1-5 July 2024

2024 Agenda

The INCLUSION Festival takes place online every year and is packed with interactive panel discussions, presentations, 
workshops and networking sessions on every aspect of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in the workplace.

To view the agenda from our latest event, please select from the days below.

MONDAY: Inclusive leadership - and why DEI matters

Today’s key themes:

  • How DEI leaders need to develop as industry evolves
  • Ensuring maximum DEI engagement at a micro, macro and company level
  • Inclusive problem solving and creating a space for open discussions

9:00am EDT /
2:00pm BST

Keynote interview: Leading with compassion and kindness

  • How can leaders effectively embed DEI principles and inclusive values into organizational culture to ensure sustained commitment and action?
  • What innovative strategies or approaches can leaders employ to address unconscious bias and foster inclusive decision-making processes within their teams?
  • In what ways can leaders proactively engage with marginalized communities to ensure their voices are heard and their needs are addressed in DEI initiatives?
  • How do leaders navigate challenges and opposition to DEI efforts within their organizations, and what tactics can they employ to build consensus and drive meaningful change?

Pinky Lilani CBE DL, Fellow, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford and Founder and Chairman, Women of the Future Awards and Asian Women of Achievement Awards

9:20am EDT /
2:20pm BST

Keynote panel discussion: Overcoming DEI pushbacks

  • How can leaders effectively embed DEI principles and inclusive values into organizational culture to ensure sustained commitment and action?
  • What innovative strategies or approaches can leaders employ to address unconscious bias and foster inclusive decision-making processes within their teams?
  • In what ways can leaders proactively engage with marginalized communities to ensure their voices are heard and their needs are addressed in DEI initiatives?
  • How do leaders navigate challenges and opposition to DEI efforts within their organizations, and what tactics can they employ to build consensus and drive meaningful change?

Moderator: John Lazar, Former Director, Financial Resource Development, Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus
Panellists:
Pamela Hutchinson OBE,
Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion,
Bloomberg 
Nadia Nagamootoo, Founder & CEO, Avenir, and Author, ‘Beyond Discomfort: Why inclusive leadership is so hard (and what you can do about it)’ 
Chris Williams,  Global Director – Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, CBRE

10:20am EDT /
3:20pm BST

Latest thinking on inclusive leadership

Is inclusion just about accepting differences? Or is it more than that? What do I need to cover to ensure my organisation is inclusive, and how do I take the lead? Eric Way, Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Schindler Group explains:

  • Inclusion scale – from dinal to appreciation of differences
  • The building blocks for an inclusive organisation – how do equity, belonging and authenticity fit together?
  • Traits and habits of inclusive leaders who value differences

Eric Way, Global Head of Inclusion & Diversity, Schindler Group 

10:45am EDT /
3:45pm BST

The role of leaders to advance DEI

  • Articulating a clear north star (and bold ambition) for workplace cultural transformation
  • The importance of senior leaders stepping up as visible role models and active allies to make real, sustainable change
  • Common barriers for leaders becoming active allies for DE&I efforts and how they can overcome them
  • Case study: embedding the concepts of ‘care, courage and curiosity’ in the next phase of Shell’s DE&I journey

Ruby Anandajayasekeram, Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Excellence Advisor, Shell

11:10am EDT /
4:10pm BST

Panel Discussion: Communicating the value of DEI to ensure maximum influence

  • How can we calculate the financial implications and costs of DEI?
  • What are best practices for organisational development and strategic thinking?
  • What is the financial relationship between DEI and core business values?
  • Productivity and reputation: What are the key DEI factors to communicate?

Moderator: Sam Stimpson, Managing Director, SLS360
Panellists:

Geffrye Parsons, Chief Empathy Officer, The Inclusion Imperative
Dr Frank González IV
CEO, DrFrankieG (also Director, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging, Taco Bell)
Rabi Atiti,
Head of Group DEI & Global Support
, Informa 

11:45am EDT /
4:45pm BST

Panel Discussion: Women in leadership: Next steps

  • Identity shift: Why developing female leaders is more complex than recruiting more women for senior roles
  • Successful women’s leadership programmes 
  • Second generation gender bias

Moderator:
Phuong Trinh, Finalist,  Women in Finance Asia Awards and Fractional General Counsel, Parse Partners 
Panellists:
Jackie Cureton, Chief Diversity Officer, Bit.ly
Maureen Frank, Chief Disruptor, emberin

 

12:20pm EDT /
5:20pm BST

Panel Discussion: How to increase social mobility and why it doesn’t just stop at the door

  • What is social mobility and how does it differ from one country to another?
  • Creating a shift in traditional pathways to employment 
  • How to do contextual recruitment well
  • Tackling social demographic pay gaps and fixing the rate of progression
  • Why aren’t we making progress more quickly?

