Summit Schedule

30th JUNE 2020

PANEL DISCUSSION: Taking stock and mapping out the next steps
  • Assessing the impacts of Covid-19 on the economy and more specifically on the tech industry
  • What has and what hasn’t worked? What challenges and opportunities have businesses and employees found?
  • How has this experience impacted diversity and inclusion efforts? Have we regressed? Is there a feeling of togetherness? Will this become a distant memory?

Avril Chester, Founder and CEO, Cancer Central UK

Jacqueline de Rojas, President, TechUK

Joanne Webb, Former Global e-Commerce and Digital Director, Merlin Entertainments plc.

R. Michael Anderson, Leadership Mentor, The Technology Leadership Insider


FIRESIDE CHAT: Tech for Good – emerging in a better world
  • Addressing the need to be more proactive and not reactive with regards to global challenges
  • Which technology has thrived, and which has not? Why?
  • What have we learned and how will we develop technological solutions moving forward?
  • How do we as tech professionals, create and develop technology to benefit our organisations and others? How and when it has been possible to do both?
  • Debate: Outsourcing vs internal build of tech/apps with a tech for good foundation?

Joanna Hodgson, Director – Presales, Red Hat

Rachel Murphy, CEO, Difrent Group


Chairperson: Fiona Daniel, CEO and Founder, FD2I

PRESENTATION: Rapid adaption from top to bottom within the organisation
  • Where was the organisation digitally pre-covid?
  • How we adapted and have been adapting since? How quickly was this achieved?
  • What did you as IT leaders prioritise and why?
  • How to guarantee that the changes and technologies adopted are future proof
  • What are the next steps for the organisations continued digital transformation?

Louise Brown, Digital Adoption Lead, Heathrow

PRESENTATION: Finding your digital voice
  • Discussing the differences between your physical and digital voice
  • Why do some thrive in one or the other environment? How can you master both?
  • Did you uphold your visibility as a leader within your organisations?

Fiona Daniel, CEO and Founder, FD2I

FIRESIDE CHAT: Encouraging your team to find their voices
  • During covid-19, how did your team members responded and adapt? Were there surprises? Did individuals find a ‘new’ voice?
  • Who thrived and why?
  • Have new management styles been adopted? Is there a new team dynamic?
  • How as leaders can you continue to develop your voice and that of those around you in physical or digital settings?

Moderator: Fiona Daniel, CEO and Founder, FD2I

Georgina Owens, SVP IT Services, DAZN

Joanne Rewcastle, Head of Internal Digital and Cross-Government Engagement, DWP Digital

Joanne Webb, Former Global e-Commerce and Digital Director, Merlin Entertainments plc.

1st JULY 2020

PRESENTATION: The lack of diversity in tech goes beyond gender
  • What is intersectionality? Why do we keep putting people in boxes?
  • Highlighting the low percentages of minority groups across IT and tech
  • Discussing the opportunities of investments made in BAME and disabled candidates
  • How to proactively increase the number of underrepresented groups in our teams

Abi Mohamed, Cyber Programme Manager, Tech Nation

FIRESIDE CHAT: Punk, geek or superfreak... – I’ll be all of the above please

A chance to be a fly on the wall and engage with 2 influential leaders in technology about their personal, no-holds-barred, haphazard journey of redefining and implementing what the wonderful world of work can be for Rolls-Royce.

  • The importance of unlocking the power of our workforce
  • Managing psychological safety at a time where AI & automation is the main topic of c-suite conversation
  • How it feels to lead an amazing neurodiverse community when you are a minority yourself!

Manisha Mistry, Head of Digital Culture, R2 Data Labs – Rolls Royce

Caroline Gorski, Group Director, R2 Data Labs – Rolls Royce


Chairperson: Prof. Dana Brown, Dean, Spott School of Business Canada

PRESENTATION: Pandoras box of opportunities or Cul-de-sac – Diversity 2020/2021
  • How far have we come and what have we achieved?
  • Post COVID-19 – Opportunity or Threat. Two-speed workplace (those working in the office and those from home) or Utopia (everyone working in a new culture with new working practices)
  • How can we and why should we as leaders be striving for utopia? 

