Driving Diversity: The Next 10 Years!

Here’s what happened at our Driving Diversity The Next 10 Years! event that we held on 8 February 2024 at Sadlers Wells (1)
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Watch our short video capturing the essence of the event.

 

 

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Read on for more detailed insights and learnings.

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Scroll down to the photos to get a sense of the energy and community created on the day.

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On 8 February 2024, we took our first steps into the next decade for both Voice At The Table and Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI).  Our conference and awards event marked our 10th anniversary and brought together EDI advocates, thought leaders and change-makers from diverse backgrounds to explore the path forward in Driving Diversity: The Next 10 Years.

From highlighting the importance of diverse representation in leadership to exploring strategies for building inclusive cultures, our engaging panels explored the crucial role Diversity plays in driving progress across many industries and in both large and small organisations.

With insightful speakers sharing their experiences and expertise, attendees gained valuable insights and actionable strategies to champion Diversity in their respective spheres. From corporate boardrooms to community initiatives, the discussions ignited a collective commitment to driving positive change.

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Panel 1: The Nuts and Bolts of a Successful Employee Resource Group: How to Engage Volunteers and Add Value to the Organisation

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Questions put to the speakers on this first panel included: ‘What makes your ERGs Successful?’ and ‘What works well to engage volunteers?’ 

The discussion was lively and illuminating, with some excellent supplementary questions coming from the audience, via both Mentimeter and our roving microphone.

Here are four top learning points from this panel: 

  • Governance and control are key – and so is having a budget! 
  • Executive sponsorship can be a motivator for participation (so that volunteers can gain access to senior leaders) 
  • ERG goals and activities need to be aligned with corporate strategy  
  • Always ask, ‘Is this the best we can do?’  (This applies when you don’t yet have an ERG and when you do) 

The speakers on this panel were:

Barbara Rizzi, Head of Claims for Third Party Lines at Arch Insurance

Nilesh Solanki, Technologist at PWC

Paul Fox, Vice President of Customer Acquisitions at Texthelp

It was moderated by Inge Woudstra, Principal EDI Consultant at Voice At The Table. 

If you’d like to learn more, sign up to our newsletter, check out our blogs page or follow us on LinkedIn. We will be sharing more insights and learnings from the conference over the coming months. 

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Panel 2: Taking Diversity Beyond Gender: The Necessary Mindset Shift

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This exciting panel discussion looked at how EDI focus and attitudes have moved beyond gender.  Our speakers discussed whether the work on gender is nearly done or still needs focus, the importance of intersectionality, and what priorities we need to have going forward. 

Questions put to the panel included: ‘What have you seen that has supported the mindset shift to focus on inclusive culture, equity and empathy?’ and ‘How can we create an intersectional approach that has greater impact on Inclusion than any one Diversity focus can on its own?’ 

Here are five of our top learning points from this panel: 

  • We are on a journey, but we aren’t there yet.  It’s tough but we’ll get there! 
  • We need honest conversations at all levels, not just the implementation of programmes. 
  • All managers need to have the critical leadership skills of listening, EQ and empathy. 
  • We need to make difference ordinary, and make it ordinary that underrepresented groups of people do everyday, ordinary things like everyone else.  
  • Intersectionality is important. We are all different. 

The speakers on this panel were: 

Jason Diederich, Clinical Operations Director at Ingeus 

Charlene Oke, Senior D&I Business Partner at LexisNexis Risk Solutions (LNRS) 

Nadine Dyer, a Senior Manager at Deloitte 

The panel was moderated by Sara Bell, Principal EDI Consultant at Voice At The Table.

If you’d like to learn more, sign up to our newsletter, check out our blogs page or follow us on LinkedIn. We will be sharing more insights and learnings from the conference over the coming months. 

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Panel 3: Bridging The Generation Gap: How to Make The Most of Everyone’s Experience

This fascinating panel began with the speakers being asked for a flavour of the current generational demographics in their organisations. It progressed into a lively and wide-ranging discussion of what this means, how to handle the differences and why that’s important, and what a future workforce might look like.   

Follow-up questions included considering why it’s important to bridge the generation gap and asking the speakers, What’s at stake, from their organisation’s perspective, if we don’t get this right? 

Here are six of our top learning points from this panel: 

  • We are seeing five generations working together in one organisation, probably for the first time. 
  • There is a trend for people to stay in work longer. 
  • The conference Mentimeter results show a divergence between what organisations think is important and what their people think is important. 
  • Role gaps aren’t driven by age.  Individual people can want to drive change, lead, mentor or learn, whatever their age. 
  • In taking action, always start from where you are. (This is something that Voice At the Table always advocates with clients!) 
  • Once people get to know each other, generational differences fade away. 
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The speakers on this panel were: 

Dominic Shaw, EDI Coordinator for Ukie (which is UK’s video games and interactive entertainment trade association).   

