The INCLUSION Festival agenda is packed each year with interactive panel discussions, presentations, workshops and networking sessions on every aspect of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the workplace. 
To browse the agenda, select from the days below.
Dates for your diary: 19-21 October 2021

Inclusive strategies for agility and growth

  • Revolutionising the workplace through DEI
  • Accelerating DEI results
  • How DEI leaders can make the most impact
  • Tackling DEI pushback and advancing change
  • DEI and ESG: How DEI and sustainability intersect
Opening Keynotes

8:45am EDT / 
1:50pm  BST

Welcome to the INCLUSION Festival

Georgina Wilczek, Chair, Diversity Network

Janice Underwood

9:00am EDT / 
2:00pm  BST

Keynote: Advancing DEI for a Healthier Society
  • Why DEI should be a company priority
  • Gender and minority groups
  • What needs to happen to ensure that DEI is permanently embedded within workplace culture

Dr Janice Underwood, Governmentwide Chief Diversity Officer, US Government 

Chris Williams

9:45am EDT / 
2:45pm  BST

How can DEI leaders make the most impact?
  • Addressing systemic biases and promoting equality
  • Cultivating a culture of belonging and inclusion
  • Developing and implementing inclusive policies
  • Driving accountability and measuring progress

Chris Williams, Global Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, CBRE

Ticketholder content

Open to silver and gold pass holders. To purchase your pass, click here.


10:10am EDT / 
3:10pm  BST

Becoming a DEI changemaker: How to exert influence to create a healthier company culture
  • What DEI leaders need to do to innovate and facilitate lasting change: agitate the business, gain board-level support, and build influence among key supporters
  • How the DEI industry is evolving, and the essential skills we need to develop now to become more effective as a DEI leader
  • Why inclusive culture is absolutely central to a business plan

Asif Sadiq MBE, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery

Charlotte Sweeney
Marianne Cuthbertson
Gerald Lee

10:40am EDT / 
3:40pm  BST

A strategy to move from activity to outcomes
  • Why should we concentrate on outcomes rather than output?
  • How can this be measured?
  • How can this cultural shift be achieved?

Charlotte Sweeney OBE, CEO, Charlotte Sweeney Associates

In conversation with

Marianne Cuthbertson, Equity Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Lead, Incommunities

Gerald Lee, Global DEI Director, GSK

Nisha Marhwaha

11:25am EDT / 
4:25pm  BST

Case Study: DEI and sustainability at Virgin Media 02
  • How to believe and achieve: Why respect, determination and courage are the keys to equality in the workplace
  • Summarising Virgin Media 02’s CSR commitments towards digital inclusion, supply chain transformation and carbon neutrality
  • How the DE&I strategy ‘All In’ feeds into Virgin Media O2’s wider ESG strategy, the Better Connections Plan
  • Timeline for progress towards a more inclusive and equitable company

Dana Haidan, Chief Sustainability Officer, Virgin Media O2

Nisha Marwaha, Director of People Relations and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Virgin Media O2

Jazz Singh new
Claire Parker

11:55am EDT / 
4:55pm  BST

Panel Discussion: How DE&I and sustainability intersect
  • Upskilling people and working towards the interconnected goals of social and environmental justice
  • Benefits of integrating the DEI and environmental strategy to become a totally sustainable company, rooted within people, planet and profitability
  • Unlocking employees’ diversity and creating a culture of inclusion
  • Benefits of aligning the ESG and DEI movement for both consumers and employees

Jazz Singh, Director of Partnerships, B-Radical

Claire Parker, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR)


Yahye Siyad
Pamela Hutchinson
Tai Dotson

12:30pm EDT / 
5:30pm  BST

Panel Discussion: The Future of DEI Leaders: How can we maximise DEI leaders’ roles to be truly effective?
  • What is the future of the sector?
  • Going further: strategic implementation and embedding
  • Are DEI managers effective? Why are they disappearing? What are they being replaced by?
  • Business agility: the new name for DEI leaders?
  • Increasing focus on end goal: economic results


Yahye Siyad, Accessibility Lead, CyberDuck


Pamela Hutchinson OBE, Global Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Bloomberg

Tai Dotson, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, ASGN

Anne Hurst, Senior Diversity and Inclusion Specialist, PwC

Networking Session

An excellent opportunity to make new connections with a host of professionals who are passionate about Diversity & 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.

