Diversity in PR (October 14, 2021) is presented in partnership with SummersDirect Conferences & Events.
In the past year, it’s become clear that the conversation around diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging has fundamentally changed. Public Relations professionals are looking at their organizations, their departments, and themselves and reflecting on our own roles in protecting systemic norms that keep diverse professionals from moving up through organizations.
We’ve also seen our associations do the research and set goals for change. The big question? Are we simply being performative or are we actually driving results?
Join us on October 14, 2021 as we look back at what has changed (and what hasn’t) in PR in the past year and what it means for innovation, service delivery and our own reputation as a profession.
Thank you to our generous sponsors:
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All Times are Listed in Eastern Time (UTC -4:00)
OCTOBER 14, 2021
8:30 – 8:55 a.m. Welcome and Trade Show Opens
1:30 – 1:55 p.m. (BST)
8:55 – 9:05 a.m. Opening Remarks from the Chair, Advita Patel, Co-Founder of A Leader Like Me
1:55 – 2:05 p.m. (BST)
9:05 – 9:50 a.m. Opening Keynote – Representation in PR Matters
2:05 – 2:50 p.m. (BST)
Jane Brearley, Founder and CEO of UK-based Intent Health
Join Jane Brearley, Founder and CEO of UK-based Intent Health, an agency founded on diversity, inclusion and representation as she discusses why representation in healthcare matters. In one short year, during a pandemic, Intent Health has built a business of 18 employees from diverse backgrounds. Find out about:
- The huge role Communications and PR play in raising awareness of the inequalities that exist and impact under-represented groups
- Inequalities that exist in all aspects of health and social care, from diagnosis, to service provision and access to treatment, that can negatively impact health outcomes
- Why it’s difficult to create campaigns that change peoples’ behaviour around health in a multi-cultural society when 91% of PR practitioners are white
- How representation at every step of the way can help create campaigns that truly resonate with your entire audience.
Let’s stop creating campaigns in a bubble and find out the secrets of Intent Health’s success and what happens when you embrace diversity, inclusion and representation.
9:50 – 10:40 a.m. Panel: Performance and Progress – How our professional membership bodies are showing their commitment to DEI
2:50 – 3:40 p.m. (BST)
Join representatives from PR and Communication associations as they discuss the progress they have made on diversity, inclusion and equity in our profession.
- The results of research conducted on the state of diversity in the professional around the world
- The actions taken and progress made in the past year
- The opportunities and challenges that lie ahead
Panelists: Gabrielle Loring, Katrina Marshall, Loretta Lam, Cornelius Alexander
Moderator: Jefferson Darrell
10:40 – 11:00 a.m. NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
3:40 – 4:00 p.m. (BST)
11:00 – 11:40 a.m. The Ultimate Employee Advocate
4:00 – 4:40 p.m. (BST)
Mark Webb, Head of Comms, Shift.ms
Mark tells a compelling story of his once-upon-a-time high-flying career, inextricably intertwined with his MS diagnosis and his disability ‘journey’.
He’ll show you he has become the ultimate employee advocate. And will try his hardest to persuade you of the value of better representation in the Comms industry
11:40 – 12:30 p.m. Panel: A Leader Like Me: Courage, Confidence and Career
4:40 – 5:30 p.m. (BST)
Members of the A Leader Like Me come together for an honest conversation about the realities of navigating our PR industry as women of colour.
- What does it mean when you cannot see a leader like you
- Challenges and barriers often in the way of success
- What it means to find a community of support personally and professionally
Panelists: Teela Clayton, Naomi Smith, Nafisa Shafiq, Danielle Norris
Moderator: Amrit Nijjar
12:30 – 1:00 p.m. NETWORKING/LUNCH BREAK/TRADESHOW
5:30 – 6:00 p.m. (BST)
1:00 – 1:40 p.m. Bridging communication & DEI
6:00 – 6:40 p.m. (BST)
Neil Griffiths, ABC, Chart.PR, IABC Fellow
Global Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion, ERM
2020 transformed DEI and communication in ways that many organizations are still grappling with.
As they raced to deal with the impacts of the pandemic and the shift in stakeholder expectations in light of the global protests for racial and social justice, communication teams were truly in the spotlight. Some were even called upon to drive the DEI agenda forward. During this ‘in conversation’ session, Neil Griffiths will talk about the transition from communication leader to Global Head o DE&I at Environmental Resources Management, the monthly drop-in sessions he hosted over the past year to support communicators working with DEI, as well as the skills and experience that communication professionals can bring into DEI work.
