JUST Lincolnshire held our fourth Courageous Conversation on  Business took place as a live webinar via zoom on 4th November 2020. The conversation was exploring the impact on Business of recent global and local events. The conversation was thought provoking and reflective for individuals and organisations as a whole.

Inclusion and diversity and the forefront

  • How do organisations and businesses learn from the lessons of the pandemic and Black Lives Matter to create a more inclusive environment and ensure longer-term post-Covid-19 workplace change?

Questions to ask yourself:

“what kind of a leader can lead a business in this season? Diverse opinions matter”. Rucchi

“doing the same things is not a recipe for success” we need to be adaptable Simon

key tips in this season:

Making time to commit and learn. Review and challenge yourself as part of a team, expose yourself through an external lens, have a critical friend to shine a light on the way you do things.

Making sure future vision is clear and voices are heard.

“Recognise how bigger issues became more obvious, the inequalities, talk to your team around you, ask your staff for feedback? What could we change, sustainable development goals? (https://sdgs.un.org/)”Meryl

“The best way to learn from the pandemic take advantage of the other occurrences. A opportunity to reset, look at your org from the bottom up, having the conversation and not being scared. SME especially. Lockdown is a perfect opportunity to read widely to help understand the challenges. Cultural bias need to be unpicked: invisible women, June Sarpong book(how white people can become champions )”Emma

Recurring themes: reflection

Leadership a time for courageous and imaginative leadership

Creating a space for conversation and reflection.

Meryl: new level of honesty, which was refreshing that people were open and honest and asking for help, trying to find solutions, some said they needed to pause, collaboration and change of mindsets. Small business could change direction in terms of structure


“Relaxed and open opportunity, check your own circle, how diverse are your group of friends, how can you be wise until you have experienced it, who are your circle of friends, check how diverse your is? Emma

“Resilient Lincolnshire, what leadership is required? No one size fits all, each industry is going through a different curve, four themes emerged: resilience leadership will make you get up and find opportunity, emotional, responsible, technical leadership how can we leverage tech? Ruchi

“looking at where we have come from and different phases we had to react to, the communication increase, understanding how we react to situation in long term and short term. Making sure you still understand, having an active role as a leader, make proactive changes that improve the environment to.” Simon

“People seem to have lessen their communications now. Danger that its (diversity and inclusion)dropping off the radar.” Wes

We get use to the new norm and forget to go back and revaluate what is still working? Keep revaluating, connecting, and repeating to understand if you have a handle on your team.

“People are still accessing social media to have those bigger conversation, listen to the daily struggles of people, keeping your ear to the ground. Sharing knowledge and advice on the platform of Tik Tok.” Emma

“Social medias purpose has morphed(green strip im looking for a job)buy local, eat local, stay inclusive in your community first and help each other out.” Ruchi

“How does what we are going through going to change how business is done?” Wes

Suggestions for supporting local

“writing a letter asking Amazon which businesses are local to the person ordering? Emma

“Farm shops and other local shops are being utilise. Exploit some of things that make Lincolnshire accessible worldwide.” Simon

Inclusion/diversity and business:

“The first to get move down the list.”

How can businesses be more active in engaging with wider part of the community

“UN business goals how to integrate into your work. What one thing can you focus on? How are you using national campaigns? Business that encourage social injustice.”Meryl

“Check your circle, and check wit the other? Go deeper, have the bolder conversation, we have to conscious change our minds, conversate and chat. Who are the excluded people from these opportunities? Who are we missing form these conversations and understand their lived experiences? Not one woman helped to design (ON THE PLANNING) any of the towns In the UK…”Emma

“Illustrate how diversity and inclusion can help, using best practices, informed leaders working with their teams to push the boundaries of diversity.” Simon  “The world is permeable now, the ability to open your mind beyond geography, focus on something and drive it consistently and it will happen, it’s a process not an outcome, it needs to be persisted on, a inclusion organisation to represent the society. Meryl: be inclusive, be kind. It’s a process not an outcome, it needs to be imbedded in the organisation.” Ruchi


How do we move from inclusivity and diversity being compliance?

“When recruiting check in on your biases, challenge yourself, how are we representing ourselves, look at your customers and representative of your teams, beyond tokenism. Be careful of the language we are using.” Emma

“Addressing equality and diversity within our company, make our company well known for equality and diversity, setting goals where and how you want to get there.” Simon

“A broad sense of the understanding of equality,  inclusivity and diversity in so many forms not just women and black people”. Compliance is put in to drive a habit. “everything that can be counted may not always be counted…” Ruchi


What is one of the question senior businesses need to ask themselves:

“How well read are they to a diverse community, how can you champion the cause? Reading widely(the everyday racism, holly and co..invisible women, white privilege” Ruchi

“work on yourself to serve others, podcast: ones own, why im no longer talking to white people about race..books, sustainable business goals.” Ruchi

“How do we organisations continue to evolve, focus on small wins. Keep looking for innovation, keep making sure your looking out for new and emerging trends. Continue to review and ask questions to adapt and react.” Simon

“Positive leadership, how you make people see, makes me people survive and thrive, the fundamental thread (the positive leader book?” Simon

We at JUST Lincolnshire Help to amplify voices of people who don’t normally get listen to no matter your, ethnicity, disability and hidden disabilities.

Resources mentioned:


Invisible Women – Caroline Creado Perez

White Privilege- June Sarpong

Social media handles to follow:

Holy &Co – platform for female founders and diversity agenda https://instagram.com/holly.co?igshid=pafhf7cycggp

Everyday racism project- https://instagram.com/everydayracism_?igshid=1uvrdagjp4v0v


The fourth courageous conversation on business: https://vimeo.com/475784062

Talking about looking for the opportunities in your respective organisations in this pandemic, the opportunity to pause, thought provoking and acknowledgement of the different type of Leaderships and embracing that this a time for courageous and imaginative leadership


Key thought provoking  quotes :

Broaden our mind about diversity and inclusion beyond race” Ruchi

Diversity of age: “its important to recognise that diversity comes in many different forms beyond race and gender…everything that can be counted may not always count everything that counts cannot always be counted” Ruchi responding on the question of compliance

“where there is a balance the outcome is far greater, when recruiting check in on your biases, How as a company are we displaying diversity and inclusion? really look at your customers. Emma


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