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For years, technology leaders from black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds haven't received the praise they deserve. In an industry that prides itself on how diverse its offerings are, it's a shame that the same is not celebrated among the workforce. The good news is that the industry is gradually changing; now, more leading companies are establishing equality and diversity campaigns to support all kinds of workers.
To celebrate and support the rise of diversity in the technology landscape, we've put together a list of the top 10 influential BAME leaders that our readers should be aware of. Remember, this is just a small portion of the vast selection of incredible people leading our technology environment today.
June Angelides, Founding Ambassador at FiftyFiftyPledge
June Angelides has made a massive impact in her field. In 2015, Angelides' founded Mums in Technology. Providing immersive learning opportunities to women around the world, the company empowered mothers to bring their children with them as they learn how to code.
Recently, Ms Angelides was also appointed Chair of the Future Skills Programme too. Angelides is also a founding ambassador of the FiftyFiftyPledge - an initiative in the UK dedicated to promoting gender diversity.
Sonia Sng, Director of Business Operations at Intuit
Driven by a long-standing passion for diversity and inclusion, Sonia Sng has inspired many people during her career. Before Intuit, Sng spent more than 17 years at Visa, championing a host of diversity and inclusion initiatives to reduce potential biases. During 2017, Sonia also co-hosted a Visa volunteer event to help low-income ethnic students move from college into a new career.
Sitting on the steering committee of the Intuit Women's Network, Sonia continues to have a significant impact on the BAME landscape. Today, Sonia leads a team of 200 people in Intuit, and she's committed to building a pipeline of diverse talent for the brand.
Adrian Joseph, EY Partner and AI Expert
Adrian Joseph is a dedicated part of the Ethnicity in the City group, a networking solution that aims to improve financial services hiring diversity. Though his current role is in finance, Adrian's history with artificial intelligence and his commitment to driving equality in the tech industry made him a must-mention individual in today's list. Joseph has made multiple presentations to the BAME network, as well as Women in Tech.
Since 2015, Adrian has worked as a non-executive Director with the UK Home Office. He's also responsible for advising the Cabinet Office on issues regarding digital transformation, data, and diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, Joseph is regularly recognised for his work in digital innovation. In 2018, the Financial Times named him most influential BAME tech leader for the year.
Tom Ilube, CEO at Crossword Cybersecurity
Tom Ilube is more than just an industry leader in the digital security environment. As the founder and CEO of Crossword Cybersecurity, Tom uses his position in the sector to improve the state of inclusion and diversity initiatives in a range of different environments. Ilube's extensive career includes previous roles at the London Stock Exchange, PwC, and Goldman Sachs. In 2017, Powerlist named Tom as most influential black person for the year.
Then, in 2018, Tom received a CBE award for his services in philanthropy and technology. Outside of his position as CEO, Tom also acts as Chairman for the African Gifted Foundation. What's more, Mr Ilube launched Ghana's first science and technology school for African girls.
Ajay Khindria, Global Client Director at IBM
Ajay Khindria is an executive sponsor of the BAME employee network and a leading member of the IBM UK council for inclusion initiatives. For almost a decade, Ajay was dedicated to diversity and inclusion strategies within IBM and tech. Khindria's work takes a top-down approach to ensuring the board in the UK understands the importance of bringing minority and ethnic employees into the workforce.
The BAME Employee Network that Khindria works with also successfully collaborates with a host of other minority network groups to deliver a consistent message with a significant impact on the industry. Ajay also delivers unique speeches and mentoring sessions to people in the ethnic community.
Rashada Harry, Enterprise Account Manager at Amazon Web Services
Though Rashada Harry only joined AWS in December 2018, she's already had a significant impact on the company's approach to BAME strategies. Rashada successfully organised an International Women's Day celebration during the first few months with AWS. Furthehrmore, she also launched a mentoring and insight day for the company too.
Rashada has helped AWS introduce various employees from a range of backgrounds to the benefits of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Outside of Amazon, Rashada is also the co-founder of the largest STEM initiative in London: Your Future, Your Ambition. The YFYA group ensures that STEM careers and opportunities are available to as many people as possible.
Rob Mukherjee, Director of Transformation at EveryCloud
Rob Mukherjee is a significant figure in the BAME technology landscape. In an earlier role at Vodafone, Rob was responsible for launching and leading the regional ethnic minority network in Manchester. Here, Rob helped to build the greatest volume of BAME attending members in all UK regions. On the board of EveryCloud, Mukherjee ensures that all the company's messaging and flexible working policies appeal to as many people as possible.
Rob's hard work has established a link between EveryCloud and the Indian High Commission, exploring how cloud technologies can enhance engagement within the Indian diaspora in the UK. Rob also appears on various podcasts, panels, and at a variety of BAME-focused events.
Michael Greene, Vice President of Software Development and Business Strategy at Intel Corporation
Michael Greene is another strong advocate for diversity. During his 29 years with Intel Corp, he actively championed diversity and inclusion for around 15 years. Greene also founded the Network of Intel African-American staff members and continues to serve as a member of the Intel Black Leadership council.
Michael has since moved into an advisory position in 2019. Now, he helps to mentor and guide other people who want to accomplish incredible things in the tech industry. Still, his impact on the BAME environment remains significant. Over the years, Michael has been crucial in working to help companies like Intel attract, retain, and advance the roles of minorities and women in STEM and technology. Michael also sponsored the creation of the Engineers 4 Tomorrow nonprofit organisation, which uses the Silicon Valley tech workforce to encourage youths to join STEM careers.
Andrew Pearce, Managing Director at Accenture
Andrew Pearce is one of the cross-cultural leaders for the Accenture brand. Day-to-day, Pearce helps with educating and setting best practice examples for other individuals within the Accenture environment. Andrew's role is crucial to ensuring the ongoing success of cross-culture relationships built on mutual understanding and respect.
Pearce has acted as the executive sponsor for the Accenture African-Caribbean Network for the last five years. Furthermore, he represents the interests of the group at board level in the UK. Andrew is also a mentor to ethnic minority individuals from a host of different industries.
Mitul Shah, Deloitte LLP Partner
Mitul Shah is a leader in the technology environment and a partner of the Deloitte brand. Providing one-on-one mentoring to high-potential colleagues from ethnic minority backgrounds, Shah is invested in helping the current landscape evolve. Currently, Mitul leads a program focusing on the improvement of diversity composition and personal data disclosure.
Outside of his role at Deloitte, Mitul is also a mentor in the community circles. In particular, he works consistently with employees from different environments looking for ways to progress in their careers. Shah also contributes to the Deloitte BAME in the Boardroom program for ethnic minority leaders.