Gavin Bounds, Chair of PurpleSpace
Gavin is an International business leader whose career spans 30 years working across over 50 countries in a number of roles including COO and CEO.
He has worked in Charity, Public, Commercial and Defence sectors across EMEIA, the Americas, Africa and Asia leading organisations through significant periods of development, growth and change. He recently joined Leonard Cheshire as Executive Director of Transformation & Technology, previously was asked by UK Gov to become a Civil Servant to build a logistics network to move millions of Covid tests/day. Prior to this he worked for Fujitsu as COO of it's multi £bn EMEIA and Americas regions, he led countries, businesses and complex transformations ultimately ensuring great outcomes for clients, colleagues and Fujitsu. Prior to Fujitsu he worked a further 9 years in the Tech sector and 13 years in Aviation and Defence.
Gavin pioneered 'Responsible Business' inside Fujitsu EMEIA and Americas, creating and embedding its strategy, framework and practices that was then replicated throughout Fujitsu globally. He established employee networks including Gender, Disability, BAME, LBGTQ+ and Chaired Fujitsu's D&I Council, RB Committee and was Executive Sponsor to it's Disability Network since it began.
He Chaired the Prince of Wales' responsible business network Business in the Community (BITC) Global Goals Committee and was awarded London Ambassador to HRH Prince of Wales in 2015 and was named in the prestigious 2019 Heroes list as a gender champion.
Gavin is bringing his commercial expertise to help grow the #PurpleLightUp movement, driving forward its influence worldwide to ensure the economic empowerment of disabled people through the celebration of 3rd December (United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities).
Kay Allen OBE, Strategic Advisor to PurpleSpace
Kay is a business coach with over 25 years experience operating at board level in an executive and non-executive capacity within large complex organisations.
A commercially focused leader, with excellent communication, influencing and change management skills; she has significant experience in leading transformational change that has delivered improved performance and results. Kay was awarded an OBE in 2010 for services to Equality.
Kay will be using her expertise to help the #PurpleLightUp movement to lead transformational change on inclusion for disabled people across the world.
Kate Nash OBE, CEO and Creator of PurpleSpace
Kate is the world's leading authority in 'Networkology' - the science behind the growth of workplace networks and resource groups. Most known for her work with disability networks, she set up an independent hub of best practice in the establishment of Disabled Employee Networks publishing the first best practice guide in 2009, with a Ministerial launch.
In April 2014 her book 'Secrets & Big News' was published tackling the issue of 'disclosure' of disability and what employers can do to help people be themselves at work. 2,511 disabled employees from 55 employers took part in the research, sponsored by BT, Fujitsu, Metropolitan Police Service, Post Office and PWC.
Kate launched PurpleSpace in October 2015 as the world's first professional development hub for disabled employee networks bringing together the 850,000 disabled employees from across employee networks.
In 2007 she was awarded an OBE for services to disabled people. In 2013 she was appointed Ambassador to Disability Rights UK.
At PurpleSpace you are most likely to find Kate inspiring Disability Employee Networks and Resource Groups and connecting and firing up a growing community of purple change agents across all sectors and industries.
Brendan Roach, Director of Strategy and Networkology
Brendan is a globally respected leader in the field of disability inclusion in business.
On a mission to create impact at scale, Brendan ensures that PurpleSpace enables disability Employee Resource Groups/Networks to drive cultural change by developing our Networkology life-cycle approach to ERG development and cascading that know-how to every corner of the globe. He leads PurpleSpace’s strategy to grow the world’s only global network of disability ERGs/Networks through the delivery of high-quality Learning & Development.
With 15 years’ experience supporting organisations and government to improve disability confidence, Brendan is passionate about disability inclusion in business. Prior to joining PurpleSpace, Brendan developed and led Business Disability Forum’s global strategy where he supported governments, global businesses and national business and disability networks around the globe to build a better working world for employees with disabilities.
A Dyslexic thinker with a gift for connecting people and ideas, Brendan is a born collaborator who loves working with others to make things happen.
Kirstie Wilson, Learning, Content and Engagement Manager
Kirstie is our creative minded and logical thinker, with big ideas and a love of writing.
As a long standing ally for people with disabilities, Kirstie previously worked with HSBC, where she supported positive change for disabled and vulnerable customers within banking. Her project to introduce the Sunflower Lanyard Scheme into all HSBC UK branches will be her legacy.