Furthering disability inclusion and accessibility

  • Accessibility and disability inclusion as central core values
  • Neuro-inclusive strategies for the global workforce
  • Measurement and metrics: A new approach for disability
  • Neurodiversity to boost your company’s productivity
  • Workshop: How to be heard at work: Speaking Up!
Opening Keynote

9:00am EDT /
2:00pm  BST

Positioning accessibility as a central core value
  • Developing a strategy to prioritise accessibility
  • Considering physical accessibility (e.g. workplace and building design and equipment), workplace accommodations and digital accessibility
  • Defining better governance, policy, roles and responsibilities for accessibility
  • How Kyndryl positioned inclusion as a core business imperative
  • Assessing the impact and ongoing work

Yves Veulliet, EMEA Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Leader, Kyndryl

Ticketholder content
Open to silver and gold pass holders. To purchase your pass, click here.

9:30am EDT /
2:30pm  BST

Case Study: Developing a neuro-inclusive D&I strategy for the global workforce
  • Developing and implementing a fully integrated neuro-inclusive strategy.
  • Process, the challenges, the successes and the impact of the strategy within the organisation as well as the wider communities

Michael Vermeersch, Accessibility Go To Market Manager, Microsoft

Finance_brand image small

10:05am EDT /
3:05pm  BST

Measurement and metrics: A new approach for disability
  • Inclusive reporting: authentic portrayal of people with disabilities in media, social media, advertising and marketing
  • Disability inclusion performance data in ESG reporting

Stephane Leblois, Director of Partnerships, Valuable 500

Samantha merrett

10:30am EDT /
3:30pm  BST

Panel Discussion: Increasing accessibility to all
  • Inclusion of people with disabilities is an area that requires the greatest improvement within organisations, despite the clear business case.
  • How and why people with disabilities are perceived in certain ways, and what we can do to challenge our own perceptions and biases?
  • How can you really drive the importance of prioritizing accessibilityin 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?

Katherine Lewis, Founder, The Leon Foundation of Excellence and EnableIn ERG Global Partnership Lead, LinkedIn

Samantha Merrett, Accessibility Lead, Food Standards Agency

Allan Mackillop
Giles Barker
Chanake Wikramanayake

11:05am EDT /
4:05pm  BST

Panel Discussion: How to move accessibility higher up the business agenda
  • Accessibility is often the lowest priority for HR managers. Why is this and how can it move higher up the business agenda?
  • Why is progress slower for accessibility in the workplace compared with other areas of DEI?
  • What are some practical, measurable changes that can be implemented in the workforce in 2023?

Moderator: Davina Critchley, Accessibility Manager, Sky


Allan MacKillop, DEI Manager, BT Group

Giles Barker, Workplace Disability Lead, Channel 4

Chanake Wikramanayake, Head of Banking Operations, Tanfeeth

Atif Choudhury
Romane Donat
Daniel Harris

11:45am EDT /
4:45pm  BST

Panel discussion: 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
  • Productivity: while statistics show that neurodiverse people are 30% to 50% more productive than other employees, how will productivity differ for neurodivergent workers and how can you best make use of this?
  • Learn how your entire workplace will benefit from inclusive practice

Moderator: Atif Choudhury, CEO, Diversity and Ability


Romane Donat, Associate Director, Ipsos

Daniel Harris, CEO, Neurodiversity in Business

Emmanuel Kulu
chris altizer
Ben Oni lg

12:15pm EDT /
5:15pm  BST

Panel Discussion: Overcoming privilege denial to open up meaningful conversations with leaders
  • Understanding privilege and privilege denial and who it affects
  • Determining what can be done to enable everyone to feel enabled and supported
  • How can we approach and discuss the issue effectively with leaders?


