Venue: Banking Hall
Keynote Speaker: Bianca Miller
And the winners were…
Category: Women in Professional Services sponsored by Credit Sussie
Winner! Funke Abimbola – UK Managing Counsel, Roche Funke Abimbola is Managing Counsel, Data Privacy Officer and Company Secretary for Roche, leading the legal team that supports Roche’s pharmaceutical operations in the UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company.
An award-winning solicitor, she is a recognised legal expert within the UK life sciences sector and is listed in several international legal directories as an expert in her field. She won the Association of Women Solicitors’ 2012 in-house lawyer of the year award and was recently crowned Career Woman of the Year at the 2015 Women4Africa awards.
Importantly, Funke is a notable diversity champion within the UK legal industry and has received national and European recognition for her diversity work, all of which is carried out in her spare time on a voluntary basis.
She speaks regularly at legal and diversity conferences in the UK and abroad, addressing and advising state school students as part of Speakers for Schools and supports University students as a Professional Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors (an organisation devoted to breaking down entry-level barriers for solicitors from under-represented groups). She is also a Senior Champion for the Women in Law London network, committed to supporting the pipeline of women lawyers. She is an experienced and expert mentor and sponsor. @DiversityChamp1
Dara Kirton – Manager at PwC Operations Consulting | @DaraKirton
Victoria Showunmi FRSA – Lecturer, UCL Institute of Education @showunmiv
Danna Walker – Dip Arch RIBA @walker_danna
Category: Outstanding Woman in the Creative Industries sponsored by BIPC
Winner! Emily Jupp – Milly J Shoes Ltd (and) Bridal Shoes By Milly
Milly J Shoes is a small founder owned business which specialises in zany decorated footwear. Milly J Shoes started in late 2011, extending a hobby of the founder, Emily Jupp after the passing of her artist brother. Milly, as she prefers to be called, transformed ordinary shoes into works of art (sculptures), a transformation which took place through her creativity and magic at home in her own living room in Hertfordshire.
As a result of considerable interest created when she first joined Twitter, she recognised that people were keen to commission these pieces not just as sculptures but as shoes they wanted to wear. This led to the establishment of the second component of her business; ‘Art to Wear’ in 2012. This was followed by the establishment of ‘Bridal Shoes by Milly J’ which provides brides-to-be an opportunity to have a unique pair of shoes made especially for them for their special day. @millyjshoes @millyjwedding
Chika Russell – Chika’s Snacks
Anjula Devi – Anjula Devi Authentic Indian Cooking
Louise Broni-Mensah – Shoobs.com
Category: Outstanding Woman in STEM
Winner! Kerrine Bryan – MEng, MBA, CEng, MIET, Principal Electrical Engineer
Kerrine began working at CB&I 10 years ago as a graduate electrical engineer. CB&I designs, engineers and constructs some of the world’s largest energy infrastructure projects, providing a full spectrum of Engineering, Procurement and Construction solutions and proven process technologies.
Kerrine has worked on various onshore and offshore oil and gas projects around the world, with experience from Front End Engineering Design (FEED), through to construction and commissioning. Her role as an engineer has taken her around the world, from suppliers in Bradford to fabrication yards in South Korea.
In 2014 she was listed by Management Today Magazine and The Sunday Times as one of the UKs top 35 women in business under the age of 35.
Kerrine is a volunteer mentor for the IET and a STEM Ambassador, with a passion for educating youngsters on what engineering is really about. This led her to set up Butterfly Books, and work with her brother and a close friend to publish the children’s picture book ‘My Mummy is an Engineer’. @KerrineBryan
Sivasakthy Selvakumaran – Civil-Structural Engineer – Laing O’Rourke @sakthys
Adizah Tejani – Head of Ecosystem Development at Level39
Dijonn Taylor – CEO and Founder, Savvy Guest Ltd
Category | Outstanding Social Enterprise of the Year
Winner! Rashada Harry – Your Future Your Ambition
In 2012 Rashada co-founded (with Tunji Akintokun) formed Your Future, Your Ambition (YFYA) a social enterprise inspiring the next generation of diverse talent into Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields by showcasing diverse professionals already in STEM via a series of exhibitions, panel events and mentoring schemes.
In the last four years YFYA has engaged over 2000 young people (aged 7 – 23), introduced the students to “real role models” which include inspiring engineers and scientists. The young people that engage with the YFYA ambassadors have provided an overall satisfaction rating of 4.5/5.0 and 90% of the students stated after attending YFYA they would consider applying for a job in STEM.
