Inaugural Director Summit told 'Organisations must be ready to listen to Employees'

“Organisations must be ready not only to take action but to listen to employees”, Diversity and Inclusion ambassador Paul Gillen has told the inaugural IoD Directors Summit, sponsored by Schroders Personal Wealth.

Paul, Employment Partner at Lewis Silkin made his comments as part of a panel session titled ‘Closing the Skills Gap’ which focused on how diversity and inclusion in the workforce can help organisations address critical skills gaps and improve productivity and long-term business success.

As Diversity and Inclusion ambassador for the IoD, Paul helps to ensure it continues to be an open and fair organisation that offers a warm welcome and equal opportunities for all directors to connect and improve.

The panel discussed how businesses can incorporate Diversity and Inclusion into the structure of their organisations for the benefit of all, with Paul noting that companies “should be honest about where they are on their Diversity and Inclusion journey” and that in terms of resources and support, “equity is more important than equality.”

The IoD Directors Summit also provided business leaders with an insight into Northern Ireland’s political landscape, current challenges related to recruitment and talent, and what a post-Covid workplace may look like.

Kirsty McManus, National Director, IoD NI, commented:

“We were very pleased to welcome leaders from many of Northern Ireland’s leading business organisations to our Directors Summit event.

“It was wonderful to come together as a community and to gain such a variety of expert insights from our talented speakers and panellists.

“I would like to thank everyone who joined us for our very first event, and I hope that those in attendance today will utilise what they have learned today to improve their own policies and practice.”

Marcelo Rodrigues, Regional Head of Partnerships and Business Development, Schroders Personal Wealth added:

“On behalf of Schroders Personal Wealth, I would like to congratulate the IoD for what has been a very insightful and worthwhile morning.

“We are delighted to lend our support to events such as the Directors Summit and to play our part in facilitating learning and development opportunities for members of Northern Ireland’s business community.”

For further details on the IoD including a calendar of upcoming events, visit

Better directors for a better world

The IoD supports directors and business leaders across the UK and beyond to learn, network and build successful, responsible businesses.
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