Brummell’s Inspirational Women 2023: Pioneers

Brummell's 30 Inspirational Women have been chosen for the degree to which they each pioneer positive change in their workplaces and industries

People 21 Nov 2023

Brummell is delighted to reveal this year’s list of 30 Inspirational Women in the City, all of whom have been selected for their groundbreaking efforts to spearhead positive change in their workplaces and beyond. As it becomes increasingly important for City firms to address issues such as gender equality, diversity and inclusion, for this year’s list, Brummell is celebrating women who are pioneering new ways of working and thinking, while encouraging others to do the same. These women are thought leaders in their respective fields, driving significant institutional change.

The judging panel, comprising three highly regarded industry professionals, reviewed a longlist of peer-nominated candidates and applied rigorous shortlisting criteria to select the top 30. The inspiring list of women come from a variety of career backgrounds, but each is an example of how determination, innovation and groundbreaking spirit will bring with it success and change.

Nicolina Andall
Executive Director & Senior Corporate Counsel, Atlas Copco

Andall has been a solicitor for over 20 years and currently holds joint responsibility for the legal affairs of the £1bn-annual-turnover engineering group, Atlas Copco. Beyond her day job, she has a wealth of experience in advising on senior appointments. She is an experienced independent panel member for the Ministry of Justice, and holds a Public Appointment with the Lord Chancellor’s department in respect of the appointment of London magistrates. She is a board member for International Women’s Forum (UK) and chairs its racial equity mentoring scheme. In 2022 she founded Inspiring Diverse Leaders, which encourages people from ethnic minorities to become influential voices in boardrooms.

Sonya Barlow
Founder, LMF Network; Business Author; BBC Broadcaster

Barlow is the award-winning founder of social inclusion network LMF (Like Minded Females) Network, the author of Unprepared to Entrepreneur, and presenter of the BBC’s The Everyday Hustle , highlighting stories of Asian entrepreneurs. She is a keynote speaker on neurodiversity, tech, travel and trends, and hosts Tea with Sonya. Barlow has delivered two TED Talks, was named UK Entrepreneur of the Year, one of the Top 50 Women in Tech EU and a LinkedIn Changemaker. She has over 100,000 social connections and hosts stages at London Tech Week, CogX and Web Summit. She is also building an AI-enabled tech app to connect professional women in the workplace, with the tagline: “If LinkedIn and Bumble had a baby”.

Ahanna Anaba
Ahanna Anaba

Ahanna Anaba
Head of Sales and Paternerships, Finverity

Leveraging her experience placing transactions worth almost $400m across Africa, Anaba landed the role of Head of Sales and Partnerships at Finverity. Her primary focus is digitally enabling and empowering financial institutions to sustainably launch and scale working capital and supply chain finance programmes. She participates in workshops, roundtables and panel discussions to increase adoption of new financial products and has been recognised on platforms such as Women’s Business Awards and BWAM 40 under 40 Awards. Notably, she has also set up Women In Trade, a transformative network for women specifically active in the African trade finance space.

Noreen Biddle Shah
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Carne Group

Biddle Shah was recently appointed to the new role of CMCO at Carne Group, reporting to the CEO and sitting on its steering committee. She has two decades of global communications experience, encompassing leadership roles at institutions including Deutsche Numis, State Street and the Investment Association. In 2020 she founded Reboot, to drive greater awareness of ethnic minorities in the UK workforce. Reboot promotes greater diversity in race and ethnicity through open discussions via the media, policy makers and its community of senior ambassadors. Reboot’s annual index measures UK financial services diversity, which will serve as a yardstick for firms across the UK to gauge and improve their diversity standards.

Laura Helen Brown
Founder, My Emotions Activity Book; Due Diligence Consultant, Wells Fargo

Brown volunteers as a mental health inclusion ally and programme coordinator at Wells Fargo, where she also works as a due diligence consultant. Outside her work within a Financial Crime team, she is a passionate children’s mental health advocate as the author and illustrator of My Emotions Activity Book, a thoughtful and calming resource available as a free-of-charge printable book that allows children to open up and express their thoughts and feelings. The book has been translated into Ukrainian, now supporting children and families in remote villages around Kharkiv. Brown also helps police custody work with her activity book to provide young individuals in challenging situations with activities to regulate their emotional well-being.

