Authentic allyship is one of the central pillars of efforts to bring about change.
For women in the workplace, allies in positions of power — predominantly CIS, straight, white men — are essential to making the world of business more diverse and inclusive.
Allyship means lending support, finding ways to use power to equalise the workforce, and making work equitable for women — especially women of colour.
The 2020 HERoes Advocates list celebrates 50 senior leaders who are advocates for women in business and dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive business environment.
These executives work within at least three levels of the chief executive at large companies, or are the leaders of smaller organisations.
All of the leaders were nominated by peers and colleagues, or put themselves forward. Nominations were 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.
1) Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever
As a business leader, Jope is resolute in his vision to make Unilever a beacon for diversity and inclusion. Part of this is building a gender-balanced workforce, and a wider value chain that helps to empower women.
Jope chairs the Unilever global diversity board and is active in all parts of its work, including supporting interventions in traditionally male dominated 'hot spots’ within the business. Already, Unilever has reached its ambition of 50/50 gender balance among its management population of 14,000.
Wider progress is driven through programmes like Shakti, which trains women in rural areas in new skills and helps them grow into micro-entrepreneurs by selling Unilever products within their local villages. Unilever also drives change through its portfolio of purposeful brands – like Dove, which has taught Self-Esteem workshops to over 35 million girls – and initiatives like #Unstereotype, which focuses on eradicating harmful stereotypes from advertising and advancing progressive portrayals of everyone.
2) Ron O'Hanley, chairman and CEO, State Street Corporation
As CEO of State Street Global Advisers, O'Hanley called on corporate boards to make gender diversity a priority to promote better decision-making and launched the Fearless Girl statue on Wall Street, which promptly became a global symbol of the need for more women in leadership.
Under his own leadership, State Street introduced company-wide diversity goals tied directly to executive’s compensation, and were included on the Working Mother 100 Best Companies List as well as the Diversity Best Practices Inclusion Index.
As well as being executive sponsor for State Street's Black professionals group, O'Hanley is also a member of the Boston Foundation board of directors, a prominent community foundation dedicated to diversity and inclusion. O'Hanley has recently launched the Small Business Strong initiative, a partnership of leading businesses in Massachusetts with the aim of supporting women and minority-based businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 associated economic downturn.
3) Koichi Tsuji, chairman & CEO, EY Japan
Tsuji is a committee member of the EY global diversity & inclusiveness steering committee and is a strong advocate for increased flexible working. This has included the introduction of both flex-time systems and improved childcare programs to support women in the workplace.
EY ShinNihon, the assurance practice within EY Japan, won the J-Win Diversity Award in 2018 under Tsuji’s tenure as chairman & CEO. It was awarded by NPO J-Win, an organisation dedicated to empowering Japanese women.
Tsuji supported the declaration on action by a group called (translated) "A Group of Male Leaders Who Will Create a Society in which Women Shine," which was an initiative supported by the Cabinet Office. As chairperson & CEO of EY Japan, he is also supporting a programme called Entrepreneurial Winning Women to foster female entrepreneurs, and a programme called Women Athletes Business Network to assist retired young female athletes transition into business.
4) Jeremy Darroch, CEO, Sky
Darroch is a vocal advocate and has championed gender equality to help make Sky a company of choice for women.
Over a number of years, he has driven and supported a range of initiatives, including: a 'Women into Leadership' programme to help strengthen Sky’s talent pipeline; a 15 week 'Get into Tech' initiative to increase representation of women in technology, and the Sky Returner Programme, a paid six-month placement to help senior level people who have taken a 2+ year career break return to full time careers.
With Darroch’s support Sky now has a well-established Women@Sky employee network and has partnered with The WBC and Management Today to spotlight Britain’s “Agents of Change” – male allies supporting women in business. Alongside his role at Sky, Jeremy is chair of Business in the Community where he inspires, engages and challenges organisations to make business a force for good in society.
5) David Kenny, CEO and CDO, Nielsen
Kenny is the current CEO and CDO at Nielsen, founding partner of Leading Executives Advancing Diversity (LEAD) Network, and council member of Advancing Diversity Leadership Council.
Under his leadership, Nielsen has signed the LEAD Network Pledge to increase women in leadership from 39% to 46% by the end of 2021. They have also introduced a number of other initiatives which have put D&I at the centre of the company including tying executive incentives to D&I targets, implementing Executive Leader representation for ERGs, adding D&I contributions into company annual performance reporting, and adding an inclusion index into the employee engagement survey.
In 2019, Nielsen conducted an internal Women in Leadership study on equality for women in career advancement, bonuses and performance reviews, then began to address any gaps. Kenny also helped launch a Wise up to Women research project which shapes how companies can rethink their approach to marketing, innovation and designing their services for women.
