Business Disability Forum conference 2018: Disability in the modern workplace

In 2018, for many people ‘going to work’ looks very different to what ‘going to work’ was 20 years ago. In today’s world, we are able to work more flexibly. Thanks to advancements in technology, roles where you can work from home are on the rise, meaning that we can also work from anywhere in the world. So what does this mean for your disabled employees? How are these advancements affecting your organisation?

‘Disability in the modern workplace’ will address these questions and many more. Opening the conference will be our morning keynote speaker Sarah Newton Minister of State for Disabled People, Health and Work. Sarah will be speaking about the government’s disability confident scheme, the effect of Brexit and other government plans around the disability employment gap. 

Career development

Hear from our career development panel where respected champions for equal opportunities and diversity Phil Friend OBE and Kate Nash OBE along with representatives from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) will be talking through the not so obvious challenges faced when progressing in the workplace with a disability; and how to overcome barriers that may in fact be easily removed.

Disability in the global workplace

This conference will also be looking at disability in the global workplace. Answering questions such as:

  • How do you performance manage a remote worker?
  • How do you ensure you retain high standards around the fair treatment of disabled employees in offices around the world?

Brendan Roach, Senior Disability Consultant, Business Disability Forum, will be leading a panel of speakers from global organisations such as Shell, Accenture and The Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Each will be speaking about their first-hand experiences dealing with these challenges within their global organisations.

Technological developments

You will also be hearing from organisations such as GlaxoSmithKline, Genius Within, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) who will be discussing the workplace today. This panel will cover topics such as:

  • Brexit
  • Millennials
  • The ageing workforce
  • Keeping pace with technological developments

They will also be looking at the challenges around data monitoring when identity, particularly for younger employees is fluid; and ageing employees in the workforce are reluctant to identify as disabled.

The future of work

Finally, BBC and ITV News Anchor Sir Martyn Lewis CBE will be leading the discussion on the future of work. With the rise of smart technology, the workplace is becoming more automated, what would it mean if a computer could do your job? According to research conducted by Deliotte and Oxford University*, about 35% of current jobs in the UK are at high risk of computerisation over the next 20 years. What will this mean for the future of work?

  • What will the modern workplace look like? 
  • Will more disabled people be given opportunities that they wouldn’t have been considered for previously?
  • Or will this mean fewer jobs and even more disabled people out of work?

Alongside speakers from Barclays, EY, Microsoft and HSBC, Sir Martyn Lewis CBE will address these questions and delegates will be given the opportunity to ask questions and join in on the discussion.

Throughout the day and following the conference there will be time for networking with the speakers and your peers over lunch, canapés and drinks. Bring your phone, tablet or laptop along and let our experts show you built-in accessibility features that you might never have known about that will help everyone, regardless of disability, to work smarter. 

Registration from 10am. The conference will run from 10:30am to 4:30pm followed by a drinks reception. 

Register your place today!



Diane Lightfoot Sarah Newton MP Sir Martyn Lewis CBE

Diane Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer at Business Disability Forum

Sarah Newton MP, Minister of State for Disabled People

Sir Martyn Lewis CBE, former BBC and ITV news anchor

Bela Gor Angela Matthews, Senior Disability Consultant at Business Disability Forum  Daniel Wiles
 Bela Gor, Head of Campaigns, Resources & Legal at Business Disability Forum Angela Matthews, Advice Service and Policy Manager at Business Disability Forum  Daniel Wiles, Disability Consultant at Business Disability Forum
Kate Nash OBE   Brendan Roach
Kate Nash OBE, Creator and CEO of PurpleSpace and Business Disability Forum Associate Phil Friend OBE, Director, Phil & Friends Ltd and Business Disability Forum Associate Brendan Roach, Senior Disability Consultant at Business Disability Forum
Lucy Ruck  Portrait of Robert Oldham
Lucy Ruck, Technology Taskforce Manager at Business Disability Forum Georgia Silk, Senior Diversity and Inclusion Advisor, Shell Robert Oldham, HR People Services, Policy & Advice, Royal Bank of Scotland
Sally Bucknall Marina Matosic  Mona Patel
Sally Bucknell, Director of Diversity & Inclusiveness, UK&I Ernst & Young LLP Marina Matosic, Careers & Employability Manager at Manchester Metropolitan University Mona Patel, Equality and Diversity Specialist at Manchester Metropolitan University
Liz Burton  Nancy Doyle  Barbara Harvey portrait
Liz Burton, Global Head, Inclusion and Diversity, GSK Nancy Doyle, Chartered Psychologist and Founder, Genius Within Barbara Harvey, Managing Director, Accenture Research
Portrait of Victoria Smith  Portrait of Fiona Daniel  Portrait of Frances Howell
Victoria Smith, Head of Talent, Foreign & Commonwealth Office Fiona Daniel, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, HSBC UK Frances Howell, Managing Director and Head of Corporate Banking, Midlands Region, HSBC UK
 Portrait of Richard Pereira  
Jack Whyman, Systems & Ledger Control, Royal Bank of Scotland Richard Pereira, Deputy Director, Population Statistics, ONS  

We are also delighted to announce our other speakers include:

  • Mark McLane, Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Barclays
  • Hector Minto, Senior Technology Evangelist, Microsoft

There will also be an opportunity to meet or exhibitors throughout the day:

Iansyst Ltd 
Lexxic Ltd 

Venue and accessibility

The conference will be held at The Royal College of Nursing, 20 Cavendish Square, Marylebone, London W1G 0RN

20 Cavendish Square is the headquarters of Business Disability Forum Member, The Royal College of Nursing. Centrally located in Marylebone, the venue is fully accessible and close to transport links.

For more information about the venue, please visit the 20 Cavendish Square website here.

Register your place today!