10 Diversity and Inclusion Speakers To Help Unlock Our Potential
We can all agree that over the years we have seen the increase in understanding from businesses that in order to develop, stimulate and challenge teams, there needs to be varied diversity and inclusion across the board.
The Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 led to senior leadership teams making pledges to be diverse and inclusive across their organisations. The conversation has only gotten louder since then.
The increase in demand for powerful diversity, equality and inclusion keynote speakers who deliver diverse perspectives and educate about the untapped natural resource at our fingertips has sparked us to round up some of our favourite experts.
With so many incredible options, who will you choose to be the next expert to enlighten your audience?
Wilfred is, in his words, ‘a poor boy, done good’. Born in Jamaica, Wilfred followed his parents move to the UK in the 50s. Unqualified but ambitious and persistent, he talked his way into television becoming a producer and director for the BBC.
Wilfred subsequently fulfilled a lifelong ambition in purchasing a small farm in Devon, and has been responsible for one of the most successful food launches of recent times in the UK with his own range of meat products under The Black Farmer® label.
“My view about diversity is that it works in organisations when people at the top take the lead, it is no good saying you are ticking the relevant boxes by having a diversity officer, the problem needs to be solved from the top down. It is really about what leadership are personally doing to demonstrate their commitment.”
Nancy is an occupational psychologist and the CEO of Genius Within, specialising in the workplace support of adults with neuro-differences. Nancy aids thousands of clients each year to improve their productivity at work through diagnosis, assessment and coaching of ‘neurodiverse’ conditions.
She is working towards a future where all people with neurodiversity will be able to maximise their potential and work to their strengths, and where children are educated to the power of their potential.
“Businesses have diverse customers, diverse clients and diverse stakeholders. If these groups don't have representation in the company service design and delivery, how will they be sure they are meeting diverse needs?”
One of the biggest figures in Welsh rugby, Gareth Thomas captained his side to Grand Slam victory and led a British & Irish Lions tour of New Zealand before making the switch to Rugby League. Off the field, Gareth’s personal life hit the headlines in 2009 when he famously revealed to the world that he was gay.
This iconic revelation made him the first high-profile sportsman to come out whilst still playing. Although he never downplays the significance of this achievement, he hopes to see a day when it is no longer an issue in the game at all.
Labour MP for Tottenham and former lawyer, David Lammy was previously the Minister of State at the Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills.
Drawing on his personal story, David promotes the power of education to change lives; he encourages young people, especially those under-represented at many top universities, to achieve their academic potential.
“At the heart of what makes Britain great, in every community, is a deeply imbued sense of fairness, tolerance and understanding. This is on display in diverse workplaces up and down the country where people of all ethnicities work side by side…”.
Catherine began her career as a journalist for The Economist, then moving on to Forbes, and TIME before becoming a best-selling author with her biography of Prince Charles.
In 2015, Catherine co-founded and became president of the Women’s Equality Party which allows her to speak with authority on embracing change, growing an enterprise, diversity and equality and female potential.
“I set out the route to equality that we have mapped out in [the Women’s Equality Parties] manifestos, and that I explored in greater depth in my book Attack of the 50 Ft Women. It’s a compelling message because the route is actually quite straightforward and if we followed it, the benefits to everyone, not just to women, would be enormous.”
John is a respected organisational psychologist, best-selling New York Times author and CEO of Amaechi Performance Systems (APS) and partners with organisations to help leaders move from being transactional to transformational.
Focusing on improving performance, John solves intractable people problems to create thriving workplaces despite the challenges and disruption of the modern world. Prior to founding his own firm, John spent several years as a professional athlete, becoming the first Brit to play in the NBA.
“It’s not just the presence of diverse people, but that diverse people can bring themselves to work without fear that they will somehow be undermined by who they are. If you can create that environment where you can challenge people to the greatest extent whilst supporting them, they will understand that this is an environment where they are allowed to bring all of their expertise and all that they have to offer to help your organisation win.”
Baroness Tanni is one of Britain's most successful paralympic athletes in wheelchair racing, and is an esteemed ambassador for disabled athletes. With 16 Paralympic medals, Tanni is a true inspiration to disabled athletes and speaks with authority on a number of topics including disability rights, welfare reform, and of course sport.
Her incisive and well-informed views have made her a very popular conference speaker with thousands of people enjoy hearing her insights on topics of motivation, diversity, overcoming adversity and achievement.
Matt Lindley is a serving airline pilot and former RAF pilot who applies his experience and unique story to the business world. As one of the first openly gay pilots in the service, Matt offers a unique approach to diversity and inclusive leadership.
When he joined the Royal Air Force it was against the law to be homosexual, and hiding his true self in a macho, intolerant work environment had a huge impact on his mental health. Although Matt’s diversity talk has an LGBT theme, it holds relevance to wider issues of marginalisation, be it gender, working parents, or ethnic minorities.
“Sectors where there is top down management, hierarchies and steep authority gradients also benefit from studying the aviation model. The empowerment of juniors is vital in my world from a safety point of view, but new emerging sectors, which require innovation and disruptive thinkers also need to allow all employees the authority to speak up.”
Daisy Buchanan is an award winning journalist, broadcaster, author of several nonfiction books including How To Be A Grown Up, and the host of the chart topping literary interview podcast You’re Booked.
A regular contributor to TV and radio, Daisy also writes for a range of newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, The Telegraph and The Independent covering contemporary culture, mental health, feminism and the arts.
“We need to make the office a place where workers want to be – and I think that in order to create that enthusiasm it needs to become a place where no-one feels they must be there all the time.”
Hannah Cotton is a progressive feminist taking to the stage to demonstrate why we need to flip the conversation and ask how women can help men. Coining the phrase #KillerStereotypes, Hannah questions why society is beholden to stereotypes that create more harm than good, and how we can evolve for the modern world we find ourselves in.
Exploring the depths of how the successes of feminism can be used to help remove male stereotypes which permeate from childhood. She addresses the causes of physical violence by men against women, and indeed why society creates a mindset for men to feel shame, humiliation, disrespect or ridicule.
“Everyday Sexism did a great job at highlighting the insidious ways women are treated differently dependent upon their gender, but I fear that by excluding men, it's limited the opportunity to open a discourse about how stereotypes impact individuals, regardless of their difference. By tackling them we can unleash productivity potential and improve wellbeing.”
Hailing from all walks of life, our diversity and inclusion speakers are here to share their incredible stories and deliver the expert advice to create equal opportunities for all.
For further information or to book a speaker, call us on +44 (0)20 7607 7070+44 (0)20 7607 7070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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