The one thing that has never ever failed me in my life – and in all the businesses I have had the pleasure of working for – is doing my best to make a difference.
When I started work many years ago, I vowed that I would do my best to make a difference and, more so, a difference to do better and ‘send the elevator back down’. It was my mission. When I moved from PR to Editorial, I chose to feature women who could be of inspiration to another person. It was the heart of my mission! Years later, I have met women along the way who were also making a difference in the work that they do. In celebration of International Women’s Month, I have chosen women who are doing the same.
Women at all levels of societies are under-represented, and many of their voices are not being heard or seen, but there is no reason why they should remain invisible. I highlight four women, whose work will empower and educate others to have the skills, confidence and mindset to become leaders and decision makers.
Become aware that you already possess all the inner wisdom, strength and creativity needed to make your dreams come true. This is hard for most of us to realise, because the source of this unlimited personal power is buried so deeply beneath the bills, the deadlines, the business trips and the dirty laundry, that we have difficulty accessing it in our daily lives. Believe that you can achieve!
An intelligent business, legal and diversity expert, Miranda drives companies to achieve strong financial performance and public engagement, and has built upon her extensive experience working for some of the world’s biggest companies. She is passionate about education and diversity – specifically race diversity – and has made it her mission to highlight why this is a key factor for progress and success in Britain, which will benefit its economic growth.
As an international keynote and motivational speaker (LAMDA-trained), she has spoken and moderated at numerous industry events on a host of topics, such as business, finance, law, education, diversity, FinTech and RegTech innovation.
With a background as an investment banker and a barrister, Miranda has spent her career at some of the most prestigious global financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase Bank, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs International. Miranda’s primary role is to manage the company’s legal risk across Europe for the derivatives, regulatory and securities financing business for an investment bank.
She now uses her career success, experience and knowledge to encourage positive social change and to help others to achieve their dreams and have successful careers of their own. This is an ambition that inspired the launch of an initiative to help to close the racial diversity gap in the corporate sector last year.
In January 2016, she founded the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship on the back of her mentoring programme, which has been featured in the press and on national television. The aims of the Scholarship are to provide the next generation from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds with incentives and opportunities to become future leaders. There will also be the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Annual Lecture, which is sponsored by the University of Law. The lecture has been designed to raise awareness of diversity and equality matters among the next generation of leaders to help them have successful careers. This should eventually help to increase race diversity and equality in Britain’s workforce.
Her highly successful portfolio career is testament to this determined penchant for giving back to her community. As well as being appointed the first patron of the Black British Academics, Board Director and Vice Chair of the Black Cultural Archives, Miranda is also a writer, mentor, a brand ambassador, television and radio presenter, and has been quoted in the likes of the Financial Times and the Guardian.
A force to be reckoned with, it is not surprising that she was voted by Brummel as one of the Top 30 most inspirational women in the City (Diversity Champions). She is featured in the CityAM Top 20 Women in the City Powerlist (Business and Finance). She is also featured in BE Mogul, as one of the most influential and successful Black business people in Britain. She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), in recognition of her outstanding contribution to community work and diversity in Britain.
Follow Miranda Brawn on Twitter: @brawnm
Starting her career working at the branch of a local bank, while completing her Masters of Philosophy, Melanie is now a Management Consultant/Strategist with over 18 years’ experience working for global brands, including IBM and Ernst & Young, specialising in business transformation, and working with companies to identify strategic priorities for revenue generation and profitable growth.
Based on her extensive career experience, she is a professor at Hult International Business School, where she has taught Global Operational Strategy and Organisational Design, Business Models and Architecture, and Leadership and Management.
Passionate about uncovering role models and inspiring a new generation of leaders, Melanie has been an advocate of gender equality, and has given several talks and media appearances on progression in the workplace.
Following her advocacy work on the gender agenda, Melanie started the Black British Business Awards in 2012, to reflect the outstanding achievements and contributions of Black business people to the UK economy. For her, this Awards programme is a collaborative, wholly inclusive initiative that highlights inspiring role models; challenges outdated stereotypes and, most importantly, is a vehicle for economic empowerment and equality.
Sponsors of the BBBAwards include: EY, Accenture, Baker & McKenzie, Barclays, BET, Bloomberg, BNP Paribas, BP, EDF Energy, Cisco, JP Morgan, KPMG, Mediacom, Microsoft, National Grid, Pearson, Rolls Royce, RBS, Thomson Reuters, UBS, Virgin Money, and the Evening Standard as media sponsor.
In addition to her advocacy work, Melanie is a writer and broadcaster, and regularly appears on news channels promoting economic empowerment, diversity and leadership skills, while also writing for the Huffington Post and Management Today.
She is a regular speaker and lecturer, and has delivered sessions at organisations such as Arup, BAFTA, BONY, BT, GE, IBM, EDF, EY, Network Rail, Sky, INSEEC and UCL on topics ranging from Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership and Management, and Business Performance Improvement.
Alongside being the Chair of the BBBAs, Melanie serves on several boards, including the Creative Industries Federation and London Works as an Ambassador for their initiatives and policy work, and still loves being a business consultant for both large and small organisations.
Follow Melanie on Facebook: www. www.facebook.com/Melanie V Eusebe, and Twitter: @MelanieEusebe.
Kirly-Sue (aka Susanne Kirlew) is a vegan cook, TV presenter, vegan expert and author, born and bred in London to Jamaican parents. Her Jamaican heritage is reflected in her cooking and baking.
Kirly-Sue is helping to change the image of vegan food. So if you think being vegan is all about boring, bland tofu and buckwheat, Kirly-Sue has some wonderful recipes you will LOVE. Kirly-Sue was a vegetarian (no meat and no fish) for over 25 years before becoming a vegan. Kirly-Sue has a cooking show on 3ABNTV in the USA, which she has been doing for four years, and now has a monthly food column in Pride magazine. She is also running a series of seminars called “How To Become A Vegan” and also runs vegan Jamaican cooking demonstrations.
“My cooking has been greatly influenced by my faith. As a Seventh-Day Adventist, I grew up with what we call the health message. The health message can be summarised from the Bible text in 1 Corinthians” (Quote by Kirly-Sue)
“What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). God wants us to be healthy, and I always try to reflect this in the recipes that I create. We must treat our bodies like a temple and look after it.
Kirly-Sue is the go-to vegan expert, and has made numerous media appearances to speak on vegan food and lifestyle, and healthy eating made easy. Media appearances include BBC Radio London, on the Vanessa Feltz Show and the Jumoke Fashola Show; London Live TV, YourNow Radio, BBC Radio Liverpool, Phoenix Radio and 3ABN TV (in the USA).
Kirly-Sue’s vegan cookbook, available on Amazon, is entitled Kirly-Sue’s Kitchen and is also available in a Kindle version. Follow Kirly-Sue on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/Kirly.Sues.Kitchen and Twitter @KirlySueKitchen.