The EMpower 15 advocates are senior leaders who are not from an ethnic minority themselves, but set an example in working to create an inclusive environment for those who are.

This year the judges picked David Tyler, chairman of UK retailer J Sainsbury and one of the most senior nominees, to top the 2018 list of role models.

Advocate: David Tyler

Sainsbury chairman David Tyler for special reports.

Chairman David Tyler wants to make J Sainsbury the most inclusive UK retailer “where every single one of our colleagues can fulfil their potential and where customers feel welcome when they shop with us”. He agreed to co-chair Sir John Parker’s review of the ethnic makeup of UK boards because he wanted to understand the lack of diverse leadership in British business.

The Parker review recommended that each FTSE 100 company have at least one director from an ethnic minority background by 2021. Sainsbury’s has one board member of colour, Jean Tomlin. In making appointments, he says the retailer looks for people with specific business skills, combined, where possible, with a diverse background. “No shareholder will thank you for having a perfectly balanced board if that company is [later] going to get into trouble.”

EMpower advocates
Rank Full Name Company Job Title
1 David Tyler J Sainsbury Chair
2 Jennifer Rademaker MasterCard EVP customer delivery, international markets
3 Kevin Ellis PwC Chair and senior partner
4 Sigga Sigurdardottir Santander Chief customer and innovation officer
5 Stephen Bird Citi Chief executive, consumer bank
6 Ellis Rich Supreme Songs Chief executive
7 Ileana Sodani BNY Mellon EMEA head of business development, asset servicing
8 Matt Elliott Virgin Money People director
9 James Garvey Lloyds Banking Group Managing director, head of markets
10 Robert Lawson BP Global head of M&A
11 Samantha Mobley Baker McKenzie Partner
12 Wendy Murphy LinkedIn Senior director, HR, EMEA
13 Claude Brown Reed Smith LLP Partner
14 Amanda Gethin EY Managing partner - talent, EMEIA
15 Margaret Anderson SAP Senior vice-president for SAP HANA Enterprise Cloud
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