The National Diversity Awards 2014 Winners

Anna Fullerton-Batten | Johnson & Johnson Global Head of Strategic Talent Acquisition


Anna has been a supporter of the National Diversity Awards since it began in 2012 and has been delighted to be on the judging panel 3 times.

She has 20 years of experience in Global Talent leadership for companies such as Microsoft, Amazon and now Johnson and Johnson.

Anna has a long history as an avid champion of E,D&I. Professionally she is the most senior out LGBT+ leader at J&J, speaks regularly at conferences and events, has contributed to an all party parliamentary enquiry on the pipeline for women in leadership and founded the Microsoft women’s tech network the T-Party. Off duty she was a founding member of the Women’s Sports Trust and most recently established the Women Let’s Meet LGBT+ network set up in Dec 2017 now with over 1000 active members across 4 counties.

Paul Sesay | The National Diversity Awards Founder & CEO


Paul Sesay is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the National Diversity Awards, Excellence in Diversity Awards, The Diversity Group 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.

Fiona Daniel | HSBC UK Head of Diversity and Inclusion

Fiona is Head of Diversity and Inclusion for HSBC UK responsible for driving the agenda for one of HSBC’s largest key markets, and described as a game changer and credible future thinker in diversity and inclusion.

Fiona is passionate about inclusion in business and the development and progression of all individuals. She specialises in mentoring and supporting BAME professionals in the workplace be that in the private, voluntary or public sector.

Her passion and advocacy for BAME inclusion led her to establish the HSBC UK Embrace Network in 2012. She is dedicated and vocal in her passion to drive for more inclusive behaviours to be demonstrated to all and works tirelessly for the implementation of a holistic approach to include systems, processes and behaviours and has successfully driven inclusion in her own organisation.

She is a highly sought after speaker, panellist and thought leader, who has consistently demonstrated her commitment to drive change. She is open to sharing her passion, creativity, ideas and practical real solutions to make impactful change.

Cathy Earle | Nielsen HR Director, UK & Ireland

Cathy is the Human Resources Director for Nielsen UK & Ireland responsible for HR, Learning & Development and the UK apprenticeship programme. She is also a member of the Executive team and chairs the UK & Ireland Pension Committee.

A strong advocate for the value of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and the richness of talent that it brings, she founded and is now executive sponsor of MOSAIC (Multi-national Organisation Supporting An Inclusive Culture) a diversity and inclusion employee resource group focused on cultural inclusivity. She is also a member of the Nielsen Cares Global Council, a corporate social responsibility programme which connects employees to social causes and communities, promoting voluntary activities across diversity and inclusion, education, hunger and nutrition, and technology.

Andy Woodfield | PwC Partner


Andy is the Lead Partner for the International Aid Development Consulting Practice in PwC. Working primarily with the Department for International Development (DFID) and other international donor organisations, they use the Global network of PwC member firms and associated subject matter experts to improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the world.

Andy is also the sponsoring Partner for the firms inclusive business network - GLEE @PwC. This is an inclusive business network for gays, lesbians and everyone else, it’s open to everyone including clients and those in extended networks and you don't have to be gay or lesbian to join it, you just need to be passionate about valuing and exploring difference as something we all have in common.

Charlene White | British TV News Anchor for ITV News


Charlene is a Journalist and Presenter who’s worked in print, TV and radio as a reporter, producer and broadcaster - both in the UK and abroad – for over 15 years. She can currently be seen presenting across ITV News, including News At Ten and Evening News at 6.30pm. She also regularly writes pieces online for The Guardian Newspaper, hosts award ceremonies, galas and events for corporate clients as well as acting as a mentor for various youth charities and social enterprises, a patron for Bowel Cancer UK and a school governor.

Asif Zubairy  | ITV Commissioning Editor, Entertainment

Asif is currently Commissioning Editor, Entertainment for ITV. His entry into TV followed stints as a junior feature writer for IPC Magazines, news agency court reporter and News Editor for The Voice newspaper when it started in 1982. He started in TV as a researcher in 1984 and since then has worked in every programme genre including Factual, Sport, Religion and Childrens’. As a producer, he’s worked on some the world’s biggest formats: ‘Strictly Come Dancing’, ‘Big Brother’, ‘The Biggest Loser’, ‘Australia’s Got Talent’, ‘Dancing on Ice’, ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ and ‘I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here’. He’s been Director of Programming for the Paramount Comedy Channel, Director of Original Programming for Walt Disney Branded Television and Head of Entertainment for Australia’s Nine Network.

Ruth Carter | Daily Telegraph Managing Director of Telegraph Events

Ruth Carter has forged a highly successful international career in the commercial events industry, where she has held senior executive roles in leading media organisations including UBM, Ascential and Informa. She has grown companies into significant and highly respected global businesses and personally launched operations into China, South East Asia, India, the Middle East, Europe and North and South America.

