The Global Diversity List: Top 50 diversity professionals in industry
This category recognises the achievements of individuals who have made the practice of diversity and inclusion their career and who currently work as a professional in the field of diversity.
Lindsey Ambrose – Equality, Diversity & Human Rights Lead, St Andrews Healthcare (UK)
Charity Trustee and public speaker Ambrose is a steadfast advocate of diversity and inclusion who has dedicated her life to the funding and support of those less fortunate. With many plaudits, including one from HRH Prince Charles’ Mosaic awards for interfaith youth work, Ambrose was invited to Parliament to speak about her work.
Jane Ayaduray – Manager, Group Diveristy and Inclusion, Standard Chartered Bank (Global)
Winner of two Disability Matters Awards this year, Jane has developed a global strategy on disability to help the bank be even more inclusive of current and future colleagues and clients. Jane helped guide the formation of the Singapore Business Forum on Disability, formed the LGBT Inclusion strategy at Standard Chartered, and launched a hugely successful Global Inclusion Day across the bank. She is also a mentor and respected public speaker on inclusion issues.
Christiane Bisanzio – Group Chief D & I Officer, AXA (Global)
Also Head of HR for AXA’s Northern, Central and Eastern European Region, Bisanzio initiated a ‘Sponsorship Tandem’ programme that was cited ‘best practice’ by the Catalyst organisation. Women in AXA world-wide are now receiving tailor-made sponsorship from senior managers to develop the next generation of leaders, which will increase diversity and promote inclusion across the insurance and reinsurance sector.
Rafael Campos – Diversity Coordinator, Aberdeen Asset Management (Global)
Rafael Campos Valdez’s passion for diversity began in High School in the US when he set-up a multicultural club. Now a sought-after speaker for issues of diversity and inclusion, he showed great foresight and conviction when his MA degree in Corporate Social Responsibility included this paper: ‘It Pays to Love the Gay: The business benefits of LGBT diversity and inclusion’.
Richard Chapman-Harris – Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Mott MacDonald (UK)
Richard Chapman-Harris is bringing 10 years of diversity experience to the world of global engineering and construction. He has changed outmoded business culture, sweeping away entrenched biases with a programme of inclusivity. His previous clients include the British Transport Police, Army & Navy, investment banks and financial services.
Emma Cusdin – Senior HR Business Partner, Thomson Reuters (UK)
Cusdin is a tireless representative for transgender people at Thomson Reuters, and is a founding member of her own charity, the Trans*formation network. She is a facilitator of the National Trans Youth Conference, and also organises events aimed at the greater understanding of trans issues in the wider world. She is currently placed at Number 21 in the Telegraph Top 50 list of LGBT executives in the UK.
Ambassador Ruth Davis – Director General, US Foreign Service (Global)
US diplomat Ambassador Ruth Davis was the first woman of colour to be appointed as Director General of the Foreign Service, and the first African-American Director of the Foreign Service Institute. Born in the era of segregation, Davis has worked in Nairobi, Naples, Tokyo and Kenya and is recognised for her diligent work to increase diversity among international diplomatic corps.
Ingrid Devin – EMEA Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Dell (EMEA)
A decade of experience has well placed Devin to drive Dell’s global diversity & inclusion strategy. She has promoted a cultural shift at Dell by rolling out the MARC initiative (Men Advocating Real Change), which aims to engage men in identifying unconscious bias. Many of Devin’s programmes have been adopted globally by Dell. She chairs the Irish Business and Employer’s Confederation Diversity Council, and was a founding member of the EMEA Diversity and Inclusion network.
Deborah Elam – President & Chief Diversity Officer, GE Foundation (Global)
Elam believes that GE’s employees are the company’s biggest asset and has maintained an organisational culture where diversity is an absolute business priority. Inclusive thinking from employees with varied backgrounds, styles and experiences makes for a smarter company, she believes. Her philosophy is that GE’s business rigor directly applies to diversity and inclusiveness and she leverages employee strengths to sustain change and progress.
Deirdre Golden – Principal, Global Diversity Forum (Global)
Golden’s work to improve D&I policies and practices at 150 companies has impacted nearly 10 million employees’ lives. She works as an NSPCC fundraiser; primary school reading partner; and is an alumni of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. Golden co-founded the Global Diversity Forum in 2004; and was an early member of the UK Working Group for the EU for the ‘Diversity Against Discrimination’ campaign.
