Speakers

An unrivalled speaker line up

Hear from experts in Diversity & Inclusion and learn from the very best on how to successfully put D&I at the heart of your business.

Meena Chander

Founder - CEO & Founder of Events Together, This Is Us Conference & DiCE (Diversity in Conferences and Events)

A highly enthusiastic professional with 20 years of Global Event Management experience within the Automotive, Pharmaceutical, Governmental, Defence, FMCG and Global Banking sectors. Solid track record of running and managing successful events / exhibitions and very well-versed in developing relationships with clients, discussing plans and identifying event requirements to offer appropriately tailored solutions. Highly passionate and committed to delivering exceptional standards of customer service and maximising opportunities to increase sales and profitability. A real passion for managing and motivating teams for maximum productivity, thriving in highly pressurised and challenging environments.

Jane Dowling

Founder - Meno and Me

Jane Dowling is a clinical exercise specialist and health professional with experience across a broad range of populations. She has been providing personally tailored training and health solutions for over 25 years. During her time working in the primary care settings with older women suffering from heart disease or osteoporosis, Jane developed a passion to educate younger women on how to take preventative measures. She uses her experience in both clinical and corporate settings to help women and organisations to become more aware of menopause in the workplace. Her professional and personal experience of menopause inspired her to start her award winning blog MENO&ME to help women navigate through menopause and to find their fabulous again! Find her on instagram for daily updates and meno support @menoandme

James Sutton

Senior Manager, Digital Content & Campaigns, EMEA -Herbalife Nutrition

James is a senior marketing professional with a background in retail and non-for-profit organisations. Although a marketer by trade, James has a keen interest in how workplace culture can impact employees and the organisations they work for. During his time at Oxfam James spearheaded the creation and development of their first LGBT+ & Friends network, at a time when the organisation and other charities where going through a safeguarding crisis. The network he developed in the UK then fed into a global movement for change within Oxfam, leading to a revised Sexual Diversity & Gender Identities policy and a meeting of LGBT+ champions in Johannesburg to build practices and strategies to keep staff safe. James also formed part of an internal change group to help challenge Oxfam’s culture and behaviours.

Sonya Barlow

Founder, Like Minded Females

Sonya Barlow is the founder of LMF Network CiC, a global community dedicated to reducing inequalities and providing a foundation to succeed womxn and underrepresented individuals through life skills workshops, digital training, a supportive community and access to expertise for everyone. She is also the founder of her own diversity consultancy and specialises in consulting on inclusive cultures, change management and confidence in the workplace. 

Katie Neeves

Trans Ambassador - Cool2BTrans

Katie Neeves has been a professional photographer and filmmaker for 33 years and two years ago she came out very publicly as being transgender after living for 48 years as a man. She as since become a trans ambassador, forming Cool2BTrans to help organisations with diversity and inclusion to help protect them from being sued for discrimination by providing trans awareness training, public speaking engagements and media appearances.

Jacqui Gavin

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Adviser - Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service

An international award-winning role model and public speaker for transgender and gender identity issues working at the heart of UK Civil Service. A proactive self-starter with a passion about ensuring that all sectors of society embrace Diversity and Inclusion – in particular in dealing with issues pertaining to gender identity.

Gamiel Yafai

MD - Diversity Marketplace / Conference Chair - BAME Programme

Gamiel is more than an engaging, passionate, seasoned Inclusion & Diversity expert. He was the proud recipient of the Global Diversity Leadership Award presented by the Global HRD Congress 2017 and the author of ‘Demystifying Diversity’. Over two decades, Gamiel has developed and delivered numerous Diversity, Inclusion, inclusive leadership, Unconscious Bias and Positive Action change programmes to develop inclusive cultures in organisations of all sizes. He’s worked with some of the UK’s largest employers to design and implement Change initiatives to attract both new talent from diverse backgrounds and to support existing talent to reach their potential through leading themselves as well as role modelling behaviours for others to follow.

Kiran Kaur

PhD researcher - De Montfort University, Leicester

Keen to unveil a new area of research in ‘Ethnic Entrepreneurship’, focusing specifically on ‘Family Businesses’. She is also a lecturer at the University, achieved many conference and volunteering awards, and led many successful research projects…and she’s not even finished.

Sara Chandran

Founder – Fresh & Fearless

Sara Chandran is the Founder of Fresh and Fearless, a diversity consultancy which helps organisations shift mindsets to create a more inclusive workplace. Having worked in PR and Communications, and Inclusive Marketing, Sara decided that overcoming inequality needed a combined approach of

aware to organisations. knowledge and insights, with powerful and effective communication.

