Black Talent & Leadership in STEM - Progression, Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling

Brought to you by Black Talent & Leadership in STEM

The Black Talent & Leadership in STEM Programme is on a mission to address the under-representation of minority talent with a focus on the Black talent skills gap in STEM to help companies attract, retain, empower & grow this talent whilst addressing the urgent need for digital skills.

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About the event

The UK government has stated that Innovation is critical to local, national and global prosperity and central to the wider UK growth agenda. Their vision is to make the UK a global hub for innovation by 2035.

To fully embrace these opportunities, there is a need to not only tackle the skills gap within the sector head-on but also provide leaders with guidance, support and knowledge sharing to assist them to embed a culture that facilitates the delivery of highly functioning diverse teams across the organisation, from early careers through to middle management and c suite levels.

This approach is vital to enable diversity of thought, creativity and ultimately innovation. However, underrepresentation in the sector is still an issue, furthermore the ethnicity gap widens further up the corporate ladder.

Research by “Mckinsey Institute for Black Economic Mobility, 2023” found that when asked what they believe are the top three most important initiatives for advancing Black talent in tech, 83 percent of Black tech employees surveyed said advancement opportunities were among the top three most important components of growth for Black tech talent

During this consortium meeting, we will explore some of the barriers that exist that impede the progression of Black professionals within the sector, we will also discuss the targeted, focused action needed to create a fairer, more inclusive workplaces where Black professionals are motivated to stay and grow their careers as they progress up the corporate ladder. This event will also provide the opportunity to learn from peers within the industry.

Join us for the third Be the Change consortium meeting, part of the Black Talent and Leadership programme a cross-industry initiative with Cambridge Wireless, Homerton Changemakers, University of Cambridge, 10,000 Interns Foundation and Synergy Solutions.

Attendees will consist of consortium members who will be senior leaders from tech companies and invited guests.

Olu Orugboh, Chair, CW, CEO & Co-Founder, Black Talent & Leadership in STEM

Olu is the CEO and Founder of Synergy Solutions, a specialist management consultancy practice, focussed on helping companies stay at the forefront of evolving technology and the ever-changing world of customer expectations, whilst remaining resilient and futureproofing their business. As a senior leader and seasoned professional with over 20 years’ experience, leading businesses through change, transformation and migration into digital environments, Olu has assisted a range of companies from start-ups, through to high growth scale ups to FTSE listed companies both in the UK and Internationally to embrace digital technology, safely, whilst remaining resilient and responsive to the rapidly changing environment. Olu has deep international experience, assisting enterprises to turnaround their failing operations through to putting in place infrastructures to support growth initiatives and introduce digital innovation. She has extensive business experience having had the opportunity, through both her own business and other executive level positions to shape the strategy for a wide array of businesses and introduce digital technology, providing a range of companies with the opportunity to speed up response and enhance the quality of that response, which she believes to be vital in the delivery of an agile business. Olu is highly committed to assisting organisations to become resilient and future proofed. In addition to running a business, Olu is a mother to two wonderful children and is passionate about growing the impact of digital technology in underserved communities.


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The information supplied below may be subject to change before the event.


Registration and networking with teas and coffee


Welcome from Olu Orugboh, Chair, CW, CEO & Co-Founder, Black Talent & Leadership in STEM


Welcome from our host – Amy Therrien, Director AWS Storage Services, Amazon


Keynote address – Scarlett Lily Allen- Horgan, Founding Director, Harper Fox Partners, Keynote speaker, BBC Apprentice Finalist


Creating Inclusive Boards – Findings from the Parker Report - Ariel White-Tsimikalis, Partner, Equity Capital Markets (Tech + Life Sciences) + Co-chair of ESG & Impact practice, Goodwin Procter, Member, Parker Review Committee


Ethnicity Pay Gap – Learning from others in the industry - Anne Hurst, Inclusion Lead, PwC


Lunch break


Progression Journey – Tunmbi Idowu – Founder, Tono Digital


Interactive session – Engaging the imagination in work on ED&I Using Lego Serious Player Facilitator – Christina Schwabenland, Academic, writer, researcher, University of Bedfordshire


Moving from Conversation to Impact - Open discussion - Consortium – learnings, what needs to change internally, commitment to change and next steps


Final comments


Event close


Anne Hurst - Inclusion lead, PwC UK

Anne Hurst is the Inclusion Lead at professional services firm, PwC LLP. She leads on Inclusion and has extensive experience working across all aspects of diversity and inclusion both in the UK and USA. Her role is to support the business to create an inclusive culture where individual difference is recognised and flourishes as an essential foundation for business growth and success.   Anne works with the Firm's leadership to drive behavioural change and to build the inclusive leadership capability of leaders enabling them to harness difference to create value for their clients and changing businesses.   She has 30 years’ experience as a Human Resources leader in the banking and professional services sectors.

Tunmbi Idowu - Founder, Tono Digital

Tunmbi Idowu is a lawyer and international regulatory and compliance specialist. Tunmbi provides regulatory and compliance advice and guidance to governments, regulators, businesses and solution providers in different markets and jurisdictions. Tunmbi guides providers of payment and other infrastructure systems and regulators to understand and support the emergence of new and emerging innovations including digital assets and dynamic data systems.

