The impact that Black women make in the workplace and in the corporate world cannot be overstated. From leading billion dollar corporations, to amping up the bottom line of Fortune 500 companies — you see them. From leading global international organizations to advocating for social change through impact-driven enterprises — you hear them. From advocating for racial, social and climate justice — you know them.
Today in honor of Worker’s Day (May 1), we celebrate the impact and contributions of 50 Black Female Leaders in Corporate, who are redefining what leadership means, and who show — by the strength of their impact, contributions and ambition — that Black belong everywhere, but especially in the Workplace. See them. Hear them. Know them.
Abi Williams — She is the Fractional Chief Revenue Officer at Oliva, and is the founder and Fractional CRO of Lead not Lag where she enables growth stage startups to improve their survival rate, achieve repeatable, scalable, and measurable growth. Some of her clients over the years include Crunchbase, Meta, Udemy, and LinkedIn.
She is a proven leader with deep experience in developing exceptional, people-centric leaders and high-performing teams. She is also the author of the book, 10 Traits of Great Leadership That Are Often Overlooked.
Abiola Bawuah — She is the Regional Chief Executive Officer, West Africa for UBA, overseeing the Bank’s operation in Nine West African Countries. She is the first female CEO of UBA Africa. Prior to her appointment, Bawuah was Regional CEO, West Africa, supervising the Group’s operations in nine subsidiaries, including Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. She previously held the role of CEO, UBA Ghana.
Previously, she worked with Standard Chartered Bank as a Business Relationship Officer, CAL Bank as a relationship manager, the Strategic African Securities as an authorized dealing broker, and with the then Bentsi-Enchill and Letsa (now Bentsi-Enchil, Letsa and Ankomah) law firm as an investment officer.She has won several awards for her work which includes the 2016 Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana Marketing Woman of the Year and the Finance Personality of the Year Award at the Ghana Accountancy and Finance.
Adenike Adebola — She is the Marketing & Innovation Director at Guinness Nigeria where she oversees marketing, reserve, innovation and the portfolio strategy for Nigeria. Prior to her appointment to the top marketing job for Guinness Nigeria, she has held many roles local and internationally. Most recently she was Portfolio Director, Spirits. Prior to that, she was based in London, responsible for Guinness’ communications for Africa.
She was also responsible for Diageo’s non-alcoholic agenda for Africa spanning 15 countries, leading new market expansion, innovation and content creation. As a younger marketer she was an embodiment of a dynamic thinker-doer, with a strong streak for strategy and commercial acumen, building a personal trademark over the years of delivering sustainable growth through the transformation of brand equity and long-term commercial performance.
Adoma Owusu — She is currently the General Manager, Fintech Business Development and Expansion at MTN where she oversees the financial development and expansion of the business. She is an accomplished Financial Services Professional who is passionate about digital innovations and has over 20 years of progressively responsible business experience in high pressure and Multinational, Pan-regional and Domestic Corporate, service driven environments.
In her previous role as the Country Manager of Visa Ghana she monitored all of Visa’s operations in the country and was responsible for determining and executing on strategies for the market, cultivating close relationships with key decision-makers, growing the existing business, and identifying new opportunities. She started her career in South Africa where she worked up the corporate ladder at financial institutions like Nedbank before moving to Standard Bank where she worked in different roles for six years.
Under her leadership, Visa Ghana recorded key milestones in Ghana including the launch of Visa on mobile, the acceptance and expansion of contactless transactions across the country and facilitated and expanded access to strategic fintech partnerships like expressPay, Hubtel and Zeepay.
Aminata Kane — She is the Vice President of Mobile Financial Services (Orange Money, Orange Bank Africa) in the Orange Middle East and Africa. She was the Chief Executive Officer of Orange Sierra Leone for 4 years and turned around the company to make it profitable and a leader in the market. Prior to this appointment, she was the Chief Marketing Officer for Orange Money in Senegal, a business that has grown exponentially and become profitable in the past two years.
From 2009 to 2011, she was a strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company in France and Africa, designing strategies and operations for telecommunication and technology providers, banks, and consumer goods manufacturers in Europe and West Africa. She is a graduate from HEC Paris, earned her MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management and is a MIT Legatum fellow. In 2017, she was selected as a Young Global Leader of the Africa-France Foundation.
Angela Kyerematen-Jimoh — She is the Strategic Partnerships Lead for the African Continent for Microsoft’s newly formed Africa Transformation Office. Prior to her current role, she was the first female and African regional head for IBM North, East and West Africa.
