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Diversity leader Miranda Brawn makes her mark at ULaw event

DEDICATION: Miranda Brawn Annual Diversity Leadership Annual Lecture, hosted by The University of Law (ULaw) took place Saturday, 21 October.

LEADING PEOPLE from the world of business, academia, government and the legal sector, believe that increasing diversity in the workplace is an individual responsibility which we must all strive to enact if we are to see real change for the next generation.

These were the findings of the history making and award-winning Miranda Brawn Annual Diversity Leadership Annual Lecture, hosted by The University of Law (ULaw) at its Moorgate campus on Saturday, 21 October.

The event is the brainchild and organised by Dr Miranda Brawn, barrister and a leading campaigner for diversity in the UK, to educate, empower and raise awareness about the divisions within society and the extent of the race and gender diversity gap with our next generation.

This is the second annual lecture by Dr Brawn, which is targeted at our next generation of leaders aged between 14-21 year olds from a BAME background to help close the diversity gap with action.

Among the key diversity figures who spoke at the event were race relations pioneer and Patron of the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation Dame Jocelyn Barrow DBE, Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, founder of The Chineke! Foundation, Europe’s first BAME Orchestra and Professor at the Royal Academy of Music; Patrick Vernon OBE, political activist and publisher; and Jacqui Gavin, leading trans rights activist and transgender Civil Servant for the Department of International Trade.


Patrick Vernon

The speakers recognised that although diversity and inequality are becoming more prevalent in the national agenda, barriers to achieving success and securing top positions for young people still exist. In particular, speakers highlighted the need for individuals to be responsible for bringing about equality for all races, sexualities, disabilities and social backgrounds in the workplace.

In order to achieve this, leadership, progression and recruitment practices must be changed to become more accepting and open. Speakers also sought to inspire and provide practical advice for the audience on fighting stereotypes and challenges in the workplace by discussing the difficulties they have faced in their professional and personal lives and how they have overcome these.

Dr Brawn commented during her diversity leadership lecture: “When it comes to race diversity and tackling inequality we must do more and we must do better. A race pay gap exists and the question we need to address is how do we change the gap. One of the solutions is to talk about race, to be colour-brave, and to talk about race diversity.

"The next generation will only achieve success if they can see others achieving it. Each and every one of us needs to work together to close the gap across all diversity strands in the UK.”

Baroness Shami Chakrabarti commented on the event: “At a moment in history when eight men own more than 3.6 billion other people on the planet, it is hard to imagine a period of greater inequality in our society. This imbalance is not just economic but racial and gendered. The gulf is perhaps most starkly reflected in a lack of diversity in leadership across so many professions and walks of life. And the legal profession, in this country, is an area, which arguably requires the most urgent change.


Shami Chakrabarti

"Though I welcomed the recent appointment of Lady Justice Black to the Supreme Court, two women out of 11, and no BAME in our senior judiciary is not good enough. To tackle inequality we must do more and do better. I am delighted to support the work of Dr Miranda Brawn which includes The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation to recognise, reward and celebrate future leaders from a BAME background helping to increase diversity in the workforce.

"Thank you to the University of Law for supporting this much needed diversity leadership event.”

Matthew Ryder, Deputy Mayor of London for Social Integration, Social Mobility and Community Engagement said: “It is a real pleasure to add my voice to those supporting Miranda Brawn and her diversity leadership foundation in their continuing and important drive for greater diversity in the workplace.

"Achieving more diversity amongst London’s workforce at all levels and across all sectors is one of the top priorities of both myself and the mayor. The lecture at which the Miranda Brawn diversity leadership scholarships will be awarded, is a valuable contribution towards highlighting the importance of diversity - including, in particular, race diversity - within the UK workforce.”


Matthew Ryder

Dame Fiona Woolf DBE and Patron of the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation stated that: “Miranda Brawn’s energy and enthusiasm are infectious. She is inspiring every one of us to greater ambition – together we can succeed in transforming lives. This year’s lecture will inspire us to greater achievement and provide the tools to get the diversity and inclusion wave further up the beach.”

Dame Jocelyn Barrow DBE and Patron of the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation praised the event on the day: “I am very supportive of Dr Miranda Brawn and her wonderful diversity work with the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation. It is our responsibility to work with each other to ensure that we change the situation.”


Dame Jocelyn Barrow DBE and Miranda Brawn

The Rt Hon. the Baroness Warsi, member of the House of Lords also showed her support by saying: “I am pleased to support The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation which both recognises, rewards and celebrates future leaders from a BAME background and helps to increase diversity within the workforce.

"The Scholarship provides vital mentoring, work experience and funding to assist our future leaders, whilst the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Lectures provide an opportunity for the next generation to be more informed about diversity and play their part in closing the diversity gap.”

