Mastercard CEO Ajay Singh Banga named top ethnic minority business role model

Since joining the organisation in 2009, Ajay has led Mastercard on an inclusion journey, including the expansion of its global inclusion and diversity council, which he co-chairs.

Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga
By Asia Samachar Team | LONDON |

Mastercard CEO Ajay Singh Banga tops the list of ethnic minority role models in business while seven Asian women made it into the top 20 positions.

Ajay topped the 100 Ethnic Minority Executives 2019 annual list released by London-based diversity and inclusion network INvolve that celebrates the top ethnic minority senior executives.

Since joining the organisation in 2009, Ajay has led Mastercard on an inclusion journey, including the expansion of its global inclusion and diversity council, which he co-chairs.

Under his leadership, Mastercard embraces, encourages and supports its people to bring their whole selves to work and use their unique perspectives as a competitive differentiator, according to the list entry.

The Mastercard top executive is no stranger to the corporate world. In 2015, US President Barack Obama had appointed the American-Indian as a member of the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

“I consider myself incredibly lucky to work at a company where decency is the foundation for how we approach the work we do,” Banga said in a statement. “When we lead with decency, all of our other values are supported. They’re made even stronger by a commitment to diversity.

See the full EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Executives 2019 list here

Some of the other top Asians in the list were Unilever chief HR officer Leena Nair (No 5), EY partner Sanjay Bhandari (No 7), Lloyds Banking Group transformation director Irvinder Goodhew (No 10), Ogilvy vice president of Islamic marketing Shelina Janmohamed (No 12), Barclays Bank director/head of corporate banking for Heathrow & South West London Jagdeep Rai (No 14) and Sainsbury’s head of labour Dr Raj Patel (No 15).

Leena’s key role at Unilever is to ensure true diversity and inclusion (D&I). In North America, her department has undertaken a variety of workshops, training and conferences, all aimed at understanding and improving the experience of ethnic minorities in the workplace. This is a template now being rolled out across the company globally.

The main focus for Sanjay is on practical interventions to accelerate progress of ethnic minorities at EY. He is the partner sponsor for ethnic minorities within the overall UK and Ireland D&I strategy. He also sponsors the Future Leaders Programme (a leadership programme for ethnic minority future leaders), CareerWatch and mentoring programmes aimed at accelerating development and obtaining senior leader participation in programmes.

On her part, Irvinder, who recently joining Lloyd’s Banking Group, is driving positive change and has made an impact on inclusion, with a particular focus and passion for supporting BAME colleagues reach their potential.

Other Asian in the list include Lloyds Banking Group former responsible business head for Asian markets & special projects Kamel Hothi (No 16), Barclays charities head Nazreen Visram (No 20), Vision7 International chief business development officer Suresh Raj (No 21), Deloitte LLP partner and EMEA reward leader Mitul Shah (No 23), Telefonica O2 UK people strategy & transformation director Mandeep Heer (No 25), HSBC China specialist (SVP) Li (Shelley) Yu (No 32), BP chief operating pfficer BP Lubricants Mandhir Singh (No 40) and Sodexo SVP for human resources Raj Verma (No 44). [They appear in the photo montage below, L-R, from above].

Some Asians named in the EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model 2019 list

INvolve CEO Suki Sandhu said while the people wait for more formal mandates to ensure equality, role models who have successfully broken down barriers continue to act as inspirations for future generations whilst being agents of change.

“That’s why we believe it’s important to continue showcasing our Role Model lists, especially while we have research showing there are now more CEOs called Steve than ethnic minority CEOs,” he said.

Analysis from INvolve released earlier this year found there were only five ethnic minority CEOs in the FTSE 100 and six chief executives named Steve. Meanwhile, in the FTSE 250, the number of ethnic minority CEOs equalled the number of chief executives named Andrew.



Obama appoints Ajay to US advisory committee (Asia Samachar, 7 Feb 2015)


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