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April 19, 2021 - April 23, 2021

Business Disability Forum Global Symposium 2021 

Business Disability Forum Global Symposium Fresh Perspectives on Disability Inclusion 19 to 23 April 2021 (online) Sponsored by HSBC

Fresh Perspectives on Global Disability Inclusion

Join us for a week-long event of webinars, panel discussions and roundtables discussing and debating new and fresh topics related to global disability inclusion. Our webinars will provide opportunities for you to learn about best practice approaches to collecting global employee disability data and developing a global workplace adjustments process based on current and up to date research that has been conducted with multiple global organisations.  

Our panel discussions will be debating the most up to date topics around the future of global work and what the landscape looks like post-pandemic for disabled people. Hear from experts about sustainability and the impact that our efforts to make the world a greener place will have on disabled people and join us for a discussion about disability networks around the world from leaders in the space.  

Sessions include:


Monday 19 April 2021


10:00am to 11:00am – Webinar: Workplace adjustments, a global challenge

  • Davina Critchley, Global Taskforce Manager, Business Disability Forum
  • Jennifer Morris, Disability Business Consultant, Business Disability Forum
  • Andy Garrett, Workplace adjustments & accessibility lead, GSK
  • Vani Sheshadri, Global Program Lead for Disability Inclusion, Accenture

Implementing a robust workplace adjustment process in one country can be challenging enough but how do Global businesses ensure that disabled people have a consistently good experience of obtaining and working with adjustments wherever in the world they work?  

In this webinar the author of the BDF Global Workplace Adjustments Report, Jen Morris and BDF Global Taskforce Lead Davina Critchley will explore all these issues and more. We will also hear from Andy Garrett at GSK/or Vani Sheshadri from Accenture on how they have tackled these challenges. 

3:00pm to 4:00pm – Webinar: Disability and data: why, when and how to collect data about disabled colleagues

  • Davina Critchley, Global Taskforce Manager, Business Disability Forum
  • Jennifer Morris, Disability Business Consultant, Business Disability Forum
  • Biral Joshi, Senior Global Diversity and Inclusion Manager, HSBC

Why do organisations collect data about disabilityKnowing how many disabled people they employ and where disabled people work is a growing priority for many businesses, but why do they want to know and what are the challenges of collecting this data on a worldwide scale? During this webinar Jen Morris and Davina Critchley will share the findings from the BDF Global Data Monitoring Report (sponsored by HSBC). We asked Global businesses why they wanted to collect this data and crucially what tangible action they proposed to take once they have the data to improve the life chances of disabled people they employed, wherever they are in the world.  


Tuesday 20 April 2021


10:10am to 11:15am – Employee disability networks around the world

  • Bela Gor, Chair, Head of Legal & Content, Business Disability Forum
  • Brendan Roach, Director of Strategy & Networkology, Purple Space
  • Alia Cooper, Head of Europe Compliance Framework, HSBC
  • Sreela Das Gupta, Lead, Disability and Neurodiversity, Tata Consulting
  • Darren Rowan, Global Program Manager & Accessibility Lead, Lilly

Staff networks are flourishing not just in the UK but around the world. Businesses are really beginning to understand the benefits of learning from colleagues on the ground about the challenges and about what works when trying to engage disabled colleagues and improve the life chances of disabled people. 

In this panel session we will hear from members of Network in the UK and further afield. We will hear too from Brendan Roach, Director of Networkology at Purple Space on what makes for a really successful network. Staff Networks are not just a place for disabled colleagues to share their experiences and provide mutual support; they can be somewhere to learn valuable new skills and develop careers. 

3:00pm to 4:30pm – Global Diversity and Inclusion Taskforce Meeting (Via Zoom)

  • Hosted by Davina Critchley, Global Taskforce Manager, Business Disability Forum


Wednesday 21 April 2021


10:15am – 11:15am – Disability, diversity and inclusion: the global issues we cannot ignore

  • Bela Gor, Head of Legal & Content, Business Disability Forum
  • Tom Frantz, Senior Manager, Salesforce
  • Leila McKenzie-Delis, Founder & CEO, Dial Global
  • Nick Hirons, Senior Vice President, Global Ethics & Compliance, GSK

There are some subjects that we just cannot (and should not) ignore in the world of today; race and intersectionality, the global pandemic  who are the winners in the global vaccination race, and do we all lose if disabled and disadvantaged people are left behind?  

