Age, Gender, Race and Wellbeing Partnership Team

As a partner of a Business in the Community workplace campaign, age, gender equality, race equality or wellbeing at work, you have access to a group of passionate experts to support and advise you. You can find out more about these individuals below. To email a specific team member please click the name in their biography.

Ann Allcock

Ekaete Assiak

Sharon Annafi

Sabrina Bushe

Blessing Buraimoh

Hayley Bennett

Carly Binger

Savinder Bhamra

Hélène Cardona-Welstead 

Patricia Chinyoka

Jaina Chudasama

Don Cowper

Thomas Colquhoun-Alberts

Sonia Meggie

Noor Nasir

Rachael Ohwin

Stephanie Schreiber


Johanna Westhauser
 
Ruth Yohannes  

Ann Allcock, Manager, Diversity Partnerships

Ann has worked on the Business in the Community (BITC) gender and race campaigns since 2012.  Prior to that she ran her own Diversity, Equality and Inclusion consultancy and training company for some years, supporting a range of corporate and public sector clients, but focussing her expertise in higher education and health.

Ann has experience of delivering a varied portfolio of diversity policy and strategy development projects, of diversity ‘health-check’ and audit work, of inclusive engagement and consultation, and of equality compliance advice.  Ann has also designed and delivered a wide spectrum of diversity-related learning and training events and resources. She was formerly a diversity practitioner at the Universities of Kent and Brighton, at the London Fire Service and in London local government.

 

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Sharon Annafi, Diversity Adviser

Sharon is a passionate Diversity Adviser with experience working alongside some of the UK's largest employers and brands. She regularly delivers advisory services, which includes running focus groups for black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) employees, facilitating diversity steering group meetings of global investment banks, and creating bespoke reverse mentoring programmes for Central Government departments. 

Prior to joining BITC in January 2019, Sharon worked for a London-based membership organisation, where she worked with corporate partners on their corporate social responsibiltiy and diversity and inclusion strategies. Areas of special interest were the design and delivery of education programmes, design and coordination of junior mentoring programmes and employee-based volunteering initiatives.   

Sharon volunteers extensively and is a mentor to new graduates and young care leavers entering the corporate arena. She has a keen interest in travel and combines that with her passion for Africa and development. Sharon is also part of a team working with schools to encourage greater participation of BAME parents in the education system with a target to reducing school absenteeism for BAME students.  

Sharon holds an MSc in Development and Planning and recently launched an non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Ghana, which works to develop small-scale infrastructure projects and community development initiatives across the country.

 

 

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Ekaete Assiak, Diversity Adviser

Ekaete has worked on the Business in the Community gender and race campaigns for the past 16 years.

Prior to that she was the campaign manager for race canpaign in the North West.  Before joining BITC, Ekaete worked with the Public Transport Information Unit as Unit Co-ordinator where she was one of a handful of women working in the transport field at the time.

Ekaete also worked as a policy officer with the Manchester City Council for three years.

Born in Horsforth (Yorkshire) to mixed-race parents, Ekaete moved to Nigeria when she was two years old. She lived through the harrowing Biafran war and moved back to the UK in 1974.

Ekaete has a depth and breadth of regional expertise, in addition to her cross-sector knowledge.  She has experience of delivering a varied portfolio of diversity policy and strategy development projects, of diversity ‘health-check’ and audit work and of inclusive engagement and consultation. 

Ekaete has a BSc Honours degree in Psychology& Educational Reseach from the University of Lancaster and for many years, raised her two children as a single parent.

Ekaete served as a director on the Black Health Agency board from 2005 – 2009


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Hayley Bennett, Diversity Adviser

Hayley joined BITC from Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion organisation, where she delivered her expertise in diversity and inclusion to more than 2,000 participants nationwide annually via workshops, training, events and community initiatives. Hayley partnered with city firms including Investec and Financial Ombudsman Service.

