What you may have missed from day two of CIPD Ace 2023

The event included keynotes from presenter Davina McCall and racing driver Nick Hamilton.

The HR magazine team were in Manchester for the CIPD’s annual conference (Ace) this week. Here’s are some insights from day two.

Click here for day one's roundup. 

Keep DEI simple to include everyone

Chami Dhillon, group head of inclusion and diversity at Kingfisher said HR must ensure everyone is able to understand DEI.

She said: “Getting the language right is critical and understanding it in a global context is also important.

“We also think about all the different types of workers. Someone who works eight hours on a Saturday at B&Q and someone who works 40 hours a week in the headquarters must be treated the same.

“For both workers to understand and be involved in DEI, we have to focus on simplicity. Before we get to complex jargon, we must start at a base point, as a human, how do we interact? We need to use words everyone can understand like kindness, curiosity, empathy.

“That means we can bring people into the conversation, especially people who are in the majority and have never been part of DEI conversations before this.”

Read more: Why your diversity strategy might not be working

Trust is hard to get and easy to lose

Tim Craddock, eastern region HR director at Network Rail, said trust was critical for any organisation and any relationship to develop.

He said: “If you work for an organisation where people are fearful, scared to get into trouble or berated... if you have that sort of culture, you never build trust.

“It’s about creating the right atmosphere where leaders are sincere and their actions mirror what they say and their behaviours align with that.”

Craddock argued trust is a product of people working together.

He added: “Developing strong relationships and showing people that you care and their lives are important and their welfare. Trust is created by everyone in a company.

“Trust is a constant and really important process, and one of the things organisations underestimate at their peril.”

Read more: Could psychological safety solve the productivity crisis?

Menopausal women's abilities are being overlooked

Davina McCall, presenter and menopause activist, said middle-aged women's skills are being lost due to inadequate support.

She said: "The reason we must take care of menopausal and perimenopausal women is because we have a lot of value. I know, that with the right support, I am a very safe pair of hands.

"There are so many advantages; we have so much experience, we have older children so we're often able to stay later at work, we've been through so much and in turbulent times we know it's possible to get through.

"But we do just need some help, information and strategies to work to allow us to do that."

Read more: Menopause at work: what's the employer's responsibility?

Open the door for disabled employees

Closing up the conference was Nicolas Hamilton, racing car driver and brother of Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton told the conference how his cerebral palsy had given him plenty of opportunities and challenges throughout his life. 

When asked what more HR can do, he said: "Make sure your door is open to disabled people – at least then you’ve done your bit and allowed disabled people to walk through.

"Being a disabled person is alienating, I often look around a room and I’m surrounded by able-bodied people. So it's about understanding and listening, and never judging the person next to you."