Velma I Grover – Adjunct, McMaster University, Canada (Canada)
Born in Canada with an East Indian background, Grover has lived at the leading edge of multiculturalism in the academic world, which informed her in the problems faced by international students and instructors in a foreign environment. She developed the concept of “quizzes” to help her identify how students were learning new concepts in an entirely foreign language – and used her experiences to design inclusive lessons that work across nationality, ability and language.
Jerome Hamilton – Senior Vice President, Stratasys Corp (Global)
Currently leading global operations in 3D printing, Hamilton has evolved his skills and insights in the Automotive and Engineering Industry working for General Motors, Ford Motor Company and 3M Corporation and now sits on several charity boards. Among his many innovations, he transformed businesses by building effective social networks. Hamilton is listed as one of the Top 100 Most Influential African-Americans in Corporate America by Savoy Magazine.
Sylvia F. James – Diversity Counsel, Baker Botts L.L.P. (UK)
Vasser-educated James is a tireless advocate for women, minorities, LGBT and under-represented individuals in the legal field. She built a global diversity programme for law firm Baker Botts, who recognised the importance of diversity for their success. She was President of the Association of Law Firm Diversity Professionals (ALFDP); a member of Duke Law School Alumni Board of Directors; and is speaker at numerous seminars, conferences, and forums.
Wilbert W. James, Jr. – President, Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky, Inc. (USA)
Now president of the company, James has led diversity and inclusion efforts in plants across the U.S., Canada and Mexico and has been named one of the Top 100 Most Influential African-Americans in Corporate America by Savoy magazine. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and is a board member of the Bluegrass Economic Advancement Movement.
Mitra Janes – Diversity & Inclusion Manager, DLA Piper (Global)
Janes recently made an impactful transition from the automotive to the legal industries, after leaving her equality role at Ford Motor Company, to a newly created position at DLA Piper. Here, she has implemented regional diversity and inclusion action plans for every region, introduced resource groups, ensured a progressive approach to agile working and the management of parental leave and has developed a diversity training curriculum focused on Unconscious Bias training.
Terilyn Juarez Monroe – Chief Diversity Officer & Director, Engagement, Intuit (Global)
Monroe has built a systemic, culture-based approach to diversity, including a parental leave policy and special needs abilities network. Intuit hosted 200+ diversity events across its global sites and sponsored 50+ external partner events over the last year. Monroe has also served as an external diversity expert and spoken at Jesse Jackson’s PUSHTECH2020 Summit.
Amir Kabel – Global Diversity & Inclusion Specialist & Young Leaders Program UK, U.S. Embassy (UK)
Winner of the Corporate Rising Star Award at the British LGBT Awards 2015, Kabel is responsible for inclusion at Vodaphone Group across more than 30 countries. He won plaudits for his support of their pioneering global maternity policy, and has organised and hosted global conferences on homophobia, transphobia and disability. Kabel has travelled the world with his message of inclusion and diversity, and is a mentor for the Terrence Higgins Trust.
Vinay Kapoor – Head of Diversity & Inclusion, BNP Paribas UK (UK)
Featured in The Guardian’s 2014 WorldPRIDE Top 100 List, this dynamic diversity professional has changed perceptions in global finance. Among many other successful initiatives, Kapoor developed the Bank’s first comprehensive D&I Business Strategy to embed industry best practice, making staff at all levels aware of Unconscious Bias and how this has a direct impact on business.
Anita Krohn Traaseth – CEO, Innovation Norway (Norway)
Anita Krohn Traaseth is an author, diversity professional, and her government’s official instrument for the development of Norwegian enterprises and industry. She’s a public figure in the Norwegian media, with a strong interactive online presence promoting her diversity policies and fresh, open approach to rethinking tired business models and mind-sets.
Roland Kwemain – Executive Director, ADCOME (Africa)
An outstanding leader, trainer, teacher and entrepreneur, Kwemain is recognised for creating programmes that empower youth, both economically and with vital ITC skills. He founded Go Ahead Africa, aimed at strengthening and developing the abilities and goals of the stakeholders and decision-makers who will carve out the social future of Africa. His motivational speaking has touched the lives of thousands of Africans in what has been described as an “impactful” career so far.
