CHAIR OF THE PANEL: Sir John Peace, Chairman of Burberry Group & Standard Chartered

 Sir John is Chairman of the global luxury brand, Burberry and Chairman of Standard Chartered PLC, one of the top 20 companies in the FTSE 100. He has a long-standing interest in education and Nottinghamshire where he was Chairman of the Board of Governors at Nottingham Trent University and is a trustee of the Djanogly City Academy. He is Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Sir John was knighted in 2011 for services to business and the voluntary sector. 

Dr Saher Ahemd, Athena SWAN Project Manager, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute

Dr Saher Ahmed holds a PhD in Nuclear Physics with her research investigating the break-up of light nuclei using radioactive beams. She has set-up national projects to tackle the under-representation of women in STEM. She manages WTSI’s Women in Science programme, responsible for influencing change in policies, practices and provisions that disproportionately disadvantage people according to their gender.

Maria-Manuel Barreto Rosa, Downstream Offer to Cash General Manager for EMEA, Shell

Maria-Manuel joined Shell 25 years ago as a Research Scientist. Since then she has held a variety of roles in strategy, business development and sales and marketing in the chemicals and lubricants business. She has worked in The Netherlands, US, France and the UK. Maria-Manuel holds a Masters in Biochemistry from the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris and a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Toulouse in France.

Steve Boyes, Managing Director Europe North, Thomson Reuters

Steve leads Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk business in Northern Europe, responsible for generating $1bn revenues by helping financial professionals outperform and better manage their governance, risk and compliance challenges. Steve chairs the Thomson Reuters diversity and inclusion council which aims to ensure an inclusive, collaborative workplace where potential is realised. 

Maggie Brereton, Partner, KPMG

Maggie is a Partner at KPMG in the Transaction Services Group. She has worked on transactions for over 16 years and has vast experience including vendor due diligence and sell side assistance for both corporate and private equity clients; bid services (take over and defence of listed corporations); stock exchange reporting accountant work; acquisition advice and joint venture.

Gillian Charlesworth, Director of Regulatory Affairs, RICS

Gillian is responsible for RICS’ global brand and reputation and leads RICS’ external relations, profile and regulatory policy and enforcement. Her goal is to ensure RICS qualifications, standards and quality assurance are recognised and demanded in all major economic centres, worldwide. Gillian champions women at RICS, holding regular one-to-ones and group events to encourage networking, career development and support.

Charlotte Cool, Vice President Corporate Affairs, Asda

Charlotte is Vice President, Corporate Affairs at Asda. Prior to joining Asda, Charlotte was Director of Communications for the John Lewis Partnership and before moving into the retail industry, Charlotte was Executive Director of the Commercial Broadcasters Association and held senior public policy and communications roles within Viacom the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television and the UK Film Council. She in non-executive Chairman of Neighbourhood Midwives.

Diane Côté, Group Chief Officer, London Stock Exchange Group

Diane is Chief Risk Officer at London Stock Exchange Group. She qualified as a chartered accountant with Ernst & Young before moving into the world of insurance, working for companies including Prudential, The Mutual Group, Standard Life and Aviva, where she was Chief Finance Operations Officer.

Charlotte Crosswell, Strategic Advisor, NASDAQ

Charlotte is a Strategic Advisor for NASDAQ and sits on the boards of LCH Ltd and City UK. She was most recently Chief Executive Officer for Nasdaq NLX (‘NLX’), a London-based derivatives market trading the full European interest curve on a single market. Prior to setting up NLX, Charlotte held management positions at Nasdaq and London Stock Exchange and was a Partner and Head of Business Development at Pension Corporation.

Suzie de Rohan Willner, CEO, TOAST

Suzie has worked for many global brands including Timberland, Dockers, Levi Strauss, Puma and FitFlop. Whilst at FitFlop, Suzie built a strong leadership team and took FitFlop from a start-up, product-led business to a robust and competitive global brand. She is currently leveraging her experience to drive a fast-paced turnaround at TOAST. She has extensive global experience and a track record of delivering business transformation.

