Minister to open Business Disability Forum conference

Minister to open Business Disability Forum conference

Sarah Newton MP, Minister of State for Disability, Health and Work, will be opening Business Disability Forum’s annual conference taking place in London on 18th April 2018, exploring what the modern workplace means for business and their disabled employees and customers.

Sponsored by HSBC, the ‘Disability in the modern workplace’ conference will examine and evaluate the opportunities and risks posed by automation, flexible working, Brexit and other factors at work in 2018 and beyond.

The conference includes a ‘Question Time’ panel on the future of work chaired by acclaimed former newscaster Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, as well as speakers from leading organisations including Microsoft, Barclays, EY, Shell and GlaxoSmithKline.

Speakers will join experts from Business Disability Forum in discussing changes to the workforce and how crucial gains made for disability inclusion over the last 25 years can be preserved and built upon as the world changes.

The theme for the annual conference was chosen in light of the unprecedented rate of change in workplaces around the world, with technological advances, automation and the growth of a new gig economy meaning the term ‘disability-smart’ has taken on a different meaning.

“It’s critically important that we have the voice of government at this event as well as the voices of disabled people, businesses and the third sector.”

Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer at Business Disability Forum, said :

“We are delighted to be welcoming the Minister Sarah Newton to our conference as a keynote speaker, as it’s critically important that we have the voice of government at this event as well as the voices of disabled people, businesses and the third sector.

“We have chosen to build our flagship conference for 2018 around ‘Disability in the modern workplace’ because this the best possible time for us to come together and consider the future of disability and work. With Brexit looming, this is a topic we feel must be addressed with urgency.”

Delegates with hear from Brendan Roach, Senior Disability Consultant at Business Disability Forum as he discusses how global organisations can get it right for people regardless of where they are in the world with Georgia Silk, Senior Diversity and Inclusion Advisor at Shell and Victoria Smith, Head of Talent at the Foreign & Commonwealth office.

Dr Philip Friend OBE FRSA, the UK’s foremost consultant on disability matters, Kate Nash OBE, Networkologist and Creator of PurpleSpace and Bela Gor, Head of Campaigns & Resources and Legal, Business Disability Forum, will discuss career development courses specifically designed for disabled people.

It’s sure to be an interesting and informative day.

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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