2021 Speakers

GA 1035 DIG Campaign Creative June


June has enjoyed a 20‐year career, in which she has become one of the most recognizable faces of British television. June began her career at Kiss 100 and later became a presenter for MTV UK & Ireland. She hosted 2005’s Make Poverty History event and presented at the UK leg of Live Earth in 2007. In 2008 June hosted Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebrations in front of 30,000 people in London’s Hyde Park. She has also interviewed and introduced some of the world’s biggest names including HRH Prince of Wales, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and George Clooney.
June was awarded an MBE in 2007 for her services to broadcasting and charity, making her one of the youngest people ever to receive an MBE. She was later awarded an OBE in the 2020 New Years’ Honours List. June is also an author of three award winning books; ‘Diversify: Six Degrees of Integration’, ‘The Power of Women’ and ‘The Power of Privilege’.

GA 1035 DIG Campaign Creative Sharon

Chairman, John Lewis Partnership

Sharon became the Partnership’s sixth Chairman in February 2020. Sharon moved from Ofcom, the UK’s communications regulator, where she served as Chief Executive. Before joining Ofcom, Sharon was Second Permanent Secretary at the Treasury, responsible for overseeing the public finances. She also held Board level positions at the Ministry of Justice and the Department for International Development, worked as an adviser at the Prime Minister’s Policy Unit and in Washington DC as a senior economist at the World Bank. Sharon is a non-executive Board member of Barratt Developments Pfc and a Trustee of Sadler’s Wells Trust Ltd. She is a trained economist and studied at Cambridge University and University College London.
GA 1035 DIG Campaign Creative Ash

Managing Director, Arla Foods UK & Mental Health Advocate

Ash was appointed Managing Director of Arla Foods UK on 1 July 2018. He joined Arla’s UK business in 2004 and worked in commercial roles before joining the Leadership Team in 2010 assuming responsibility for Arla’s farmer relationships and building Arla’s corporate reputation. After a brief period as Marketing Director Ash moved to the position of Sales Director in 2016 taking responsibility for growing Arla’s business with UK customers. He began his career at Unilever holding various positions in supply chain and commercial functions, after graduating in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University.
GA 1035 DIG Campaign Creative Bobbi

Diversity Role Model & Co-Chair of BP Pride’s Transgender Group

Bobbi Pickard was the first openly transgender person in BP. As the co-chair of BP Pride’s Transgender Group she has transformed transgender awareness globally within the company. She is the founder of “Trans in the City” an open corporate collaboration which has brought together over 250 major organisations to collaborate on furthering transgender awareness across the world. Bobbi is a Diversity Role Model and a very proud champion of Stonewall Housing. She was voted #1 in the OUTstanding 50 LGBT+ Future Leaders’ List 2019, #4 in 2020, included in the PWC Stonewall 50 Inspirational Role Models 2019, was winner of the Rainbow Honours LGBTQ Champion Award 2019, the Nestle Diversity Champion Award at the 2020 British LGBT awards, placed #14 in the Pride Power List 2020 and has been nominated in the forthcoming 2021 Diva Awards.
GA 1035 DIG Campaign Creative Sam A V2

Founder of PSALT

PSALT supports and develops Black talent by giving them access to roles with the FMCG industry and works with organisations and leaders to create environments where people are able to bring their full, unique selves to work. PSALT also acts as a unique accelerator – helping develop innovation from under-represented groups with critical input of industry experts and Retailers. Sam is a long-standing advisor to Young Foodies, the community of challenger brands in the UK. Prior to this, Sam was the Grocery Sales Director and Commercial Strategy Director at Mars.
GA 1035 DIG Campaign Creative Sam L

Company Accessibility Leader, P&G

Sam is P&G’s first Company Accessibility Leader and is leading P&G’s thought leadership and commitment to making products, packaging, and advertising accessible for both the growing aging population and the 7.7 billion people around the world with a disability.

Sam was born in the UK and is a first-generation Scottish  Pakistani. She is blind and the passion for what she is doing at P&G  has been inspired by the personal access challenges she has experienced as both a consumer and an employee. Sam studied Marketing and Business Law at the University of Stirling in Scotland and began her career at P&G in IT. She has lead IT transformations across multiple worldwide businesses, including fragrances, Pampers, Olay and Gillette.

