State of the sector: diversity

12 February 2019

The second seminar will focus on diversity

This event is now sold out! Please email [email protected] to register for the waiting list.


Often ‘diversity’ is used as a buzzword that allows for tokenism instead of genuine and lasting change. State of the Sector: Diversity provides a space for charity leaders to move beyond the media-speak, develop an in-depth understanding of the need for and benefits of diversity, and plan practical courses of action to build a sector that centres equality, diversity and inclusion.


Download the brochure and booking form



12 February 2019

  • 8.20AM - 8.50AM
    Registration, morning coffee & networking

    Registration, morning coffee & networking

  • 8.50AM - 9.00AM
    Chair's welcome

    Helen Moulinos, chief operations officer, Stonewall

  • 9.00AM - 9.30AM
    Empowering you, your staff, volunteers and beneficiaries to champion inclusivity
    • The importance of intersectional understanding of diversity
    • Life in the UK for a BAME trans person
    • Living every day as an inclusivity leader – day to day actions, language and attitudes to promote equality, diversity and inclusion 
    • Developing and delivering training in building safe spaces for BAME trans staff, volunteers and beneficiaries
    • Who is not here? Understanding how to take the conversation beyond this room to colleagues and peers 
    Sabah Choudrey, queer and trans writer and speaker, community activist
  • 9.30AM - 10.00AM
    Diversity Leadership Strategy
    • Understanding that true diversity is about breadth of thought, new ideas and encouraging debate, not box ticking and token collecting
    • Placing equality, diversity and inclusivity as an integral part of your development plan
    • Reflecting on what practices may be occurring in your organisation which are a barrier to true inclusivity
    • Building networks with other organisations to promote diversity
    • Setting targets and properly resourcing equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives
    Girish Menon, chief executive, ActionAid UK
  • 10.00AM - 10.30AM
    Promoting the workplace wellbeing of people who experience discrimination
    • Understanding that people with different and intersecting protected characteristics experience differing emotional and psychological needs
    • Creating open safe spaces with leadership buy-in
    • Combatting denial of the validity of people’s experiences
    • Assessing how isolation can impact performance and wellbeing – importance of having more than one person with a given protected characteristic
    Alison Lowe, chief executive, Touchstone Mental Health
  • 10.30AM - 10.50AM
    Coffee and networking break
    Coffee and networking break
  • 10.50AM - 11.20AM
    Improving access and inclusivity to staff who have access requirements, who are deaf or disabled, or who have a long-term health condition
    Making positive steps to attract and promote staff who have access requirements, who are deaf or disabled, or who have a long-term health condition
    Understanding the practical implications of individual needs among staff who have access requirements, who are deaf or disabled, or who have a long-term health condition
    Implementing practical ways to improve the accessibility and inclusiveness of your workplace, its policies and procedures 
    Assessing the importance and impact of reasonable adjustments and flexible working arrangements in the workplace

    Suzanne Bull MBE, chief executive, Attitude is Everything
  • 11.20AM - 11.50AM
    If you treasure it, you will measure it
    • Learning how to comprehensively measure diversity, equality and inclusion to understand how your organisation is performing
    • Auditing what level of seniority staff are at, not just how many
    • Auditing your recruitment process and pipeline; who is not applying and why?
    • Improving the progression and retention of diverse staff

    Tessy Ojo, chief executive, Diana Award
  • 11.50AM - 12.45PM
    Recruiting, mentoring and progressing
    • Barrier free recruitment: creating an organisational structure where everyone could be “the right fit”
      • Avoiding unconscious bias and ensure a diverse group of candidates
      • Moving focus away from accolades and towards demonstrated skills
      • Valuing lived experience in staff recruitment
      • Ensuring candidates share organisational values, not organisational culture
      • Establishing an inclusive recruitment audit
    • Making prospective and current staff and trustees feel comfortable, welcome and included: the importance of visibility of diverse people in communications and publicly acknowledging where you need to improve
    • Implementing mentoring schemes and buddying systems to ensure staff and trustees are given the opportunity and circumstances to progress
    Peter Olawaye, Our Future programme lead/trustee, EY Foundation/Leap Confronting Conflict, Karin Woodley, chief executive, Cambridge House, Lorraine Robinson, senior people business partner, Royal Mencap Society, Arabella Chichester, partner and global head of non-profit practice, Perrett Lever


  • Helen Moulinos

    Chief operations officer , Stonewall

    With over 25 years of experience in helping financial services and charities define, negotiate and implement change, Helen has recently joined Stonewall, the largest LGBT rights organisation in Europe, as their Chief Operating Officer.