She has also served at UBS Investment Bank and ABN AMRO in the UK. She was the Head of Consumer Banking for GTBank Ghana and Head of Prestige Banking for UBA Bank Ghana. Since joining IBM Ghana in 2011, she has worked across various business units in East and West Africa and served a global role for IBM in the United States of America. In 2015, she became the first female Country Manager for IBM in Africa, a role that saw her broker some of the largest deals in East and West Africa.
Barbara Furlow-Smiles — She is the Global Senior Director, Innovation, Consumer Creation & Sports/Brand Marketing, DEI, at Nike and was previously the Global Head of Employee Resource & Diversity Engagement at Meta. Barbara has an extensive and strategic background in Diversity and Employee Resource Group management with over 10+ years of experience with former roles at MTV Networks in New York and Cox Communications in Atlanta.
She is the founder of non-profit corporation, Global Smiles Health focused on sustainable health, providing people with the basic needs of living around the globe, ‘one community and SMILE at a time’. During the pandemic Barbara and her husband founded Smiles Shield, a modern customized face mask and face shield company that allows your SMILE to shine.
Brenda Mbathi — She is the Chief Executive Officer for East Africa at General Electric. She also oversees GE’s corporate sustainability initiatives and is in charge of the strategic planning for all of the company’s CSR initiatives across Africa. Brenda presently leads both the GE Kenya Women’s Network and the GE Volunteers Africa Council.
An accomplished, passionate, and vocal Corporate Affairs leader in Africa with more than 27 years experience, Brenda served as the Corporate Affairs Director for East African Breweries Ltd. (a division of Diageo Africa), where she oversaw the company’s reputation management initiatives, including stakeholder management, sustainability initiatives (the EABL foundation), and investor and media interactions. Brenda is a member of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), a Board Director of the Kenya Private Sector Association (KEPSA), and the Chairperson of the inaugural Board of Governors of the MPESA Foundation Academy.
Bozoma Saint John — She is an American businessperson and marketing executive, she was the chief marketing officer (CMO) at Netflix. Previously, she served as CMO at Endeavor, and chief brand officer (CBO) at Uber until June 2018. Bozoma was also a marketing executive at Apple Music until June 2017, after joining the company in its acquisition of Beats Music. From 2005 until 2014 she worked at PepsiCo, eventually serving as the head of music and entertainment marketing. In May 2021, she was named among the Top 50 Most Influential Female Leaders in Africa within the corporate and business sphere by Leading Ladies Africa. She recently released her memoir in collaboration with Bossy Cosmetics titled The Urgent Life: My Story of Love, Loss, and Survival.
Busisiwe Khaba — She is the Regional Head of Public Policy: Economic Policy and Regulation in Africa, Middle East & Turkey at Amazon Web Services, where she is responsible for the strategic development and management of public policy strategy, oversight of economic policy and regulatory requirements. Before joining AWS, she was the Head of Public Policy & Government Affairs: Sub-Saharan Africa at Uber.
Prior to joining Uber, she worked as a corporate affairs, external affairs and public policy consultant for over 10 years and has done political analysis on various media platforms. She sits on an advisory board in the Presidency of South Africa on Maritime Economy matters.
Caroline Wanga — She is the Chief Executive Ofﬁcer (CEO) of ESSENCE, the No. 1 media, technology, and commerce company dedicated to Black women and communities. She also serves as Chief Growth Ofﬁcer for ESSENCE Ventures, parent company of ESSENCE. She joined Essence Ventures, parent company of ESSENCE, as Chief Growth Ofﬁcer in 2020 from Target Corporation, where she served as Chief Culture, Diversity, and Inclusion Ofﬁcer.
She has worked her way up from entry-level positions to the highest of senior leadership roles and is passionate about modeling what she teaches. Her “real-talk” delivery, witty thought leadership and unmitigated perspective on democratizing authenticity as a differentiator for individuals and organizations, make her a highly sought-after keynote speaker, equity strategist, thought leader, and community inﬂuencer.
Catherine Lesetedi — She is the Group Chief Executive Officer of Botswana Insurance Holdings Limited (BIHL) and represents BIHL on a number of Boards including Funeral Services Group Limited, Bifm Unit Trusts, Botswana Insurance Company Limited, Nico Life, Nico Pensions Company and Nico Holdings. She has experience working in the insurance sector and possesses strong skills in coaching, budgeting, analytics, and negotiating.
She has held a number of positions with BIHL Group and AON Botswana, including General Manager of Life and Employee Benefits and Head of Corporate and High Value Business.
