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Forum for Leaders of Inclusive Cultures (FLIC)

The University of Warwick, Pearn Kandola, Coventry City Council, and Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership are working in partnership to deliver the Forum for Leaders of Inclusive Cultures. The Forum brings together leaders in the region to help them develop cultures that recognise, welcome, and nurture diversity.

We are committed to building a movement for inclusive leadership, and for us this goes beyond working internally, we are working to ensure inclusive leadership is a community endeavour.

Our events cover all areas of inclusive leadership and involve speakers and panellists with knowledge, expertise, and experience in the field, including those working in the public sector, businesses, regional and national government, higher education, law firms, and more.

"FLIC creates a forum for sharing good practice and building networks. It runs webinars and events on all areas of inclusive leadership, involving speakers and panel members with knowledge, expertise, and experience in the field. If building an inclusive culture for high performance is important to your business (and I hope it is), then I would strongly encourage you to register for FLIC webinars and join the mailing list."

Professor Chris Ennew (Provost, University of Warwick).


FLIC is for anyone interested in inclusive leadership. Our mailing list includes those working in the public sector, businesses, regional and national government, charities, higher education, law firms, and more.

Join the mailing list to keep up to date and hear about our eventsLink opens in a new window.

Attend an event

We hold a series of online forums aimed at leaders in industry, business, and public service to help them develop cultures that recognise, welcome, and nurture diversity.

Find details of the next event hereLink opens in a new window.

Catch up

If you missed any of our previous events, you can catch up on our discussion by watching the video recording of the sessions.

See details of all previous events below.

Give feedback

If you've recently attended a FLIC event, we would really appreciate your feedback. And let us know any suggestions for topics you’d like us to cover in future sessions.

Share your feedback by completing the form here.

Previous events:

West Midlands Combined Authority and the Leadership Commission, in collaboration with Coventry City Council, the University of Warwick, and Coventry and Warwickshire LEP, bring the Inclusive Leadership Pledge to Coventry.

The launch event offered the opportunity to hear more about the pledge and how you can get involved and drive change in your organisations. There was no obligation to take the pledge on the day, but attendees were encouraged to feel free to do so, before, during or after the launch, if they wished.

“Inclusive leadership development programmes need to be embedded not only in an organisation’s strategies but importantly in their practices. Promoting diversity in leadership is good for all staff, the organisation and society. It is vital that if we want to develop an inclusive region, where all people are respected and feel a part of society we need to tackle inclusive leadership with determination.”

Anita Bhalla, OBE

See below an image from the event:

Diversity of thought is recognised as a critical factor in remaining competitive through innovation and creativity in a fast-moving environment. Through FLIC we want to bring leaders in the region together to help shape the talent pool by developing cultures that recognise, welcome, and nurture diversity in their people.

Professor Binna Kandola (Senior Partner and co-founder, Pearn Kandola) spoke at our opening session in November 2019. Professor Kandola – author of several leading books on diversity, inclusion, and leadership – works globally with public and private sector clients. He talked about 'The challenges that leaders face in implementing diversity and inclusion and what the key success factors are'.

See below images from the event:

A topic on every large employer's agenda as we get ready to publish this years results on the gender pay gap and as the debate grows on publishing race and disability pay gaps. Attendees heard from Professor Binna Kandola (Senior Partner and co-founder, Pearn Kandola) on the key issues that are causing the pay gap and the solutions that are helping employers to tackle it.

Joining us for the discussion were:

  • Professor Christine Ennew OBE (Provost, University of Warwick).
  • Sarah Perry (Managing Partner, Wright Hassall).
  • Susanna Newing (Director of Human Resources, Coventry City Council).

Watch a recording of the event below:

COVID-19 has accelerated remote working in a way we could not have imagined. Remote working has been championed as a facilitator of equality for many but in practice it has also led to exclusion, inequality and increased stress. What have we learnt that will help us to create greater inclusion for the post COVID-19 era?

Joining us for the discussion were:

Watch a recording of the event below (you can download a transcript of the event here ):

Feedback from the event:

"Thank you for organising the session. It is a real highlight in what is, in political and inclusion terms, otherwise a rather dark month. The insight (and foresight) shared by the panellists is very encouraging."

Gwen Van Der Velden, Attendee at Remote Working Session.

