This project now has a dedicated website Diversity Works  (

A portrait of corporate diversity in the UK examining the “Diversity Proposition”

The project consists of a collection of insights from, and images of, business and thought leaders and agents of change.



Diversity Is…promoting talent and not recoiling from stereotypes
Diversity Isn’t….about quotas
Diversity Works….when it’s no longer talked about
Ken Olisa OBE – Founder and Chairman of Restoration Partners

Diversity Is … listening to someone other than yourself
Diversity Isn’t … complicated
Diversity Works … when your employer enables you to be you
Ruth Hunt – Chief Executive at Stonewall

Edit_1817Diversity Is … only really achieved within an environment with respect and inclusion at its core
Diversity Isn’t …  just about a series of targets
Diversity Works … when we only judge people on the value they bring
Emma Codd – Managing Partner for Talent, Deloitte LLP
Diversity Is … the way to see the world through a different lens other than your own, enabling you to fully embrace the global marketplace
Diversity Isn’t … a phase or something that affects someone else
Diversity works when it sits in an inclusive environment, headed by an inclusive leader, enabling everyone to contribute and bring their own experiences to the table
Carol Rosati, OBE – Director (Harvey Nash) & Global Head of Inspire


Diversity Is … essential for business success in the 21st century.
Diversity Isn’t … just a trend based solely on Gender.
Diversity Works … when it is integrated into the strategy of a business.
Miranda Brawn – Barrister, Banker and Business Leader ,
Vice Chair of the Black Cultural Archives


Diversity Is … enriching through difference, it’s what makes Britain great and is essential in any organisation to improve effectiveness and competitiveness
Diversity Isn’t … being politically correct, or trying to be diverse to be seen to be doing so just for the the sake of it.
Diversity Works … if everyone in the organisation starting with the leaders embrace it, are committed to action and accountability
Lord Bilimoria – Founder and Chairman of Cobra Beer


Diversity is – being fair to all by establishing an inclusive mindset and culture
Diversity isn’t – a game of top trumps where you can solve the easiest issues
Diversity works – when you believe and are committed to action
Baroness Tanni Grey Thompson


Diversity Is … the the difference  that makes uniques as individuals or as members of a group
Diversity Isn’t … an act of philanthropy
Diversity Works … when it’s valued and it impacts the bottom line
Pamela Hutchinson … Northern Trust, Chief Diversity Officer EMEA and APAC
WEB EDIT_9051Diversity is … life; it is valuing and realising the benefits arising from difference.
Diversity isn’t … a tick-box or a social exercise of preference over merit.
Diversity works… YES, absolutely. Especially when fully embraced, providing ‘access to opportunity’ and a level-playing field, so the best talent from the widest pools rise.

Dowshan Humzah – Digital Strategy & Business Transformation Director, TWKS and Executive Ambassador, Board Apprentice


Diversity Is … a competitive advantage, because leaders that value and embrace difference create access to the widest range of talent, ideas and consumers.
Diversity Isn’t … a codeword for black; nor is it a favour to be bestowed by those in power upon those they consider to be less fortunate.
Diversity Works … every time, because it unleashes potential.
Patrick Younge, Media EXecutive/Director of  WeCreate Associates Ltd


Diversity is …. everybody’s business
Diversity isn’t … a special interest issue
Diversity works … when it’s embedded and comes naturally
Helena Morrissey – Chief Executive of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club



Diversity is … inclusive in thought and action
Diversity isn’t … an excuse to segregate and deceive
Diversity works … once genuinely embraced  voices are heard and inclusive action is taken
Derek Tuitt :  Research Fellow Aston University – ( IntErlanD ) Inclusion,Equality, Diversity Research Centre


Diversity is … A celebration of and respect of unique differences – and everyone is uniquely different.
Diversity isn’t … A passing fad.
Diversity works … to harness innovation, creativity, teamwork and fun.
Liz Bingham, Managing Partner – People UK & Ireland / EY


Diversity Is … non-negotiable for success and survival, in life and business
Diversity Isn’t … celebrated and tolerated. Accept it; it’s paradoxically the most fundamental common element of life.
Diversity Works … when we accept homogeneity equals stagnation.
Ozzie Clarke-Binns, Associate; Talent & Organisational Development, Thomson Reuters / Chair, Thomson Reuters Black Employee Network UKI


