EVENTS

IT'S TIME TO BE A CHANGE MAKER

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Meet the speakers

Chikere Igbokwe

9:30 | Welcoming Address, Importance of Allyship

Chikere is an experienced Executive Recruiter and Diversity & Inclusion Leader. Founder of Allyship a community for Allies to connect, learn and fully understand the discrimination faced by minority groups and Inclucive, a D&I Consultancy. Chikere is on a mission to make organisations more diverse and inclusive and equip them with the knowhow to be change makers.

Stephanie Dillon

10:00 | Panel Discussion: Supporting the Sisterhood

Stephanie Dillon is Co-Founder of the Reignite Academy and Founder of Inclusivity Partners. Her earlier career was spent working with multinational recruitment companies across London, Sydney and Melbourne. In 2015 she launched Inclusivity to provide opportunities for so many candidates, women in particular, who were failing to make shortlists, largely due to recruitment processes that reject people with non-linear CVs. She has since run many returner programmes for, and placed returners back with, blue chip companies across sectors as diverse as Financial Services, Telecommunications, Oil and Gas & Consumer. Stephanie co-founded the Reignite Academy to champion career returners amongst the legal profession.

Maria Campbell

Maria has a wealth of experience leading people & culture in high-growth technology companies, including Monzo & Snyk. Her focus is on developing human-first structures that make work an enjoyable, fulfilling place to be, while rapidly scaling effective teams. She is VP People at Griffin and writes at lowercaseopinions.com.

Catherine Garrod

Catherine Garrod is Founder of Compelling Culture which helps organisations with employee experience and inclusive media. Because she believes when we feel good about ourselves and each other, the world is a better place.

So much of how success is measured is looking a homogenous or 'whole' data, and Catherine helps organisations see the reality when that data is deconstructed into the experience of underrepresented groups. That data is often the catalyst for change, and Catherine delivers practical solutions organisations can hardwire into existing processes to create meaningful and systemic change. Before setting up Compelling Culture she led Sky to be the most inclusive employer in the UK with 80% of teams increasing their diversity.

Melanie Jacob

11:05 | Panel Discussion: Intersectionality and Feminism

Melanie Jacob grew up on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia before moving to Barbados in 2011 to pursue her BA French and Spanish. She then started working as an English Language teacher in the French Overseas Department of Martinique, while also obtaining her Master’s degree. In August 2018, she headed to Lyon, France. It was at this point in her life that she understood the importance of representation, since there was nobody who looked like her, or the diverse array of strangers she encountered around the city, on the big and small screen, on billboards and certainly not in the pages of popular magazines. However, it wasn’t until she started volunteering at a local charity organisation and was granted the right to work that she truly became aware of the harmful effects of the country’s ‘colourblindness’. Thus, given her passion for social change and her many years of experience in education, she decided to launch her own diversity and inclusion consulting business Melanie Jacob Consulting, in the hope that she would play an active role in the changes that she wanted to see in the world. 

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Emma-Jayne Broadway

Emma Broadway is the Founder and CEO of Talent Partnership Consulting. With over 20 years in talent management, Emma has driven change in tech organisations, from start-ups to multinationals (including Citrix and Microsoft) at every stage of the I&D journey from strategy builds, process design and enablement, to beyond launch. Her passion for delivering growth by increasing equality has boosted sales and productivity while delivering high levels of diverse hires, cutting gender pay gaps and increasing employee satisfaction and external brand perception. With a strong passion for empowering diverse talent in developing their careers, Emma’s goal in life is to create opportunities for all and to bring more balance to the boardroom.  

Rebecca Deller

12:15 | Laughter Workshop

Rebecca Deller is a Well Being Consultant, Laughter Facilitator and Life Coach. She is the founder of L1fe Balance which has been running since 2009.

Rebecca worked for 12 years in Learning and Development roles within corporate businesses both in the UK and abroad as well as three years at Kingston University. The three areas of specialism whilst in her corporate roles were coaching, mentoring and delivering people management training. During which time she witnessed first hand the cause and impact of stress in the workplace so decided to set up her own business to support organisations and their well-being. Rebecca injects positivity into organisations with her toolbox of tips and techniques bringing clarity and calmness to those she works with.

Rebecca spent three years in Asia and Europe and became inspired by yoga, mindfulness and alternative therapies as a way of managing stress and supporting positive mental health. After trying out laughter yoga nine years ago she hasn’t looked back and trained to become a Laughter Facilitator. As

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part of her well-being offering she runs laughter talks and workshops bringing the amazing health benefits of laughter to others. She laughs as much as she can with her husband Col and son Alfie particularly during stressful times who have also embraced the spirit of laughter.