Catherine Muraga — She is the Managing Director of Microsoft Africa Development Center. She is a tech leader with a passion to apply technology to create business outcomes or impact lives positively. Prior to joining Microsoft, she led the Engineering team at Stanbic Bank Kenya and South Sudan and was a member of the bank’s Executive Leadership team. She was previously the Director of IT and Operations at Sidian Bank.
With a career spanning over 15 years, she is well versed with the Technology (IT) landscape having worked in different industry sectors including Manufacturing, Aviation, Banking and Tech industry.
Chinwe Esimai — She is the Managing Director and Chief Compliance officer of Legacy Franchises, prior to which she worked as Managing Director, Chief Anti Bribery and Corruption Officer. She is a lawyer, corporate executive and an author. She worked as Assistant Director, SEC/NASD Compliance at Met Life where she worked for a year and eleven months before resuming as Vice President for Goldman, Sachs & Co where she worked from 2006 to 2009. She later entered the academic field as an Assistant professor at the University of St. Thoms School of Law in Minneapolis, MN, where she taught Law & Finance in Emerging Markets, Securities Regulation, and Business Associations for a year and seven months.
In 2011, she went back to work at Goldman Sachs for two years before moving to Citi where she currently works. She resumed working in Citi as the SVP Global Anti Bribery & Corruption after which she moved to the position of Interim head, Global Anti Bribery and Corruption. Then to the position of Director Chief Anti-Bribery & corruption officer before resuming her current position as Managing Director.
Damilola Ogunbiyi — She is the CEO and Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Sustainable Energy for All, and Co-Chair of UN-Energy. She is a global leader and advocate for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with a focus on SDG7, which calls for access to reliable, affordable, sustainable, and modern energy for all by 2030. With her at the helm, Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) has entered into working relationships with over 200 partners, supported over 90 countries globally, and secured commitments of more than $600 billion in energy finance.
Prior to joining SEforALL, she was the first female Managing Director of the Nigerian Rural Electrification Agency where she initiated the Nigerian Electrification Project, a USD 550 million facility which is a joint World Bank and African Development Bank programme that to date provided energy access to over 5 million people across Nigeria. She also conceptualized the Energizing Economies Initiative, estimated to impact 1.2 million SMEs.
Before joining the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), she was the first female General Manager of the Lagos State Electricity Board. Under her leadership, five independent power projects were completed to deliver over 55 megawatts of power to Lagos State hospitals, schools, and government facilities.
Dara Treseder — She is the Chief Marketing Officer of Autodesk. She has led diverse executive roles at Apple and GE, and as chief marketing officer at Carbon, she joined exercise equipment company Peloton as SVP and head of global marketing and communications in August 2020. Marie Claire magazine credits her as being behind the success of Peloton during the COVID-19 pandemic. NPR called her “one of the most influential marketing leaders of her generation”.
She is also a founding member of the Black Executive CMO Alliance and vice-chair of the board of the Public Health Institute. She is one of a team of backers of W Magazine. In 2022, she was recognized by Forbes as the #1 most influential CMO in the world.
Deisha Barnett — She is the president of Global Communications at UPS, where she oversees all storytelling efforts for UPS’s workforce and external stakeholders. A passionate advocate for Inclusion, she is member of the board of directors at Urban Skin Rx, leading skincare brand for diverse skin tones and is the executive sponsor of the company’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) committee.
Known for her authentic leadership, high energy and impactful approach to storytelling, Deisha was a senior leader in Walmart’s communications team for nearly a decade, with Crisis and financial communications, consumer public relations, philanthropy communications, DEI communications and CEO-positioning among the areas that fell under her leadership.
She was also the driving force behind ATL Action for Racial Equity, an initiative that strives to address the consequences of institutional racism in both the community and the workplace. The United Way of Greater Atlanta named Deisha as the 2022 Woman of Excellence.
Dzene Makhwade-Seboni — She is the Chief Executive Officer, Mascom Wireless. She doubles as the first Motswana in this role and the first female to lead digital communication technology in Botswana. She has worked as the Marketing Manager both in Stanbic Bank and Barclays Bank .
She was once Territory Manager at The Coca-Cola Company and Market Development Manager at Kgalagadi Breweries Ltd. She is an industry expert who started her career in 1993 in strategic and commercial leadership in the digital, fast-moving consumer goods and banking space.
Felicia Joseph — She is the Senior Vice President of Casting at the American Broadcasting Network. A casting executive with over 15 years of studio & network experience, she has held casting positions at ABC, MRC, NBCUniversal and Paramount Pictures.