Oona King – Baroness King of Bow at House of Lords
Narrative pending


Diversity is…… crucial to the globalisation of business, to the successful creation and pursuit of business opportunity and the management of business risk.
Diversity isn’t …… About gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation. It’s about skills, ideas, perspectives and talent.
Diversity works….. When excellence of outcome is more highly valued than an efficiency of process.
Christopher Price  – Managing Partner, Ernst & Young, UK Financial Services


Diversity Is…Our Next Great Adventure
Diversity Isn’t…An Easy Ride
Diversity Works…Best for the Brave
Trevor Phillips, OBE- former chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission


Diversity Is … different people approach problem solving in different ways so you may as well take advantage of it
Diversity Isn’t … black and white
Diversity Works … when you look behind people’s appearance and really get to understand their backgrounds and how they come to behave as they do. All this is more rewarding than ticking boxes
Professor Richard Webber – Partner at Webber and Phillips


Diversity Is … truly believing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Together we are stronger, more dynamic and much more united as a society.
Diversity Isn’t … a reality in government, there needs to be reform in terms of how we elect/appoint people into positions of power
Diversity Works … because in many ways we’re all different and bring a variety of skills, experiences and perspectives that you simply cannot achieve within a monoculture, mono thinking, and a mono way of doing things
Simon Woolley – Founders and Director of Operation Black Vote


Diversity Is… being honest and really reflecting the country as it is now and as it will be
Diversity Isn’t… about going through the motions but establishing commitment and accountability to change things
Diversity Works… when we take it for granted that diversity is the natural order of thing
Sir David Bell – former Director for People at Pearson Group and a former Chairman of the Financial Times (1996 to 2009).

Chair of the Syndicate of Cambridge University Press


Diversity Is … A catalyst for ingenuity, productivity and business improvement
Diversity Isn’t … Just a moral, statutory or business imperative, it’s a personal one that each and every one of us needs to take responsibility for
Diversity Works … When the person the person reading this is wonders why they are wasting their time doing so
Arun Batra, CEO, National Equality Standard

Claire Harvey

Diversity Is … the very thing that brings strength and makes life beautiful, vibrant and interesting
Diversity Isn’t … tokenistic or trying to put people into homogenous silos and boxes
Diversity Works … when we take time to get to know the people behind what we see and are brave enough to consider the possibilities of harnessing all that potential
Claire Harvey -Senior consultant, inclusive leadership, KPMG UK / Paralympian


Diversity  Is … a vibrant world where people are accepted for who they are, their heritage, their talents and most of all their humanity
Diversity Isn’t … about favouritism
Diversity Works … when people talk and open their minds to great possibilities
Kulbir Shergill -Director, Benton & Shergill.


Diversity is accepting, expecting, embracing and respecting the uniqueness in mankind.
Diversity isn’t bad for the future of business
Diversity works when honesty is the starting point for all conversations
Geoffrey Williams – Global Specialist, Diversity & Inclusion – Thomson Reuters Co-Founder of “Rocking Ur Teens”


Diversity Is… a catalyst for creativity
Diversity Isn’t… static or immutable
Diversity Works… when it really, truly matters to our leaders
Amanda Rice – Head of Talent and Diversity at Nationwide Building Society

Diversity Is … about recognizing, understanding and embracing the disruption  of difference
Diversity Isn’t … Just the responsibility of the few, everyone needs to engage if we are to achieve change
Diversity works … when we open our minds and value the different perspectives and experiences that diversity brings us
 Pauline Miller – Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Lloyd’s of London



Diversity is … the engine that drives difference; it can be denied but like electricity or ethnicity cannot be completely destroyed. Through the careful analysis of hard data it can be harnessed to fuel competitive advantage increase innovation, engagement and insight.

Diversity isn’t … easily understood or a quick fix. People are smart, they can see through window dressing. Medium term FRC driven regulations may challenge remuneration committees to link diversity to executive compensation, Ultimately, customers will abandon businesses who are not relevant (to their way of thinking)

Diversity works … where business leaders understand how independently verified strategies are a lever for wider organisational transformation. Basing investments on good data, investing in diverse succession planning and resourcing expertise to effect sustainable culture change, appropriate for each unique business context.
Raj Tulsiani
Chief Executive Officer – Green Park


Diversity is … Celebrating what is unique about each of us and recognising fairly the value of each contribution, understanding the business success it drives.
Diversity isn’t … Political correctness or one dimensional, it’s not teaching better ways to play the game, it’s changing the rules.
Diversity works … When it is truly inclusive, offering everyone a chance to live authentically.
Gemma Webb – Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion, Telefonica


