ExxonMobil, BT, Barclays Bank, Canon UK and the Gatwick Diamond Initiative have joined forces with Roffey Park, Crawley College and Prowse & Co to support the inaugural Gatwick Diamond Skills Summit on Friday 9th March.
The event, hosted by Canon UK in Reigate, Surrey will focus on the theme ‘Diversity Brings Dividends’ and is open for local business leaders, HR professionals, educationalists and policy-makers wishing to address the business benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Speakers from Roffey Park will bring delegates up-to-date with the latest research on diversity and inclusion within the workplace, whilst Maggie Philbin OBE, will speak about the importance of encouraging more young people and women into STEM careers.
Delegates will also hear what other businesses are doing to tackle diversity issues. This will include how to retain and retrain older workers; how to address gender pay gaps and how to encourage more applicants from the ‘millennial’ generations and BAME groups to apply for Apprenticeships roles.
As the focus on diversity and inclusivity within society continues to be a hot topic, there is a growing recognition that more should be done locally too. Joanne Rogers, Managing Director of PR consultancy Prowse and Co. who has created this event, believes companies need to take a more progressive approach.
Joanne says: “Businesses that create inclusive workplaces which enable people from all backgrounds to flourish, are far more likely to have positive reputations. This enables them to attract and retain a variety of high calibre employees, particularly in a competitive labour market and a more diverse client base.”
Emma Machin of ExxonMobil agrees and is pleased to support the event. She says: “At ExxonMobil we consider our employees to be our greatest asset. We believe that the diversity and inclusion of thought, skill, knowledge and culture across our company facilitates innovation and is a key competitive advantage. Our diversity and inclusion efforts are comprehensive both internally, through our educational and community partnerships and across the Oil and Gas sector, and we are pleased to share our experiences with others.”
Rosemary French OBE, Executive Director of the Gatwick Diamond Initiative which covers parts of Surrey, West Sussex and East Sussex, says: “The Gatwick Diamond has one of the strongest local economies in the UK and is home to 45,000 businesses and 500 international businesses. With increasing economic pressures and Brexit on the horizon, now is the time for businesses to look at future-proofing their sustainability by unlocking the potential of the whole UK workforce to fill skills gaps and to help them compete overseas.”
Julie Kapsalis, Group Managing Director of Crawley College is pleased to support the event. She says: “As business leaders, we have a responsibility to inspire people from all backgrounds and ages to develop their skills and have the confidence to grasp the career opportunities there are locally. We have to start that focus now as there is more work to be done to ensure more equal representation within business, particularly at senior levels.”
To discover more about the Gatwick Diamond Skills Summit and to attend this event, please visit www.gatwickdiamondskills.co.uk