1:40 – 1:50 p.m. STRETCH BREAK
6:40 – 6:50 p.m. (BST)
1:50 – 2:30 p.m. The Market of the Future
6:50 – 7:30 p.m. (BST)
Ayeni Adékúnlé Samuel, CEO, Black House Media
Are you ready for the market of the future? Ayeni shares his insights on the changing global marketplace and how his company, BHM, is growing through global expansion. In his mind, practitioners today fall into three categories: those who are inquisitive about the changing marketplace, those who are leading the change, and those who are comfortable with business as usual. That’s why Ayeni has been passionate about using technology and innovation to drive a future where everyone wins.
In this session, you will learn about:
- The global clients that are focusing on both doing well and doing good
- How public relations will help citizens, brands and organisations build a better world
- How technology enables and accelerates growth
- The impact of citizen advocacy in an age of social networking
- Why unlikely candidates will build the market of the future
2:30 – 2:50 p.m. NETWORKING BREAK + TRADESHOW
7:30 – 7:50 p.m. (BST)
2:50 – 3:30 p.m. Panel: The Future is Bright
7:50 – 8:30 p.m. (BST)
What does PR look like from the perspectives of those entering the profession. Studies around the world tell us that where we are losing diverse practitioners is in between the junior and intermediate years. Join the conversation with young PR practitioners to understand their wants and needs to help you grow diversity in the profession. Join this section to hear about:
- Changing demographics and the expected war for talent
- Expectations of our young and digitally savvy practitioners
- What young people expect when it comes to culture and social responsibility in PR in their employers
Panelists: Mubashira Nusrat Farooqi, Son Pham, Ilyana Rajwani
Moderator: Keith Riley-Whittingham
3:35 – 4:15 p.m. Bridging the gap for a prosperous future
8:30 – 9:15 p.m. (BST)
Jordan Baptiste, Managing Director, Creative Fire
As a proud member of Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg, Jordan Baptiste has built partnerships between resource-sector companies, Indigenous enterprises and industry suppliers from coast to coast. He brings more than a decade of experience working with global leaders and supply chain partners in nuclear and alternative power generation, mining, construction and transportation. As Managing Director of Creative Fire, an Indigenous-owned agency team members and clients across Canada, Jordon is committed to building relationships. Join us to learn about:
- How to develop relationships and processes for creating win-win relationships between local Indigenous communities, their business entities and industry partners with the ultimate goal of driving business development and opportunities for all partners.
- How Diversity and Inclusion is no longer a ‘side-project’ for companies and organizations, it is value proposition that is integral to success and the bottom line. By committing to inclusion and the principles of Reconciliation organizations can bridge gaps of understanding and opportunity, ultimately leading to greater self-determination, wealth, and wellbeing for Canadian Indigenous peoples and communities and a more prosperous future for all.
- Creative Fire’s central purpose to be a catalyst for change through meaningful local impact and fostering authentic engagement between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and organizations.
As part of Jordan’s session he will share more about his commitment to developing training and education opportunities for Indigenous youth. It’s a story of reconciliation in action that extends to clients, partners, communities and Canada as a whole.
4:15 p.m. Conference Concludes
(Viewing on a mobile? Please rotate your phone for optimal viewing)
|Advita Patel (she/her), Co-Founder, A Leader Like Me||
|Advita Patel is the director of CommsRebel, co-founder of A Leader Like Me and a co-host for an award-winning podcast, CalmEdgedRebels. She’s also an experienced speaker and often shares her thoughts on how to overcome self-doubt, uncovering your confidence, how to unleash your inner rebel and topics around internal communication and diversity.
Advita has worked within internal communications and change management for 17 years and has gained experience in various industries, including education, energy, healthcare and transport. In January 2020, she launched CommsRebel to help organisations build inclusive cultures so colleagues can belong and thrive in the work they do.
