The Apollo Project: Winners Announced

Daniel Winterfeldt, Project Co-lead

On Thursday, 7th December 2017, The Apollo Project hosted its annual ‘Architects of Meritocracy’ award ceremony at The Ivy, Covent Garden. Presented by The Apollo Project co-leads, Daniel Winterfeldt and Dee Sekar, and with a keynote address from our patron, Dame Catherine Fiona Woolf, DBE, DStJ, the ceremony highlighted the successful innovation strategies of the finalists and winners.

The Apollo Project is a global cross-sector initiative for businesses and organisations of all sizes, which provides the practical tools needed to better embed more inclusive workplace practices and cultures to promote meritocracy. The Apollo Project, now in its fourth year, is an initiative of the InterLaw Diversity Forum in partnership with the Financial Times. This year, individual awards have been added to recognise innovative change-makers acting as catalysts for workplace culture change, as well as organisations. This year’s Apollo Project is kindly sponsored by GE, National Grid, and Reed Smith.

The awards, held at the Ivy Hotel

Winning initiatives have provided evidence of measurable outputs, and can be replicated or adapted by other organisations looking for guidance in this area. All winning initiatives are freely available on the Apollo Project website, thus enabling other organisations to shape and inform their work on diversity and inclusion, talent management, and organisational change.

Each year, the Financial Times publishes a global special report that highlights the Apollo Project, and the InterLaw Diversity Forum publishes a Winners Booklet along with updates on past winners.

2017 Finalists


Deloitte Australia
Virgin Money


Deloitte Australia: Six Signature Traits of Inclusive Leadership

Deloitte’s research, led by Juliet Bourke and Bernadette Dillon, shows that leader behaviours make up to a 70% difference between employees feeling highly included and those who do not—an effect even stronger for minority groups. Deloitte’s award-winning research centred on the ‘Six Signature Traits of Inclusive Leadership’: Commitment, courage, cognizance of bias, curiosity, cultural intelligence and collaboration.

Having been recognised by the Australian Psychological Society, Deloitte have worked with many global clients on inclusive leadership, including Deloitte Consulting, Transport for NSW, Johnson and Johnson, American Airlines and BHP. They have also implemented these traits into their internal model of inclusive leadership, providing consistent feedback to their leaders to continue development.

EY: New Ways of Working (NWOW)

New Ways of Working (NWOW) is a tenet of EY’s Global Talent Strategy and its vision is that a trust-based,

flexible approach leads to improved performance and greater job satisfaction. One of the most diverse areas at EY, EMEIA (Europe, Middle East, India, and Africa), is made up of 113,000 people across 98 countries, with 140 different languages spoken across 16 time zones. Thus, an essential part of ensuring the success of NWOW was developing a solution that each location could adopt at the stage applicable to their local landscape.

Through extensive research and both internal and external surveys, and with the added insight of regional D&I leads and senior managers, NWOW has helped staff find ways to work smarter and more innovatively both as individuals and as teams. From NWOW’s launch in 2013, when 35% of our people said they used informal flexibility, employees using flexible working has increased to 64% in 2017, improving net profits and employee retention.

Gowling WLG: Wellbeing and beyond – supporting employees affected by mental health and domestic violence

Lorna Gavin, Gowling WLG

Since 2014, Gowling WLG has transformed its internal ‘Wellbeing’ programme, extending it beyond the disability and physical wellbeing agenda, to provide appropriate and confidential support to employees experiencing domestic violence or mental health issues.

Focusing on awareness, resilience, and support, the aim of Wellbeing is to provide accessible, open, and confidential support for any issue related to MH and DV. It aims to remove the stigma attached to MH and DV, with events, internal communications, and visual signs of support for those affected. Support and signposting is also available for anyone concerned they know someone who is, or might themselves be, a perpetrator.

The initiative has had a fantastic response, with sustained traffic on the Intranet’s wellbeing pages and posters on toilet doors leading to 12 employees contacting the DV team.

HS2: New standard in Inclusive Procurement and approach to EDI compliance

HS2 is setting a new standard in inclusive procurement supplier diversity, and EDI requirements in major contracts in the UK. Their focused approach has five clear ambitions:

o 100% of staff working on HS2 contracts will be trained in areas of EDI relevant to their role
o Implementation of alternative models of recruitment which limit bias and increase the diversity of the workforce
o Ability to report spending with SMEs and diverse suppliers
o Demonstrating the education, training, supplier, and employment opportunities we bring into the communities we impact
o Aiming to have a Tier 1 supply chain that is all EDI accredited

Their philosophy of not asking their contractors to do what they are not willing to do themselves has seen the amount spent with diverse suppliers from BAME, Women, Disabled and LGTB groups more than double.

Highly Commended

Pinterest: Pinterest Apprenticeship Programme

The Pinterest Apprenticeship Program is an opportunity for candidates from non-traditional tech backgrounds to experience engineering at Pinterest. Focusing on women and ethnic minorities, and those without a formal tech education, candidates are given the opportunity to work alongside other Pinterest engineers and progress their careers through mentoring and continued learning and development.

