Whom did we miss? Nominate your picks for 2019.

1. Adrian Joseph
Head of artificial intelligence and member of European Innovation Board, EY financial services

Adrian Joseph is a partner at Ernst and Young in the UK Financial Services team, leading the Data and Analytics group.
Adrian Joseph

At EY, Adrian Joseph works across areas such as tax, audit and consulting. Achievements include reaching a 50/50 gender balance in the data analytics team and a 50/50 BAME balance in financial hires. But he says “there is a lot more work to do in terms of sex, disability and LGBT diversity, and I hope to continue playing a part”.

2. Tom Ilube
Founder and chief executive, Crossword Cybersecurity

Mr Ilube’s career has included roles at Goldman Sachs, PwC and the London Stock Exchange. He was named Britain’s most influential black person in the 2017 Powerlist and was awarded a CBE in 2018 for services to technology and philanthropy.

His other positions include non-executive director of the BBC and chair of the African Gifted Foundation, an education charity. Mr Ilube also launched Africa’s first science and technology school for girls, in Ghana.

3. Jonathan Akwue
Executive vice-president, Publicis Groupe

With more than 20 years experience, Mr Akwue’s career spans design, advertising, social media, digital marketing and media. A passionate champion of diversity and inclusion, he is a trustee at Black Cultural Archives, and co-founded The Great British Diversity Experiment.

4. Nneka Abulokwe
Founder, MicroMax Consulting
Chair, ISACA London Board Nominations Committee

Nneka Abulokwe
Nneka Abulokwe

Nneka Abulokwe is one of the first black professionals to sit on the board of a top five European IT services organisation. During her 25-year career she has delivered large-scale IT projects for governments and private institutions across the world. Ms Abulokwe has received several professional awards and fellowships.

In 2017, she founded MicroMax Consulting, a consultancy which advises global boards on strategies and helps them create positive digital cultures.

5. Bill Liao
Founder, CoderDojo Trustee, Social Tech Trust

As the son of a Chinese father and Australian mother, Bill Liao experienced the strengths of two strong and successful cultures in his home, but school was tough.

The bullying was relentless: “I was the only half-Chinese in the school. You name it, it happened. My one triumph was not ending up in hospital.”

But he says he was saved by tech and co-founded Xing, a European early social network; CoderDojo, a global movement of free, volunteer-led computer programming clubs; and RebelBio, an accelerator programme to fast track medical innovations.

“I want to give something back that would help all young people, and particularly BAME kids like the young me,” he says.

6. June Angelides
Founder, Mums in Technology

June Angelides

June Angelides was this year named the 15th most influential woman in tech by Computer Weekly. Providing immersive learning, Mums in Technology encourages new mothers to take their children to school with them while they learn to code.

She founded the company in 2015 when on maternity leave from Silicon Valley Bank, where she was an associate for entrepreneur banking.

Most recently, Ms Angelides was appointed chair of the Future Skills Programme, and joined the investment team at Samos Investments, a venture capital firm which focuses on high-growth European businesses.

She is also a founding ambassador for the FiftyFiftyPledge, a UK initiative to promote gender diversity.

7. Andy Ayim
Managing director, Backstage Capital Accelerator

Andy Ayim
Andy Ayim

Andy Ayim says the allocation of venture capital is heavily skewed with only 0.2 per cent of VC funding going to black women — so founders from diverse backgrounds are not provided with equal opportunities.

For seven years Mr Ayim has been building businesses with this belief in equal opportunity driving him to help underestimated founders create and scale their business.

He is also a member of UKBlackTech and a senior product manager at Investec.

8. Chelsea Chen
Co-founder, Emotech

Chelsea Chen brings her diverse global experience, including marketing and strategic planning to Emotech. The company was founded in 2014 and develops emotional AI — their robot Olly was reportedly the first with personality.

Ms Chen believes openness and communication can maximise the use of technology to change the world. She is also an active speaker on both emotional AI and women in tech.

9. Raj Kalia
Chief executive, Broadband Delivery UK

After more than 20 years in the telecoms industry, Raj Kalia is now responsible for local full fibre networks and superfast broadband at the digital infrastructure arm of the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS).

Mr Kalia is an active part of the BAME network in the DCMS. “I am a firm believer in equally championing a range of topics not just diversity,” he says.