Mariam Crichton
CEO, 7 Sayta

A serial entrepreneur with a career in innovative technology applications for social and environmental impact, Crichton is founder and CEO of 7 Satya, and on a mission to provide businesses and investors with global location-based environmental, social and governance insights to assess the impact of risks where they operate, invest and source supplies. A passionate advocate for diversity in leadership and technology, outside of work she was one of the early-stage founding members of the Women’s Equality Party and is currently on the executive board of Women+ in Geospatial, a voluntary organisation spanning 96 countries. She also leads the INSPIRE pillar, inspiring current and future generations of women in geospatial, and was listed as a “One to Watch in the City” in Brummell in 2019.

Kay Kukoyi
Kay Kukoyi

Kay Kukoyi
CEO, Purposeful Group

Kukoyi is a multi-award-winning entrepreneur, global tech startup mentor, author, trainer and speaker. Passionate about using her tech experience to support people from all backgrounds in building businesses, she founded Purposeful Group, a technology and digital skills training company, which partners with the British Library. The company has supported more than 10,000 entrepreneurs and digital learners in 14 countries across six continents, collaborating with women’s startup accelerators, Black, brown, disabled and neurodiverse founders. Kukoyi was also recognised on the #IB100, Financial Times and Inclusive Boards list of the 100 Most Influential BAME Leaders in UK Tech.

Zahra Husain
Zahra Husain

Zahra Husain
Founder in Residence, Zinc VC

Husain has made significant contributions to finance and sustainability throughout her 15-year career. She was part of the founding team that established a credit fund at Commerzbank, growing it to over €1bn in assets. There, she also co-founded social enterprise Humans in Finance, championing finance for a better world. More recently, Husain focused on sustainable finance strategies at the Boston Consulting Group, co-authoring publications advocating innovative finance solutions for urgent global challenges. Recognising her passion for addressing social inequalities, in 2018 she was named as one of Management Today’s 35 women under 35. She is now a Founder-in-Residence at Zinc VC, tackling the health impacts of climate change.

Candida de Silva
Senior Portfolio Specialist, International Equity Team, Morgan Stanley Investment Management (MSIM)

De Silva has achieved many accolades in her career, including roles at Mellon, Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Blackrock, where she was head of the $5bn UK Charities and Endowments business, regaining market share from 7th to 5th. Today, as a senior portfolio specialist on MSIM’s ~$55bn International Equity team, she leads the team’s sales and servicing in northern Europe and Iberia and its global marketing initiatives. She was highly commended as Fund Saleswoman of the Year (Investment Week Women in Investment 2021). She co-leads retention efforts for MSIM’s Diversity Committee, mentors three female VPs, and is a trustee on a girls’ school educational endowment.

Dola Fashola
Director, PWC LLP

Fashola is a director at PwC, working with Banking and Wealth Management clients on customer strategies. A key innovator, she has played a critical role in the development of new technology solution, MIA, PwC’s money management accelerator, which brings together data, AI and experience design expertise. She has also spearheaded a digital proposition for PwC to tackle problems in the Financial Service sector and aid closing the financial advice gap. She is an active sponsor of Mentoring Circles at PwC, where she mentors six young Black talents from around the firm, and outside PwC, she writes her own blog, Stay Experiencing, and volunteers with Coram Beanstalk, reading with children where English is not their first language.

Elizabeth Hoyler
Engagement Manager, Public Sector Policy and Banking, Oliver Wyman

Hoyler leads projects at the intersection of public policy and financial services at consultancy Oliver Wyman. She works with clients to scale up sustainable finance, promote economic development, and drive innovation in financial services. She has worked on projects tackling pressing social and environmental issues, including, in partnership with organisations like the 30% Club on The Climate Action Gender Gap. She has spoken on the need to involve women in climate action, both at COP26 and a meeting of the Financial Alliance for Women, which represents financial institutions from over 135 countries. Before joining Oliver Wyman, she led a volunteer English language programme for resettled refugee women.

Fiona Huntriss
Pallas Partners LLP

Huntriss was part of the team that launched Pallas Partners in 2022. A leading litigation and disputes lawyer, she frequently litigates before the English Courts in complex, multi-jurisdictional situations. She was included in The Lawyer’s 2023 Hot 100 list, is ranked in both Chambers and Legal 500 UK, and also won Securities Litigator of the Year at the IFLR Women in Business Law Awards 2023. She is the partner responsible for the firm’s environmental initiatives, and Pallas has been recognised in the Legal 500 UK Green Guide 2023. She mentors future prospective lawyers within and outside Pallas and applies her legal skills to benefit socio-economically disadvantaged students through her work with The Brokerage, a London- based social mobility charity.