Emmanuel Kulu, Author and TedX speaker

Chris Altizer, Adjunct Lecturer, Florida International University

Ben-Oni, Founder, Black Neurodiversity

Gerrard Gosens

1:15pm EDT /
6:15pm  BST

Being blind at work: Lessons on disability inclusion and accessibility
  • Summarising Gerrard’s career to date and experience as a a chocolatier
  • Realising his aims to be the first blind man to swim the English Channel
  • Lessons for disability inclusion in the workplace

Gerrard Gosens, Chocolatier, Blind Swimmer and Special Projects and Engagement Manager, Triathlon Australia

Group of content curious people in casual clothing sitting on chairs and listening to speaker during conference

1:45pm EDT / 6:45pm BST:

All-Access Workshop: How to be heard at work:
Speaking up in meetings and in the workplace

This interactive workshop is designed to enable you to be a better public speaker and help you communicate your best self in presentations, interviews, speeches, meetings and life.

Workshop leader: Catherine Rees, Director, Speak Up Coaching

Metrics to action to impact: Taking an intersectional approach

  • Optimising DEI measurement
  • Women in the workplace
  • Addressing the pay gap challenge
  • Taking an intersectional approach to DEI
  • Enhancing wellbeing and belonging
Opening Keynotes
Mimi Kurniawan

9:00am EDT /
2:00pm  BST

Metrics to action to impact: How to showcase DEI value through measurement
  • Challenging economic and political times have put pressure on leaders to show real value of DEI initiatives—but effective measurement can help
  • Learn how measurement can help improve buy-in from top business leaders within your organization and move everyone in the same direction
  • Hear about Philip Morris International’s Inclusive Future research, which identifies possible solutions to common measurement challenges

Mimi Kurniawan, Chief Diversity Officer, Philip Morris International

KvL profile 1

9:30am EDT /
2:30pm  BST

Understanding and embracing intersectionality in the workplace
  • Why it makes sense to move away from addressing individual identities (gender, race, disability etc) 
  • Consolidating diversity & inclusion intervention efforts with a focus on the needs of all people, all identities and all intersectionalities
  • Building intersectionality into talent acquisition and recruitment strategies
  • The four quadrants of psychological safety: Examining the relationship between intersectionality, psychological safety and DEI 

Kylie van Luyn, Founder, Elevated Coaching and Consulting Global

Ticketholder Content
Open to silver and gold pass holders. To purchase your pass, click here.
Emma Codd

9:50am EDT /
2:50pm  BST

Women at work – A global insight
  • Highlighting the outcomes from Deloitte’s 2023 Women at Work report
  • Where gender equality is still falling short in terms of women’s experience in the workplace
  • An insight into the mental health of Gen Z & Millennials

Emma Codd, Global Inclusion Leader, Deloitte

Carol Frost

10:20am EDT /
3:20pm  BST

Assessing the gender pay gap, and why it is critical to be intersectional in approach
  • What has been the impact has the Covid-19 pandemic had on the gender pay gap
  • How does this breakdown intersectionality, when we consider BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ women, and women with disabilities
  • What steps can companies make to address this, and what role does reporting play
  • Analysis of the impact working from home has had for women, and what changes should companies implement to address the imbalance

Carol Frost, Chief People Officer, Metro Bank

Rafael Peels
Jae-Hee Chang

10:45am EDT /
3:45pm  BST

Optimising DEI measurement and metrics
  • What measurements are already in place?
  • What is working? What isn’t? What gaps are there?
  • A global view of regulation
  • How to measure effectively: and why there is no silver spoon

Rafael Peels, Specialist in Workers’ Activities, ILO Bureau for Workers’ Activities, International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Jae-Hee Chang, Senior Programme and Operation Officer, International Labour Organisation (ILO)

