Speaker Biographies 

Dr Mark McBride-Wright CEng MIChemE

Dr Mark McBride-Wright CEng MIChemE
Founder & Managing Director, EqualEngineers

Mark is a  chartered chemical engineer specialising in health and safety with experience in oil and gas, government services and defence. He holds a PhD and Masters in Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London. He is a recognised leader in diversity and inclusion in the engineering and construction industry. He is chair and co-founder of InterEngineering, an organisation which connects, informs and empowers LGBT+ engineers and supporters. Under Mark’s leadership, the organisation has become the leading organisation addressing LGBT+ inclusion in the engineering and construction sector engaging prominent engineering institutes and employers, with a membership of over 500 engineers. Mark authored a report for the UK Government on tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in engineering and is working with the UK Government on implementation of the recommended measures.

Mark is a Chartered Engineer with the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) and is a founding member of the IChemE Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. Mark has direct experience working in oil and gas, government services and defence. As a health and safety specialist, he is passionate about helping businesses overcoming challenges and barriers to create a positive health and safety culture. There are many parallels embedding an inclusive corporate culture and the intersection between health & safety and diversity & inclusion is a critical aspect to get right to unlocking positive results in both people and performance.

Mark has spoken at numerous events including the launch of Rolls-Royce LGBT Network PRISM alongside world-renowned gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, London Business School’s 2015 and 2016 EUROut conference for LGBT MBA students, and the UCL Institute for Engineering Education conference on inclusion in engineering.

 At EDF Energy Fiona leads in a role that brings together Diversity and Inclusion and Employer Branding.

She is a founding member of the EDF Energy Women’s Network, which she established early in 2009, introducing her to the world of diversity and inclusion.  She is an advisory member for EDF Energy on the RAE Diversity Leadership Group and the National Equality Standard.

She is the Deputy President of Women in Nuclear, whose mission is to address the industry’s gender balance, improve the representation of women in leadership and to engage with the public on nuclear issues.

In her spare time, she is also interested in developing young female talent as she is proud to have been involved as a leader in Girlguiding UK for over 20 years.

Fiona Jackson
Founder, Fiona Jackson Consulting

Fiona’s varied career has spanned both commercial roles in energy marketing, pricing and trading along with HR roles in Leadership, L&D, Recruitment and Workforce planning.

Most recently, over a 6 year period, Fiona has lead in a role that brings together Diversity and Inclusion and Employer Branding at EDF Energy, the largest supplier and generator of electricity in the UK.

She is a founding member of the EDF Energy Women’s Network, which she established early in 2009, introducing her to the world of diversity and inclusion. She has held strategic advisory roles as a member on the RAE Diversity Leadership Group and the National Equality Standard.

She is the Deputy President of Women in Nuclear, whose mission is to address the industry’s gender balance, improve the representation of women in leadership and to engage with the public on nuclear issues.

In her spare time, she is also interested in developing young female talent as she is proud to be the Lead Volunteer for Learning and Development and a former trustee of Girlguiding for London and the South-East Region, building on having been involved as a leader in Girlguiding UK for over 20 years.

Bertie Colour

Bertie van Wyk
Workplace Specialist, Herman Miller

Bertie van Wyk - Workplace Specialist
I am a critical thinking Workplace Specialist with a quick grasp of emerging trends and changing business processes. Through my understanding of humancentric design and workplace development, I can effectively equip organisations and individuals with the knowledge and skills to become more productive, healthy and connected in work.

Fundamental Human Needs & Inclusive design
We explore our fundamental human needs – purpose, belonging, achievement, autonomy, status, and security – and ask ourselves how are these defined? What is their priority? What are their implications for management methods, technology and tools, and places?

Dr Rebecca Varrall (Autism Unravelled) Headshot

Dr Rebecca Varrall
Co-founder of Autism Unravelled 

Dr Rebecca Varrall is a Chartered Clinical Psychologist who has been working in the NHS with children, families and adults for the last 12 years. She has a specialist interest in working clinically with people with autism, learning disabilities and ADHD and has been involved in several research projects in these fields. Rebecca is keen to support those with neurodiverse presentations and associated mental health needs. Rebecca is a guest lecturer and examiner on the Child Mental Health MSc at University College London. She is a member of the British Psychological Society, The Division of Clinical Psychology and Young Person Faculty, and is registered with the Health Care Professions Council.

Louise Lawrence (Autism Unravelled) headshot

Louise Lawrence
Co-founder of Autism Unravelled

Louise Lawrence has a background in marketing and communications and is a qualified Speech and Language Therapist. She has worked as a Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy across London within the NHS for the last 17 years specialising in working with people with autism and complex needs. Louise is passionate about enabling people to reach their maximum potential and her enthusiasm and motivation to support young people and adults to expand their possibilities led her to develop Autism Unravelled, a holistic and client-centred service. Louise is a registered member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists and the Health Care Professions Council.

Scott Williams (Autism Unravelled) Headshot

Scott Williams
Senior Geotechnical Engineers

I am a 32-year-old, Senior Geotechnical Engineer, living in Gloucestershire. I work for BAM Ritchies, a leader within the Geotechnical Engineering industry. I have 14 years of experience within the Civil/Geotechnical Engineering industry, working in many different roles and disciplines. My main areas of Engineering have been within the Transmission and distribution, Geotechnical, Nuclear, Rail and the petroleum industry. With roles ranging from technical Engineering (Incorporating design process) to senior managerial positions.