Sue Willis

Director Simplification, Santander

Sue started her career in the Abbey National bank as a graduate 30 years ago and has progressed from a variety of frontline retail roles to an umber of key Directorate strategic roles over the last 11 years.

 

Those strategic roles have included accountability and responsibility for complaint management, driving improvement for customer experience across the bank, the measurement and improvement of customer experience, transforming key customer journeys and the accountability for the dedicated central operational complaint handling teams. More latterly it has also included accountability for colleague simplification and change management including transformation programmes and initiatives.

 

In addition to her day to day role accountabilities Sue is the Co-Chair of Santander’s Women in Business Network and Chair of our National Site Champion Network. Both Networks work tirelessly to support our Diversity & Inclusion ambitions and the general engagement and wellbeing of our colleagues.

JO HEATH​

Partner and Head of Practice - Equality Law, D&I , Culture & Ethics at Green Park

Jo is a Partner at Green Park and also Heads up the Consulting Practice for Equality Law, D&I, Culture & Ethics, offering a range of services to businesses in the UK and across the Globe. She has developed a range of diagnostic tools that measure how inclusive an organisation is and supports them with both strategic and operational solutions to bring about real change. As an Equality Law Improvement Professional and a D&I and Cultural Auditor, Jo has worked in this field for over 20 years. She advises on all equality legislation related issues, assists in the mapping of diverse senior appointments, conducts complex inclusion audits, cultural impact assessments, mediation and facilitated coaching sessions. She also designs and delivers a range of cultural initiatives, leadership programmes and diversity and inclusion solutions for businesses.

Isa Mutlib

Chief Executive, BAME Apprenticeship Alliance

Isa is an award-winning rising leader within the education and skills sector globally. He is currently the CEO of the BAME Apprenticeship Alliance and founder of diversity tech platform The Apprenticeship Hack all with a mission of building the best platform for apprenticeship diversity.

Quinn Roache

LGBT+ and Disability Policy Officer - TUC

Quinn is the TUC’s LGBT+ and Disability Policy Officer working within their Equality and Strategy Department.


Previously he worked for the Equality and Human Rights Commission on high profile projects including their Pregnancy and Maternity Work Programme, Home Care Inquiry which drew national attention to key issues of discrimination and shaped national debate.


He has led on community engagement projects on a variety of themes including the UNCRPD and increasing LGBT+ hate crime reporting. Recently he published the first major report into LGBT sexual harassment at work which found nearly 7 in 10 lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people report being sexually harassed at work. And called on the government to introduce a new legal duty to prevent harassment at work.

Tj Richards

Santander UK & Embrace Network - Customer Experience & Engagement Manager and National Co-Chair

Formerly a Sergeant in the US Air Force before being ‘outed’ and kicked out for her sexuality, TJ is now an Customer Experience & Engagement Manager at Santander UK. She is also the National Co-Chair of Santander UK’s LGBT+ Employee Network. As an ardent supporter of the LGBT+ community, TJ is passionate about calling out disparity and working to educate the public wherever possible.

 

Tj will be joining the panel to discuss inclusive language on Day 1 of the LGBT Programme.

Louise Robinson

Head of Breakthrough

Louise is Head of Santander’s Breakthrough programme. She has introduced and overseen a programme of holistic support for Small and medium-sized (SMEs) companies, outside of the financial assistance more usually expected from a bank.  The ground-breaking programme has helped over 23,000 business to date. The range of support includes off the shelf training for budding entrepreneurs, masterclasses, mentoring specifically for women and large-scale national partnerships.  Louise continues to evolve and develop the programme all the time as she anticipates the needs of those business owners.

David Savage

Founder – Tech Talks to agenda for Women’s Mentoring Panels

David started his career as a technology recruiter, and spent a decade exploring the role people play in shaping the sector.

 

5 years’ ago he felt that there was a lack of content available for leaders in the space, nothing explored the challenges they face without adding an instagram gloss to events. So David launched Tech Talks, a podcast offering honest insight and a community leaders could tap into.

 

Tech Talks is now a regular member of the Apple Podcast top 50 tech podcast chart, attracting thousands of listeners each month from a diverse community of tech enthusiasts and entrepreneurs. The series also led to David being named Computing Magazine’s Digital Ambassador of the Year 2018.

 

He has a passion for tech, sci-fi, Newcastle United and truly awful films.

Ian Washington-Smith

Director – Shinesmith

Ian offers his services now as a Behavioural Expert and Executive Coach, Board Level, Public and Private Sector. He is an experienced Director with a demonstrated history of working in the consumer services industry. A former

Police Senior Manager-Skilled in Operations and Intelligence Management, Corruption Prevention and Covert Investigation. A strong professional career is also underpinned by Ian’s work in founding organisations such as

Thames Valley Black Police Association, Cognitive Coaching and latterly Shinesmith Academy. Supporting individuals and organisations to change, in particular adapting thinking towards issues such as individual potential,

people productivity, diversity and leadership.

