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Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2019

Thursday, 25 April 2019 @ 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

£449.00 – £499.00

Back for a second year after popular demand, this conference will explore the latest thought leadership on what HR can do to promote inclusiveness and create a culture of diversity in their organisation. 

Promoting and supporting diversity in the workplace is an important aspect of good people management - it’s about valuing everyone in the organisation as an individual. However, to reap the benefits of a diverse workforce it’s vital to have an inclusive environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential. While UK legislation – covering age, disability, race, religion, gender and sexual orientation among others – sets minimum standards, an effective diversity and inclusion strategy goes beyond legal compliance and seeks to add value to an organisation, contributing to employee well-being and engagement.

This conference will cover a wide range of topics including:

  • How inclusion differs from diversity
  • The business benefits of a diverse workforce
  • What happens when diversity needs compete or even oppose each other?
  • Current legal situations
  • Tackling unconscious bias
  • Inclusion in multi-national organisations
  • How to create a culture of inclusiveness and promote diversity
  • Reviewing the current progress of the Gender Pay Gap Reporting legislation
  • And more!

Who should attend:

  • HR professionals involved who want to improve diversity and inclusion in their organisation

  • Recruiters

  • Heads of HR

  • Talent Management

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Event Sponsors


If your organisation would be interested in promoting itself through the wide variety of exhibitions, sponsorship and marketing opportunities available at this event, please visit our sponsorship mini-site or contact our sales team at sales@symposium-events.co.uk or 020 7231 5100.

Diversity and Inclusion Conference 2019



09:00 Coffee and Registration
09:30 Chair’s opening remarks

Julie Dennis, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, ACAS

09:45 Building and embedding diversity in organisational strategy: recruiting, managing, developing and promoting diverse talent

  • Identifying skills and diversity gaps
  • Creating and maintaining inclusive cultures
  • The role of leadership and senior management in generating an inclusive company culture

Sarah Maskell, Global Diversity and Inclusion Relationship Manager, HSBC

10:10 Bridging the Future Generation Gap

  • Overcoming the huge skill gap and what we call the “tech gender gap”
  • Without the younger generation harnessing the interest and skills of tech, how would we aim to eventually bridge the gender gap issue in general?
  • Closing skills gaps: boosting work experience and internships
  • 11:FS’s contribution to the future of work via tech partnerships: the TechTalentCharter, The Diana Award mentoring, Next Tech Girls and Summer Internship programmes.
  • Bringing STEM into under privileged areas.

Sophie Theen, Head of Talent, 11:FS

10:35 “Reasonable” adjustment / Workplace adjustment – a good idea for everyone, not just those with disabilities

  • Highlighting and tackling the organisational and cultural barriers that prevent career progression
  • Implementing good HR and flexible working to attract, retain and develop the best possible talent

Sarah Brooks, HRBP TUPE, Atos

11:00 Questions and discussion with speakers
11:10 Refreshments and networking
11:30 The power of authenticity – supporting LGBTQI inclusion in the workplace 

  • Ally Programs – how Allies and an active Ally program fosters a truly LGBTQI inclusive workplace
  • What good looks like – how to promote LGBT inclusion and what firms need to embrace
  • How to ensure LGBT diversity is celebrated and not tolerated across your organization
  • Strategies on how to ensure your firm is LGBTQI inclusive

John Peart, Head of LGBT Safety Policy and Programme Governance, Government Equalities Office

11:55 Case study: closing the gender pay gap

  • Why addressing the pay gap is a business-critical issue
  • Understanding the drivers of your gender pay gap
  • Engaging senior leaders and employees in understanding and addressing the pay gap
  • Managing external comms to build reputation in the market
  • Building a whole-business action plan to drive change
  • Preparing for ethnicity pay gap reporting

Sarah Kaiser, Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Fujitsu EMEIA

12:20 Questions and discussion with speakers
12:30 Lunch and networking
13:30 Knowledge share networking session 

Roundtable discussions with your peers to share solutions to key challenges

14:00 Unconscious bias training – can you train what you aren’t aware of?

  • Is there a business case?
  • The devil’s in the detail
  • Linking UB to an effective D&I strategy 

Trevor Hudson, Senior Learning Business PartnerKing

14:25 How to embrace and include neurodiversity in your organization: making a difference with underrepresented groups 

  • Understanding the employability challenge of neurodiversity 
  • Developing a programme to enhance workplace awareness, skills and confidence
  • Evaluating the positive metrics and highlighting learning for future roll-out 

Helen Needham, Founder of Me.Decoded / Managing Principal & Neurodiversity Lead, Capco UK

14:50 Questions and discussion with speakers
15:00 Refreshments and networking
15:20 Panel discussion: going beyond diversity – how to create an inclusive environment and culture

Yvonne Dowie, Deputy Head – Project Race, Lead Responsibility for Learning, Development & Talent, The Race Ambassador Scheme, The People Group, Ministry of Justice 

Lesley Babb, Head of Reward, Diversity and Inclusion, Intellectual Property Office

Maxine Albert MSc HRM, Deputy Head of Diversity and Inclusion, House of Commons

15:50 Questions and discussion with speakers
16:00 Chair’s closing remarks and end of conference



CHAIR – Julie Dennis, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, ACAS

Julie is a Diversity and Inclusion specialist with over 16 years’ experience, gained within the public and voluntary sector. She is currently leading on Diversity & Inclusion, HR Policy, Resourcing and Employee Health & Wellbeing at Acas.

