EXPERT VOICES
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Lily Zheng

Author, DEI Consultant

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Lily Zheng (they/them) is a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion consultant and Executive Coach who works with organizations around the world to create high-impact and sustainable change. With their clients, they leverage organizational design, strategy, and culture to find novel solutions to systemic inequalities. A dedicated change-maker and advocate recently named a Forbes D&I Trailblazer, Lily writes for publications including the Harvard Business Review, Berrett-Koehler, and HR Executive. They recently published their second book, The Ethical Sellout: Maintaining Your Integrity in the Age of Compromise.

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Nishma Jethwa

Fearless Futures

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Nishma Jethwa (she/her/they) is a London-born first-generation Indian woman. She is a facilitator, strategist and organiser who has worked in the social justice and anti-oppression space across the U.K. and India for the past 12 years. She has a background in law and activism with extensive experience working on gender equity, access to justice, technology-facilitated harm and labour rights, as well as addressing oppression within the South Asian Diaspora. Her expertise in tackling gendered and racial oppression stems from her time at a number of organisations including One Future Collective, Strategic Advocacy for Human Rights, the European Human Rights Advocacy Centre, the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre and Aman Biradari. Nishma is currently working to improve access to formal and community-based systems of justice in collaboration with grassroots lawyers, community activists and students. She also leads a number of independent initiatives including End Cyber Abuse and The Rights Collective, as well as working as a collaborator on other rights-based initiatives globally. Nishma holds a BSc in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Warwick and is a qualified lawyer in the Senior Courts of England and Wales.

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Bernardo Ferdman

Leadership & OD Consultant, Author

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Bernardo M. Ferdman, Ph.D. principal of Ferdman Consulting and distinguished professor emeritus at Alliant International University, has focuses his career on supporting leaders and organizations in bringing inclusion to life. He is passionate about creating an inclusive and just world where more people can be fully themselves and accomplish goals effectively, productively, and authentically, and consults to organizations across sectors on inclusion, equity, and diversity. Ferdman is an Expert Panelist for the Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Benchmarks, created and directed the Inclusive Leadership Program at UCLA Anderson Executive Education, was the 2020 H. Smith Richardson Jr. Visiting Fellow at the Center for Creative Leadership, and served as president of the Diversity Collegium and in various other leadership roles. He created Inclusion@Work®, a digital coaching platform for learning about inclusion, and a proprietary Inclusion Inventory. Ferdman is a Fellow of SIOP, SCP, APA, and various other groups. His many awards include SCP’s 2019 Award for Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Consulting. Ferdman edited Inclusive Leadership: Transforming Diverse Lives, Workplaces, and Societies (2021), and Diversity at Work: The Practice of Inclusion (2014), and he has published and presented extensively on inclusion, diversity, and other multicultural issues. Ferdman earned a Ph.D. in Psychology at Yale University and an A.B. degree at Princeton University. 

Dominic Gaobepe

Managing Director, Cohesion Collective

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Dominic Gaobepe is a consultant, trainer & entrepreneur. As a co-founder of Cohesion Collective he works with regional and multinational companies to contribute towards social cohesion and nation building by enabling them to build the skill set & mindset of equality, diversity & inclusive leadership. He holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from Rhodes University in South Africa. After graduating he worked within the Human Resources field for Unilever SA & South African Breweries, adding value and building expertise in the areas of leadership development, high performing teams & organisational transformation.

 

To serve his community he has co-founded The Yearning Soul Life-Coaching Ministry which is an organisation aimed at social development and imparting business & life skills to men, women and the youth.

