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Stonewall Scotland Workplace conference 2016

Stonewall Scotland Workplace Conference 2016

This year's Stonewall Scotland Workplace Conference took place on 18 November 2016. The conference brought together over 200 delegates from across the private, public and third sectors.

Our annual CPD-accredited Stonewall Scotland Workplace Conference is a must-attend event for everyone involved in the delivery of workplace equality, diversity and inclusion. They bring together senior leaders, HR and diversity professionals, LGBT staff and allies from a huge cross-sector of organisations to share the latest innovative thinking, learn about current best practise and develop ideas for creating inclusive workplaces, where everyone is able to be themselves. 

2016 Keynote speakers

Colin Macfarlane, Director, Stonewall Scotland

Colin Macfarlane

Colin Macfarlane is the Director of Stonewall Scotland. Colin provides day-to-day leadership and management of the Scottish operations of Stonewall, leading the continued growth of Stonewall Scotland's national profile and programmes.

Colin represents Stonewall Scotland across the public policy domain, to the media, government, employers, public services and LGBT Scots. He also leads the design and implementation of effective strategies across communications, fund development, stakeholder engagement, campaigns, major project management and policy development.

Before joining Stonewall, Colin worked in the public sector as Head of Communications for the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and prior to that as Policy and Public Affairs Officer for the Disability Rights Commission.

Maggie Stilwell, Managing Partner for Talent in UK and Ireland, EY

Maggie StilwellMaggie Stilwell is EY’s Managing Partner for Talent in UK and Ireland and a member of the Firm’s leadership team.  She is responsible for all matters concerning the recruitment, retention, and development of its staff.  Maggie is also an experienced dispute advisory partner, specialising in expert witness and expert determinations. She has been with EY for over 19 years and has experience in a number of sectors including energy, pharmaceuticals, consumer products and financial services. 

Maggie has a special interest in diversity and inclusiveness, and in the LGBT agenda specifically, having recently helped support the introduction of EY’s guidelines on gender identity, expression and transition in the workplace and being a formal LGBT ally to the network.  More broadly, on social mobility inclusion, Maggie led the decision to change EY’s recruitment process by removing academic qualifications as a filter to its process for graduates and school leavers.  Her other interest is talent development, having led the Firm’s Accelerated Leadership Program she is now leading the roll out of a fast track partner development process in collaboration with Oxford University’s Said Business School.  Maggie is an accredited performance coach.

Prior to specialising in dispute services, Maggie built up audit and corporate finance experience. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1994.  Before she qualified and joined a Big 4 professional services firm, Maggie worked in the financial services industry.  She has a First Class Honours degree in Business from Edinburgh University and a dissertation prize winner.  Maggie became a partner in 2008.  

Shirley Rogers, Director of Health Workforce and Strategic Change, Scottish Government

Shirley Rogers

In May 2012 Shirley was appointed to Scottish Government, where she is Director of Health Workforce and Strategic Change. She has responsibility for a number of areas including Workforce, Transformational Change and Strategy, sustainability, pay, terms and conditions of service, pensions, workforce planning, reshaping medical careers and the sponsorship of NHS Education for Scotland. Shirley led the development and implementation of Everyone Matters, the 20:20 Workforce Vision for NHS Scotland and is currently leading on Board governance and the Health elements of Public Service Reform.
Shirley graduated with an Honours Degree from Newcastle University in 1986. She began her career working in Central Government in London and from there moved to the private sector and the Police Service, before joining NHS Scotland in 1996. Shirley also holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Rebecca Stinson, Head of Trans Inclusion, Stonewall 
Rebecca Stinson

Rebecca Stinson studied law and completed her masters and the BPTC at Northumbria to be called to the Bar of England and Wales. Her Masters dissertation focused on gender identity recognition law and how it could be better achieved in the UK which was something that generated her involvement in LAGLA (Lesbian and Gay Lawyers Association). Rebecca joined to create trans inclusivity in the association and her work on her dissertation and speaking to judges and QC’s enabled her to realise she could make a greater difference to the law and the profession without remaining in practice. She joined Stonewall Scotland as a Client Account Manager in August 2016 before moving to her new role as Head of Trans Inclusion in October 2016. Rebecca transitioned during the time she completed her masters and trained at the Bar.


Ruth Hunt, Chief Executive, Stonewall

Ruth HuntRuth was appointed CEO of Stonewall in August 2014, having worked in senior positions in the organisation since 2011. She has successfully led the development of the Stonewall’s groundbreaking policy, campaigns and research outputs, including its work to tackle homophobic bullying in schools, effective interventions to improve the health of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and Stonewall’s acclaimed leadership development programmes. 
Since taking on the leadership, Ruth has committed to bringing Stonewall even deeper into communities, engaging with groups from different ethnicities, religions, and geographies – both in the UK and abroad. She has also spearheaded Stonewall’s commitment to campaign for trans equality; a decision that will shape Stonewall’s work going forward. 


BREAKOUT SESSION A - click on title for session presentation

Session 1: Starting out in inclusion

Regardless of sector or industry, we believe people perform better when they can be themselves. This session will help you gain confidence in building a strong business case for a diverse and inclusive workforce. It will explore the unique issues faced by LGBT people in your workforce and different strategies you can use to begin developing an inclusive workplace for all. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Examine the core business case for mainstreaming Diversity and Inclusion objectives across an organisation.
  • Build confidence in communicating how diverse and inclusive workplace cultures progress the overall aims and successes of the business. 
  • Understand how campaigns can be used as a tool to encourage engagement and introduce D&I objectives across as organisation.