Diversity Is … very simple, it is just being open to people and ideas
Diversity Isn’t … a fashion, it is what the world is – diverse
Diversity Works … because the whole is so much greater than the sum of the parts
Charles Elvin – Chief Executive at Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM)


Diversity Is … enabling each to be themselves whilst embracing, harnessing & channelling the talent towards the same goals
Diversity Isn’t … a separate initiative
Diversity Works … when its woven into the fabric of the business,  it is part of our DNA
Liese Lord, HR Director – Pitney Bowes Ltd


Diversity Is … about inviting innovation, accepting different options and encouraging competition
Diversity Isn’t … about creating walls rather it is about building bridges
Diversity Works …  if there is top-down commitment, bottom-up ownership and collective belief.
Mayank Shah – CEO, Minority Supplier Development UK Ltd


Diversity is… essential in giving businesses the best chances of growth but also finding solutions
Diversity isn’t… the be all and end all. Companies need to provide an inclusive environment where employees can feel they can achieve their potential, whoever they are.
Diversity works… when my kids, who have same-sex parents, are from an ethnic minority background and are girls, have the chance to grow up with fair opportunities
Sarah Garrett – Managing Director, Square Peg Media


Diversity Is … the abandonment of a preconceived model of leadership
Diversity Isn’t … for the feint hearted
Diversity Works … when senior leaders want it enough to act
Sanjay Bhandari – Partner, Ernst & Young

Web_3105 copy

Diversity Is… essential for any board that wants to grow its business.
Diversity Isn’t… a should do, it’s a must have.
Diversity Works… it’s as simple as that, it took one person to invent the wheel, diversity of thought created the car.
Sue O Brien – CEO at Norman Broadbent, Vice Chair of the Women’s Business Council

Linda Riley – Managing Director, European Diversity Awards
Narrative to follow.


Diversity Is… about meritocracy – organisations getting the best people in and promoting them to the top regardless of where they came from and creating the best combination of people drawing on their range of experiences.
Diversity Isn’t… about positive discrimination despite what some people say.
Diversity Works… because no one person or type of person has a monopoly on good ideas
Paul Cleal – Partner, Government & Public Sector Leader, PwC

SF (8 of 11)

Diversity Is … a reality. Inclusion is a choice.
Diversity Isn’t … fluffy. It is infinite, contested and messy. It can lead to lower morale, dysfunctional teams, even war. That’s why we need inclusive leaders who can make sense of the mess, and truly gain the value of diversity for the benefit of all of us.
Diversity works … in the presence of leadership. Leadership is a verb, not a noun. Anyone can exercise it at any time. It’s about choosing to include rather than exclude, choosing to learn rather than ignore, choosing to be surrounded by difference and challenge rather than just sameness and comfort.
Stephen Frost – Director, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, KPMG.


Diversity Is … about ensuring the people who work in your organisation are representative of society. The greater the mix of people, the greater the mix of skills, experiences, perspectives and ideas you can draw on.
Diversity Isn’t … enough, employers must also create an inclusive environment where a diverse mix of people can be themselves, work together, thrive, feel valued and empowered.
Diversity Works … whee there is an inclusive culture
Rachel Williams – Member Engagement Manager – Inclusive Employers


Diversity Is …  a universal truth which creates a multitude of ideas and perceptions
Diversity Isn’t … excluding a group at the expense of another
Diversity Works … if you let it, by creating the conditions to enable it
Tab Ahmad – Founder & Managing Director, EmployAbility


Diversity Is … innovation, enlightenment and excitement that can give any organisation a competitive edge
Diversity Isn’t … humourless, political correctness just for specific groups
Diversity Works … when it’s for everyone and businesses realise it has an impact on everything, including the bottom line
Harry Gaskell – Managing Partner, Ernst & Young Chair at ENEI


Diversity Is… the full range of differences that enhance an organization’s competitiveness and Inclusion is about how we make the mix work.
Diversity Isn’t… just a feel good accessory for leadership
Diversity Works… when people are judged for work they do and not for the colour of their skin, age, background or any other diversity strand.
Abu Bundu-Kamara -Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Pearson