6) Marc Benioff, chair and CEO, Salesforce
Under Benioff’s leadership as chairperson and CEO of Salesforce, the company undertook a comprehensive study of remuneration to ensure women were paid equally for comparable work to men spending nearly $3m to eradicate differences in salaries in this first ever equal-pay assessment.
Salesforce have continued to undertake this company-wide assessment on a yearly basis spending over $12m to guarantee equal pay for equal work. He has been a strong advocate for the Salesforce Women's Network which is the company's largest equality group and strengthens the development of women in each step of their career journey.
This group concentrates on expert and personal growth, allyship, accommodating networks, and working towards gender equality. It also has content and activities designed to support the values of empathy, reliance, welfare, and advancement of women.
7) Matt Brittin, president, EMEA business & operations, Google
Brittin is the executive sponsor of Women@google and board member of the DEI council where he takes responsibility for DEI across EMEA, covering over 20,000 employees.
He has also been working for two years as the executive sponsor for the regional Women@google community, which is the largest employee network throughout 36 countries. Brittin initiated #itsuptome - a programme to ensure every colleague works to build a more inclusive workplace culture and managers become responsible for progress as part of their quarterly objectives.
Brittin’s other work included hosting the initial EMEA Women@google leadership summit, sponsoring the Google State of Black Women summit in EMEA in 2019, and sponsoring the Women's Forum, a prominent platform for women’s STEM education.
He is also an active mentor and sponsor for #IamRemarkable — a worldwide Google initiative that empowers women and underrepresented groups to celebrate successes in the workplace and beyond.
8) Ajay Banga, CEO, Mastercard
Under Banga’s leadership, Mastercard has become a company where inclusion, opportunity and empowerment for women are global priorities. He has always believed that ending all forms of gender discrimination and fostering women’s participation in the global economy isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s also good business.
Mastercard has become a leader in products designed for women and his support in helping them get access to finance and funding shows up in many of the company’s programmes, including a $250m commitment to support small businesses globally and linking identification to payments to benefit the millions of women globally who lack formal ID. Banga also provided the pioneering vision for Girls4Tech™, the award-winning education programme developed to teach STEM foundations and principles to girls around the world.
Beyond Mastercard, Banga is involved in global initiatives and organisations which encourage and empower women financially. He has partnered with the World Bank to help women in under-developed areas, and regularly speaks to executive groups and student groups on the importance of inclusion and decency.
9) Keith Barr, CEO, IHG
Since Barr became IHG’s CEO in 2017, the company’s Diversity & Inclusion agenda has gone from strength to strength. He founded and Chairs IHG’s D&I Board, and the company has been listed in the Hampton-Alexander Review as one of the top 10 FTSE 100 companies for female representation across Executive Committee and their direct reports for three years running.
Under Barr’s leadership IHG has created several initiatives aimed at laying the foundation for women to succeed at work including Rise, a mentoring programme for women in operations roles, and flexible working guidelines.
To help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on parents and carers, IHG has created several tools to help colleagues maintain a work/life balance, including a Family Network, training for managers on supporting colleagues working from home, and introducing “Recharge Days” — three days of additional leave for employees.
10) Simon Roberts, CEO, Sainsbury's
Roberts is the CEO at Sainsbury’s. He has made gender equality an essential element in creating a truly inclusive culture with targets set for increasing diversity at a senior level. He has implemented positive initiatives for gender equality that work across recruitment, retention and promotion.
These initiatives include: gender balanced shortlists for senior positions; senior leadership mentoring and sponsorship; the creation of diverse talent pipelines; featuring visible role models in communications; and raising awareness around the opportunities for flexible and agile working.
As a voice for the industry, Roberts recently featured in the Diversity in Grocery report highlighting the importance of diversity, inclusive leadership and the challenges within inclusion that the industry faces.
11) Ivan Menezes, CEO, Diageo
As CEO of Diageo, Menezes has taken strong measures to support gender balance within the business, where 50% of its board and 40% of its executive committee are currently women. This includes setting targets for gender balance in senior leadership and insisting on diverse shortlists for external hires.
In 2019, Diageo launched an ambitious parental leave policy offering all female employees globally six months fully paid maternity leave and offering the same benefit to men in a majority of markets. Since launch, the average number of paternity leave days taken by men increased from 23 to 105.
While speaking at the 2019, Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Inclusive workplace conference, Menezes drew attention to the need for greater diversity while calling for more employers to come together and become ambassadors for change. In 2018, Menezes was honoured with the Men As Change Agents Award from the Women’s Business Council.
12) Andrew Williams, group CEO, Halma
Williams is group CEO of Halma, a FTSE 100 global group of life-saving technology companies. He has been steadily improving diversity and gender balance in executive leadership positions within what was previously regarded as a traditional engineering and manufacturing business.
