Home Events Meet Our Day 1 – Masterclass Speakers

Meet Our Day 1 – Masterclass Speakers

Masterclass Speakers

Ekua Cant

Linkedin and Career Coach, Be Your No.1 Cheerleader

Ekua is an author and Linkedin Coach. She is neurodivergent with Dyslexia and Dyscalculia.

She is no stranger to career change or transitions and is using her positive style to coach ambitious women to unlock their mindset, gain career clarity and create career success on their own terms.

She is the author of a motivational self-help book called, Be Your No.1 Cheerleader, which uses the entrepreneurial journey to encourage active positive self-development.

Ekua started her career as a personal assistant to a Director working in the UK Civil Service, working with numerous Government Departments the Cabinet Office, Home Office and left as an IT Project Manager.

Whilst working in the Civil Service she founded 2 startups, Layover Adventure and the Hackathon Queen. She’s been an employee, contractor, and is an entrepreneur.

She has led multi-million-pound public sector digital transformations. She was also awarded a ticket to Barack Obama’s acceptance for the nomination to the Democratic party for her campaigning work for the civic voluntary organisation DCVote.

She has completed the London Marathon in 2018 one of the hottest on record! She formerly ran DrinksBot, an on-demand drinks delivery service enabled by a Slack Chatbot. She is an advocate for diversity, equality and inclusion in tech.

She met the late Queen Elizabeth II twice and is the former Co-vice Chair for GTA Black Women in Tech.

Mark Freed

Co-founder, Men for Inclusion
DEI Trainer | Industry Expert & Commentator

Mark Freed, a trailblazer in diversity and inclusion, co-founded E2W over two decades ago when he left a successful fintech career to become the type of husband and father that he always wanted to be.

Mark grew E2W to become a community with a reach of more than 15,000 women in Financial Services, aiding institutions with best-practice recruitment and retention of diverse talent.

Wishing to accelerate change, Men for Inclusion was born, and Mark shares his own lived experience as to why inclusion benefits all men, providing more opportunities and breaking free from outdated stereotypes.

Mark’s distinctive voice is not just heard within this community. He’s a vocal advocate for workplace inclusivity, and recently provided evidence to the UK Government Treasury Select Committee during their ‘Sexism in the City’ inquiry, and collaborates on initiatives like the Women in Finance Charter and the Diversity Project.

Mark brings a refreshing perspective to the industry, making him an engaging and insightful commentator for journalists seeking a fresh take on diversity, allyship, recruitment, and workplace culture.

Sharon Ehrlich

Executive Coach, Speaker, Podcaster

As an experienced professional speaker, I bring a unique blend of expertise to the table— a native New Yorker with over two decades living in Europe, I understand the global corporate pulse.

My intersectionality includes a variety of social identities – professional self-employed female, Afro-Latina, American expatriate, European citizen, middle-aged woman, mother of a biracial child, partner in an interracial marriage and caregiver.

These overlapping identities allow me to view and experience the world through a variety of lenses.

With an MBA from Adelphi University and a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University, my credentials back my passion.

Derren Young

VP People Partnering, Warner Music Group

Derren is a highly accomplished Human Resources and People function leader with almost 3 decades of experience spanning multiple sectors and HR specialisms.

He has a background in media, sports and entertainment, specifically Universal Music, EA Games, England Rugby, Visual Data and currently Warner Music Group.

A lifelong learner, recently he has been following both his professional fascination and curious mind to learn all about AI, the theme for his talk.

Recently, he has completed a programme in Data Science, Machine Learning at AI at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and has focused on how these tools can be applied to the world of HR.

Mehvish Ajibola-Shaffi

CEO & Strategic HR & OD Leader

Mehvish is a distinguished and nationally recognised strategic Human Relatedness (HR) & Organisational Development (OD) leader with a wealth of experience. She has a diverse background, having worked in local government, the financial sector as an Islamic Finance Consultant, and the voluntary sector.

In 2021, Mehvish earned national recognition (Health and Social Care Awards) as an award-winning leader for her outstanding contributions to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) within the healthcare sector.

In 2023, Mehvish was awarded Top 50 most Influential Muslims in Europe status. Her expertise extends to collaborating with various industries, helping organisations navigate change and cultivate inclusive cultures thorough social mindfulness and restorative practice.

Mehvish is a Founder of Socially Inspired Ltd, a HR consultancy providing a comprehensive partnering service for socially conscious clients committed to building fairer and more equitable societies and workplaces. Mehvish serves as an external advisor for the Royal College of Nursing’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee, further demonstrating her commitment to fostering inclusive environment.

Mehvish has written several blogs for NHS Providers, Law firms, BRAP and Mind. She is an advanced Legal Executive, a Mental Health First Aider, a Workforce Race Equality Standards (WRES) Expert, Cultural Intelligence practitioner, an experienced and accredited Coach and Mediator.

Graham Atkinson

Co-founder and Managing Director of Atkinson HR

Graham is the co-founder and Managing Director of Atkinson HR.

He has enjoyed a career in senior HR roles across the Voluntary and Higher Education sectors including 5-years as HR Director for the National Union of Students.

Graham, and the team at Atkinson HR, provide HR consultancy for a range of non-profits including Shakespeare’s Globe, the Souts, Ramblers and lots of small charities.

He loves getting to work with new organisations in different sectors and learning about their ways of working.

A big motivator, for Graham, is adding value to clients and helping them to have an even bigger impact through their work.