She made it all the way up from intern to assistant to an executive wearing several hats, working on hit shows like Queen of the South, and embracing both the creative and business sides of entertainment.
Francoise Moudouthe — She is the CEO of the African Women’s Development Fund, a pioneering women’s fund that provides African women’s rights organisations with vital access to financial resources, capacity-building support, and movement-building opportunities. Françoise is passionate about advocating for women’s rights and fostering sisterhood within African feminist movements.
She is also the founder of Eyala, a bilingual platform that amplifies the voices and lived experiences of African feminists. She contributed to setting up Girls Not Brides, the global civil society partnership to end child marriage, and spearheaded its growth in Africa.
God-is Rivera — She is the VP, Inclusive Marketing at Disney Entertainment. Prior to joining Disney, she was the Global Director of Culture and Community at Twitter — where she led company efforts and organizational programs that were connective, reflective and inclusive of global communities. Throughout her career, God-is Rivera has made inclusivity in the media industry her main priority. She is a passionate and proven leader and speaker who is determined to push the boundaries of existing industries, create new processes and systems, and advocate for the inclusion, understanding of and valuing of historically marginalized communities within technology, marketing and media spaces.
Ireti Samuel-Ogbu — She is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer for Citibank Nigeria Limited, becoming the first female CEO of the bank upon her appointment in 2020. Before her appointment as CEO, she served as the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) Head, Payments and Receivables, Treasury and Trade Solutions (TTS) under Citi’s Institutional Clients Group (ICG) based in London, UK. Distinguishing herself as an industry leader during her 30-year career run, she has held various roles across Citi’s businesses in the UK, Nigeria and South Africa, having worked in each of these countries twice. Some of her previous roles have included Relationship Management with Global Subsidiaries Group and the Public Sector Banking Team, as well as TTS Sales, Corporate Finance and leading Citi’s TTS business in two of the largest markets in Africa.
Ireti is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion and has co-founded two impactful mentorship programs, The Sapphire Leadership Program for MEA and The Momentum Program in the UK, both of which seek to provide new career tools, mentorship and networking opportunities. She is a thought-leader in various Banking and Fintech Forums across EMEA and has won awards in the UK and South Africa, including Financial Service Leader of the year 2019 at Black British Business Awards, Innovate Finance Women in FinTech Power List, 2017 and Best Professional Executive, 2009, at the Nigeria Achievement Awards.
Jessica Mckenzie — She is the Senior Director, People & Culture Communications at PepsiCo. She is a communications executive with more than 10 years of experience in corporate reputation, executive communications, public policy, and government affairs.
She currently leads internal and external communications for PepsiCo’s Global Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion function. Prior to this role, she worked on the strategy and execution of PepsiCo Beverages North America’s (PBNA) Corporate Reputation and Executive Visibility whilst strengthening its brand as a valued corporate citizen and elevating the thought leadership of its executive leadership, including PBNA’s CEO.
Kanyisa Mkhize — She is the Chief Executive Officer of Sanlam Corporate where she leads a team of game-changers traversing the retirement and long-term insurance sectors in search of possibilities to increase value for clients, shareholders, and stakeholders. Kanyisa oversaw Customer Solutions at Old Mutual Personal Finance before joining Sanlam. She effectively occupied a variety of positions at Old Mutual in the areas of product development, strategy, business development, customer solutions, and direct distribution.
Her 13 years in the life insurance industry combined with her expertise in management, business planning, communication, etc. make her a standout when it comes to delivering strategic strategies for potent consumer value propositions. She has a special affinity for using digital transformation to enhance customer experience.
Kimberley Goode — Kimberley Goode is Chief Communications and Social Impact Officer at BMO Financial. Kimberley is a senior integrated communications leader with experience in large global companies across multiple industries, including healthcare, financial services, consumer packaged goods, travel, and technology. Goode previously served Blue Shield of California as senior vice president of external affairs.
Prior to her time at Blue Shield of California, Goode served Northwestern Mutual as vice president of Communications and Corporate Affairs and executive officer, developing and driving internal and external communications strategy. She also served as president for the Northwestern Mutual Foundation, the largest corporate foundation in Wisconsin.
She has earned numerous awards, some of which include, 2019 San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business, Ebony Magazine’s Outstanding Women in Marketing and Communications, and Savoy magazine’s Most Influential Women in Corporate America.
LaDavia S. Drane — She is the Head of Global Inclusion, Diversity & Equity at Amazon Web Services where she leads a team concentrated on modifying the mechanism and data-driven strategy to promote a strong sense of belonging for its global workforce of employees, boost representation, and create equal experiences for underrepresented groups.
