10 Diversity and Inclusion Speakers To Help Unlock Our Potential
Following our recent diversity-themed Knowledge Guild event, we reflect on the ways in which three speakers from varied backgrounds inspired our audience with practical messages delivered through their personal stories. Despite their differing experiences, collectively their message was loud and clear: by embracing inclusion, our businesses and personal lives can thrive beyond anything we could imagine.
Hosted by the incredibly talented Konnie Huq, the event's first speaker was Martine Wright. Martine shared her inspiring story to reveal a powerful message: when people are given the opportunity to fulfil their potential, they go beyond all expectations. Anne-Marie Imafidon showed how mistakes are made when you have a similar group of people thinking in a similar way, without a thought to consider the viewpoints of others. John Amaechi closed the evening by tying these points together and going further to emphasise the power of inclusion. He eloquently explained how making people feel comfortable in their work environments allows them to flourish and achieve what didn't seem possible.
As we reflect on this message, we thought it apt to share some more of our favourite diversity and inclusion speakers who help businesses unlock the full potential of their workforce.
Social entrepreneur and MOBO award-winning hip-hop artist Akala speaks about youth and social engagement, rehabilitation, mental health, World History and historical events. This year, he published his first book, Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire on the subject of race in modern Britain. Akala captivates audiences with his words, business acumen, and passion for performance.
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 – for example, dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder and more. 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.
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. As a motivational speaker, Gareth talks about success on the field and the hurdles he had to overcome.
Oona is a broadcaster, writer, and a life peer in her role as Baroness King of Bow in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. She was previously Senior Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister on Equalities, Diversity and Faith before moving over to Channel 4 as the Head of Diversity. Oona is currently the Diversity Director at YouTube and continues to write for various publications including The Guardian and New Statesman. With a vast range of political and private positions held, Oona is perfectly placed to address current affairs, diversity and inclusion.
Catherine began her career as a journalist for The Economist, moving on to Forbes, and then TIME. She is also a best-selling author with her bigraphy of Prince Charles making headlines across the world. 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.
Fons is known all over the world for his work as a keynote motivational speaker, particularly in the areas of cross-cultural communication and leadership development. Fons' excellent work on cultural diversity can enlighten all kinds of businesses, leaving his audiences with plenty of food for thought. He explores the dilemmas that managers face with cross-cultural issues, from different perspectives on deadlines to generating enthusiasm and finding effective reward systems.
Matt 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.
Linda is a renowned consultant, trainer and writer, specialising in the field of equality and diversity. She is a skilled and motivational communicator who is popular as a conference speaker and facilitator. She was responsible for introducing Black History Month to the UK and continually acts as a leading authority on equality and human rights law and its practical application across the public sector. Linda has an excellent track record of enabling Council Members, Executive Boards and senior managers to reach effective solutions in challenging situations.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus harnessed the power of the free market to help solve the problems of poverty, hunger, and inequality. He experimented with providing collateral free loans to the poor as part of a project called Grameen Bank, which became a fully-fledged bank for providing loans to the poor, mostly women, in rural Bangladesh. Through his powerful story, Muhammad shares the successes that people from impoverished backgrounds can achieve when they are provided with the right opportunities.
Not only is Tanni Britain's most successful paralympic athlete in wheelchair racing, she is also an esteemed ambassador for disabled athletes and was awarded the prestigious honour of a DBE in 2005. 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.
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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