Northern Ireland’s Inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Summit

Northern Ireland’s Inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Summit

Diversity Mark NI recently hosted the Inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Summit at Titanic Belfast, the first of its kind to take place in Northern Ireland.

The Inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Summit 2020

Highlights of our wonderful Diversity & Inclusion Summit 2020 sponsored by Danske Bank UK Allstate Northern Ireland Gilbert-Ash & Denroy Plastics

Posted by Diversity Mark NI on Wednesday, March 4, 2020

The Summit examined the crucial issue of Diversity and Inclusion going ‘Beyond the Tick Box’ and the event was formally opened by David Sterling, Head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

David Sterling spoke passionately about the jouney that the Northern Ireland Civil Service has been on and that he wanted the organisation’s Diversity to be reflective of society by creating a truly inclusive workplace culture.

The event kicked off with Laura Bates Founder of the The Everyday Sexism Project speaking to the 200 attendees that attitudes are very much ingrained and we have to recognize that diversity and inclusion should be embedded into the culture of our organisations if we want to see real change.

It can not just be ticking a box, mentioning it once now and then, it has to be turning up and walking the walk

Laura Bates, Founder of The Everyday Sexism Project

The first informative and thought provoking panel discussion examined the theme ‘What a tick box culture looks like’ and included David Sterling, Head of the NICS, Evelyn Collins CBE, Chief Executive of the Equality Commission NI and David Johnston, Head of Equality, Diversity & Inclusion at the PSNI. The theme strongly shining through was that for Diversity to be effective organisations need active and authentic visible leaders.

Dr Wendy Austin with Evelyn Collins CBE, Chief Executive of the Equality Commission NI, David Sterling, Head of the NICS, and David Johnston, Head of Equality, Diversity & inclusion PSNI

Professor Ruth Sealy, University of Exeter then spoke about the importance of Diversity and Inclusion starting with data, and that we shouldn’t make assumptions. We should strive for a clear understanding of our data and then work towards a focused evidence based plan.

A clarity of focus and the importance of bringing your full self to work through deepening your own understanding of peoples lived experience was a key discussion on the ‘How to avoid a tick box culture’ panel with Fergal McFerran, NI Account Manager at Stonewall, Jill Minne Strategic HR Director, NICS and Professor Ruth Sealy.

Our keynote speaker Lord Davies of Abersoch gave a very insightful speech on how to be futuristic leaders and that we should embrace Diversity if we want to attract and retain top talent and protect our brands moving into the coming years.

Lord Davies of Abersoch, CBE

We are overwhelmed with the feedback from the Inaugural Summit and we are look forward to planning the next one which will be held on Friday 12th February 2021 at Titanic Belfast.

“The Summit was one of my top ever events

“I found this event inspirational and authentic”

“The speakers provided a very balanced view on diversity in the workplace”

“Linking very well back to company performance and bottom line”


SPONSOR IMAGE Nichola Robinson, Chair of Diversity Mark NI with Ray Hutchinson, Gilbert-Ash, Donna-Marie Gill, Danske Bank, Keith Lippert, Allstate, Philip Steele, Denroy and Christine White, Head of Business at Diversity Mark NI
The Diversity Mark NI Team with the Summit speakers

Contact Christine White, Head of Business on christine@diversity-mark-ni.co.uk to find out how your business could benefit from achieving and maintaining the Mark of Progress.


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