Kate Webber
Kate Webber

Kate Webber
Head of Product Strategy, Asset Servicing, Northern Trust

An influential industry participant and a diversity, equity and inclusion advocate, Webber is Head of Product Strategy across Northern Trust’s asset servicing business globally. She founded award-winning network Women in Asset Servicing (WiAS), which now has circa 900 members, to enable greater female representation in senior asset servicing positions. She also mentors professionals both at Northern Trust and within her broader professional network, is a regular speaker on the conference circuit on asset servicing topics, and is a member of The Investing and Saving Alliance’s Strategic Committee, and The Council for Female Entrepreneurs.

Subira Jones
Corporate Burnout Prevention Specialist, The Fireproof Career

Affectionately known as “The Corporate Hippie”, Jones is an award-winning Corporate Burnout Prevention Specialist, TEDx Speaker, certified lifestyle coach and host of the podcast, The Fireproof Career. Having completed her degree while her mum was in a coma, she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis early in her career as an investment analyst. She formulated The Burnout Free Lifestyle framework, breaking the cycle of burnout and achieving remission from MS without requiring medical intervention. In recognition of her impactful work with global brands including Channel 4, the Financial Times, Deloitte, Sky and more, she was named Young Businessperson of the Year 2023 for London SMEs.

Abby McGovern
Director of Education UK, Debate Mate

Passionate about training teachers and students in reflexive thinking and communication skills, McGovern is the director of Education UK at the social mobility charity Debate Mate. She has nurtured junior talent, leading the wide-ranging volunteer network that seeks to broaden young people’s horizons through debate. As an advocate of creativity in learning, she co-founded The Creativity Conference, exploring the global interconnected essence of creativity across business practices, committed to re-framing critical thinking in education policy to empower student’s idea generation and quick thinking. As well as being an international speaker on mindfulness, she has also previously performed in over 250 West End shows.

Morag Ofili
Managing Associate, Harbottle & Lewis; Founder, Kiltered

An award-winning barrister at Harbottle & Lewis, Ofili specialises in tax disputes and risk management for high profile individuals and their businesses. She is recognised in a number of leading legal and private client directories including Spears 500, Chambers and Partners High Net Worth and Legal 500. Alongside her legal practice, she is the founder of Kiltered – a consultancy which aims to bring balance to a company’s diversity and inclusion messaging. Taking its name from the phrase “off-kilter”, Kiltered seeks to address the imbalances that exist in the ways in which organisations approach change. Ofili’s views on culture change have been featured in The Economist and she has worked with a range of brands including the AllBright and Natwest.

Vicki King
Vicki King

Vicki King
People and Culture Director, Commodities and Global Markets (CGM), Macquarie Group

King has worked in financial services since 2003 and leads a team of 12 in her role at Macquarie, helping shape and deliver the global CGM people strategy. She is passionate about opening doors to careers in finance and designed the Rise to It scholarship, which provides full financial help and jobs upon graduation to students from low socio-economic backgrounds and under- represented communities. Having made more than 350 appearances for West Ham between 1997 and 2015, she draws parallels between her experience in football and life in financial services – identifying transferable skills around leadership, teamwork and resilience.

Margaret Campbell
Margaret Campbell

Margaret Campbell
Partner and Chair, Reed Smith EMEA WINRS

Campbell is a former chair of the Insurance Committee and member of the advisory committee of the International Bar Association. With 40 years’ experience in the profession, she is recognised in the top band in several legal directories, specialising in marine and non- marine insurance. Her cases include successes in the High Court and Court of Appeal as well as achieving good settlements in mediation. She has been leader of Reed Smith’s EMEA women’s initiative since 2015, spearheading gender equity. She was also the first woman promoted to partner after maternity leave and the first partner to work flexibly, inspiring many others both inside and outside of the firm.

Natalie Ojevah MBE
Eagle Labs Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Barclays

Joining Barclays in 2012 as a cashier foundation apprentice, Ojevah now leads Barclays’ first external programme with Eagle Labs, dedicated to supporting Black-led businesses. Now in its fourth year, the programme has accelerated over 150 businesses and delivers a 12-week programme with expert-led business strategy masterclasses. She initially joined the Eagle Labs team as an Ecosystem Manager, and the idea for Black Founders Accelerator was created from the side of her desk. Outside work, she co-founded The Hustle Table, a video series discussing careers and finance and she was awarded an MBE at the age of 27 in the late Queen’s 2022 New Year Honours List for services to Business Development and D&I.

Lissele Pratt
Co-Founder, Capitalixe

Having worked in financial services for eight years, Pratt already stands as a trailblazer in foreign exchange, payments and fintech. Her entrepreneurial journey began when she was 16, leading to her building a seven-figure consultancy within three years. She was listed on Forbes’ “30 Under 30 Finance” and TechRound’s “29 Under 29” and she won the Rising Star of the Year title at the UK Fintech Awards, as well as a distinction in Innovate Finance’s Women in Fintech Powerlist. She’s also been a finalist for the European Women in Finance Awards. Esteemed platforms, including Entrepreneur, The Fintech Times and Business Leader also spotlight her insights. Committed to diversity and inclusion, she passionately empowers women to shatter barriers in the finance world.

