Judging Panel

The Judging Panel for these prestigious awards is made up of leading figures from business, charity, politics and the public sector. We are pleased to announce that once again the Chair of the Judging Panel will be Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE.

We will be updating this page as more judges are approved, please check it from time to time to see who else will be joining our esteemed panel.

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE

Chair of Restoration Partners

Chair of Judging Panel

Sir Kenneth Olisa OBE

Chair of Restoration Partners

Chair of the Judging Panel

Ken is Founder and Chairman of Restoration Partners, the boutique technology merchant bank and architects of the Virtual Technology Cluster model Ken’s technology career spans over 30 years commencing with IBM from whom he won a scholarship while at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University. In 1992, after a twelve years as a senior executive at Wang Labs in the US and Europe, Ken founded Interregnum, the technology merchant bank.

He was elected as a Fellow of the British Computer Society in 2006. He has considerable public company Board-level experience on both sides of the Atlantic. He is currently a director of Thomson Reuter. He is also on the board of The Institute of Directors as a Non-Executive Director. Ken is a Freeman of the City of London; Past Master of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists; a Director of the Thomson Reuters Foundation; Chairman of Thames Reach (for which he received an OBE in 2010); Chairman of Shaw Trust, was an original member of IPSA (Independent Parliamentary Standard Authority) and Founder and Chairman of the Powerlist Foundation. In 2009, he was named the Sunday Times Not for Profit Non-Executive Director of the year.

Ken was voted number one in the Powerlist’s Top 10 most influential British black people in 2016. In 2015 Her Majesty the Queen, appointed him as her Lord-Lieutenant of Greater London. Ken was knighted for services to Business and Philanthropy in the 2018 New Year’s Honours List.

Nic Budden

Nic Budden

Chief Executive Officer

Foxtons

Nic Budden

Chief Executive Officer

Foxtons

Prior to joining Foxtons in 2005, Nic had an international career in business development, operations, marketing, strategy and finance, having held positions at BT Group plc (1990 to 1997), Cable & Wireless Group (1997 to 2002) and Severn Trent Group (2003 to 2005). Nic holds a degree in economics from the University of Essex.
Laura Battley

Laura Battley

Company Secretary & General Counsel PLC

Watches of Switzerland Group

Laura Battley

Company Secretary & General Counsel

Watches of Switzerland Group PLC

Laura Battley is Company Secretary and General Counsel at Watches of Switzerland Group PLC, a FTSE 250 luxury watch and jewellery retailer. Before joining Watches of Switzerland, Laura was Company Secretary and General Counsel at high street retailer New Look, with responsibility for the legal and secretariat teams as well as the wider group compliance functions across the business. Laura was also responsible for ESG at New Look (including diversity and inclusion).

Laura trained and qualified as a corporate lawyer at Magic Circle law firm Slaughter and May and later spent time at Addleshaw Goddard and KPMG, where she was seconded to New Look before joining on a permanent basis.

Nick Hedley

Nick Hedley

Partner

Hedley May

Nick Hedley

Partner

Hedley May

Nick is a recognised leader in the appointment of C-suite functional leaders, with a specialist focus on General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officers and Chief Risk Officers. He has worked across industry sectors and geographies on behalf of a diverse range of clients, helping them recruit talented individuals who are able to transform the impact a corporate function has on the business. Nick is a qualified lawyer who began his career in law before moving into search in 1995. He has an LLB from London University.
Steven Cooper CBE

Steven Cooper CBE

CEO

Aldermore Bank

Steven Cooper CBE

CEO

Aldermore Bank

Within his 32 years in the banking industry, Steven was most recently CEO of Barclaycard Business Solutions, managing the payments division for Barclaycard including Merchant Acquiring, Commercial Payments and Sales Finance. Prior to this, he was CEO of Personal Banking at Barclays for both UK and Europe, where he gained a wealth of experience in the rapidly changing landscape of consumer banking with digital technology and data. He has also led UK Business Banking and businesses for Barclays in Africa, India and Offshore locations.

Steven sits on a number of advisory boards, including being a commissioner for the social mobility commission. Steven is a NED at Robert Walters PLC and the FSCS and is an Alumni of Harvard Business Schools.

Amanda Mackenzie OBE

Amanda Mackenzie OBE

Chief Executive

Business in the Community

Amanda Mackenzie OBE

Chief Executive

Business in the Community

Amanda Mackenzie is the chief executive of Business in the Community - The Prince's Responsible Business Network - which aims to create healthy communities with successful business at their heart. Previously, Amanda was a member of Aviva's Group Executive for over 8 years as CMO and joined Aviva to change its name from Norwich Union. Amanda has over 25 years of commercial experience, including director roles at British Airways Airmiles, BT and British Gas. She is a non-executive director of Lloyds Banking Group, chairing the responsible business committee.

