Advisory Board

To keep us on our toes, the GDP advisory board is a group of seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs, specialising in HR and D&I expertise, who provide strategic direction, advice and consultation to help steer our company towards greater success. All the GDP board members have a deep conviction and commitment to the pursuit of diversity and inclusion within organisations and society as whole.

Wendy Cartwright

Wendy Cartwright

Interim Head of HR - Restoration & Renewal Programme, UK Parliament

Wendy is the interim Head of HR for the Restoration and Renewal Programme at UK Parliament, previously the Director of Corporate Services at the University of East London, and a Non-Executive Director of the Defence People and Training Board at the MoD. She is the former HR Director for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), and, in a career spanning public and private sectors, she previously held senior HR roles in Defra, EDF Energy, Standard Chartered Bank and Littlewoods plc.

She is a member of the Engage for Success Task Force and the European HRD Circle, as well as a judge for several industry awards.

Wendy has a Masters degree in Employment Strategy and is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD. She has led award winning HR Teams, is listed as #4 in HR Magazine’s Most Influential HR Practitioners 2012 and is the HR Distinction Awards HR Director of the Year 2013.

Clive Lewis

Clive Lewis

Director, Globis Mediation Group

Clive Lewis is a former HR Director and a leading senior HR professional. Much of his work is as a consultant, workplace mediator, trainer and coach. He also works as a senior interim HR professional.He is an ex-Kingfisher and Dixons executive. He is the UK’s most published writer on the topic of mediation in the workplace and is a Fellow of the CIPD. He has mediated and facilitated hundreds of situations and supports customers with cases ranging from one to one first level fall outs and change programmes up to high level multi party complex disputes. Each year he helps hundreds of professionals prepare for and have difficult conversations.

Clive has worked both in and out of the UK at Government level on a range of assignments and was an advisor to the Department for Business and the CIPD on simplifying UK workplace disputes processes. He is a Non-Exec Director of an NHS Foundation Trust. He is the author of twelve books. His widely acclaimed book ‘Difficult Conversations 10 Steps to Becoming a Tackler not a Dodger’ and its accompanying training course were featured in The Sunday Times. The second edition of the book was published on 1st October 2014. He is currently studying towards an MSc in Business Psychology. In 2013 he started the ‘Senior Women’s Luncheon’.

He was awarded the OBE partly for his work in the field of workplace mediation in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2011 and was commissioned as a Deputy Lieutenant in 2012. He is also a Philanthropist and has recently launched the Bridge Builders Mentoring Scheme. The scheme connects schools with business mentors to increase social mobility and employability amongst young males from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Leigh Lafever-Ayer

Leigh Lafever-Ayer

HR Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car (UK&I)

Leigh Lafever-Ayer is the HR Director, UK and Ireland, for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. She has over 23 years of experience with the company and has held a variety of roles in operations and human resources.

As part of her role, Leigh is responsible for and advises on diversity initiatives. Some recent diversity achievements by Enterprise are:

  • The Times Top 50 Employers for Women since it’s inception 2006 – 2013
  • Awarded the Innovation Award by Race for Opportunity for their Diversity Scorecard in 2012
  • Target Jobs Award for Best Diversity Recruitment in 2011 and 2013
  • Best Diversity in Work Experience by Rate My Placement in 2012/2013
  • Benchmarking ‘Gold’ by Opportunity Now and Race for Opportunity in 2012
  • Being listed in the Top Ten Private Companies for Diversity in the UK by both Opportunity Now and Race for Opportunity in 2012

Leigh is originally from the United States and lives outside London with her husband, Trace, and daughter, Alexandra. She is involved in a number of professional organisations, is on the Board of Governors at Guildford College and sits on the Advisory Board for Global Diversity Practice. She also coordinates mentors at Enterprise for The Cherie Blair Foundation.

Nicholas Creswell

Nicholas Creswell

VP Performance & Talent Management, Thomson Reuters

As vice president Performance & Talent Management, Nicholas works with business and HR leaders globally across Thomson Reuters to enable excellent performance and strengthen the talent pipeline of their 55,000-person business. He has worked at Thomson Reuters since 2009: in that time he has led talent and development for the Financial & Risk business unit, and has been head of talent and development for the Technology function.

Nicholas chairs the Thomson Reuters UKI Pride at Work network for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees and friends. During his tenure as chair of the network, Thomson Reuters has appeared on the Stonewall Top 100 employers for the first time, has built a significant presence at the Pride in London parade, and has run several large-scale LGBT-related events. He has also co-led a global initiative to crowd-source ideas from employees, aiming to help the company better service LGBT markets.

Before joining Thomson Reuters, Nicholas worked at Google from 2005 – 2008, where he established and led the company’s technical graduate programs across EMEA, and where he founded the company’s LGBT network in EMEA. He has also spent four years in executive search working at Korn/Ferry, and started his career running graduate programs for United Biscuits. He has an MBA from London Business School, and a degree in Politics & French from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Pinky Lilani

Pinky Lilani

Managing Director, Spice Magic

Pinky Lilani OBE DL was born in Calcutta, India and came to the UK after a whirlwind courtship of only three weeks knowing no one and totally lacking culinary skills.

She now works in the diverse areas of the empowerment of women and food – bringing them together at every opportunity.

Pinky is the founder and chairman of ‘The Asian Women of Achievement Awards’, ‘The Women of the Future Award’, ‘The Ambassadors Programme’, ‘The Women of the Future network’ and the ‘Women of the Future Summit’.

A firm believer in the importance of interfaith dialogue, she is cofounder of the ‘Women’s Interfaith Network’. As a food guru, she has advised supermarkets, written cook books and runs team building days for major corporations based around Indian food. She is patron of several charities and was named as one of Britain’s 100 most entrepreneurial women and was also on the 100 most powerful women list published by BBC Radio 4 Women’s hour.