2021 Conference Speakers
Mark Fletcher (He/Him)
CEO, Manchester Pride
Mark Fletcher is the Chief Executive Officer at Manchester Pride, one of the UK’s largest and leading LGBTQ+ charities. Since his appointment in 2014 Mark has been responsible for spearheading a programme of change within the LGBTQ+ charity which has spring-boarded its profile and positioned the Manchester Pride Festival as one of the world’s most recognisable pride celebrations.
Mark currently holds a number of positions in addition to his role with Manchester Pride. He chairs a specialist panel of experts on the LGBTQ+ Advisory Panel to Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Mayor of Greater Manchester, the first of its kind in the UK. Mark sits on the board for The Manchester College, a member of LTE Group which is the largest social enterprise in the country dedicated to learning, training and employment. And, he also sits on the Editorial Advisory Panel for the UK’s largest newspaper, magazine and digital publisher, Reach Plc, representing LGBTQ+ communities.
Mark aims to use his passion for mutual respect and inclusion to impact social change, inspiring others to become dynamic leaders of the future.
Liz Johnson (She/Her)
Co-Founder of The Ability People
Liz Johnson has a full set of major championship Gold medals and a complete set of Paralympic medals from an international career spanning almost 20 years. She also had the honour of reading the Athlete’s oath at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
In April 2016, Liz announced her retirement from competitive swimming, after a hernia operation. Liz now devotes more of her time to using her experiences as an elite athlete to help enhance the lives of others. She Co-founded The Ability People which is an organisation that aims to increase meaningful employment opportunities for people with disabilities and help other organisations normalise differences to achieve an authentically inclusive workplace. In 2018 Liz was named as one of the BBC’s ‘100 Global Women’ for her work in narrowing the disability ‘employment gap’. The Business Management graduate, joined the Channel 4 team for the Rio 2016 Paralympics and also works as a sports broadcaster, athlete mentor and community ambassador. In her new roles Liz continues to try to have a positive influence on people’s perceptions of what is possible.
Gemma McCall (She/Her)
Co-Founder and CEO of Culture Shift
Gemma McCall is the co-founder and CEO of Culture Shift, an impact software development business founded in 2018. She carved out her early career as a tenacious and driven business development professional, but more recently found her calling in Culture Shift and began leading her own team of change-makers.
As a female tech entrepreneur, she is passionate about using technology to speed up the rate of positive change across the world. Culture Shift now provides its online reporting platform to over 70 universities, colleges and workplaces across the UK and Ireland. The platform gives employees and students a safe place to report any bullying or harassment they’ve experienced. Gemma is a respected voice on issues around harassment in places of work and study, often being called on by high profile organisations such as the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to contribute to their reports.
Luke Richardson (He/Him)
Head of Social Impact, Programme and Project Partners
The Programme and Project Partners (PPP) was formed in 2019 – bringing in KBR, Doosan Babcock, Jacobs and Morgan Sindall Infrastructure – to transform major project delivery at the nuclear site.
PPP isn’t just about delivering the infrastructure needed to meet Sellafield’s needs – it also has a 20-year commitment to make an impact in our communities – creating opportunities for local people, increasing value for the UK taxpayer, improving cost and schedule certainty in major project delivery, accelerating high hazard reduction and, in turn, seeing Sellafield Ltd recognised for project delivery excellence.
Luke is Head of Social Impact at PPP, with 11 years experience in the Nuclear sector and has been leading social impact programmes and projects for the past 4 years. He is a chartered manager and member of Social Value International, with a BA (Hons) degree in Business Management and a MSc in Social Responsibility and Sustainability.
Loraine Martins OBE FRSA (She / Her)
Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Network Rail
Loraine is the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Network Rail, which maintains and develops Britain’s rail infrastructure. With some 42,000 employees, it is the fastest growing railway in Europe. Loraine leads a centre of expertise which supports Network Rail’s ambition to be a more open, diverse and inclusive business.
Previously, Loraine lead a multi-award-winning team, delivering a programme of equality and inclusion and employment and skills in the construction of its infrastructure, venues and facilities on the Olympic Park for London 2012. For this work Loraine was awarded an MBE. Loraine is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
As the vice chair of the Trust for London, a grant-making body which tackles inequality and poverty in the capital, Loraine chaired the working group that funded London Living Wage campaign. In October 2019 Inclusive Boards and the Financial Times announced that Loraine has been included in the top 100 women influencing engineering in the UK. In November 2019, Loraine was awarded the Mike Nichols Award (Association of Project Management APM) which recognises contributions to transformational change for the world and society. And in the 2020 Queen’s New Year’s honours list, Loraine was awarded an OBE for her work on diversity and inclusion at Network Rail.