On this panel we will discuss the impact of these issues on people with disabilities across the globe.  

11:30am – 12:30pm – The future of global work

  •  Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum
  • Dr Peter Simpson, Global Head, Safety & Security, Standard Chartered
  • Neil Milliken, Global Head of Accessibility, Atos
  • Donna Miller, HR Director, Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Work has changed beyond recognition in the past year. There are a great many theories of what the world of work will look like from now on. Are city centres over, will businesses never open big, high rise offices or will we all work in a hybrid in the office and at home manner? Is global business travel a thing of the past?  

This panel session will consider all this and more. 


Thursday 22 April 2021


10:10am – 11:15am – Intersectionality and holistic diversity panel

  • Diane Lightfoot, CEO, Business Disability Forum
  • Leila McKenzie-Delis, Founder & CEO, Dial Global
  • Tolu Oke, EMEA ID&E Senior Program Manager, Amazon
  • Sreela Das Gupta, Lead, Disability and Neurodiversity, Tata Consulting
  • Bela Gor, Head of Legal & Content, Business Disability Forum

11:30am – 12:30pm – Disability and Sustainability

  • Bela Gor, Head of Legal & Content, Business Disability Forum
  • Stefan Tromel, Senior Disability Specialist, International Labour Organisation
  • Prof. Sébastien Jodoin, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill Université
  • Gareth Whalley, Global Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Coca Cola
  • Mary Keogh, Advocacy Director, CBM Global

12:35pm – Simon Minty Maps the World – Tales from an International Disability Consultant

Simon’s talk will explore the various different cultural approaches to disability, give a nod to the brilliant disabled change makers he has met, as well as the organisations who sent him and why he went there.

Places will include New York, and a California trip for Google where he took his team including two mobility scooter users, one with Aspergers and one who was blind.

Simon will share anecdotes and share photos to bring the narrative to life.

Friday 23 April 2021

Delegates will be able to watch previous sessions.


If you are interested in joining, please email

Upcoming Events

April 20, 2021

Global Taskforce 

Our Global Taskforce brings together our members that want to have a positive impact on the lives of disabled candidates, employees and customers, wherever they are in the world.  Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday 20 April 2021 from 3:00pm to 4:30pm as part of the Business Disability Forum Global Symposium.  The meeting will take place via Zoom and […]

3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Woman typing on her laptop
April 27, 2021

Online Career Development Network Meeting

Business Disability Forum is pleased to host our first Career Development Network meeting on 27 April 2021 from 10:00am to 11:30am.  This meeting will be an opportunity to connect with your D&I and HR peers to focus on best practices around disabled colleagues’ career development. It will also be an opportunity to learn more about the upcoming […]

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Image of a man in a wheelchair shaking hands
April 27, 2021

Customer Taskforce meeting

Our next Customer Taskforce meeting will be held on Tuesday 27 April 2021 from 10:00am to 11:30am via Zoom webinars. This meeting will be an opportunity for our Customer Taskforce members to share current concerns and support each other in these challenging times. You can register for this meeting by clicking here. We will be […]

10:00 am - 11:30 am
Two delegates talking at an event
April 28, 2021

Employment Taskforce

The Employment Taskforce brings together Business Disability Forum members and partners to discuss the key issues in relation to the attraction, recruitment and retention of disabled people. The Taskforce has focused on a number of employment-related issues in the last 18 months including;  Access to Work    Inclusive recruitment practises    Workplace adjustments    Disability passports or adjustment plans     Our next […]

10:00 am - 11:30 am
man in brown jacket looking at contract on DocuSign on a laptop
May 5, 2021

Online Neurodiversity Network Meeting

Our next Neurodiversity Taskforce meeting will be hosted via Zoom on Wednesday 5 May 2021.   The aims and objectives of our virtual Neurodiversity Network (in collaboration with Lexxic) is to bring together our Members that want a safe space for insights, sharing best practice, connection, as well as building knowledge and awareness around neurodiversity in the workplace (remotely and […]

10:00 am - 11:30 am
People talking
May 25, 2021

Northern England Network

Our next Northern England Network meeting will be hosted via Microsoft Teams on Tuesday 25 May 2021 from 10:00am -11:30am. This meeting will be an opportunity for our Northern England Network members to share current concerns and support each other in these changing times. We would like to share what we are doing for our […]

10:00 am - 11:30 am

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