Tahitia Timmons
Sarah Macdonald
Nilufer Demirkol

11:10am EDT /
4:10pm  BST

Panel Discussion: ‘The Great Breakup’: Women in the workplace 2023
  • Women are just as ambitious as men but are leaving their jobs in unprecedented numbers in order to find the right role for them, finds research from McKinsey.
  • The number of women leaders leaving their roles is at a higher rate than men. Why is this and what implications does this have for representation of women at leadership level?
  • How are these dynamics more pronounced for women of colour?
  • According to research, female leaders are doing more to support employee well-being and foster inclusion, but this critical work is spreading them thin and going mostly unrewarded.
  • What is most important to female leaders and how can companies prioritise this?

Moderator: Tahitia Timmons, Chief Disrupter and Lead, Conscious By Us


Sarah Macdonald, Head of People and Culture, Reload Media (Australia)

Nilufer Demirkol, Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Nestle

Sarah Dixon
Seema Duggal

11:50am EDT /
4:50pm  BST

Fireside chat: The hidden DEI issue: Infertility in the workplace
  • Why there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach when it comes to fertility
  • What organisations need to do to support staff on their fertility journeys
  • Why employees are often reluctant to share their struggles with employers – and what to do about it
  • Providing reasonable adjustments and better support to those who require it

Sarah Dixon, Development Officer, Fertility Network UK

Seema Duggal, Development Officer, Fertility Network UK

Meredith Brown

112:20pm EDT /
5:20pm  BST

The menopause in the workplace: What you need to know
  • The importance of focusing on menopause in the workplace
  • Understanding the impact menopause can have on women’s physical, emotional and mental health 
  • Steps to support a menopause-confident and inclusive work environment
  • Providing workplace support to women, their line managers and the wider business

Meredith Brown, Founder, Menopause51

Andreena Leanne
Katrin Terwiel
Ruth Pott
Phyllicia Smith

12:40pm EDT /
5:40pm  BST

Panel Discussion: How can we keep wellbeing at the top of the agenda?
  • How to ensure employee wellbeing gains are not lost against cuts to budgets
  • How can organisations ensure that wellbeing is a priority?
  • How is the cost of living crisis affecting budgets for wellbeing initiatives? What low-cost initiatives still might help?
  • Best practices for including mental health first aid training in your organization
  • Identifying particular wellbeing challenges of our age, such as hybrid and remote working
  • Identifying the economic value of investing in workplace wellbeing

Moderator: Andreena Leanne, Wellbeing Workshop Facilitator, Author & Poet


Katrin Terwiel, Vice President, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Deutsche Telekom

Ruth Pott, Head of Workplace Wellbeing, BAM UK&IRL

Phyllicia Smith, VP, M&T Bank

Ilanna Mandel
Aldaine Wynter
Kristy Singletary
Tandalea Mercer

1:25pm EDT /
6:25pm  BST

Panel Discussion: Improving transparency and clear communications
  • Identifying key challenges when the organisation operates around the world
  • Navigating inclusive language
  • How to say what you mean and mean what you say
  • The power of language, transparency and clear communications for real progress and making marked change

Moderator: Ilanna Mandel, Founder, ReadyBe


Aldaine Wynter, Director of International-Mindedness, Diversity and Inclusion (IDI), Washington International School

Kristy Singletary, Learning Development and Strategy Lead for Enabling Functions, Pfizer

Professor Tandalea Mercer, Head of Diversity, Inclusion, Culture and Equity, Nextracker Inc. and Adjunct Professor

Networking Session

An excellent opportunity to make new connections with a host of professionals who are passionate about Diversity & 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.

Being ambitious with DEI and getting results

  • Increasing social mobility
  • Advancing racial equality and anti-racism at work
  • Enhancing LGBTQ+ allyship
  • Building impactful ERGs
  • Overcoming privilege denial
Opening Keynote
Mitra Janes

9:00am EDT /
2:00pm  BST

Tackling social mobility and supporting those from disadvantaged backgrounds in work
  • Understanding social mobility and equality of opportunity including earnings, income, social class, wellbeing, health and education
  • Why it matters: how social mobility is linked to equality of opportunity
  • Strategies to help level the playing field in business – no matter what size your organisation

Mitra Janes, Global Head of Inclusion for Investment Banking, Markets and Securities Services and Commercial Banking, HSBC

9:30am EDT /
2:30pm  BST

Speed Networking Session

If you are participating in the Speed Networking session, please follow the joining instructions that you will receive via email.