Diversity Is… a true reflection of a heterogenous society, where every human being is encouraged to be themselves, therefore enabling happiness and productivity in all spheres of life.
Diversity Isn’t… being part of a pack in which everyone looks, sounds and thinks like you.
Diversity Works… when education takes place to remove fear of difference. Schools are preparing tomorrow’s employees and businesses act as role models for schools. Both have a responsibility to educate about and fully endorse difference.
Suran Dickson – CEO Diversity Role Models


Diversity is… about appreciating, supporting and respecting differences; about creating an environment where each and every one of us can fulfill our potential and contribute the most.
Diversity isn’t…about helping minorities, it is about embracing reality.
Diversity works… because it drives high-performance, innovation and creativity. In the business world it makes perfect sense  – diverse teams deliver better results.
DR Maria Angelica Perez -Global Head of Engagement and Diversity at Ericsson


Diversity Is… being who you are. It’s about the eclectic variety individuals have to offer, marinated together collaboratively to create greater influence and impact. Great minds don’t think alike, they bring diverse thoughts to the table.
Diversity Isn’t… about tokenism or numbers, it’s value is greater than that.
Diversity Works… when there’s an understanding that one size doesn’t fit all. It has to be integral and fundamental to the core values of any business, community and society.
Ama Afrifa-Kyei, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, EMEA,
Bank of America Merrill Lynch


Diversity Is… the enjoyment and recognition of difference in all its shades. Way beyond the tick box of identities, it’s the practice of combining people’s different talents, approaches and backgrounds to achieve great decisions through proper disagreement.
Diversity Isn’t… counting. It isn’t arithmetic. It’s how you go beyond the arithmetic. It;s what you do with it.
Diversity Works… when people gain the confidence to manage difference, to open up the discussion and allow the argument, and then know how to close it down to a good conclusion.
Simon Fanshawe – co-founder at Astar-Fanshawe

web_edit_2406Diversity Is … still misunderstood. We need to stop focusing on what it is and start focusing on what it can deliver.
Diversity Isn’t … fully unlocked until people are fully included
Diversity Works … when we switch people on, rather than switch them off.
Nikki Walker – MD at More2Gain


Diversity Is … the dubstep of the business world
Diversity Isn’t … about creating elevator music
Diversity Works … when minds are open and change is embraced
Paul Deemer – Head of Equality, Diversity and Human Rights at NHS Employers


Diversity Is … the new normal!  A critical factor in all aspects of business and life.
Diversity Isn’t … a tick box, an add on, political correctness or a PR stunt!
Diversity Works … where there is good leadership.  Good leaders get the best out of their people regardless of backgrounds and create great results!
Charlotte Sweeney – Diversity, Inclusion & Wellbeing Expert

ME-3Diversity Is… about understanding the value of difference, (even though many people are afraid of it)
Diversity Isn’t… something that most people, regardless of their background, are truly comfortable with.
Diversity Works… because logically, it’s the only way forward.
Michael Eboda,  Founder/CEO, Powerful Media Ltd

 Diversity Is… about challenging assumptions, decisions, systems and processes, it’s about challenging the status quo

Diversity Isn’t… about political correctness
Diversity Works… when it’s around the strategic table
Dan Robertson – Director, Employers Network Equality and Inclusion

Diversity Is….. inescapable.

Diversity Isn’t…. solely about minority groups.
Diversity Works…..when it’s defined properly, communicated effectively, championed unashamedly and when everyone understands their relationship to it.

Daniel Danso – Global Diversity and Inclusion manager, Linklaters LLP
web_edit_36Margaret Hickish – Accessibility and Inclusion Manager, Network rail
Narrative Pending
Diversity is…reality, as the digital age is here, the world is getting smaller and the economics of talent is breaking down borders.
Diversity is not…a business construct although it is a bottom line imperative.
Diversity works…because the sum is greater than the parts
 Andy Curlewis – Director – Brand, Digital & Communications, Ochre House


Diversity is… about people
Diversity isn’t… a paper exercise
Diversity works… if it connects you outside your comfort zone
Annmarie Dixon-Barrow, OBE – Leading experts on recruitment, diversity and socio-economic development,


Diversity is… difference
Diversity isn’t… lowering standards
Diversity Works… because we can achieve more together than we can apart
Raphael Mokades – Founder and Managing Director of Rare Recruitment


Diversity Is… what makes each of us unique
Diversity Isn’t… just skin-deep, we need to look deeper than just visible diversity
Diversity Works… when we see people as individuals and not just representatives of a group
Sacha de Klerk – Diversity Manager at Norton Rose Group