Kirti Lad – Director, Harvey Nash Executive Search (Asia)
Lad has been responsible for placing some of the world’s most senior women in their board roles and operates the Asia division of Harvey Nash’s Inspire network. Promoting best practice and sharing between senior executive-level women globally, she is able to influence many organisations in the importance of the diversity agenda. To ensure diversity is a top priority for boards across the region, Lad works closely with the 30% Club; the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; and the Singapore Stock Exchange.
Morgan Lobb – Entrepreneur and Founder, DiversityJobs.co.uk; thebigIDEA.co.uk (UK)
Now a requested speaker and adviser to politicians, Lobb is founder of a once home-based business that has now grown into a powerhouse, with over 4,500 live jobs servicing over 100 major employers. Last year, he launched thebigIDEA.co.uk, enabling employers to showcase to potential staff what they are doing within diversity and inclusion issues to become employers of choice.
Martyn Loukes BEM – Business Development Manager & Chair LGBT+ staff network, Transport for London (UK)
Loukes was awarded an MBE in 2015 for his services to diversity in the workplace. Among his many initiatives, he put a rainbow zebra crossing at Arsenal Tube station to support anti-homophobia in football, wrapped a Routemaster in rainbow livery after two men had been removed from a bus for kissing, and wrapped a DLR train in rainbow livery for Pride.
Kumar Mangalam Birla – Chairman, Aditya Birla Group (India)
In 1995, ages 28, Birla took command of the Aditya Birla Group. He has increased the turnover to $40bn, with operations in manufacturing, telecoms, financial services and fashion in over 40 countries. Taking on a number of CSR projects in field education, healthcare, sustainable livelihoods and infrastructure development programmes, he is a passionate believer in D&I in the workplace and the benefit to business this creates.
Mark McLane – Head of Global D&I, Barclays Bank (Global)
McLane’s leadership is shaping socio-economic change for diverse communities through robust governance and targeted accountability. Gender objectives promote the benefits of balanced boardrooms and Barclays is now a Corporate Impact Champion, joining with the UN focus group to advance women’s empowerment. Global sponsorships, from Pride in London to Pink Dot Asia, are also encouraging greater community/business engagement with the LGBT agenda.
Nirmala Menon – CEO, Interweave Consulting (Global)
Menon has helped a large number of organisations define and execute their D&I strategy. Her clientele is spread across multiple industries and over 100 marquee organisations. Nationally recognised as a subject matter expert, she has been engaged with various industry bodies in India, and is a sought-after speaker and media commentator. She contributed to the international advisory group of UN Global Compact & the UNIFEM, to formulate the Women’s Empowerment Principles.
Janet Menzies – Independent Management Consultant, Australia (Australia)
Menzies is an innovator, problem-solver and change leader. She was the Program Director for Male Champions of Change: a group of Australia’s leading CEOs, Department Heads and Non-Executive Directors working to increase representation of women in leadership. She is also co-founder and former Chair of Heads Over Heels – an organisation that helps women entrepreneurs grow business through connections to suppliers, partners and customers.
Raphael Mokades – Managing Director, Rare (Global)
Mokades is the founder and Managing Director of multi-award-winning diversity company Rare, which, since 2005, has connected brilliant students to the world’s leading employers with the aim of increasing under-represented groups in elite professions. Rare now works with approximately thirty of the world’s best companies, including Google and Goldman Sachs, whilst Mokades continues to be published on a variety of D & I issues.
Janakan Muthukumar – Media Co-ordinator, and Lecturer, Open University of Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka)
Muthukumar works diversely as a law lecturer, human rights activist and community organiser, as well as writing/speaking professionally on contemporary social issues. By working with a variety of organisations with varying aims, from the Law Society of the University of Wales to the Durable Solution Policy Group, he’s able to widen the horizons of his pupils, embedding values that will shape the leading thinkers of the future.
Julie O’Mara & Alan Richter – Co-authers of ‘Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks’ (Global)
Regarded as a ground-breaking contribution to the D&I field and sponsored by the non-profit think-tank The Diversity Collegium, the book (GDIB) was collaboratively created by 80 expert panellists around the world, curated and compiled by O’Mara and Richter, and is a free resource. With 280 benchmarks, GDIB provides a much-needed systemic perspective on measuring and implementing D&I work. Richter is founder and President of QED Consulting; O’Mara is an award-winning conference presenter and diversity professional.
