Episodes

  • Activist, writer and speaker, Sangeeta Pillai, is the founder of the South Asian feminist network, Soul Sutras, which is all about tackling taboos within the culture.

    She’s the creator of the Spotify award-winning ‘Masala Podcast’; the show for South Asian women deals with sex, sexuality, shame, periods and much, much more.

    Sangeeta is also the creator of  the Masala Monologues series of writing workshops and theatre shows in the UK and the US. She has been featured in the Evening Standard, Eastern Eye, Huffington Post, on BBC Asian Radio, in Brown Girl Magazine and has been a writer for over 20 years.

    Sangeeta was Highly Commended in the Arts and Culture category at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, part of the Women of the Future Programme, in 2021.

    Please note that this podcast was recorded in February 2022.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Caroline Williams is Director of Open Executive Education at Saïd Business School, part of the University of Oxford. She is responsible for the vision and success of their Open Executive Education (OEE) portfolio.

    Under Caroline’s leadership, OEE is ranked second in the world for quality of executive education by the Financial Times, earning first place in the UK for six consecutive years.

    Caroline’s career has taken her from developing and managing large scale media campaigns to running the research team for a major Think Tank.

    Committed to supporting Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, Caroline is part of a global network of thought leaders creating opportunities for women from all sectors to experience high quality executive education.

    Saïd Business School is the proud sponsor of the Women of the Future Programme.

    Please note that this podcast was recorded in March 2022.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

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  • Toni Thorne lives by the motto: ‘Be true to yourself’, and as an entrepreneur who started her first business aged 7, it’s certainly a notion that is working incredibly well for her.

    The epitome of the ‘multi-hyphen’ career, Toni has been a consultant to both public and private sector entities in her native Barbados, and at 18 was the first Black or Caribbean person to sit on the Global Youth Leader’s European Summit, going on to be named as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper and Deputy Curator of its Bridgetown Hub. Alongside presenting ‘The Toni Thorne Show’, her regionally broadcast television show, working as a clothing and shoe designer, devising a charity programme for HIV-infected orphans in Jamaica, and much, much more; Toni is also a former Huffington Post blogger and columnist to two of Barbados’ leading publications.

    The list of her accolades and achievements is quite remarkable and extremely varied, with her recent accomplishment of receiving an MBA with Cambridge Judge Business School, seeing Toni named on the prestigious Poets and Quants ‘Brightest and Best’ list. Toni is now happily working at J.P. Morgan Asset Management and is keen to work on projects which encourage and inspire women and girls, especially to pursue financial literacy and careers in finance.

    Toni was the joint winner of the Women of the Future MBA Star Award in 2021 - please note that we recorded this podcast whilst she was sitting by the ocean in Barbados, so do enjoy the sound of the lapping waves behind her… if you can!

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Anna Sheppard is an inspirational keynote speaker and the founder and CEO of Bambuddha Group, a social enterprise and community for dedicated learners who want to make an exceptional impact through leadership in business.

    From humble beginnings, Anna spent most of her childhood fighting prejudice, and entered the care system for a short time before braving the world alone at the young age of 16.

    Her early life experiences helped her develop a strong passion for equality and a vision for change. Anna worked optimistically and focused on putting herself through college, university and a master’s degree.

    After working on various community development projects in Europe, Africa and Asia, Anna had an idea to set up a company with a clear vision for social and environmental change. And so Bambuddha Group was born, an organisation that believes in a future where every leader and business is committed to creating a sustainable world of equality and opportunity for everyone.

    Anna was listed on the Kindness and Leadership 50 Leading Lights List, part of the Women of the Future Programme, for Asia Pacific in 2021.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Born and bred in Birmingham, Kalbir Bains is the author of ‘NOT our daughter! The true story of a daughter-in-law.’

    A narrative of marriage within a South Asian community, it tells the story of ‘Harleen’ who is trying to settle into her marriage and the challenges faced in doing so.

    Reflective of Kalbir’s own personal journey, her story is made all the more remarkable as a dyslexia diagnosis meant that at the age of 22 Kalbir was told she had the reading ability of a 7-year-old.

    Embarking on a journey to be able to express her thoughts through writing, poetry, art, and design, Kalbir now works as an ambassador, talking openly to organisations, societies and charities about her experiences of domestic violence and abuse, gender inequality, abortion, and many more ‘real issues’ that often go on behind closed doors.