Sally Dewar, International Head of Regulatory Affairs, J.P. Morgan

Sally provides advice and support on a range of regulatory policy and strategic issues, and is currently focused on J.P. Morgan’s culture and conduct agenda globally; governance initiatives including the individual accountability regime, and advocacy efforts around regulatory reform. She is a member of the FICC Markets Standards Board and Chair of its Conduct and Ethics Committee.

Anastasia Dzura, Vice President, Planning, Analytics and Customer Service Excellence, Unilever

Anastasia leads Unilever’s global supply chain capabilities team, tasked with designing and delivering programs in the areas of sales and operations planning, customer service, ecommerce, analytics and the digital supply chain agenda. She is responsible for developing Unilever’s supply chain strategic approach and partnering with local markets to successfully implement these programs. Anastasia was selected as one of Diversity Journal’s 2015 Women Worth Watching (US).

Liv Garfield, Chief Executive, Severn Trent

Since 2014, Liv has been the Chief Executive of Severn Trent, one of the three large water utilities in the UK. Prior to this, Liv worked at British Telecom for 12 years, where she was responsible for the delivery of one of the most ambitious deployments of fibre broadband in the world. Liv is a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council and a British Business Ambassador.

Dr Melissa Hungerford, Vice President, Global Talent Management and Inclusion, Avon Products 

Melissa has a proven track record in designing and leading end-to-end talent management strategies with a focus on strengthening the leadership pipeline, creating an engaged and high performance culture and offering learning solutions to support the business strategy. Prior to her role at Avon, Melissa worked across a wide range of companies including The Home Depot, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Philips and The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola European Partners.

Darcy Keller, Senior Vice President, Communications and Marketing, Financial Times

As the Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the Financial Times, Darcy manages a global team, oversees global communications, brand and commercial marketing, media relations, events and partnerships. She is a member of the Financial Times’ executive board, responsible for developing, managing and delivering its global commercial strategy and digital transformation. Darcy was named one of FOLIO: magazine’s ‘Top Women in Media’ in 2015 (US) and recognized in PR Week’s Power Book in 2015 and 2016 (UK).

Bridget Long, Vice President/General Manager of London and South East England, Enterprise Holdings

Bridget is responsible for the operational delivery, management and development of the Enterprise brands Rent-A-Car, Alamo Rent A Car and National Car Rental in what is the largest of the company’s eight regional groups in the UK. During her tenure, the London and South-East England group has enjoyed record-breaking performance. She is an advocate of diversity in business and committed to making Enterprise an inclusive workplace for all.

Finola McDonnell, Vice President Communications and Marketing, CNBC International

Finola leads the team responsible for all PR and marketing activities across EMEA and APAC, including media relations, consumer and client marketing at CNBC International. She sits on the International Marketing Council at NBCUniversal of which CNBC is a division. Before joining CNBC, Finola was Director of Communications at Business Europe, the largest business lobby group in Brussels, where she led all campaign work directed at the EU institutions.

Sarah Morris, Chief People Officer, Aviva

Sarah is responsible for the leadership of Aviva’s people and communication strategy and a key member of the Group Executive Committee. Sarah is leading the cultural shift at Aviva, helping to equip the 320-year old insurer with the capabilities and skills to transform and innovate. Sarah joined Aviva from Thomson Reuters. She is a champion of diversity and inclusion as well as a non-executive director of Amnesty International.

Maria Patsalos, Partner, Mishcon de Reya

Maria is a Partner in Mishcon Private, advising individual and corporate clients on all areas of immigration law. Maria is recognised as an expert in her field by both Chambers and Legal 500 and ranked as a ‘rising star’ by the 2015 Spears 500 list for top UK immigration lawyers. Working with the UK based human rights organisation, Liberty, Maria regularly advises on meritorious cases. She founded the immigration element of Pink Law, a free legal advice service for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals run via Queen Mary University of London.

Karen Pierce, COO, Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Karen is COO at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Prior to this, she was the British Ambassador to Afghanistan and Permanent Representative to the UN and WTO in Geneva. She joined the FCO in 1981 and has served in Tokyo, Washington, and at the UN in New York. She has worked extensively on politico-military affairs.

