DAY ONE: Tuesday 19th October 2021

Creating a diverse, inclusive workplace

If you have a burning desire to sharpen your company’s D&I practices and increase opportunities for all, today’s presentations and panels are here to help you to determine how to ignite change and put new initiatives in place. Get hands-on advice from prominent individuals at the forefront of their professions who are making a real difference on the ground and join our evening networking meetup to connect with speakers and your fellow attendees.



Trailblazers: Setting the stage for change

8:50am  BST

Welcome and Launch of the Diversity Network Professional Access Portal
  • Introduction to INCLUSION 2021 and what to expect over the next three days
  • Diversity and inclusion in society today and what this means for the workplace
  • Celebrating the launch the Diversity Network Learning Portal, including 100+ hours of on-demand videos, whitepapers, D&I podcasts, latest D&I news, interviews, discussions, networking meetups and more, available 24/7 all year round

Introduction by INCLUSION 2021’s Event Director

Dame Stephanie

9:00am  BST

Keynote: Revolutionising the Workplace

Dame Stephanie “Steve” Shirley is a true workplace revolutionary, having founded a software firm in the 1960s, challenging sexual discrimination, employment law and social convention, and pioneering flexible work options for women. Dame Stephanie, who founded ‘Autistica’ – Diversity Network’s lead charity partner for INCLUSION 2021 – is now a venture philanthropist, devoting her time to supporting strategic projects in the field of autism. 

In this inspirational opening keynote, Dame Stephanie will share:

  • How she drove revolutionary workplace change that has helped thousands of women to have successful careers
  • Her views on how society is regressing as women bear the economic brunt of the pandemic – despite advancement of workplace practices and the rise in homeworking
  • How we can address this and what still needs to be done to reach true equality
  • Her support for inclusion in the workplace, and her views on neurodiversity
Dame Stephanie Shirley, Entrepreneur, Equality Champion and Founder, Autistica
Britt Andreatta

9:50am  BST

Keynote: Brain Science of Inclusion: Moving People to Action 

Recent discoveries in neuroscience provide new insights into the power of inclusion and the devastating effects of exclusion on people and teams. In this session, we will explore the latest research on belonging, inclusion, workplace bullying, bias, and microaggressions. We’ll look at the relationship between long-term exclusion and committing violence to self or others. We’ll focus on six strategies for moving people to action. 

Dr Britt Andreatta, Author and internationally recognised thought leader

Dr Andreatta uses her unique background in leadership, neuroscience, psychology, and learning to create groundbreaking solutions for today’s workplace challenges. Britt is the former Chief Learning Officer for (now LinkedIn Learning).

Gurpreet Kaur

10:35am BST

GLOBAL FOCUS: Integrating Accessibility as a Core Business Value, and Accessing its Impact on Employee Wellbeing and Productivity
  • Going beyond compliance – how does that shift from compliance to accessibility inclusion impact the work environment? What practical steps are needed to start that process.
  • What does an accessibility roadmap look like on a global scale? 
  • How can we effectively measure the impact of implementing a business integrated accessibility strategy
Gurpreet Kaur, Head of Global Accessibility, Twitter
Tandalea Mercer

11:00am  BST

Tackling Unconscious Bias: Uncovering The Hidden Prejudices That Shape Everything We Do
  • The roots and ramifications of unconscious bias: the scientific reasons why we have implicit biases, and what has the research shown about the potential impact if we do not mitigate these?
  • What experiments have shown about how social conditions can interact with the workings of the brain to determine responses to other people, particularly in the context of race
  • How learned perceptual biases can shape reactions, and how this might play out in the workplace if left unchecked 
  • What can organisations do to mitigate bias in the workplace? Is unconscious bias training simply a ‘tick-box exercise’ or are some organisations seeing real results?
Tandalea Mercer, PHR (she/her/ella), Professor, California State University
Silke Heinrichs sq

11:20am  BST

Developing a Holistic D&I Strategy for 14,000 Employees, and Beyond to the Wider Community
  • Sharing how Roche developed and implemented a fully integrated and holistic diversity, inclusion and belonging strategy. 

  • Detailing the process, the challenges, the successes and the impact of the strategy within the organisation as well as the wider communities. 