Jacqueline Cheltenham, national programme and student affairs director, The University of Law (ULaw), said: “We are delighted that Dr Miranda Brawn, an alumna of The University of Law, is making such a positive and impressive difference in the diversity arena. ULaw is dedicated to continuing to promote, encourage and achieve diversity across undergraduate and postgraduate levels to ensure the success of our diverse students.”

The nine winners of the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarships 2017 were announced at the event and awarded £500 funding, work experience and mentoring. The mentoring will be with Dr Brawn and other top UK leaders as part of the Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation’s Mentoring Programme.

This year, the scholarships were supported by Hogan Lovells LLP, The Prince’s Trust, Cancer Research UK, Ark Burlington Danes Academy, Lambeth Council and presented to Norman Womuhai from Queen Mary, University of London, Ayah Elomrani from University of Nottingham, Thalia Papnicolau from Lambeth, Leena Taha from the Prince’s Trust Programme, George Imafidon from UCL, Hamida Khanom, Naima Habib and Najma Habib from Ark Burlington Danes Academy.

The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Foundation have also launched UK’s the first Next Generation Diversity Leaders List 2017 (in alphabetical order). This includes the 2016 and 2017 Scholarship winners.

1. Alexander Rogers (Runner-up Finance and Business 2017)
2. Ayah Elomrani (Bonus Hogan Lovells Law 2017)
3. George Imafidon (Multi-sector 2017)
4. Hamida Khanom (Finance and Business 2017)
5. Imani Jeffers (Bonus Finance 2016)
6. Jacqueline Gomes-Neves (Multi-sector 2016)
7. Justine Cameron-Chilesie (Runner up Multi-sector 2017)
8. Leanne Lashley (The Prince’s Trust 2016)
9. Leeha Taha (The Prince’s Trust 2017)
10. Martha Ojo (Runner up Hogan Lovells Law 2017)
11. Mobeen Salih (Bonus United Nations 2016)
12. Naima Habib Ark Burlington Danes Academy 2017)
13. Najma Habib (Ark Burlington Danes Academy 2017)
14. Nicole Farley (Runner up The Prince’s Trust 2017)
15. Norman Womuhai (Hogan Lovells Law 2017)
16. Savannah Tiawo (Bonus Law 2016)
17. Somaieh Hedayat (Cancer Research UK (STEAM) 2017)
18. Suffian Hussain (Hogan Lovells Law 2016)
19. Thalia Papanicolau (Lambeth 2017)
20. Zahra Haque (Bonus STEM 2016)

The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship 2017 winners (in alphabetical order):

• Ayah Elomrani (Bonus Hogan Lovells Law 2017)
• George Imafidon (Multi-sector 2017)
• Hamida Khanom (Finance and Business 2017)
• Leeha Taha (The Prince’s Trust 2017)
• Naima Habib (Ark Burlington Danes Academy 2017)
• Najma Habib (Ark Burlington Danes Academy 2017)
• Norman Womuhai (Hogan Lovells Law 2017)
• Somaieh Hedayat (Cancer Research UK (STEAM) 2017)
• Thalia Papanicolau (Lambeth 2017)

• The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship 2017 - Hogan Lovells Law, presented by Nicholas Cheffings, Global Chair of Hogan Lovells and Chair of PRIME. WINNER: Norman Womuhai

• The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship 2017 - Bonus Hogan Lovells Law, sponsored by Hogan Lovells and presented by Simon Dowson-Collins, General Counsel at Harper Collins. WINNER: Ayah Elomrani
• The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship 2017 – Lambeth, presented by Cllr Lib Peck, Lambeth Council Leader. WINNER: Thalia Papanicolau
• The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship 2017 - The Princes Trust, presented by Jo Parsons, Head of Programmes, Enterprise and Awards, South of England at The Prince's Trust. WINNER: Leena Taha
• The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship 2017 - Multi-Sector, presented by Keiron Sparrowhawk, CEO of MyCognition. WINNER: George Imafidon
• The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship 2017 - Finance and Business, presented by James De Sausmarez, Head of Henderson's investment trust and investment and Common Councilman for Candlewick Ward. WINNER: Hamida Khanom
• The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship 2017 - Ark Burlington Danes Academy, presented by Anne Clements, Deputy Principal and Head of Sixth Form. WINNERS: Naima Habib and Najma Habib
• The Miranda Brawn Diversity Leadership Scholarship 2017 - Cancer Research UK (including STEAM), presented by Victoria Pritchard, Fundraising - Philanthropy and Partnerships. Awarded to PhD students, accepted by Somaieh Hedayat

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