Ken Olisa OBE – Director, Thomson Reuters (UK)
Olisa is a businessman, philanthropist and the first British-born black man to serve as a Director of a FTSE-100 company. He is Chair of Thames Reach, a charity working to shelter and resettle the homeless; Chair of Shaw Trust, supporting disabled and disadvantaged people into work; and a founding Chair of the Powerlist Foundation, supporting future leaders from black/minority ethnic communities/disadvantaged backgrounds. Ken was appointed Lord-Lieutenant for Greater London in 2015.
Ratna Omidvar – Founding Executive Director, Ryerson University’s Maytree Global Diversity Exchange (Global)
Ratna Omidvar is an author and founder and Chair Emeritus of the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC). She is a multi-award-winning global expert, speaker and commentator on migration, diversity and integration, promoting inclusivity and work placement for displaced peoples.
Cindy Patman – Senior Directior, Corporate Affairs and Diversity Initiatives, Halliburton (USA)
Voted one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women in Texas” by the National Diversity Council in 2014, Cindy Patman is a regular speaker at global diversity conferences. She is changing the mind-set of the energy industry and currently serves on the Diversity Advisory Boards for Louisiana State University and the University of Houston.
Paul Polman – CEO, Unilever (Global)
Paul Polman believes in changing business culture for the benefit of all, forging progressive corporate policies that embody fair working practices and social responsibility. His foresight, energy and innovative strategies have positioned Unilever as a world-class employer that prioritises green issues and wellbeing for staff and customers, whilst still maximising commercial acumen.
Troy Roderick – Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Telstra Ltd. (Australia)
Based in Australia, Roderick’s 20 years’ experience in D&I initiatives include LGBT, disability and indigenous employment, and his ‘All Roles Flex’ project, resulting in record levels of gender balance on recruitment, retention, and promotions, while lifting scores on employees’ experience of flexibility. This initiative has been implemented, with Troy’s support, by the Australian Stock Exchange and ANZ Bank. His work has been recognised by a Global Catalyst Award.
Richard Rosenbaum – CEO, Greenberg Traurig LLP (Global)
As CEO, Rosenbaum has consistently stood for inclusion within and without law firm Greenberg Traurig LLP and their 38 offices world-wide. His commitment to diversity is in both word and deed, whether sending a firm-wide email late at night or taking the time to attend conferences and events on diversity. He founded and developed the firm’s renowned ‘Commitment to Excellence’ programme, and he makes it known that diversity makes good business and social sense.
Beth Sehgal – Global Director of D&I, A.T. Kearney’s (Global)
Sehgal is responsible for advancing the firm’s extensive programmes. In 2010, she led the rollout of D & I training for all employees globally, and has carved out wins on flexible working, the advancement of women and diverse talent, and ‘return to work’ options for new parents. Under her energetic leadership, A.T. Kearney has repeatedly been recognised as one of Working Mother magazine’s Top 100 Employers, as a Top Employer for Working Mums, and been on DiversityMBA’s 50 ‘Out Front for Diversity Leadership’ list.
Chhaya Sinha – Global Lead for Diversity & Inclusion, LEGO (Global)
Sinha has 15 years’ experience working in consumer durables, IT, Insurance and Banking. As the bank’s global lead on gender, nationality and culture, Sinha is recognised for her excellent leadership and interpersonal, coaching and people management capabilities. She successfully created several high-performance workplaces populated by leaders and managers sharing the vision for progressive inclusivity.
Melissa Soh – Project Manager, Consumer Banking D & I, Standard Chartered Bank, Africa, Asia, Middle East (EMEA)
Melissa is a diversity professional working with senior market leaders in engineering, mining, education, financial services and government. Among her many roles, she has been managing Project EmployAbility: an initiative to increase opportunities for talent with disabilities across eight Asian geographies. This programme was developed to challenge the bias about disability through partnerships with local universities and agencies.
Guelabatin Sun – Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Deutsche Bank (Global)
Sun has ensured diversity councils exist in every region where the Bank is present. She supported the dbEnable network for disabled employees; initiated Deutsche Bank’s hosting the ‘Out on the Street’ conference in London; and is ambassador for diversity campaigns by German authorities, including a campaign by the Federal Ministry for Family, the Aged, Women and Youth, in support of working mothers with migration backgrounds.
