu. Photo: Fujitsu

Dhillon has over 20 years of global experience in key leadership roles, developing go-to-market strategies focused on accelerating revenue growth and driving customer value. Throughout her career, Dhillon has been a champion for gender equality.

She has been the co-chair of the women’s business network for over three years, where she has worked on a range of initiatives, including gender pay gap, female mentoring and development programmes, and running events to encourage young women into STEM.

As a result of initiatives such as these, Fujitsu was named Times Top 50 Employer for Women. Dhillon works collaboratively with other women’s business networks from Fujitsu’s customers, partners and third party organisations to share best practice and drive awareness.

46) Katherine 'Katia' Ramo, associate, technology, media, IP & competition, CMS

46) Katherine 'Katia' Ramo, associate - technology, media, IP & competition, CMS. Photo: CMS
Katherine 'Katia' Ramo, associate, technology, media, IP & competition, CMS. Photo: CMS

Ramo is the founder & chair of CMS ENABLE (disabilities & wellbeing) network, a member of the UN stakeholders group for persons with disabilities, and co-chair InterLaw Diversity Forum disAbility Network. She is a member of CMS Women, BAME and an ally to LGBT+ Networks.

She is a core member of CMS equlP, helping technology start-ups scale and supporting women tech entrepreneurs. Ramo leads substantive impactful global conversations, mentoring, advocacy, media, writing and speaking engagements to champion equality for women and disabled talent. She is always called upon internally, and externally by clients, diversity organisations, the UN, and regulatory bodies, to provide advice regarding disability, often with a specific gender lens.

She introduced monthly mindfulness sessions at CMS to build resilience and mental wellbeing and in CMS’ film of the Lord Mayor’s appeal, ‘This is Me’, de-stigmatising mental health. She is in the First 100 Years Project, celebrating Women in Law.

47) Abisola Barber, vice-president, markets business manager, Barclays Bank

47) Abisola Barber, vice president, markets business manager, Barclays Bank. Photo: Barclays Bank
Abisola Barber, vice-president, markets business manager, Barclays Bank. Photo: Barclays Bank

For two years, Barber sponsored a bespoke investment banking internship programme targeting women from wider university and subject pools to further increase diversity of both gender and background in the bank.

Through Barclays’ gender network, Win, Barber annually delivers networking and mentoring offerings to over 300 interns across the Barclays Group. She has stewarded new external partnerships for Barclays, launching last year to an audience of 61% female and 84% ethnic minority students and graduates from across the country. In the wake of the pandemic, Barber spearheaded a strategic pivot: transforming her development programme offering into a virtual platform whilst continuing her focused support for diversity in the talent pipeline.

Outside Barclays, Barber collaborates with universities, student societies and other organisations to advance female talent, and for the last five years has been delivering insight and confidence workshops on personal development, personal brand, and commercial awareness at top UK universities.

48) Smridhi Gulati, partner, Dechert

48) Smridhi Gulati, partner, Dechert. Photo: Dechert
Smridhi Gulati, partner, Dechert. Photo: Dechert

As an active member of Dechert’s Global Women's Initiative (GWI) in London, Gulati is a champion for gender equality, helping organise major events for the group and oversees a female-focussed soft skills training and development programme. Gulati is involved in the firm's global sponsorship and sustained support programme, which helps senior women associates navigate the path to partnership.

Her pro bono and charity efforts are diversity focussed, having: handled the UK piece of a global pro bono project relating to the fair and equal treatment of female professional athletes; supported Inspiring Girls International, an organisation seeking to raise the aspirations of young girls by connecting them with female role models; and helped organise a clothing drive for the Dress for Success charity in London providing support (including professional attire) for underprivileged women looking to get into work.

Furthermore, Gulati serves as an ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors, which supports underrepresented individuals getting into law.

49) Kim Rowell, assistant editor, BBC News & BBC Three, BBC

49) Kim Rowell, assistant Editor, BBC News & BBC Three, BBC. Photo: BBC
Kim Rowell, assistant editor, BBC News & BBC Three, BBC. Photo: BBC

Rowell seeks to promote diversity and inclusion in all her work, alongside clients, collaborators and contributing parties, as well as amongst her team and fellow employees. Her work as a leader, mentor, hiring manager and volunteer in this respect saw her achieve a Women of the Future award in 2018.

Rowell has extensive experience in the mental health arena, in particular working with journalist Bryony Gordon at the Telegraph, creating three series of a hugely popular podcast that attempted to break down the stigma attached to mental health.

Rowell now hosts the Women of the Future podcast, featuring alumni from the Women of the Future Programme. Her intention is that these women's stories will allow the audience to gain insight to aid them on their own paths. Her children's book Townie Spider, published in 2019, was named in the Top 7 Books for Children's Mental Health by Motherdom, a magazine for parental mental wellbeing.

50) Dipti Kulkarni, vice-president, senior business support manager, Bank of America

50) Dipti Kulkarni, vice president, senior business support manager, Bank of America. Photo: Bank of America
Dipti Kulkarni, vice-president, senior business support manager, Bank of America. Photo: Bank of America

Kulkarni is a business support manager for the consumer, small business and wealth management technology team at Bank of America. An advocate for diversity and inclusion for almost a decade, she received the Bank of America Global Diversity and Inclusion award in 2019.

An active member of the bank’s Leadership, Education, Advocacy and Development (LEAD) for Women group, she recently spoke at their domestic violence awareness event to encourage and inspire women to speak up against domestic violence. She actively mentors young female talent from multiple universities to pursue careers in technology.

As a recognised artist and poet, Kulkarni works on one subject every year and writes a poem inspired by her artwork from the series Women's Rights and Empowerment, which depicts challenges women may experience throughout their lives. Kulkarni recently interviewed with GirlTalkHQ about her effort to create awareness around human trafficking through her recent art and poetry.

51) Jennifer Lee, head of technical innovation, Audible

51) Jennifer Lee, head of technical innovation, Audible. Photo: Audible
Jennifer Lee, head of technical innovation, Audible. Photo: Audible

Lee was on the leadership board for Girl Develop It Boston until 2019 and continues to be very active with the Women/Girls in Tech Community.

She organised a three-day hackathon hosted by Audible and has established a relationship between Audible and Resilient Coders, a nonprofit that trains people of colour for careers as software engineers. In 2019, Lee advocated for establishing an ally group at Audible and as part of the pilot has held monthly meetings and worked with HR to create a roadmap for diversity initiatives and for holding the company accountable on D&I ambitions.