Session 2: Global inclusion for all

In a growing global market, living your organisational values can be a challenge, especially when legal and societal frameworks don’t support equality in your areas of operation. This session will explore how you can support your LGBT staff and service users, while still ensuring that your global activity is culturally sensitive and impactful.   

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the unique challenges and experiences that LGBT people face in relation to secondment work in countries where legal and societal frameworks don’t support LGBT equality. 
  • Develop an awareness of the benefits for all staff when organisations introduce a global approach to inclusion. 
  • Hear about best practice pertaining to LGBT inclusion in your global operations. 

Session 3: Community engagement: How to maximise the impact of CSR within your local communities

Organisations which are active around corporate social responsibility are able to build strong and lasting relationships with their local communities. This session will explore how an organisation can get more involved with their local LGBT communities and further support LGBT equality.  

Learning Outcomes

  • Explore how your organisation might use CSR initiatives to reach further into communities.
  • Develop and understanding of how to develop and position a persuasive business case. 
  • Begin to identify key contact points within your organisation, which can be developed to expand engagement with their communities. 

Session 4: A force to be reckoned with: Formalising an effective network

An effective LGBT and/or Ally network can be a real force for change within their workplace, including influencing policy, changing cultures and creating inclusive environments and activities. This session will encourage you to consider how your networks can affect greater change in your organisation and what steps you need to take to formalise a network.  

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn about the different ways a network can be formalised. 
  • Explore the barriers which may be present within organisations that prevent a network being formalised. 
  • Look at how to build the business case for formalising a network through examples of best practice.

Session 5: Equality on a shoestring: How to prioritise diversity and inclusion on a budget 

In the current financial climate, public sector organisations need to think creatively to ensure that progress on LGBT equality is not lost. This session will explore the additional pressures which can impact on LGBT staff and service users and provide some practical tools and solutions for the challenges that arise when resources and funding are limited. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the issues faced by LGBT staff and service users in times of financial uncertainty. 
  • Hear about best practice from organisations which have used innovative methods to attract, recruit and retain a diverse, inclusive workplace.  
  • Take away practical strategies to help you achieve and maintain your work in LGBT when resources and funding are scarce. 

BREAKOUT SESSION B - click on title for session presentation

Session 6: Supporting LGBT staff and students within Further and Higher Education

Further and Higher Education institutions are unique settings for inclusion and diversity. This session will look at different techniques for supporting their LGBT staff and how these organisations can apply this learning to ensure greater inclusion for their LGBT service users.

Learning Objectives

  • Develop an understanding of the unique challenges which LGBT staff may experience within Further and Higher Education. 
  • Explore how these challenges may also affect service users. 
  • Through cross-sector learning, explore which strategies can support a more inclusive environment for all. 

Session 7: Working with Allies

Allies play a vital role in securing equality for our LGBT colleagues, friends and family. The best organisations will recognise the importance of Allies, actively engage them in creating an inclusive environment and maximise the impact of their Senior Allies. This session will explore specific campaigns and strategies for bringing allies on board and maximising their potential as agents of change.  

Learning Objectives

  • Develop an understanding of the importance of Allies and their involvement in creating inclusive movements.
  • Examine different ways which LGBT and Ally colleagues can work together within delegates’ organisations. 
  • Explore how organisations can maximise the involvement of their senior allies, to bring other colleagues onboard with inclusive initiatives. 

Session 8: Supporting Trans colleagues in the workplace 

Organisations which may have devised trans-inclusive policies may find that their trans employees still face unique challenges. This session will look at best practice examples for supporting trans staff and ensuring that your workplace is an inclusive environment which celebrates diversity. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop an understanding of the lived experience of many trans individuals in the workplace.
  • Hear about best practice pertaining to effective policies and management strategies which support trans employees and improves their lived experiences.
  • Explore different strategies for helping develop an inclusive workplace which celebrates diversity and supports trans employees. 

Session 9: Getting the policy right: Making monitoring and procurement inclusive 

Monitoring allows organisations to work intelligently to respond to the needs of their staff, customers and service users. Encouraging suppliers to make their workplaces and services more LGBT-friendly means they can get better service themselves. This session will help you to gain best practices knowledge around effective monitoring and procurement practices to improve the culture of your organisation. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the best practice approach to asking for data on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Explore the business benefits of supplier diversity. 
  • Provide practical examples and information on how to monitor effectively and build strong relationships with staff and suppliers. 

Session 10: Diversity in diverse environments

The best practice organisations know that people deserve to be accepted without exception, wherever they work, live, socialise and pray. For many teams who work in multiple offices across wide geographic locations, it can be a challenge to bring every team member along with diversity and inclusion strategies. This session will look at practical techniques and plans organisations can use to get all of their staff involved. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop an understanding of the business case for mainstreaming diversity and inclusion objectives across national operations.
  • Explore how organisations can engage effectively with colleagues across the UK through different strategies.
  • Begin to develop an action plan for rolling out a campaign across different national offices.

Stonewall Scotland Workplace Conference 2017 

  • Friday 17 November 2017
  • Edinburgh International Conference Centre, The Exchange Edinburgh, 150 Morrison St, Edinburgh EH3 8EE

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