How do you effectively implement a diversity and inclusion strategy and bring about real organisational change?

This is an event in the Ideas in Practice series taking place in London on Friday 7 June 2019

Register for this event

Many business leaders acknowledge that embracing diversity and inclusion in the workplace leads to more innovation, better access to talented employees and improved performance. Despite these gains, many companies are adopting diversity strategies simply because ‘it is the right thing to do’, rather than for wider strategic reasons.

While much has been written on the business and moral case for diversity, there is less understanding of the processes involved in effectively implementing a diversity strategy and bringing about real organisational change.

M&S has effectively opened its doors for the research team to engage closely with staff and explore in detail many of the processes and practices within the company. It is a rare opportunity for academic researchers to be granted this level of access within a business organisation. The team have worked in partnership with M&S to identify ways in which the company can build on its existing strong organisational culture, to ensure an inclusive business environment that enables all individuals to perform to their maximum potential and deliver excellent customer service.

At this event we report on a major diversity and inclusion research project led by the University of Leeds and leading retailer M&S, together with the universities of Durham and Birmingham. It aims to understand and improve knowledge of the effective implementation of diversity and inclusion strategies in the retail sector and in organisations more broadly.

There will also be a panel discussion on the specific topic of black and minority ethnic (BAME) inclusion and career progression with leading business managers and diversity experts.


Event format

9.00am Registration and refreshments
9.30am Welcome and introduction: Squire Patton Boggs representative
9.45am Presentation: David Guise, HR Director, M&S
10.15am Presentation of the report of the research project

Project overview


  • Building an inclusive business environment



  • Characteristics required for success



  • Perceptions of employees on career progression and development



11.15am Tea/coffee break
11.45am Panel discussion on BAME diversity and career progression to higher management
1.00pm Networking lunch
2.00pm Event close

For further information, please contact Karolina Jachowicz-Dudek at