19 consulting industry figures named role models for ethnic minorities

20 June 2018 Consultancy.uk 12 min. read

19 members of the global consulting industry have been named as top role models and allies of ethnic minority individuals in the business arena. The annual EMpower ranking of executives, allies and future leaders is aimed at promoting diversity in the business environment, something which, in light of recent political trends, the organisers believe to be particularly pertinent now.

Despite numerous studies showing that businesses can benefit significantly from a more diverse workforce, progress towards that end goal remains slow. A 2018 paper revealed that while diversity was perceived as broadly desirable, businesses in the UK still place it on the back-burner in favour of other priorities. In fact, interest in diversity remains relatively low, at less than 50%, while concrete plans to improve conditions are even more sparse.

One in eight of the working population is from an ethnic minority background, however only 1 in 10 are in the workplace, while an even sparser one in every 16 top management positions are held by an ethnic minority person. Ethnic diversity in British boardrooms is lagging almost two decades behind female representation at the top level, while fewer than 2% of British directors from FTSE 150 companies are black, Asian or minority ethnic.EMpower ranking of executives, allies and future leadersIn this context, EMpower is determined to promote the roles of prominent ethnic minority background figures in business, as well as of key allies who have made important strides toward boosting diversity in their firms. EMpower is a professional membership organisation founded in 2017, and is aimed at helping corporate members drive greater ethnic minority inclusion at all levels of their organisations, providing powerful network connections.

Commenting on the release of the group’s latest ranking, in collaboration with the Financial Times, EMpower said, “Our boardrooms are lacking in diversity – there’s an absence of ethnic minority representation which has an impact at all levels of the organisation. The presence of powerful ethnic minority role models across all industries and sectors is necessary to develop a pipeline of diverse talent.”

EMpower celebrate’s three categories of inspirational ethnic minority role models. The Ethnic Minority Executives category recognises 100 senior role models who are helping to make the workplace a more welcoming place for ethnic minority employees. Ethnic Minority Future Leaders celebrates the work of individuals who are stationed at all levels of an organisation and are making a significant contribution to ethnic minority inclusion wherever they are placed. Finally, the Advocates category sees individuals who are not ethnic minority themselves, but who are dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace environment for ethnic minorities, praised.

Ethnic Minority Executives

Sanjay Bhandari
Partner at EY

Bhandari is the Partner Sponsor for ethnic minorities within EY’s overall UK&I D&I strategy. He also sponsors the Future Leaders Programme (a leadership programme for ethnic minority future leaders), CareerWatch and mentoring programmes aimed at accelerating development and obtaining senior leader participation in programmes.

Albertha Charles
Partner at PwC

Charles played a key role in the PwC Colour Brave campaign, presenting at the launch event and promoting the campaign in and out of PwC . As a sponsoring Partner for the multicultural business network, Charles frequently shares her personal story through lunch time sessions, and offers coaching sessions, and was awarded ‘Financial Services Leader of the Year’ by the BBBA.

Anbreen Khan
Tax Partner at Deloitte

As the UK Lead for the Deloitte Muslim Network (DMN), Khan is responsible for leading the DMN Graduate Insight meetings, ensuring that ethnic minority employees work in an environment which is accepting and inclusive of their values, be that of faith or other. She promotes informal events through DMN such as tea afternoons, and played an integral role in the DMN Impact Award won for the network overall, which featured in Deloitte’s Impact Report.

Keith Bevans
Global Head of Recruiting, Partner at Bain & Company

Bevans leads a team which works to identify the best talent across channels, before hiring them into Bain, including leading recruiting activities for Bain’s diversity groups, such as Blacks at Bain, Latinos at Bain, Veterans at Bain, BGLAD, the firm’s worldwide LGBT-employee network, and Women@Bain. Recently, Bevans was honoured with the first annual Marty Edelman Distinguished Alumni Award from the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Rashik Parmar
Technical Executive – Europe & Distinguished Engineer at IBM

Parmar leads the Business Resource Group for IBM UK and runs a range of initiatives to attract, retain and grow ethnic minority talent across IBM. Awarded an MBE in 2016, he pioneered a series of internal Safari talks to showcase the careers of Role Models, and has developed links with ethnic minority organisations in partner companies, and sponsored IBM’s ethnic minority celebration of success event last year, bringing talent from across UK into a conference to share learning and best practices.

Ethnic Minority Executives

Mitul Shah
Partner & Leader of UK Reward Consulting Business at Deloitte

Alongside leading the Reward Consulting Business at Deloitte, Shah provides one on one mentoring to high potential ethnic minority colleagues in order to help them progress their careers at Deloitte. He also feeds into key talent decisions around promotions within his business area, looking at how to progress and retain ethnic minority colleagues in the group, and contributes to Deloitte’s ‘BAME in the Boardroom’ programme for ethnic minority leaders in industry who are looking to progress to Board level roles.

Future leaders

Dara Kirton
Senior Manager, Chief of Staff Experience Centre at PwC

Despite a demanding role in consulting, and achieving promotion to Chief of Staff, Kirton still fits time into her schedule to lead discussions and participate in workshops that contribute to BAME representation at PwC. In 2013, Kirton established the PwC Diversity Mentoring scheme to encourage students from under represented backgrounds to seek and gain careers in professional services, and she has chaired the PwC Multicultural Business Network since 2015.