Panellists:
Mitra Janes, Head of D&I for HSBC’S Investment Banking, Markets and Commercial Banking Divisions, HSBC
Alison Weatherhead, Head of People, Reward and Mobility, Dentons
Rosalind Goates, Head of Advocacy and Campaigns, Social Mobility Foundation

12:55pm EDT /
5:55pm BST

Examining the ethnic pay gap

  • Research findings into the ethnic pay gap
  • Why is the ethnic pay gap not spoken about as much as other pay gaps such as gender?
  • What does the #EthnicityPayGapCampaign hope to achieve?

Dianne Greyson, Founder, #EthnicityPayGap Campaign

1:20pm EDT /
6:20pm BST

Panel Discussion: Supporting racial minorities

According to the Inclusiveness Index published by the Othering and Belonging Institute, University of California, Berkeley, the US performs badly when it comes to racial equality in the workplace: it is rated 118th place. 

  • Is the US lagging behind when it comes to racial equity in comparison with other countries? 
  • Examples of microaggressions and whey they are so damaging
  • What will it take to create a more level playing field at work for people from all backgrounds, races and cultures around the world?
  • In the meantime, what can we do to help?

Moderator: Samuel Clague, Founder, The Stephen James Partnership 
Panellists:
Aldaine Wynter, Director of International-Mindedness, Diversity and Inclusion, Washington International School 
Trevor Sterling, Senior Partner, Moore Barlow LLP 
Justin Placide, Co-Chair, Civil Service Race Forum

2:05pm EDT /
7:05pm BST

Panel Discussion: Enabling LGBTQ+ individuals to thrive

  • Addressing the gap between increased support from employers and persistent discrimination that individuals may encounter at work?
  • How can employee training re.LGBTQ+ and  transitioning help to foster genuine a culture of understanding among staff
  • What are the best ways to attract, support, advance and  retain LGBTQ+ talent?

Moderator: Star Peterson, DEI Trainer, Stellar Diversity Training
Panellists:
Sarah Cosgriff, Asexual Activist
Toby Mildon, Diversity & Inclusion Architect, Mildon
Eboné Bell, Keynote speaker & facilitator specialising in DEI, Allyship, and LGBTQ+ Advocacy 

 

2:35pm EDT /
7:35pm BST

Dealing with difficult DEI Conversations

  • Why are some conversations difficult?
  • Definition of a difficult conversation
  • How understanding different mindsets will help resolve conversations
  • How to optimise conversations and ensure inclusion

Dr Terri Dickerson, Civil Rights Director US Coast Guard 

TUESDAY: Health, wellbeing and the future of work

Today’s key themes:

  • Improving wellbeing in the workplace
  • Understanding mental health issues
  • Ensuring that all staff receive proper support and anticipating the work landscape of the future

9:00am EDT / 
2:00pm BST

Keynote: Protecting employee mental health and wellbeing and enhancing psychological safety at work

  • Helping businesses and leaders to develop an in-depth understanding of DEI and belonging
  • Developing and enhancing emotional intelligence skills and trauma-informed leadership practices to support DEI and psychological safety in the workplace
  • Cultivating a psychologically safe workplace, and employment laws and protections
  • Shifting mindsets, addressing limiting beliefs, and achieving long-term DEI success

Kylie van Luyn, Founder, Elevated Coaching & Consulting

9:30am EDT / 
2:30pm BST

Panel Discussion: A holistic approach to DEI

  • Discussing the importance of adopting a holistic approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives
  • Highlighting Jacinta Arden’s groundbreaking leadership style centered around kindness and compassion
  • Advocating for collective responsibility in advancing DEI efforts beyond the head of DEI role
  • Introducing the Kindness Index as a tool for promoting kindness and inclusivity in the workplace and beyond

Moderator: Tahitia Timmons, Founder, Conscious By Us
Panellists:

Jo Dooley,
Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion,
A&O Shearman
Amanda Cummins, Deputy Head of Coproduction & Involvement, SouthWest London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust 
Justin Stewart, Author, We’re Not OK: Black Faculty Experiences and Higher Education Strategies