The group's advocacy led to their latest class of interns having a majority of women for the first time. Lee is a co-lead for Amazon Web Services Boston Meetup group and leverages her position to lead by example and inspire greater female membership.

52) Amandeep Khasriya, senior associate, Moore Barlow

52) Amandeep Khasriya, senior associate, Moore Barlow. Photo: Moore Barlow
Amandeep Khasriya, senior associate, Moore Barlow. Photo: Moore Barlow

Khasriya is co-founder of the women in leadership group and diversity and inclusion committee at top 100 law firm Moore Barlow. She spoke at the annual Partners conference on gender diversity in 2018 and was a keynote for the Diverse Law legal conference on gender.

As well as being the founder of Women Back to Law, Khasriya is a committee member at the Law Society Women Lawyers Division and has worked on many projects promoting gender diversity. These included speaking at their menopause resource launch event, researching into the impact of COVID-19 on women and ethnic groups, and presenting to Open University students on gender diversity.

Khasriya also volunteers at Hillingdon Women Centre, providing workshops on CV and interviews, helping women gain financial freedom following domestic violence. She has recently been invited to participate in the Oxford Faculty of Law inspiring woman lawyer project which aims to create an oral history of inspiring women lawyers.

53) Alpha Mae Arias, client services manager, IBM

53) Alpha Mae Arias, client services manager, IBM. Photo: IBM
Alpha Mae Arias, client services manager, IBM. Photo: IBM

Arias has been with IBM’s cognitive process services for 11 years, supporting clients in transforming their HR processes using analytics, automation and enterprise cloud platforms. Apart from delivering client value with her US payroll profession, she also volunteers in leading business resource groups earning her Be Equal and LGBT+ Allyship badges.

She locally introduced IBM Global programmes Nursing Mom Breast Milk Delivery service, #Pinktober Breast Cancer Awareness and launched the Unleashing Your Leadership Potential training to help increase women representation in management.

A regular speaker during International Women's Month and LGBT+ PRIDE event celebrations, she collaborates with external HR leaders through forums and IBM design thinking workshops. Working for a 100-year-old company with rich history, Arias's journey shows how working with technology and diverse minds could out think anything.

54) Kenesa Ahmad, partner, co-founder, Aleada

54) Kenesa Ahmad, partner, co-founder, Aleada. Photo: Aleada
Kenesa Ahmad, partner, co-founder, Aleada. Photo: Aleada

Ahmad is an attorney and risk adviser, widely recognised as a leading expert in privacy, data protection and information security. In 2017, Ahmad co-founded Aleada, a boutique information privacy and security consulting firm based in San Francisco.

She started the company with her two fellow co-founders of Women in Security and Privacy (WISP), a non-profit organisation established in 2014. Ahmad’s objective with Aleada is to put into practice the WISP mission: advancing women in the converging fields of privacy and security. Ahmad has made a commitment to recruit and hire individuals from diverse backgrounds seeking to enter or transition into the privacy field. Aleada specifically focuses on providing career opportunities for individuals re-entering the workforce from caretaking or family rearing roles, second career job seekers, and new graduates.

55) Stephanie Danner, senior director, high end brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev

55) Stephanie Danner, senior director, high end brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev. Photo: Anheuser-Busch InBev
Stephanie Danner, senior director, high end brands, Anheuser-Busch InBev. Photo: Anheuser-Busch InBev

Danner is a women leader in a male-dominated industry and one of only a handful of female partners in US sales at Anheuser-Busch.

She is constantly advocating for gender diversity in advertising and employment within the beer industry. She has worked to promote and develop women leaders within the company, providing mentoring to five women who are currently progressing in their careers.

Danner has recently joined the Make a Play Foundation where she will supporting a group of under-represented student athletes in career-building activities and projects.

56) Akansha Goyal, vice-president, product control, Barclays

56) Akansha Goyal, vice president, product control, Barclays. Photo: Barclays
Akansha Goyal, vice-president, product control, Barclays. Photo: Barclays

At Barclays, Goyal is part of the department's diversity and inclusion initiative where she has been involved in mentoring and talent development.

She has also been engaged on initiatives around female talent review, development and retention with a focus on providing guidance on career progression to top talent within the department. As an ambassador for Masters in finance at London Business School for more than five years, Goyal has been involved in interviewing candidates for the programme across the globe and personally guided and mentored several prospective candidates from diverse backgrounds.

She is passionate about female education and has worked with multiple small schools to promote and encourage female education by providing mentoring to female students.

57) Yvonne Luu, senior communications officer, Peabody

57) Yvonne Luu, senior communications officer, Peabody. Photo: Peabody
Yvonne Luu, senior communications officer, Peabody. Photo: Peabody

Luu is co-chair of Peabody’s gender network and established their inaugural reverse mentoring programme, which includes several board members and directors as the first tranche of mentees. Her success in involving members of the board and senior leadership team has not only given this initiative significant profile but has also provided the potential to effect real change at the very top echelon of the organisation.

Luu also led the planning and delivery of Peabody’s largest ever International Women's Day celebrations which included a high profile panel event held in collaboration with five other large housing associations at which three chief executives joined the speaking panel. She is a Young Women’s Trust Champion which is a charity supporting young women struggling to live on low or no pay.

58) Rachel Welch-Phillips, associate, Bird & Bird

58) Rachel Welch-Phillips, associate, Bird & Bird. Photo: Bird & Bird
Rachel Welch-Phillips, associate, Bird & Bird. Photo: Bird & Bird

Welch-Phillips is the founder and chair of Embrace, Bird & Bird's inaugural intersectional BAME network. The network achieved many successes in a very short period of time through social media campaigns, community outreach and a series of internal events to engage with key stakeholders and improve representation, retention and attitudes to intersectional diversity within the legal profession. These successes were recognised when Embrace won the Outstanding Multicultural Employee Network award at the UK Diversity Legal Awards 2019.

Embrace has maintained a strong focus on community engagement and dedicates hundreds of hours to uplifting youth in BAME communities, particularly BAME women and girls who often have the fewest doors of access and opportunity open to them. Alongside her work with Embrace, Welch-Phillips is an active mentor through formal and informal channels to high school and university students, trainees, and other women who aspire to become lawyers in the City.

