Panel Discussion ED&I Event

Panel Discussion: Harnessing the Current Momentum to Enable Impactful Change

21 September 2022
Day 1- 14:00AM – 15:00AM

As we bear witness to the racial reckoning reverberating across the globe, it is now incumbent upon leaders to step up and do better, committing to action and moving beyond mission statements. It is about connecting leaders to conversations and generating action out of these conversations. It is about encouraging leaders to show up as allies in the ways their people need them to.


Areas of discussion:

  • How can organisations craft spaces for their people to have these tough conversations, and feel safe enough to share?
  • How do we ensure all voices are heard and no one is left behind in our new hybrid working world?
  • How can we bridge business and community to ensure both can thrive?




Mark is an ED&I professional having delivered a number of projects in the UK and internationally for organisations across a wide variety of sectors including HS2, Highways England, Clinical Commissioning Group Boards and The Law Society. Mark is also a published author on the topic of equality and diversity having authored the Law Society E&D Risk & Compliance Toolkit which assists law firms to comply with regulations and is the co-author of research published for Arts Council England on Goal 5: Equality & Diversity for Young People in the arts. Mark has won numerous awards including ENEI Awards for Inclusive Procurement whilst at HS2; Head of Diversity of the year at the Inclusive Companies annual Diversity Awards and has been awarded FCIPD, fellowship status of Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development.


Kat Denvir (she/her) is a Project Lead for Leeds City Council, the Council’s LGBT+ Staff Network Chair as well as an equality representative for the organisation, providing challenges to provide better outcomes for all staff. Originally from Northern Ireland (and extremely proud of this!), Kat is a bi queer activist who has written and developed training, blogs and papers about LGBT+ inclusion, mental health, burnout, and other equality/equity/inclusion topics. In her non-professional life, she is a cat parent, artist, crafter, voracious reader and videogame nerd.


Ian Adams is Director of Membership and Stakeholder Engagement at NHS Resolution, the legal arm of the health service.  He has held similar roles in the education, technology and welfare sectors, following an earlier career with the BBC.  Ian also served for 20 years as a local authority councillor and is a trustee of several charities concerned with social justice.  He is a recognised LGBT+ role model and a regular speaker on equality and diversity.



In a career spanning almost a decade, Sharon has led policy and programmes across government, academia and civil society to promote sustainable development, tackle climate change and progress racial equality. She has just completed a 4+ year period with the UK Government, where she was most recently the Head of Long-Term International Climate Strategy at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), leading the development of the UK’s long-term strategy to reducing global emissions. With the same department, she previously led European engagement for energy and climate change and oversaw governance for a £300 million sustainable energy project. 

She has advocated for race equality across government and civil society for over 6 years. As co-chair of the cross-government Civil Service Race Forum (2020-2022) and BEIS’ Faith and Minority Ethnic Network (2018-2021), she worked to tackle racism and address institutional bias across government, providing solutions to barriers facing Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff. This led to departmental policy changes in recruitment and increased representation of ethnic minority staff at senior grades.

In 2016, she also founded Youth Impact under the Clinton Global University Initiative - an ethnic minority youth empowerment platform in Hong Kong.

Prior to joining the Civil Service, she was Manager of The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Global Health and led international engagement for an academic disaster unit where she established a multistakeholder advisory group to the World Health Organization. As Regional Focal Point for the Major Group for Children and Youth, she also led the children and youth constituency’s advocacy within sustainable urban development negotiations at the United Nations, culminating in the adoption of the New Urban Agenda by the Member States in 2016.

She holds two First Class Masters in International Relations (University of St Andrews) and Public Health (The Chinese University of Hong Kong).


This panel discussion is part of our Festival of Doing ED&I Differently which brings together thought leaders, change-makers, and allies to share their stories and perspectives, bringing their voices to our dialogue.



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