Ticketholder Content
Brendan Roach
Jackie Cureton
Mark Russell

9:55am EDT /
2:55pm  BST

Panel Discussion: How to build impactful employee resource groups
  • How executive sponsors can drive high-performing ERGs – what support, energetically and financially is needed 
  • How proper financial investment in, and senior level engagement with ERGs can improve innovation and performance
  • Elevating ERGs to a core business value – not only D&I activity but overall business strategy
  • How do we ensure that marginalised groups are not further marginalised through being part of an ERG
  • How to engage allies, and deepen allies understanding of the intersectionality of discrimination

Brendan Roach, Director of Strategy and Networkology, PurpleSpace

Jackie Cureton, VP, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,

Mark Russell, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Manager, KPMG UK

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Atif Choudhury

10:40am EDT /
3:40pm  BST

Panel Discussion: What do we still need to do for racial equality in business?
  • How to address and prevent discrimination
  • How to create a welcoming and inclusive culture
  • How should companies offer support for under-represented ethnicities?
  • The importance of storytelling and person experience

Moderator: Sukhdeep Randhawa, UK Delegate, United Nations


Trevor Sterling, Senior Partner, Moore Barlow (first black senior partner in a top 100 firm)

Atif Choudhury, CEO, Diversity and Ability

John Lazar

11:40am EDT /
4:40pm  BST

Panel Discussion: Fostering greater LGBTQ+ allyship at work
  • How LGBTQ+ equality can be tackled in different ways
  • How to effectively speak to those who are resistant to change
  • Allyship best practice – how to show your support for colleagues

John Lazar, Former Financial Resource Director, Florida Democratic LGBTQ+ Caucus

Nikki Symmons, Stripes Global ERG Head of PartnershipsPhilip Morris International

Simon Langley

12:15pm EDT /
5:15pm  BST

Case Study: Supporting and funding diverse-led businesses
  • The diversity of the organisation
  • Its mission and purpose for DEI including supporting female-owned business
  • The business case for international diversity at home and abroad
  • Generational needs: improving the development process

Simon Langley, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, British International Investment

Stuart Flint

12:35pm EDT /
5:35pm  BST

Industry analysis: Weight stigma in the workplace
  • Understanding the full extent of bias against people because of their size
  • Research into why this matters
  • What we can do about it in the workplace

Dr Stuart Flint, Professor of Psychology, University of Leeds

Atif Choudhury

1:05pm EDT /
6:05pm  BST

Understanding the intersectionality of race, neurodiversity and discrimination
  • Recognizing and addressing the intersectionality of race, neurodiversity, and discrimination
  • Promoting understanding and awareness of how race and neurodiversity intersect to shape individuals’ experiences
  • Challenging and dismantling discriminatory practices that disproportionately affect individuals at the intersection of race and neurodiversity
  • Advocating for inclusive policies and practices that honour and celebrate the diversity of experiences at the intersection of race and neurodiversity

Atif Choudhury, CEO, Diversity and Ability

Developing the future workforce

  • Upskilling and retention
  • Inclusive recruitment practices
  • Returning to work
  • Eliminating unconscious bias
  • DEI and the future of work

8:30am EDT / 1:30pm BST:

Wellbeing Workshop: 
Self-care is not selfish

With Andreena Leanne, Lived Experience Speaker

Opening Keynote
Rashmi Verma square

9:00am EDT /
2:00pm BST

What’s Next for DEI?
  • What is the future of our sector?
  • How important will be the culture of leadership to advance DEI?
  • Employee wellbeing and mental health
  • How can diversity and inclusion leaders make most impact (and does this mean changing job titles?)

