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As the only ethnic minority head of business at Conde Nast UK, Vanessa regards it as a personal responsibility to ensure a welcoming and inclusive workplace. Early in her career, she started a paid internship programme, focused on welcoming candidates whose networks might not have allowed them access to media companies such as Conde Nast. She is always keen to hire diverse talent, and in her first 3 months as Publishing Director of Vogue she has already appointed an ethnic minority candidate to her senior management structure. Externally, Vanessa has a keen interest in youth development. In her role as Fellow at the University of the Arts London, she supports students through mentoring, panel discussions, and project evaluations. For the last four years, she has placed special importance on mentoring ethnic minority and working-class students in particular. She has judged the Black British Business awards since 2015 with a personal interest in corporate rising stars and entrepreneurs focused on media and the arts. Vanessa has been highlighted amongst the UK’s most influential Black Britons by the Powerlist magazine for the last 5 years. She was awarded an MBE on the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours Lists, 2016, and in the same year was awarded ‘Leader in Luxury’ at the Walpole British Luxury awards. In 2017 the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, announced Vanessa’s appointment to his Brexit Advisory Panel.

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