Sherece Rainford
Founder and Creative Director, Gallery OCA

Rainford, a gallerist and consultant, draws from her wealth of business experience to guide Gallery OCA. She founded the gallery in 2020 with the aim of spotlighting Caribbean art and artists globally. Since then she has enjoyed great success in bringing the vibrant spirit of the work to a variety of audiences, often in unconventional settings, including Coutts Bank, 1-54, Kensington’s Cromwell Place and Christie’s London. She has collaborated with renowned artists such as Anthony Daley, Sonia Elizabeth Barrett, Alanis Forde, Gherdai Hassell and Merissa Hylton as well as curating high-profile exhibitions for the Black Cultural Archives, Chatham House and the Mayor of London. Rainford has been featured in the Financial Times and Artnet News.

Diahanne Rhiney
Managing Director, Naked Truth Agency

A social change advocate, Keynote and TEDx speaker, psychologist and author, Rhiney founded the UK’s first social change PR agency, Naked Truth, challenging equality and diversity. Her transformative work models have successfully driven financial growth and redefined workplace cultures, fostering equality, diversity, inclusion, productivity and employee engagement. Overcoming domestic violence, she established the charity Strength With In Me supporting gender abuse survivors and hosting an annual awards ceremony celebrating female achievers globally. She also serves as an ambassador for the WorldVision Campaign, and her accolades include winning the NatWest everywoman Award.

Vanessa Sanyauke
Founder, Girls Talk Corporation & The Hill App

Sanyauke is founder of The Hill app, an AI powered platform connecting female talent to job opportunities in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa. Her aim is to connect 1 million women from 140 countries with 1,000 businesses. She is also founder and CEO of Girls Talk Corporation, delivering events and programmes to connect businesses with 56,000 women. With 16 years of experience in Sustainability & ESG and financial services, technology and government, she was recognised as one of 30 people changing the world by the London Business School, and one of London’s most influential people by the Evening Standard. Her After Work Drinks Club podcast debuted at number four on the Apple Business Charts.

Leila Thomas
CEO & Founder, Urban Synergy

Thomas leads Urban Synergy, an award-winning youth empowerment charity established in 2007. The London Stock Exchange Group seconds her to drive Urban Synergy’s expansion, following a successful career in technology spanning more than 20 years. Urban Synergy inspires, guides and ignites the ambitions of young people and, to date, has helped over 26,000 young people with its roster of over 1,000 relatable role models. Through career seminars, 1-2-1 mentoring and work experience opportunities it helps young people reach their individual potential. Thomas has won multiple awards, including the Powerlist Community Award at the Black Excellence Awards, and was listed on the Empower Role Model List and the Google: Top 10 Black Role Models list in 2021.

Onyinye Udokporo
CEO and Founder, Enrich Learning

Udokporo is one of the UK’s youngest education experts, an entrepreneur, dyslexic author, TV presenter and a pioneer of social mobility. After winning two scholarships to study online education at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, she returned to the UK and founded Enrich Learning – an online tuition provider and EdTech software distributor. She is bridging the education achievement gap in society through affordable, high-quality online group tuition classes, and in less than a year Enrich Learning has provided over 1,000 classes to young people globally. Diagnosed with dyslexia aged 11, Udokporo is also a proud advocate for dyslexia and neurodiversity and has worked with various companies, universities and schools to help clients improve their equality, diversity and inclusion practices.

Efe Ukala
Founder, ImpactHER Foundation Ltd; GTE

Having founded ImpactHER in 2017, Ukala stands out as a force for transformative change. Today, over 75,000 women across 54 African countries have gained critical skills, mentorship and empowerment, many in often-overlooked rural sectors. In collaboration with UN Women and AfDB, she created gender-forward strategies during the global pandemic, and working with organisations such as Google, ImpactHER has transformed 38,300 non-tech enabled, women-led businesses. ImpactHER has crafted over 1,000 multilingual e-commerce websites for women at no cost to them, leading to revenue growth of up to 60% for these beneficiaries. Ukala has also worked on policies with international bodies such as the OECD.

