WISE Covid Unsung Heroes: D&I Award Finalists 

Winner: Tolu Oke Global DEI Customer Engagement Leader at Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Tolu stood out for a number of key reasons. Perhaps the most salient of these was that she had a global impact on the progression of D&I in the business. The submission was well evidenced with some outstanding personal references. The winner helped establish a global reach of 1,450 ambassadors delivering and progressing D&I for AWS across 28 countries. To quote one of the references in her submission: “Tolu truly brought a fresh wind, an awesome drive, a wealth of experience, and a positive, supportive yet competent quality to the program that I have seldom witnessed anywhere else”. This quote helps demonstrate why Tolu was a standout entry in this category.  

Runner up: Kathryn McKenna, project manager for Women in STEM, from the Department for the Economy (DfE), Northern Ireland

Kathryn is a worthy finalist who despite facing extremely stretched resources put together a cohesive plan to inspire women in STEM from early career upwards. Her work involved embracing social channels like TikTok and Twitter to connect with the relevant audiences and inspire future generations. Kathryn was able to look past the challenges of the pandemic and maintain a focus on creating a strong pipeline to encourage more women into STEM professions.

Runner up: Tamsin Alli-Balogun Group Mentoring Manager SNC- Lavalin, UK Transportation Division, Atkins

Tamsin’s work had a clear impact on her organisation, leading to a significant uptick in female participation, as well as an increase in feelings of connectedness throughout Atkins. There was also impressive work done around career progression and the long-term direction of the organisation. This finalist helped the engagement within their business and the promotion of women in STEM.