 Tunmbi has worked with leading providers of payments and infrastructure systems solutions in the EU, US, Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. He was the Global Head of Regulatory Affairs and Government Engagements for Ericsson Money Services in Sweden during which he provided support to private sector providers and government agencies within the digital payment sectors. He also spent the time to implement a compliance infrastructure in the company itself to suit its products and services and ensure fitness for purpose.

As the European Director for regulatory compliance at Western Union Tunmbi was actively involved in the implementation of European Directives and Regulations in particular the Payment Services Directive during which he spearheaded the authorisation and licensing for the company, including the creation of an EU compliant infrastructure within the company.

He was the head of regulatory affairs for Vigo in LATAM, a subsidiary of Western Union USA.

His time as Assistant Vice president for citigroup in the UK saw him support European Franchises to ensure standards.

Tunmbi is a Mentor for the University of Cambridge Judge Business School in the United Kingdom.

Tunmbi was also Senior Advisor for Africa to the Private Office of HH Sheikh Ahmed Bin Faisal Al Qassimi. Tunmbi is an author whose aim is to empower, motivate and focus the mind, aspirations and goals of his readers.

Prior to his present responsibilities he has worked and held key positions in a variety of international financial and payment services provider institutions.

As a lawyer who specialises in infrastructure, innovations, financial and payment policy and regulations, Tunmbi is committed to support the creation of fit for purpose legal and regulatory regimes that support the realisation of true digital environment and the goal of financial and social inclusion and business sustainability.

 He is currently the CEO of Tono Digital and a director at Knit UK. His payments services company, Quadra Systems, is deployed to support social and financial inclusion in the emerging markets.

Scarlett Lily Allen - Business Partner, BBC Apprentice Finalist

Scarlett Allen-Horton is a highly accomplished recruitment leader, Business Partner to Lord Sugar, BBC Apprentice Finalist, innovative entrepreneur and founder of the multi-award winning Harper Fox Partners. Scarlett is also a keynote speaker, business coach, RFC board advisor and voluntary ambassador for numerous charitable and purpose driven organisations.
With over a decade of experience in global executive search and leadership assessment analysis, Scarlett has a proven track record of success and expertise in various subjects, particularly within recruitment, STEM and equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI).
As a female founder, Scarlett has secured significant investment and scaled her fully retained search business from a zero starting point to a seven figure enterprise. Scarlett’s dedication to her work has earned her multiple client quality, EDI, top consultant, and leadership awards spanning the last decade.
Her impressive achievements and expertise has led to Scarlett being featured in prominent media outlets such as The Times, Business Leader, BBC News, The Independent, and Daily Mail.
Scarlett’s commitment to diversity and inclusion is demonstrated by her role as an EDI ambassador and advisor to the Recruitment Employment Confederation UK and numerous voluntary initiatives. In addition, she serves as a board committee advisor to the UK Black Business Show and is a judge for the REC Awards and Black Talent Awards.
Scarlett is a sought-after keynote speaker, having delivered inspiring speeches at various events such as Karen Brady’s Women in Tech Expo, Radio 5Live, EON Leadership Series, NatWest Rose Review, UK Construction Week and Local Councils to name a few. She is also a dedicated business coach with a focus on purpose, passion, and profit and has helped many aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders achieve their goals.

Christina Schwabenland - Director of the Research Centre on Leadership Innovation, University of Bedfordshire

Christina Schwabenland is the Director of the Research Centre on Leadership Innovation, University of Bedfordshire Business School. Prior to taking up an academic job she spent 14 years as the CEO of two voluntary organisations in London.  She has written and researched on equality, diversity and inclusion and has published two monographs and articles in numerous academic journals. She is currently managing three grant funded projects exploring the uses of LEGO® Serious Play® 

to address the challenges of embedding EDI in practice and in business school curriculum.

Amy Therrien - Director, AWS Storage Services, Amazon

I am a Director of Amazon S3 at AWS, where I lead global teams of engineers and program managers to deliver open-source storage connectors, serverless data transformation, and massive scale storage and durability for S3, the most widely used cloud storage service in the world. With over 11 years of cloud experience and 9 years of S3 expertise, I am passionate about building innovative and efficient solutions that enable customers to store, access, and analyze their data at any scale.

In my current role, I have delivered multiple strategic initiatives that have improved the performance, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of S3, such as S3 Object Lambda, S3 Select, and S3 Event Notifications. I have also built the capacity model and algorithm for ordering storage capacity for S3 and automated it using machine learning. As a leader, I have hired, developed, and promoted diverse and talented engineering talent, mentored senior leaders across AWS, and led leadership training for European remote sites. My mission is to empower customers and teams to achieve their goals with S3 and AWS.

Ariel White-Tsimikalis - Partner, Equity Capital Markets (Tech + Life Sciences) + Co-chair of ESG & Impact practice, Goodwin Procter, Member, Parker Review Committee

Event Location

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Location info

Amazon Development Center, One, Station Square, Cambridge CB1 2GA

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