10. Kush Kanodia
Co-founder, Choice International (an anti-discrimination charity)

Kush Kanodia is a disabled BAME champion. He is able to walk today only thanks to assistive technology. A torch bearer for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, he is an entrepreneur who has developed a portfolio career helping social enterprises, non-profit organisations and charities including the Centre for Access to Football in Europe. His early career included a stint at Morgan Stanley, where he managed European data operations.

This article has been amended to show Adrian Joseph is no longer a board member for Business in the Community.

Highly commended disrupters

Aseem Sadana
Executive vice-president, IMImobile (pictured)

Aseem Sadana
Aseem Sadana

Dara Nasr
Managing director, Twitter UK

Eileen Burbidge
Partner, Passion Capital and fintech envoy, UK Treasury

Ismail Ahmed
Founder and executive chairman, WorldRemit

Ismail Amla
Incoming chief growth officer at Capita

Mahiben Maruthappu
Co-founder and chief executive, Cera

Saritha Arunkumar
Master inventor and security leader, IBM UK

Sudhir Chaturvedi
President, Larsen & Toubro Infotech

Tony Prophet
Chief equality officer, Salesforce

Most influential BAME leaders in technology

NamePosition and OrganisationGender
Abadesi OsunsadeFounder, speaker and mentor, Hustle CrewFemale
Abdul Haseeb BasitCo-founder, Elipses | Chairman, Yielders Male
Adah ParrisCoach, Djembe Consulting | Facilitator, #IamRemarkableFemale
Ade Akin-AinaTalent acquisition leader, HostmakerFemale
Adnan EbrahimFounder and chief executive, Car ThrottleMale
Adrian JosephHead of AI for financial services UK and EMEIA, EYMale
Akosua AnnobilFounder, AB2020 | Founder, Tech in GhanaFemale
Alex FefeghaCo-founder and head creative technologist, ComuziMale
Amali de AlwisChief executive, Code First: GirlsFemale
Andrew KoCo-founder and chief executive, PersonalyzeMale
Andy AyimManaging director, Backstage Capital AcceleratorMale
Anish PatelDigital transformation lead, NatWest MarketsMale
Anjali RamachandranDirector, StorythingsFemale
Anouska RuaneCommunications director, Facebook UK, Ireland and AfricaFemale
Anushka SharmaFounder, Naaut | Product manager, Nasa's FDLFemale
Aseem SadanaExecutive vice-president, IMImobileMale
Ashleigh AinsleyFounder, ColorintechMale
Baz KhutiFounder and chief executive, QiO TechnologiesMale
Bill LiaoFounder, CoderDojo | Trustee and chair, Social Tech Trust Male
Chai RajebahadurHead of Europe, Zensar TechnologiesMale
Chantelle BellCo-founder, Syrona WomenFemale
Chelsea ChenCo-founder, EmotechFemale
Dara NasrManaging director, Twitter UKMale
Deborah OkenlaFounder and community lead, YSYSFemale
Dee SellayahEnterprise account director, LinkedInFemale
Dhruv GhulatiChief executive and co-founder, FactmataMale
Dhruv PatelChief executive, Nisai GroupMale
Dupsy AbiolaHead of global innovation, International Airline GroupFemale
Eileen BurbidgePartner, Passion Capital | Fintech envoy, UK TreasuryFemale
Einstein NtimFounder, Enabled AI | Partner, GSEMale
Eric CollinsChief operating officer, Touch SurgeryMale
Founding Members, UKBlackTechAbrar Akhtar, Alex Addae-Brobbey, Dara Kirton, David McQueen, Dionne Condor-Farrell, Imran Adan, Julian Hall, Mark Martin, Ola Otaiku, Phil Benson, Rashada Harry, Yinka Ewuola M&F
Gautam SamantaHead of Europe and global head of BFS, NIIT TechnologiesMale
Geoffrey WilliamsGlobal head of Diversity and inclusion, Thomson ReutersMale
Gerald CharlesGlobal IT operations and strategy vice-president, Under ArmourMale
Hephzi TagoeCo-founder and chief executive, GHScientific | Founder, HANATFemale
Husayn KassaiCo-founder and chief executive, OnfidoMale
Ian ForresterSenior producer, BBC R&DMale
Ibrahim KamaraCo-founder and editor-in-chief, GUAPMale
Ishani PatelCo-founder, Lantum | Mentor, Royal College of GPsFemale