    On a mission to transform, empower and inspire others, Kalbir was the recipient of the Social and Humanitarian Award at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, part of the Women of the Future Programme, in 2018.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • This week we’re bringing you a very special episode of the ‘Women of the Future’ podcast, highlighting the Programme’s ‘Women in ESG: 50 Stars Changing the World’ campaign.

    Seeking to acknowledge and celebrate talented female trailblazers and role models, aged 35 and under, who are at the forefront of Environmental, Social and Governance from around the world; each year, the campaign will showcase 50 rising stars across different aspects of ESG who have made a lasting and positive impact on their organisations, environment and wider society.

    If you, or someone you know, is looking to celebrate a new generation of women who are a force for good, or if you want to help to create a global ESG leaders’ community and conversation, as well as support and strengthen the female talent pipeline in the Environmental, Social and Governance sector – then nominations for the 2022 list are open until Monday 10th May.

    More details can be found in the podcast show notes, or by visiting: https://esg.womenofthefuture.co.uk

    Now, today’s podcast guest is certainly both a trailblazer and role model in the ESG space -

    Kresse Wesling CBE is a Canadian-born British entrepreneurand co-founder of the luxury recycled accessories company Elvis and Kresse.

    Having moved to Hong Kong to study in the 90s, Kresse went on to found an environmental packaging company in the country in 2002, which she then brought to the UK a couple of years later as she continued her sustainable and entrepreneurial journey.

    At a chance meeting with members of the London Fire Brigade, Kresse learnt that their discarded fire hoses were going to landfill. This led her and her partner Elvis to investigate possible uses for the material, and ultimately set up their company ‘Elvis and Kresse’ which creates handbags and other beautiful accessories.

    For over a decade now, and continuing under their ‘three pillars’ of ‘rescue, transform, donate’ - none of London’s fire-hoses now go to landfill, and over 300 tonnes of material has been reclaimed, with Elvis and Kresse donating 50% of their profits to charity.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future: 50 Rising Stars in ESG campaign, please click here

    For more information on Elvis & Kresse, please click here

    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Currently Head of Products for Visa across Continental Europe, Patricia Brolly has over 20 years’ experience in delivering large scale programmes as well as revenue, across multiple geographies and business functions.

    With immensely strong sales, product, customer service, operations, marketing, business transformation and P&L experience, Patricia has a passion for building high performing teams, nurturing talent and leading teams through change.

    A marathon runner and Everest Base Camp trekker, Patricia has a beautiful and altruistic love for the elderly; alongside this she has raised much needed funds for the Ron Johnson Ward at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and is now a Trustee of The Richard Dimbleby Cancer Fund.

    Patricia was listed on the 2018 Kindness and Leadership 50 Leading Lights List, part of the Women of the Future Programme, and is a judge for the annual Women of the Future Awards.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Sophie Alexander is an award-winning producer, and occasional powerlifter, currently working in International Affairs for Sky News.

    In her previous role at ITV News, Sophie was a part of the only broadcast crew in the world to follow rioters into the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. on January 6th 2021 – for which she and the team, including US correspondent Robert Moore and camera operator Mark Davey, have been recognised globally with multiple accolades for their coverage.

    Sophie was the recipient of the Women of the Future Award in the Media category in 2021.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • A Superintendent with the Metropolitan Police, Rhona Hunt is passionate about public service and deeply committed to driving positive change in policing.

    Determined to ensure communities are at the heart of the service and that people are treated with compassion, dignity and respect, Rhona was the recipient of a Women of the Future Award in the Professions category in 2021.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • In celebration of the Oscars this weekend, we have Bibi Lucille on the Women of the Future podcast.

    Bibi is an award-winning actress of stage and screen including leading roles in the TV series ‘Purgatory’ and the Amazon Prime drama ‘Trust’.

    Bibi was nominated for the Pastel Film Festival's Best Actress in 2019 with the film 'All Inclusive', received the Starnow ‘Rising Star’ Award and was the recipient of the Women of the Future Award in the Arts and Culture category in 2021.

    Bibi’s one-woman, Offie-nominated show ‘Meat Cute’, was written and co-created with her cousin; it sees the main protagonist endeavour to convert men to veganism and will hopefully be coming to a screen near you very soon.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Duncan Hewett is an industry champion for the representation of women in business and technology. Focused on achieving actionable results for gender diversity in the workplace, he has consistently driven acceleration for women across leadership levels.