    Helen has always been an active human rights advocate, believing in the power of an individual’s diversity. Building an inclusive Charity is at the top of her strategic priorities making sure Stonewall practices reflect and respect the rights her activist workforce champion every day. She will help us to explore what lies beyond the buzzword as our Chair and host for the day.

  • Sabah Choudrey

    Queer and trans writer and speaker, community activist

    Sabah is a hairy brown transgender Muslim and likes talking, writing and feelings. Sabah co-founded Trans Pride Brighton in 2013 and made The Rainbow List in 2015, celebrating 101 of the most influential LGBT people in Britain. Sabah has published ‘Inclusivity: Supporting Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic (BAME) Trans People’ and has worked with queer, trans and non-binary youth and charities for over five years. Since then, Sabah has been building a presence across UK and Europe, speaking at TEDx Brixton 2015, ILGA Europe 2016, IDAHOT Brussels 2017, and Malmö Pride 2017/18 about intersectionality, identity and inclusion. Psychotherapist in training. Social justice fighter in training. Top three passions right now: carving out spaces for queer and trans people of colour, making friends with cats, and taking selfies from bad angles. 

    Facebook Sabah Choudrey | Twitter @SabahChoudrey | Instagram @sabah.c |

  • Girish Menon

    Chief executive , ActionAid UK

    Girish Menon, Chief Executive of ActionAid UK, has worked in social development for three decades. He started his career with the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme, an Indian NGO, and followed this with stints at ActionAid, Plan India and DfID India.
    Prior to his current appointment, Girish worked for WaterAid, in London, for ten years. As WaterAid’s deputy CEO and Director of International Programmes, he held responsibility of supporting their work in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia. Girish was trustee on the boards of Water and Sanitation for Urban Poor (WSUP) and People in Aid.  He is currently Trustee of the Disaster and Emergency Committee (DEC) and on the Board of ActionAid Netherlands. 

  • Alison Lowe

    Chief executive , Touchstone

    Alison Lowe has worked with Voluntary Organisations for 28 years. Right now she works as the Chief Executive of Touchstone a Mental Health Charity in Leeds and wider West Yorkshire. Touchstone work with and for people that are affected by mental health problems and they specialise in working with people from different cultural backgrounds. Touchstone have received multiple awards for their work in inclusion and diversity, including the number 1 spot in the 2016 and 2017 UK Top 50 Most Inclusive Employers Award and the 2018 National Diversity Award for Most Diverse Company.  They are a Stonewall Top 100 LGBT-Friendly Employer for the 5th year running and are again a Sunday Times Best Company to work for 2018, being placed 9th nationally. Additionally, Touchstone were judged to be Investors in People Platinum at their latest assessment – only the third organisation in Yorkshire to gain this accolade and one of six charities nationally.

  • Suzanne Bull MBE

    Founder , Attitude is Everything

    is the Founder-Director of Attitude is Everything, growing a short term pilot programme into a fully-fledged charitable organisation, over 18 years.  

    She is disabled and has both a personal and professional interest in improving access to live music.  

    Attitude is Everything improves Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music by working in partnership with audience, artists and the music industry.  Their Vision is that Deaf and Disabled People can be audience members, employees or artists at any live music event of their choice: music without barriers. 
    She was honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list in June 2013 for services to music, arts and disabled people.  She was also awarded Access All Areas Editor’s Award at the Event Production Awards 2015.  
    2017 was quite a year for Suzanne!  In February, she was appointed as one of the Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health’s Sector Champions, who help to tackles the issues disabled people face as consumers.  Suzanne represents the music industry, and she will use her influential status as a leader in her industry to promote the benefits of being inclusive to disabled people.  In May, she was listed in Power 100 - Britain’s most influential disabled people, and then listed in She Said So’s Alternative Power 100 List – celebrating the music industry’s unheard voices - and then in that same November, she was enrolled in Music Week’s Women In Music Awards Roll Of Honour – built is to provide lasting recognition to the executives who work hard to further both the interests of women in the music industry and the industry itself.  

  • Tessy Ojo

    Chief executive , The Diana Award

    Tessy Ojo is the Chief Executive of the Diana Award - a charity legacy to Diana, Princess of Wales’ belief that young people have the power to change the world. The Diana Award’s mission is to foster, develop and inspire positive change in the lives of young people.