This has resulted in Halma’s executive board now having five women, representing 63% of board positions, compared with it being all-male until 2014. There is also significant increased gender balance in the leadership pipeline to ensure sustainability.
This includes appointing five female divisional chief executives, who chair Halma’s companies, in the last two years and targeting for all 45 company boards to be between 40% and 60% gender balanced. To help achieve this target, Halma has encouraged increased diversity of the roles on boards and recently launched a new global inclusion program to support its continuing efforts to build a truly inclusive culture.
13) Greg Case, CEO, Aon
As CEO of Aon, Case has put a firm focus on gender equality and aims to achieve 30% women in the most senior role levels globally.
In 2019, he set a target for their global executive team to sponsor female or ethnic minority colleagues to help create a strong network of future leaders and he is actively involved in sponsoring and mentoring as part of this rewarding programme.
Case is also personal sponsor of the Women’s International Network (WIN), Aon’s global business resource group to support gender equality. Aon has a comprehensive supplier diversity strategy (Aon Diversity Solutions) that champions women and minority owned businesses and Case was one of the first signatories of The Equity Pledge, which holds a commitment to working toward achieving gender equity in leadership roles by 2030.
14) Adrian Warr, CEO Hong Kong, Taiwan & Thailand and APAC employee experience leader, Edelman
To drive inclusion, collaboration and equality, Warr created #WeStepUp at Edelman, an initiative which includes an independent study of pay equality, sponsorship of The Women’s Foundation (TWF), balanced panels for hiring and performance reviews, new flexible working policies and external coaching for returning parents.
He is a founding member and the co-chair of the Male Allies, a charity under TWF dedicated to tackling gender equality through senior male business leaders.
Warr has played a crucial role in promoting the Male Allies initiative to the wider community and has worked on a key piece of Male Allies research that focuses on the need for male allies in Hong Kong and explores the barriers to men being more engaged in tackling gender inequality.
15) Mark Read, CEO, WPP
Read continues to work hard to improve diversity and build an open and inclusive culture at WPP; women now make up 50% of WPP’s senior managers and 50% of Board members.
WPP was named in the 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equity Index for the second year running. This year, WPP introduced a global conscious inclusion training programme, designed to embed inclusion and diversity into hiring processes and performance management systems.
Read also launched a global Inclusion Council to accelerate change throughout the company. The Council will give a voice to under-represented groups, recommend programmes and policies, remove barriers to progression and input on leadership succession.
As a member of the Male Champions of Change Global Tech Group, Read advocates for gender equity in the technology sector. He also made a public commitment not to appear on male-only panels. WPP’s partnership with UN Women has resulted in multiple campaigns to amplify the voice of women.
16) David Hynam, CEO, Bupa Global & UK
Through his role as CEO, and as sponsor of Bupa’s global leadership development programme, David has championed diversity and inclusion. He has launched Bupa’s code of conduct, including the “Be you at Bupa” commitment, which ensures all colleagues are supported and comfortable in being themselves at work.
Last year, he became the first signatory on the government-backed pledge “Leaders as Change Agents” to drive diversity in business and was a signatory for Bupa on the HM Treasury's Women in Finance Charter.
He also oversaw the introduction of anonymised CVs to reduce unconscious bias in recruitment. Outside of Bupa, David is the chairman of HomeServeUK. With his support, HomeServeUK was recently voted one of the Best Workplaces for Women in the UK.
17) Peter T Grauer, chairman, Bloomberg
Grauer is a leading force behind advancing gender equality and diversity in the workplace. Under his leadership, Bloomberg’s Gender Equality-Index, which tracks the financial performance of public companies committed to supporting gender equality, saw a >40% increase in companies included in 2020 vs 2019. In 2020, Bloomberg expanded Girls take Finance to London to provide career opportunities to women in business, finance and technology.
Bloomberg also provided corporate support for This Changes Everything, a documentary which dives deep into the topic of gender equality and pay equity in Hollywood. With Grauer's help, Bloomberg’s Buy-side Network was launched, becoming the first community for women in the asset management industry in Asia.
Outside of Bloomberg, Grauer is the founding chairman of the US 30% Club, creating initiatives focused on increasing the pipeline of female talent, and he has served as a mentor with the Catalyst Women On Board initiative.
18) Howard Ungerleider, president & chief financial officer, Dow
Dow president and chief financial officer Howard Ungerleider is a vocal advocate for a safe, inclusive and supportive workplace for all employees.
Since his appointment to the position in 2014, female direct reports to the president and CFO increased from 0% to 35% in 2020, and finance leadership team female representation increased from 13% to 40% in 2020. Ungerleider serves as the executive sponsor for the Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) – Dow’s employee resource group for the equality and advancement of women in the workplace. In this role, Ungerleider has helped provide a framework to share experiences, find mentors, seek professional development, and find routes to senior leadership.