Mark Freed, CEO, E2W Ltd

FIRESIDE CHAT: Champions and allies
  • “We are all in this together” – how to channel this togetherness for D&I efforts
  • Identifying your workplace champions and allies and how to leverage their help and support now
  • How to recruit more allies and ensure continuity during and post-covid

Moderator: Prof. Dana Brown, Dean, Spott School of Business Canada

Lucy Mullins, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, StepLadder UK

Mark Hill, Group CIO, Tenth Revolution Group

Fred Becker, COO, Aire

PRESENTATION: Pause, plot and pivot

This session will focus on the opportunities this pandemic offers us all as individuals (currently working or not). The opportunity to upskill, learn new things, unlock our suppressed potential and adapt our mindset to look for and develop innovative ideas. 

Breda McCague, Head of Risk Management, Banking Transformation, Retail Banking

2nd JULY 2020

FIRESIDE CHAT: Responding to a workplace and workforce in crisis
  • Quantifying the impact of the pandemic on the workforce with layoffs, furloughs, reduced pay, and forced sabbaticals and annual leave
  • What did companies do first? What has been the step-by-step process?
  • How have these measures impacted employees and employers alike?
  • How do you regain trust, loyalty and move forward?

Avril Chester, CIO, Riba

Kim Nilsson, CEO, Pivigo

CASE STUDY: Important adjustments to attract the right talent and offer equal, unbiased opportunities
  • Why are female professionals shying away from potential job opportunities?
  • Understanding impact of the language used in job descriptions and how it comes across to potential candidates
  • Top tips: How to write job descriptions that get you the talent you are looking for
  • The next steps
    • How to filter candidate applications – what to include and what not to include
    • Interview process – who do you have in the room with you?
    • How to evaluate and match a candidate’s talent and personality for your team and the organisation 

Barbara Gottardi, MD Chief Information Officer, HSBC

PRESENTATION: Hiring best practices during the pandemic
    • How did the company go about recruiting during the lockdown?
    • How do you effectively onboard someone virtually?
    • What processes were adapted and put in place? What worked and what did not? Why?
    • Sharing the step-by-step breakdown of how recruitment has changed thus far

Senior representative, Red Hat

PANEL DISCUSSION: We need talent now - where do we find it?

“There is a shortage of talent in the industry.” Is this true? Or is it rather that we have the talent but that they are not afforded the opportunity? Our panelists will debate this statement and demonstrate exactly where we can find the talented individuals we have been looking for.

  • Establishing what leaders/companies are looking for in a candidate
  • Identifying ‘untapped’ pools of talent and why they are great candidates for your teams
  • Why the WFH experience has the power to reduce dropout rates and provide greater flexibility opportunities for returners
  • What do IT leaders need to do to support upskilling, onboarding and recruitment projects?
  • Discussing the expansion of all our roles to include talent acquisition skills and management

Nabila Salem, President, Revolent Group

Stephanie Dillon, CEO, Inclusivity Partners

Anna Brailsford, CEO, CodeFirstGirls

ROUNDTABLES: Securing our future STEM talent – this is your moment to give back

Educating, inspiring and nurturing the future talent pool to pursue STEM subjects is key to overcoming the deficit we are currently facing. During these roundtables attendees and the speaker will be joined by diverse young students from local schools to discuss:


  • The perception, concerns and doubts these young girls have of STEM
  • What did speakers and attendees find exciting about STEM subjects
  • Why our speakers and attendees enjoy the roles and the industry they are working in
  • The benefits and important roles female STEM professionals play in our futures
  • How can our STEM leaders can do more to support change initiatives?
  • Discussing the next steps and continuity – Internships; development programmes; mentorship.