Aside from her background in Financial Services, Kirstie is also a successful Event Manager fulfilling her passion for music by planning, building and executing quirky family music events at nightclubs and festivals across Scotland. She’s also a talented DJ, already prepped for our next in-person get together!
Kirstie’s role is to support the delivery of our annual learning programme including resources, Peer Group Learning Sessions, our 4 Working Groups and Comms strategy. Her rare spirit and out of the box thinking bring a creative angle to her role within PurpleSpace.
Kirstie is focussed on bringing some colourful life and authentic soul to her engaging outputs at PurpleSpace.
Sally-Anne Owens, Operations Director
Sally is a strategic thinker, always aiming to be one step ahead of the curve and planning for every eventuality. She loves a list and a flowchart!
Sally brings her warm and personable approach to PurpleSpace to help organise and lead our team.
She has a true passion for Diversity and Inclusion, in her previous role working within HSBC’s Ethnicity ERG, Embrace and hosting successful engagement and awareness events such as Black History Month, South Asian Heritage Month and Windrush Day.
Sally was diagnosed with MS over 10 years ago; a diagnosis that has taken her some time to open up about because of her belief that a leader admitting illness equalled weakness. She now realises it shows that she is human – MS stands for Mighty Strong, not Multiple Sclerosis.
Jen Morris, Senior Associate Consultant
Jen Morris (she/her) is an expert in the fields of Diversity, Inclusion, Leadership and Talent Development. She works with a wide range of clients, helping them understand the value of diverse talent and then designing and implementing strategies to achieve it. Jen’s research and writing has been published by Forbes, HR magazine, HR Director magazine, the International Labour Organization, Business Disability Forum, Fairplay Talks and Diversity Q.
Throughout her corporate career, Jen worked in a breadth of industries, both in the UK and globally. She has held a number of global roles in DEIB and Talent Development, and has worked in complex environments, so is attuned to and pragmatic about the challenges her clients face.
Jen is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD, has an MA in People Development and a BA Dual Hons in Business and Human Resources. She holds a Diploma in Executive Coaching, is a registered member of the British Psychological Society and is a qualified practitioner in a range of psychometric tools.
Jen is an advocate of intersectional inclusion and is passionate about creating a working world that is free from barriers, for all. She has a specialist interest in the lived experience of employees with disabilities and lives with three non-visible disabilities herself.
David is a Digital Accessibility Manager at Barclays and previously the COO for the Reach Network, Barclays diversity network for the disability and mental health agendas. Whilst in this role David led on the delivery of the 'This is me' campaign - an award winning campaign focused on breaking the culture silence and stigma of mental health in the workplace which has now been rolled out across other organisations through the Lord Mayor of London's 'This is me in the City' campaign.
David is a Founding Ambassador appointed in 2015.
Andy is currently working at GSK leading a global project developing a one stop shop service helping employees to secure the workplace adjustments they need to be successful in their roles/careers.
In 2015 Andy retired from a career spanning 30 years in the Met Police, latterly specialising in training & development, diversity & inclusion, disability networks (founder/leader) and workplace adjustments. Andy is an ambassador for PurpleSpace and is leading a working group on vision impairment confidence at work. Andy is a passionate advocate of disability networks and building the disability confidence of individuals, networks and leaders.
Andy is a Founding Ambassador appointed in 2015.
Watch Andy's in GSK's Working Together series
Belinda is a partner at Dentons US LLP and co-chair of the firm’s Disabilities/Accessibilities ERG, where she launched “Storytelling” as a foundational employee touchpoint that has grown and become a widespread practice across many firm ERG groups and DEI initiatives. She is a member of the firm’s DEI Committee, an Allyship 2.0 Leader, past member of the firm’s Global DEI Advocacy Council and was a featured presenter in the firm’s global Storytelling Montage and Purpose Statement. She proudly serves on the PurpleSpace Purple Confidence Strategic Forum, was featured in “Spotlight On” in June 2022, and serves in a number of other disability advocacy roles.
Diagnosed at the top of her 33 year career with a life-threatening disease for which there is no cure, and parent to an adult ASD and TBI child, Belinda has expanded a lifetime career in consumer product safety, working globally to address disabled consumer experiences and increase industry solutions and brand loyalty as they apply to persons with both “seen and unseen” disabilities. Belinda actively supports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s initiatives to bring real-voice to marginalized and under-voiced population initiatives, including persons with disabilities.