His work also includes supporting Dow’s partnership with Forte, sponsoring the EY POWERUP programme to empower women, hosting MARC Workshops in partnership with Catalyst to engage men as allies, and championing Sponsor to Success to advance women and US minority talent development.
19) Jimmy Etheredge, CEO, North America, Accenture
Etheredge is deeply committed to accelerating equality for all and takes seriously his responsibility as an ally and advocate. Under his leadership, Accenture is on its way to achieving its bold goal of a 50/50 gender-equal workforce by 2025.
He has ensured a thriving women’s employee resource group, sponsored a Women in Technology development initiative, and led programs to accelerate senior women to leadership roles. In 2019, Etheredge was appointed to the board of councillors of the Carter Center, founded by former President Jimmy Carter, to pursue equality, wage peace, fight disease and build hope.
Dedicated to creating new pathways to tech jobs for underrepresented groups, Etheredge is overseeing the expansion of the company’s pioneering apprentice program.
More than 700 apprentices in 20 cities have participated in the programme, which provides paid training and the opportunity to join Accenture in a technology role.
20) Simon Cooper, CEO, corporate, commercial & institutional banking, Standard Chartered Bank
Since becoming the chairman of the global D&I council, Cooper has been responsible for Standard Chartered Bank’s focus on engaging all genders.
His 2018 global D&I strategy resulted in shifting accountability to the business’ CEOs for the delivery of local D&I plans and objectives, delivery of inclusive leadership workshops, and the introduction of enablers such as global Fair Play Charter and gender pay gap disclosure in key markets.
His extensive and integrated approach to D&I has ensured a positive trend across several indicators, including representation of women in senior roles. Simon has also driven gender equality beyond the workplace including the Men Advocating Real Change programme in the UK, India and Singapore.
He has also advanced the Impact Investment Exchange Singapore with their second Women’s Livelihood Bond (a multi-country listed gender bond), creating sustainable livelihoods for 250,000+ underserved women in the region.
21) Dominic Christian, global chairman, reinsurance solutions, Aon
Christian is the chairperson of Aon’s diversity council and sponsor of the gender IQ business resource group, which was renamed from the Women’s International Network in 2019 to encourage more men to get involved and champion gender equality.
In addition to Aon, Christian is the chairman of Inclusion@Lloyd’s and was instrumental in the launch of The Dive In Festival – an annual celebration of diversity which in 2019 saw events take place in 60 cities across 32 countries, with over 10,000 attendees.
Christian played a significant role in launching a cross-industry Inclusive Behaviors in Insurance Pledge, asking films in the industry to sign up and demonstrate their commitment to a culture where inclusive behaviours are the norm. Christian is also involved with a women’s non-profit organisation “Lift as You Climb” which promotes and advises women on career advancement.
22) Peter Hill CBE, chairman, Keller Group
As chairman of Keller Group, Hill has reviewed and changed the composition of the board increasing representation of women from 25% to 66%.
In 2019, he was responsible for the appointment of Keller’s first non-executive director for workforce engagement whose remit includes the encouragement of the diversity and inclusion agenda at Keller.
In addition to this, Hill has been supporting the role creation and appointment of Keller’s first group head of talent and diversity. Hill has also encouraged diverse board membership and diverse organisations in his role of chairman at other companies including Petra Diamonds, Volution Group and the Royal Air Force.
23) Steve Murrells, CEO, Co-op
Under Murrells’ leadership at Co-op Group, gender diversity in senior hires has increased from 33% women in 2017 to 56% women in 2020.
The executive team recruited by Murrells has women leading two of the biggest business areas, as well as the roles of chief finance officer, chief people officer, and group secretary and legal counsel.
Murrells has developed a strong D&I agenda at the organisation with aims for increasing inclusion and representation at all levels of the businesses.
Since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Murrells became the first major UK business leader to call for an increased commitment for tracking racism in the workplace and commissioned new work within the Co-op Group to address their own issues of cultural and institutional discrimination.
24) Robert Fairbairn, vice-chairman and co-chair of Human Capital Committee, BlackRock
As the co-chair of the human capital committee and talent sub-committee, Fairbairn has led and sponsored a number of initiatives aimed at increasing gender equality in the workplace.
He helped launch BlackRock’s Women Leadership Forum, established extended maternity/paternity leave and a flexible time-off policy, and sponsored numerous senior women, through investing in helping them find broader, more impactful careers at BlackRock.
As interim global head of HR, Fairbairn expanded adoption assistance and new surrogacy and egg freezing benefits for all employees. Fairbairn is also one of the founders of the first chapter of BlackRock’s Women’s Initiative Network based on the East coast.
As one of BlackRock Women's Leadership Forum chairs, Fairbairn has been a global executive committee sponsor of the programme for many years and has been instrumental in involving other global executive committee members as sponsors of women in the program.