Tsitsi Mutiti,  who is an investment manager at Charles Stanley Wealth Managers. 

Phillipa Sturt, a partner at Oury Clark Solicitors. 

The panel was moderated by Phil Cox, a Voice At The Table Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, psychotherapist and coach. 

If you’d like to learn more, sign up to our newsletter, check out our blogs page or follow us on LinkedIn. We will be sharing more insights and learnings from the conference over the coming months. 

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Panel 4: How Leaders Can Influence The Diversity Transition

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In this one-to-one conversation, Voice Associate Joyce Osei asked CEO Rina Lynch to elaborate on this fundamental topic.  It turns out that, simply being committed isn’t enough to successfully implement EDI change.  More is required.

If you’d like to learn more, sign up to our newsletter, check out our blogs page or follow us on LinkedIn. We will be sharing more insights and learnings from the conference over the coming months. 

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The EDI Journey Milestone Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to advancing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within their companies. Each award celebrates a milestone along the EDI Journey, and each of our 5 award winners has been advocating and promoting EDI in the workplace in different ways.  They are all people we know well, having worked with them over several years. 

In today’s rapidly evolving world, fostering a culture of Diversity and Inclusion is not just a goal but a necessity for success. These awards recognise the remarkable efforts of five individuals who have gone the extra mile in championing EDI initiatives within their organisations.

From implementing innovative policies to fostering inclusive workplace cultures, each award recipient has made a significant impact in driving positive change. Their dedication serves as a beacon of inspiration for others, highlighting the transformative power of EDI in creating more equitable and thriving workplaces.

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Our first milestone Award is the Role Model Award, recognising that the journey usually begins with someone being a role model for Inclusive Behaviour and standing up for progress in EDI.  This award is designed to highlight and celebrate someone who has stayed the course outside the majority group, and our winner has been tirelessly championing opportunities for women and workplace Diversity for many years.    

Our inaugural winner of the Role Model Award is Sofia Malik-Eve, Manager for Global Quality and Business Improvement at Genesis Energies.

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The Influencer Award celebrates the milestone at which a role model exerts real influence on the EDI transition.  Our winner works for an organisation that is making enormous efforts to ensure that all aspects of their company are working on and developing their EDI practices.  The award was made for advocacy and creativity, and for taking on a whole-hearted commitment to transforming the organisation into a more gender-balanced and inclusive place.   

The 2024 winner of the Influencer Award is Dawn Phillips, HRBP Director for EMEA at Equinix.   

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We know that once sufficient influence has been exercised, real change starts to come about.  This award celebrates an example of that change being systematically brought about, step by step, bringing proactive changes to promote greater Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in a challenging environment.  We celebrated our winner’s key role in the determination of the video games studio she works for to see a wider range of people represented within the gaming industry.   

The first Change Maker Award was won by Chloe Sinclair, People Engagement Manager at Firesprite. 

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The fourth Milestone marks the point at which real change starts setting in, and we can start seeing its impact. The Impact Award therefore celebrates the immense impact made by an individual who has prioritised EDI as part of everything they do in every organisation they have been involved with, as a true believer in the power of Diversity.  By prioritising EDI as part of everything they do, our winner has multiplied their impact.   

The winner of our 2024 Impact Award is Mark Walley, CEO of  STEP. 

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Once real impact and progress have been made, how do we make it an ongoing endeavour?  A legacy?  The recipient of The Legacy Award has certainly shown the way to this milestone.  This award recognises a genuinely long-term commitment to EDI, in this case by empowering those at the start of their careers to become inclusive leaders for the future, creating a legacy of Inclusion.   

Our final award winner for 2024 and our Legacy Award winner is Laura Anderson, Emerging Talent and Development Lead at HSBC UK.

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As we move forward from our Driving Diversity: The Next 10 Years! event, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who joined us in this inspiring journey towards a more inclusive future.

To our esteemed attendees, speakers, event partners, sponsors and awardees, thank you for your unwavering commitment to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Your presence and contributions made this event truly remarkable, igniting conversations and fostering connections that will continue to ripple through our workplaces and communities.

Through the insightful discussions, powerful stories and moments of inspiration shared throughout this event, we are reminded of the transformative potential we hold in driving positive change. Together, we have laid the groundwork for a future where Diversity is celebrated, Inclusion is the norm, and Equity is the cornerstone.

As we look ahead to the next decade, let us carry forward the momentum, energy and determination sparked by this event. The work continues, to champion EDI initiatives, challenge biases, and cultivate cultures of belonging in every aspect of our lives and work. Together, we can create a world where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their background or identity.

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