Press release: Claire Harvey Paralympian and Senior Inclusive Leadership Consultant at KPMG announced as keynote speaker at Business Disability Forum Conference 2016

24 February 2016

Press release - 24 February 2016

London, UK – Business Disability Forum (BDF) is pleased to announce that Claire Harvey, British Paralympian and Senior Consultant at BDF Partner KPMG will be the keynote speaker at the 2016 BDF conference: recruiting and retaining disabled employees.

Generously sponsored by assistive technology specialists, Microlink and leading employment and training services provider, Ingeus, the event will take place at the Royal College of Nursing on Wednesday, 20 April 2016.

Keynote speaker Claire Harvey has been involved in British Paralympic sport since 2009 where she first tried sitting volleyball. Since then, Claire has gained over 60 caps for Great Britain and captained the ParalympicsGB Sitting Volleyball Team in the London 2012 Paralympic Games. She turned her sporting attention to athletics and after eight months of switching, was selected for the IPC World Championships and is now training hard for selection for Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

Having achieved international sporting success, Claire is also listed as number seven in the Telegraph’s top 50 LGBT Executives and now leads on Diversity and Inclusion at KPMG. As part of her role, she is also supporting the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.

Speaking about the BDF conference, Claire said:

“I am so excited to be part of this event. Disabled people have a HUGE amount of talent and potential to offer business. It’s important we all work together to dispel the myths, fear and real or perceived barriers on both sides to ensure people find their place to shine. I hope the conference moves the discussion from why to ‘why not’.”

BDF is also delighted to announce that Yasmin Sheikh, Disability Consultant, coach, trainer and BDF Associate will be presenting to delegates during the event. Yasmin is also the Vice Chair of Lawyers with Disabilities Division at the Law Society following her 12-year career as a city Lawyer.

Yasmin will be speaking about her personal experience of disability in the workplace and the journey she has made since acquiring a disability to returning to work. Providing expert advice for employers and employees alike, Yasmin will discuss the practical things employers can do to allow employees to truly flourish.

Speaking about the conference, Yasmin said:

“I am looking forward to sharing my own personal experiences and expertise as a consultant to help organisations truly engage with people with disabilities and also share how people with disabilities can be empowered themselves.”

Finally, George Selvanera, Director of Policy, Services and Communication at BDF will be launching a new retention maturity model and toolkit that helps employers move from being unsure where to start - to systematically moving to best practice in retaining employees with disabilities.

The maturity model has been developed with BDF Partners EY, Lloyds Banking Group, Royal Mail, DWP, Remploy and Equal Approach based on landmark research with 145 large employers about what helps and what gets in the way of retaining employees with disabilities and long term health conditions. 

Speaking about the maturity model, George said:

“It's exciting to launch a retention maturity model and a practical case study driven toolkit to help all employers improve how they retain and develop their disabled talent. In a UK characterised by skills shortages, high costs from staff attrition and a rapidly ageing workforce, the business case for great retention practices has never been stronger.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

1. Business Disability Forum is a not-for-profit business consortium that represents some 300 organisations that employ 20% of the UK workforce. We have more than twenty years’ experience of working with public and private sector employers and service providers. For more information about the Forum please visit: http://businessdisabilityforum.org.uk/about-us.

2. For media/ journalist enquiries and to organise press interviews with guest speakers during the conference, please contact Emily Jackson, Press Officer on emilyj@businessdisabilityforum.org.uk or call 020-7403-3020.

3. Microlink are the leaders in the field of Assistive Technology and have enabled over a quarter of a million people with health conditions to succeed in education and employment. Microlink consults at government level, wins numerous awards for its dedication, and sources the latest technology to deliver a service to their customers that’s second to none. For more information about Microlink, visit: http://www.microlinkpc.com/

4. Ingeus UK is a leading provider of people-centred services, such as employability programmes, skills training and health-related support, which help people to reach their full potential. For more information, visit: http://www.ingeus.co.uk/about/about-us,70.

5. To download a copy of the ‘State of the Nation’ Retaining and developing employees with disabilities – Stage 1 report, visit: http://businessdisabilityforum.org.uk/about-us/news/state-of-the-nation-report-retaining-and-developing-employees-with-disabilities/.
 

6. To download a copy of: State of the Nation: Retaining and developing employees with disabilities – Stage 2 report, visit: http://www.businessdisabilityforum.org.uk/about-us/news/press-release-new-research-cites-workplace-adjustments-and-organisational-values-as-biggest-aids-to-retention-of-disable/.