    In the past Duncan led VMware's business in Asia Pacific & Japan, and has left quite a legacy behind. In 2018, Duncan launched VMinclusion Taara, a programme that has helped tens of thousands of women to upskill and regain confidence, enabling them to re-join the workforce. His book, ‘Accelerating Women – The Key to Growth and Innovation’ published last year.

    The Women of the Future Programme were delighted to have Duncan speak at their inaugural Asia Pacific Summit in 2021.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Wafa Jafri is a Partner at KPMG’s Energy Practice and leads for the Energy & Mobility Deals Strategy team. Her entire career has been spent working on the energy transition and decarbonisation: starting her career at RWE where she worked to enable the energy transition across the value chain for the company helping the transition from coal to gas. Wafa then moved to UK Government to advise on the biggest change in the market since privatisation propelling renewables investment in the power sector. Since joining KPMG, she has been leading the charge on creating a sustainable business - the Energy Deal Strategy practice - advising clients on navigating the energy transition and achieving net-zero emissions. Wafa has dedicated her time to mentoring women in the industry as well as creating diverse teams to ensure effective future governance. Given her passion for her work, she has established herself as an accessible role model in the industry for other women and is dedicated to creating a “just transition.”

    Wafa was Highly Commended for her work in ESG at the Women of the Future Awards in 2021, the inaugural inclusion of the category which recognises inspirational stars of tomorrow working in the Environment, Social and Governance space.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme, Awards and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!

    In celebration, this week we have a special podcast with Lin Yue, a multi-award winning thought leader, keynote speaker, and an original thinker on delivering the intersectionality of diversity, culture and psychology to business.

    An Executive Director of Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Lin is responsible for key relationships in the UK institutional market, with a passion for building client relationships and forging innovative business growth strategies.Lin was recognised in the HERoes 100 Women Future Leaders by Yahoo Finance for three consecutive years, was named one of 50 Most Inspirational Women in the City of London by Brummell, recognised as a top Ethnic Minority Future Leader by EMpower, and was the winner of the ‘Excellence in Banking’ award at the Chinese Business Leaders Awards.

    Lin was also made an advocate of the Women in Finance Awards in 2021, as well being listed as a finalist for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, part of the Women of the Future Programme, in the Professions category.

    Please note that the views represented in this podcast are Lin’s own and do not represent those of her company, Goldman Sachs.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Eileen Willett is an entrepreneur and fashion industry expert.

    Born in Vancouver to Japanese parents, she trained in Paris and started her working life as a fashion illustrator in San Francisco. With a career that took Eileen via Japan, where she met her husband, to finally settling where she resides now in London, Eileen went on to join the then fledgling Nicole Farhi Menswear brand and helped it grow to be one of the premium men's brands of the 1990's.

    After a career break to have her three children, Eileen started her own successful womenswear accessory brand. Then in 2017 she launched Cucumber Clothing with her co-founder Nancy Zeffman. The company set out 'to make luxury comfortable', using ultra-soft technical fabrics that are ethically, locally and sustainably sourced. Cucumber Clothing has been featured everywhere from Dragon’s Den to the Sunday Times Style and Vogue Italia.

    Shortlisted for the 2020 Asian Woman of Achievement Awards, part of the Women of the Future Programme, Eileen is also a speaker on female entrepreneurship and sustainability in fashion.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

    You can find out more about Cucumber Clothing here.

  • Stephanie Hill is an emotional wellbeing practitioner and learning and development specialist with 20 years’ experience. She works internationally with United Nations agencies and international Non-Governmental Organisations, as well as charities, NHS organisations and local government in the UK.

    In 2004 she was working in Southeast Asia when the Boxing Day tsunami hit; tragically killing her partner and leaving her and her family with life-threatening injuries.

    On returning to the UK to heal from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, she was offered the choice of anti-depressants and a waiting-time of “at least” 18-months for counselling. Frustrated by the powerlessness she felt in not having the support she needed, Steph decided to play a proactive role in her own healing journey through studying different therapeutic approaches including: mindfulness, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, neurolinguistic programming and hypnotherapy. She was eventually able to overcome her debilitating symptoms and emotionally thrive.

    Now Director, trainer and therapist with Happy Headwork, in this special New Year’s edition of the Women of the Future podcast, I had the pleasure of finding out more about this remarkable woman.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

    You can find out more about Happy Headwork and their work here.

  • Neev Spencer is a TV and radio broadcaster best known for her award-winning shows on KISS FM.

    She’s one of the UK’s most loved broadcast personalities and the first British Asian to cross over into mainstream radio.