Advita sits on the Board of Directors for the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, is a Chartered PR practitioner and is a Fellow of CIPR. She has a masters in Strategic Marketing and is a qualified coach. In 2020 she was named one of the top 100 Asian British entrepreneurs and on the top 101 global employee engagement list with inspiring workplaces.
|Dr. Jane Brearley, Founder and CEO, Intent Health||
Dr. Jane Brearley is Founder and CEO of Intent Health, a healthcare communications agency founded on diversity, inclusion and representation. Named as one of PR Week’s Agencies to Watch in 2021, Intent Health has grown from two employees to a team of 20 in just under a year, specialising in rare diseases, mental health and serving a portfolio of pharmaceutical companies and social enterprises.
Jane’s career spans over 24 years in healthcare communications, working with agencies such as Portland, Publicis Resolute, Waggener Edstrom and Red Door Communications on behaviour changing healthcare campaigns. Jane was the winner of Communique Healthcare Communications Leader 2019 and featured in the PR week Power Book 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Jane believes that without empathy and humanity, we can’t create relationships founded on trust and respect. Her vision for Intent Health is to create a community where difference is celebrated, where everyone has a true voice, and one that is heard.
Jane’s observations? “Be humble. Don’t assume. Listen. Diversity of thinking isn’t enough. It’s a start, but without true diversity of life experiences, our work will not represent the rich tapestry of humanity, and it will miss so many opportunities to engage.”
|Katrina Marshall, Co-Author, Future PRoofed||
With nearly 20 years’ experience in journalism and communications, Katrina Marshall is a seasoned Barbadian journalist who cut her teeth in radio and television before moving onto communications and feature writing.
As a corporate communications and public relations professional her hallmarks are discretion, attention to detail and fastidious dedication to preparation and research.
Her current focus is telling the authentic stories of women whose experiences of race, gender and sexuality intersect. As an IABC conference speaker and co-author of public relations publication Future PRoofed she continues to move seamlessly within the UK’s communications and public relations industry as a founding member of the Public Relations and Communications Association Race Ethnicity and Equity Board.
A regular podcast guest and blog writer on diversity and inclusion, Katrina is most comfortable both in front of and behind the microphone.
But pre-covid19 this proud island girl could most likely and often be found whipping up sumptuous curries and stews for friends and family, where the rum and laughter flow freely.
|Gabrielle (Gabi) Loring, Senior Consultant, ROC Group||
Gabi is an award-winning communicator, project manager and creative thinker. She loves partnering with clients to deliver strategic, creative communications campaigns.
An active volunteer of the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), Gabi is currently the IABC DEI Committee Chair. For IABC Chicago, she served as president, secretary and volunteer director, and received the 2017 Karen Utterback Volunteer Award.
As a Senior Consultant with ROC Group, Gabi applies the science of communication to the art of workforce change and engagement. She has hands-on project leadership expertise and is skilled in complex delivery of multi-media strategies. She is valued by her clients and colleagues alike as both an efficient problem-solver and a creative guide.
Gab’s clients include Schneider Electric, RRD, LSC Communications, Donnelley Financial Solutions, Dover Corporation and Littelfuse. She specializes in topics including wellness, health, retirement, DEI and total rewards.
In her spare time, Gabi participates in a German Speakers Meetup Group; and supports the arts and her alma mater, Northern Illinois University.
Loretta Lam, Chief Strategist & President, Focus Communications Inc.
Loretta is a visionary thought leader and diversity & inclusion communication strategist who is Chief Strategist and President of Focus Communications Inc.
Established in 1994, the award-winning Canadian
With over two decades of professional experience in integrated marketing and public relations, Loretta has formerly held management and consultant positions at leading multinational firms Hill & Knowlton Canada and Ogilvy Asia.
Loretta is a pioneer in 360 Multicultural Marketing. She instigated the “recognizing the multicultural market potential”
Cornelius Alexander, Corporate Communications Business Partner at regulator, OISC
After five years in newspapers, Cornelius Alexander moved into media relations as an Information Officer at New Scotland Yard. After stints with the Mayor of London’s Press Office, a health authority in British Columbia and London Probation Trust, he is currently Corporate Communications Business Partner at regulator, OISC (Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner).
Cornelius is currently vice-chair of the CIPR’s Diversity and Inclusion Network.
|Jefferson Darrell (he/him), Founder, Breakfast Culture||
Jefferson Darrell is an accomplished marketing communications and change management professional with more than 15 years of brand strategy expertise, generating earned and owned media using traditional and digital channels.
