Funke Abimbola FRSA
General Counsel & Head of Financial Compliance
Funke is a solicitor and senior leader for Roche, the world’s largest biotech company. Currently the most senior black lawyer in her field, she is ranked by the Financial Times as being one of the top 20 BAME leaders internationally (UPStanding100 2016 Powerlist) and one of the most influential leaders of African/Afro-Caribbean heritage in the UK (The 2017 Powerlist).
A multi award winning solicitor and diversity leader, she has received both national and international recognition for her legal and diversity work. She is an experienced public speaker, speaking regularly about her personal journey to large audiences ranging from school children to senior professionals including regularly speaking in Parliament. She holds a number of board-level voluntary leadership roles across a range of different diversity organisations. In 2015, she founded a network supporting the international pipeline of female legal talent within the life sciences sector. She is a Committee member of a House of Lords-based diversity recruitment drive and also appears regularly on BBC 1 as a news reviewer, commenting on world business news.
Funke is a proud working mother, an expert mentor and sponsor, passionate about the law, diversity, education and healthcare. She is a regular media commentator, a keen fundraiser for various charities (including Cancer Research UK) and has twice served as school governor and as a board director. She recently founded the Akindolie Medical Scholarship in memory of her father, Dr. Frank Olufemi Akindolie. This is a privately funded bursary and leadership mentoring initiative aimed at supporting future UK doctors from a minority ethnic background.
In October 2016, Funke was honoured with a ‘Point of Light’ award by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the UK Cabinet Office, recognizing the outstanding positive impact of her voluntary diversity work in improving workplace diversity and in supporting the next generation of future leaders.