Diversity in Wholesale offers senior managers and future talent in the wholesale channel the inspiration, advice and tools needed to provide an environment where people of any age, gender, ethnic group, sexuality, and social background can succeed.

Amplifying unrepresented voices helps us challenge perceptions and think differently while learning from other successful businesses who are well on their Diversity and Inclusion journey. Getting important conversations started is key to making a difference.

Diversity in Wholesale Conference 2023
9:30am-10:10am Registration and Coffee
10:10am – Introduction
Welcome from Chairperson, Clare Bocking, Director of Immediate Impact.
Session 1
10:20am Supporting Squiggly Careers
Kelly Tucker, Managing Director, HR Star

From the true meaning of flexible working to the advantages of a ‘squiggly career’, Kelly’s fresh approach to recruitment and retention helps to support businesses to build meaningful career paths for every member of the team while helping to make sure that team members feel happy, motivated and able to thrive – while always leaving on good terms.
10:40am Making a Different with Employee Groups
Nic Storey, Sales Senior Director, Impulse, Pepsico

A successful collection of Employee Resource Groups dedicated to mental health, gender diversity, ethnicity and culture and LGBT+ to name a few, are helping Pepsico to be well on its way to a truly diverse and inclusive workplace. Nic will share PepsiCo’s approach, and his top tips for making sure that ERG Groups can make a difference to your business.
11:00am Having Brave Conversations
Holly Pennington, HR & Training Manager, Parfetts

Listening to a diversity of voices and opinions is an important part of business progress. Rising Star Award Winner, Holly Pennington, says having brave conversations at work can be difficult but is always worth it, for everyone involved. A member of the Future Leader’s Forum, Holly shares her journey and how speaking up has helped her to make a difference.
11:20am-11:50am Coffee Break
Session 2
11:50pm My Journey into Leadership
Vipin Patara, newly appointed Managing Director of SOS Wholesale

Recently appoint Managing Director of SOS Wholesale, Vipin will share what it’s like to step her first CEO role, her journey to get there and future vision for the business. Covering what has helped to motivate and inspire her along the way, Vipin will share insights into the challenges, opportunities, and learnings for other future up-and-coming senior managers in the wholesale channel.
12:10am Panel: Creating an Inclusive In-Depot Experience
Convenience retailers and FWD explore how to create a welcoming and inclusive cash and carry environment for customers. This panel is being run in collaboration with Women in Convenience and is hosted by Megan Humphrey, Editor of Retail Express.

• Sunita Aggarwal, multi-site retailer, Sheffield and Leicester
• Natalie Lightfoot, retailer, Glasgow
• Nathalie Fullerton, retailer, Glasgow
• Lyndsey Cambridge, Head of Engagement & Communication at FWD
• Session Chair: Megan Humphrey, Editor, Retail Express
12:40pm–1:20pm Lunch
Welcome from Co-Chairperson, Jason Finch, Director of We are Unicorn.
Session 3
1:20pm Fostering an LGBTQ+ Friendly Culture
Ellie Krupa, Customer Director, UK Grocer, Premier Foods

Sharing her own experiences, Ellie will reveal the inclusive leadership advice businesses can use to make all employees feel welcome, integrated, and valued, regardless of sexuality and gender identity, helping to improve the workplace for LGBT+ employees, attracting a more diverse range of staff and keeping retention high and recruitment costs low.
1:40pm Access all Areas: Employability
Megan Berkinshaw, Employer Engagement Manager, FareShare

FareShare works with unemployed people from various challenging backgrounds to get them trained, experienced and ready for warehouse work – giving them the opportunity to have a rewarding and successful career. She will introduce the employability initiative and how wholesalers can get involved
2:00pm Supporting Disability at Work
Helen Cooke – CEO & Founder of MyPlus

How do we start the conversation around disability? With only 50% of people with a disability in wholesale saying that they feel they have an equal opportunity to succeed – it’s critical for businesses in the wholesale channel to help level the playing field. Leading disability and recruitment expert Helen will explore the practical advice needed to get important conversations started, helping to create a more inclusive understanding culture, to help all employees to thrive.
Grab a coffee and choose your one-hour workshop from the options below
2:30-3:30pm Breakout sessions
Workshop 1: Parental Leave Panel
An attractive parental leave policy leads to happier families, which is better in the long-term for both workers and companies. In this panel discussion, Melanie Tucker explores the support that parents and carers are getting from some of the leading brands and wholesalers – a great opportunity to pick up ideas to take back to your business.

• Session chair: Melanie Tucker, Head of Out of Home, Boitiful melanietucker@live.co.uk
• Rebecca Long, Trading Manager at A.F. Blakemore
• Victoria Lockie, Head of Retail, Nisa Victoria.Lockie@nisaretail.com
• Katya Simmons, Managing Director, Nestle Professional katya.simmons@uk.nestle.com
Workshop 2: Age & Menopause
Workshop led by Michelle Painton, Global HSE Lead, Mondelez

Mondelez are running many successful initiatives around menopause in the workplace, her ideas will inspire everyone to act.
Workshop 3: Unconscious Bias
The Advanced Class
Workshop 4: Future Leaders Forum Panel - Reputation & Recruitment
With Lyndsey Cambridge, FWD
Session 4
3:30-4:10pm – Guest speaker: Shaunagh Brown
Professional Rugby player, a former firefighter, commercial diver and British Gas Engineer, Shaunagh Brown’s story is one of hard work and determination. Her session will be themed around some of the challenges she faced being a black woman in an elite rugby team. Talk and Q&A.

4:10pm – Clare Bocking, Chairperson’s Closing
4:15pm-6:00pm Networking & Drinks