59) Mary Agbesanwa, management consultant, PwC

59) Mary Agbesanwa, management consultant, PwC. Photo: PwC
Mary Agbesanwa, management consultant, PwC. Photo: PwC

Agbesanwa joined PwC on their Women In Business programme and has been involved in a campaign to encourage more young women to apply to PwC through sharing her experiences and inspirations. She delivered a Level Up Workshop focusing on promotions, sponsorship and relationship building to members of the Gender Balance Network and is a mentor in the firm’s diversity mentoring scheme.

Outside of PwC, Mary is co-founder of the Now You’re Talking Network for professional women millennials and has conducted a series of inspiring Instagram Live Series with female entrepreneurs and professionals covering topics from communicating confidently on camera, tapping into your emotional intelligence, and developing a positive money mindset.

In May, she was selected from over 6,900 applicants across EMEA to be a McKinsey Next Generation Women Leader.

READ MORE: PwC's Mary Agbesanwa on how to be a role model for change and the importance of 'taking space'

60) Freddie Cormack, assistant to the chief information security officer, BP

60) Freddie Cormack, assistant to the chief information security officer, BP. Photo: BP
Freddie Cormack, assistant to the chief information security officer, BP. Photo: BP

Cormack is the co-chair of the Transgender Group at BP which has transformed transgender awareness within BP globally. This includes creating senior management engagement resulting in many public shows of trans support from leaders including BP’s new CEO.

Cormack has developed many Safe Space training sessions and is also an active member of BP's Women in Industry group advocating equality for women in BP.

Outside of BP, Freddie is a founder and committee member for Trans in the City, a collaboration of over 75 organisations to actively promote corporate transgender awareness.

61) Christina Mallon, global inclusive design lead, Wunderman Thompson

61) Christina Mallon, global inclusive design lead, Wunderman Thompson. Photo: Wunderman Thompson
Christina Mallon, global inclusive design lead, Wunderman Thompson. Photo: Wunderman Thompson

Mallon is a member on five inclusion boards (WPP DEI Council, WPP Culture Council, WPP Sustainability Council, WPP Innovation Council, and Wunderman Thompson DEI Council) where she advises on women's issues and their intersection with disability.

On the Wunderman Thompson DEI Council she created an inclusion framework and scorecard for individual disciplines to give everyone the steps and measurement to a more inclusive culture. She created the inclusive experience practice which uses inclusive design methodology to create inclusive products and experiences for her clients' customers.

This methodology forces the creator to ask who they are leaving out of the experience that they are creating and pushes them to take the time to learn from the groups that they're leaving out. Mallon is the chief brand officer of a non-profit, Open Style Lab, which is an inclusive design education hub which teaches women and girls with disabilities about STEM through adaptive fashion design.

62) Shelley Tiltman, employee experience & inclusion senior manager, Cognizant

62) Shelley Tiltman, employee experience & inclusion senior manager, Cognizant. Photo: Cognizant
Shelley Tiltman, employee experience & inclusion senior manager, Cognizant. Photo: Cognizant

Since joining Cognizant in 2019, Tiltman has been instrumental in re-energising UK&I Women Empowered, recruiting 24 new and active committee members, to drive inclusion and empowerment. Combined with her role as Engagement and Inclusion Lead, she has organised and hosted a number of events to educate develop and support employees.

She is part of the team looking at the gender pay gap and shares recommendations to enhance attraction, retention and development. Tiltmany is a driving force behind other affinity groups including Embrace, the LGBTQ+ ally network and promotes trans rights. She is core member of global diversity & inclusion network spanning 52 countries.

Tiltman’s broad external network helps to bring insights to the internal networks, always sharing food for thought. Tiltman is extremely proud of the sense of community and support the affinity groups bring to colleagues. She writes thought leadership articles on many aspects of diversity and tirelessly campaigns for equality.

63) Suki Heather, creative director, AKQA

63) Suki Heather, creative director, AKQA. Photo: AKQA
Suki Heather, creative director, AKQA. Photo: AKQA

Heather was part of the initial women's global council that brought together senior women across the AKQA network. The council introduced several initiatives in their local studios including: unconscious bias training designed to help build a more representative workplace; returnships designed to attract back into industry those who've most likely left to be a parent; and apprenticeships to encourage entry level hiring from a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds.

During her time at AKQA, Heather has worked with management to introduce free feminine care products in all female toilets of the London studio. Heather’s work has been featured in prominent publications that focus on women in design including Hidden Women of Graphic Design, Women of Graphic Design, Femme Type (TYPE01) and Graphic Burd, all of which have highlighted her work to draw more attention to visibility of women in the creative industry.

64) Bjial Majithia, assistant director, EY

64) Bjial Majithia, assistant director, EY. Photo: EY
Bjial Majithia, assistant director, EY. Photo: EY

Majithia is an ambassador and mentor for The Girls Network, which seeks to empower girls from disadvantaged communities. She is also an ambassador and educator for Binti International, with a mission to provide menstrual dignity to all girls all over the world.

She has been featured on BBC Radio 2’s Pause for Thought to represent the Hindu voice on topical issues and has featured as a panellist for Women on the Wharf, the BBC, Tempo recruitment and Lloyds Banking Group. At EY, she has helped to drive and deliver strategic D&I initiatives as well as highlight the conversations of ethnicity, gender and faith within the workplace. This includes championing campaigns and hosting events to discuss taboo topics and create a culture of openness.

65) Parris Brown, relationship manager for Canada, Audible

65) Parris Brown, relationship manager for Canada, Audible. Photo: Audible
Parris Brown, relationship manager for Canada, Audible. Photo: Audible

Brown is a board member of the Women@Audible impact group and the lead for the group's global membership & engagement committee. She has worked with Cornerstone, a hiring initiative Audible created in partnership with the city of Newark. Working as an ambassador she engaged with a local job resource group to identify and support candidates from the community including college students, recent graduates, and those with work experience who lacked some skills employers seek.

Brown also volunteers as a leadership coach with Braven, a nonprofit founded with a mission to empower first-generation minority college students. She assisted many of the young women beyond the Braven programme.

Brown is a proud member of Eureka Grand Chapter Prince Hall Order Eastern Star, Inc., State of New York, Alpha Chapter No.1. This organisation prides itself on serving communities with charitable events, especially for women and children, all while uplifting women in achievement.

