Funke Abimbola Guest blog – the sequel part 2

Funke Abimbola

This is a 2 part sequel guest blog, an update to the guest blogs Funke did for us in 2015. In part 1 Funke shared what has changed and how the change came about and in this post, part 2, she shares the significance of the change and what next for 2016.

Funke is a practising solicitor and multi award-winning lawyer and diversity campaigner. She joined Roche as Managing Counsel in January 2012, leading the legal team supporting Roche’s pharmaceutical operations in the UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar and was also appointed as Data Protection Officer for the UK. She was promoted to General Counsel & Company Secretary in December 2015. Her career began in private practice before moving in-house. Outside of her role at Roche, Funke undertakes a lot of work to support diversity & inclusion in society as a whole and within the legal profession in particular, initiating and driving through a range of ground-breaking diversity initiatives. She has received national and European recognition for her diversity work, all of which is carried out in her spare time on voluntary basis.

Part 1 of this guest blog in case you missed it:

Sequel guest blog part 1

What is the significance of this change for you?

The changes were all significant to me as they showed once again that there is no substitute for hard work, determination and maintaining your focus, whatever the challenges. Tenacity always pays off in the end. I feel incredibly privileged to be making such an impact across all roles within my portfolio career.

What next for you in 2016?

I am focusing on developing my leadership even further and have an exceptional executive coach who is helping both me and my team to exceed our goals. Various members of my team have been promoted to new roles and I look forward to supporting the whole team’s development as we make our 2016 vision a reality.

Outside of work, I will continue to build upon last year’s diversity work across several diversity strands, including gender, and to broaden my influence into broader CSR initiatives. I already have 15 speaking engagements booked for 2016, including another engagement at the BBC and speaking at the House of Lords.

I was recently appointed as a Patron for Asian Voice’s Charity Awards (more details can be found at and look forward to supporting this new awards programme designed to reward those charities with a big vision, seeking to solve the most pressing social issues of our time (both in Britain and globally).

I am hoping to speak to over 2,000 school children this year, impacting positively on their lives by showing them what is possible with hard work and determination. As the mother of a teenage son, I find working with school children incredibly rewarding and absolutely fundamental: children really are the future and should be given every opportunity to maximise their potential. For example, I am speaking at an event in March called “The Art of Diversity”, a nationwide competition for children aged 4-19 to create a piece of art showing what diversity means to them (see My son has entered the competition and I look forward to being inspired by the children’s vision of what diversity means.

The list of what I hope to achieve during 2016 is endless but above all, I want to be able to look back on this year and feel proud of what my team and I have achieved, both within and outside work.

Read Funke’s original guest blogs from 2015:

Part 1
Original guest blog part 1

Part 2
Original guest blog part 2

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About Energise - The Talent Liberation Company

Talent liberator - career change, executive coaching and employee engagement. PS Love writing too and write many articles. Background in marketing and brand strategy and communication and unusual analytical and lateral brain - great for new career directions and ideas!
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