THE GLOBAL INCLUSION ONLINE FORUM 2021 — AS IT HAPPENED

June 3, 2021
THE GLOBAL INCLUSION ONLINE FORUM 2021 — AS IT HAPPENED

The world’s #1 conference on Diversity and Inclusion with 3000+ attendees and 80+ speakers from all over the globe has ended after 8 days of intensive sessions. Global Inclusion Online Forum 2021 was organized by CFC Big Ideas and became the second annual online event, which brought together the world's leading diversity and inclusion executives, HR consultants, and D&I activists.

The week-long agenda of the event included two days of keynotes, panel discussions, and a startup competition, followed by six days of practical workshops. This year’s program also featured Inclusion Business Awards, Online Expo, and a special project “100 words on diversity & inclusion”. The event covered such important topics as business leadership, recruitment, gender equality, as well as LGBTQ+, disability, racial and financial inclusion.

“DE&I is a journey that we are all on together. I truly believe that we have begun a journey that has no end and that will make us all better for it. Events and discussions like these move us all forward for one another and for our teams.”, says Steve Bilt, CEO of Smile Brands & Smiles for Everyone Foundation.

Among the Forum’s speakers and workshop providers were representatives of such world’s biggest organizations and corporations as Deloitte, Forbes, Intercorp, GitLab, Microsoft, Mind Gym, Moody’s, Smile Brands, Sun Life and UN Globe. Sponsors of the Forum were Moody’s, a global integrated risk assessment firm, MindGym, behavior change specialists, and Sun Life, a leading international financial services organization.

The GIOF was joined by the leaders of Acosta, Amazon, Boeing, Facebook, Google, Honeywell, LinkedIn, McKinsey & Company, Siemens, SunPower and Wayfair. The majority of participants came from North America — 70%, while 20% were from Europe, 7% — from Australia, 3% — from Asia, South America, and Africa combined. The Forum covered all time zones, proving its truly global nature.

While discussing gender equality, the panelists emphasized the importance of gender-neutral advertisements and suggested having blind reviews as one of the possible problem-solvers. They talked over the fallacy of the method of trying to change women to make them fit into workplaces and emphasized the importance of creating a proper environment for everyone.

“Women don't actually need your help and don't need any fixing. What we need is for everybody to recognize that a more equal workplace serves as a benefit for every single one of us because in that environment we are free to be ourselves, free to innovate, free to speak up and are likely to be more effective”, says Michelle Penelope King, Gender Diversity Expert.

The importance of speaking up about racial bias was also emphasized. The speakers discussed how the situation has changed in the light of the murder of George Floyd. They shared the ways the companies can get educated about racial inclusion via free D&I platforms and resources. For example, they can use Textio, which proofreads job descriptions and helps de-bias language to the point of changing and suggesting different words.

“I always say: “If we can name it, we can change it”. The other side of it is "If you don't name it, you won't change it". We have to talk about racism in the workplace if we have any hope of addressing racism in the workplace”, says Amber Hikes, Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at ACLU.

The speakers have also shared their own experience of inequity and injustice and its influence both on the lives of human beings and companies. They discussed the responsibilities of corporations to provide and integrate D&I into their programs and mentioned what is unhealthy D&I and how it functions in corporations.

“Diversity and inclusion can actually make a difference between your future viability and the viability of the organization you are a part of. If we don't introduce it, then we are choosing not to pivot, not to mirror and reflect a very changing world”, says Jennifer Brown, Founder & CEO at Jennifer Brown Consulting.

The event ended withannouncing the 2022 Forum, which will gather 100+ speakers, introduce 3 more panel discussions, increase the attendee count and create new trends in the field of D&I. The Global Inclusion Online Forum will also become a platform for promoting diversity and inclusion, as well as sharing valuable content with everyone who is looking for ways to make their businesses more inclusive.

CFC Big Ideas, the organizer of the event, is an international strategic communications consultancy headquartered in Dubai, UAE. Established in 2003, the company has made its name by implementing BIG IDEA international projects. CFC's portfolio includes public initiatives executed on the sidelines of the Annual Meeting in Davos, G20 Summit in Argentina, the UN General Assembly as well as other international initiatives.

For any additional information, please contact Anna Krys, Head of Diversity & Inclusion Practice at CFC Big Ideas via support@inclusionforum.global.