25) Michael Miebach, president and CEO-Elect, Mastercard
As president and CEO-Elect, Miebach understands that ending gender discrimination isn’t just a matter of basic human rights — it’s eradicating a barrier to accelerating sustainable development.
Promoting women’s leadership in driving economic growth and galvanising their willpower isn’t just about enriching economies — it’s about building a more just, equitable global society.
During the course of Miebach’s 10 years at Mastercard, he has been a visionary who kickstarted much of the work behind their financial inclusion journey. Recently, Mastercard has expanded its commitment to financial inclusion, pledging to bring a total of 1 billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025, with a direct focus on supplying 25 million women entrepreneurs with solutions to help them grow their businesses.
Outside of Mastercard, Miebach is part of the Accion board of directors, providing support to 2 billion adults across the world lacking financial services. In 2018, MasterCard and Accion launched a partnership, bringing Mastercard’s worldwide networks and resources together to transform millions of underserved micro and small businesses while focusing on the cultivation of female entrepreneurs.
26) Babu Thiagarajan, country general manager and head of technology, India, Fidelity International
Thiagarajan is executive co-sponsor of Fidelity International’s global gender network as well as a member on the global diversity and inclusion leadership council. In that role, he has brought a formal focus to effectively address the gender imbalance at all levels of the organisation. Externally, as a member of the industry association, NASSCOM, he has sponsored, championed and facilitated its first D&I focused conference in northern India.
He continues to champion his teams’ involvement with AnitaB.org and their sponsorship of a Delhi regional chapter to help drive the agenda of women in technology.
To engage with their communities on the same objective, Fidelity International in India has successfully skilled over 1,000 women from marginalised communities to enable them to take first steps towards employment and empowerment. It has also worked with schools in under-privileged areas to enable over 700 girls to stay in school and complete their schooling.
27) Atsushi Egawa, Japan market unit lead, Accenture Japan
As Japan market unit lead of Accenture, Egawa initiated Project Pride — a work style reform initiative with the aim to create a working environment that is practical, equal for everyone, and free from discrimination. The outcome of this initiative has been reduced overtime work, greater employee retention, and an increased use of paid holiday time.
Since launching Project Pride, the proportion of women working at Accenture Japan has increased from 21% to 35%, with 44% of new hires now women. Following this transformative work, Egawa speaks regularly at events on the importance of diversity and inclusion, and advises other organisations in Japan on adopting work practices that promote and support gender equality.
28) Jim Brown, CEO, Sainsbury's Bank
Through his life and work experiences, across multiple continents, Jim has seen first-hand the benefits that diversity brings to both the workplace and society.
As CEO for Sainsbury’s Bank, and board sponsor for gender at Sainsbury’s, Brown is focussed on moving the dial on diversity and is committed to promoting an inclusive culture where colleagues from all backgrounds are able to reach their full potential. Brown championed the recent launch of Sainsbury’s Gender Network, INSPIRE, and is actively engaged in the network’s plans and events.
Under his leadership at Sainsbury’s Bank, diversity and inclusion is a key component of the organisational goals, with all of the executive team actively involved in specific colleague initiatives including: sponsorships of mentoring circles and a development programme for Women; the launch of an inclusion working group; and overseeing commitments made to the Women in Finance Charter. Outside of Sainsbury’s, Brown is a Be Inspired Ambassador.
29) Osman Ershad Faiz, chief information and operating officer (CIOO), AMTD Digital (a subsidiary of AMTD Group)
Faiz launched the HeforShe network Singapore in 2018. The network currently has over 150 senior male leaders who are committed to helping hundreds of mid-level female executives pursue their personal and professional ambitions.
He also launched the HeforShe Network in Bangladesh, making it one of the first Muslim markets to have a HeForShe network. Alongside this, Faiz has been a supporter of the Lead the Women initiative in Singapore, which reviews the hiring of women at each grade and identifies opportunities to drive the target of 30% women in key leadership roles.
He is also sponsor of the Women in Tech initiative which offers university students educational visits to Banks to connect with other women in tech. Faiz has recently joined AMTD Group as the chief information and operating officer (CIOO) for AMTD Digital.
30) Lou Maiuri, chief operating officer, member of the management committee, State Street Corporation
Maiuri is executive sponsor of State Street’s Professional Women Network (PWN) providing professional development opportunities for women across the company.
He launched and continues to lead PWN's Global Advisory Board – a group of senior executives who advise on policies that drive diverse hiring and promotional practices. As a mentor and executive sponsor, Lou regularly presents on career management and talent management within State Street to give women the tools they need to advance their careers.
He also supports the Esperanza Academy in Lawrence, Massachusetts, a tuition-free, independent middle school welcoming girls of diverse faiths, races and cultures.