10:05am EDT / 
3:05pm BST

Protecting women’s health at work

  • Why male colleagues and managers need to know about women’s health 
  • Raising awareness of female health topics and why it matters at work 
  • Reasonable adjustments for conditions endometriosis, adenomyosis, menopause and perimenopause 
  • Including LGBTQ+ women

Helen Choudhury, Head of DEI, Music Publishers Association

10:30am EDT / 
3:30pm BST

Presentation: Tackling loneliness at work

  • Why wellbeing at work initiatives must prioritise tackling loneliness, both in the office and among remote workers
  • Practical advice about how to start talking about loneliness with individuals and groups, how best to support colleagues and useful timeframes 
  • Best practice examples
  • Why remote working can contribute to loneliness 

Ruth Pott, Head of Workplace Wellbeing for UK and Ireland, BAM

10:50am EDT / 
3:50pm BST

Protecting men’s health at work

  • Supporting male colleagues in the workplace
  • Mental health and managing stress 
  • The importance of using the right language
  • Encouraging men to seek help

Richard Martin, CEO, Mindful Business Charter

11:30am EDT / 
4:30pm BST

Panel Discussion: Recognition and reward

  • Remunerating ERGs and allies and champions on a budget
  • Reward strategies
  • Including DEI work in performance plans

Moderator: Wendy Cukier, Academic Research Director, Future Skills Centre
Panellists:
Aggninder Dhillon, International Head of Reward and Wellbeing, Twinings 
Luisa Monteiro Furlan, Director of Culture and Engagement, Jellyfish
Ruth Barnes, DEI Senior Manager – Global Projects, Hogan Lovells

12:00pm EDT / 
5:00pm BST

Case Study: Devising a successful employee cancer programme

  • Examining the components and strategies behind a successful workplace program
  • Analysing the impact of a wellness at work program on employee wellbeing and productivity
  • Discussing best practices and key learnings for organizations looking to implement similar initiatives

Laura Dutton, Wellbeing Manager, PwC

12:20pm EDT / 
5:20pm BST

Q&A: Strategies for employee resilience

  • Exploring effective methods for building and enhancing employee resilience in the workplace
  • Discussing the importance of resilience in navigating challenges and fostering wellbeing among employees
  • Sharing practical strategies and initiatives to support and strengthen employee resilience within organisations

Amit Ghose, Chief Program Officer, Billion Strong

12:35pm EDT / 
5:35pm BST

Tackling burnout

According to LinkedIn, 98% of HR managers feel burnt out. In this session, join us as we discuss practical ways to tackle issue of exhaustion within DEI professionals – and in the wider workforce:

  • How to recognise genuine burnout
  • How to measure workplace burnout using systematic surveys 
  • Keeping track of workloads, checking in with colleagues and setting a culture of work-life balance 
  • Resource management 

Catherine Ritchie, Wellbeing and Experience Manager, Clifford Chance

12:50pm EDT / 
5:50pm BST

Panel Discussion: Menopause update

Our team of experts discuss the importance of approaching menopause support with an intersectional lens, what has been achieved so far and discuss the latest thinking on workplace policies. 

Moderator: Colette Harris, Women’s Health Campaigner and Journalist
Panellists:
Kasia Zduniak, Advocate and Leader of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 

Lee Chambers, Director, Male Allies UK 
Dr Venessa Marie Perry, Organisational Psychologist, Health Resources Solutions LLC

1:30pm EDT / 
6:30pm BST

Supporting employees going through fertility treatment

  • What is infertility, who it affects and the impact it has.
  • Run through of a basic IVF timeline.
  • What is the hidden impact at work (with statistics)
  • How can you support a colleague/staff at work going through fertility treatment?

Seema Duggal, Fertility in the Workplace Development Officer, Fertility Network UK

1:45pm EDT / 
6:45pm BST

Confidence Workshop

In this interactive session, we’ll be delving into why confidence is essential to success at work and discover practical tools and techniques to prioritise your confidence and empower yourself to thrive at work. 