Formerly, she was a non-executive director of Mothercare Plc. and sat on the audit committee for 6 years. She was on the board of the National Youth Orchestra for 10 years and was a member of Lord Davies’ review to increase the number of women on boards. Amanda is a Life Fellow of the RSA and Fellow and former President of the Marketing Society. Prior to her current role Amanda, on loan from Aviva, helped launch the UN’s Global Goals as executive advisor to Project Everyone – a Richard Curtis co-founded campaign for the UN.

Sarah Whipp

Sarah Whipp

CMO and Head of GTM Strategy

Callsign

Sarah Whipp

CMO and Head of GTM Strategy

Callsign

Sarah is the CMO and Head of GTM Strategy at Callsign the global pioneer of digital identification and trust. She has held global marketing leadership positions at S&P Ratings, Platts, Symantec and McAfee as well as roles as diverse as sales in Fujitsu and finance at Colgate Palmolive. Acknowledged as a global expert in Marketing and Communications, Sarah is a Trustee of the Helen Davis Family Foundation, a member of the Forbes Communication Council, sits on The Hot Topics Advisory board and is a recipient and alumni of awards for European and Global top 100 B2B Marketers in 2021. She has previously held advisory roles for CEB (now Gartner) and Sirius Decisions (now Forrester).
Chris Reeve

Chris Reeve

London Region Chair

PwC

Chris Reeve

London Region Chair

PwC

Chris is the London Regional Chair at PwC working with some of PwC’s priority clients, local organisations and with communities throughout London. Born in Middlesbrough with a background in professional services firms, Chris has been a partner at PwC for 17 years working with Private, Listed and International businesses varying in size from startups to the worlds largest. Recently joined the board of the Community Interest Company supporting Brigade Bar & Kitchen, a Social Enterprise hub offering training opportunities to vulnerable people and those in danger of homelessness.

A sponsor of the Female Executive Mentoring programme which provides 1:1 Executive level mentoring to help women from public, private and third sectors to achieve their aspirations and build future Boards and leadership teams that reflect the diverse communities we live in. Chair of the London leadership Board of Business In The Community (BITC) working with 20 senior leaders in tackling some of the biggest challenges in London such as skills development, levelling up and Climate change.

David Carrigan

David Carrigan

Group Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing

Sky

David Carrigan

Group Director of Diversity,
Inclusion and Wellbeing

Sky

David is the Group Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing at Sky. He joined Sky from Live Nation/Ticketmaster, where as Director of Diversity he worked across 40 international markets.

Previously he was the Head of Equality Strategy at Citizen’s Advice, headed Legal Affairs at the Commission for Racial Equality, and lead National Policy at the Housing Corporation/Homes and Communities Agency (HCA). David has also held advisory roles to the College of Policing and served as a Board member for a Human Rights Charity.

David was the first member of his family to complete his secondary education and worked as an apprentice Gas Engineer after leaving school. He was fortunate to be able to study at night school before attending the University of Nottingham. He is an alumni of Druids Health and is a proud Brummie. He is married with two daughters and lives in Surrey.

Sandra Wallace CBE

Sandra Wallace CBE

Partner & Joint Managing Director, UK & Europe

DLA Piper

Sandra Wallace CBE

Partner and Joint Managing Director, UK and Europe

DLA Piper

Sandra Wallace, CBE, is a member of the Executive board and acts as joint Managing Director, UK & Europe for the global business law firm, DLA Piper, and remains an active employment law Partner handling many international employment law mandates.

Sandra served as a Social Mobility Commissioner from December 2018 to October 2021, sponsored by the Cabinet Office which monitors progress towards improving social mobility in the UK and promotes social mobility in England, also serving as interim Co-Chair. Sandra also works to drive social mobility within the legal sector and worked on the Firm’s bid to become the lead legal services employer for the Social Mobility Pledge.

Sandra is the Birmingham Chair at TheCityUK, a membership body, lobbying on behalf of the financial and related professional services industry, and was recently appointed as Co-Chair to a Government commissioned taskforce, looking at improving socio-economic diversity at senior levels within UK financial and professional services. She will be leading the industry consultation workstream, which looks at the role of Government, regulators and sector bodies in incentivizing employer action.

Sandra is a mother of three and works flexibly to balance her career and family life.

Grainne Edmonds

Grainne Edmonds

Global Relationship Manager

BNP Paribas

Grainne Edmonds

Global Relationship Manager

London, UK

Present
Grainne Edmonds joined BNP Paribas Securities Services in June 2020 as a Global Relationship Manager for HSBC Group, to lead our bank and asset manager relationship on a global basis. Subsequently, Grainne’s remit was expanded to UK Head of Sales & Relationship Management Financial Intermediaries for banking groups inclusive of asset management divisions.

Previous
Prior to this, Grainne was with JP Morgan Securities Services for 22 years in a variety of roles and was an Executive Director, particularly in the Sales & Relationship Management functions. Grainne was also a Network Manager for a number of years.
Before Grainne joined JP Morgan in London, she was a Network Manager and Fund Accountant with Brown Brothers Harriman in Boston, MA.