I have gained many highly regarded Engineering memberships including EngTech, TIMMM and I am a registered Geotechnical Engineering professional. All my achievements have been without formal education but through career-based learning, self - drive and motivation.

I am a Neurodivegent, with ADHD combined presentation. I was diagnosed at the age of 6 but have not allowed it to define me in a negative way. Through career choice and employer assistance, I have been able to excel in my career and offer my employers a different perspective and advantage, bringing a creative and ‘out of the box’ approach to the Engineering industry.

Jenna Randall

Jenna Randall
Diversity Adviser

Jenna Randall is a Diversity Adviser at Business in the Community (BITC) advising organisations across sectors on workplace diversity, inclusion and culture change.

With a background in intersecting inequalities and a global outlook, Jenna keeps diversity and inclusion at the heart of her work. She has worked as a Campaign Coordinator with Amnesty International Peru, a Researcher with the European Institute for Gender Equality in Lithuania and a Gender Equality Consultant in Spain. She is passionate about communicating the benefits of inclusion as well as supporting businesses to achieve their Diversity and Inclusion goals.

Before joining BITC, Jenna previously worked with Mental Health First Aid England, supporting clients on their culture change journey, specifically related to stigma around mental health.

Jenna is an experienced facilitator and trainer, and has delivered a wide range of training sessions, including gender-based violence prevention, identity politics and sexuality, advocacy for disability and mental health awareness. Jenna is also a qualified yoga teacher and teaches a yoga class once a week.

Jenna lives in London and loves to cycle to her meetings- important for her own wellbeing and simultaneously decreasing her carbon footprint.

Dr Hayaatun Sillem

Dr Hayaatun Sillem FIET
Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering

Dr Hayaatun Sillem is the Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Engineering, which bringstogether the UK’s leading engineers and technologists for a shared purpose: to promote engineering excellence for the benefit of society.

Prior to her appointment as Chief Executive, she held the post of Deputy CEO at the Academy. She previously served as Committee Specialist and later Specialist Adviser to the House of Commons Science & Technology Committee.

Hayaatun has extensive leadership experience in UK and international engineering, innovation and diversity & inclusion activities. She is a trustee of the London Transport Museum and EngineeringUK; serves as a member of the Made Smarter Commission and chairs its Expert Stakeholder Panel; chairs the judging panel for the St Andrews Prize for the Environment; and is a member of advisory groups for Lloyd’s Register Foundation, accelerateHER and the BCS. She was named as one of the ‘Inspiring Fifty’ women in tech in 2018.

Hayaatun has a Masters in Biochemistry (MBiochem) from the University of Oxford and a PhD in signal transduction from Cancer Research UK/University College London. She is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology and an Honorary Professor at UCL’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy.

Rankin

Professor Sara Rankin FRSB
Professor of Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology in the NHLI

Professor Sara Rankin FRSB has a first class hons degree and PhD in Pharmacology from Kings College London. She joined Imperial College London in 1995 where she is now Professor of Leukocyte and Stem Cell Biology in the NHLI. Her current research in the field of Regenerative Pharmacology has led to the discovery of drug combinations that can promote tissue regeneration. Prof Rankin has been involved in a variety of  societal engagement projects, incluing sci-art projects with National exhibitons and innovative science pop-up shops. She is the NHLIs lead for outreach and public engagement. Prof Rankin is dyslexic and her most recent project “2eMPower” seeks to make STEM accessible for students with learning disabilities throughout their education. https://www.2empoweruk.org

Tazmin

Tamsin Dobson
Senior Engineer at Babcock International

Tamsin Dobson completed two bachelor degrees at the same time, graduating with a 1stin Marine Biology in the same year that she attained a 2:1 in Engineering. During this time, she was labelled as being “on the autistic spectrum”, which, naturally, she chose to ignore.

After working in marine research (focussing on sharks and oceanographic analysis) she “ran away to sea” to work in various different technical roles on Seismic Vessels and then eventually found her home in the engine room of the tall ships Lord Nelsonand Tenacious.

When Tamsin became pregnant she gained a post as a Marine Engineering lecturer in Further Education and attained a PGCE. She continued working in education for a couple of years before taking part in the first STEM Returner program and gaining a permanent position as a Senior Engineer at Babcock International where she worked on submarine maintenance.

In September 2019, she embarked on a PhD at the University of Bristol, funded by EPSRC and sponsored by Babcock International, where she will be investigating the fracture mechanics of welds (created by new welding methods) when they are exposed to the marine environment. This will include considering; maintainability, environmental sustainability and potential bio-indicators of failure.

Jenny

Jenny Young
Head of Skills Strategy for the Engineering Construction Industry Board

Jenny Young is regional Head of Skills Strategy for the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, the statutory body that supports skills development in processing and critical energy infrastructure industries.

Jenny studied Engineering at Cambridge University, with industrial sponsorship from GEC, before spending 24 years with BAE Systems, specialising in Systems Engineering. During that time she worked in technical and management roles in the avionics and radar businesses and tutored in Systems Engineering at the corporate management college. Prior to joining ECITB, Jenny co-led the Government-funded Diversity & Inclusion programme at the Royal Academy of Engineering for 7 years, working with many employers and the engineering profession to support people from all demographic backgrounds in engineering.

Jenny is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the IET and of the RSA. She also sits on the Industry/Advisory Boards for the South East STEM Learning region (HUBSEE), the new EDGE Hub engineering centre being established by Canterbury Christ Church University and the UCL/Institute of Education Centre for Engineering Education.