The Inclusive Companies Awards Judges
Jennifer Thomas has risen quickly to the top as a corporate communicator, having been talent-spotted for rapid promotion at every company she has worked for. Currently, Jennifer is transforming the profile and reputation of Direct Line Group (DLG), now as Director of Internal Communications, Experience & Sustainability and previously as its Director of Financial Communications. Jennifer is part of the Group’s Strategic Leadership Team, responsible for developing the Group’s internal communications strategy, including employee engagement, the incorporation of the employee value proposition and corporate brand as well developing and executing a new corporate social responsibility strategy. Jennifer was involved in the IPO of RBS orchestrated by DLG and the biggest stock market listing of 2012. Jennifer had a former career as a UK Championships 400m runner and hurdler for England.
Paul Sesay is the Founder and CEO of the Inclusive Companies, Inclusive Top 50 UK Employers, National Diversity Awards and events company I Spoil U Media Limited since 2006. Paul’s business acumen has mainly been with a social focus.
With over ten years worth of experience within the Diversity, Equality and Inclusion sector, Paul has worked with some of the largest organisations in the world on their diversity and inclusion proﬁles. He has also worked within local communities to help people from various backgrounds to achieve and empower disadvantaged groups throughout the UK. Paul’s initiatives have helped many thousands of organisations and individuals get recognised for their hard work and dedication to diversity.
Dr. Bijna Dasani
Bijna has 19+ years of professional experience and has worked across EMEA, the Americas and Asia. She has a robust track record of delivering successes for global Banking and Financial Services.
Bijna serves the Boards of FinTech Connect, CIONet, IPQC CDO Exchange, and the Inclusive Companies Network. She is a FinTech Mentor and films videos on Mentorship, Leadership & Technology.
Bijna is a Fellow of the RSA, St. George's House, Windsor Castle and an Associate Member of Oriel College, University of Oxford.
Bijna advises / advocates for a diversified portfolio of Business, Technology, Social Impact, I&D causes. She has spoken to global audiences at Deloitte, Edinburgh DataFest, Amazon, Sky, Lloyds Banking Group, Universities (Auburn, BPP, Edinburgh, De Montfort, Imperial College London, Oxford, Sheffield), Appway, CIO NEXT, Bloomberg, Retail Banking Forum Europe, FinTech Connect and others. She serves as a Host / Judge / Speaker for a portfolio of events and awards.
Bijna has been recognised as one of the Innovate Finance Women in Fintech Powerlist (2019-18), one of the #TechWomen100 (2019), as 'Business Role Model of the Year' by the Women in IT Awards & Amazon (2019), by the Lloyds Banking Group Top 100 BAME Role Models List (2019, 2018) as a 'Global Champion' (#60) of the Top 100 Executive #FTHERoes18 by the Financial Times (2018), with an Honorary Doctorate from De Montfort University (2018), by felicitation at the House of Lords (UK), at the NRI Pride of India World Summit (2017) for 'Making India Proud'. Bijna is credited as one of the Top 50 Visionary Young Leaders in Business, by Henley Business School (2017), one of 35 leading British Business Women under 35, by Management Today, Accenture and The Telegraph (2015) and has received recognition with 15 further honours including the National Diversity Awards (2012) and the Asian Women of Achievement Awards (2010). Bijna is also the International Women’s Day Young Achiever of the Year (2006).
Tunji is multi-award-winning leader and former Senior Vice President of sales at NSC Global, a professional and managed services organisation operating in over 100 countries. He previously held several senior leadership positions at tech giant Cisco during his 18-year career at the company.
Passionate about diversity in the workplace, science & technology (STEM) and social mobility, Tunji resides on the boards and councils of several organisations including Grant Thornton, techUK, Teach First and Regital.
Tunji has founded two social enterprises (Your Future, Your Ambition & Aspire2Achieve) that aim to educate, excite and motivate young people globally in considering careers in science and technology.
As of February 2019, Tunji was appointed Director and Head of Sales, UK at PwC.
Sally Bucknell is a thought leader and agent for change on the diversity and inclusion (D&I) agenda in UK business. She advises the leadership team at global professional services firm EY on how to accelerate parity in the workplace.
Sally has driven EY’s approach on D&I, which is firmly regarded as core to the firm’s strategy. EY believes different perspectives, shared in an inclusive environment, creates commercial advantage and will help the firm to respond to the fast pace of change in the workplace of the future.
“We’ve seen first-hand how working in more diverse teams improves performance and client satisfaction. Our people tell us they’re happier and more productive when they are free to be their true selves at work,” says Sally.