Education
Grainne holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Studies from Trinity College Dublin and is a post-graduate of University College Dublin Business Schools with a Master of Science Degree in International Business Studies.

Alderman Vincent Keaveny

Alderman Vincent Keaveny

Lord Mayor of the City of London 2021-22

Alderman Vincent Keaveny

Lord Mayor of the City of London
2021-22

Alderman Vincent Keaveny was elected as the 693rd Lord Mayor of the City of London on 29 September 2021 and took office on 12 November 2021. He previously served as Sheriff of the City of London in 2018-19 and in that capacity supported the then Lord Mayor, undertaking numerous engagements and activities at home and abroad.

Vincent is a partner in the international business law firm, DLA Piper. He advises on debt capital markets, structured finance and securitisation transactions in the UK and banks, financial institutions and corporate clients in the UK and internationally on banking, finance and capital markets transactions. He is listed as a leading practitioner in his area of practice by all of the principal legal directories and is included in the legal ‘500’ Hall of Fame for securitisation practitioners. Until May 2019 he was International Co-Chair of the Financial Services Sector at DLA Piper. In 2014/15 he served as President of the City of London Law Society.

Vincent is currently a member of the Policy & Resources Committee and the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Sub-committee. He also a Governor of the City of London School and Co-Chair of the HM Treasury & BEIS Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce.

Wendy Lyons

Wendy Lyons

Director

Human Assets

Wendy Lyons

Director

Human Assets

Wendy is an Occupational Psychologist and a chartered member of the British Psychological Society. She runs a talent management consultancy, Human Assets, based in central London. Wendy helps organisations to access, secure and benefit from the full diversity of talent. With social mobility as a specialism and passion, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of all the initiatives she designs.

Wendy has worked with a wide range of organisations in private, public and not for profit sectors. She has successfully led high profile projects in government departments and the private sector where the imperative has been to increase the diversity of applicants and recruits. She has also designed development initiatives to help people from underrepresented groups progress. She has extensive experience designing and delivering bespoke assessment and development initiatives at all levels within the organisation from graduates to Boards of Directors. Wendy co-authored ‘Holding on While Letting Go: A Director’s Guide to Contemporary Talent Management’, 2009 and she has featured in The Times, The Observer and on Sky News commenting on business issues.

Paul Monekosso Cleal OBE

Paul Monekosso Cleal OBE

.

.

Paul Monekosso Cleal OBE

Paul is Equality Adviser to the Premier League board and led on the development of the League’s No Room for Racism Action Plan. He is also a non executive board member at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and National Citizen Service Trust and an adviser to Sainsbury’s and Metropolitan Police. Previously he spent 16 years as a partner at PwC, the global professional services firm, where he served on the Management Boards of the firm in both the UK and in Africa. He also provided corporate finance and consulting advice to clients across a diverse range of industries including financial services, sport and infrastructure.

As well as a career in professional services, Paul has worked in both local and central government, been a board member at both the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission and Kingston University and works with a number of London schools, all of which reflects his interest in public services and issues of inequality. He has for many years been involved in diversity and inclusion in business and was recognised for his work in that area in the most recent New Year’s Honours List.

Nan Gibson

Nan Gibson

HR Board Director

Lidl

Nan Gibson

HR Board Director

Lidl

Nan joined Lidl GB as Chief Human Resources Officer in 2016. Since then she has helped future-proof the continuing growth of Lidl GB with a focus on talent sourcing and development as well as creating a culture of inclusion and opportunity. Before joining Lidl, she was Senior Vice President, People at Virgin Atlantic. Prior to Virgin Atlantic, Nan worked for American Airlines where she held the position of Director International HR – Europe & Pacific. In her two airline roles she oversaw all aspects of HR across multiple geographies and supported major restructures in both companies.

Nan is a graduate of St Andrews University. She has two grown-up sons and lives in London with her husband.

Michael Zdanowski

Michael Zdanowski

Director

Ventures Consulting

Michael Zdanowski

Director

Ventures Consulting

Michael advises leading organisations on the transition to a Net Zero world. He is an expert on the low carbon energy transition having led projects focused on electric vehicles, new nuclear and fusion, oil and gas, hydrogen, carbon capture and solar.

He is passionate about the potential of technology to decarbonise the economy and has led international campaigns to convince complex stakeholder audiences of the benefit of that change. He is committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in organisations having seen the benefits to businesses of diverse thinking.

Michael has worked for several leading international consultancies and has lived, worked and studied across Europe. He has a PhD in European history from the University of Leeds and a Masters' degree from the College of Europe in Warsaw, Poland.

Gold Partner

Amazon logo

The UK Social Mobility Awards is a fundraising initiative for the registered charity, Making The Leap

Share This