The success of YFYA has been recognised by the Business in the Community initiative, Race for Opportunity for its efforts to improve and enhance the employability skills of young BAME people. www.yourfutureyourambition.com
Aysha Julie – The Gifted www.thegifted.org.uk @thegifteduk
Asma Shah – Ladies who Learn
Rhetoric E.A CIC – Creative Director Zenovia Grant and Marisse Dyer – www.rhetoricea.co.uk | @ Rhetoric_EA
Category| The Leadership Award
Winner! Kelle Bryan – CEO, The Advocate Agency www.advocate.agency
It was the year 2000 when Kelle experienced an aggressive bout of degenerative symptoms (including arthritic joint pain, severe mouth and skin ulcers and hair loss.) Doctors diagnosed Kelle with Systemic Lupus Erythematosis, and she was hospitalised for treatment. In the same year she was given the great honour of becoming a celebrity patron of the Saint Thomas Lupus Trust, a cause she continues to campaign to raise awareness of.
Behind the scenes, Kelle was busy developing her own media brand, Advocate Agency – promoting and managing artists, under the ethos of “inspiring self belief in infinite possibilities”. Incorporated in 2000, the company’s aim is to champion the underdog, the presumed “no hopers” who other agencies wouldn’t take the chance at signing. From the 4ft actress to the ex con, Kelle makes it her mission to place these people on the stage and TV, giving them a chance to show the world their talents. Some of agency’s success stories include Eastenders’ very own Ricky Norwood, who amassed 1 million views in 48 hours after taking to social media to give his thoughts on one of the show’s biggest storylines of this year.
Today Kelle lives life to its fullest, balancing her roles of wife & mother of two small children, entrepreneur and TV personality, with the new appreciation and perspective as a result of the Lupus diagnosis which she now lives with.
Ndidi Okezie, Executive Director, The Regions Division, Teach First
June Eric-Udorie – Girls’ Rights Campaigner @juneericudorie.
Whitney S Iles – Social Entrepreneur & Community Activist
Category | Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Winner! Claudine Adeyemi – The Student Development Company
Claudine is a property disputes solicitor at law firm, Mishcon de Reya. She set up The Student Development Co (The SDC) in January 2014 as a non-profit organisation that she runs on a voluntary basis in her spare time. The SDC aims to:
“Support” 16 to 24 year olds from less advantaged backgrounds who are preparing for their careers after their studies
“Develop” young people’s employability skills to help reduce youth unemployment
“Create” opportunities for young people to be inspired to achieve their full potential.
The SDC prides itself on being an organisation that serves young people whilst also being run by young people who are able to develop key skills for their careers. In addition to the online and one-to-one support, The SDC currently has three initiatives.
Victoria Olubi – The Tutoress
Laisha Johnson – Venella One World
Julianne Ponan – Creative Nature
Category| SME Business of the Year – sponsored by Barclays
Winner! Halebury – Denise Nurse CEO and co-founder
Denise Nurse is CEO and co-founder of NewLaw pioneer Halebury, whose model provides General Counsels and business owners with access to exceptional senior in-house legal talent and an alternative career path for senior in-house lawyers.
In her role as CEO, Denise focuses on client management and development, product and service innovation, strategy and team building and management.
She was recently appointed as a Board member on Practical Law’s In-house Consultation Board and is also an EMB Executive Committee member for MSDUK, the UK’s leading organisation driving inclusive procurement.
She is also a broadcaster who has presented for Sky News, Sky Travel and hosts Escape to the Country for the BBC.
Creative Nature – Julianne Ponan, CEO
The Compassionate Funeral Company -Hasina Zaman, CEO
Jamaica Patty Co Limited – Theresa Roberts, Co-Founder
Category | The PRECIOUS Man of the Year
Winner! Solomon Smith The Brixton Soup Kitchen brixtonsoupkitchen.org
Brixton Soup Kitchen was founded when Solomon Smith, a youth worker and lifelong Brixtonian, realised there was a desperate need for such an organisation. Brixton Soup Kitchen is a grassroots organisation helping homeless people and Londoners in need.
Since starting in January 2013, over 10,000 meals have been served to those in need. More than just serving food, Brixton Soup Kitchen offers CV workshops, job guidance and advice on housing and benefits.
They provide food, support and companionship with no obligation attached. They aim to empower people in a warm and friendly environment.
Runners – Up