Jacqueline Raison, Chief Legal Officer, SD Worx

Jacqueline is Chief Legal Officer at SD Worx UK. Having been a commercial lawyer for over 30 years she thrives on simplifying complex legal concepts and sharing knowledge with colleagues across all areas of the business. Prior to SD Worx, Jacqueline worked at Xerox for 13 years. Jacqueline holds graduate and post-graduate qualifications in law from London and Bristol universities.

Richard Reid, Non-Executive Director, British Associated Foods

Richard is a non-executive director of Associated British Foods and Chairman of their Audit Committee, a Senior Advisor to G3, a Trustee of the Eden Project and the Chairman of the National Heart and Lung Institute Foundation. He is a Chartered Accountant and joined KPMG in 1980. He was Chairman of KPMG in London from 2008 to 2015 and has always been actively involved with international business.

Nicole Rolet, Principal, Chêne Bleu Wines

After a successful career in investment banking, Nicole founded the haute-couture wine label, Chêne Bleu. The wine is now distributed in 17 countries and has won many awards, including top critics’ reviews, gold medals and the trophy for best label design in the world. Nicole is a delegate at the Global Female Leaders’ Summit and Acting Chair of the London chapter of global network, Feminin Pluriel.

Penny Scott-Bayfield, Financial Control Director, Condé Nast

Penny is Financial Control Director at Condé Nast. Prior to joining the publishing giant, Penny held senior finance positions with lastminute.com and BSkyB. Before that, Penny qualified as a chartered accountant with Deloitte in London.

Rosemary Squire OBE, Co-founder and Deputy Chairman, Ambassador Theatre Group

Rosemary is Co-founder and Deputy Chairman of the Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd (ATG). Under her leadership, ATG has become the world’s largest live-theatre company with 46 venues in Britain, the US and Australia. In 2014, Rosemary became the first woman to be named EY UK Entrepreneur of the Year and in 2015, she was the first woman to represent the UK at the World Entrepreneur of the Year Awards in Monaco. She won the CBI Real Business First Women Award for Tourism & Leisure and was awarded an OBE for Services to Theatre.

Gary Twelvetree, Executive Director, Marketing, Visa Europe

Gary became Executive Director of Marketing for Visa Europe in 2016. He has previously held roles as Director of Content & Digital and Executive Director for Brand & Central Marketing. Prior to joining Visa Europe, Gary was Global Brand Director at Barclaycard, where he was responsible for several award-winning campaigns. Gary was recently awarded a place in Marketing Week’s Vision 100.

Jolana Vainio, Consultant

Jolana was born in Finland but spent her university years in California and subsequently built a successful PR career in the Silicon Valley while also serving on various civic boards. Since moving to London in 2001, Jolana has been involved in the contemporary art world; was an active member of the Women for Women International Fund Development Board; and is currently engaged with the development team at Chatham House.

An Vermeulen, Vice President Field Sales, Coca-Cola European Partners

An leads the Field Sales organisation in Great Britain, responsible for execution in the market across outlets in grocery, on premise, convenience, vending and wholesale. Together with 900 team members, she drives volume and value, with a strong focus on customer development, speed and building capabilities. In her previous role, An headed up the Field Sales organisation in Belgium-Luxembourg.

Air Marshall Sir David Walker, KCVO OBE DL, Non-Executive Director, Alexander Mann Solutions

Sir David is a Non-Executive Director of Alexander Mann, formerly a Senior Advisor to HSBC. For nine years, he was Master of the Royal Household. There he was responsible for strategic direction, and for the planning and delivery of all events held in the four occupied palaces, the private estates, and during overseas visits. Before this post, Sir David commanded the RAF Training Group. In 2014 he founded Strategic Difference, advising major corporations on culture change, employee engagement and leadership development.

Caroline Williams, Director of Open Programmes, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford

As Director of Open Programmes, Caroline has expanded the programme portfolio, increased enrolments, revenues and overall growth rate. She has pioneered development initiatives which have grown overall enrolments by 300%. Saïd Business School is now the number one provider in the UK for open enrolment programmes. Caroline’s career has taken her from developing and managing large scale media campaigns to running the research team for a major Think Tank.