Inclusion starts with you

In the past 12 months we’ve all been challenged.

As individuals, our day-to-day lives have altered beyond recognition; as a collective, we have had our eyes opened to the privileges some hold and the unconscious biases that impact others; and as an industry we are navigating obstacles at every turn.

Join us for the Retail Week Be Inspired Virtual Conference 2021 on June 8 to prepare for retail’s exciting new chapter and take the first step towards invoking real change in yourself, your business and the world around you.

Themes for this year include:

  • Allyship
  • Privilege and unconscious bias
  • Taking care of your mental health
  • The power of empathy
  • Upskilling and reskilling
  • Identifying your strengths

At a time when creating an environment where everyone feels supported and empowered couldn’t be more important, this is a must-attend event.

First-look agenda: morning sessions

10am

Chair welcome

The difference between diversity and inclusion and why it’s vital you know it

Join us as we kick off our 2021 Be Inspired Virtual Conference with a galvanising opener on the distinction between diversity and inclusion and why if you are focused on one, you absolutely must be focused on the other in equal measure.

10.05am

Short film screening

Retail’s real role models: showcasing the diversity of roles, people and stories in this dynamic sector

In between each of our sessions today we will hear from retail’s real role models. From the hurdles they’ve jumped over and the biases they’ve faced, to their greatest achievements and what they believe an inclusive future holds, our short film series will give a true insight into the people that really make retail what it is.

10.08am

Keynote

Allies: how to find them and how to be one

Do you know how to support your friends and colleagues who might be the targets of prejudice? Are you getting the balance right between amplifying issues when they need shouting about and staying quiet in order to listen when you need to?

Join us as we delve into the concept of allyship. We will look at how you can engage with this work on a continuing basis, how to empower others and why it is ok to feel a bit uncomfortable along the way.


Speaker: Leng Montgomery, D&I specialist and former D&I lead at ASOS

10.23am

Short film screening

Retail’s real role models: showcasing the diversity of roles, people and stories in this dynamic sector

10.25am

Panel

Taking a stand: how to speak out with confidence when you need to

Our previous workshops have helped you build your confidence and muster gravitas, but how do you harness the power of these when you need to take a stand on an issue?

It is not always easy to speak out against authority, without feeling you may jeopardise your job, but it is something many people have to do over the course of their career. Hear from leaders in retail as they candidly share how they assert themselves and offer tips on how you can too.


    Speakers:
  • Clodagh Moriarty, retail and digital director, Sainsbury’s
  • Lucy Aylen, founder and chief executive, Neverfullydressed
  • Sally-Anne Newson, chief digital officer, Reiss

10.50am

Break

Take five minutes to grab a coffee, let the dog out or check a few emails before we are back on.

10.55am

Interactive session

Privilege and unconscious bias: find out yours

Nobody likes to think of themselves as privileged and even less so that they might harbour an unconscious bias towards someone else, but the truth is that privilege and bias affect everyone.

Being aware of these things can be the first step towards creating a more equitable future. Join us as we examine these notions and look introspectively to learn more about yourself as a result.

11.15am

Short film screening

Retail’s real role models: showcasing the diversity of roles, people and stories in this dynamic sector

11.18am

Panel

Beyond positive Instagram posts: how to really take care of your mental health

There is a lot of talk on social media around how to look after yourself mentally and an abundance of tips: go for walks, take a bath, read a book, no screens after 8pm, and so on. It is good to be reminded of these pillars of self-care, but when you have deadlines looming and 10 meetings to cram into one day, how do you really take care of your mental health?

Join our panel of leaders as they reveal how to juggle high-powered positions while maintaining a sense of calm.

11.43am

Short film screening

Retail’s real role models: showcasing the diversity of roles, people and stories in this dynamic sector

11.45am

Fireside chat

Career defining: the people and advice that shaped me as a leader

In our final session of the morning we will chat to a retail stalwart about their career. We will hear about the moments that challenged them most, the times they felt most proud and how they built the name and reputation they have today.

12pm

Chair announces a break for lunch

First-look agenda: afternoon sessions

2pm

Chair welcomes back

2.05pm

Short film screening

Retail’s real role models: showcasing the diversity of roles, people and stories in this dynamic sector

In between each of our sessions today we will hear from retail’s real role models. From the hurdles they’ve jumped over and the biases they’ve faced, to their greatest achievements and what they believe an inclusive future holds, our short film series will give a true insight into the people that really make retail what it is.

2.08pm

Keynote

What will the retail sector look like in five years’ time? How you can make a difference

A new retail sector is emerging as a result of the pandemic. Consumers are placing a greater emphasis on purpose, sustainability and responsible retailing, and spending online has increased.

How can you be ready for this transformation and ensure you are best placed to make the most of it? And how can we lift the sector up together? Find out here.

2.23pm

Short film screening

Retail’s real role models: showcasing the diversity of roles, people and stories in this dynamic sector

2.25pm

Panel

Inclusion is everyone’s responsibility: changing company culture from within

We all know by now that culture is not just the responsibility of HR teams. But how do you go about making a difference when your role has nothing to do with diversity and inclusion?

What can every individual do to influence this agenda? In this panel we will bring business leaders together to share their best tips on what you can do to make your workplace more inclusive and how to get leaders to buy into your ideas.