Sonal Shah
Sonal Shah

Sonal Shah
Vice President, Barclays

Passionate about equity, diversity and inclusion, and helping females join the tech industry, Shah is a Forbes-featured multiple award-winning professional. She is one of only 10 people to have been a two-time Rising Stars award winner of We Are The City. She was winner of the 2023 Women in Cloud Community Leadership award; finalist for the Global Women of Inspiration award 2022 and named in Computer Weekly’s Most Influential Women in 2022 and 2023. Shah is partnerships manager for Win the Gender Employee Resource Group and deputy co-chair of the Asian Professionals Employee Resource Group. She has written a book, She Chose Tech: The Essential Guide to Inspire and Empower Women in Tech, due out this month.

Alex Webster
Head of Regulatory Advisory and Remediation, Coutts

Webster started as a financial services lawyer at Addleshaw Goddard (2014 qualification) before moving to Coutts where she has spent the past eight years in the following roles: legal counsel; head of banking and credit legal; everyday banking client journey manager; non-personal journey manager; and head of regulatory advice, remediation and consumer duty. As chair of the London and SE NatWest Gender Network, she leads DE&I from the front with a focus on women’s recruitment and retention plans. She is an expert in delivering legal and compliance advice to senior leaders, currently leading the NatWest Group Wealth Businesses’ response to Consumer Duty – the most challenging regulatory change in the past 15 years.

Maya Welford
Behavioural Finance Specialist, Barclays

Welford uses her understanding of psychology and human behaviour to improve investment outcomes for clients within Barclays Private Bank and Wealth Management. She is head of engagement for Inspire, Socio-economic Inclusion ERG; founder and lead of the charity mentoring programme Win; and founder and host of the That’s My Name podcast. In 2022 and 2023, she led insight days for young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds to learn more about the world of financial services, and she has been recognised as a We Are The City Rising Star 2020, UpReach Best Mentor 2021 and Empower Future Leader 2022. She was also selected as one of 150 UK-based LinkedIn content creators to engage in a six-week programme developing content on LinkedIn.

Lisa Wong
Head of Private Credit Sustainability Research, MIM

Wong is helping transform how “sustainable investments” are done across global markets. She joined MetLife Investment Management (MIM) as part of the acquisition of Affirmative Investment Management (AIM), where she is now responsible for private credit sustainability research leadership. MIM private capital had over $85bn in corporate and infrastructure investments globally, as of June 2023. Previously, as a founding partner at AIM, she conducted impact bond sustainability verification and designed AIM’s award-winning impact reporting. Recognised as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, she was selected as one of 50 leaders per city who are generating positive impacts.


We would like to thank our expert panel of judges who, using their extensive knowledge and wealth of experience in the City, selected this year’s Inspirational Women from an impressive longlist.

Lois Day
Founding Partner, 3 Sisters Ventures 

Day is co-founder of 3 Sisters Ventures, an investor in early-stage technology companies solving women’s overlooked needs and helping to close gender gaps. She is also a Venture Partner at FTSE 250-listed investment firm IP Group, where in addition to her role in the Deeptech team, she chairs the Diversity & Inclusion committee, is a member of the Responsible Investing working group and founded and leads IP Group’s Women’s Network. Before moving into venture capital, she had a decade-long investment banking career, as executive director at Goldman Sachs and vice president at Rothschild. She has also held multiple technology company board roles (public and private), is an award-winning mentor and served as Head of Strategy at social enterprise Humans in Finance.

Janthana Kaenprakhamroy
CEO, Tapoly

Kaenprakhamroy is the CEO of Tapoly, a pioneering on-demand insurance provider for SMEs and freelancers. She has been recognised as the sixth Top Woman Founder to Watch by Forbesand as one of the Top 10 Insurtech Female Influencers by The Insurance Institute. Recently, she has won prestigious awards such as the Innovator of the Year Award at the UK Fintech Awards 2023 and the Insurance Leader of the Year Award at the Women in Finance Awards 2021. Before joining Tapoly, she worked at top-tier investment banks. Tapoly has received several accolades, including the Technology Development award at the European Business Awards 2021 and the Best SaaS On-Demand Insurance Provider Award 2023.

Jacqueline Taiwo
Co-Founder and CEO, Black Women in Asset Management (BWAM)

A private equity lawyer and compliance professional with over 10 years of legal experience, Taiwo is passionate about building inclusive and diverse workplaces in the financial services industry. She founded BWAM, a global organisation supporting the retention and advancement of Black women working in asset management, providing BWAM’s 1,500+ members with opportunities to network and exchange knowledge across the industry. She won Advocate of the Year in the 2021 Women in Finance Awards and was also listed by Real Deals in 2020 as one of 40 individuals making a notable impact on improving diversity and inclusion in private equity. In 2022, she was also named one of Brummell’s 30 Inspirational Women in the City.