Ismail AhmedFounder and executive chairman, WorldRemitMale
Ismail AmlaManaging partner, IBM services in North AmericaMale
Ismail JeilaniCo-founder, ScoodleMale
Jacqueline de RojasPresident, TechUK | President, Digital LeadersFemale
Jag SinghManaging director, TechstarsMale
Jan SinclairGlobal immigration leader of MAO, IBMFemale
Jeremy BoonAnalytics and information management chief of staff, Deloitte UKMale
John MichaelChief executive, iStorageMale
Jonathan AkwueExecutive vice-president, Publicis GroupeMale
Joyce Adeluwoye-AdamsGlobal director of diversity and inclusion, KingFemale
June AngelidesFounder, Mums in TechnologyFemale
Karimah CampbellForensic and integrity services assistant director, EYFemale
Kayisha PayneFounder, BBSTEM | Associate Scientist II, MedImmuneFemale
Kike OniwindeFounder and chief executive, BYP NetworkFemale
Kriti SharmaAI vice-president, Sage | Young leader, United NationsFemale
Kush KanodiaCo-founder, Choice International | Trustee, CAFEMale
Kymberlee JayFounder and creative director, DoodleDirectFemale
Liz AytoHead of finance, FonixFemale
Madhavi ReddyHead of digital business solutions, UK and Ireland, Fujitsu UKFemale
Mahiben MaruthappuCo-founder and chief executive, CeraMale
Martin IjahaCo-founder and chief executive, NeyberMale
Michael BerhaneCo-founder and chief executive, People Of Color In TechMale
Michael OlayeChief executive, Dare Male
Michael OmoniyiFounder, The Common Sense NetworkMale
Mirra SondhiGlobal head of technology risk, SchrodersFemale
Mitchell FasanyaFounder and chief technology officer, FanbytesMale
Monica KaliaCo-founder and chief strategy officer, NeyberFemale
Mursal HedayatFounder, ChatterboxFemale
Nadeem RazaChief executive, MicroliseMale
Nathaniel PeatCo-founder, GeNNex | Founder, The Safety BoxMale
Neeta PatelChief executive, New Entrepreneurs FoundationFemale
Nneka AbulokweFounder, MicroMax ConsultingFemale
Owen PringleCo-founder and partner, ArcMale
Paul Asare-ArcherDirector of compliance, O2 Male
Pierre-Simon NtiruhungwaCo-founder and head, Founders of the FutureMale
Piers LinneyTechnology adviser, Swiftsure Partners | Trustee, NestaMale
Raj KaliaChief executive, Broadband Delivery UKMale
Regina OladipoEU exit digital delivery adviser, Government Digital ServiceFemale
Rioch Edwards-BrownFounder, So You Wanna Be In TV?Female
Roshni GoyateCo-founder, The Other BoxFemale
Rupal KariaHead of UK and Ireland, private and public sector, Fujitsu UKMale
Sameer GulatiHead of policy and regulation, Innovate FinanceMale
Saritha ArunkumarSenior security architect and master inventor, IBM UKFemale
Sheeza ShahFounder and chief executive, UpEffectFemale
Shruti AjitsariaHead of Fuse, Allen & OveryFemale
Shwetal ShahGlobal Shaper, World Economic ForumFemale
Silas AdekunleCo-founder and chief executive, Reach RoboticsMale
Simi AwokoyaTech evangelist, Microsoft UK | Founder, Witty CareersFemale
Sudhir ChaturvediPresident, Larsen & Toubro InfotechMale
Suki FullerChief executive, Salaam Ventures | Founder, MiribureFemale
Supriya Dev-PurkaysthaClient and strategic partnerships director, Forward 3DFemale
Tia KansaraChief executive, Replenish Earth | Adviser, Economic TimesFemale
Tom IlubeFounder and chief executive, Crossword CybersecurityMale
Tony ProphetChief equality officer, SalesforceMale
Trevor JohnsonDirector of global agency development, FacebookMale
Tunji AkintokunSenior vice-president of sales, NSC GlobalMale
Victoria EverestStrategic account executive, telco and media, MicrosoftFemale
Vivian ChanCo-founder and chief executive, SparrhoFemale
Wajid AliHead of paid search, Forward3DMale
Zia YusufFounder and chief executive, VelocityMale
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2022. All rights reserved.
Reuse this content (opens in new window) CommentsJump to comments section

Follow the topics in this article