Drane has dedicated her life to promoting opportunities and equitable treatment for disadvantaged communities. She has held a number of prominent positions on Capitol Hill, including a two-year stint as the Congressional Black Caucus’ executive director.
Known for her work on issues related to African American voters, LaDavia Drane was the Director of African American Outreach and Deputy Director of Congressional Affairs for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Latasha Gillespie — She is the Executive Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Amazon Studios where she builds mechanisms to improves the diversity and inclusion of content, creatives and the ecosystem across Amazon Studios.Her scope is global, and she travels the world sharing inspirational messages of leadership and inclusion based on her 20+ years of experience. Prior to her current role, she led the Global Diversity and Inclusion Organization across Amazon Corporate. She is credited for leading the creation of Amazon’s first Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) conference.
Prior to Amazon, she spent 20 years in Finance and Human Resources with Caterpillar Inc. She was also Caterpillar’s Chief Diversity Officer prior to going overseas to be the head of HR for Africa, Middle East, CIS, Russia and Asia Pacific. In 2019 Black Enterprise named her one of the Most Powerful Women in Corporate Diversity and Ebony Magazine honored on their 2018 Power 100 List.
Latanya Mapp Frett — She is the President and CEO of Global Fund for Women and serves on the Board of Directors for Global Fund for Women and Global Fund for Women UK, a foundation that funds bold, ambitious, and expansive gender justice movements to create meaningful change that will last beyond our lifetimes. Global Fund for Women envisions a world where movements for gender justice have transformed power and privilege for a few into equity and equality for all.
Previously, she was the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global, the international arm of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, with regional and country offices in Africa and Latin America. She quadrupled the size of the program in four years to become one of the most innovative and sustainable global health organizations in the field. She worked for eight years as a human rights officer for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and for 10 years with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Ms. Frett served as a delegate to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995 and continues to fight for the human rights of women.
Laysha Ward — She is the Executive vice president and chief external engagement officer for Target. She is an accomplished C-suite executive with 30 years of leadership experience at Target. She has demonstrated an ability to lead through rapid change, solve problems, build innovative community programs, and collaborate with key stakeholders to support organizational goals and objectives.
In 2017, she was named Executive Vice President, Chief External Engagement Officer, overseeing Target’s enterprise-wide approach to engage and deepen relationships with cross-sector stakeholders to drive positive business and community impact. She is a founding member of the Racial Equity Action and Change committee (REACH), established in 2020 to help lead the organization’s strategy to drive lasting impact for Black team members, guests and communities. She is an insightful strategist, highly effective spokesperson and authentic communicator whose work complements her personal purpose, which is to be of service to others, with a focus on women, people of color and other underrepresented communities.
Lori George Billingsley — She is the former Global Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Officer for The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC). In that role, she led the company’s DEI Center of Excellence, all directed to enable a more engaged global workforce, mirror the markets served, and support a more inclusive culture to best position the employees of the company to drive growth. She was with the company for 20 years, having spent most of them in a variety of roles with increasing responsibility within Public Affairs and Communications.
She has over 30 years of public affairs, issues communications, community and stakeholder relations, social impact and diversity, equity and inclusion experience in developing and implementing breakthrough strategic initiatives that meet organizational goals, target audience needs and produce results. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, she led her own public relations consultancy, LG Communications; was a vice president at Porter/Novelli, a leading public relations firm where she co-founded their Multicultural Communications and Alliance Building practices.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE: PXD), Shake Shack (NYSE: SHAK), NAACP Foundation and Arete Executive Women of Influence. She is a member of the National Association of Corporate Director’s Center for Inclusive Governance Advisory Council, Howard University’s School of Communications Board of Visitors, Executive Leadership Council, OnBoard, International Women’s Forum and IWIN Advisory Board Committee.
Lynda Saint Nwafor — She is Chief Enterprise Business Officer at MTN Nigeria Communications where she is responsible for leading the enterprise and ICT strategy of MTN, guiding the team on technological requirements.With over 22 years experience in the Telecommunications sector. She is a seasoned professional and industry practitioner with a track record of impact on value creation and organizational transformation.
Previously she has served on the Presidential Committee for Broadband development in Nigeria, and Committee for policy and operating framework development towards deregulation of the Nigerian Telecoms industry and as a board member, MTN Guinea Bissau.
Mansa Nettey — She is the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank appointed as the first female CEO in the Bank’s 120 year history in Ghana. She also currently serves as the President of the Ghana Association of Banks. Mansa has a wealth of experience in the financial and capital markets and has made major contributions to the growth of the financial markets, including developing cutting-edge risk management strategies for governments.
