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Europe's flagship diversity event builds momentum for change

By: IssueWire

Amsterdam, Netherlands Oct 1, 2021 ( - Executives from the consumer products and retail industry will meet online in October for Europe's largest diversity event. The theme is 'Doing not Trying: It Starts with One', bringing home the message that every individual and every company has the power to help build a more gender-equal future for the industry. Leading speakers include Leena Nair, CHRO of Unilever, Sally Bucknell, Director, Diversity & Inclusiveness, UK & Ireland, EY and Andrea Euenheim, Member of the Management Board and Chief Human Resources Officer at METRO AG.

Delegates ­- including the CEOs of some of Europe's largest companies - will come together online on 6-7 October 2021 for Europe's flagship diversity event for the consumer products and retail industry. The annual conference is organised by LEAD Network which this year celebrates its 10th anniversary.

The overarching theme of the conference is 'Doing not Trying: It Starts with One', and a varied programme of events will explore the power of each individual and company to build a more gender-balanced industry. 

During the event, the results of the latest Gender Diversity Scorecard will be revealed. Every two years LEAD Network measures the progress the industry has made towards the goal of gender equality and announces the top-performing retailer and manufacturer.

Sponsored by Ahold Delhaize, The Coca Cola Company, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, METRO, Kellogg Company, LS International, and Creative Culture, the event is designed for people at all levels and stages of their career in consumer products and retail. For the first time, it will include a series of short TED-style talks, called Inspire Me Talks, where industry thought-leaders take the stage to spark new ideas. The conference also hosts a keenly anticipated panel discussion where frontline workers talk frankly about their experiences during the pandemic, and the lessons companies need to learn in order to build a more equitable workplace.

Meanwhile, popular fixtures include workshops on personal development and leadership; formal and informal networking opportunities; and a virtual marketplace showcasing companies' D&I activity, with live sessions and the chance to connect directly with the people leading these initiatives. 

Sharon Jeske, executive director of LEAD Network, said: "In our 10th anniversary year, I'm delighted that our membership has soared from 8,000 to more than 12,000 - an incredible achievement. We are excited about hosting another inspirational conference where people can tap into new ideas, build their skills and networks, and explore what the pandemic has taught us about the future of work and what that means for diversity and inclusion."

What else is on the agenda?

  • Male allies discussing how to actively build inclusive workplaces
  • Boardroom conversations - a fireside chat with women in the C-suite
  • Workshops on building your resilience, working across differences, and building talent-attraction strategies centred around authenticity
  • The Annual LEAD Network Awards, where the organisation celebrates the Partners and volunteers who are key to its continuing success
  • Invitation-only roundtables for CEOs, retailers, and D&I professionals

You can view the full conference programme here. 

Leading speakers from the industry

Throughout the event, delegates will hear from individuals who are at the forefront of building gender diversity within their own organisations. Speakers include:

Sally Bucknell, Director, Diversity & Inclusiveness, UK & Ireland, EY 

Is meritocracy a myth? Sally thinks so, and she explains why, in an incisive look at the future of work and creating a true culture of equality.

Leena Nair, Chief Human Resource Officer, Unilever 

Leena is the first female, first Asian, youngest ever CHRO of Unilever and member of the Unilever Leadership Executive. Her inspirational keynote is titled: Stop apologising, start leading: Moving from proving yourself to being yourself.

Andrea Euenheim, Member of the Management Board and Chief Human Resources Officer at METRO AG

Andrea will explore how to make every employee feel appreciated for what they bring to the table, and ask what lessons the European retail and wholesale sector can learn from other industries and regions.

David Lawlor, President, Europe, Kellogg Company 

David is a real ally when it comes to driving gender equality within his organisation, and will share his story and key insights.

Nikki Humphrey, Executive Director for People, the John Lewis Partnership

Nikki will participate in one of our panels, discussing the role of equality, inclusion, and diversity in the future of work and sharing her experiences from inside the John Lewis Partnership.

How to register

To register for the virtual event on 6-7 October 2021, visit

Tickets are on sale until 5 October 2021. Registration gives you automatic free membership of LEAD Network, allowing you to participate in its other activities throughout the year, including webinars and a mentoring programme. All formal sessions will be recorded, and delegates were given three weeks' access.


For more information about LEAD Network and the event, Roser Pujol at


LEAD Network is a non-profit and volunteer-led organisation whose mission is to attract, retain and advance women in the consumer products and retail sector in Europe through education, leadership, and business development.

LEAD Network has a fast-growing membership of more than 12,000 people - both women and men - drawn from 81 countries. Members have the opportunity to build their leadership skills, widen their circle of contacts, and be inspired by female role models and male champions in the industry. To date, 40 companies have signed LEAD Network's CEO Pledge on gender diversity, with five more have committed to sign this year.

Read the report on last year's event:  


Source :LEAD Network Virtual Conference 2021

This article was originally published by IssueWire. Read the original article here.

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