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Cicely Belle Blain 

DEI Consultant

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Cicely Belle Blain is a Black/mixed, queer femme from London, UK now living on the lands of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people. Their ancestry is a mix of Gambian (Wolof), Jamaican and English. At the heart of all their work, Cicely Belle harnesses their passion for justice, liberation and meaningful change via transformative education, always with laughter, and fearlessly in the face of systemic oppression.They are noted for founding Black Lives Matter Vancouver and subsequently being listed as one Vancouver's 50 most powerful people by Vancouver Magazine in 2018 and again in 2020, BC Business's 30 under 30 and one of Refinery29's Powerhouses.Cicely Belle is an instructor in Executive Leadership at Simon Fraser University, the Editorial Director of Ripple of Change Magazine and the author of Burning Sugar (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2020).

Puja Kapai 

Assoc. Professor, HKU

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Puja Kapai is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, Director of the Social Justice Summer Internship programme and Convenor of the Women’s Studies Research Centre at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). She is an expert in international human rights law, minority rights, and intersectional legal studies, focusing in particular on the rights of communities marginalised on grounds of gender, race, religion, sexuality, and citizenship specifically in the areas of education, poverty, democratic participation, language rights, hate speech and gender- and race-based violence and discrimination. Her comprehensive report on the Status of Ethnic Minorities in Hong Kong 1997-2014 broke new ground in putting issues impacting racial and ethnic minorities in Hong Kong on the agenda of Hong Kong’s then Chief Secretary and now Chief Executive, Mrs. Carrie Lam. The Report was also presented to the Hong Kong Legislative Council, the Poverty Commission and the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination and its recommendations have influenced policymaking and service provision targeting ethnic minorities. Professor Kapai’s path-breaking research on the intersectional challenges impacting the experiences of ethnic minority and immigrant victims of domestic violence in Hong Kong led to the establishment of a Subcommittee in the Hong Kong Legislative Council to comprehensively examine policies and provisions, calling for a shift in strategies to deliver culturally responsive support. In 2019, she published Doing Equality Consciously, the first study on unconscious bias in Asia. Professor Kapai is a frequent Keynote Speaker on issues of minority rights, migrants, gender justice and children’s rights. She was invited to speak at the United Nations Forum on Minority Issues in 2019 on the rights of linguistic minority girls in education and on hate speech in 2020 at the Asia Pacific UN Forum on Minority Issues. She has appeared before various treaty bodies of the United Nations. Recognising her contributions to teaching, research, and the community-based impact of her work, Professor Kapai was honoured with the International Women of Courage Hong Kong Award 2015, HKU Faculty of Law’s Outstanding Teaching Award 2016 and its Knowledge Exchange Award 2017 and the American Chamber of Commerce’s Women of Influence Professional Woman of the Year Award 2019.

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Ishani Roy

Founder, Serein

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Founder of Serein .A scientist by training, Ishani has a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and has been a post-doctoral fellow at University of Oxford and Kings College London. Most recently she was a researcher with General Electric (G.E.) where she contributed to product development in the Aerospace, Healthcare and Energy sectors. 

During the course of her work, she became interested in how some companies were successful in growing an innovative and diverse culture, while many others struggled. Serein is an attempt at using science to enable diversity and inclusion and drive organizational development in every business in India.

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Jayakanthan M

Virgin Media

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Jay joined Virgin Media on 2nd March 2020 as Executive Director for Employee Experience.  Jay is part of the People and Transformation Leadership team that leads on Resourcing; Talent and Performance Management; Leadership Development; Early Careers (Graduate) Scheme; Employee Experience – which covers Culture, Diversity and Inclusion.  Jay is also the strategic HR Business Partner for Virgin’s Chief Digital Officer.  

Jay has many years experience as a global HR Leader impacting organisation growth, culture and performance and has significant experience partnering with the C- Suite to coach and guide on critical business decisions.  Before joining Virgin Media, Jay was Vice President for Global Talent and Employee Experience at Monster, where he spent two years as a global leader connecting people to jobs and an internet pioneer.   As a lifelong wheelchair user, Jay is passionate about Disability inclusion in the workplace and builds disability confidence in organisations through positive role modelling.  

