'Two-Speed Britain; At the Global Equality & Diversity 2018.'
I had an extraordinary day on Thursday at the Global Equality & Diversity Conference 2018 (GED), courtesy of an invitation from Dr Jana Javornik, Associate Professor, Leeds University Business School. It boasted a varied but universally world-class speaker line-up so I had a full head over the weekend, a full notebook and a huge number of new friends and contacts. Here are some of my top take-outs courtesy of my own Twitter feed (call me time-efficient or lazy);
1. Alasdair MacDonald from the Equality and Human Rights Commission kicked things off with a very sobering, data-driven session on ‘Is Britain Fairer?’ As usual there was good news and bad news but to be honest, a good deal more bad news from a socio-economic level than this optimist who predominantly works within the white-collar corporate world, is used to. In my country in 2018 infant mortality is actually on the rise if you’re from certain ethnicities or born into poverty. He painted a picture of a ‘two-speed Britain,’ read for yourselves here
2. The excellent Dr Omar Khan of the Runnymede Trust sat on the 2nd panel looking at ‘Gender, Social Mobility and Equality.’ I consider myself a pretty educated, open-minded, well-read individual but the stat that ‘50% of black kids in the UK live in poverty’ floored me. Unbelievable and unacceptable. I will be finding an appropriate way to share this figure with my privileged 7 and 9 year olds this weekend. He continued to look at the prospects for graduates from ethnic minority backgrounds, “Should black graduates pay half the fees if they currently get half the opportunities on graduation?”
3. 'We need to overturn the 'gratitude narrative' where ethnic groups or women are conditioned to feel grateful for the opportunities they have rather than pushing for more, essentially for equal opportunities,' said Mandy Sanghera following equally impressive panel
4. In the same segment, I LOVED the way Chloe Chambraud of Business in the Community framed the topic of workplaces supporting family, ‘father's want and need a different deal for real progress.’ Great panel.
5. Chloe went on to say, 'recruitment based on skills not the chronology or dates of your CV is a far more inclusive way forward.'
6. I posed this panel a question on ‘how to tackle the disgruntled male employees I come across consulting on gender inequality in the workplace.’ The wonderful Claudia Iton’s response, ‘When you’ve experienced privilege all your life, equality can feel like discrimination.’
7. ‘People with disabilities are often given token jobs so that the disability box can be ticked.’ Sharing some wonderful examples of powerful training & development to open people’s minds, Caroline Harper of Sight Savers.