During her four-and-a-half years at Kick It Out, Hayley created several pioneering projects for the organisation, including the successful launch of the Education Programme in 2015 and The Equality and Diversity Awareness in Football Award with Southampton Solent University. This six-week online course upskilled over 80 professionals working in the football industry including employees from Liverpool Football Club and The City Football Group.

Her work has led her to be recognised as a Rising Star in Sport at the WeAreTheCity Awards 2016, and the 2016 Football Black List Awards – an initiative celebrating influential black individuals in British football.

Hayley volunteers with Spirit of 2012, the London 2012 legacy charity, as a youth advisory panel member and is a member of Anti-bullying Alliance’s Race and Faith Advisory Board, which combats race and faith targeted bullying in schools and communities.

Hayley has also participated in the Commonwealth Women's Mentorship Scheme, which empowers young women in the Caribbean, the Americas, as well as a small number of mentees from Africa, Europe, Australia and the Pacific.

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Carly Binger, Wellbeing and Age Adviser

Carly is a Wellbeing and Age Adviser at Business in the Community. Prior to joining BITC, she had 14 years’ experience in the public and charitable sectors working with the most marginalised groups in society, engaging on the frontline with a large variety of individuals and practitioners in these settings.

Carly’s specialist areas have included; supervising professionals delivering mental health services, designing and delivering violence against women and girls prevention research projects, managing and delivering multiple psychotherapy services, designing a sudden infant death prevention education programme and a long-term NHS consultation community project. Carly worked with a global consultancy firm on their CSR and young people strategy to deliver a comprehensive business mentoring programme to vulnerable young people. Carly is an experienced coach, group facilitator and project manager.

Carly’s enthusiasm and dedication to understanding and building healthy pastoral workplaces for the group and individual was supported by her Masters research, as a result of which she deepened her interest in organisational psychology and gained a registration as a HCPC (Health, Care and Professions Council) state registered Arts Therapist.

Carly holds a BA (hons) in Drama and has trained as a coach and mentor with CIPD.

 

Savinder Bhamra, Diversity Adviser

Savi is an experienced diversity and inclusion expert, with a track record of delivering diversity and inclusion programmes within commercial and large public sector organisations.

Her most recent experience has been within the construction and infrastructure industry. Savi was responsible for developing the organisation's diversity and inclusion framework. This included development of diversity dashboards so the organisation could evidence return on investment. 

Savi was part of the Highways England supplier diversity working party helping develop and improve diversity working practices within the supply chain. Savi also contributed to the disability best practices in the construction industry advisory booklet. 

Prior to this Savi was a diversity advisor for the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) where she was lead diversity advisor for the MPS recruitment campaign to encourage BAME and female recruitment within the service.  Working with the College of Policing, Savi was lead diversity adviser responsible for developing and implementing a bespoke diversity and inclusion performance framework for police forces across the country. She also contributed to the development and review of employee networks so they were aligned to organisational business objectives. Savi developed the organisational approach to equality impact assessments and used these to inform planning for large scale internal and external transformational programmes across the organisation. 

Savi has also held head of diversity and inclusion posts within local authorities.

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Blessing Buraimoh, Diversity Adviser

Blessing Buraimoh is a Diversity Adviser at Business in the Community (BITC), advising employers on workplace diversity and inclusion.

She is an experienced equality, diversity and inclusion trainer and relationship manager, working closely with organisations to achieve positive change. For example, she partnered with BNY Mellon to convene business leaders to disseminate the findings from BITC's Project 28-40 research on women’s workplace experiences and aspirations, and helped businesses to implement recommendations.

 

Blessing sits on the steering group for BITC's Cultural Awareness Network, helping to raise diversity and inclusion practices by designing and delivering events for employees across the organisation.

 

Blessing is a Corporate Responsibility professional with years of experience and expertise in helping business, large and small to become more responsible. She has worked with BITC for 10 years and formerly led The Prince's Seeing is Believing Programme where she designed and delivered experiential learning activities for senior business leaders (including CEOs of top FTSE organisations), helping them understand a range of key issues affecting the success of their business and how they can potentially act to secure the future of their business.

