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The very first event of the NBCC Diversity & Inclusion took place on 14 May 2019 in London to share best practices and identify opportunities in improving diversity representation growth. 

Our keynote speaker Baiba Braze, ambassador of Latvia to the United Kingdom, highlighted Latvia’s record on gender equality and the future challenges concerning gender gap issues. Utterberry CEO Heba Bevan shared her experience concerning the importance of women in the world of technology and gave advice on how to create a diverse team. Photojournalist Jeroen Swolfs explained the rationale of his project “Streets of the World” which aims to lift the lid on subconscious bias through visionary art. Inventor of EqualityPoly, a new diversity game, Wendy Broersen induced discussions on topics such as recruitment, employer branding, company culture, management, career paths, development and ROI.

NBCC Board Member, Alexandra Kamerling, being partner at DLA Piper UK, pointed out with pride that DLA Piper won last year six awards at the European Women Business Awards in London. Being a good organisation with a diverse workforce is the right thing to do, but it’s more than that. Diversity is also a business function equal to every other business function.

It was reassuring to hear that diversity and inclusion was a concept that appeared to have taken hold in businesses both in the UK and the Netherlands. However, interpretations differed, and the methods used to achieve this goal varied among companies and institutions.

The legitimacy of the diversity function can be found among the four drivers of business growth: technology & innovation, sustainability, stronger together, and last, but not least, diversity & inclusion. Despite of multiple debates concerning the effectiveness of corporate diversity programs, the ROI of such programs can be clearly demonstrated at different levels.

The NBCC Diversity & Inclusion Forum had been recently launched to promote diversity in the top of British Dutch companies, among others, by inspiration. Special attention is devoted to the “Woman of the Year – Award” which is given to a senior inspiring leader qualifying to be our Pro-diversity Ambassador.