Bijal Maijithia
Assistant Director at EY

Having launched the EY Hindu Network when she joined the firm – now one of EY’s most active networks, consisting of a thousand internal members – Maijithia is also a Diversity and Inclusion ambassador for the firm and is involved in cross network initiatives with a specific focus on supporting ethnic minority employees. In 2017 she was recognised by ‘We Are The City’ as a Rising Star in Consulting.

Martin Pong
Management Consultant at Oliver Wyman

Pong set-up Oliver Wyman’s first cross-employee network reverse mentoring programme, encouraging senior business leaders come together and discuss workplace discrimination. He has also worked with numerous charities, local youth groups, schools and university societies to ensure diversity and inclusion is considered in day to day operations – and to highlight how unconscious bias and privilege affects their decision making.

Future leaders

Anjeli Patel
Senior Consultant, People Advisory Services at EY

Patel has been involved in bringing about inclusivity in the workplace for both BAME and LGBT individuals, and has been widely recognised as a role model, from speaking at EY’s student induction about her experiences as a British Asian trans woman at EY and the importance of employee networks to being highlighted as an Asian trans role model for Transgender Day of Visibility, and has also been highlighted as an LGBTQ+ role model by OUTstanding and the Financial Times.

Mary Agbesanwa
Management Consultant at PwC

After her arrival at PwC in early 2018, Agbesanwa has been involved in the steering committee for the Multicultural Business Network (MBN) which has grown to just shy of 1000 members. She helped lead the twitter campaign for the MBN’s #ColourBrave campaign which garnered over 2 million impressions on Twitter spotlighting the firm’s novel practices to encourage discussions about race at work.

Gavin Young
Senior Manager - Communications, Media and Technology at Accenture

Young is a co-lead of Accenture’s African-Caribbean Network, which contains 400 members, and delivers a range of community engagement activities and drives initiatives to increase the effectiveness of recruitment, development, progression and retention for this community. He also led Accenture’s ‘Accelerate’ week in 2017, where 240+ African-Caribbean employees received formal face-to-face training from senior managing directors, equipping them with the confidence and capability to fulfil their potential at Accenture.

Rupal Kantaria
Strategic Advisor Social Impact and Inclusion at Oliver Wyman

As one of the most senior BAME women at Oliver Wyman, Kantaria has led race discussions and BAME reverse mentoring both within and outside of Oliver Wyman, providing a safe space for uncomfortable conversations. She speaks regularly on race awareness panels for external events, and closed the House of Lord’s British Indian International Women’s Day debate of 30 senior BAME leaders, the first ever debate in the chamber and a role usually played by the Minster.

Minal Mehta
Senior Strategy Consultant - Interactive Experience at IBM

Mehta leads the Talent Attract work stream for Early Professional Hires (Apprentices, Interns and Graduates) in the IBM UK BAME employee network. Collaborating with Kings College London University, she drives the eMentoring and Uni Insight programs, which highlight STEM careers options and showcases IBM as an inclusive employer. Her next initiative challenges the social representation of women in India through creation of a progressive, mainstream media brand.

Lola Olaore
Technology Analyst at Accenture

Olaore was recently picked out of 447,000 employees to represent Accenture at the prestigious One Young World summit, which attracts future world leader to discuss how to make an impact in the local and wider community. She also represents Accenture at university, networking events, panel discussion to attract BAME graduates, and outside of work, she set up an initiative called thinkHER, which aims to exist to inform, educate and connect young women (14-19-year olds), particularly from a BAME background, with opportunities that will make a life-changing impact.

Nadine Dyer
Clients & Markets at Deloitte

The Co-Chair of the Deloitte Multicultural Network, Dyer has been driving forward activities and initiatives that will make the workplace more inclusive. She has also recently been promoted to the steering committee of TNON (The Network of Networks), and has been invited to sit on Deloitte’s BAME Advisory Council.

Shilpa Shah
Director, Technology Consulting at Deloitte

At Deliotte, Shah has supported over 80 individuals – many of whom come from BAME backgrounds – with their business cases for promotion and career development. Shah also hosted the firm’s Black History month celebrations as a key member of the Multicultural Network, inspiring over 150 BAME attendees to aim high and achieve the best of themselves. She was recently listed as one of the top 100 Asian stars in Tech and has been a finalist in the Everywoman in Tech awards.



Amanda Gethin
Managing Partner – Talent, EMEA at EY

Gethin sits on the ethnic minority Future Leadership steering committee, which focuses on enabling ethnic minority individuals to progress, and has been key in ensuring that its scope is broadened to educate and ‘on board’ influential business leaders to enable wider cultural change across the business. She is also the co-sponsor of an EY Foundation Young Women’s network, which focuses on enabling young women aged between 14 to 18, from challenged demographics within London, to prepare for the world of work in its broadest sense.

Kevin Ellis
Chairman and Senior Partner at PwC

PwC was the first firm to publish their Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) pay gap in September 2017, following a push from the UK Chairman, who also published the firm’s gender and ethnicity targets, and the firm’s subsequent progress against those targets. Ellis has commissioned a major internal research project to better understand the impact of PwC’s culture on the experience of his BAME colleagues, which will help inform future business decisions and action plans, and he also mentors BAME future leaders of other PwC network firms to help support getting more BAME people into senior leadership positions.