Yasir_edit_selDiversity Is… Pluralism
Diversity Isn’t… Charity
Diversity Works… when seen as an asset
Yasir Mirza – Former Head of Diversity, the Guardian


Diversity Is … sensible business, not to embrace it is to get left behind

Diversity Isn’t . about doing anyone any favours

Diversity Works … because it makes sense and is our shared global future
Naheed Afzal, Co founder at Contracts IT



Diversity Is… about having the best people around the table to get better outcomes
Diversity Isn’t… about giving unfair advantage to any one group
Diversity Works… when you can embed it across your organisation
Simon Fillery – Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays Corporate and Investment Banking Wealth and Investment Management


Claire Williams – Director, Inclusive Employers


Diversity Is… about authentic leadership and thinking differently.
Diversity Isn’t… only about gender.
Diversity Works… when you’re able to be yourself, be productive and be happy.
Suki Sandhu
CEO and founder of Audelis / CEO and founder of OUTstanding in Business

DEK_3371_editDiversity Is… a key driver of performance.
Diversity Isn’t… an optional HR inititative.
Diversity works… when leaders understand it.
Kevin Keohane: Creative Strategist, Senior Partner at Brand Pie


Diversity Is … A logical outcome of good recruitment practice and the ‘responsible business’ agenda
Diversity Isn’t… An ‘optional extra’ when it comes to good recruitment practice
Diversity Works…Where there is an open and honest debate and a genuine desire to make things  happen.
Tom Hadley  – Director, Recruitment Employment Confederation (REC)

web_edit_57Diversity Is… means different and we are all different so diversity includes us all.
Diversity Isn’t…  just about the minorities or putting people into  neat boxes.
Diversity Works…  best when you harness it as a powerful vehicle  for development and improvement.
Solat A Chaudhry – Chief Exec Investors in Diversity


Diversity Is… vital if you want to reach diverse audience, and what other kind is there?Diversity Isn’t…  a problem, it’s just about opening doors so that everyone benefits
Diversity Works… because we are an increasingly diverse society so no-one can be succesful if they try and work in a bubble
Nick Hart, Head of Corporate Responsibility, Turner Broadcasting, (EMEA)


Diversity Is… a part of your growth, without it you’re losing out to you’re competitors
Diversity Isn’t… a tick box or  a compulsion
Diversity Works… for your business because you’re customers will see it and you’ll get more business of the back of it
Iqbal Wahhab, OBE – owner Roast Restaurant
Entrepreneur and Agent of Change

Denise Keating – Chief Executive,
The Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion
Narrative Pending


Diversity Is … the true reflection of all life and one of the single biggest opportunities for business and society, our ability to build working and social environments where all people feel able to be themselves is critical to the success and harmony of the human race.
Diversity Isn’t … an exclusive topic for groups that are perceived to be, or feel that are in the minority, Diversity is about everyone and it isn’t something that should be justified.
Diversity Works… when we suspend judgement, when we focus on strengths, when we look for what’s right with people rather than what’s wrong with them, when we learn to leverage each others strengths and build a more powerful, fun and supportive environment for everyone. We all become happier, more fulfilled, higher performing, healthier, and more able to contribute to a life we can all be proud of when its over.
Andy Woodfield – Partner at PWC
Founder and sponsor of the GLEE network


Diversity Is… strength, agility and profitability
Diversity Isn’t… about ticking boxes or quotas
Diversity Works… best when it is an organisational priority
Charles Mack – Director, Gender Gap


Diversity Is… a huge commercial opportunity
Diversity Isn’t… about just being nice to people
Diversity Works… when you look at it from a number of different angles
Birgit Neu – Managing Director, Neuchange


Diversity Is… a bridge to performance
Diversity Isn’t… a buzzword
Diversity Works… when you open your mind
Sam Jones – CEO, CompIndex/GenderGap


Diversity Is… getting the best talent to ensure business success
Diversity Isn’t… compliance
Diversity works… when it starts at the top and works it way through the organisation to impact on your customers
Leigh Lafever-Ayer – HR Director (UK and Ireland), Enterprise Rent-A-Car


Diversity Is… A competitive advantage
Diversity Isn’t… going away
Diversity Works… when understood, embraced and implemented correctly.
Morgan Lobb – Managing Director, Diversity Jobs


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