Top 10: The most influential BAME tech leaders in the UK

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

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”.

He is also a board member of Business in the Community, a charity led by the Prince of Wales.

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 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 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.

Highly commended disrupters

Aseem Sadana
Executive vice-president, IMImobile (pictured)

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

Name Position and Organisation Gender
Abadesi Osunsade Founder, speaker and mentor, Hustle Crew Female
Abdul Haseeb Basit Co-founder, Elipses | Chairman, Yielders Male
Adah Parris Coach, Djembe Consulting | Facilitator, #IamRemarkable Female
Ade Akin-Aina Talent acquisition leader, Hostmaker Female
Adnan Ebrahim Founder and chief executive, Car Throttle Male
Adrian Joseph Head of AI for financial services UK and EMEIA, EY Male
Akosua Annobil Founder, AB2020 | Founder, Tech in Ghana Female
Alex Fefegha Co-founder and head creative technologist, Comuzi Male
Amali de Alwis Chief executive, Code First: Girls Female
Andrew Ko Co-founder and chief executive, Personalyze Male
Andy Ayim Managing director, Backstage Capital Accelerator Male
Anish Patel Digital transformation lead, NatWest Markets Male
Anjali Ramachandran Director, Storythings Female
Anouska Ruane Communications director, Facebook UK, Ireland and Africa Female
Anushka Sharma Founder, Naaut | Product manager, Nasa’s FDL Female
Aseem Sadana Executive vice-president, IMImobile Male
Ashleigh Ainsley Founder, Colorintech Male
Baz Khuti Founder and chief executive, QiO Technologies Male
Bill Liao Founder, CoderDojo | Trustee and chair, Social Tech Trust Male
Chai Rajebahadur Head of Europe, Zensar Technologies Male
Chantelle Bell Co-founder, Syrona Women Female
Chelsea Chen Co-founder, Emotech Female
Dara Nasr Managing director, Twitter UK Male
Deborah Okenla Founder and community lead, YSYS Female
Dee Sellayah Enterprise account director, LinkedIn Female
Dhruv Ghulati Chief executive and co-founder, Factmata Male
Dhruv Patel Chief executive, Nisai Group Male
Dupsy Abiola Head of global innovation, International Airline Group Female
Eileen Burbidge Partner, Passion Capital | Fintech envoy, UK Treasury Female
Einstein Ntim Founder, Enabled AI | Partner, GSE Male
Eric Collins Chief operating officer, Touch Surgery Male
Founding Members UKBlackTech M&F
Gautam Samanta Head of Europe and global head of BFS, NIIT Technologies Male
Geoffrey Williams Global head of Diversity and inclusion, Thomson Reuters Male
Gerald Charles Global IT operations and strategy vice-president, Under Armour Male
Hephzi Tagoe Co-founder and chief executive, GHScientific | Founder, HANAT Female
Husayn Kassai Co-founder and chief executive, Onfido Male
Ian Forrester Senior producer, BBC R&D Male
Ibrahim Kamara Co-founder and editor-in-chief, GUAP Male
Ishani Patel Co-founder, Lantum | Mentor, Royal College of GPs Female
Ismail Ahmed Founder and executive chairman, WorldRemit Male
Ismail Amla Managing partner, IBM services in North America Male
Ismail Jeilani Co-founder, Scoodle Male
Jacqueline de Rojas President, TechUK | President, Digital Leaders Female
Jag Singh Managing director, Techstars Male
Jan Sinclair Global immigration leader of MAO, IBM Female
Jeremy Boon Analytics and information management chief of staff, Deloitte UK Male
John Michael Chief executive, iStorage Male
Jonathan Akwue Executive vice-president, Publicis Groupe Male
Joyce Adeluwoye-Adams Global director of diversity and inclusion, King Female
June Angelides Founder, Mums in Technology Female
Karimah Campbell Forensic and integrity services assistant director, EY Female
Kayisha Payne Founder, BBSTEM | Associate Scientist II, MedImmune Female
Kike Oniwinde Founder and chief executive, BYP Network Female
Kriti Sharma AI vice-president, Sage | Young leader, United Nations Female
Kush Kanodia Co-founder, Choice International | Trustee, CAFE Male
Kymberlee Jay Founder and creative director, DoodleDirect Female
Liz Ayto Head of finance, Fonix Female
Madhavi Reddy Head of digital business solutions, UK and Ireland, Fujitsu UK Female
Mahiben Maruthappu Co-founder and chief executive, Cera Male
Martin Ijaha Co-founder and chief executive, Neyber Male
Michael Berhane Co-founder and chief executive, People Of Color In Tech Male
Michael Olaye Chief executive, Dare Male
Michael Omoniyi Founder, The Common Sense Network Male
Mirra Sondhi Global head of technology risk, Schroders Female
Mitchell Fasanya Founder and chief technology officer, Fanbytes Male
Monica Kalia Co-founder and chief strategy officer, Neyber Female
Mursal Hedayat Founder, Chatterbox Female
Nadeem Raza Chief executive, Microlise Male
Nathaniel Peat Co-founder, GeNNex | Founder, The Safety Box Male
Neeta Patel Chief executive, New Entrepreneurs Foundation Female
Nneka Abulokwe Founder, MicroMax Consulting Female
Owen Pringle Co-founder and partner, Arc Male
Paul Asare-Archer Director of compliance, O2 Male
Pierre-Simon Ntiruhungwa Co-founder and head, Founders of the Future Male
Piers Linney Technology adviser, Swiftsure Partners | Trustee, Nesta Male
Raj Kalia Chief executive, Broadband Delivery UK Male
Regina Oladipo EU exit digital delivery adviser, Government Digital Service Female
Rioch Edwards-Brown Founder, So You Wanna Be In TV? Female
Roshni Goyate Co-founder, The Other Box Female
Rupal Karia Head of UK and Ireland, private and public sector, Fujitsu UK Male
Sameer Gulati Head of policy and regulation, Innovate Finance Male
Saritha Arunkumar Senior security architect and master inventor, IBM UK Female
Sheeza Shah Founder and chief executive, UpEffect Female
Shruti Ajitsaria Head of Fuse, Allen & Overy Female
Shwetal Shah Global Shaper, World Economic Forum Female
Silas Adekunle Co-founder and chief executive, Reach Robotics Male
Simi Awokoya Tech evangelist, Microsoft UK | Founder, Witty Careers Female
Sudhir Chaturvedi President, Larsen & Toubro Infotech Male
Suki Fuller Chief executive, Salaam Ventures | Founder, Miribure Female
Supriya Dev-Purkaystha Client and strategic partnerships director, Forward 3D Female
Tia Kansara Chief executive, Replenish Earth | Adviser, Economic Times Female
Tom Ilube Founder and chief executive, Crossword Cybersecurity Male
Tony Prophet Chief equality officer, Salesforce Male
Trevor Johnson Director of global agency development, Facebook Male
Tunji Akintokun Senior vice-president of sales, NSC Global Male
Victoria Everest Strategic account executive, telco and media, Microsoft Female
Vivian Chan Co-founder and chief executive, Sparrho Female
Wajid Ali Head of paid search, Forward3D Male
Zia Yusuf Founder and chief executive, Velocity Male

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