66) Yusra Hussain, IT adviser, asset management, new energies, Shell

66) Yusra Hussain, IT adviser - asset management, New Energies, Shell. Photo: Shell
Yusra Hussain, IT adviser, asset management, new energies, Shell. Photo: Shell

Hussain has taken part in many different projects in the past two years supporting women from diverse backgrounds. This includes an e-mentoring program for children aged 14-16 in an East London school and a STEM mentoring program for Shell women in the early part of their careers. This initiative was set up to connect young women in STEM with senior women and men interested in helping them develop professionally, with a specific lens on STEM and the challenges associated with it.

Hussain launched the inaugural Women in STEM @ Shell awards and hosted Shell’s largest bring your child to work day, with 150 children between the ages of 9-15, taking part in STEM workshops, talks and showcasing both female and male role-models. In response to COVID-19, Hussain is working with Robogals as a special program lead to bring online STEM content to girls across the world.

67) Jagjeet Doheley, learning services manager, British Retail Consortium

67) Jagjeet Doheley, learning services manager, British Retail Consortium. Photo: BRC
67) Jagjeet Doheley, learning services manager, British Retail Consortium. Photo: BRC

Doheley co-leads a project to inspire inclusion within retail environments and is partnering with the Centre for Inclusive Leadership to hold inclusion dialogues with industry leaders to inspire change.

She leads personal branding sessions for women in leadership and has helped women leaders and business-owners build confidence to move up the ladder and to solidify their brand. In her previous role, Doheley ran mindfulness sessions to encourage wellness practices based around gender and energy levels.

68) Claire Foster, Chart. PR, FCIPR, senior manager, corporate affairs, Direct Line Group

68) Claire Foster, Chart. PR, FCIPR, senior manager - corporate affairs, Direct Line Group. Photo: Direct Line Group
Claire Foster, Chart. PR, FCIPR, senior manager, corporate affairs, Direct Line Group. Photo: Direct Line Group

Foster champions diversity at every opportunity with a specific focus on paying it forward. She helped create the My Life parental leave transparency and flexible working policy at Direct Line Group, launching it externally to set an example across business.

Her research in this area was used in support of a Parliamentary Bill led by Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson. The bill aimed to make all large organisations publish their parental leave and pay policies. Foster is a former vice-president of Women in PR, helping women reach their potential through mentoring, events and championing gender issues.

Foster has now joined the executive board of Global Women in PR, an organisation dedicated to supporting female talent in the PR industry. Despite being on maternity leave in 2019, Foster won the PRCA’s City and Financial Professional of the year and became a fellow at the Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

69) Sarah Primrose, associate, King & Spalding

69) Sarah Primrose, associate, King & Spalding. Photo: King & Spalding
Sarah Primrose, associate, King & Spalding. Photo: King & Spalding

Primrose is a member of the financial restructuring group at King & Spalding. Her practice focuses on representing debtors, lenders, and creditors in Chapter 11 reorganisation cases along with other bankruptcy-related litigation throughout the country.

Primrose is part of the firm’s women's affinity group where she helps promote both internal and external events supporting women and fostering professional development. As a member of the King & Spalding hiring committee, she recruits new hires and serves as a formal mentor for summer associates along with first year associates.

Externally, Primrose’s commitment to gender equality includes current and past service as a member of the United Way Young Professionals Board for Greater Atlanta, as a board member for the International Women's Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation-Georgia Network, as part of the Junior League of Atlanta promoting women’s leadership development, and as a Wellsprings volunteer working directly with victims of sex trafficking.

70) Rachel Anderson, UI/UX designer, RobustWealth

70) Rachel Anderson, UI/UX designer, RobustWealth. Photo: RobustWealth
Rachel Anderson, UI/UX designer, RobustWealth. Photo: RobustWealth

Anderson is the founder and host of the RobustWealth roundtable, an interview series for the awareness, advocacy, and advancement of women in finance.

She has also led Women by Women, a program created in recognition of International Women's Day and Women's History Month which displayed artwork depicting women created by female artists. Among other initiatives outside of RobustWealth, Anderson founded the Future Financial Planners Community for rising finance professionals and Newbee Community which supports women entering technology.

She is also a frequent speaker for initiatives advocating for women and presented at the Seattle Design Festival. Rachel is an active member of 100 Women in Finance and Females & Finance, as well as a top contributor on TechLadies where she shares material on women’s leadership and financial empowerment.

This year, Anderson was featured as a Reinvented Magazine STEAM Dreamers Role Model and nominated for Woman of The Year.

71) Joanne Legge, head of cyber behaviour change, BP

71) Joanne Legge, head of Cyber Behaviour Change, BP. Photo: BP
Joanne Legge, head of cyber behaviour change, BP. Photo: BP

Legge chairs BP WIN IT&S, the internal network for women in information technology at BP, developing and implementing a strategy to increase women’s participation, progression and recognition in IT roles.

This includes ownership of the company Yammer tool to promote internal and external opportunities, running network sessions, driving nominations for external IT awards, providing mentoring opportunities for both women and men at all levels, and engaging with BP’s senior leadership to ensure female talent is recognised globally.

Externally, Legge is a judge for the FDM/Everywoman Women in Technology awards, judging several categories including Leader of the Year. Joanne achieves this on top of her role as head of cyber behaviour change, driving cyber security awareness and education programmes across the company.

72) Rocio Cárdenas, Informatic technician, Fujitsu Technology Solutions

72) Rocio Cárdenas, Informatic technician, Fujitsu Technology Solutions. Photo: Fujitsu Technology Solutions
Rocio Cárdenas, Informatic technician, Fujitsu Technology Solutions. Photo: Fujitsu Technology Solutions

From November 2019, Cárdenas has participated in the Fujitsu Radar programme, a year-long programme designed to teach tech streams and find future leaders.

Through it, Cárdenas has volunteered with Fujitsu’s D&I group and has participated in a #IamRemarkable workshop in partnership with Google. In April, Cárdenas became a certified #IamRemarkable facilitator, and has carried out these workshop with a focus on empowerment, finding satisfaction in seeing others benefit and encouraging people to more proactively seek out career development opportunities.

Rocio’s #IamRemarkable sessions are fully inclusive, exposing the many struggles women and other underrepresented groups face in business on a daily basis. The initiative aims to give a voice to women and minority groups to talk about their achievements with pride. Furthermore, Cárdenas has been among the top performers in the Radar programme every month so far. Additionally, she has started studying for a university degree to keep herself motivated outside of the company.