During Sally’s 16-year tenure at EY, she has introduced some ground-breaking initiatives focussed on supporting women and BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) professionals achieve their ambitions. She has also led the charge on what she believes is the ‘game changer’ on this agenda – inclusive leadership training for business leaders - that challenges the culture of the workplace.
A flexible working advocate, Sally works at EY four days a week. She is also a member of Keele University Council and a supporter of Northern Power Women – a forum set up to connect and showcase role models in the North of England. She also mentors entrepreneurs through EY’s independent charity, EY Foundation.
Andrew Hargreaves | dataHE | Co-Founder
Andrew is co-founder of dataHE and friend of the Inclusive Companies Awards.
Prior to founding dataHE Andrew has held a number of Executive leadership roles, laterally in the higher education sector with UCAS.
Andrew has been an active advocate, teacher, student and ambassador for equality and inclusion throughout his career, his passion being the ‘potential of the human’.
Jane has worked in diversity since 1990. She founded Evenbreak in 2011, an award-winning social enterprise run by and for disabled people. This helps employers attract talented disabled people through a specialist online job board. Evenbreak is entirely staffed by disabled people. Jane runs Evenbreak either lying down with her laptop above her, or standing at meetings and events due to a degenerative spinal condition.
Jane is widely published in this field, including the book “A Dozen Brilliant Reasons to Employ Disabled People”. She is a Trustee of two disability charities, Patron of the Inclusive Skills Competitions and on the executive board of the Recruitment Industry Disability Initiative. She was also a recruitment expert in BBC2’s “Employable Me”.
Sam is the Chief Executive of the University of Bristol Students’ Union and has over 30 years of senior experience within the recruitment, training and education sectors. She has held several non- executive and trustee roles including most recently: membership of strategic advisory committees for the Higher Education Funding Council (HEFCE); trustee of NUS Charitable Services: board member of NUS Poverty Commission and a trustee of the Bristol Museums Development Trust.
Sam has a particular interest in equality, diversity and inclusion and as well a number of awards achieved by the Union in this field she was personally short listed as Chief Executive of the year 2016 by the National Centre for Diversity, awarded the 2018 Simpson King Staff achievement Award by the national union of students and recently received the 2018 Diversity Champion- Education Sector at the Inclusive Companies awards. She was a member of the University of Bristol EDI Steering Group and the Bristol Racism Taskforce set up to address racism on campus and beyond. She has worked in an advisory capacity with NUS to shape the Race Matters agenda and has been involved in the development and implementation of Careers in Students’ Unions the new employer brand that has been created to improve the diversity of the sector’s workforce.
She is also a passionate advocate for mental health issues and was a member of the 2018 Bristol Leadership Challenge an ambitious programme, convened by the Mayor’s City Office, aimed at addressing the systemic difficulties faced in the Bristol by those citizens experiencing complex mental health problems.
"As we start to understand the role that employers have in contributing to the creation of a fairer society, we understand the importance of recognizing and celebrating excellence in the field of Inclusion and diversity. I am very proud to be involved in the judging panel for the 2019 Inclusive Companies Awards as I believe that the traction that these awards are making across all sectors, sizes and types of organisations is extraordinary. The ICAs shine a light on this important agenda and encourages us as business leaders to step up and ensure that we are playing our role and making a difference”
Dave is the founder and Chief Executive of Warrington Disability Partnership, a user led organisation, employing over 50 staff and nearly 200 volunteers. Together they provide a wide range of independent living services including two Independent Living Centres, Direct Payments and Payroll Services, Shopmobility, Inclusive Sports, and a number of Employment and Educational contracts.
Until April 2015 Dave worked as a senior manager in the NHS. He started out his 20 year career as the UK’s first full-time Disability Advisor. Completing his NHS career as the Assistant Director of Inclusion where he led on equality & diversity, patient & public involvement and social inclusion. Dave has been involved in a number of high profile initiatives working with NHS Employers and NHS England, including policies and procedures still used across health and social care services.
National Diversity Award winner Megan Key is a Diversity & Inclusion Manager in the National Probation Service (NPS) and passionate advocate and campaigner for the trans community. She supports several local and national charities including Mermaids, Diversity Role Models and All About Trans.
She contributes to Probation & Prison trans policy and co-created online communities TransWorkersUK and TransGirlsCan to promote inclusion for trans people in employment and sport.
Megan regularly talks publicly on LGBT issues. She has been interviewed by Runners World, VICE, TotalJobs, The Independent, BBC Radio and gave evidence to the Government's Trans Inquiry.
Lisa Adkin | TalkTalk
Image and profile coming soon.