Diversity and inclusion organisation AFBE-UK has bolstered its leadership team with the appointment of two new advisory board members.

The addition of Dushyant Sharma and Dr Carol Marsh OBE take the AFBE-UK advisory board up to 12 members.

Aberdeen-based Dushyant Sharma is vice-president of transformation at bp. With more than 20 years’ experience in the energy industry, his career has taken him to various countries including Norway, Denmark, the US and Canada. Dushyant actively mentors professionals and works with a variety of mentees across the diversity spectrum. He is passionate about making the world of work more equitable through active conversation and transparency.

Dr Carol Marsh is head of digital systems at Edinburgh-based Celestia UK. Working in the field of electronics for more than 35 years, she is a visiting professor at Edinburgh Napier University and vice-president of the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). In 2020, she was awarded an OBE for diversity and inclusion in electronic engineering and is also a winner of seven other technology and diversity awards.

Dr Ollie Folayan MBE, Chair of AFBE-UK Scotland, said: "We are honoured to have Dushyant and Carol join the advisory board. Dushyant is a leader within an international and diverse energy company, while Carol is a highly-respected figure across industry – both with a mission to effect change. Their work in diversity, equity and inclusion is exemplary and AFBE-UK look forward to gaining a great deal of insight and guidance from them.”

Dushyant Sharma, Vice-President Transformation of bp, said: “I am honoured and humbled to have been invited by Ollie and the AFBE-UK team to join their advisory board.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion is not just the right thing to do for people and society at large, but it’s also proven to be a business imperative to enable better results. The energy industry faces complex challenges and that requires people from diverse backgrounds to help resolve. AFBE-UK are a great team that can help achieve this, along with ensuring organisations are more reflective of the society in which we live.”

Dr Carol Marsh OBE, Head of Digital Systems at Celestia UK, said: “I first met Ollie at an IET Diversity and Inclusion conference in Scotland and I was surprised at the problems ethnic minorities faced in engineering but so impressed with the services AFBE-UK provide to address these problems.

“I’m passionate about engineering and think that everyone should have the right to become an engineer and there should be no barriers to entry. Therefore, it is a great privilege to join the AFBE-UK advisory board and to help them achieve their aims.”

The advisory board meets the AFBE-UK’s executive board twice a year to provide guidance and support.

Other advisory board members are Stephen Hart, managing director of Pall Europe Limited; Dr James Smith CBE, former chair of the Carbon Trust; Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central; Aberdeen-based Denis Pinto, managing director of Caledonian Flow Systems; Professor David Mba, deputy vice-chancellor of research, knowledge exchange and enterprise at the University of the Arts London (UAL); Dr Safia Barikzai, associate professor at London South Bank University’s School of Engineering; Sandra Kerr CBE, race equality director at Business in the Community; Dr Patrick Clarke OBE, director of network operations at UK Power Networks; Myrtle Dawes, solutions centre director at Aberdeen’s Net Zero Technology Centre and Craig Shanaghey, executive president of projects at Wood.

AFBE-UK supports young people, particularly those from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds, with career aspirations in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM).

The social enterprise provides mentoring programmes to support young people from under-represented groups.

This includes its schools programme NextGen, where industry leaders and professionals give advice to pupils through engaging events; Transition, where industry leaders help aspiring engineering professionals to enter the job market; and Real Projects, where industry professionals share their knowledge and expertise with students and recent graduates. Scottish events have been held in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

AFBE-UK also run a Transcend programme, which is a senior leadership course for ethnic minority business professionals. It is designed for individuals with over 10 years’ experience in senior and lead engineering roles in their organisation to progress to high-level management and executive positions.

For more information on AFBE-UK and its events, visit: https://www.afbe.org.uk

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