73) Marion Bentata, vice-president, State Street

73) Marion Bentata, vice president, State Street. Photo: State Street
Marion Bentata, vice-president, State Street. Photo: State Street

Bentata co-chairs the State Street UK Pride network, where she acts as a role model for gay women. She regularly appears on panels to discuss the specific issues faced by LGBT+ women and she organises events with a strong focus on women.

In the last two years, Bentata has organised two book launches at State Street, one dedicated to the lives of older lesbian and bisexual women, and the other dedicated to the former press officer to two prime ministers who shared her views on gender equality and the LGBT+ community.

Bentata always looks to increase diversity when hiring new talent and reminds the management team of this imperative. Within Interbank, where she was the second female co-chair, Bentata continues to work tirelessly to increase the representation and visibility of women.

74) Leah Kimata, information security risk officer, Standard Chartered Bank

74) Leah Kimata, information security risk officer, Standard Chartered Bank. Photo: Standard Chartered Bank
Leah Kimata, information security risk officer, Standard Chartered Bank. Photo: Standard Chartered Bank

In her previous role at KPMG, Kimata mentored women in her unit towards becoming senior members of the firm.

At Standard Chartered, she is one of the senior management team, and mentors women in various units on elements of cyber security. She has also volunteered for initiatives targeting girls and women in technology.

Externally, Kimata is a member of African Women in Fintechs, and has been involved in panel discussions on payment security and discussions on women in Fintech.

75) Joyce Cheng, assistant director, Edelman Hong Kong

75) Joyce Cheng, assistant director, Edelman Hong Kong. Photo: Edelman Hong Kong
Joyce Cheng, assistant director, Edelman Hong Kong. Photo: Edelman Hong Kong

Cheng leads the Edelman GWEN (Edelman’s Global Women’s Executive Network) initiative in the Hong Kong office.

She formed the #WeStepUp employee campaign to encourage greater inclusiveness. Her voice is heard on the issues that matter – workplace diversity, equality, employee welfare, team dynamics and delivering the best possible work for clients.

She has introduced initiatives on career development and training, work-life balance policies and improved benefits to reward retention and more. In her five years at Edelman, she has forged a stand-out reputation among peers and senior management through leading by example and action. As a result, she constantly inspires and guides junior colleagues around her.

Cheng is currently a leading member of the #BetterTogether, an evolution of #WeStepUp covering wellness, D&I, improved HR policies and unconscious bias training at all levels. #WeStepUp and #BetterTogether contributed to Edelman Hong Kong winning the HR Asia Awards Best Companies to Work For 2019.

76) Patricia Souza, senior consultant, EY

76) Patricia Souza, senior consultant, EY. Photo: EY
Patricia Souza, senior consultant, EY. Photo: EY

Souza is a member of the EY Luxembourg D&I task force, which oversees the implementation of the D&I balanced scorecard firm wide.

Furthermore, as a part of her goal to drive inclusion among her team members, she developed a successful training session on inclusion and belonging, which is now under consideration to be scaled up for other areas and service lines.

In addition to her contributions to the D&I task force, Souza has actively brought together her people advisory services team, initiating a running group to bring together women and men in her team promoting an inclusive atmosphere with allies at all levels. She is also co-creating D&I within Workforce Advisory (WFA) at EY Luxembourg and EY Belgium.

Outside EY, Souza is building a D&I network of experts to tackle the issues this community is facing and promote a more inclusive and equitable society in Luxembourg. Additionally, she is also working as a member of the Hacking HR Luxembourg to promote debates on human topics, including D&I.

77) Kai Deveraux Lawson, global director of community engagement, WPP

77) Kai Deveraux Lawson, global director of community engagement, WPP. Photo: WPP
Kai Deveraux Lawson, global director of community engagement, WPP. Photo: WPP

At WPP, Lawson’s role has allowed her to highlight top women and leaders of colour throughout the network. She supports all employee resource groups, providing marketing, financial, and membership support.

She works to provide a platform to showcase WPP’s diverse employee talent and retain a strong pool of talented women and people of colour.

Externally, Lawson co-hosts and produces the Mixed Company podcast, where she advocates for cultural issues, especially those affecting women in advertising. She has spoken on various panels to bring the importance of diverse representation in advertising to the forefront. Additionally, Lawson leads the Fishbowl Women in Advertising Bowl.

78) Plaxedes Makura, ILDP manager, Legal, Disputes, Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa

78) Plaxedes Makura, ILDP Manager (Legal, Disputes), Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa. Photo: Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa
Plaxedes Makura, ILDP manager, Legal, Disputes, Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa. Photo: Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa

Makura joined Herbert Smith Freehills in 2017 when the Johannesburg Alternative Legal Services (ALT) practice group was launched. ALT Johannesburg forms part of a market-leading, innovative global team of 350 lawyers, technologists and legal analysts operating across 11 locations.

Makura, a qualified lawyer, practices as a disputes manager specialising in managing complex document reviews, on large international and local matters. She also manages the International Legal Development Programme (ILDP), which offers high-performing legal graduates the opportunity to gain work experience as a Legal Analyst through a structured learning and development programme.

During the ILDP recruitment process and in day-to-day interactions, she encourages the team to be mindful of racial, cultural and gender diversity. She was instrumental in establishing the ALT Johannesburg social, diversity, CSR and mental health, and awareness committees. Personally, Makura founded Pink Power, a breast cancer awareness initiative to raise funds for patients who cannot afford treatment.

79) Hope Ditlhakanyane, venture partner, MEST Africa

79) Hope Ditlhakanyane, venture partner, MEST Africa. Photo: MEST Africa
Hope Ditlhakanyane, venture partner, MEST Africa. Photo: MEST Africa

In her previous role at A.T. Kearney, Ditlhakanyane co-led the Women’s Network, hosting numerous programmes aimed at improving women’s safety, access to opportunities and general workplace experience.

This included organising women’s breakfasts, self defence workshops and diversity & unconscious bias training for all staff, backed by the leadership team. Externally, she founded the Superwoman Hub, a 1,000+ strong community of high-impact African women.

The community’s mission is to connect women and empower them to take on leadership roles, through awareness and advocacy. Superwoman Hub regularly hosts leadership programmes, advocacy initiatives such as the #50FacesOfWomenInAfrica series, as well as events such as the Women in Africa conference to connect women leaders across the continent.

Over the next year, she will be launching a fund aimed at supporting and scaling women-owned businesses across Africa.