 

Blessing holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Language and is a Prince2 qualified Project Manager. She is married with two lovely boys.

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Sabrina Bushe, Head of Workplace Partnerships

As Head of Workplace Partnerships, Sabrina sits on BITC’s Senior Leadership Team, leading diversity and wellbeing partner engagement, operations and finances.

Sabrina’s background spans social research, consultancy, and communications. Most recently, Sabrina was a Senior Diversity Adviser at BITC, advising employers across sectors on workplace equality and inclusion. Prior to this, Sabrina held the position of Research and Communications Officer at the New Policy Institute, where she led strategic communications for the institute and authored several publications on the relationship between social disadvantage and educational attainment, labour market participation, and pay prospects.

Sabrina holds an MSc in Global Governance and Ethics from University College London and BA in Sociology and English from University College Cork, Ireland.

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Hélène Cardona-Welstead, Wellbeing Adviser

Hélène brings her knowledge of the humanitarian sector where she worked with global organisations, supporting them to protect the safety, security and wellbeing of colleagues responding to humanitarian disasters across the world.

Hélène has experience of issues such as building resilience at personal and organisational levels, coping with stress, building peer-to-peer support networks, dealing with unhelpful coping mechanisms, empowering bystanders to intervene, de-stigmatising mental health and managing sexual violence in the workplace. 
She quickly realised the extent of the employee wellbeing crisis facing the humanitarian sector and how similar issues can be found across all sectors and professions.

As a Wellbeing Adviser at BITC, Hélène strives to improve wellbeing as widely as possible, for employees, employers and communities. 

Hélène has a master’s degree in human rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She studied politics at the University of Glasgow for her undergraduate degree. In her spare time she enjoys doing yoga and meditation, and preparing nutritious meals with fresh produce. 

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Patricia Chinyoka, Diversity Adviser

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Patricia enjoyed living in a multi-cultural and faith family. After graduating with a BSc Hons degree in Psychology from the Open University her love of working with people led Patricia to study for an MA in Human Resources and Employment with the London Metropolitan University.

Patricia has worked with Tesco Retail delivering diversity training across Metro

Stores in London as well as Learning and Development programmes.  Previously Patricia worked with London Citizens charity supporting refugee professionals by managing the Internship scheme that recruited and placed interns within member organisations in London. Patricia is an Associate CIPD member. Patricia works with several charities and is a political and human rights activist , holding the position of Secretary for the Zimbabwe Movement for Democratic Change political party - London Branch. She has also served as a Commissioner on the Independent Commission for Enforced Removals for Citizens UK – People’s Diaspora.  Patricia has a passion for travelling and dress making.

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Jaina Chudasama, Diversity Adviser

Jaina is an experienced account manager and a skilled trainer/facilitator and analyst, committed to designing and implementing evidence-based and practical solutions.  Prior to joining Business in the Community, her career was in the Financial Services sector, most recently at the Financial Ombudsman Service.  Here she had a range of roles, initially as an adjudicator looking into consumer complaints, and latterly managing complex and senior relationships between businesses and claims management companies in the packaged bank account industry and short-term lending, where her focus was on making the process as efficient as possible for everyone.
 
Jaina has had a long-standing, firm interest in Diversity and Inclusion, founding the Hindu Network at the Financial Ombudsman Service, which helped raise awareness and carried out events throughout the year, working collaboratively with the Diversity and Inclusion Manager to shift the D&I dial within the organisation.  She was also an active contributor to the Women’s Network, and to a London Business School initiative, ‘Manbassadors’ which supports the development of diversity skills among business leaders and engages both men and women in conversations on gender equality
 
Jaina holds a degree in History, and her dissertation focused on the role of women in the Roman period to understand the perception, their roles and how this differs from modern day.  Jaina has also completed the Graduate Diploma in Law and has been a volunteer at the Citizens Advice Bureau as a general advisor.
 