  • The neuroscience of confidence 
  • Why is confidence a challenge?
  • Mind shifts: here’s how to change your thinking 

Alyssa Dver, Founder, The American Confidence Institute

WEDNESDAY: Building inclusive teams

Today’s key themes:

  • Exploring the benefits of opening the door to a wider pool of demographics
  • Ensuring successful in-house career progression for all
  • Leveraging diverse perspectives and welcoming diversity of thought

9:00am EDT /
2:00pm BST

Keynote Panel Discussion: How to recruit and build inclusive teams 

  • What strategies can organizations implement to ensure diverse candidate pools and minimize bias in the hiring process?
  • Retention: how can companies create inclusive environments that support the long-term engagement and growth of diverse employees?
  • Culture: what steps can be taken to cultivate a culture of inclusion where every team member feels valued and respected?
  • Impact: how do inclusive teams contribute to organizational success and innovation, and what metrics can be used to measure their effectiveness?
  • The importance of inclusive leadership and intersectionality for building inclusive teams

Moderator: Georgina Wilczek, Director, Diversity Network  
Panellists:
Mimi Kurniawan, Chief Diversity Officer, PMI
Noel France, VP DEI, Avantor 

9:50am EDT /
2:50pm BST

Fostering empathy and allyship: Nurturing connections for DEI

  • Cultivating understanding: fostering empathy for diverse experiences and perspectives
  • Strengthening solidarity: building allyship across different groups and identities
  • Promoting active listening: creating spaces for genuine dialogue and support
  • Empowering action: encouraging individuals to stand up and advocate for marginalized voices

Nazma Khan, Founder, World Hijab Day

10:15am EDT /
3:15pm BST

INCLUSION Festival 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. Zoom link to be provided to all registrants via email in due course.

11:15am EDT /
4:15pm BST

In Conversation: Elevating recruitment standards

  • Taking an intersectional approach to recruitment 
  • Recognising the unique challenges faced by individuals
  • Fostering an environment that values intersectionality and prioritises inclusive recruitment practices

Tumi Sotire, Founder, The Black Dyspraxic
Nick Croucher, Founder, Frazer Jones

11:05am EDT /
4:50pm BST

Addressing ageism in the workplace through internships

When Maya Bhose was made redundant from her career as a C-suite television marketing executive, she decided it was an opportunity to change careers into the charity sector – and was inspired to set up a social enterprise placing older workers into the charity sector via internships. Here, she discusses:

  • Stereotypes and biases towards older workers
  • How commercial skills have been valuable in a charity setting
  • What the associates have contributed and learnt
  • The benefits of co-generational teams and how to get the best from them

Maya Bhose, Founder, The Well Placed

12:10pm EDT /
5:10pm BST

Interview: Evolving company culture to meet the expectations of millennials and future generations
Dima Ghawi was born in
Ankara, Turkey, raised in Amman, Jordan, and then immigrated to San Diego, California in 1996. She grew up surrounded by Middle Eastern culture and values which heavily influenced her early choices. Dima feels that her whole career has been a result of others opening doors for her. In this conversation, Dima shares:

 

  • Why DEI has no geographical boundaries 
  • What organisations need to do to become truly inclusive from the inside out
  • What millennials and newer generations want from companies and what organisations need to do to deliver on those expectations

Dima Ghawi, Executive Coach

12:45pm EDT /
5:45pm BST

Case study: Establishing an effective young careers programme

  • Nurturing early career talent through a young careers programme
  • Highlighting the importance of diversity and outreach in early career initiatives
  • Why campus recruiting can be beneficial to help build a diverse talent pipeline
  • Examining the impact of early career programs on both individuals and the organisation

Nikisha Thomas, Head of Diversity, Outreach, Early Careers and Campus Recruiting, Allstate

1:25pm EDT /
6:25pm BST

Panel Discussion: Unlocking the power of multigenerational teams for enhanced productivity

  • Our unprecedented workforce now has as many as six different generations working alongside each other 
  • Tackling bias and stereotyping
  • Fostering respect and understanding

Moderator: Hassan Moore, DEI Chair, International Coaching Federation Philadelphia Chapter
Panellists:
Rachele Focardi, Founder & Multigenerational Workforce Strategist, XYZ@Work
Dr Carole Easton, CEO, Ageing Better UK 

2:10pm EDT /
7:10pm BST

Debunking myths and disrupting inequalities around socio-economic diversity

Join Joanne Conway, Head of Inclusion and Culture International, DLA Piper, as she shares her PhD findings on social mobility: 

  • Debunking some of the myths around socio-economic diversity 
  • Discussing the removal of barriers to improve social economic diversity representation at all levels and explore how to create a culture of belonging
  • Practical examples and key takeaways to implement change