Dr Dayo Olomu

Organisational Development Leader, Executive Coach, Career Mentor and Best-Selling Author

Dr Dayo Olomu is a highly accomplished individual with a diverse range of expertise. He currently serves as the Chair of the Black on Board Community UK and as a Board Member at the Southwark Diocesan Board of Education. Additionally, he is a Board Member of the Croydon Civic Mayor’s Charity Committee and the Founder of the Dayo Olomu Foundation.

With over 25 years of experience as a mentor, Dr Dayo Olomu has made a significant impact in the field and in the world.

As an Organisational Development Consultant, international motivational speaker, human capital development expert, corporate trainer, business mentor, executive coach, award-winning event host, bestselling author, workshop facilitator, mindfulness enthusiast, and mental health champion, Dr Dayo Olomu brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to his work and his talks.

He has received numerous accolades throughout his career, with an impressive 177 awards and honours in 30 different categories. He holds an advanced certificates in strategic leadership, journalism and public relations, an honours degree in Business Information Systems, an MSc in Human Resources, and an honorary doctorate.

He has also obtained several certifications, Diploma in Life Coaching and Certificate in Executive Coaching.

He is a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (MCIPD), a Fellow of the Institute of Information Management Africa (FIIM), and a member of the International Leadership Association.

Outside of his professional endeavours, a long-suffering Arsenal fan, engage in various challenging activities. He has successfully completed five half marathons, three marathons, conquered three mountains, including the Atlas Mountains and completed the 100km London to Brighton challenge showcasing his perseverance and determination.

He has also participated in activities such as fire walking, board-breaking, bar-bending, skydiving, and even sleeping rough in the stadium to raise funds for different charities.

Brittany Maze, SHRM-SCP

Owner of Black In Business & SHRM Sr. Certified Provider 

I’m Brittany, a wife, pitmom, growth advocate, and Sr. Certified Provider for the Society for Human Resources Management. When she first started her HR career in 2015, I had quite a bit of poor experiences that made me adamant about changing the narrative of HR.

I spent my first 6 years committing to prioritizing a positive people experience. Now, for the past 3, and going on 10, years in HR, my most prized passion has evolved into leveraging personal growth for professional gain. In short, that means I’ve mastered identifying when I’ve become the problem and how to become the solution. This has me committed to a new mission to use my growth advocacy to educate professionals on how successfully navigating toward professional goals requires a more evolved version of who you are.

When I learned that my mindset needed to change in order for any form of my physical, financial, emotional, or professional wellbeing to flourish, I chased growth. Through this journey, I became emotionally literate and behaviorally competent, and this created an evolved version of me that I call Corporate Soft.

Today I’m the Chief HR Officer of my HR consulting firm, part time, and HR Director full time. Day to day, I get to teach leaders how to drive people results. I birthed Black In Business from this work to help me bridge the equity gap in accessible professional empowerment and emotional literacy; ultimately, helping Black professionals prepare for and successfully navigate the world of work.

I hold more than 5 years of research in psychology and mindset, over 9 years of experience in results driven behavior modification, and 13+ years of my own life altering results.

If you never get the chance to hear me speak, I want you to walk away with this: “As long as you are realistic about where you are, growth will meet you there.” – B, SHRM-SCP

Nicholè McGill-Higgins MCC

Queen of the Hive (She/Her) CEO/Founder of BEE-Longing LTD

Nicholè McGill-Higgins MCC is a Master Coach, keynote speaker, and belonging consultant dedicated to empowering professionals to rise to their fullest potential. With a background rich in diverse experiences, she has become a beacon of inspiration, fostering confidence, assertiveness, and leadership in her clients.

Her work is grounded in the belief that professionals can redefine the narrative in their careers, breaking through barriers that have long hindered their progress.

As the founder of BEE-Longing LTD, Nicholè McGill-Higgins MCC has spearheaded numerous workshops, keynote talks, and training programs that are not only impactful but also transformative. Her signature approach combines practical strategies with a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by women in the corporate world.

Through her guidance, countless individuals have learned to step into their power, find true belonging within themselves, and lead with unwavering confidence.

With high success rates, Nicholè McGill-Higgins MCC excels in empowering and elevating people to not just thrive but to flourish and blossom. Her expertise extends beyond coaching to encompass a broader vision of belonging within organisations.

She works closely with professionals and corporate leaders to create environments where excellence can thrive. Her insights and strategies have been instrumental in helping companies build more inclusive cultures that recognise and celebrate the contributions of all individuals.

Her keynote talks are a powerful blend of motivation and practical advice, delivered with a dynamic and engaging style that resonates deeply with her audience. Topics such as “Confident Queens: Leading with Boldness and Brilliance” reflect her commitment to helping women navigate and excel in their careers.

Rasheed Ogunlaru

Coach, Trainer, Facilitator

Rasheed Ogunlaru is a leading life coach, speaker, and leadership coach. He is author of Soul Trader – Putting the Heart into Your Business and The Gift of Inner Success. His clients include entrepreneurs, entertainers, executives and organisations including the NHS and Civil Service.

He often speaks in the media including appearances on ITN and BBC News.

Rasheed is also the life & business coach partner to the British Library’s Business & IP Centre for whom he runs webinars for aspiring and established entrepreneurs Prior to becoming a coach Rasheed’s first career was in media – including as a press officer, media trainer and communications manager and media trainer.

Rasheed is a trained trainer and qualified as a coach with distinction from The Coaching Academy in 2004 and has served as an associate coach with the academy for well over a decade.

Rasheed is also a singer / songwriter and a former Co-Director of Samaritans (Central London Branch).

He is known for his unique ‘become who you are’ approach and helps people of all backgrounds find lasting fulfilment – from within.

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Sep 25 - 26 2024




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