Rashmi Verma, Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Hugo Boss

Ticketholder Content
Mark Lomas
Navdeep Singh

9:30am EDT /
2:30pm BST

Panel Discussion: Tackling pushback on DEI: Making change stick
  • Tackling the politicization of the ‘woke’ agenda from right-wing parties in the UK and USA and the impact this has on diversity and inclusion
  • Why it’s really important to make sure focusing on DE&I is as much good governance as good business sense and why DEI can help you make good business decisions.
  • To what extent should organisations have a duty to protect their staff regardless of the rise of anti-minority sentiment?


Mark Lomas, Head of Culture, Lloyds of London

Nell Andrew, Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, RSPB 

Dr Navdeep Singh, Founder, The Sikh Group

Sally Bucknell

10:15am EDT /
3:15pm BST

Preparing effectively for the future of work
  • Preparing for the future with new technology, effective office space, collaboration and remove work policies
  • Implementing remote work policies to meet the rising demands for flexibility
  • Creating sustainable workplaces of the future encompassing real estate, HR and IT

Sally Bucknell, Director, Future of Work Programme, UK, EY

Donna Newton
Amareet Kaur
Michele Shelton
Cressida Stephenson

10:45am EDT /
3:45pm BST

Panel Discussion: Pursuing a diverse workforce: Are organisations hunting in the wrong places?
  • Many companies claim they cannot find diverse talent – but are they trying hard enough and looking in the right places?
  • What does broadening reach for diverse talent really look like?
  • Gaining a competitive edge through diverse talent the company – how does this make a tangible difference to your company
  • Importance of looking at the full picture – think about local communities and customers too, and how best to represent them


Donna Newton, Head of Client Relations, TPP Recruitment

Amareet Kaur, Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Inclusion, Cyncly

Michele Shelton, CEO, Michele Shelton LL

Cressida Stephenson, Director, EdenChase Associates 

Shayne Halls

11:25am EDT /
4:25pm BST

AI and The Power of Digitalization to Improve Diversity
  • Practical experiences and insights
  • How to motivate individuals and organizations to think for themselves
  • How to invest in digitalization and technology to foster diversity and create more opportunities for yourself
  • Recruitment and hiring

Shayne Halls, author, How AI is Accelerating the DEI Movement

Roberto Lopez Armenta
Brian Thibeaux
Julie Dennis

11:55am EDT /
4:55pm BST

Panel Discussion: How to accelerate DEI Success
  • Pushbacks against DEI aren’t new but there is now greater opposition especially during difficult economic times
  • How to identify opposition and articulate it clearly to make sure decision-makers are aware of resistance
  • How HR leaders can proactively communicate the need for DEI initiatives
  • How to anticipate threats to DEI initiatives and foster empathy and company-wide involvement and support to advance DEI


Roberto Lopez, Head of Culture and Diversity and Inclusion, Walmart

Brian Thibeaux, Manager, Engagement Diversity & Inclusion, Astellas Pharmaceuticals

Julie Dennis, Head of Inclusive Workplaces, Acas 

Seren Jones

12:35pm EDT /
5:35pm BST

DEI Changemaker Q&A: Seren Jones

After swimming competitively in the UK and the USA, Seren Jones only met six other black girls in the pool. She set up the Black Swimming Association in 2020, a charity to encourage more people from African, Caribbean and Asian communities to swim and engage in water safety awareness.

With Seren Jones, Co-founder, Black Swimming Association and Journalist, BBC

Bron Williams

12:55pm EDT /
5:55pm BST

Leveraging the Power of Difference
  • Why good intentions and being nice to people are not enough – real diversity is about change
  • Why it’s our differences and how we combine them that creates true diversity and generates innovation, fresh thinking and ultimately, success
  • Why unconscious bias training isn’t the fix we need and why listening to all individual voices, not just assuming that one viewpoint represents a group, is key

Bronwyn Williams, Author

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