From three apprentices in 2016, who all became full-time employees, the program has doubled in size this year. By taking care to fully train and onboard candidates, pair them with the right mentor and track their progress, Pinterest have reaped the benefits of having a diverse workforce.


Alan Bryan, Senior Associate General Counsel, Walmart
Fleur Bothwick OBE, EMEIA Director of Diversity and Inclusion at EY
Gretchen Bellamy, Bellamy Consulting
Hannah Grove, Chief Marketing Officer, State Street
Josie Jardim, General Counsel for Latin America, GE
Raphael Andrade Sousa, Legal Counsel & Compliance Officer, Global Geophysical Services
Roberta Liebenberg, Partner, Fine, Kaplan & Black
Tunde Okewale MBE, Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers
Dr Vivienne Ming, Founder, Socos Labs


Dr Vivienne Ming, Founder, Socos Labs

Dr Vivienne Ming is a theoretical neuroscientist, entrepreneur, and author. She co-founded Socos, her fourth company, where she combines machine learning, cognitive neuroscience, and economics to maximize life outcomes in education and the workplace. Vivienne has invented AI systems to help treat her diabetic son, predict manic episodes in bipolar sufferers weeks in advance, and reunite orphan refugees with extended family members.

Dr Ming speaks frequently on her AI-driven research into the future of work, education, inclusion & gender in business, technology & society, and augmented intelligence. This research has allowed us to accurately track the ‘diversity tax’ – the potential cost incurred for being different.

Josie Jardim, General Counsel for Latin America, GE

Jurídico de Saias/Legal in Skirts (“JdS”) was formed in 2009 and began with an invitation sent to 14 female general counsels to form a virtual network to discuss careers, professional development and the gender gap in the Brazilian legal market. The group is now made up of over 1,300 female in-house counsels.

With their agile, collaborative, online model – teaming up with law firms, companies and universities to host events, publish materials and raise awareness – JdS has spread the message of diversity and equality across Brazil, and provided a support network for female lawyers wishing to connect and advance their careers.

Gretchen Bellamy, Bellamy Consulting

From 2013 – 2015, Gretchen Bellamy was Assistant General Counsel, Legal Operations, Global Diversity & Inclusion in Walmart Stores, Inc.’s Legal Department. The program she spearheaded there provides equal opportunities for law students and lawyers in international markets who are under-represented in the legal profession due to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, or the like. This program is the first known instance of an international company focusing intently on the diversification of one profession on a global scale.

Through extensive research across all levels of the legal profession, Gretchen was able to gain a better understanding of societal and cultural implications of any Walmart-institutionalized changes to policies affecting its outside counsel. Chile was identified as the jurisdiction that would benefit most from cultural change, leading the team to partner up with top universities and law firms to provide ethnic minority and from lower socio-economic class students English lessons and career development opportunities, including mentoring and clerkship, to bridge the privilege gap that exists.

Raphael Andrade Sousa, Legal Counsel & Compliance Officer, Global Geophysical Services

With only 5.3% of business managerial positions and less than 1% of leadership roles in law firms, minority groups are massively underrepresented in the Brazilian workforce. To combat this inequality, Raphael Andrade Sousa founded the “Higher for All Legal Project” in 2016 and advanced the hiring, retention, and promotion of diverse lawyers in legal departments and law firms by providing research, best practices, professional development, and training.

Entirely self-funded, High for All Legal Project works with law firms and companies to offer law students from poor or under-privileged backgrounds free access to online classes and regular mentoring and coaching from partner law firms, building their confidence and professional development.

Highly Commended

Roberta Liebenberg, Partner, Fine, Kaplan & Black

Roberta Liebenberg co-founded DirectWomen in 2007 and has served as its Chair since 2013. DirectWomen is unique because it is the only organization specifically dedicated to increasing the number of women attorneys on corporate boards. Each year, through a competitive and rigorous selection process, it identifies approximately 20 highly accomplished women attorneys to participate in its renowned Board Institute, with over 25% of alumni going on to secure board seats so far. That is higher than the percentage of women on S&P 500 boards, and is particularly impressive in light of the fact that only 11% of directors of U.S. companies are lawyers. 17 Board Institute alumnae are directors of Fortune 1000 companies, and 11 alumnae serve on Fortune 500 boards.


This year, our prestigious judges included:

Co-Head Judge: Sandie Okoro, Senior VP and Group General Counsel, World Bank

Co-Head Judge: Daniel Winterfeldt, Partner, Reed Smith

• Matthew Westerman, Co- Head of Global Banking, Group General Manager, HSBC

• Harriet Arnold, Assistant Editor, Financial Times

• Sandra Yamate, CEO, Institute for Inclusion in the Legal Profession

• Hayley Sudbury, Founder and CEO, Werkin

• Dr. Lisa Webley, Professor of Empirical Studies, University of Westminster

Thank you to all our supporters and those who submitted for helping us to recognise such fantastic achievement in the progression towards more meritocratic workplaces.


To download the 2017 Winners Booklet, click here.

To read the ‘Champions of Change in the Workplace’ article, by the Financial Times, click here.

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