Creating an environment which supports the wellbeing of all its employees is a key part of developing an inclusive culture. Workplace wellbeing is a huge challenge facing employers, particularly during current times. Despite the development of wellbeing strategies, many organisations are still unaware of the role they can play in supporting their employee’s mental and physical health in order to truly foster a positive working environment which allows the organisation to thrive.

In February 2021, colleagues were invited to join the Forum for Leaders of Inclusive Cultures for a session on Thrive at Work. This presented an exciting opportunity to consider the work of the wider Midlands to lead in encouraging employers to better support their employees and take control of workplace wellbeing.

Joining us for the discussion were:

Watch a recording of the event below:

Despite years of activism, public policy, scholarship, and interventions, gender inequalities have been resistance to change. Particularly in the current context; reports published from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic show a clear and steady increase in the gaps between men and women with regards to unemployment, work hours, domestic labour, and care demands. Women are still the carriers of the bulk of caring work, are societally expected to prioritise domestic labour and to tolerate behaviours that arise out of systemic sexism. This also applies to the – still in a minority – senior female leaders.

In this talk Professor Jo Angouri (Academic Director Education and Internationalisation, Univesity of Warwick) discussed how and why language plays an important role in gender discrimination. She argued that, particularly in the workplace, exclusion is perpetuated in and through language and hegemonic ideologies that sustain the patriarchal gender order and which morph into structural barriers. The current disruption provides a need and opportunity for change which employers, policy makers, and academics should not let pass.

Joining us for the discussion were:

The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated inequality in many different ways from socio-economic and health to race inequality. We have seen a massive transformation in the way that people work, to the benefit of many but at the same time highlighting very different working conditions for people working on front line services. How do leaders navigate the issues involved in the workplace and in wider communities to put inclusion at the centre of local economic recovery strategies?

Joining us for the discussion were:

Watch a recording of the event below:

Sarah Windrum (Chair, CWLEP) was due to join us on the day, but unfortunately due to technical difficulties was unable to. Following the event, Sarah has written up a blog on what she would have spoken about at the event – you can read Sarah’s blog here.

Diversity is one of the biggest challenges facing the tech industry today. Based on the latest figures available, women made up only 19% of the UK IT industry, Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people 15.2%, and disabled people 9%. Now more than ever we must drive solutions to diversity and inclusion in technology.

Joining us for the discussion were:

Watch a recording of the event below:

Disabled people are 28.6 percentage points less likely to be in employment than non-disabled people. But Scope and the Social Market Foundation have estimated that even halving this disability employment gap would boost UK output by around £50 billion a year.

Disability inclusive employment would not only improve disabled people’s job opportunities and increase job satisfaction but it would also benefit the economy and support post-pandemic recovery by providing employers with the widest possible talent pool and addressing skills shortage.

Joining us for the discussion were:

  • Professor Binna Kandola (Senior Partner and co-founder, Pearn Kandola).
  • Jonathan Taylor (Managing Psychologist, Pearn Kandola).
  • Rachael Mole (Founder and Managing Director, SIC SIC).
  • Jenny Wheeler (Accessibility Officer, University of Warwick).

Watch a recording of the event below:

You can also see Jonathan's slides from the session below:

Research shows that, even when people from working class backgrounds are successful in entering Britain's elite occupations they go on to earn, on average, 16% less than colleagues from more privileged backgrounds. This earning gap remains even when educational credentials, hours worked, and level of training and experience are factored for.

What is driving this inequality, and how can employers break the class ceiling? At this event our panel discussed their work and how organisations can build truly diverse and inclusive cultures which promote social mobility.

Joining us for the discussion were:

  • Professor Binna Kandola (Senior Partner and co-founder, Pearn Kandola).
  • Dr Daniel Laurison (Associate Professor of Sociology at Swarthmore College, and co-author of 'The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to Be Privileged' - "one of the most insightful works on the dynamics of inequality since The Spirit Level a decade ago" Herald Scotland). Dr Laurison's work on class cielings and inequalities looks at the ways class origin matters for our lives and careers, how that works differently across racial groups, and what that tells us about fairness and meritocracy.
  • Lucie A Milosavljevich (Social Mobility Manager and Research Manager, Grant Thornton).
  • Anne Wilson (Head of Careers, University of Warwick)

Watch a recording of the event below: