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Demand more: how to make change happen – Sheree Atcheson, Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Valtech

About This Episode

Sheree Atcheson is the diversity and inclusion leader defying traditional barriers for both women and ethnic minorities in tech. Born in Sri Lanka and adopted at three-weeks-old by a working-class, Catholic, Northern Irish family, her upbringing gave Sheree her first lived experience as a person of colour in a majority white community – experience she has taken into a career spent fighting against corporate exclusion. Recognised by the FT and Computer Weekly as amongst the most influential women in tech in the UK, Sunday Business Post’s 30 under 30, Management Today’s 35 under 35 and One Young World’s 40 under 40, amongst many other accolades, Sheree’s career has taken her to the highest levels of some of the UK’s leading companies. Her debut book Demanding More: Why Diversity and Inclusion Don’t Happen and What You Can Do About It was chosen by the FT as one of its summer books for 2021 and has been described as “necessary reading for anyone who is alive in the 21st century.”

Sheree Atcheson, Global Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Valtech

Listed as one of the UK’s Top Most Influential Women in Tech & an international multi-award winner for her services to Diversity & Inclusion in industry, Sheree Atcheson is a Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Senior Executive; Advisory Board Member, Women Who Code; and a contributor for Forbes. She is the Author of Demanding More, a book which aims to teach readers about how deliberate exclusion has been in systems and society, so we can be purposefully and deliberately inclusive moving forward. Sheree is a Global Diversity & Inclusion Senior Executive at Valtech, having previously worked at Deloitte, Monzo and Peakon. She has worked in many regions developing tailored, data-driven DE&I strategies, with clear goals and lines of accountability to embed success and inclusion that scales. As a passionate advocate for gaining/retaining women in the industry, in 2013, she launched & led the award-winning U.K. expansion of Women Who Code, the world’s largest non-profit globally dedicated to women in tech, where she now sits as an Advisory Board Member.

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Lockdown List

What are you watching at the moment?

The Handmaid’s Tale

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

I find inspiration in lots of different things – in small wins and in big successes. From a personal perspective, I am always inspired by Jackie Henry, my mentor. Jackie is the new People and Purpose Managing Partner at Deloitte and we’ve worked together for years. She gave me my first full-time D&I role many years ago. Her work is always human-centered and driven, and always gives results.

In one sentence, describe your ‘new normal’.

My new normal is different. It’s more relaxed and more laid back – less chaotic. My partner and I recently bought our first home, moving from London to Kent and it has been a wonderful experience to now spend time making a house our own home after years of renting.

What is your best tip for life?