    Alongside her broadcasting and presenting work, Neev is a proud ambassador for five charities, including The Prince’s Trust and Global Citizen.

    In 2017, Neev made a film about her experience of post-natal depression for the charity Heads Together, going on to speak to MPs in the House of Commons in 2018, to promote discussion around mental health. In the same year, Neev spearheaded the radio industry’s hugely effective 'Mental Health Minute' event, which saw 300 stations coming together to raise awareness.

    Neev has previously been shortlisted for both an Asian Women of Achievement Award and a Women of the Future Award in their Media categories.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Natasha Burroughs specialises in advising global investors and companies to drive a sustainable and fair future.

    She is passionate about building partnerships between the private and public sectors, with experience across the FTSE100, the heart of government, and start ups.

    She was one of the first senior appointments to the Office for Investment, a joint 10 Downing Street and Department for International Trade unit that seeks to secure strategic net zero investments into the UK across net zero, green technology and R&D. She has also led the government's relationship with the world's largest family-owned businesses to drive inward investment and philanthropy.

    Natasha started her career at Tesco plc, holding various roles in Corporate Affairs. More recently she was Director of Partnerships and PR at The Conduit, a 3,500-strong membership organisation dedicated to driving social change, where she led corporate partnerships to shape companies' ESG strategies.

    She was nominated for the Asian Women of Achievement Award for Public Service in 2018 and sits on the Advisory Board of the Women of the Future Southeast Asia Awards, founded by Pinky Lilani CBE DL.

    Natasha has Italian, Indian and English heritage, and is fluent in Italian.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Dr. Rohini Anand is Founder and CEO of Rohini Anand LLC, providing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) advisory services to clients in the public and private sectors.

    She is a strategic business leader and trusted board member who has successfully transformed cultures and built an iconic brand with an enduring reputation, resulting in accelerating new business creation.

    With expertise that spans executive leadership, human capital, global corporate responsibility, wellness and diversity, equity and inclusion, Rohini brings a unique perspective on the critical alignment of the business culture and the triple bottom line to drive exceptional performance.

    Recognised as a pioneer in her field, Rohini is a much-lauded and sought-after global expert. Her experience, cultural dexterity, extensive network and ability to influence leaders has resulted in a reputation for judgment, integrity, and accountability.

    Rohini’s upcoming book, Leading Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: A Guide for Systemic Change in Multinational Organizations, will be available from 30th November, and is available for pre-order right now!

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • Self-titled ‘Polar Preet Chandi’ is nothing short of extraordinary.

    A passion and expertise for tennis at an early age saw Preet move to the Czech Republic to attend Novak’s Tennis Academy when she was just 16.

    A career in the Army Reserves and a degree in physiotherapy followed; but as her appetite for pushing and challenging herself grew, Preet went on to complete her first half marathon at 20 years old.

    From there she progressed on to compete in ultra-marathons, and eventually joined the Regular Army in her late twenties, completing large scale exercises and deployments in places such as Nepal, Kenya and most recently a 6 month UN peacekeeping tour to South Sudan.

    Currently based at a Medical Regiment in the North West of England, with a primary role as a Clinical Training Officer, Preet recently completed her MSc in Sports and Exercise Medicine at Queen Mary’s University, but might have to wait to attend her graduation ceremony…

    Forever interested in ways in which to push the human body to its limits, Preet will very shortly be arriving in Chile to undertake her biggest challenge to date – being the first woman of colour to complete a solo, unsupported trek to the South Pole, travelling over 700 miles, facing wind speeds of 60mph and temperatures as low as -50c, before returning home with the intention of launching her own adventure grant for women.

    Captain Preet Chandi was shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards in the Sport category in 2020. You can follow Preet’s adventures on her website: www.polarpreet.com

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk

  • With previous roles at FitFlop, Puma, Levi Strauss and Timberland; Suzie de Rohan Willner is a hugely experienced global CEO specialising in values-based leadership and meaningful business transformation. Suzie is currently CEO at TOAST, a purpose driven global lifestyle brand, creating and curating simple, functional, beautiful clothing, homeware and content. She believes that if you focus on your team and your customer, success will follow.Committed to sharing her experience to equip others to craft and contribute to a more meaningful future, Suzie is an ambassador and judge for the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, and was named on their ’Kindness and Leadership 50 Leading Lights List’.

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    For more information on the Women of the Future Programme and initiatives, please visit: www.womenofthefuture.co.uk