Speakers:

  • Joanna Allen, chief executive, Graze
  • Albert Larter, co-founder, Wakuda

2.50pm

Break

Take five minutes to grab a coffee, let the dog out or check a few emails before we are back on.

2.55pm

Interactive session

TBC

3.15pm

Short film screening

Retail’s real role models: showcasing the diversity of roles, people and stories in this dynamic sector

3.18pm

Panel

Upskilling, reskilling and adding more strings to your bow: how to turbocharge your personal development

Our careers are ever-evolving and opportunities to develop can often be found in places you might not have thought to look. You do not necessarily have to go on 20 training courses a year in order to enhance your chances for progression.

In this session we will hear from leaders who have founded companies on how they spotted opportunities and their best tips on adding more strings to your bow.


Speakers:

  • Tessa Clarke, co-founder, Olio
  • Mandeep Singh, founder, Trouva
  • Victoria Jenkins, founder, Unhidden Clothing, and brand ambassador for Models of Diversity

3.43pm

Short film screening

Retail’s real role models: showcasing the diversity of roles, people and stories in this dynamic sector

3.45pm

Fireside chat

Finding your authentic self and bringing that to your every day

Referred to by Elle magazine as a 'millennial mastermind’, Chidera Eggerue, also known as 'The Slumflower', is an award-winning blogger and author with a fast-growing audience of over 100,000 across her social media accounts. She is one speaker who is NOT afraid to tell you what she thinks.

In this exclusive fireside chat she will share how you can do the same.


We will cover:

  • Identifying what makes you, you
  • Asking for help where relevant
  • Being OK with disappointing people
  • Having difficult conversations with those around you when you need to

Chidera Eggerue, blogger and author, The Slumflower

4pm

Chair closing message

Workshops during the Be Inspired Virtual Conference

On June 7 and 9 we are running a host of inspiring online interactive events to get involved in. Please note you will be contacted in advance by email if you are eligible to attend. See below for more details.

The Be Inspired D&I Hackathon

In this virtual workshop aimed at D&I professionals, HR experts and business leaders, we are going to ‘hack’ the world of diversity and inclusion.

Expect insight, creativity and most importantly tangible actions ('a hack') to take back to your workplace. You will leave with a three-point plan on how to achieve inclusivity and understand the humans behind your employees.

Monday June 7

12pm

Welcome and introduction

12.05pm

Presentation

The lived experiences of our colleagues are so nuanced, so how do we achieve true inclusivity?

12.25pm

The Hack

Participants are split off into three groups to discuss and suggest solutions.

  • Group one: Inclusivity often requires a change in company culture. How do you do this? This discussion will focus on successes and pitfalls you have found with influencing company culture
  • Group two: What are the ways to support underrepresented communities within your workplace in an inclusive way without marginalising them further? This discussion will focus on creating networking groups, sponsors and forums – what works and what doesn’t
  • Group three: What do colleagues need to see from their leaders to believe they truly stand by inclusivity? This discussion will focus on getting real buy-in from stakeholders and ensuring they are not simply paying lip service

1.10pm

Group comes back together and nominated leads share ideas for discussion – 10 minutes on each topic

1.40pm

Retail Week chair sums up the 'hack'. This will involve a three-point plan around:

  • Culture
  • Groups
  • Leadership buy-in

1.45pm

Finish

The Be Inspired Senior Leadership Academy workshop, run in association with retailTRUST

Join us for another thought-provoking workshop as part of the Senior Leadership Academy programme. This time we will be joined by expert speakers from retailTRUST who will share their knowledge and offer up a blueprint for guiding your team through change.

Please note: this workshop is for those already on the Be Inspired Senior Leadership Academy programme. If your business would like to get involved, please email Tiffany.Gumbrell@retail-week.com.

Wednesday June 9

12-1.30pm

Dealing with uncertainty and bringing your team through challenges

Since the first lockdown happened in March 2020, the world of work has changed beyond recognition. As things start resembling the normality we recognise from pre-pandemic times, how do you keep your team on board and ensure we don't just go back to 'business as usual' but take the best of both worlds into the new?

In this session, in collaboration with retailTRUST, we will look at:

  • What needs to be front of mind when navigating a period of change
  • How to motivate your team when uncertainty is still rife
  • How to acknowledge vulnerability within your colleagues and yourself
  • Ensuring an open dialogue around mental health when people might be fearful of losing their jobs

Speakers to be confirmed

Speed Mentoring

Our speed mentors are back for another year and will be ready and waiting to share their insightful knowledge and advice.

These short mentoring sessions are available only to attendees from our retail partners. You will be contacted if you are eligible to attend. If you would like your business to partner with us, please get in touch with Tiffany Gumbrell.

Wednesday June 9

2pm-4pm

Speed mentoring

This is an opportunity for our attendees to join a host of Be Inspired ambassadors and other retail leaders for 10 minutes of one-on-one mentoring. Participants will be matched up in advance and have a short period of time to video chat with our experts who will be ready to answer any burning career questions put to them.

For more information on Conference partnership opportunities,
please email tiffany.gumbrell@retail-week.com or call 020 3033 2227

Watch sessions from last year’s conference on demand

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