31) Dean Curtis, group managing director, Reed Business & Analytics (Division of RELX plc), CEO & president, ICIS Reed Business & Analytics (Division or RELX plc) & ICIS
Curtis is a strong advocate for inclusion and oversees an organisation that has a 50/50 gender balance across the entire workforce, as well as within the leadership team.
Curtis has driven D&I initiatives including unconscious bias training for employees, gender balance leadership and mentoring programmes, and sponsorship initiatives for women, all of which improved employee engagement, retention and employee satisfaction rates.
Curtis believes that for diversity to be sustainable, first you must have inclusion. From a background in sport he understands that all high performing teams have inclusion as a pillar of their culture, where members can be the very best version of themselves.
Curtis regularly sits on panels and promotes ICIS’ ERG groups and is currently working with others to set up a D&I forum for the energy and chemical industry.
32) Charlie Nunn, CEO, Wealth and Personal Banking, HSBC
Nunn is the sponsor for wealth and personal banking’s Accelerating into Leadership (AiL) programme targeted at women with the aspiration to progress. Benefits of the programme include increased confidence, a focus on strengths, visibility with senior leaders, and the opportunity to meet a wider group of high-performing and motivated peers.
He also led the creation of the executive committee gender dashboard, which provides visibility on the weighting of men and women at senior leader level for each of the teams aligned to executive committee members. In his role as CEO, Nunn has supported and taken part in many engagements and initiatives related to gender inclusion including the wealth and personal banking graduate programme, the EXPLORE leadership development programme, and the Accelerating Female Leadership programme.
33) Francois Rigou, managing director, head of engineering in Asia Pacific, Goldman Sachs
Rigou is a member and gender strategy lead for the Asia Pacific Inclusion and Diversity Committee (APIDC) at Goldman Sachs, ensuring there is an inclusion of women during both recruitment and promotion processes.
He is also a sponsor of the Asia Pacific Women in Engineering Network (APWE) and managing director ally of the APAC Women's Network.
As head of engineering in Asia Pacific, he has expanded gender-focused initiatives and been involved in developing the next generation of women engineers through his support of The Women's Foundation's (TWF) Girls Go Tech program and their bi-annual STEM Competition and Awards Ceremony.
He is a member of TWF's Male Allies Initiative, where he works with other senior male leaders from across industries and within Goldman Sachs to further gender equality in Hong Kong.
34) David Harkness, partner, Clifford Chance
Harkness is chair of Clifford Chance’s UK inclusion committee and has championed a series of initiatives to promote gender inclusion and diversity, including publishing pay gap data beyond the statutory minimum, designating partners at every remuneration meeting to ensure gender equality is respected, and creating a network of “inclusion advocates” to support those at the receiving end of any sexist behaviour or unconscious bias.
He encouraged the relaunch of Accelerate>>> as a global gender parity group and the introduction of a new target of 30% women UK partners by 2025. Harkness is also a member of the development board at Tender, a charity dedicated to reducing domestic violence.
35) Matt Krentz, managing director & senior partner, BCG
Krentz is diversity & inclusion and leadership chair for Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and leads the Women@BCG programme with the purpose of improving women's recruiting, retention, advancement and satisfaction at the firm. Under his leadership Boston Consulting Group has increased women as a percentage of entry level hires from 29% to 40%, with the number of women partners growing at three times the rate of male partners.
Krentz has also been responsible for developing BCG's DE&I offering for clients, advising chief executives on their DE&I strategies. Outside of BCG, Krentz is on the advisory board for Catalyst, the Business Roundtable’s (BRT) diversity and inclusion working group and WEF Community of Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officers (CDIOs).
36) Andrew Eisen, SVP & partner, financial services solutions, IHS Markit
Eisen is heavily involved in a number of groups at IHS Markit dedicated to gender equality, including executive sponsor of the Women’s Forum, member of the IHS Markit ally network and member of the financial services diversity and inclusion executive working group.
As a sponsor for Women in Tech, he has helped develop a mentoring program that nurtures women’s leadership skills, empowering participants to own and drive their careers and build confidence to have crucial career development conversations with their managers.
As a long-term advocate, Eisen has also been involved in dozens of internal and external D&I committees and initiatives focused on the issue of gender equality.
37) Joe Duffy, Ireland Country Executive, BNY Mellon
Duffy is an active promoter of diversity efforts within BNY Mellon, he previously Co-chaired our Women’s Executive Network in EMEA and currently leads their Male Ally group.
He is actively involved in the 30% Club in Ireland where he sits on its Financial Services Advisory Committee and supported the launch of its expanded 2018 Executive Education Scholarship Program.
Through Duffy, BNY Mellon has also sponsored the Women in Management Report for the previous five years monitoring and reporting on progress in the advancement of gender balance across Irish employers.