Prior to her appointment as CEO, Mansa was the first female executive director of Standard Chartered Bank Ghana Limited in 2013 and was named a non executive director of the board of Standard Chartered Bank, Nigeria Limited in 2015. Nettey has over 20 years of experience in the banking industry and has held a number of prominent positions in corporate and institutional banking at Standard Chartered, including overseeing the West Africa sub-region.
Marjorie Saint Lot — She is the Country Manager for Uber in Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, where she focuses on developing strategies with a focus on sustainability and growth in the two markets. With more than 15 years of international professional experience in various sectors and with a recent focus on market intelligence and strategy, Marjorie joined Uber in November 2019 after working in strategy and development for Orange Cote d’Ivoire, where she led the company’s external growth and diversification program.
She is passionate about innovative technology and business strategies designed for sustainable development in Africa. Marjorie is currently Co-Chair of Women at Uber in SSA and a member of Uber’s EMEA Women at Uber where she promotes the advancement of women at Uber through the network, access to leadership, professional development, and peer mentoring.
Maria Achieng Onyango-Watkins — She is the Director of International DEI & Global Disabilities Talent at Meta. She is a passionate and inspirational Diversity, Equity and Inclusion leader specializing in implementing inclusion activities, processes and programs within complex, matrixed and changing organizations. She is focused on connecting and collaborating with stakeholders at all levels of organizations, building strong relationships that create authentic change. She is also focused on systemic change, challenging the inequities that inform everyday experience and creating an environment where everyone can belong and thrive.
She is an experienced public speaker on DEI within the private, public and charity sectors, and passionate about mentoring.
Maxine Williams — She is the Chief Diversity officer at Meta, formerly Facebook, and she serves as a member of Meta’s most senior executive leadership team under the CEO. Her team works to increase cognitive diversity and different ways of thinking based on different backgrounds, experiences and information of all Meta teams and integrate diverse perspectives into policy and product development. Maxine and her team also develop strategies to attract, retain and support the growth of underrepresented people at the company.Prior to Meta, she served as the director of diversity for a global law firm. She has worked as an attorney in criminal, civil and industrial courts in her native Trinidad and Tobago, and in the UK at the Privy Council.
She has also worked with multiple international organizations on development and human rights issues and had a career as a broadcast journalist, actress and on-air presenter. She is an independent director on the board of the publicly traded Massy Group of Companies. She graduated from Yale University before receiving her law degree with first class honors from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.
Melonie Parker — She is the Chief Diversity Officer at Google where she is focused on solving enterprise and organizational challenges that impact productivity, culture, and bottom line results and solve problems leading to higher productivity, exercise good judgment and experience at managing complex change in technical environments. She is an HR executive committed to innovative change, and a passionate thought leader. She is responsible for advancing Google’s employee engagement strategy across Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. She has worked in human resources for more than 15 years. In that time, she has been responsible for Employee Relations, Staffing, EEO/Affirmative Action, Diversity Programs, Compensation, Benefits, and K-12 outreach initiatives.
She had previously worked at Lockheed Martin and served as Director, Human Resources, for the Mission Systems and Training (MST) Undersea Systems line of business, as well as the MST Strategy and Business Development and MST Legal functions. Prior to this role she served as Director, Workforce Strategy, Analytics & Acquisition, supporting the Electronic Systems Business Area. She led the recruitment strategy and workforce planning initiatives for Electronic Systems, and she previously served as the IS&GS Talent Acquisition Director leading recruiting teams for three product lines with oversight of Lockheed Martin’s Talent Acquisition Centers.
Michelle James —She is the Director, Culture & Community Marketing, Facebook and Instagram where she innovates cultural resonance and brand relevance among Teens, Gen-Z, Creators and drives allyship with BIPOC communities across Facebook and Instagram. She has previously worked at Google as part of the Advisory Committee for Google podcasts creator program and as Vice President of Consumer Marketing at Fuse Media Inc.
Modupe R. Congleton — She is the global leader of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Amazon Worldwide Stores, where she leads global programs that improve access and participation for underrepresented and underprivileged communities. Modupé has a track record of creating strategies that integrate people, technology, process, and accountability to new levels of growth and profitability for Fortune 100 firms.
Prior to this expansive role, Modupé led the AWS Sales & Marketing Inclusion, Diversity and Equity strategy team. She also created mechanisms to hire Black, Latinx and Native American talent in the US and increase AWS-specific hiring goals for women globally, as well as develop and deploy programming that fosters a culture of inclusion.
