Book with Evolve for a chance to win a £500 One4All gift voucher. Terms & Conditions
Close Close icon
Blogs

A Selection of our Leading Diversity & Inclusion Speakers

In today’s society, diversity and inclusion has never been more important. With an increasing number of people not fitting into traditional ‘norms’. This can have a detrimental affect on their mental health and wellbeing. Educating those who are uninformed is important to help us all understand more about people’s identity, ethnic background, and sexuality.

Benny Lawrence
13 Feb 2023
Top Speakers

As a number of famous faces have encountered challenges in their lives and opened up publicly, they are ideal role models. From sporting stars to academics, businesspeople and more, these are the perfect figureheads to help those suffering, overcome their struggles, and be comfortable with who they are. They can share their experiences and reinforce that no one is alone in their feelings, and that help will always be on hand. With this in mind, we’ve put together a selection of some of our leading diversity and inclusion speakers, who are guaranteed to inspire your audience at your next event.

Mark Foster

Mark Foster

Winning countless World Championship medals, Mark Foster is one of Britain’s greatest swimmers. Since his retirement from professional sport, he has also been a popular broadcaster and pundit for some of the sport’s biggest events. As a recognisable face in the sporting world and British TV, it came as no surprise that he made headlines when he publicly came out as gay in 2017.

Mark’s international career started aged 15 when in 1985, he was selected to represent Great Britain. In 1990, he went onto win a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland, and quicky established himself as one of the most successful British swimmers of his generation. He won six World Championship titles; 11 European Championship titles and two Commonwealth titles. Mark has also become a popular TV personality, appearing on the likes of Strictly Come Dancing, Through the Keyhole and Celebrity Juice.

The public’s reception to Mark opening-up about his sexuality was mostly met with love and support, however in his speaking engagements he can talk about the emotions he felt before he made this brave decision. Not knowing how it would be received, Mark can share his experiences both before and after he opened up about his sexuality.

Dr Justin Bengry

Dr Justin Bengry

Justin Bengry is a leading historian and director of the ‘Centre for Queer History’ at Goldsmith, University of London. He is widely recognised for his expertise and academic writing and research on the subject.

Additional to his insightful and impressive research, Justin also convenes the world’s first MA in Queer History and has advised on the topic for programmes on the BBC and Channel 4. He has also worked as a consultant for art and film producers, and his work has frequently appeared across peer-reviewed journals, edited collections, international newspapers, and multiple online media. Justin is credited for his efforts to make academic research accessible and relevant to the wider public through community outreach projects, for example through the internationally recognised blog, NOTCHES.

Justin is an expert in the field, making him the perfect speaker for any diversity and inclusion event. With a wealth of expertise on the topic, he is able to approach it with factual information, making his speeches academically detailed. As a result, this provides audiences with a clearer understanding of the subject.

Asif Sadiq MBE

Asif Sadiq

An award-winning diversity and inclusion expert, Asif has built a career by helping some of the world’s biggest institutions be more inclusive throughout their operations.

Asif currently works as WarnerMedia’s Senior Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and is regarded as one of the leading diversity and inclusion keynote speakers around. He is regularly booked to captivate audiences by bringing a number of social issues to light. Asif joined the newspaper group The Telegraph as Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging in 2018. His enthusiasm and dedication to discussing hate speech, hate crimes and equality have been fundamental in paving the way for a more inclusive and diverse future in Britain.

Asif ensures that perspectives and experiences are heard across companies, which as a result, initiates needed cultural changes in business.

Kellie Maloney

Kellie Maloney

English boxing promoter and TV personality, Kellie Maloney is now also one of the most highly rated transgender diversity speakers on the circuit. Bravely and honestly opening up about her transition journey in a worldwide exclusive with The Daily Mirror, Kellie appeared on the front page for 3 consecutive days.

With her small stature, it didn’t take Kellie long to realise that the boxing ring was not for her. She therefore turned to promotion in the sport, and promoted a number of boxers to various British, European and Commonwealth titles. Arguably her greatest success was promoting Lennox Lewis and guiding him to the title of heavyweight champion of the world. In addition to her sporting career, Kellie has also become a popular TV personality, and has starred on the likes of Celebrity Masterchef and Knockout Blonde, a documentary about her life and transition.

With the forefront of her career being in the traditionally male dominated sport of boxing, Kellie is no stranger to being in a minority. She is able to relate to the attention that this draws, which in her speaking both helps those facing adversity, and educates others in the importance of its acceptance.

Nicola Adams OBE

Nicola Adams

As an inspirational boxer who made sporting history at the Olympic Games, Nicola Adams is now also regarded as one of the most influential LGBT+ athletes of all time, and a force on the diversity speaking circuit.

Nicola rose to fame in 2012 when she became the first female boxing champion at the London Olympics. Her success continued as she went onto achieve gold at the Word Championships, European Championships, Commonwealth Games, and Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where she defended her Olympic title from her previous win. These victories made her simultaneously hold every amateur medal available to her at the time. Openly lesbian, Nicola became the first LGBT+ boxer to ever become Olympic champion. Since her retirement, she has become a popular TV personality, appearing as a pundit at a number of high-profile boxing fights, as well as on primetime shows. In 2012, she competed in Strictly Come Dancing, where she made history as she was a part of the first same-sex couple to appear on the show.