80) Léna Elisabeth David, principal, Boston Consulting Group

80) Léna Elisabeth David, principal, Boston Consulting Group. Photo: Boston Consulting Group
Léna Elisabeth David, principal, Boston Consulting Group. Photo: Boston Consulting Group

Last year, David took charge of the Women@BCG initiative in Switzerland as a co-head with a male managing director and partner.

Together, they introduced a set of new diversity policies and a retention and advancement programme for women in Switzerland. Through their work, the office in Switzerland became the first BCG office worldwide, and one of the first employers in Switzerland, to introduce a fully paid gender-neutral parental leave. The new programme furthermore includes revised flex-time and part-time working models, a support process for returning mothers, and sponsored access to childcare support.

It also includes improved sponsorship models for senior women, mentoring for junior women, unconscious bias training for all staff and a speaker series on diversity topics. David presented the BCG Swiss diversity journey at a regional Women@BCG conference covering Europe, Africa and South America, and leads senior officer meetings to raise awareness and to discuss solutions to advance diversity at the firm.

81) Louise Hennessey, senior associate, Allen & Overy

81) Louise Hennessey, senior associate, Allen & Overy. Photo: Allen & Overy
Louise Hennessey, senior associate, Allen & Overy. Photo: Allen & Overy

Hennessey was appointed chair of A&O’s women’s network, WiN, in November 2018 and she was tasked with revitalising the network and formulating the shape and strategy of the committee. Since then, WiN has organised numerous successful events and seminars to promote gender equality in the firm, including collaboration with the Ministry of Justice, and facilitated discussion groups profiling recently promoted women partners in a bid to inspire junior women associates and to make male sponsor allies aware of the valuable role they play in this process.

Hennessey was also involved in the development of a quarterly programme to support and develop the careers of A&O’s junior women lawyers. She is participating in a programme aimed at supporting mid-level women lawyers and has contributed to a paper presented to the board which helped shape the firm’s gender strategy and targets.

Externally, Hennessey mentors diverse female students, is a champion for Women for Women International, and has helped coordinate donations with the Hygiene Bank among other causes.

82) Eugenia Planas, head of digital services, Bank of England

82) Eugenia Planas, head of digital services, Bank of England. Photo: Bank of England
Eugenia Planas, head of digital services, Bank of England. Photo: Bank of England

Since returning from maternity leave in 2018, Planas has co-chaired the Technology Inclusion Council at the Bank of England.

This year, the council has been responsible for mandating diverse interview panels for recruitment at senior grades and unconscious bias training for people managers. Planas mentors talented women from across the bank, and undertakes career conversations with top talent, recognising that women continue to be underrepresented in technology.

Within the Technology Leadership team, Planas acts as a sponsor and advocate for gender diversity, ensuring the subject gets regular and deliberate focus. She is at the forefront of the Bank’s efforts to embrace flexible working and supporting technologies.

Planas is also leading efforts to have the organisation sign the Tech Talent Charter, which would see the Bank make a public pledge in relation to its recruitment and retention of diverse talent.

83) Carolina Vaccaro, total rewards senior consultant LAC, SAP

83) Carolina Vaccaro, total rewards senior consultant LAC, SAP. Photo: SAP
Carolina Vaccaro, total rewards senior consultant LAC, SAP. Photo: SAP

Vaccaro is the regional leader for the Business Women’s Network (BWN) at SAP. Last year, as a result of joint efforts from HR and D&I, she collaborated in the update of the back to work parental leave policy for Argentina, inclusive of all families and absent of gendered language. In addition, they created a regional gender violence campaign to raise awareness.

This year, the back to work policy was expanded throughout the region, and Vaccaro and the BWN team’s work on gender violence has extended to a COVID-19 protocol, compiling data from locations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, listing internal and external channels for reporting domestic violence. Together with an employee assistance programme, the group now has a code to report cases, which is only shared with women.

84) Lydia Brookes, senior director, EMEA syndications, Mizuho Bank

84) Lydia Brookes, senior director - EMEA Syndications, Mizuho Bank. Photo: Mizuho Bank
Lydia Brookes, senior director - EMEA Syndications, Mizuho Bank. Photo: Mizuho Bank

Brookes founded the Mizuho gender network in 2017, which has since been enlarged through merging with the gender networks of Mizuho subsidiaries.

Brookes, who now co-leads the network, has organised speaker events, driven policy change with a focus on parental leave and supported the re-launch of the mentoring scheme. She has secured funding for an external events programme with high-profile speakers, targeting imposter syndrome, careers, performance, mindset and resilience.

With a focus on policy change, Brookes is now helping the bank understand the need to collate and analyse employment data, and how to use this to impact decision making. She is also focused on tackling the flexible working policy and expanding paternity leave. Brookes mentors women within Mizuho and through Women in Banking & Finance, and represents the bank at external networks, including WIBF and the Network of Networks.

85) Brenda Hudson, EMEA commercial finance manager, GroupM EMEA

85) Brenda Hudson, EMEA Commercial Finance Manager, GroupM EMEA. Photo: GroupM EMEA
Brenda Hudson, EMEA commercial finance manager, GroupM EMEA. Photo: GroupM EMEA

Hudson founded The Bridge this year to amplify inclusion and belonging to the current diversity programs across WPP in GroupM EMEA.

The group works to target those who are at the intersection of race and gender with the aim of providing traditional mentoring and sponsorship, as well as facilitating reverse mentoring to encourage challenging conversations on race and intersectionality with leadership in order to break barriers and create allies.

Externally, Hudson set up an informal training programme, The Kitchen Table, which she launched in response to work that her grandmother was doing to support a small group of women with financial literacy. The programme equips women with vital financial skills to support themselves and their children.

86) Denise Best, associate project manager, Euromoney Institutional Investor

86) Denise Best, associate project manager, Euromoney Institutional Investor. Photo: Euromoney Institutional Investor
Denise Best, associate project manager, Euromoney Institutional Investor. Photo: Euromoney Institutional Investor

Best co-chairs the race, faith, diversity & inclusion group at Euromoney Institutional Investor (EII), and has organised numerous events promoting diversity and inclusion. As a member of the EII charity committee, EII Cares, Denise works with organisations to support women, such as Iris House, a Harlem-based women’s support organisation, and Bottomless Closet, which empowers NYC women in need to enter the workforce and achieve success.