Jay loves spending his spare time with his wife and 3½ year old daughter.  He also loves cricket and takes up any opportunity he can to go and watch a cricket match.  He is also an avid traveller and a voracious reader. 
 

Tanja Vainio

Managing Director, ABB

Tanja Vainio is Managing Director of ABB’s Automotive Tier 1 Business Line in the company’s Robotics and Discrete Automation business, a position she has held since 2020. Previously, she served as Country Managing Director, Czech Republic and Slovakia and Country Managing Director of Hungary. Vainio joined ABB in 1998, serving in various regional and global management roles of increasing responsibility in research and development, operations, supply chain management, service and sales in Finland, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA. 

Vainio was also a member of the Board of Directors at Impact Coatings AB in Sweden from 2018 to 2021. She has a civil engineering degree and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tampere University of Technology in Finland. She is based in Zurich, Switzerland.

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Minal Bopaiah is a strategic consultant with nearly 20 years of professional experience. Her areas of expertise include human-centered design, behavior change psychology, and the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion as they relate to media, marketing and communications. As the Founder and Principal Consultant of Brevity & Wit, Minal is passionate about designing for equity. Her work includes a holistic rebranding of Evans Consulting, a human-centered management consulting firm, and working with NPR’s news managers to design a system for diversifying news sources. As a marketing strategist, she is responsible for a 1450% increase in website traffic and 50% increase in event revenues for Cook Ross, a diversity and inclusion consulting firm. Her clients also include PBS Kids, the International Center for Research on Women, and Engender Health. Minal’s previous work includes being an educational content specialist for Sesame Workshop, the non-profit behind Sesame Street and its international co-productions, and a press intern for Doctors Without Borders. Her media experience includes being a freelance reporter, the International and Features Editor for Boston Metro, and the Executive Editor of Subscription Insider, an online business publication for which she single-handedly generated $200,000 in annual revenues.

Minal is a sought-after speaker, and her virtual keynote for Greater Public’s Summer Series in 2020 was attended by more than 1300 professionals in public media. Her thought leadership has been published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review and she has been a guest on several podcasts and radio shows, including The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU/NPR. Her book Equity: How to Design Organizations Where Everyone Thrives will be published by Berrett-Koehler in the fall of 2021. She is also collaborating with Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole to publish a non-fiction book on leadership and social justice.

Minal has a B.A. in English from Bowdoin College, a Master’s degree in clinical psychology from Fordham University, and was formally trained in organizational development and change leadership at Georgetown University. In 2016, she was selected as a Digital Production Fellow by Organizing for Action, the non-profit advocacy group started by President Barack Obama. She is an Advisory Board member for Dent Education, a nonprofit teaching entrepreneurship, design thinking and making to Baltimore high school students, and for Bring Change to Mind, the nonprofit started by the actress Glenn Close and her sister Jessie Close to end mental health stigma. She lives with her family in Silver Spring, MD.

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Minal Bopaiah

Brevity & Wit

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Steven Huang

Collective DEI

All Steven Huang wants in life is to make a difference. Steven’s desire to make sense of the world has led him down some interesting paths. He started his career as an actuary, which fast-tracked his ability to understand complex data and mathematical theories. He was the first HR analyst at Facebook and Square, where he distilled data to inform HR strategies at global brands through IPO. Most recently at Culture Amp, he built, marketed and sold D&I products with an intersectional focus, crafted experiences to shift mindsets, and led internal D&I initiatives while scaling employee and ARR growth 2000% over a 5 year period. Through all of the great strides in his professional career, Steven has been keenly aware of his privilege – and that others have encountered discriminatory hurdles built into nearly every system and institution that have been scaffolded by centuries of misused power. He therefore commits to using his privilege towards ensuring that his future children grow up in a world that is continuously striving for a world where everybody belongs, to using his talents to design equitable systems and measure their impact.