Thomas Colquhoun-Alberts, Senior Manager - Research and Insight​

Thomas is an experienced researcher and published author. With particular interests in culture and social relations, his research experience has applied critical social theory to social justice challenges. His published writings include human rights themes, democracy, and religion in public life.

Thomas holds a PhD from SOAS, University of London. He was formerly a research associate at the Institute for Comparative Religions in Southern Africa at the University of Cape Town and at the Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa)

Thomas is an innovative and analytical researcher, with a particular interest in culture and social relations. Thomas enjoys on- going planning, working as part of a team, data interpretation and capturing knowledge.

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Don Cowper, Business Development Manager

Don has worked for Business in the Community for 19 years. He joined the organisation with over 20 years’ experience in finance.

Don specialises in facilitating networking opportunities between diversity experts and organisations ensuring the sharing of best practice and knowledge. Don is

 based in the North East and was awarded a Winston Churchill Travelling Fellowship in 2000 linking schools in the North East of England with schools in South Africa, Namibia and Lesotho and helping to build seven libraries in townships.

From 1997 to May 2007 Don was the National Treasurer of the anti-racist Charity Show Racism the Red Card.  In the past 10 years, he has worked tirelessly to raise the awareness of the charity, undertaking many physically demanding challenges including climbing Mount Kilimanjaro twice, white water rafting on the Zambezi and trekking to Mount Everest Base Camp six times.

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Sonia Meggie, Diversity Adviser

Sonia is a passionate Diversity Advisor who has supported and empowered women and ethnic minorities in the UK for over 10 years. She is also the founder of Inspirational YOU, a London based social enterprise launched in March 2010.  Their mission is to connect, inspire and empower young people, women and ethnic minorities who want to develop their careers or start a business.

Sonia is also a mentor and football coach who is driven by making a difference and seeing those around her reaching their full potential. Her objective is to leave a legacy that will see the progression of women, ethnic minorities and young people.  Featured in the Powerlist 2013, which profiles the most influential people of African and African Caribbean heritage in the United Kingdom and listed on Blackenterprise.com as one of London’s most powerful black women, Sonia has a BA in Business Studies and Social Policy, and an MSc in E Commerce. Sonia is well networked and followed by more than 7,000 people on social media. She has supported many to secure senior roles and to progress their career. She is also well known for empowering BME women and connecting businesses with diverse applicants.

She is currently completing an MA in Digital Media and has been selected from thousand’s to be a RSA Diaspora Changemaker.

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Noor Nasir, Diversity Adviser

Noor is an experienced market researcher with a passion for harnessing an understanding of people and culture to provide clear strategic direction for businesses and institutions.

Before joining BITC, he worked as a qualitative research executive for a leading insight and brand strategy agency. Noor worked on international commercial and social purpose research projects, across a broad spectrum of clients including GSK, adidas, Pepsico, Diageo, the DEC, Britvic and Kerrygold. His role involved overseeing strategic, cultural insights and positioning projects, from kick-off to debrief delivery. Other core responsibilities include liaising with external partners, independently running and moderating online communities, in-depth interviews and carrying out ethnographies.

Social purpose being a passion of his, Noor enjoys playing a key role on projects that understand the needs of businesses and third-sector organisations. His favourite project to date was for a leading NGO, where, together with his team, Noor helped to unlock the challenges that migrant women face throughout their journeys. The result was a journey toolkit that enabled the client to come up with efficient methods of protecting migrant women from exploitation. Noor was also involved in a project called The Great British Diversity Experiment, which is the only diversity initiative designed for and by the communications industry, that provides specific and practical insight into why diversity works and how to leverage it.

Noor is an LLB Graduate and his academic journey in law denotes his interest in understanding people, analysing and connecting the dots and problem solving. This is something he sees as the corner stone to successful outcomes – both present and future.