    Tessy is a passionate and practical campaigner who has gained an international reputation for ‘fostering positive change in the lives of young people’ 'and the impact it has on communities around them. At the heart of her work is the belief that with the right support and investment, young people are the best instigators for achieving real, sustainable change in their lives, their communities and the lives of their peers. 

    Tessy is a member of the BBC’s Appeals Advisory Committee which reports to the BBC’s Executive Board. She is also a member of The Royal Taskforce on Cyberbullying, an Executive member of UKCISS (UK Council For Child Internet Safety), a trustee of Comic Relief and a number of charities including Generation Change, a coalition of charities with a focus on Quality Youth Social Action. 

  • Karin Woodley

    Chief executive , Cambridge House

    Karin has 30 years’ leadership experience in the third sector. She received the Excellence in Diversity Lifetime Achiever Award in 2016 and is Chief Executive of Cambridge House, a Southwark-based social action charity. Her board memberships include Locality and the Office of the Public Guardian, she is Vice Chair of Community Southwark and a member of the Healthwatch Southwark and the Wellcome Trust’s Understanding Patient Data steering committees. Karin was previously Chief Executive of ContinYou, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, the Tabernacle Centre for Arts and Learning and the Minorities’ Arts Advisory Service. Past non-executive directorships include appointments to the Council of the Economic and Social Research Council and the Legal Services Board Consumer Panel.

  • Lorraine Robinson

    Senior people business partner , Royal Mencap Society

    An experienced HR professional, Lorraine commenced working life in the charity sector, but has also worked in local and regional government before returning to the charity sector.  Learning her trade from the bottom up, Lorraine progressed to positions of seniority, where she established a reputation for delivering high quality strategic and operational HR solutions to organisations. 
    In her roles, Lorraine has been able access and analyse employment data and practices that evidence disproportionately impacts or excludes specific sections of the workforce. Passionate about fair-play and justice, Lorraine has a strong track record of promoting EDI in policy and in practices, and has continually strived to ensure HR practices are fair and transparent.  
    As a qualified workplace mediator Lorraine supports organisations to secure informal resolutions to employee relations cases, as an alternative to formal conflict management, which disproportionately impact BAME staff.
    Lorraine is also a Trustee for a Children’s Charity and an associate member of Diverse Matters. 

  • Peter Olawaye

    Our Future programme lead/trustee , EY Foundation/Leap Confronting Conflict

    Peter has more than eight years’ experience working with underrepresented groups, particularly young people. This involved working on projects with the Hackney Council for Voluntary Service, Met Police, British Youth Council and Elevation Networks. His previous roles includes being a programme manager for social action charity Envision, setting up and running his own social enterprise for four years as well as volunteering in prisons across the UK supporting inmates to make better life choices and reduce chances of reoffending. He currently serves as a trustee for Leap Confronting Conflict and is a programme lead for the EY Foundation, supporting young people as risk of becoming NEET into employment.

  • Arabella Chichester

    Partner and global head of non-profit practice , Perrett Laver

    Arabella is a Partner and Head of the Global Non-Profit Practice. Her experience of senior level executive search includes Board, Chief Executive and Senior Leadership appointments across the Global Non-Profit Practice.  Arabella holds a MA (Hons) in Ancient History from the University of Edinburgh and a PG Dip in Psychology at the Institute of Education, University of London.


Great ways to save!

  1. Be an early bird!
    Book your place by 18 January to save up to £80 off the ticket price.
Ticket type Early bird (booking made by 18 January) Booking after 18 January
Charity rate £99 £179
Non-charity rate £349 £499


For sponsorship and exhibition queries contact Yvette Micallef 

For speaker queries contact Isabella Lewis

For registration queries contact Carys Pugh

For media partnerships and marketing queries contact Kirsty Brown

Terms & Conditions

Please note that speakers and topics were confirmed at the time of publishing, however, circumstances beyond the control of the organisers may necessitate substitutions, alterations or cancellations of the speakers and/or topics. As such Civil Society Media Ltd reserves the right to alter or modify the advertised speakers and/or topics if necessary. Any substitutions or alterations will be updated on our web page as soon as possible. Substitution and cancellation policy: On receipt of your booking form, your place is confirmed. Delegate substitutions are allowed. Refunds on cancellations will only be issued (less a 15% administration charge) up to and including 14 days prior to the event. Refunds will not be issued after this date. Confirmation of cancellations MUST be in writing and sent or faxed to Civil Society Media at 15 Prescott Place, London, SW4 6BS 020 7819 1200 (fax: 020 7819 1210).