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Surovi Dey Dhupar 

DEI Advocate

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Surovi Dey Dhupar is a vocal advocate of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, with close to 2 decades of experience in creating strategic alliances with multiple stakeholders across IT/ ITES sector and winning awards for the organisation in the process. She has been at the forefront of the Diversity and Inclusion landscape in India for the last one decade and instrumental in firmly establishing Gender Equity, Disability Accessibility and LGBT Inclusion as business imperative across various organizations whilst being a visible champion for equality.
At HGS, she has been designing data-driven innovative strategies, implementing people practices to promote workplace inclusion and equity by creating an ecosystem where people can thrive.
 

Candice Morgan 

Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Partner at GV (Google Ventures) 

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Candice Morgan guides business executives to build inclusive talent strategies that drive diverse products and scale business outcomes. As EDI Partner she creates inclusive strategies for GV (Google Ventures) and its portfolio companies, and help the firm expand diversity across the entrepreneurs it funds. Prior as the first Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Pinterest, Candice led strategy and programs to enhance a diverse and inclusive company. Before that, she spent a decade honing her expertise in diversity strategy and practice at Catalyst, based on Wall Street and in Zurich, Switzerland. Her clients were F1000 global organizations across a range of industries (including technology, professional and financial services, healthcare, oil and gas, and consumer goods). A frequent speaker and advisor at conferences and events worldwide and a contributor to Harvard Business Review, Candice was recently awarded Fast Company's Most Creative People in Business and The Root's 100 Most Influential African-Americans of 2017. She proudly serves as a Board Director for Women Who Code.


Specialties: diversity and talent management consulting, workforce statistics analytics, cross-cultural management, speaking engagements and workshops, qualitative and quantitative analysis, relationship management 

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Sophie Guerin 

Head of Diversity & Inclusion, APAC at Johnson & Johnson 

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Sophie Guerin is the Head of Diversity & Inclusion, APAC at Johnson & Johnson since 2020. Prior to joining J&J, Sophie was the APAC Head of D&I at Dell Technologies and the Head of D&I for Community Business. She has been living and working in APAC on and off for 18 years.  Sophie is a recognized expert on diversity & inclusion in Asia with a specialty in supplier diversity and speaks frequently at industry and thought leadership forums. She is co-author of "Examining Diversity & Inclusion from an Asian Perspective" and “Developing Dependency” which explores special economic zones in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. 
She is Co-Chair and founding member of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Singapore Women in Business Committee.  She is a founding member of AmCham China Women’s Professional Committee and former member of AmCham Hong Kong Women of Influence Committee. Sophie is also the Founder of Women in International Public Affairs based in Paris, France and a founding member of Global Women Leaders, a female-led philanthropy platform.
She holds a Masters in Public Affairs from SciencePo Paris and a BFA from NYU in East Asian Studies and Theatre.

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Geoffrey Williams 

Global Head of Diversity, Equity and inclusion - Dr. Martens

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Geoffrey Williams is Global Head of Diversity, Equity and inclusion for the shoe brand, Dr. Martens. He’s also an award winning filmmaker. 
With a passion for music, Geoffrey attended the BRITs Performing Arts and Technology School and did a business degree at Buckinghamshire University focused on the entertainment industry. Geoffrey then spent ten years working in the music industry and artist management. When he turned 29, he decided that he wanted to do something different and that’s when he became involved in HR with a focus on diversity.
Geoffrey’s role at Dr. Martens sees him responsible for building the function and partnering with leadership to set direction. He looks at policies, practices and how they can educate everyone with the intention that it leads to an integration of these practices into business DNA. 
Regardless of background, age, race, gender, sexuality, geographic location etc, Geoffrey believes everyone must have equal outcomes for all that work within the company. 
Geoffrey is also the co-founder of social enterprise, Rocking Ur Teens, which introduces young people aged 13- 14 (girls and boys) to the world of work. Launched in 2014, they have reached over 200 schools across the UK and taken over 2000 teens through their programmes that develop entrepreneurial spirit, agility & flexibility, character, self esteem and good mental health/wellbeing.

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