Having embraced her sexuality and made history in both the sporting and media worlds, Nicola is an exceptional motivator for those struggling in the face of adversity. She can use her experiences and successes to help others follow in her footsteps and be comfortable with who they are.

Richard Whitehead MBE

Richard Whitehead

Richard Whitehead is a paralympic and world champion athlete. Despite being born with only the top half of his legs, his determination, and drive to achieve success is inspirational for everyone. He has set world records for double-amputee athletes in both half and full marathons, as well as shorter distances. Richard’s achievements include four World Championship gold medals in the 200m; two Paralympic gold medals in the 200m T42; two Paralympic silver medals; and three European Championship titles.

Working as an ambassador and patron for a variety of disability charities, Richard is exceptional at understanding and relating to the difficulties people face. He uses his experiences of how he overcame such obstacles to help others in society today, making him a perfect speaker on diversity and inclusion.

Kanya King MBE

Kanya King

Kanya King is the CEO and founder of MOBO Group, an organisation that is globally recognised as a leading entertainment and culture company which celebrates black excellence and culture. She is also an experienced and accomplished public speaker and one of the most popular on the topics of diversity and inclusion.

Kanya has established herself as one of the most influential black women in Britain today and was voted by the Evening Standard as one of London’s Most Entrepreneurial Women. She also founded the MOBO Awards – an annual celebration which recognises and honours the artistic and technical achievements of black talent in music. Kanya has championed diversity and inclusion at events around the world for a variety of organisations and corporations. She has addressed the likes of the British Library, Universities, Morgan Stanley, and the Scottish Institute for Expertise.

As a leading diversity and inclusion speaker, Kanya has a wealth of experience in helping businesses better understand their employees and to ensure they feel welcome in the workplace.

Harnaam Kaur

Harnaam Kaur

Harnaam Kaur is one of the most inspirational diversity speakers. She is highly recognised as a model and activist who has used her experiences of adversity as a force for good. Harnaam is a powerful advocate for diversity and inclusion as she speaks about body image, cyberbullying and a range of LGBT+ issues which flood our society today.

Harnaam was diagnosed aged 12 with polycystic ovary syndrome – a condition that sees the female body receive too many male hormones. She grew excess face and body hair, including a full beard. Due to the speed of its growth, Harnaam was unable to remove the hair, which resulting in her experiencing relentless bullying and online social media abuse which drove her to committing self-harm and attempted suicide. Despite this, she has now managed to harness these negative experiences, and openly speaks with the media and works as a freelance model, championing body image. She has been included in high-profile photography exhibits and was the first woman with a beard to walk London Fashion Week in 2016.

As she struggled with her image and the abuse it caused her from a young age, Harnaam understands how it feels to be in a minority. She shares how she suppressed the negatives and overcame her fears to be where she is today, thus motivating and supporting all those who have faced adversity in their lives.

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner

Caitlyn Jenner is a former Olympic champion who is now arguably the most famous transgender person on the planet. She is a part of one of the world’s most high-profile families, as she married famous businesswoman and socialite, Kris Kardashian, in 1991, before her transition in 2015.

Born William Bruce Jenner, her early life was dedicated to sport as she was a remarkably talented track and field athlete. She was described as ‘an American hero’ for winning the Decathlon event and clinching a gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. Following this, she married into the Kardashian family and played a key role in the hit reality show Keeping Up with the Kardashians, before making international headlines in 2015, announcing her transition. A reality series, I Am Cait, which followed her as she adapted to her new normal was then launched. Caitlyn has also remained a popular TV personality as she has additionally featured on the likes of I’m A Celebrity: Get Me Out Of Here! Caitlyn is now a vocal advocate for the LGBT+ community and speaks on a wide range of issues which affect them.

As one of the most famous transition journeys, Caitlyn is no stranger to the media limelight. She uses her experiences and the reactions she faced to help both those wanting to change, and those wanting to understand more.

Matt Lindley

Matt Lindley

Matt Lindley is one of the first-ever openly gay pilots in the UK armed forces and has, as a result, become one of the most inspirational diversity speakers on the circuit.

With a ban on gay personnel in the forces, and a prison sentence for anyone who was ‘out’ while serving, Matt bravely hid his sexuality in order to achieve his dream of flying planes. He went onto accomplish this, and completed death-defying missions in hostile locations including Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Sierra Leone. He was also granted the privilege of flying the royal family and government officials to events all over the world.

In addition to his career amongst the clouds, Matt can talk about the struggles he faced having to suppress who he really was in the non-inclusive culture that he experienced in the RAF. He now candidly speaks out on his sexuality and helps those who have been hiding it, open up, and others of the importance of inclusion in all manners of society.

With the struggles that our diversity and inclusion speakers have faced, and the immense bravery and determination they have shown in overcoming these, they are the perfect speakers for this topic. Having experienced adversity first-hand, be it due to gender, sexuality, race, disability or other, they can relate to and understand those who are struggling with being in a minority. They are able to discuss how they overcame fears of opening up, and help others do the same, as well as educating those who have been sheltered from diversity, acceptance and inclusion. Regardless of sector, our diversity and inclusion speakers can use their knowledge and experiences to relate to all aspects of society, be it sporting, business or other. To book one of our influential speakers, get in touch with our friendly team of agents today.


Would you like us to send all the latest Evolve updates and news direct to your inbox?

0
Your Speakers List