Leaders invited to learn winning inclusion strategies with Inspirefest at BTYSTE


18 Dec 2018312 Views

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Ann O’Dea speaking at Inspirefest 2018. Image: Conor McCabe Photography

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For the first time, Inspirefest presents an exclusive leaders lunch at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition.

As part of Inspirefest’s brand new partnership with the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition (BTYSTE), an exclusive leaders lunch will be hosted during the exhibition in January 2019.

On Thursday, 10 January 2019, Inspirefest will host ‘Winning strategies for building an inclusive and equitable workplace’ with some very special guests, including Heather Melville from PwC UK.

Taking place at the Minerva Suite in the RDS, Dublin, amid the hustle and bustle of the BTYSTE event running from 9 to 12 January, Inspirefest founder Ann O’Dea will host Melville as headline speaker, followed by an insightful panel discussion.

Keynote from Heather Melville

Heather Melville joined PwC UK as director of client experience in November 2018. She has enjoyed a successful 37-year career mainly in financial services and international sales, with the last 17 years focused around international trade and, most recently, a role as director of strategic partnerships and head of business inclusion at the Royal Bank of Scotland.

In 2017, Melville was awarded an OBE for her services to gender equality in business, and her passion for inclusion has led to myriad awards. She has been appointed as a patron of Women in Banking and Finance, and named in the 2016 and 2017 Financial Times list of 100 top UK and US BAME leaders, and the publication’s 2017 and 2018 HERoes Champions of Women in Business. This year, she was named by Powerlist as one of the UK’s most influential black people and in the top 30 most influential black people in the City of London.

Panel discussion

The panel discussion will include former Inspirefest star Karla O’Brien, a transgender woman on the brink of graduation in computer science. O’Brien received a standing ovation at Inspirefest 2016 after she spoke about her hopes for the future of STEM and, in January, she will share her research and thoughts on inclusion in the tech industry today.

Joining O’Brien will be future Inspirefest speaker Ciara-Beth Ní Ghríofa, whose experience of growing up with high-functioning autism led her to create the award-winning app, Mi Contact. Mi Contact aims to alleviate the negative effects of those on the autism spectrum who have difficulty making eye contact by helping them to practise this social skill.

Mi Contact has been recognised with various awards such as the RTÉ student award for the Best Social and Behavioural Science Project and the Abbott ‘Life To The Fullest’ Award at BTYSTE 2017. Ní Ghríofa then went on to take part in – and win – the BT Young Scientist Business Bootcamp that year.

The Inspirefest @ BTYSTE event is invite-only. Should a leader in your organisation wish to attend, please contact the Inspirefest team.

Inspirefest is Silicon Republic’s international event celebrating the point where science, technology and the arts collide. Tickets for Inspirefest 2019 are available now.