Leah Freeland

Panel Chair for Women’s Mentoring Programme

As a former police manager, Leah was able to apply her passion for people and education into coaching and mentoring, before joining the Professional Development Unit. Here she was able to guide new recruits through their first two years in uniform and drive forward a positive recruitment and retention initiative for female officers. There should be room for everyone at the table – we all benefit from this. Leah found the most inspirational female leaders were authentic, credible and did not compromise on their character and beliefs to move up the ladder. She needed to see these female leaders in these high profile positions, so that Leah herself could envision herself there one day. It took her a relatively long time to feel courageous enough to seek promotion (successfully). She held herself back because of her own unconscious biases – towards herself in a predominantly male workforce. Since then, she has learned many techniques and tools to overcome real and perceived barriers and emerge stronger, more focussed and productive.

Sharon Blyfield

HR Business Partner, Coca Cola European Coca-Cola European Partners Limited

Sharon has been in the business for 27 years in a variety of functions and roles. She joined the HR team 16 years ago, covering all elements of Supply Chain and now heading up the Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) Early Careers agenda for Great Britain.

Having spent the majority of her career developing young talent at the start of their careers, her current remit fits perfectly with her passion to create opportunities to support the next generation of young leaders. As part of her commitment, Sharon strives to work with strategic partners who challenge organisation’s approach to under representation of young people across all communities and works to create a level playing field in the recruitment process that might unconsciously deselect from those groups.

Sharon’s dedication and commitment to CCEP’s apprenticeship programme has been recognised by CCEP’s leadership team, as well as her peers and apprentices alike. She has received praise for her outstanding leadership of the programme, which has continued to grow and expand in line with the business’ Early Careers agenda. As well as recognition from the leadership team, Sharon is adored by the apprentices themselves, who see her as a trusted advisor and mentor.

Saski

LGBT+ inclusion Consultant, Presenter, Speaker

Saski is a well established LGBTQ+ Inclusion Consultant and Trainer, Life Coach, Official PRIDE Host, Interviewer, Radio host, Panel Moderator, Singer, PRIDE365 Champion and out and proud Queer Parent. She has the unique ability to be versatile on a wide range of subjects, whilst engaging both her audiences and panellists bringing about the best conversations for education and awareness. Humour meets grace and knowledge meets respect…it’s what Saski does best. A keen activist for positive promotion and equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community and all.  Saski has appeared on several BBC TV and Radio shows and panels, promoting inclusion. She has also worked closely with a variety of charities and organisations, as an interviewer, LGBTQ+ Inclusion Trainer and Host.  Including Diva Magazine, PRIDE In London, Mermaids, Diversity Role Models, Clexacon, The British Youth Council and P3 Parenting Network to name but a few.

Beenish Saeed

Founder of Like Minded Females Network Toronto Women’s Mentoring Panel

Beenish is an award-winning speaker, lawyer and technology evangelist. As Founder of Like Minded Females Network Toronto, Beenish works with leading global organisations to up-skill marginalised communities in technology, business, diversity and personal branding. Her experiences in multinational institutions include working for the Innocence Project to exonerate individuals who are wrongly convicted of criminal offences, authoring a book with the British Computer Society on data governance, leading research groups on convergence finance for the African Development Bank and pursuing her lifelong dream to humanise digital transformation in SaaS companies via Customer Success. 

 

Beenish received her L.L.B with Honours from the University of Sussex, and a Master of Management, Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Queen’s University. 

 

Born and raised in Karachi to Pakistani parents, she has lived and worked in 8 cities across Asia, Europe and America. These experiences shaped her global perspective and equipped her with a cultural sensitivity that drives her work in law, social and technological impact. 



Nic Jennings

Content, Marketing and D&I Consultant

Nic is a content and marketing specialist in tech, with a deep experience of diversity. Nic was raised multiracial and multinational in South Africa during the Apartheid regime. He identifies as an LGBTQ+ individual and considers himself an ally of communities often marginalised and overlooked in our society. He collaborates with various organisations and is passionate about understanding people’s attitudes and dynamics around Diversity & Inclusion, and through his own growth, hopes to shed light on the vast opportunities that are unlocked when healthy, proactive and balanced attitudes toward equality are embraced. Nic has lived and worked in the US, the UK and South Africa, in senior Marketing and Journalism positions. He is passionate about personal growth and wellness.

This Is Us 2020

20 – 21 October 2020

Last time our tickets sold fast so don’t miss out.