Paul Willgoss MBE
Paul has helped lead, develop and support Disabled Staff Networks for the last 20 years. His belief in people's innate willingness to want to do the right thing, combined with an analytical approach to identifying which of the right things to do first has led his networks, and himself, to be nominated for and win national awards.
Understanding the business imperative; be that in the private, public or third sector and how removing barriers to disabled employees can support organisations to deliver these is critical to Paul's thinking on how networks should engage with their organisations.
He is a career civil servant, working in both scientific and corporate roles, and has enjoyed the active support of the Health and Safety Executive in his disability roles. These have included setting up and being the first Chair of the Civil Service Disability Network, sitting on a number of working groups trying to tackle specific issues and closer to home the continual development of Equal HSE's network.
Outside of work, Paul and his partner are committed Cosplayers, AFOLs (adult fans of Lego) and recreational endurance athletes. Paul also support the development of NHS services for himself and others with his impairment.
Paul was appointed a PurpleSpace Ambassador in 2019.
Ally joined GCHQ over 10 years ago and has been involved with the Disabled Employee Network (DEN) for over 5 years, first of all as a Hearing Impaired rep delivering awareness events to help educate the workforce on adjustments and changes to help hearing impaired colleagues. Ally has also worked as an innovation lead on a variety of technical/cultural workplace adjustments and change programmes to make GCHQ a more Disability Confident department. Ally’s latest project within the DEN is helping pull together a Purple Alliance uniting disability networks from within the intelligence community.
Work that Ally has led on has included: leading GCHQ’s purple light up in December 2017 and using this to spur on the establishment of an internal Purple Allies network. Ally was instrumental in establishing an internal disability awareness offering for managers which uses storytelling and personal experiences to drive home the importance of inclusion and representation of the disabled community. Ally also took a leading role in driving to fruition a disability development programme for staff across the intelligence agencies.
Ally was appointed a PurpleSpace Ambassador in 2019.
Giles was appointed as Channel 4’s first ever Workplace Disability Lead, as part of the broadcaster’s commitment to opening up the TV industry to more disabled people.
He helps employees identify and secure the workplace adjustments they need. He works closely with 4Purple, Channel 4's Disability Network, as well as collaborating with partners across the industry to share knowledge and best practice.
Earlier in his career, Giles worked at Transport for London (TfL) for 14 years, 7 of which were involved in chairing their Disability Network. To help encourage and embed change, Giles co-founded The Adjustments Group (TAG) which regularly brought together key stakeholders involved in providing support and adjustments. In addition, Giles also co-founded the WellMent group to support colleagues around their mental health and wellbeing. Giles was also very privileged to work, later on in his career, in collaboration with TfL's Independent Disability Advisory Group (IDAG). He received a Queen's New Year Honour in 2017 for the strategic impact of his disability related work in TfL and the wider community.
After leaving TfL, Giles joined BT where he was the Subject Matter Expert on their Disability Rapid Action Plan (DRAP) and successfully maintained BT's Disability Confident Leadership status. He also managed the 10 People Networks within BT.
Giles has been involved in PurpleSpace since its early development stage and believes he was the second ever member! Giles has also been a regular member of PurpleSpace's Impact Steering Group and has contributed to various #PurpleLightUp events; in person, in webinars and, most recently in 2022, through the fully accessible Channel 4 #PurpleLightUp ident which was broadcast to the nation.
Elaine (she/her) is a Tech Program Manager in Google Switzerland. She joined Google in 2014 and from the beginning has been involved in Google's DEI efforts. In 2015 she was appointed to lead the Disability Alliance ERG for Google Zurich. In 2019 Elaine was selected to be the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Disability Alliance ERG Lead and Chair for the steering committee. Since then the ERG has grown from 6 to 24 chapters across the region resulting in a nearly 500% membership increase in the same time frame.
Born hard of hearing, with dyslexia and migraines from a young age, Elaine started her interest in advocating for disability inclusion at University following her own experiences with the effects of disabilities and neurodivergence on education and the need for authentic representation for youngsters with disabilities. Following University she was diagnosed with Myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) which changed her career trajectory, influencing all her choices and further fuels her passion for disability advocacy work. Knowing the importance of storytelling, Elaine uses her own experiences to help influence and lobby for getting leader commitment to disability inclusion and accessibility, both within the company and the wider community.
Elaine was appointed a PurpleSpace Ambassador in 2023.