VP, Head of Paid Social, EMEA , Essence

Deolu King joined Essence in 2017 with a drive to create change within the organisation. And that's exactly what she's done. Outside of her 'day job' leading the 40-strong paid social department at Essence for clients including Google, NBCUniversal, BT, Peloton, and L'Oreal, Deolu chairs Essence Village, a Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority community she launched in 2019 to drive cultural change through celebrations, awareness and action across the agency and Industry.

The events of 2020 have only accelerated the work Deolu started, as Essence made the commitment to increase under-represented groups in its leadership team to at least 20% by 2021 and its reverse mentoring and career advocacy programmes, championed by Deolu, took off. Village also continued its monthly fireside chats inviting external leaders to discuss their experiences of being black, Asian or ethnic minority in media. The honest and open ambition of Essence Village has inspired other communities within the agency to form, including [email protected]

Outside of Essence, Deolu is also co-founder of I AM History (, a black lifestyle and culture publication designed to raise awareness and be a voice for black stories - both historic and present day. Deolu was spurred into forming the company in 2017 after finding a lack of black history being taught in Britain, and the site has gained momentum in 2020.

Aside from her initiatives and professional endeavours, Deolu commits time to mentor three people in the agency, helping people grow personally and professionally.