About Vanessa

Vanessa Sanyauke is a diversity and inclusion professional, presenter and writer based in London. Vanessa has over a decade of experience advising FTSE 100 businesses on Diversity, Inclusion and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and policy. Vanessa has worked with over 50 businesses that include The Bank of England, UK Parliament, Facebook, O2, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Barclays, State Street, Salesforce, Vodafone, BT, Ericsson, Allen and Overy, Lloyds Bank, Bauer Media, UBS, RBS Legal, Rabobank, Reed Smith and CMS Cameron McKenna. Vanessa has also been an adviser on Youth Policy to the former UK Prime Minister David Cameron and The former Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

 In 2019, Vanessa was featured as one of 30 people changing the world in the London Business School Review and number 15 on the EMpower and Yahoo Finance top 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders List. In 2018 Vanessa was listed on the 2018 EMpower 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders List, presented by the Financial Times and as a Changemaker on the 2018 Evening Standard 1000 most influential Londoners list. That same year she won an award at the 2018 European Diversity Awards for Best Community Project for setting up the pan-industry project, Step into STEM.

Vanessa is the Host and creator of business podcast “The after work drinks club” which is a top 100 iTunes global business podcast which interviews and features discussions with influential people of business and popular culture. 

Vanessa is also the Host and Creator of Girls Talk, an online panel talk show for millennial women that has been viewed by over half a million people worldwide. 

She is a sought-after Presenter and Speaker on business, women’s issues and popular culture featured on BBC Radio One and hosting the Penguin Living and Virgin Books ‘Live.Life. Better’ Podcast.  

Her speaking engagements have taken her across the globe at institutions such as The Southbank Centre, Glitz Africa She Summit, UN Women UK, Cosmopolitan Self-Made Summit,  Investec, Royal Bank of Canada, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Google UK, City Hall, Institute of Directors and Women in Research UK.

Vanessa is a regular visiting lecturer and speaker on Social Entrepreneurship, Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity and Inclusion for London School of Economics, City University London, Kent Business School, Brunel University and Kings College London.

Vanessa has written and featured in publications such as The Guardian, Stylist, The Telegraph, LOOK Magazine, virgin.com, Confederation of British Industry and Entrepreneur Country. The 16th April 2017 Edition of The Style Magazine Sunday Times Supplement listed Vanessa as one of 10 people changing the workplace for women in the UK.

During her final year at Brunel University in 2008, Vanessa started her first social enterprise, The Rafiki Network, an award-winning organisation that provided mentoring & training services for over 2,000 young people in London. In April 2010 until January 2014 she was a Trustee of national youth volunteering charity inspired. In 2011 she was presented with a Peace Award from The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson for her contribution to the well-being of people in London and was Co-Chair of the Spirit of London Awards Select Committee in 2012 producing their biggest ever show at London’s 02 Arena. After completing a Masters in Sustainability & Management at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2012 she started Girls Talk London and began working for The Brokerage CityLink as a Senior Programme Manager. The 9th March 2015 issue of Look Magazine featured Vanessa as one of the most inspiring women in the UK and in June 2015 She was named as one of 67 Changemakers in the UK at The Southbank Centre as part of their annual Festival of Love. During the same month she was also invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In December 2015, Vanessa was nominated for a Digital-IS award for Best Online Presenter.

  • Winner SOLA Community Champion
    (2010)
  • Winner Community Safety Peace Award
    (2011)
  • Nominated-Young Achiever Women for Africa
    (2013)
  • Nominated-Best Social Enterprise, Precious Awards
    (2010)