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.

Catherine Hearn

Catherine Hearn

Director of Talent Acquisition, International Consumer

Amazon

Catherine Hearn

HR Director, UK Country Lead

Amazon

Catherine joined Amazon in 2020 as Director of Talent Acquisition joined Amazon in 2020 to lead the Talent Acquisition team for the consumer businesses internationally. In 2022 she transitioned to HR taking on the role of HRD for the UK leading on the UK People Priorities including employee experience and engagement and sponsor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, a role that supports Amazon’s efforts to build an environment where everyone is valued and inspired to do their best work.

Catherine was previously Director of Resourcing & Talent for the BBC, joining the organisation in 2015 from Walt Disney where she was Head of Talent Acquisition for International. Her early career was in executive search supporting consumer organisations in diversifying their senior leadership.

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.

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.
 Daniel Gonzalez Fuster

Daniel Gonzalez Fuster

Head of Institutional Investors client line

BNP Paribas Securities Services

Daniel Gonzalez Fuster

Head of Institutional Investors client line, UK and Middle East

BNP Paribas Securities Services

Based in London, Daniel is currently head of institutional investors client line for the UK and Middle East.

Daniel has over 20 years experience within BNP Paribas Securities Services and the wider fund industry. His previous role was as head of asset owners client line for the Americas based in Sao Paulo, Brazil. During this time he also had responsibility for asset manager product development and solutions for Latin America.

His experience spans across operational, product and project management roles in Brazil, Spain, Luxembourg, Ireland and France.

Daniel holds a university degree in Economics from Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium and two master's degrees, one in Applied Economic Analysis from Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona and one in Corporate Social Responsibility from Universidad Alcala de Henares, Madrid.

He is fluent in Spanish, French, Portuguese and English.

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.

Sarah Whipp

Sarah Whipp

Chief Marketing Officer

Spendesk

Sarah Whipp

Chief Marketing Officer

Spendesk

A commercially savvy senior executive, Sarah brings global experience spanning Fortune 500 companies and start-ups in B2B and B2C contexts, across regulated and non-regulated sectors. In 2021, she was named a Top #100 Global CMO by Hot Topics. Currently CMO at Spendesk she has re-positioned the company to focus on more profitable sectors, whilst 1.5X team engagement, and financial return. At her previous company, Callsign,, she has delivered growth at pace while positioning the start-up as an attractive investment proposition and credible supplier to the world’s largest banks. Previously Sarah was Global VP Marketing & Strategy at S&P Ratings.

Balancing growth objectives with regulatory obligations, she initiated powerful marketing approaches that amplified sales effectiveness. As EMEA CMO at Symantec, Sarah reported to the board. She was seconded to Bain, operating as global marketing lead for a worldwide transformation initiative. Sarah’s career also features ten years with McAfee where she had full responsibility for a $MM global eCommerce presence. Having come to marketing part way through her career following success as GM, she brings a unique perspective to the table and remains highly energised by the marketing profession and its challenges. Sarah holds a Mini MBA from INSEAD and is a member of the Forbes Communication Council.

Wendy Lyons

Wendy Lyons

Managing Director

Human Assets

Wendy Lyons

Managing 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.

Wendy has worked with a wide range of organisations in private, public and not for profit sectors and has 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’ and enjoys contributing to public debate on business issues, her comments have featured in The Times, The Observer, Sky News as well as various industry publications.”

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 Lord Mayor of the City of London in 2021/22. He is a Partner in the international law firm, DLA Piper, advising on finance and debt capital markets transactions in the UK and Europe.

In 2014/15 he served as President of the City of London Law Society. He is a graduate of University College Dublin (BCL) and Trinity College, Dublin (MLitt), holds a Doctorate of Science (honoris causa) from City, University of London and is an Honorary Bencher of Gray's Inn.

Vincent’s Mayoral theme - People and Purpose - championed a purpose led and people focused UK FPS sector. He co-chaired the Socio-Economic Diversity Taskforce and currently chairs Progress Together, the financial services membership body promoting greater socio-economic diversity in the industry.

He is the senior independent trustee of the Sir John Soane's Museum, chairs the board of the vocal ensemble, Exaudi, and is a director of Actors Touring Company.

Michael Zdanowski

Michael Zdanowski

Director

Ventures Consulting

Michael Zdanowski

Director

Ventures Consulting

Michael is a strategic advisor to leading global organisations across a range of sectors including energy, industry and technology, and is an expert on coalition building and how to build public advocacy campaigns. Among other roles, he currently acts as Chair of the UK's Fusion Industry Taskforce.

He is passionate about the potential of innovation and 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 social mobility and 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.

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.

Nic Budden

Nic Budden

Nic Budden

Nic’s executive career spans 20 years within private and listed companies across a broad range of sectors including property, digital, telecoms, utilities, and financial services. He has created significant stakeholder value through several corporate transactions including the IPO of Foxtons Group plc in 2013, which he then led as CEO for eight years.

