Confident teams and, in turn, confident team members are the key to building a supportive, successful company culture. While professionals from all walks of life face issues like Imposter Syndrome, workers from ethnically diverse backgrounds often face obstacles in and outside of the workplace that can make stepping into leadership and owning their area of expertise especially difficult. Our panel of Industry thought leaders will discuss the challenges of representation, building leadership confidence from within, and examine how industry leaders can best bolster their diverse employees into the C-suite — and beyond. Attendees will have a chance to connect, mingle, and discuss this important topic throughout the event.
Marion Elliott has worked in the market research industry for 8 years. While her experience in the field began in software and technology, she now works in Sample, Operations and Technology at Market Cube where she aids in the delivery of the company’s mission to provide practical innovation to the biggest names in the market research arena. An avid follower of the latest trends and innovations, Marion is enthusiastic about market research technology and insights. Since 2018, she has served as the lead on WIRe’s “WIRe in Color” initiative, which seeks to strengthen the connections among—and raise the visibility of—women of color in market research.
Originally from Albany, NY, Rebecca Vega received her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from Hofstra University and her Master’s in Data Mining & Predictive Analytics from St. John’s University. Upon graduating, she spent 5 years working in Client Development and Product Development at the NPD Group (now known as Circana), with a core focus on Luxury, Fashion, and Beauty.
Her in-depth experience growing up in the market research world led her to pursuing a career in CPG at Unilever, with a continued focus on data driven insights. Rebecca spent 2 years leading Category Management for Textured Hair, providing thought leadership and strategic guidance as the cornerstone for growth within the multicultural hair care industry. Rebecca also supported major retailers such as Walmart, Target, CVS, Walgreens, Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Whole Foods in addition to Unilever brands such as SheaMoisture, Dove, Suave, Nexxus, and TRESemmé. Her last position within Unilever focused solely on the Beauty Channel. As the Customer Business Manager of ULTA, Rebecca utilized her extensive background in consumer behavior and insights to drive profitable sales growth across their Omni-channel platforms.
Rebecca’s innovative mindset, strategic approach to the Curl category, and focus on thought leadership led to spearheading Product Development at DevaCurl. As the Sr. Manager of Global Brand Marketing, Rebecca wasresponsible for developing and implementing innovative new launches and breakthrough brand marketing strategies to drive consumer and professional awareness, trial, advocacy, and loyalty for the DevaCurl brand.
Now at Function of Beauty, Rebecca manages Marketing, Product Development & Innovation. She believes customization is the future of hair care and is excited to scale this digitally native brand to the next level.
Zaheer is a multi-award winning Diversity and Inclusion thought leader. Currently, he is the Global Head of Inclusion and Diversity for Consumer Healthcare at GSK. Prior to this he was Head of Strategic Delivery for the central D&I dept at EY. He was responsible for leading the Race, Innovation and Thought leadership strategies for the firm and chaired the firmwide Race Working Group.
Zaheer is a highly decorated former police officer, he served in various departments including Uniform Policing, Force Intelligence Bureau and Murder Investigation. He co-founded and led a national police ERG for serving police officers and staff. He also worked closely with the Ministry of Justice as Member of the Race Advisory Board. He is a former Race advisor to the Arsenal football club.
He is recipient of numerous national and international awards. He was appointed Member of the Most Excellent Order of British Empire (MBE) by Her Majesty the Queen in 2010 in recognition for his services to the police service. He is winner of Global Equality and Diversity Award, European Diversity “Hero of the Year” Award and was named top 20 industry professionals in the Global Diversity List.
He is a serving Justice of the Peace (Magistrate) sitting in adult criminal court and a School Governor. He is advisor to independent task force set up to boost socio economic diversity in the financial and professional services. A fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management, he is member of the Strategic Race Advisory Board at the Chartered Management Institute and Advisor to British Academy of Management.
Shazia is a qualitative research specialist with over 20 years experience working within the insight industry. Having worked across a broad range of sectors with clients ranging from blue chip companies to local charities, Shazia’s expertise are at their best conversing with niche audiences across generations, social class, ethnicities and communities. A passionate and empathic researcher who is a keen advocate in championing voices of those who can sometimes be forgotten or classed as ‘hard to reach’.
Shazia has also consulted for a range of agencies, conference events and client brands as a qualitative specialist enabling projects to be optimised both in approach and team ensuring the most suited skills are in place to achieve the best insights. Using techniques both online and offline as well as cutting edge methods where necessary or the traditional approaches to ensure the best methodology.
An advocate and storyteller for all communities.
Asma is a British Sudanese basketball player, award-winning spoken word poet, and global Adidas brand ambassador.
Asma stamped her mark in reframing stereotypes within sport when she successfully campaigned FIBA to grant permission for hijab’s to be worn in professional basketball. A highlight of Asma’s career so far has been the release of VOGUE Arabia’s February 2020 Issue.
Bianca started out in research at Chicago Focus back in 2007 followed by a run at Kantar TNS in Brand & Communications.
It was at System1 (formerly known as BrainJuicer), however, where she stepped into executive leadership - growing books of business, developing and maintaining client relationships and coaching teams in both Chicago, NYC and LA.
She is currently at BET Networks, a ViacomCBS company, as the Vice President of Consumer Insights for Content Optimization & Marketing Strategy.
When she’s not testing TV pilots and promos, then she’s sleeves up with Insights Association on both the national board and the I.D.E.A. (inclusion, diversity, equity and access) Council, pitching and fundraising for a new app she co-developed that focuses on Black maternal health, learning about artificial intelligence through Black Women in Ai, and exploring the Bronx with her toddler in their cargo box bike.