She was named one of the Top 100 DEI Leaders for 2021 by Channel Futures, a Top HR Influencer of 2021 by Engagedly, and a Top DEI Leader by Mogul.
Nompumelelo Zikalala — She is the CEO of Kumba Iron Ore Limited. She serves as Chairman of Sishen Iron Ore Company (Pty) Ltd. and is an executive director on the Kumba Board. She was appointed general manager of De Beers Kimberley Mines in 2007, becoming the organization’s first female general manager and in the span of a decade rose through the ranks to the position of Managing Director, De Beers Group Managed Operations, covering De Beers Group’s operations in South Africa and Canada.
She is the Chairperson of the Private Sector Forum of the South African National AIDS Council and a Trustee of the University of Johannesburg Trust. She was the recipient of one of Mayfield, London’s 2018 Top 100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining awards.
Nona C. Jones — She is the Chief Content and Partnerships Officer at YouVersion where she is responsible for providing vision, strategy and operational leadership for YouVersion’s global content partnerships and strategic relationships and also leads the teams responsible for building the app-wide user experience across all products and tools.
She previously worked as the Director of North America Community Partnerships and Faith Global at Meta where she was responsible for driving the product strategy undergirding Facebook’s mission of giving its 3 billion users the power to build community and bring the world closer together by building strategic partnerships between Facebook and communities of faith, communities of color and youth-development organizations to broaden their reach and deepen their impact across Facebook’s platforms and products as well as offline.
Patience Mutesi — She is the Managing Director of Bank Populaire du Rwanda (BPR). BPR is the largest banking network in Rwanda with 154 branches helping people, businesses and communities to thrive since 1975. Last year, the bank became a subsidiary of KCB Group.
She has been serving as the Rwanda Country Director for Trade Mark East Africa, a post she has held since 2016. She has previously worked in the banking sector with Ecobank Rwanda as Head of Corporate Banking, and has also served on various boards as a member of the Board of Directors. She was a board member at BPR Bank Rwanda, MTN Rwanda, Rwanda Cooperation (RCI) and on the advisory council of the One Acre Fund-Rwanda.
Sanda Ojiambo — She is the Assistant Secretary-General; Executive Director & CEO of the UN Global Compact where she leads the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative, builds the strategic partnerships needed to drive impact and advocacy at local and global levels. She also advises the Secretary-General and the Deputy Secretary-General on the contributions of the private sector to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, on the engagement of the United Nations with business and on key organizational partnerships with the private sector. She also manages and coordinates the engagement of the UN Global Compact in United Nations inter-agency affairs, engaging with relevant multilateral and international organizations, alongside developing new, innovative partnerships with the private sector.
She served as the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact, leading the development and roll out of an ambitious new strategy to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business to uphold the Ten Principles of the Global Compact, and deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals. She joined the UN from Safaricom Plc in Kenya where she served as the Head of Sustainable Business and Social Impact, leading the implementation of several public-private partnership initiatives between Safaricom and UN organizations at both local and global levels.
Prior to this, she worked with IPPF Africa, UNDP Somalia and CARE Somalia leading public policy and capacity development work across multiple sectors. Throughout her career, she has cultivated and managed partnerships with key business entities, civil society organizations and philanthropies.
Sesha Joi Moon — She is the Director of the Office of Diversity & Inclusion with the U.S. House of Representatives at the U.S. Congress. Prior to her congressional appointment by Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, her work experience included positions in the U.S. Department of Commerce within the Office of the Secretary and U.S. Patent & Trademark Office – and in 2022, she served as the Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusivity at the National Institute of Standards & Technology.
Sesha is known as a DEI expert whose work is rooted in the philosophical stance that “Diversity is delegating differences. Inclusion is celebrating differences. But equity is elevating differences.” She is currently a Senior Research Fellow with The Conference Board’s Engagement Institute where she examined the intersection of diversity, equity, and inclusion with employee engagement and experience as part of the Employee Engagement and Experience Council.
Shelly-Ann Wilson Henry — She is the Director, Communications and PR at AT&T with over 15 years of experience across the financial, payments, data analytics, and telecommunications industries in Jamaica and the United States. She is also the founder of Bold Maroon, a PR and Comms agency that works with organizations to develop and communicate initiatives around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI); corporate social responsibility (CS); sustainability and other social issues.
Before joining AT&T, she has worked with Trellance as the PR & Communication Manager, EXIM Bank of Jamaica as the Chief Marketing Officer and other major organizations in Public Relations and Communications capacities.