Nic has a genuine passion for diversity, inclusion and social mobility which is rooted in his working-class background and developed further during a decade of working overseas with large multicultural workforces to deliver complex business transformation projects in USA, Asia, Caribbean and Latin America.

In 2019 Nic was ranked by Glassdoor as a UK Top 50 CEO and in 2020, his work at Foxtons won an award for diversity and inclusion at the Business Culture Awards.

Geoffrey Williams

Geoffrey Williams

Vice President / Global Head Diversity Equity & Inclusion

Burberry

Geoffrey Williams

Vice President / Global Head Diversity Equity & Inclusion

Burberry

Geoffrey has had a diverse career journey starting his working life in the entertainment industry then moving into health care, rail and media for the last 20 years. He has worked in Human Resources for the last 10 years of his career and has experience in Recruitment, Talent Management, learning and development, Orgnatsaional Design and Diversity and Inclusion.

He was the fromer Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Thomson Reuters , where he worked on strategy, culture and implimentation of a D&I agenda and globally launched Thomson Reuters Diversity and Inclusion index, was award EY’s National Equality Standard. As well as create programs that supported diverse communites within the Thomson Reuters business. He has been featured in the Financial Times Top 100 ethnic minority role models and DIMA 50 male advocates for equality in marketing and media for 2018.

Geoffrey is also the co-founder of RockingUrTeens.com a social enterprise that introduces young people to the real world of work & aims to connect the teens to a positive and vibrant futures. As well as sitting on the board of film production company oneumbrellaproductions.com.

Geoffrey is committed to working to change the world of work so all people feel connected and business have high performing teams that trust and listen to each other.

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.

Carla Stockton-Jones

Carla Stockton-Jones

Steven Cooper CBE

Steven Cooper CBE

CEO

Aldermore Bank

Steven Cooper CBE

CEO

Aldermore Bank

An established CEO and Non-Executive Director with extensive experience of leading and growing UK and international banking, payments & wealth businesses; delivering transformational strategic change and large technology & digital programmes. Steven has a reputation as a leader who builds outstanding leadership teams and transforms organisation culture.

Steven is currently CEO of Aldermore Group and Executive Committee member of First Rand Group (Africa’s largest bank). He is leading a strategic repositioning of the UK based mid-sized multi-specialist financial services group. This includes a significant, multi-year investment programme, overhauling the culture, leadership, technology and target market of the organisation including inorganic activity.

Prior to Aldermore, Steven served as CEO of C. Hoare & Co. He led the modernisation of the UK’s oldest private bank. Significant growth was achieved as a result of new digital capabilities, new customers and the introduction of diversified revenue streams.

Steven spent the majority of his career at Barclays PLC; he held several executive roles including CEO Personal Banking UK & Europe. CEO UK Business Banking and CEO Barclaycard Business & global payments. During his time at Barclays, Steven developed a reputation for transforming large scale business through digital technology, cultural change and a relentless focus on customers.

Steven’s current non-executive portfolio include Cashflows (a PE backed payment scale-up business) where he chairs the RemCo, Audit and Risk committee and Chair of Experian UK PLC. He has recently stepped down from the global recruitment company Robert Walters PLC where he served for 6 years.

Steven is an advocate for greater social mobility across society; he is a regular speaker on the challenges faced by disadvantaged groups. He leads by example, creating apprenticeship schemes and opportunities for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Joanna Hughes

Joanna Hughes

Founder & Director

Joanna Hughes Solicitor Apprenticeships

Joanna Hughes

Founder & Director

Joanna Hughes Solicitor Apprenticeships

Joanna is the Founder and Director of Joanna Hughes Solicitor Apprenticeships. A driving force in setting up this company was to improve socio-economic diversity in the legal profession. Prior to 2022, Joanna was a solicitor for 25 years in a large international law firm and co-led the introduction of solicitor apprenticeships there. In her role as a Member of the City of London Law Society Training Committee she is working with the Chair of that Committee, as Co-CEOs of 'City Century, to greatly increase the number of solicitor apprenticeship opportunities available in the City of London.

In May 2021 Joanna was appointed to join the Taskforce to boost the socio-economic diversity at senior levels in UK financial and professional services, as a Working Group member, and was nominated by the Mayor of the City of London for the Freedom of the City of London for her work in the Taskforce. She is now a Liveryman of the City of London Solicitors' Company.

Joanna holds a number of judging and advisory roles including with The Sutton Trust and UCAS, and she is one of the Patrons of the Multicultural Apprenticeship Alliance.

She is also the proud recipient of UK Social Mobility Awards 2020 Mentor of the Year Award!

Hannah Awonuga

Hannah Awonuga

Group Head of DE&I

Knight Frank

Hannah Awonuga

Group Head of DE&I

Knight Frank

Hannah Awonuga recently joined Knight Frank as the Group Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Hannah’s role will focus on developing a strategic roadmap with the overall purpose of providing a superior experience for Knight Frank’s people. She will provide strategic direction to the Group Executive and UK Boards, Business Balance leads and formulate and execute a DE&I strategy to facilitate the adoption of industry-wide best practices in DE&I, as well as develop a set of metrics that will drive this agenda across the Group.