EII has participated in clothing drives, resume and interview preparation, safe sex kit preparation and toy drives. Last year, EII hosted the Euromoney@50 awards, where Denise won over $10,000 for Bottomless Closet. Denise is also the creator of the I Am empowerment movement, honouring women who are a credit to their community or industry. The group is currently running a series called The State of the Black Woman, and is starting a mentoring program for young girls.

87) Katy Goodrich, customer success director, Adobe

87) Katy Goodrich, customer success director, Adobe. Photo: Adobe
Katy Goodrich, customer success director, Adobe. Photo: Adobe

At Adobe, Goodrich is a customer success director and co-lead for Women at Adobe and social impact teams for the UK. As part of her customer success role, she works with Adobe’s largest financial services customers as a trusted adviser towards their digital transformations. Her Women at Adobe and leadership of social impact teams involves creating internal programs and community partnerships to promote causes top of mind for Adobe employees, such as championing gender diversity in tech.

Her recent accomplishments include co-organising and hosting Adobe’s first Women in Marketing speaker training programme to bring more diverse voices to marketing and financial marketing conferences. She also founded and leads Adobe’s Financial Services Executive Women’s Roundtable, promoting networking and knowledge-sharing among female leaders in Adobe’s customer base. Recently, she co-launched an EMEA Adobe for All book club, a space for ongoing reading and ideas to encourage a more inclusive environment for conversation.

88) Masumi Ichimoto, associate director, Accenture Technology, Accenture Japan

88) Masumi Ichimoto, associate director, Accenture Technology, Accenture Japan. Photo: Accenture Japan
Masumi Ichimoto, associate director, Accenture Technology, Accenture Japan. Photo: Accenture Japan

Ichimoto is involved in the Japan inclusion & diversity initiative at Accenture Japan, where she developed a programme for working parents to help them continue working without stress after returning to work, with a focus on career development and a healthy work-life balance.

The programme focuses in particular on growing working mothers’ career opportunities and challenging the misconception that returning mothers are limited by less flexible working hours. It also focuses on unconscious bias around parenting, and is inclusive of working fathers.

Ichimoto’s programme has contributed to Accenture being ranked in the top 10 of Nikkei Dual’s Best Companies for Working Parents in 2020.

89) Catherine Wright, relationship manager, Bank of Ireland

89) Catherine Wright, relationship manager, Bank of Ireland. Photo: Bank of Ireland
Catherine Wright, relationship manager, Bank of Ireland. Photo: Bank of Ireland

Wright is the UK representative for the gender balance network, supporting Bank of Ireland’s inclusion & diversity team.

She represents the UK corporate banking division in idea generation, and engaging with decision-makers and key stakeholders internally, with an aim to grow the culture of inclusivity within the bank. This year, Wright has spearheaded a series of inclusive programmes, including a woman in business and finance initiative in partnership with Deloitte, leading high-impact webinars with a diverse group of panellists.

Wright mentors upcoming women within the organisation and, externally, is involved in supporting and empowering millennial women at all stages of their career, through bespoke mentorship and coaching whilst also offering opportunities to broaden their network. She is a member of The Women's Chapter and 100 Women in Finance, where she actively participates in sessions promoting D&I by sharing best practices to create a ripple effect and close the gender gap.

90) Ranu Sharma, head of international operations and technology finance, MasterCard (VocaLink)

90) Ranu Sharma, head of international operations and technology finance, MasterCard (VocaLink). Photo: MasterCard (VocaLink)
Ranu Sharma, head of international operations and technology finance, MasterCard (VocaLink). Photo: MasterCard (VocaLink)

Sharma sits on the MasterCard women leadership network, heading up the London operations and technology guild, whilst also advocating for young working mothers from minority ethnic backgrounds within a male-dominated industry.

Sharma was instrumental in introducing the concept of reversed balanced mentoring to senior management, whereby less senior colleagues mentor executives within the organisation, whilst ensuring the programme maintains a 50:50 gender balance.

Outside of this, Sharma leads women’s forums and coaching sessions across the AAPAC region, and shares best practices and experiences to encourage women to lean in and step up, to be more confident and to grow. She has helped transform the lives of young youths through her own podcast series and other influences.

91) Carol Reddy, manager, client services, Northern Trust

91) Carol Reddy, manager, client services, Northern Trust. Photo: Northern Trust
Carol Reddy, manager, client services, Northern Trust. Photo: Northern Trust

Reddy is a client service delivery manager at Northern Trust. In addition to chairing the business’s women in leadership business resource council in Ireland, Reddy participates in the Ireland executive gender balance group, a sub-committee of Northern Trust's Ireland management team solely focused on ensuring gender parity across its workforce in Ireland.

While recognising the intersectionality of women, Reddy has championed a female-focused cohort of an internal mentoring programme to support the development women in the early-to-mid stages of their professional life, introduced role modelling initiatives to enhance the visibility of senior females, and driven an increase in male ally-ship through inclusive engagement.

92) Musidora Jorgensen, head of UK energy and utilities, Salesforce

92) Musidora Jorgensen, head of UK energy & utilities, Salesforce. Photo: Salesforce
Musidora Jorgensen, head of UK energy & utilities, Salesforce. Photo: Salesforce

As an ally and speaker for the Salesforce Women’s Network, Jorgensen has been a strong advocate of promoting gender diversity within her career, and is one of the UK leadership team on Salesforce’s internal working group focused on more inclusive hiring.

She coaches, mentors and sponsors women both internally at Salesforce but also externally across the wider STEM industry. She's also regularly involved with the Women In Sales Awards Europe, an organisation created to recognise excellence in sales across a very male dominated industry.

Jorgensen has spoken on gender diversity as a keynote speaker for the Salesforce Women’s Network, at the Women in Sales Conference, at the PwC Women’s Network, and is due to speak at the House of Commons in February as part of the Gamechangers Women's Network.

93) Mira Niswonger, senior programme/project manager, Capital One Bank

93) Mira Niswonger, senior program/project manager, Capital One Bank. Photo: Capital One Bank
Mira Niswonger, senior programme/project manager, Capital One Bank. Photo: Capital One Bank

Niswonger is a member of the leadership and coordination team for the diversity inclusion & belonging council at Capital One Bank. In this role, she helps to shape and drive the bank’s D&I strategy and also collaborates to form alliances and develop strategy with other diversity groups and networks at Capital One. She creates a culture of allyship with an enhanced understanding of the importance of intersectionality.