Silke Heinrichs, Head of Diversity + Inclusion, Roche Diagnostics GmbH
Antonio Bebba

11:50am  BST

Equity and Equality Are Not Equal – Why Deepening Our Understanding is Critical
  • What are the dangers of equity and equality being used as interchangeable terms – how might this hinder progress?
  • Which should we be focusing on to make the biggest positive difference?
  • Equity is often discussed in the context of education, but how do the issues present in the workplace?
  • If we are to prioritise equity in our workplaces, how do we define the needs of the employee and therefore distribute resources appropriately?
  • How can improving equity be measured?
Antonio Bebba (He-Him-His), Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Regional Operations Lead (Europe), Pfizer
Caroline Creven Fourrier
Jasmine Brett Stringer
Susan Schmidlkofer

12:10pm  BST

Demonstrating increased company performance through fostering an inclusive culture and work environment 

There is a great deal of research showing the benefits of diversity in companies. A 2017 Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study identified diversity as a key driver of innovation, finding that diverse teams produce 19% more revenue. Results showed that these companies develop more relevant products because they are more in tune with the customer’s changing needs. Our panel of expert D&I practitioners share: 

  • The importance of positioning D&I as a core business value 
  • How has elevating diversity, inclusion and belonging as a central business function impacted business, internally and externally
  • We know a truly diverse workforce improves productivity, performance, creativity – how has sharing your D&I initiatives boosted brand reputation, marketability and profitability
An intervew with Caroline Creven Fourrier, Global Head Diversity and Inclusion, Novartis Pharmaceuticals

Followed by a discussion between:

Jasmine Brett Stringer, Professional speaker and author

Susan Schmidlkofer, Global Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, UPS
12:45pm BST: Lunch Break and Digital Exhibition Visit
Visit INCLUSION's online exhibition and make new connections
12:45pm - 1:15pm BST

Visit INCLUSION's online exhibition and make new connections

Come and explore our online interactive Diversity & Inclusion exhibition with prizes on offer for all those who make it round all the stands!

    Day One Afternoon Sessions
    Strategies and techniques for creating a happier, more sustainable workforce

    12:40pm BST

    What’s Next For Work?
    • We have an opportunity to invent what work looks like in the future – not only the move to hybrid/remote working resulting from the pandemic, but designing something that will help attract the best talent
    • What is the future of the office? Looking at how much of our work requires collaboration and how much requires personal focus – working together in person will still be important but the model can be different
    • Protecting company culture – the importance of considering impact of new policies or ways of working on the work culture and employee satisfaction
    • How are leading companies preparing for the hybrid future and can we draw inspiration?
    Bruce Daisley, Author, Consultant, and ex-Twitter VP

    1:10pm BST

    Increasing Accessibility: Why Ignoring This Topic Isn’t Good for Business 

    In a recent study of more than 100 workplaces, inclusion of people with disabilities was voted the diversity area that required the greatest improvement within the organisation, despite the fact that numerous studies have shown businesses have as much to gain as employees from attracting more workers with disabilities.

    • How and why people with disabilities are perceived in certain ways, and what we can do to challenge our own perceptions and biases balanced approach needed?
    • Accessibility and disability inclusion are often low on the organisation’s radar when it comes to diversity and inclusion priorities – how can you really drive this forward in your organisation to ensure it is just as important as other elements of D&I?
    • Why it is not enough to simply have accessibility policies and procedures in place in your company
    • An estimated seven million people of working age in the UK are disabled or have a health condition, yet only half are in employment. How can organisations access this significant pool of untapped talent?
    Neil Milliken, Global Head of Accessibility, Atos
    Theo Smith

    1:35pm BST

    How Neurodivergent Employees Can Boost Your Company’s Productivity  
    • The types of neurodiversity that may exist within your workforce and their characteristics, for example ADHD, autism and dyslexia 
    • How being aware of the strengths and challenges of the various conditions can help you better support a neurodiverse workforce
    • How can hiring and investing in neurodiverse individuals improve your business? Statistics show that neurodiverse people are 30% to 50% more productive than other employees
    • Learn how your entire workplace will benefit from inclusive practices
    Theo Smith, Author, Podcast Host & Neurodiversity Evangelist 

    2:00pm  B35

    Give Your Inclusion Initiatives a Transformational Jolt

    Rolling Stone Magazine recently named Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” as the #1 song of all time. This is a timely headline that signals how important our work is today. However, in practice, respect is complicated and culturally loaded. It means different things to different people, and it manifests in a multitude of behaviors and gestures.

    Why is that? How does this apply to your inclusion efforts? How do you show respect to people in a way that works for them? Join us for a jolt of insight into respect and its power to bring people together.

    Jorge Vargas, Managing Director, RW3 CultureWizard

    Sean Dubberke, Principal & Director of Learning, RW3 CultureWizard
    Cornell Verdeja-Woodson
    Leslie Gray

    2:25pm BST

    Panel Discussion: Working Towards a Racially Just Workforce: One year on from Global Black Liberation Uprisings 2020

    According to both quantitative and qualitative data, working Black people still face obstacles to advancement that other ethnic minorities and white people don’t. They are less likely than their white peers to be hired, developed, and promoted. In addition their lived experience at work is demonstrably worse even than that of other people of colour.