Outside of BNY Mellon, Duffy sits on the National Council of the Irish Business and Employers Confederation, is a member of the advisory board of Financial Services Ireland and serves on the Ireland Financial Services 2020 Joint Committee.
38) Larry Tomei, executive vice-president and head of wealth and personal banking, HSBC Bank Canada
Tomei is a passionate advocate for Diversity & Inclusion. As a first generation Canadian, he knows the challenges faced by newcomers. It was this experience that led to his devotion to promoting D&I. Tomei is a strong supporter of empowering women in the workforce.
At HSBC Bank Canada, he has achieved a 50% gender balance on his leadership team and has championed three-year gender promotion objectives. Tomei created a platform for female leaders to raise their profiles. He often designates women leaders to represent him in business and speaking engagements, and leverages communication channels to promote women as role models for upcoming employees. Tomei mentors and sponsors women, ultimately leading to career advancement and transition into more progressive and impactful roles.
He hosts “Women Only” exchange sessions to facilitate feedback and identify opportunities for improvement and creating a pipeline of top talent. He leads participation in International Women’s Days.
39) Patrick Street, managing director, Goldman Sachs
Street promotes gender diversity in hiring and champions initiatives to attract women talent from diverse backgrounds, specifically into roles not historically marketed towards women.
These initiatives include co-running the spring and summer intern programme for global markets with over 50% of hires being women over the last 3 years. He has also supported the implementation of the women's trader academy, where women in their penultimate university year learn about being a trader.
The programme has contributed towards an increase of 150% in women analysts joining trading and met the aspirational goal of hiring 50% women traders at junior levels over the last 2 years (from less than 20% before implementation).
Outside of Goldman Sachs, Street is actively engaged with social mobility organisations to support their mission of helping students from less-advantaged backgrounds to secure jobs. He is a trustee of CityHarvest — a fresh food rescue and redistribution charity.
40) Colin Passmore, senior partner, Simmons & Simmons
Passmore has been an active force in promoting gender balance and equality and has helped Simmons & Simmons achieve an 11% increase in the percentage of female partners.
He is a senior ally for the allies network and has worked towards improving gender diversity by focusing on helping more women progress through to partnership and into senior management positions.
He chairs quarterly gender balance meetings and has started a reverse mentoring partnership with his female BAME partner lead to gain a personal insight into the challenges and opportunities faced by diverse colleagues across the firm.
41) Rob Mukherjee, director, EveryCloud Security
Mukherjee leads the EveryCloud Everyone inclusion network – ensuring support from board level through strong internal communications, events and social media. In 2019, he enhanced EveryCloud's inclusion & diversity policy to commit to even greater active support for women and has championed increased flexible working including a flexible four day week and reversed work location – so home working became the accepted norm and office working the exception.
He is one of only two men on Northern Power Women’s ‘Power Board’ and has been a speaker at various Northern Power Women events, as well as a judge for the Northern Power Women Awards.
Prior to joining EveryCloud Security, Mukherjee’s work for gender inclusion at Vodafone across the North of England culminated in him receiving the Women In Sales Awards (Europe) ‘Male Mentor of the Year’ and Northern Power Women ‘Agent Of Change’ award.
42) Edward Chidsey, partner and senior vice-president, IHS Markit
Chidsey, is an active member of Women at IHS Markit and was a senior sponsor of IHS Markit’s first ever return to work programme for primary caregivers who left the workforce and were looking to return after a career break.
As a vocal advocate, he has participated in ELLEVATE panels to discuss gender diversity and sponsorship as well as being involved in numerous UNITY week activities as the partner sponsor for the panel on diversity & inclusion.
Edward has personally sponsored several senior women to help coach and support them for promotion to executive director and managing director levels. He has also provided company space to Path Forward and participated on a panel with several other companies to discuss views on D&I and to showcase Path Forward opportunities for over 100 returnees.
43) Andrew Pearce, managing director, Accenture
Globally, Pearce is one of Accenture’s cross-cultural leads, tasked with educating and setting best practice examples for working across cultures and ethnicities.
He is the executive sponsor for Accenture’s African-Caribbean network, and works with global leadership to open and grow opportunities for future women MDs. Pearce is a member of the executive leadership council and has been actively engaged in a number of the events and initiatives that the UK chapter are running. He often speaks on diversity, and encourages senior managers to support coaching and volunteering efforts with local communities.
He is committed to offering a platform for female leaders to thrive within a business environment and currently mentors three professional women outside Accenture, providing career guidance and helping them to maximise their potential within the challenges of their diverse organisations.
44) Christoph Schweizer, chairman, Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East, managing director and senior partner, Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Schweizer is a member of BCG’s executive and operating committees and in this capacity shares responsibility for ensuring that the Women@BCG programme (to recruit, retain, and advance women at BCG) is meeting aspirations and closing the gap when it comes to gender equality. He has played an important role in establishing new forums to acknowledge and celebrate women in the Central and Eastern Europe and Middle East (CEMA) region.