Sherry Dzinoreva — She is the Director of Policy Programs, Africa, Middle East and Turkey at Meta. She is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of global experience servicing the media, tech, and non-profit sectors. She has spent 10 years driving communications campaigns in the media and entertainment industry and another 10 years leading social impact initiatives, with a focus on digital access, skills development, and youth empowerment. She has continued to combine stories and experiences to impact change by leveraging a mix of tech, media, content, and community engagement.
She is an effective leader who has built successful partnerships across five continents with experience building and managing cross-cultural teams around the world.
Somachi Chris-Asoluka — She is the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). She was most recently the Director of Partnerships and Communications for the Tony Elumelu Foundation, a leading philanthropy empowering young African entrepreneurs from all 54 African countries. She oversees marketing, communications, policy, advocacy, and partnerships for the Foundation. She leads TEF’s efforts to build strategic relationships with stakeholders, multilateral organizations, development institutions, civil society, foundations, and other key development partners to support African entrepreneurs and mobilize capital investments in these small businesses. She also leads the Foundation’s regional and global external engagements and oversees TEF’s global brand strategy and positioning.
Under her leadership, the Foundation is increasingly sharing its unique ability to identify, train, mentor, and fund young entrepreneurs across Africa, through partnerships with institutions including the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United States Government via the United States African Development Foundation (USADF), the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), the French Development Agency (AFD), the German Development Finance Institution (DEG), the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and Google.
Thasunda Brown Duckett — She is the President and CEO of TIAA, a Fortune 100 provider of secure retirement and outcome-focused investment solutions to millions of people working in higher education, healthcare and other mission-driven organizations. Previously at JP Morgan Chase, where she served as CEO of Chase Consumer Banking. Before that she led the bank’s auto finance business and served as national sales leader in mortgage banking.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of NIKE, Inc., Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Sesame Workshop, National Medal of Honor Museum, Economic Club of New York, University of Houston Board of Visitors and Dean’s Advisory Board for Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. Member of the Executive Leadership Council, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and Jack and Jill of America Inc.
Tumi Sekhukhune — She is the Group Executive: Enterprise Business Unit, with responsibility for MTN Group Enterprise Business Unit (EBU) client segment teams and the overall strategy with the EBU teams in MTN Opcos across the 22 OpCo’s of the Group. She joined MTN in 2018 and has held the role of Group GM: LE and MNCs from 2018-2020 and then was Acting Group Executive: Enterprise Business Unit from 2020-2022, until she was formally appointed into the current role.
Before joining MTN, she was a core member of Egon Zehnder’s Technology and Telecommunications, Private Equity, and Family Business Advisory practices. Prior to Egon Zehnder, she was Vice President at Ericsson Sub Saharan Africa, covering 43 countries in the region and a member of the Region’s Leadership Team. In that position she managed a large product portfolio with responsibilities that included strategy, marketing and communications, corporate and social responsibility, in addition to chairing the regional diversity and inclusion council. Over the course of her 10-year career at Ericsson she handled a wide range of assignments across Africa, Southeast Asia and Europe. Prior to that, she acquired extensive experience in technology and strategy consulting at Accenture and Decipher, a boutique strategy consulting house based in South Africa.
Yolisa Phahle — She is the Chief Executive Officer for Connected Video and General Entertainment for the MultiChoice Group. She has held several senior roles within MultiChoice South Africa, and worked as a Senior Producer for BBC. She is the brain behind the Group’s content strategy, which aims to establish Africa as the most popular and renowned source of African stories worldwide. With a strong emphasis on innovation and industry development, she focuses on providing the greatest local and international content to the company’s more than 19.5 million clients throughout 50 African countries.
Yolisa is a member of the MultiChoice Group executive team and a non-executive independent director on the board of Phuthuma Nathi, one of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) programs in the nation with the highest level of success. Phuthuma Nathi holds a 25% interest in the MultiChoice Group’s South African operations.
Yvonne Ike — She is the Managing Director and Head of Sub Saharan Africa (Ex-RSA) at Bank of America. With more than 25 years of expertise in the financial services industry, Yvonne joined Bank of America (BofA) in September 2014 and has since then made the bank a pioneer in the provision of international financial services in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Yvonne founded the Adara Foundation, an NGO that focuses on women, education, and business in Africa, in her bid to actively contribute to Africa’s growth. In 2020, Yvonne became a member of the Oxford University Business School’s global advisory council.
Yvonne has received many numerous international honors, including the Queen of England’s recognition of her as one of the top 200 business women in the UK who have made a major contribution to society. In 2019 she was also named one of the Top 100 Women CEOs in Africa.