The BBC’s director of creative diversity June Sarpong has been confirmed as the keynote speaker at a major event in Leicester to help local businesses recruit and retain a more diverse workforce.
A free two-day conference later this month, Make Diversity Your Business aims to help companies who want to access, hire or promote some of the most talented students and graduates from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
It is the first in a series of high-profile events run as part of the Leicester Future Leaders programme, a collaboration between De Montfort University Leicester (DMU), businesses Freeths, Brewin Dolphin, Eileen Richards Recruitment and co – funded by the Office for Students.
Over the two days, delegates will discover how to:
• Bring greater diversity to the workforce
• Increase connectivity by building diverse teams
• Become connected with a broader client base
• See their website and brand through fresh eyes
• Become the Leicester business that graduates want to work for
The conference takes place at the Marriott Hotel in Leicester on February 26 and 27 from 10am to 3.30pm. Delegates can book for both days or single days.
The event will include interactive workshops, training, networking and the chance to share best practice and ideas. Graduates and students from DMU will join recruitment experts in leading sessions and workshops covering topics such as unconscious bias, and strength-based recruitment.
Vanessa Haye, project manager for Leicester’s Future Leaders, said: “This event is for businesses who want to become the employer of choice for students and graduates. We know there is a wealth of talent in Leicester’s communities but this is not currently reflected in the makeup of Leicester’s business community.
“This two-day event will help unpick the reasons behind that and be of real, practical benefit to companies of all sizes. We could not be happier that June Sarpong has agreed to be our keynote speaker. She is a real champion for diversity and inclusion in the workplace and I think she will help inspire businesses who want to make a change.”
Emma Anderson, director at Freeths, said: “Businesses need to understand how it benefits them. Everybody wants to get something out of it, and people often say; ‘What’s in it for us?
“There is fierce competition to recruit graduates, and you will only get the best graduates if you are open to everybody, and have a recruitment process that doesn’t discriminate.”
June Sarpong, who became an OBE this year for services to broadcasting, works to ensure the BBC’S output represents minority communities, and increasing representation among staff involved in commissioning and production. She will deliver the keynote speech on Thursday February 27.