Ruth is currently Managing Director of Telegraph Events, a division of the Daily Telegraph, where she leads their vast portfolio of award-winning consumer and business events including the Ski and Snowboard Show, The Telegraph Festival of Business and the Telegraph Whisky Show. 

She is passionate about her role as Non-Executive Director of Generation Success, the not-for-profit organisation which provides events, training, mentoring and work placements for highly talented, but less advantaged, young people.

She is a regular speaker at events, reflecting not only her long-standing involvement with international business development but also her passion for growing and developing talented individuals around the world.  Ruth holds a degree in music from Trinity College of Music, London.

Roland White  | Microsoft Global Director for Diversity & Inclusion, GSMO


With Diversity and Inclusion being a core pillar to Microsoft’s strategy of “Empowering every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more”, his team is accountable for overall strategic leadership, partnership and subject matter expertise to business leaders and HR Business partners, embedding the strategy and implementation of diversity and inclusion programs in all countries outside of the US, alongside measuring the impact and ultimate ROI.

Every person is diverse, and it is their inherent and acquired characteristics that bring value to an organisation. It is not just about those visible aspects of race, gender, age and so forth, but those invisible aspects of sexual orientation, identity, religion, social, industry or economic et al.

It is only by creating an environment where difference is not only accepted, but embraced and encouraged, that employees will be enabled to innovate and reach their maximum potential, as individuals, as a corporation and society as whole.

On a personal level, Roland is an openly gay leader, partner, father and an individual that embraces the challenges of mental health on a daily basis.

Tunji Akintokun MBE |NSC GlobalSenior Vice President


Tunji is multi-award-winning leader and 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.

He supports many diversity, STEM and social mobility causes through his Ilesha Charitable Trust, making impact and long-term donations. Tunji is a patron of the autism charity CASPA.

In the Queen's 2018 New Year's Honours List, Tunji received an MBE for services to young people from ethnic minorities in Science & Technology.

Funke Abimbola MBE | Senior Lawyer & Diversity Leader


Funke is a solicitor and senior leader for the world’s largest biotech company. Her team provides legal support to the organisation’s pharmaceutical operations in the UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar. In addition, she also leads the financial compliance function for the UK pharmaceutical business.

Outside of her day job, she is a notable diversity campaigner, mainly focusing on campaigning for more gender equality, race diversity and social mobility within the legal profession and wider business community.

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Simon Green | Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People Chair

Simon Green has twice been a shortlisted nominee for the Positive Role Model Award for Disability, and has now been invited onto the Judging Panel for the prestigious National Diversity Awards. Describing the 2013 and 2015 ceremonies as  ‘life changing’, Simon has continued to carry out his phenomenal work in the diversity arena.

Simon has a neurological condition called Neurofibromatosis and has been a wheelchair user since 2003. Chair of Bridgend Coalition of Disabled People and Trustee for Disability Wales, Simon’s main work over the last decade has been to raise awareness about the effects of hostility and hate crimes against the disabled community.

Simon is also passionate about many other issues that effect disabled people and all strands of equality, he said ‘I cannot wait to read about the great work being done across the UK to raise awareness and improve the lives of many different diverse groups.’

Vanessa Vallely | WeAreTheCity MD


Vanessa is one of the UK’s most well-networked women and has provided keynotes on a variety of career related topics for over 400 companies worldwide. Vanessa is also one of the UK’s most prominent figures in gender equality and often provides guidance and consultancy to both government and corporate organisations who are seeking to attract, develop and retain their female talent.

At the height of her successful 25 year career in the financial services, Vanessa launched the award winning in 2008 as a vehicle to help corporate women connect and grow professionally and personally. now has over 60,000 members and in 2013 launched a sister site in India.

Vanessa is the also the -founder of UK wide diversity forum Gender Networks. Gender Networks (formerly The Network of Networks) brings together diversity leaders from over 120 firms to share best practice. Vanessa is the author of the book “Heels of Steel: Surviving and Thriving in the Corporate World” which tracks her career and shares 13 chapters of tips to succeed in the workplace.

Over the past seven years, she has been named Women in Banking & Finance’s Champion for Women, Financial News Top 100RisingStar, The International Alliance for Women Top 100 Women globally & Brummells Top 30 London Entrepreneurs. In 2015 Vanessa was in GQ UK’s Top 100 Connected Women and the Evening Standard’s 1000 Most Influential Londoners. Vanessa is a regular guest on TV and radio and also sits on the Government Digital Services advisory board.

Vanessa is also the Pearly Queen of The City of London, a tradition that has been in her family for over 100 years. She is an avid charity worker and sits on the board for Cancer Research UK as one of its Women of Influence.

Keynotes and workshops include The Power of Profile, The Power of Social Media, The Big Brand Theory, Speed Networking, Speed Mentoring, Pay it Forward Manage Your Career. Vanessa is also available as a panellist, facilitator and leadership development programme host. All talks can be tailored towards specific audiences.