Within the EmpowHER business resource group, she leads conversations beyond race and gender to include other identities that influence the experiences of working moms and which can create barriers to advancement and authenticity at the workplace. Niswonger has designed and led development programmes for Capital One promoting both career mobility and career development, therefore helping individuals to bring more of their talents and potential to their work.

94) Mamaa Duker, UK, business development associate director, WPP

94) Mamaa Duker, UK, business development associate director, WPP. Photo: WPP
Mamaa Duker, UK, business development associate director, WPP. Photo: WPP

Duker was born and raised in Ghana and has lived and worked across four countries including the UK, US and Hong Kong. She is the lead for WPP Roots — WPP's ethnic & cultural diversity employee network, which plays an active role in amplifying the voices of ethnic minority leaders within the company and creating platforms for ethnic minority women to share their experiences.

She has actively worked to embed inclusive thinking throughout WPP’s global network, leading Roots’ expansion and successfully launching a workshop called ‘Covering in the workplace’, which explores how ethnic minority employees cover aspects of their identities in order to fit in.

She also created an anti-racism resource pack following George Floyd’s death featuring support resources for Black women. As well as providing informal mentoring for junior colleagues at WPP, Duker provides mentorship to young female students at Aves International Academy in her hometown of Tema, Ghana.

95) Kristin Parris, senior manager, talent development, Essence

95) Kristin Parris, senior manager, talent development, Essence. Photo: Essence
Kristin Parris, senior manager, talent development, Essence. Photo: Essence

Parris is the North American lead for POC@Essence, an employee resource group focused on supporting people of colour within the agency. She oversees initiatives across six offices to support women of colour, spearheading over 10 women-led programs in the last two years with topics including industry thought leadership, wellness and media resources.

She has partnered closely with the leads for Womxn@Essence, the agency’s gender-diversity group, to launch the Essence immersion programme, a pipeline programme giving underrepresented groups virtual networking opportunities and increased visibility within the advertising industry. In July 2020, Parris was selected by the Advertising Club of New York to participate in the i'mPART Women’s Fellowship executive training programme.

96) Kyoshia Jackson, legal & compliance paralegal, Moet Hennessy USA

96) Kyoshia Jackson, legal & compliance paralegal, Moet Hennessy USA. Photo: Moet Hennessy USA
Kyoshia Jackson, legal & compliance paralegal, Moet Hennessy USA. Photo: Moet Hennessy USA

Jackson is actively engaged in Moet Hennessy’s diversity and inclusion efforts — first, as a member of the former Polycultural committee, and now, organising and leading Moet Hennessy USA’s first Black employee resource group. In 2019, she organised the company’s first Black History Month celebration, and then co-authored its IDE strategy.

Most recently, she was the catalyst for the company‘s discussion of racial bias and systemic injustices that affect Black Americans. Jackson‘s personal mission is to ensure upfront presence of more Black professional women in her industry, and her leadership, insight, and confidence have inspired her peers to join her efforts.

97) Sarah Noble, director, Deloitte MCS

97) Sarah Noble, director, Deloitte MCS. Photo: Deloitte MCS
Sarah Noble, director, Deloitte MCS. Photo: Deloitte MCS

Noble started Women at the Wheel in 2016 as a networking group to drive positive change by supporting women on their automotive career journeys.

As a director in consulting and working with clients across the industry, she was struck by the lack of diversity in the top roles and the desire to inspire women to grow and succeed in the industry. Women at the Wheel is guided by three main tenets; to inspire women to achieve their top potential, to encourage collaboration towards gender equality across the industry, and to strengthen women’s careers through providing regular events and a platform for discussion of key issues impacting women.

The group now has over 850 members including both men and women drawn from 150 organisations across the UK automotive sector including all the major manufacturers. As well as leading Women at the Wheel, Noble coaches others across industries to set-up similar organisations, is a mentor and sponsor across her own network, works with the Automotive Council UK on the diversity & inclusion committee, and is a frequent speaker on diversity in business at conference and client events.

98) Eileen Bax, pathways development manager, AXA PPP Healthcare, AXA UK

98) Eileen Bax, pathways development manager, AXA PPP Healthcare, part of AXA UK. Photo: AXA UK
Eileen Bax, pathways development manager, AXA PPP Healthcare, AXA UK. Photo: AXA UK

Bax has been involved in promoting and supporting the ways of working policy at AXA, providing key stakeholder insight from different geographical areas and a range of business areas across a broad demographic. This has included women with responsibilities for elderly or sick family members, women with health vulnerabilities, women seeking work-life balance to improve their overall wellbeing, and working parents.

Discussions in this area included men and very senior colleagues, proactively encouraging them to think outside the norms and stereotypes, and to role model change. Bax is passionate about ensuring fairness for all and empowering managers to handle cases consistently while still recognising the importance of individual circumstances.

99) Lauren Silbert, vice-president and general manager, The Balance, Dotdash

99) Lauren Silbert, vice president and general manager, The Balance, Dotdash. Photo: Dotdash
Lauren Silbert, vice-president and general manager, The Balance, Dotdash. Photo: Dotdash

As vice-president and general manager of The Balance, Silbert has worked to make finance topics accessible to everyone, and brought female representation and leadership into a notoriously male-dominated sector. She oversees a predominantly female team of writers and editors covering topics from banking and credit, to the economy and investing.

In 2019, Silbert was named a Corporate Champion in Folio’s Top Women in Media Awards. Silbert has been a long-time member of The Wing, an organisation devoted to providing working and community spaces for women, and regularly contributes to Dotdash's monthly community diversity and inclusion meetings.

100) Felicia Ofori-Quaah, senior associate, Milbank

100) Felicia Ofori-Quaah, senior associate, Milbank. Photo: Milbank
Felicia Ofori-Quaah, senior associate, Milbank. Photo: Milbank

Ofori-Quaah is active member of the Women's Initiative Group, Family Focus Group and Heritage Group (which relates to underrepresented minorities) within Milbank and also acts as a mentor to younger women associates, especially those on their maternal journey.

She has been focused on improving the experience of women lawyers who return from maternity leave, including advocating for more effective ‘Return to Life’ procedures and maternity coaching, as well as emergency care benefits for carers within Milbank. She has featured as a panel member at Thomson Reuters' Transforming Women's Leadership in the Law conference and was named as a Mover and Shaker by The Glass Hammer, an online career resource for professional women in law, finance, technology and business.