Joanne Conway, Head of Inclusion and Culture International, DLA Piper

3:35pm EDT /
7:35pm BST

Case Study: Advocating employing refugee workers

  • How a garment label manufacturer, Trimco, in a small town in Norway has recruited refugees with the help of the government
  • Examining the impact of refugee recruitment on both trimco and the local community
  • Discussing the significance of such initiatives in promoting diversity and integration

Camilla Mjelde, Business Development Director C&C and Sustainability, Trimco Norway

2:55pm EDT /
7:55pm BST

Panel Discussion: Employing veteran talent

  • The business case for employing those who have formerly served in the forces 
  • Case study examples of success – what can we learn?
  • How to attract and retain veteran talent – top tips for success

Moderator: Tim O’Keefe, Founder, Front Foot
Panellists:
Aaron McEvers, Equal Opportunity Specialist, US Army
Monica Stancu, Senior DEI Manager, Lloyds of London
Murray McLeod-Jones, Programme Lead, Veterans and Reservists Recruitment Programme, BAE Systems

THURSDAY: Accessibility and disability inclusion

Today’s key themes:

  • Empowering all members of staff
  • Offering additional support to those with disabilities or special needs
  • Giving staff the right accessibility tools and training to enable everyone to thrive

9:00am EDT /
2:00pm BST

Keynote: Disability inclusion and allyship
In this keynote session, Stephen Framil, Corporate Global Head of Accessibility for Merck, shares his personal story about going from an Ironman triathlete to a cancer patient with temporary disabilities and how his experience has influenced his inclusion strategies for Merck. 

Dr Stephen Framil, Corporate Global Head of Accessibility, Merck Sharpe & Dhome

9:20am EDT /
2:20pm BST

Why an evidence-led approach to inclusion is more crucial than ever

  • Honing in on focus groups – a key way to understand your staff
  • Gaining impact and momentum – measuring disability inclusion success 
  • Data measuring trends: Measuring progress with qualitative data, not just quantitative assessment

Nyamusi Lee, Global Head of Autism at Work and Director of Neuroinclusion Strategies, JP Morgan Chase

9:40am EDT /
2:40pm BST

Case study: Building a company-wide inclusive culture at Walmart

  • How Walmart MXCAM embraces inclusion through the company DNA
  • DEI Business Impact and actions to amplify the strategy
  • Ensuring a fully inclusive journey

Bob Lopez, Engage Me – Head of Culture and Diversity and Inclusion, Walmart 

10:15am EDT /
3:15pm BST

Panel Discussion: Allyship: Why Inclusion means including everyone 

  • Exploring the significance of allyship in fostering inclusive problem-solving environments
  • Discussing effective strategies for addressing pushbacks and navigating challenges from difficult individuals
  • Sharing insights and experiences on how allyship can be leveraged to promote collaboration and overcome resistance
  • Highlighting the importance of inclusivity in problem-solving processes to ensure diverse perspectives are valued and integrated

Moderator:
DI (Delmar) Lee, Global Vice President, Institute for Diversity Certification 
Panelliists:
Simon Langley, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, British International Investment
Sheila Kanani, Honorary Researcher, Lancaster University 
Christina Murdock, D&I Manager, UK and Europe, Soho House 

11:15am EDT /
4:15pm BST

Panel Discussion: Measuring disability inclusion effectively

  • How can disability inclusion gain executive support?
  • Methods of tracking inclusive workplace practices 
  • Qualitative measurement versus quantitative – which works best?
  • What are we doing well and what still needs improving?

Panellists:
Jonathan Mok, Community Manager and DEI Lead, Dream Impact Hong Kong
Carrie Pawley, Executive Co-ordination Manager & Fatigue Network Lead, Environment Agency, UK 
Professor Nicola Martin, Professor of Social Justice and Inclusive Education, London South Bank University 

11:50am EDT /
4:50pm BST

Interview: The Paris Paralympics: The world’s greatest showcase for disabled talent

  • Discussing the impact of the paralympics in promoting disability awareness and acceptance
  • Exploring the role of athlete services in empowering paralympic competitors
  • What the workplace can learn from this about empowering disabled colleagues

Clare Cunningham, Head of Athlete Services, British Paralympic Association 

12:10pm EDT /
5:10pm BST

Fireside Chat: Artificial intelligence meets DEI: How can we ensure that AI is used responsibly?

Research from the HR technology firm Personio in July 2023 revealed that 78% of HR professionals aged 25 to 34, and 69% of people aged 55 and over, are already using an AI tool at work. 

  • Why AI will shape the nature of work
  • How will