She has successfully developed and delivered strategic diversity and inclusion initiatives relating to employment and service delivery, and is one of the country’s most experienced professionals in this field.

Prior to joining Acas, she was Head of Diversity at the Land Registry, where her work on D&I was recognised repeatedly winning the department awards in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016.  In addition she successfully ensured HMLR maintained its Stonewall Top 100 Employers Index position in 2016 & 2017.

She is a Stonewall workplace ally and a champion for mental health awareness. Julie is passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and strives to create an environment where people can be themselves.

Helen Needham, Managing Principal & Neurodiversity Lead, Capco UK

Helen Needham is a senior leader at Capco, a management consultancy in Financial Services.

As a consultant, Helen has delivered complex business transformation initiatives, but often struggled with people and this held her back. Struggling with anxiety, Helen was diagnosed as autistic in 2017.

Realising that she was different, not difficult, Helen changed the way she worked. This helped her succeed in the workplace, and reduced her anxiety. Since then she has launched an employee neurodiversity network at Capco, to bring about a wider change. 

Helen is recognised by peers as someone who is visionary, a big picture thinker, excited by possibilities, and passionate when talking about new concepts and ideas. A leader who is full of integrity, and cares deeply. She is now bringing this passion, commitment, and visionary thinking to helping the world see the value and benefit of Neurodivergent thinkers.


Sarah Brooks, WFM Strategy and Planning Lead, Atos

Sarah has worked nearly 30 years in engineering and IT, in the BBC, Siemens and Atos.  She became ill in 2000 with a “bad back” just as she was finishing her MBA. For two years she was intermittently off work with “medically unexplained” symptoms and problems.   In 2003 she was finally diagnosed with hypermobility syndrome.  During this period was demoted within the organisation she worked for and ended up working part time as a change manager.  Since then she has managed her condition to return to full time work.

In 2016 Sarah set up the Atos Employee network for disabled staff.  Called Atos Adapt it represents disabled staff in Atos, support employees and offers advice to staff and managers.  The network has recently worked within Atos to help deliver and pilot a Workplace Adjustments Process, which has been very successful.

Sarah has a particular interest in neurodiversity and has just completed a BSc in Psychology.  She is currently in Workforce Management as a strategic partner for one of the Atos business units.

Sarah Kaiser, Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Lead, Fujitsu EMEIA

Sarah Kaiser is the Employee Experience, Diversity & Inclusion Lead for Fujitsu EMEIA. She has driven Fujitsu’s activity to become recognised as an exemplar on gender pay gap reporting, a Times Top 50 Employer for Women, a Disability Confident Leader, a Stonewall Top 100 Employer, a BITC Top Employer for Race and a Top 50 Social Mobility Employer. She is passionate about finding creative solutions to unusual diversity challenges, developing cultures where everyone can achieve their full potential, and the representation of diversity in contemporary culture.

Previously Sarah was the Head of Equality at Brent Council, where she led the organisation to achieve the Excellence level of the Equality Framework for Local Government. Beforehand, as the first Diversity Manager for Tate, Sarah increased the diversity of Tate’s audiences, workforce and programme. Prior to that, Sarah was the Director of RenéCassin, an international human rights NGO.

Yvonne Dowie-Shosanya. Deputy Head of Learning, Development and Talent Lead – Project Race, Ministry of Justice

Yvonne joined the Ministry of Justice in April 1986. She progressed to the first line of management, working specifically as a Job Skill Instructor, before taking a lateral transfer in 1991 to the then Headquarters HR Training in Little St James St.

Yvonne currently works within Project Race (initiated May 2016), supporting the MoJ in driving cultural change towards making the business “Race Confident”, as well as promoting the Project’s work and issues /challenges of race inequality; offering recommendation/solutions on moving forward positively on the race agenda. One of Yvonne’s responsibilities is to help build BAME staff’s capabilities to support the individual’s ability to realise their full potential and where appropriate provide the relevant empirical evidence that underpins the Projects purpose.


Trevor Hudson, Senior Learning Business Partner, King

Trevor has worked in a variety of sectors, including charitable sector, transportation and retail, construction and property management, finance and now tech. He currently works for King, the second largest mobile games company in the world. 

Trevor has worked on D&I initiatives in almost every role he has held and in particular looks at the role of developing leaders and managers to create inclusive environments in which everyone can share a sense of belonging and build a community. Key to this is ensuring good intentions are supported by a challenging level of self-awareness so best efforts aren’t undermined by unconscious biases.  

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Thursday, 25 April 2019
9:00 am - 4:30 pm
£449.00 – £499.00
Event Categories:


Hilton Hotel, Canary Wharf, London
South Quay, Marsh Wall
London, E14 9SH United Kingdom
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Symposium Events
020 7231 5100