    • How have the commitments made by companies to address racial inequalities across the world since June 2020 translated into action? Has adequate progress been made in the short term? 
    • What should companies be aiming for in regards to quotas, and what are the pitfalls when quotas are the only driver for race diversity
    • How can companies create a safe work environment for Black and people of colour – what actions can be implemented?
    • There is also an emotional tax associated with being Black in the workplace – what are companies doing to ensure the wellbeing of their BIPOC employees?
    • Who is getting it right and from where can we draw inspiration?

    Cornell Verdeja-Woodson (He/Him),
    Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Headspace, Founder & CEO, Brave Trainings 

    Leslie Gray, Head of Diversity & Inclusion and Chief of Staff, Office of the CEO, Mozilla

    Asif Sadiq MBE, Senior Vice President, Head of Equity and Inclusion, WarnerMedia International
    Nadia Younes
    Paul Rupert

    3:15pm BST

    The Future of Flexibility: Addressing the Seismic Changes to Working Practices in 2021 and beyond
    • What does real employee flexibility mean? 
    • What changes do managers need to make in managing teams and operations
    • How can we build a trusting workforce to support the case for flexible working
    • What is the disproportionate impact of pandemic work practices had on marginalised groups, and how can this be addressed/combated 
    • Intergenerational workforces – how can we ensure the generational knowledge transfer from older employees 
    Nadia Younes, Global Head of Employee Wellbeing & Diversity, Zürich Insurance

    Paul Rupert, Chief Executive Officer, Rupert Organizational Design 

    3:45pm BST

    Activating D, I & B Strategy on a Global Scale

    Conscious inclusion is the number one strategic objective for McCann Worldgroup, one of the world’s 4 biggest advertising agencies.

    Recognising the value of a globally integrated community, their D, I & B focus centres around a ‘Day for Meaning’ – a whole day of reflection, every year, dedicated to learning, discussing and deciding which local actions to take forward and make a difference to the lives of their employees and the communities around them.

    Join us as they share the story of how they activated this on a global scale across 45 countries and 100 locations. The aim: to address challenges, bias, themes and opportunities to be a more diverse and inclusive organisation now, and in the years to come.

    Lucy McKerron, D, I & B Leader, McCann Synergy
    Joseph Nwosu

    4:05pm BST

    Is your Business Ready to Support Networks and ERGs? 
    • What is the difference between a network and ERG?
    • What infrastructure does your business need to ensure ERGs and networks are a factor in the organisation’s strategy rather than just a temporary tick-box exercise?
    • What if employees are ready to launch a network but the business isn’t?
    Joseph Nwosu, Co-Lead of the Black at Experian Network (ERG), Experian
    Mahdis Gharaei
    Putri square
    Nidhi Singh

    4:25pm BST

    GLOBAL FOCUS: Developing a Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Strategy for a Global Workforce
    • Identifying key challenges when the organisation operates around the world
    • Navigating different cultures globally, and each country’s demographics
    • Creating a global culture and standard for workplace conduct/behaviours
    • Ensuring a safe working environment for all employees in every country the business operates 

    Mahdis Gharaei,
    Co-Founder & CEO, the female factor

    Putri Realita,
     Global Diversity and Inclusion Lead, Danone

    Nidhi Singh (she/her/hers), Head – Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (LATAM, EMEA & APJC), Amazon Web Services (AWS)
    Amanda Kirby
    Jen Smith
    Sarah Fennell

    5:25pm BST

    Panel Discussion: How Can We Support Role Models?
    • Why are there so few visible role models, particularly at senior levels?
    • How important are role models in creating more inclusive working environments, and are there ways in which we can encourage more visibility of role models?
    • ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’ – is the lack of role models having an impact on talented individuals not progressing to senior positions?
    • What can we do to ensure that diverse talent can see they can progress and succeed at the most senior levels?
    Moderator: Professor Amanda Kirby, CEO and Co-Founder, Do-IT Solutions
    Michael Vermeersch, Digital Inclusion Lead & Chair, UK Disability ERG, Microsoft 

    Sarah Fennell,
    Head of D&I and Pride ally, Macquarie 

    Jen Smith,
    Head of Inclusion, British Film Institute

    6:05pm BST

    Networking Session: Meet the Speakers


    An excellent opportunity to make new connections with a host of professionals who are passionate about Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. Come and network with our fantastic, energised speaker line-up, and meet other professionals who are committed to bringing about real change, sharing their implementation strategies too.