Hannah Awonuga is also a multi-award-winning DEI thought leader and speaker; over the past two years, she won 2021 WeAreTheCity rising star award, was named amongst the 2021/2022 most inspirational D&I (Diversity and Inclusion) professionals by D&I leaders and was listed in the 2021 Top 25 most influential DEI practitioners by HR Magazine.

Previous to Hannah’s move to Knight Frank she was the Global DEI Director at Barclays. Hannah had been working in banking since she was 17yrs old, and for the past 18yrs has spent time leading remote teams in the retail bank, business and corporate bank before transitioning into Diversity and Inclusion. Hannah attributes her achievements in banking to her humble beginnings, caused to live independently since the age of 15, socioeconomic inclusion is a topic very close and personal to her.

Hannah was also appointed as a non-executive director for the UK government membership body Progress Together which has been set up to increase socioeconomic diversity at senior leadership level across the UK financial services.
Hannah Awonuga has built her professional brand with an extensive LinkedIn network of over 55,000 followers, She is a passionate and knowledgeable speaker and facilitator who is experienced in strategy development, inclusive leadership and keynote addresses, facilitates senior executive safe space conversations and frequently joins international panel discussions with industry leaders.

Chris Hogwood

Chris Hogwood

Managing Director, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability

Landsec

Chris Hogwood

Managing Director, Corporate Affairs & Sustainability

Landsec

Chris leads the Corporate Affairs and Sustainability teams at Landsec. Chris joined from Portland Communications where he was a Senior Partner, leading its local engagement and real estate specialism as well as jointly leading the agency’s flagship corporate practice. He has worked in leading communications agencies for the last 10 years and before that worked in London local government.

About Landsec
At Landsec, we build and invest in buildings, spaces and partnerships to create sustainable places, connect communities and realise potential.  We are one of the largest real estate companies in Europe, with a portfolio of retail, leisure, workspace and residential hubs. Landsec is shaping a better future by leading our industry on environmental and social sustainability while delivering value for our shareholders, great experiences for our guests and positive change for our communities.

Find out more at landsec.com

Andy Bamford

Andy Bamford

Chief Exec

BrandPointZero

Andy Bamford

Chief Exec

BrandPointZero

Jessie Burrows

Jessie Burrows

Kerry Dryburgh

Kerry Dryburgh

Executive Vice President for People & Culture

bp

Kerry Dryburgh

Executive vice president for people & culture and chief human resources and communications officer

bp

Kerry is bp’s executive vice president for People & Culture and the company’s chief human resources and communications officer. As a key enabler of business delivery, Kerry and the People & Culture team are discovering, developing, and empowering 80,000 employees across six continents to progress and communicate bp’s strategy and create a culture of purpose, winning, and care that grows the value of bp.

Kerry was appointed to her role in 2020, as bp began its transformation from an international oil company to an integrated energy company. Under her leadership, bp is building and enabling a culture and environment that encourages and supports everyone to perform at their best – and is delivering on its sustainability aims and DE&I framework.

Across internal and external communications, DE&I, talent, reward, wellbeing, and workplace, Kerry’s teams protect and advance bp’s reputation, invest in the communities where we live and work, and develop programs that build the next generation of talent, regardless of background.  

Kerry began her career with an apprenticeship, and then worked across a range of sectors across Europe and Asia before joining bp in 2010.

Colin Jones

Colin Jones

Colin Jones

Colin’s executive career spanned more than 35 years in blue-chip companies in media and technology, consumer goods and pharmaceuticals through roles in the UK, Europe & USA. He has held the roles of Chief Operating Officer, Chief Transformation Officer and Group Finance Director at Sky, plus a range of senior finance and procurement roles in his time at PepsiCo.

He is an active advocate for improving social mobility, born from his own personal experience and having been sponsor and champion of both D&I and mentoring programmes at Sky. He is currently progressing roles as a board advisor and not-for-profit non-executive director.

Jason Wright

Jason Wright

Society Secretary

Nationwide

Jason Wright

Society Secretary

Nationwide

Jason Wright is the Society Secretary at Nationwide, appointed in March 2021 and has over 25 years’ experience in banking and financial services. He has previously worked for Royal Bank of Canada, Santander and Barclays. He has lived through enormous corporate governance change post the Financial Crisis including standing up the UK Ring Fenced Banks. In his time as a Company Secretary, Jason has supported Chairmen with board succession, boards skills assessments and board composition.

All the time building and running high performing secretariat teams. He considers his main role supporting the Board and executive and making sure the directors have the best quality information and environment to make the best decisions. Jason is passionate about talent and getting the most out of as diverse team of people as possible including mentoring and supporting those from lower social economic backgrounds to succeed.

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

Share This