Noor is an ambassador for Drive Forward Foundation, a support network for young care leavers.

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Rachael Ohwin, Diversity Adviser

Prior to joining Business in the Community, Rachael was Head of Programmes at the Aleto Foundation (formerly Powerlist Foundation), a charity that accelerates the development of young leaders from less privileged backgrounds. In this role, she successfully pioneered and managed a highly acclaimed leadership development programme for students of African and Caribbean heritage, in partnership with Accenture UK.

A true explorer and experienced researcher, Rachael has a wide range of international experiences from the fields of government, law and education. She worked in the Scottish Parliament during the independence referendum, has undertaken quantitative and qualitative research with BLAST – one of the largest legal aid organisations in Bangladesh – and was a secondary school teacher in Ogun State, Nigeria.

Rachael holds a Bachelor of Laws, which included one year studying at Spelman College, a historically black women’s college in the USA. Following this, she completed an MSc in Migration Studies at the University of Oxford, for which she raised over £10,000 in eight days through her successful crowdfunding campaign #OXFORD10000.

Passionate about access to quality education, Rachael was awarded a 2017 Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship, which she utilised to learn how schools and organisations around the world develop leaders from disadvantaged backgrounds, through education. With her discoveries, she is improving access to elite institutions in the UK.

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for Business in the Community's Wellbeing at Work campaign, is an experienced wellbeing and diversity practitioner. Stephanie manages a diverse portfolio of BITC’s Wellbeing partners, including a range of global and UK organisations. Stephanie also manages BITC’s Wellbeing Champions Forum, which promotes thought leadership and the sharing of leading edge practice among our Wellbeing Champions. Stephanie previously was Diversity Adviser at BITC, and Equality Manager for London Development Agency, and she held policy and programme roles with London Refugee Economic Action and the Council for Refugee Academics.
Stephanie seeks to understand the drivers for each Wellbeing partner organization, and to deliver strategic advice that will help embed cultural change to further employee wellbeing. She has a special interest in the intersection between wellbeing, diversity and inclusion and building a wellbeing ‘lens’ into organisational priorities. Stephanie holds an MSc in Political Sociology, from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA International Affairs from the George Washing ton University. Stephanie has two young children, and she enjoys jogging, mindfulness and a good book to support balance in both her work and personal life.

 

 

Johanna Westhauser, Diversity Adviser

Johanna is an experienced international adviser specialising in employee engagement, behaviour change, and diversity management.

 

At BITC, Johanna oversees a portfolio of around 35 partnerships across industries and covering the private, public and charity sectors. She is an experienced trainer and facilitator, acts as sounding board and challenger for her contacts, and provides strategic advice on how to embed inclusion initiatives effectively.

 

Prior to BITC, Johanna worked for global HR consultancy Willis Towers Watson, leading high-quality internal HR projects for FTSE 100 organisations. Examples include culture change, M&As, benefit communications, and employee value propositions. Johanna also set up and championed the Willis Towers Watson multicultural inclusion network for 4,000 employees across the UK.

 

As Board member and Director of Membership for SIETAR UK – the UK’s leading organisation promoting intercultural education, training, and research – Johanna runs intercultural training sessions, shapes networks across the country, and hosts intercultural events and workshops.

 

Johanna holds a BSc in International Communication Management, best of year (The Hague University, Netherlands) and an MSc with distinction in Intercultural Business Communication (Edinburgh Napier University, Scotland).

 

She is multilingual, passionate about other cultures, and has more passport stamps than most people.

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Ruth Yohannes, Benchmarking Officer

Ruth has an MSc in Geographical Information System and a BSc in Geography. Both of these qualifications stem from a strong interest in social science and development studies. Proficient in using GIS technology such as ArcGIS across various platforms to manipulate data and analyse patterns and better understand relationships and processes in the human and natural world.  Ruth is a skilled project manager and analyst. Ruths interests outside of work include Zumba and Art Textiles. 

Ruth is currently on maternity leave.