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Webinar: Diversity & Inclusion - A Young Professional's Perspective

04 October 2021

We know that creating an environment that is inclusive, equitable and diverse is crucial to the success of any workplace but how do we ensure that the work we do today allows for the growth of tomorrow?

As part of National Inclusion Week our global Young Professionals Network (YPN) hosted a virtual event looking at diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Throughout the event we heard our panel of professionals, all at varying stages of their careers, discuss their own experiences of diversity and inclusion and give first hand examples of how they, and their employers, can achieve more diverse and inclusive workplace cultures. 

Our panellists were:

  • Romina Afrasani (she/her), Talent Acquisition Specialist and a full time wheelchair user from Enterprise Rent A Car;
  • Anthony Francis (he/him), Senior Manager in Global Transformation at Lloyds Banking Group, who has featured in the FT’s Top Future Leaders list;
  • Paul Maddock (he/him), Senior Associate at DWF and member of the Law Society's LGBT+ Division Community and;
  • Beth Tappenden (she/her), a D&I focused researcher for recruitment company Robert Walters who recently wrote a dissertation on transgender issues in the workplace.

Supported by Seema Bains, DWF's Head of Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Group, the event began by looking at what Diversity & Inclusion really meant to our panellists by identifying and discussing some of the challenges they have faced within their careers or education so far. 

As someone starting out in their career Beth Tappenden, who has recently completed research on how employers can better educate their workforces on transgender issues and improve inclusivity and equality for transgender employees, looked at how senior leaders within organisations can support future generations and gave recommendations based upon her research specifically on trans inclusivity. 

The event also explored common microaggressions within the workplace and the impact these and self-identification on job applications, can have on creating an inclusive working environment. Panellists further discussed ways that employers can avoid this and offered alternatives to this process of identity labelling. 

The event concluded with an audience Q&A session and closing remarks from Molly Fellows, Trainee Solicitor and member of the DWF Global Young Professionals Network who chaired the event. Molly concluded, "When I first began to look into this initiative I read a really great sentence on the National Incusion Week (NIW) website which I wanted to share today. When talking about the objectives of NIW they stated, “We will have open conversations. They may be challenging and uncomfortable, but they will drive change and inspire action.” 

"We hope that today’s discussions have celebrated inclusion in all its forms and the progress that has been made. We hope that everyone has been able to take something from this which will drive change and inspire action. "

If you would like to learn more about our Young Professionals Network please visit out YP Hub or contact Emma Marsh

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