Schweizer personally reviews the business’s female leadership pipeline twice a year to develop a shared action plan to ensure each woman has the support needed to continue to advance at BCG and to find a successful commercial platform.
During the COVID-19 crisis, he advocated for a creation of a new flexibility and compensation model which was designed specifically for caregivers who have been disproportionately impacted by the crisis. This program is a critical resource for many female — and male — employees.
45) Dickson Hoi Keung Lee, chief financial officer, Standard Chartered Bank China
In his role of CFO of Standard Chartered Bank in China, Dickson is dedicated to creating an environment of gender diversity and women's inclusion. His efforts to promote opportunities for women are reflected in the fact that approximately 72% of Standard Chartered Bank China staff are women.
Lee also provides full support for a series of events across various branches to promote gender equality, including the CEO sharing forum with colleagues on International Women's Day. He advocates for wellbeing at work and is currently leading a project to revamp the future work model to ensure that work can fit each colleague's needs, especially those of women.
Lee also works closely with other senior executives to ensure that Standard Chartered Bank China continues to provide financial support and education for female owned business and engages actively with female clients through events covering financial planning, next generation education, and volunteering.
46) Christian Edelmann, co-head EMEA financial services, Oliver Wyman
Edelmann is the executive sponsor of Oliver Wyman's women's network, WOW, a role he has held for over four years. He carries out female-focused recruiting events globally and leads a number of communication initiatives to profile female leaders.
Since 2015, approximately 50% of entry-level consultant appointments have been women and Edelmann assisted in establishing firm-wide gender targets to ensure that this gender parity is better carried through to more senior roles. In 2018, he co-founded Men4Change with the aim of increasing the number of male allies at Oliver Wyman.
Men4Change has significantly improved the quality of dialogue on gender topics within the firm and created a network of like-minded leaders beyond the firm. Most recently, Edelmann has been leading conversations around intersectional issues, particularly the experiences of Black women and what white men need to do better to be better allies to them, specifically.
47) Sanjeev Malik, managing director, APAC head of technology & operations, BlackRock
Malik has mentored dozens of women across all levels at BlackRock, as well as sponsoring emerging talent to ensure they receive the exposure and visibility they deserve at appropriate leadership forums.
He champions participation by male colleagues in BlackRock WIN events to gain broader perspectives from female participants.
In partnership with HR, he has led by example on both recruitment and promotion processes to ensure diverse slates with women candidates and diverse interview panels, as well as data and facts driven promotion decisions that meet BlackRock’s principles and are free of bias. As a technologist, Malik has championed and supported women technologists in APAC hackathon events.
He is also the inclusion and diversity executive committee sponsor for technology and operations in APAC and founded the Singapore chapter of Forum for Asset Manager Ecosystem (FAME) with industry partners that are equally passionate about sharing and the learning & development of talent across all levels. Within FAME, he promotes and encourages women leadership and participation.
48) B Pagels-Minor, board of directors, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago
Pagels-Minor is on the board of directors of YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, an organisation whose every aspect of work is to promote and empower women.
Some of the critical programmes provided by YWCA include child care and parenting services, DEI training for Chicago organisations, and a WOMN ETF, which is the first ETF curated with companies that support women's empowerment efforts. Pagels-Minor is also on the board of Howard Brown Health, which helps provides culturally competent healthcare to the LGBTQ+ community.
Pagels-Minor works as a senior product leader at a large media technology company and has worked at some of the world's most recognised and respected companies. Pagels-Minor is also a nationally and internationally recognised speaker, specialising in DEI, building effective teams, personal development, and scaling products that delight customers.
49) Ingo Perizonius, people development director, EDF
Having worked for many years with EDF in France, Perizonius, a proud father of four daughters, was used to many more women in senior leadership prior to working in the UK so has proactively pushed for greater equality.
While at EDF, he has ensured that the senior leader talent process is 50% female and has laid the foundations and encouraged the organisation to run a female only cohort through their talent development process in 2020.
His team has helped to set challenging gender balance ambitions at EDF, aiming to have 40% female representation at all levels in the business and hold people to account for achieving those ambitions. To help achieve this, he as built inclusive leadership into all of their leadership development programmes to create the right environment where everyone is welcome and can thrive.
50) Garrison Gibbons, head of people, Knotch
As head of people, Gibbons oversees recruiting, talent, and performance management at Knotch and has helped double the company’s size and increase the female to male ratio at the company, with 43% of staff now female-identifying.
He has rolled out several new policies including flexible time off and lengthy parental leave and transition back to work policies. As a vocal advocate, he has spoken on several panels around women's rights and women in the workplace and has ensured corporate support for several different organisations including the Memorial Slone Kettering Cancer Centre.