In the DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) space, Jefferson was instrumental in the creation of the Diversity Inclusion Anti-Racism Action Team at the Ontario Science Centre and represented them on the DEI Committee with the Canadian Association of Science Centres. He was instrumental in organizing the Centre’s involvement in the world’s first Pride in STEM Day. Jefferson’s change management project with the Black Coalition for AIDS Prevention resulted in increased revenue opportunities for the nonprofit by diversifying the organization’s development committee.
|Mark Webb, Head of Comms, Shift.ms||
Mark is a public speaker and campaigner for all things disability and diversity. He is also Head of Comms for Shift.ms, a worldwide charity and social network for those, like himself, diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. This year he has been named one of the 100 most influential disabled people in the U.K.
He blogs at onemanandhiscatheters.com, has launched a podcast called Disability@TheTable and plays Wheelchair Rugby, badly.
|Naomi MG Smith (she/her), Account Manager (Corporate Reputation), Ketchum||
Naomi MG Smith MCIPR is the youngest member of the CIPR Council (2021/22) and is an Accredited PR Practitioner. She was recently listed on PR Week’s 30 under 30, and as one of the most influential PR agency professionals in the world by Propel.
Nafisa Shafiq, Student Communications and Engagement Manager, University of Leeds
|Nafisa is a polyglot who has worked with global clients in the private and public sector. Nafisa is a founding member of A Leader Like Me and champions equality and inclusion. She is passionate about nurturing relationships, kindness and making communications clear, engaging and accessible to diverse audiences. Nafisa shares her comms journey and learnings through her blog. You can connect with her on most social media sites. She is most active on Twitter, her handle is @NafisaShafiq|
|Teela Clayton, Healthcare Comms, Intent Health||
Teela Clayton is a CIPR Accredited PR practitioner specialising in healthcare comms at Intent Health. Following an 11-year teaching career, Teela obtained a first-class Master’s degree in Public Relations and Strategic Communication at Leeds Beckett University to complement a PGCert in International Journalism. Her award-nominated thesis on the dissemination of political brand via Twitter was presented at BledCom2021 and she has co-authored on three published academic papers in various areas of PR and communication. In Autumn 2021, she will be starting a PhD research looking into the impact of UK media and Government communication on Black Asian and Minority Ethnic communities during global pandemics at the Leeds Beckett University, UK. Teela is on the committee of CIPR Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, a member of the PRCA Misinformation in the Climate Crisis strategic group and a founding member of A Leader Like Me.
Danielle Norris, SCMP (she/her), RTOERO, Manager, Marketing and Communications
Danielle Norris is an award-winning communication professional with 15 years of experience in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors. As a certified Strategic Communication Management Professional, she specializes in strategic planning, government relations, and community outreach. Danielle manages the marketing team at RTOERO, the largest national provider of non-profit group health benefits for education retirees in Canada.
In her spare time, Danielle utilizes her skills to support Black communications professionals and students through her volunteer role as a board member and director of education for the Ubora Network. Danielle also enjoys spending time with her family and inspiring a generation of readers through her Love of Literature book club program for Black youth.
In 2005, Danielle graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. She also attended Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, where she received her post-graduate diploma in corporate communications in 2006.
|Amrit Nijjar (she/her), Inclusion and Belonging Manager, Tarmac||
Amrit Nijjar (she/her) is an Inclusion and Belonging Manager who works with companies to work towards building a truly inclusive culture where everyone feels safe and able to truly be themselves.
Previously an award-winning engagement and communications professional with over 15 years of experience, Amrit uses this expertise to help embed Inclusion and Diversity action plans within her company.
|Neil Griffiths (he/him), ABC, Chart.PR, IABC Fellow, Global Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion at ERM||
Neil Griffiths, ABC, Chart.PR, IABC Fellow is Global Head of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion at ERM, the world’s largest sustainability consultancy, where he is responsible for the global DE&I strategy and engagement plan. Neil’s background is varied, having spent the better part of 20 years in a series of external, brand, strategy and internal communication roles, before moving into DE&I. Neil has held leadership roles in a number of public, private and non-profit organisations.
In the volunteer space, Neil has held multiple leadership positions within the IABC and the Company of Communicators (CoC), which is one of the City of London’s modern Livery Companies. Volunteer highlights include being a member of the inaugural Global Communications Certification Council, Career Roadmap Committee member, Chair of the 2018 IABC World Conference (Montreal), Past Chair of IABC’s EMENA region and, as at November 2020, Junior Warden of the CoC.
