OUR GUEST SPEAKERS
Lord Michael Hastings
Chairman, SOAS University of London
Lord Hastings is Professor of Leadership at the Stephen R. Covey Leadership Centre at Huntsman Business School, USA, and sits on the Concordia Leadership Council. He served as Chancellor of Regent's University London from October 2016 to October 2021. He has been appointed as the current Chair of the SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) Board of Trustees and is an NED at Saxton Bampfylde. He is also a Vice President at UNICEF UK and a trustee for the Africa Philanthropy Foundation.
Hastings began his career as a teacher then worked across government agencies on policies to build racial equality, being a Commissioner with the Commission for Racial Equality for nine years, workforce development working alongside Government on urban renewal, and safer and more effective crime prevention strategies founding Crime Concern and Catch22, having been a trustee and Chairman of Crime Concern for 21 years.
He was appointed CBE (Commander of the British Empire) in 2003 for services to crime reduction, and appointed to the House of Lords in 2005 as an independent peer. He received the UNICEF Award in 2005 for Services to Africa's Children, and in 2014 received a Doctorate in Civil Law from the University of Kent, Canterbury, in recognition for his leadership at KPMG and the BBC and for his work in international development and corporate responsibility. In 2019, he was the inaugural recipient of the Stephen R Covey Leadership Award for a life built on principles and effective leadership in business and public life.
TV, Podcast Host & Public Speaker
Will Njobvu is a TV and radio presenter, whose infectious personality and extensive live experience singles him out as a real talent to watch.
Having graduated from De Montfort University with a degree in Media and Communications with Journalism, Will went on to work on the production side for Sky News, BBC Radio London, Channel 5 News and This Morning.
Will has regularly featured as a co-host on Channel 5’s flagship daytime chat show, Jeremy Vine. He’s also hosted ITV2’s entertainment news show FYI Daily and previously worked as a co-presenter on BBC Africa’s children’s show, What’s New? He’s also appeared as a celebrity panelist on various shows like Love Island Aftersun on ITV2, The Apprentice You’re Fired on BBC Two, I’m A Celebrity: The Daily Drop on ITV2 and more.
In 2018, Will filmed a short feature documentary called ‘Sudden Cardiac Deaths’ for Victoria Derbyshire’s BBC2 show, about young people living with undetected heart conditions; a topic close to his heart, as he was diagnosed with an acute heart condition himself at the age of 22.
His passion for public speaking has led him to speak in front of large audiences for some of the UK’s leading organisations such as Tik Tok, The British Heart Foundation, MediaCom & LinkedIn. He has also hosted career related talks at De Montfort University in Leicester.
Diversity, inclusion and racial equality is a topic close to Will’s heart as he was racially abused in school and college. Now, he is determined to make change, educate and inspire. In 2019, MediaCom invited Will to deliver a talk on the importance of diversity in the workplace and it was well received by the audience.
Finance Director, UK House of Lords
Fehintola Akinlose is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants, with a mix of private and public sector experience in senior Finance, Commercial, and Transformation roles.
She is currently the Executive Director of Finance and Commercial in the House of Lords, and a Member of the Management Board responsible for formulating and delivering the Strategy of the House and the wellbeing of the House staff.
She is also a Non-Executive Director on the Corporate and Governance Committee at Camden Council.
Prior to her current role, she worked for a number of Civil Service departments including Defra, Rural Payments Agency and Department for levelling Up Housing and Communities. Her private sector experience includes working for the Big Four Consultancy firms and internationally for American Tech Firms.
Fehintola is the Board Level Champion for ParliREACH, Parliament’s workplace equality network for Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage. She is also an Independent Listener for students at a Girls Boarding School.
Fehintola is a mentor and coach; she often describes herself as a “Finance and Change professional whose passion is working with and supporting people to fulfil their career aspirations”.
Girls' Education Activist and Founder, Empowered by Vee
Vee (Varaidzo) Kativhu is a rising leader in the world of education and youth empowerment, with a strong focus on girls’ education. At just 25 years old, Vee has made significant impact through her work as a Girls’ Education Activist and a YouTube visionary where she is using her platform to support over 300,000 underrepresented youth to reach their full academic potential. As the Founder of her non-profit organisation, Empowered By Vee (an academic empowerment platform focusing on making higher education more accessible), Vee is providing life changing skills to students who feel unsupported.
A recent graduate of both Oxford and Harvard Universities, Vee has been recognized for her outstanding contributions to diversity and female empowerment, receiving accolades such as the Diana Award Legacy Award from Princes Harry and William, the United Kingdom Rare Rising Star award from Members of U.K Parliament, and the Diversity Champion award from Oxford’s Vice Chancellor. In addition to her work as an author, with the release of her practical self-help book EMPOWERED for young people, Vee is also a dedicated volunteer for female education-focused charities and serves as a Global Education Ambassador for organisations such as United World Schools, CAMFED (Campaign for Female Education), and GirlUp Zimbabwe.
As of late Vee has been selected as a Young Leader for the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations for the 2022-2024 period, and in January ’23, joined Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation as an Advisory Board Member. In the near future she plans to pursue a PhD in Education Leadership and work alongside other change-makers to address the pressing issue of the 130 million girls who are currently out of school.
Founder, Confident and Killing it
Tiwalola Ogunlesi is a Confidence Coach specialising in positive psychology, an international speaker, podcast host, author and founder of Confident and Killing It.
Before starting her own business in 2020 she worked at Nike Foundation's Girl Effect as a content specialist, project manager and partnerships manager. Her work centred around using media and technology to empower teenage girls in developing countries. Her experience here equipped her with the skills and vision that led her to build her own media company - Confident and Killing It.
Confident and Killing It is a purpose driven organisation and community that wakes women up to their worth so they can be confident, unstoppable and dare to live the life they truly desire. Through engaging and practical workshops and media, Tiwalola equips women with the tools they need to overcome fear and self-doubt, programme their minds for success and take action in life.
She has upskilled thousands of women in London, NYC, Lagos and delivered engaging experiences for brands and organisations such as Google, Meta, The Times, Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, Viacom CBS, Spotify, MG OMD, UN Women UK, The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy and many more.
Head of Culture, Lloyd's
Mark has delivered numerous diversity and inclusion projects in the UK and internationally for organisations across a wide variety of sectors, including The Financial Reporting Council, Lloyds Market Association (UK and International) Inclusive Recruitment review, Bermuda Hospital Board, Groupama Insurance, The BBC, Sheffield University, NHS Clinical Commissioning Group Boards, Highways England, ITV, DR TV Denmark, Lloyds Market Association & The Bermuda Human Rights Commission and The Law Society.
Mark has won a number of EDI Awards including the 2017 ENEI Awards for Inclusive Procurement, Innovation with impact and Overall Public Sector Winner categories, three REACH Society awards for its work Inspiring Young BAME Individuals, Professional Role Models & Corporate Champions categories, The Apollo Award for Best Supplier Diversity Programme, the Women in Rail “Top Employer” 2018 award, ENEI Inclusive Procurement Award 2018, Gold Award for the ENEI TIDE benchmark, MSDUK Global Inclusive Procurement Award 2018 and the VERCIDA No.1 Gender Inclusive Employer in the UK 2018. In 2019 Mark won Head of Diversity of the year at the Inclusive Companies annual Diversity Awards and in 2020 was named on the People Magazine Top 20 Diversity & Inclusion Powerlist and in 2021 was recognised by D&I Leader co. as one of the Top 100 Global inspirational D&I Leaders. In 2021, Mark was awarded FCIPD, fellowship status of Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.
Mark joined Lloyd’s as Head of Culture in January 2022. In September 2022 Mark was recognised by Hive Learning as one of the Top 75 DEI professionals in EMEA making a lasting impact on inclusive culture.
Assistant Programme Director, YDWC
Deborah Conteh is an Assistant Programme Director at Young Diverse World Changers, and is known for participation in the BBC Word First Programme 2022. Born and raised in Newham, she developed an early interest in writing and debate and pursued it through her Politics and International Relations Degree.
She is building a successful career in corporate and creative industry, working on mental health campaigns for students and professionals from underrepresented backgrounds to creating a short film based on knife crime from the perspective of a single mother. She is known for her confident, caring and colourful personality as well as understanding and mature nature which is highly respected by colleagues in the community.
Barrister, Garden Court Chambers
Natasha is an award-winning barrister at Garden Court Chambers, an Honorary Doctor of Laws and a public speaker. Natasha is also the Co-founder and Chair of the award-winning Black Barristers’ Network (BBN), the Chair of the Board of Trustees of AVA (a leading charity committed to ending gender-based violence and abuse), and an Associate Lecturer.
Alongside the above, Natasha is an elected member of the Bar Council, sitting on its Equality, Diversity and Social Mobility Committee and the Race Working Group. She also sits on the EDI Committee at the Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.
Natasha received the Rising Star award at the UK Diversity Legal Awards in 2021 and Highly Commended – Future Leader: Diversity and Inclusion at the Chambers UK Bar Awards 2020.
Works Commercial Director, UK Parliament
Jimi Ogunfuwa is the UK Parliament Works Commercial Director, Jimi is responsible for Parliament’s complex construction procurement portfolio.
His background is public sector in a number of construction and commercial policy roles. Prior to joining Parliament, Jimi led the Department of Transport's commercial policy team with responsibility for the department's commercial strategy and policy.
Jimi has an excellent track record of developing high performing teams, maintaining excellent stakeholder relationship, and delivering VFM commercial outcomes.
HR Director, Experian
Bukola Bayo-Yusuf is an award-winning HR professional with nearly two decades of HR experience. She is currently the HR Director for central functions within a large organisation where she focuses on various facets of HR including Talent Acquisition, Employee Relations, Reward, Diversity & Inclusion, Performance and Leadership Development.
She is passionate about diversity and career development and has won several awards including the ‘Recruiting Diverse Talent’ award from Race for Opportunity in 2014 to more recently the ‘We Are The City Award’ for HR and Recruitment in 2021. She co-founded a social initiative called 'Excellerate Black Futures' which aims to create development opportunities for young black students, graduates and professionals through a career accelerator programme as well as monthly educational and inspiration events.
Bukola is also an experienced speaker and has spoken at several conferences including more recently the UK Black British Week and Black Tech Fest in 2021.
Supply Chain Manager, P&G
Prince was recently named “Rising Star” in the Consumer and Luxury category at the Black British Business Awards 2022, sponsored by Goldman Sachs. He is currently the E-commerce Customer Supply Chain Manager at P&G. He joined P&G from university in 2020 and started managing the supply chain of one of the fast-growing brands during Covid-19 and was given additional responsibilities to manage the second most complex supply chain category in P&G Northern Europe within his first year.
Prince also co-leads the Belong ethnic minority affinity group at P&G UK, and E&I recruitment strategy for Northern Europe P&G, working directly with Vice Presidents despite being a junior in the company with less than 3 years’ experience. He is currently the supply chain function lead for the newly launched commercial apprenticeship programme in P&G UK, an initiative targeted at widening the socio & economic diversity footprint.
Prior to joining P&G, he was 1 of 6 students from Sub-Saharan Africa awarded a full academic and leadership scholarship from Mastercard Foundation and graduated with BSc (Hons) Medicinal & Biological Chemistry from University of Edinburgh.
Global Director, Mckinsey
Roselyn Cason-Marcus has over two decades of experience in executive level talent attraction, leadership assessment and coaching in professional services. Roselyn joined McKinsey and Company six years ago to build and lead McKinsey’s partner recruiting function globally.
Post the unfortunate murder of George Floyd and the creation of McKinsey’s 10 Actions toward racial equity programme, the Firm asked Roselyn to lead Black senior hiring and retention, focusing on doubling Black leadership at the Firm by 2026. As McKinsey’s Global Director, Black senior hiring and retention, she is committed to ensuring McKinsey is a place where distinctive Black executives feel welcome and can thrive.
Additionally, Roselyn is on the board of Arms Around the Child, a non-profit, charitable organisation focused on supporting HIV positive children living in extreme circumstances in Africa and India and in the Leadership Circle of Women for Women International, which supports over 500,000 women in. She is also an active supporter of Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders, an educational charity which upskills and empowers young women of African and African Caribbean heritage. Roselyn holds both British and American citizenship and is based in London.
CEO, SEO London
Nathalie joined SEO London in May 2022, after a two-decade strong and varied career in consulting, education, and the third sector.
She is the founder of EduKit, a social enterprise dedicated to helping schools to improve the mental health and wellbeing of their students, as well as a trustee of Virgin Unite, the charitable foundation of the Virgin brand and the Branson family.
She has an MBA from INSEAD, a BA (Hons) in Economics & Law and an MSc in Ethnicity, Migration and Culture. She's has also volunteered as a youth mentor and coach for a number organisations including EduKit, the 100 Black Men of London and Young Enterprise.