Greater diversity drives business forward

More than 200 individuals from the public, private, third and charity sectors came together for Scotland’s second Diversity Conference, organised by The Herald and GenAnalytics in association with Standard Life Aberdeen.

Participants in yesterday’s event heard about how greater diversity drives business performance and supports sustainable economic growth.

Recent figures suggest individuals with a disability are less likely to be employed than able bodied people, while ethnic minorities are still underrepresented in workplaces.

There continues to be serious examples of discrimination and bullying of LGBT Scots. The gender pay gap is also stubbornly high in Scotland at 16 per cent.

Event sponsors described the conference as “brilliant”.

Lynne Connolly, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Standard Life Aberdeen, said: “It was a brilliant day at the conference – we’ve learnt a lot, met some inspiring people and come away with great ideas about how we can continue to develop our diversity agenda.”

Roy Gardner, Executive Director for Corporate Development and Innovation at City of Glasgow College, said: “What a stimulating and thought-provoking event. We encourage social mobility and improved life chances by providing direct links to industry as well as training staff and our students with high-level skills which will benefit the economy in the longer term.”

Pamela Scott, Diageo’s Global Operational Excellence Strategy and Standards Director, added: “As a speaker at this year’s Diversity Conference I am delighted to be given this fantastic platform to share insights into Diageo’s diversity and inclusion agenda.”

Katy Wedderburn, Head of Employment at MacRoberts, described this year’s line-up of speakers as “extremely impressive” and said she had been looking forward to hearing about the initiatives that can help Scotland become a more diverse and welcoming country “for all to live and work in”.

Andreyana Ivanova, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Royal Mail, said: “We are honoured to be supporting the second Diversity Conference and contribute to Scotland’s ambitions for a more inclusive workplace and society.”

Sarah McNulty, HR Operations Director at ScottishPower, said: “We’ve enjoyed being part of a fantastic day. It’s inspired us to keep challenging ourselves and trying new things that will make a difference to our employees, customers and society as a whole.”

Karen Murray, Head of National Training Programme Development at Skills Development Scotland, said: “This year’s Diversity Conference was an inspirational celebration of difference, full of ideas and impressive practice which we believe has the power to chance Scotland’s workforce and create more opportunities.”

Audrey Ross, Sales and Marketing Director for Taylor Wimpey West Scotland, said: “This year’s event and break-out sessions have allowed us to engage with a wide range of businesses to exchange ideas and learn more about the wide range of initiatives that are under way to reinforce diversity and inclusion within our respective organisations.”