Charlotte Sweeney – Founder, Charlotte Sweeney Associates (UK)
After a long career with multinationals such as Barclays and HBOS, Sweeney founded the ‘Creating Inclusive Cultures’ programme: a collaboration of companies aimed at driving sustainable change on Inclusion across cities in the UK. She is Vice-Chair of the Government Dept of Business, Innovation & Skills external Equalities Advisory Panel, and is leading the City of London’s Diversity Programme “The Power of Diversity” on behalf of the late Lord Mayor of London, Dame Fiona Woolf CBE.
Dr. Paula Thaqi – Health Department Director, Broward Co. Health Department, Florida (USA)
Paula Thaqi, M.D., M.P.H., used her position in health governance to prioritise child immunisation and adult STD programmes. By building a team of multilingual staff and providing a language line, she reduced congenital syphilis in babies by 40%. She also worked in Kosovo (former Yugoslavia) during the pre-conflict, conflict and post-conflict period, ending as a programme manager for the UN World Health Organisation.
Pascale Thumerelle – Vice President, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Vivendi (France)
Pascale Thumerelle is the VP of this globally-integrated content and media group. She created verifiable indicators to monitor diversity in the production and distribution of content and has been able to increase the inclusion of local talent and women experts on air. Thumerelle has demonstrated to the wider media how Vivendi created social and financial value by promoting diversity.
Brian Tippens – Global Head of Diversity, Hewlett Packard (Global)
Tippens has enthusiastically embraced the challenge to create a more inclusive and equal society for women, BAME, LGBT, disabled and veteran staff. His work promoting supplier diversity outside the U.S. has already resulted in successful diversity programmes in Europe, Cananda, Australia, China, India and Central and South America.
Enrique Torre Molina – LGBT Consultant, Freelance (Global)
Molina is a passionate leader in the pursuit of equality, not only in Mexico, but globally. After his early LGBT activism at university, Molina evolved his personal journey into a career, latterly advising JP Morgan to extend insurance coverage to same-sex partners. Currently, he is developing an LGBT protocol for Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretariat, as well as advising embassies and other organisations on LGBT projects. He is a networker, renown for tailoring his services with sensitivity and awareness to the workplace.
Alison Unsted – Senior Manager, Diversity & Wellbeing, Hogan Lovells (UK)
Alison is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD with over 18 years’ experience in diversity, operational HR management and specialist roles. As a result of her work, 32% of management roles at Hogan Lovell are held by women, with more women being promoted to partner in 2015 than ever before: efforts affirmed by a number of awards and accolades, including being ranked in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women and the Top 21 Employers for Working Families.
Jolanda Verbeek – CEO, Global D&I Consulting (Global)
Recent Senior Diversity & Inclusion Consultant at Shell, Verbeek has been a diversity professional for almost 20 years. Among her many initiatives, she developed a peer-coaching programme for senior women in Shell, developing a series of short, award-winning training videos. Verbeek also represented Shell on the Council for Diversity in Business and served as a member of the Executive Committee of the Council.
Daniel Winterfeldt – International Capital Markets, CMS Cameron McKenna (Global)
Winterfeldt is the Diversity and Inclusion Partner for CMS and founded the InterLaw Diversity Forum. He successfully established diversity programs at CMS, and has been involved in the Law Society’s International Women’s Day report and launch; the 30% Club’s professional services project; and the ground-breaking InterLaw Diversity Career Progression Report, which strongly featured gender along with all strands of diversity.
Shunee Yee – CEO, CSOFT (Global)
A ‘Fortune Most Powerful Woman Entrepreneur’, Shunee Yee built her company CSOFT from her apartment in Beijing to be a global entity with over 450 employees and 6,000 contractors. CSOFT champions a global integrated market. It equalises the business playing field by offering cultural expertise, document translation services, and local regulatory compliance to international businesses.
S. Shariq Yosufzai – Vice President of Global Diversity, Chevron Corporation (Global)
S. Shariq Yosufzai has a 40-year career as a business leader. Under his stewardship, the company has won many awards for diversity initiatives and is recognised as one of the ‘Best Places to Work’ by Business Insider, Glassdoor, and CareerBliss. Sought after as a keynote speaker, Yosufzai promoted women’s careers in chemical engineering, formalising Chevron’s tracking of hiring, attrition and development.
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