Neil is a recipient of the IABC Regional Leader of the Year, Rae Hamlin and IABC Chair’s Awards. In 2019, Neil was named IABC Fellow, the highest honour bestowed on an IABC member.
Together with co-author Deborah Hinton, Neil has published two studies on the current and future state of the communication profession and advocates for channeling your best communication self regardless of where and how you work.
[LinkedIn / @negriff]
Mubashira Nusrat Farooqi (she/her/hers),
Mubashira Nusrat Farooqi is an equity and inclusion advocate, an Account Executive at FleishmanHillard Highroad and the Vice President of Volunteer and Mentorship Services with IABC/Toronto. Mubashira is also the host of Colour Me PR Podcast where she amplifies the voices of exceptional women of colour in communications. She graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelor of Arts in Diversity and Inclusion, followed by a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from Centennial College.
Son Pham, (he/him) Senior Account Executive
Son is a Senior Account Executive at Intent Health, where he supports on a number of key strategic accounts. His work ranges from biotech, mental health and wellbeing to public sector, improving lives and creating positive social impacts.
He also held the volunteer position of PR Executive at the LGBT+ charity Friends of Dorothy and Council Member at PRCA Equity and Inclusion Advisory Network.
Ilyana Rajwani (she/her)
|Ilyana is a recent Public Relations and Communications Management student, now looking for a full-time role in PR. She is passionate about increasing racial diversity in the PR industry and promoting racial inclusion in the workplace.|
|Keith Riley-Whittingham (he/him) Internal Communications, DWF & Co-Host at Internal Miscommunications||
Keith is a Communications and media specialist at DWF. He has worked in communications for 10 years and has worked across a variety of industries including financial services, travel and law.
When not behind the desk Keith can be found fixing his truck, building Lego with his partner Neil or walking his dog Remo.
|Jordan Baptiste (he/him), Managing Director, Creative Fire||
Jordan Baptiste has deep roots in Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation shapes his ethos as a national business leader. With feet entrenched in both worlds, Jordan has spent the last decade connecting Indigenous communities and Indigenous businesses with industry. His nuanced understanding and community-first approach has helped him achieve meaningful change and help build organizations that thrive.
The son of one of Canada’s first Indigenous IT professionals, Jordan believes every Indigenous child (regardless of whether they live in an urban or remote setting) has the potential to be a trailblazer. He has been active in the field of educational reform as a steering committee member for numerous institutions developing Indigenous curriculum. He is currently the Vice Chair of STR8 UP – a grassroots organization working in Saskatoon’s core neighborhoods that supports and offers hope and healing to individuals as they transition from gang and street life towards a healthier lifestyle.
For Jordan, it’s always about taking a strength-based approach: focusing on the skills, knowledge, and expertise inherent within Indigenous communities. Representing a new generation of Indigenous Business Leaders, Jordan’s aim is to build collaborations in which Indigenous communities can chart their own path towards economic success.
Ayeni Adékúnlé Samuel (he/him), CEO, Black House Media
|Ayeni Adekunle is a Nigerian writer, public relations consultant, and entrepreneur.
He is best known for founding BHM Group, the home to public relations consultancy
– BlackHouse Media Limited, Nigeria and BlackHouse Media (BHM) Limited, UK,
marketing and corporate communications company – Info Digital Africa Limited, and
communications technology startup – Plaqad Limited, Nigeria and Plaqad Inc.,
United States of America. Ayeni is also the founder of Cognomen, an investment
October 14, 2021 Conference Pricing
|Early Bird Rate
(until August 19, 2021)
(August 20 – October 14, 2021)
|Conference Ticket||$99.00 CAD
(approx. $75USD/ £58)
(approx. $115USD/ £87)
Cancellation & Refund Policy
Substitution of delegates is permissible without prior notification. Refunds will be given for cancellations received in writing no later than 15 days prior to the conference date subject to an administration fee of $50 plus $5 for GST. After this time, you are liable for the full registration fee even if you do not attend the conference. If you register during this 15 day period, you are also liable for the full fee. A Leader Like Me & SummersDirect Inc. reserve the right to change program date, meeting place or content without further notice and assumes no liability for these changes.