GA 1035 DIG Campaign Creative Craig

Chief Executive, Fighting with Pride, The LGBT+ Military Charity

In a busy 20 -operational career in the Royal Navy, Craig was a helicopter fast rope boarding officer during operations in the first Gulf War and led border patrols in Northern Ireland in the challenging year prior to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement. On the day of the lifting of the gay ban in 2000 he came out in an ill prepared Armed Forces and fought for the recovery of the military covenant for LGBT+ personnel. With hallmark determination he petitioned against the thinking of the time for a rapid pace of cultural change. Craig was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 2006 for services to Equality and Human Rights in the Armed Forces. Craig retired from the Armed Forces in 2008. Craig has previously been a Board Member of the charity ‘Employers Forum on Disability, a special advisor to the Equality and Human Rights Commission, a Member of the Prison Service (NOMS) Race Equality Board and a Member of OFCOMs Broadcasting Equality Regulator.
DIG Headshots Mallika

Mallika Basu is a food industry consultant with 21 years of experience in the communications industry and 15 years as a food writer, cookbook author, industry commentator and consultant. Mallika brings a unique inside-outside perspective to the strategic communication challenges facing the grocery sectors. She founded Basu Consulting to help brands, businesses and destinations navigate the big, sweeping changes in business, society and culture by looking at the role of food and drink in how we do things differently, better and grow. She has hosted her food, culture and mindset workshops exploring cultural appropriation, race and representation for the British Library, BBC Good Food, the Guild of Food Writers, the Guild of Fine Food, organisation-wide at Waitrose, across well-known publishers and provided ongoing advisory.

DIG Headshots Julie
Julie Thomas joined Coca-Cola European Partners in March 2020 as Director, Inclusion, Diversity & Equity. Prior to this she developed and led global inclusion and diversity strategies and initiatives for large multinational companies from a range of sectors, most recently in the legal and financial services industries. An award winning ID&E innovator, Julie is responsible for creating and implementing the strategic direction for inclusion, diversity and equity: integrating diversity practices into people processes; ensuring accountability through effective measurement; and embedding inclusion into the culture, in engaging ways. In her first year at CCEP, Julie launched their ID&E philosophy, Everyone’s Welcome, rolled out company-wide listening sessions and implemented a clear roadmap for CCEP to be a place where everyone can be themselves, be valued and belong.
DIG Headshots John
John Elliott is Chief Technology Officer – Colleague & Operations at Sainsbury’s Group. John is passionate about creating inclusive workplace cultures, having spent the first 9 years of his career hiding his sexual orientation while legislation and societal attitudes to LGBTQ+ were evolving. John now uses his profile to sponsor Sainsbury’s ‘Proud’ network, the UK’s most active LGBTQ+ network. John is also an intersectional inclusion advisor within Sainsbury’s and across the tech sector and in 2019 helped launch a LGBTQ+ network in Bangalore following the decriminalisation of homosexuality in India. Last year, John was named in the Top Ten Inspirational Leaders at the British LGBT Awards and in the Yahoo Finance OUTstanding Top 100 Role Model LGBT+ Executives.
DIG Headshots Lorraine
Lorraine Copes is the founder of Be Inclusive Hospitality, Procurement Consultant and Life Coach. Having spent almost two decades working within the hospitality sector successfully leading procurement teams for brands including Shake Shack, Gordon Ramsay Restaurants and Corbin & King her experience spans new market entry, national and international leadership roles. Lorraine is passionate about helping others advance and has been able to do so during her career within Procurement by helping organisations to improve profitability, and as a Life Coach through helping individuals gain clarity, confidence and courage. In 2019 Lorraine felt compelled to form Be Inclusive Hospitality due to the consistent lack of representation of people from Black, Asian Minority backgrounds in positions of influence, and that those that do exist being invisible. This social enterprise will now hold the prime position of accelerating racial equality and levelling the playing field for those from underrepresented backgrounds within hospitality, food and drink sectors. Lorraine is based in London.
DIG Headshots Justin

Justin’s started with Tesco in 1992 after leaving school with no qualifications, as a colleague on the shop floor and over the years pursued his career within retail management and is now a Store Director for Large Stores South. Justin is dyslexic and his son has dyslexia and autism and wanted to use his personal experiences to support and help others. Justin has a huge passion for inclusion and when the opportunity came up in 2018 for Justin to be the Director Sponsor of the Disability Network, he jumped at the chance as he knew he could make a difference on a bigger scale for colleagues with disabilities across Tesco.

GA 1208 DIG Campaign Headshots Oct 2021
George the Poet is a London-born spoken word performer of Ugandan heritage. His innovative brand of musical poetry has won him critical acclaim both as a recording artist and social commentator and seen his work broadcast to billions of people worldwide. In the summer of 2018, he opened the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle with his poem ‘The Beauty of Union’, and in 2019, his audio offering ‘Have You Heard George’s Podcast?’ won a prestigious Peabody Award and 5 Gold British Podcast Awards, including the highly-coveted Podcast of the Year. The podcast was described by BBC R4 as “a story that could change the world”. George has just launched chapter 3 of the podcast and is now embarking on a PhD.
This programme and the associated event is held in aid of GroceryAid, the charity for the grocery industry. GroceryAid is the trading name of the National Grocers Benevolent Fund. A Registered Charity Reg. No 1095897 (England & Wales) & SC039255 (Scotland). A company limited by guarantee, registered in England & Wales No 04620683.

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