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International Women’s Day interviews 2022

Author: ICAEW

Published: 07 Mar 2022

To celebrate International Women’s Day, Yelena Travis-Powell BEM (ICAEW Diversity and Inclusion Manager) talks to three inspirational women about this year’s theme #BreakTheBias. They each share their insights, experiences as well as moments that changed bias in the workplace, and also discuss steps organisations can take to combat additional and disproportionate effects of the pandemic on women in the workplace.

Emma leads delivery of Deloitte's global inclusion strategy with a focus on respect and inclusion, gender balance, LGBT+ inclusion and mental health, as well as the production of thought leadership aligned to this strategy, such as the impact of the pandemic on women in the workplace.

Previously, Emma was Managing Partner for Talent for Deloitte LLP in the UK and sat on the firm’s Executive Committee, a role which she held alongside her client facing role as a Partner in the Financial Advisory practice. Emma led a period of significant change for the firm from a diversity & inclusion perspective as well as the firm’s approach on mental health.

Emma is a member of the LACA Lead the Change board, established by the UK Government to increase the diversity and inclusion at the top of the UK’s leading organisations, the UK Thriving at Work Council, and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership Employers’ Board. In 2021, Emma was awarded ICAEW Honorary Membership for her work championing diversity and inclusion of women and LGBT+ communities.

Deborah has a portfolio of non-executive director roles with a specialism as Audit Chair in healthcare, education, housing and property development and most recently financial services, specifically FinTech.

Deborah read Civil Engineering before completing her training with PwC (formally PriceWaterhouse) before moving into working in corporate finance and business angel investing.

In the ICAEW, Deborah was previously the Chair of the Non-Executive Special Interest Groups, which she chaired from 2008-2018 and is an active member, serving as a panel member and host on ICAEW events on governance and leadership issues.

Deborah is committed to removing the inequality women face in society, and in the workplace and uses her network and influence to support and create relatable role models.

Melanie is a NED of Morgan Stanley International, a member of the boards of the Royal National Theatre and The Invictus Games Foundation, Chair of The Eve Appeal, and sits on the advisory boards for the Centre on AI Tech for Humankind at the National University of Singapore Business School and the UK Government’s Skills and Curriculum Unit.

With large-scale general management, board and advisory experience, Melanie was until September 2020 the Deputy Chair of KPMG UK. Melanie was heavily involved in its continuing transformation in areas such as risk, culture, diversity and inclusion and ESG.

Melanie was awarded a CBE for her contribution to business and to the diversity and inclusion agenda in 2019. She’s a founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee, sits on the Steering Group of the FTSE Women Leaders Review and won the Outstanding Contribution to Social Mobility Award in 2018.

In 2017 Melanie was named the number 1 Financial Times Female Champion for Women in Business. She’s an ICAEW Honorary Member, and an Honorary Doctorate of Business and Administration from Oxford Brookes University.