Emma Last

14:00 | Mental Health: "Put Your Oxygen Mask On First"

Emma Last is the Founder of Progressive Minds and has over 20-years, experience in culture change, wellbeing, coaching and training. She worked as a Director in Senior Leadership for a large corporate, until she came to a turning point in her career and wanted to gain more of a balance in her own life. Progressive Minds supports professionals and business owners with a solutions focused approach to overall mental health, well-being, cultural change and performance through training, coaching and mentorship programmes such as her Human Reboot Movement. Her clients say they have become more mentally fit, happier and gain the results they want in their lives. She is also a co-writer of the First Aid Industry body's accredited Mental Health and Wellbeing training.

Veronica Gordon

15:15 | Diversity: Authentic Representation

Veronica Gordon is a broadcast journalist turned social entrepreneur. Her career spans fifteen years across radio, TV news, digital, and print media. With the equivalent years volunteering in her local community in Southampton, particularly with ethnic and faith groups, Veronicabecame increasingly frustrated with the media’s demonisation of “minority” groups, which did not accurately reflect the lives of those around her. 

Armed with her journalism experience gained from BBC radio, ITV News, community radio, and more, Veronica set up Our Version Media CIC, a social enterprise dedicated to increasing positive and authentic representation of Southampton’s under-represented and misrepresented groups. Through media training and consultancy, Veronica equips local people and communities with media and journalism skills to tell and share their own stories, shining a spotlight on their real lives, while counteracting negative press coverage at the same time.

Through Our Version Media, Veronica also works closely with large organisations in the south – including the NHS and local authorities – to upskill their staff and the communities they work with, support their aims to better engage with black and diverse communities, and support their move towards more inclusive communications. In her session, Authentic Representation, Veronica will outline three key mistakes organisations make in their attempts to “do” diversity, and will share practical steps to help organisations move from “performative” to “authentic” in their efforts to connect with diverse communities.

Katie Neeves

16:00 | "What's It Like To Be Trans, And How Can I Support?"

Katie Neeves is a woman on a mission - but not just any woman and not just any mission! She lived for 48 years as a man while struggling with her gender and hiding her big secret to the World. She was thrown into turmoil when her gender dysphoria increased dramatically, causing her to go on a voyage of discovery before finally admitting to her self that she is a transgender woman and that she needed to change her body. She then came out very publicly via a coming-out video which she posted on her social media and sent to all the clients of her photography and video business, risking her livelihood and reputation in the process. Katie formed Cool2BTrans to support and inspire other trans people and also to educate everyone else on trans issues by showing them that trans people are just ordinary people who want to be happy - just  like everyone  else.  She  helps  organisations  with   diversity  and  inclusion

by providing trans awareness training in an entertaining way by using humour to break down barriers. Recent participants of Katie's sessions said it was "a masterclass in storytelling!" and "the most interesting webinar so far and definitely the funniest". Katie appears regularly in the media and she is on both ITV's and the BBC's lists of experts.

Followed by our Live DJ Set at 18:00 with

Taylor Rae
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Then join us at the online Allyship Book Club at 19:00

With special guest
Saleem Haddad
Author of critically acclaimed guapa
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Saleem Haddad was born in Kuwait City to an Iraqi-German mother and a Palestinian-Lebanese father. He has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières and other international organisations in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, and Egypt. His first novel, Guapa, was published in 2016, a political and personal coming-of-age story of a young gay man living through the 2011 Arab revolutions. The novel received critical acclaim from the New Yorker, The Guardian, and others, was awarded a Stonewall Honour and won the 2017 Polari First Book Prize. Haddad was also selected as one of the top 100 Global Thinkers of 2016 by Foreign Policy Magazine. His directorial debut, Marco, premiered in March 2019 and was nominated for the 2019 Iris Prize for ‘Best British Short Film’.

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#Choosetochallenge is a free event
we welcome you to donate to 
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Breakfast Clubs Against Racism is an anti-racism charity combatting inequality through education. Breakfast Clubs Against Racism will be launching a series of free Breakfast clubs for children aged 10-12 with the goal of combatting racial discrimination, by delivering anti-racism and leadership skills to young people. With your support Breakfast Clubs Against Racism will help to create the next generation of inclusive leaders, that can bring the change we need for ultimate equality.