Chair: Elizabeth Balgobin, Head of EDI at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising

Elizabeth Balgobin is Head of EDI at the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and a senior sector leader and consultant. With over thirty years’ experience of frontline delivery and place-based services from housing to social care, she has led local, regional and national infrastructure organisations and a wide range of frontline delivery charities. Elizabeth has an abiding commitment to, and knowledge and experience of, diversity, equity, inclusion and social justice. She was chair of Voice4Change England and has just joined the Board of the National Emergencies Trust where she also sits on the Allocations Committee and its Equity Scrutiny Group. Elizabeth writes for Civil Society Governance and Leadership.

Panellist: Dan Harris, Head of Responsible Business at Taylor Wessing

Dan is Head of Responsible Business at international law firm Taylor Wessing. He leads the team that drives the firm’s approach to inclusivity, community engagement, pro bono, arts and sustainability. Dan is particularly passionate about creating inclusive working environments, having led Taylor Wessing’s work on gender balance, LGBT+ inclusion, wellbeing and social mobility since 2015. Most recently he was responsible for developing their first race and ethnicity strategy, which launched in October 2020. Dan is a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development with an MA in Human Resource Management and over 15 years’ experience gained in the professional services sector.

Panellist: Jon Rees, Project Manager at Inclusion London

As someone who has lived with a long-term mental health condition, he believes strongly in the Social Model of Disability and in user-led services. He has 9 years of experience of developing and delivering successful employment support services for young disabled Londoners. Coming from an arts background, having studied at Central St Martins School of Art, Jon began by working on art projects with young disabled people before moving into employment. He was instrumental in setting up and delivering some of the first supported internships in London with Action on Disability and went on to manage AoD’s employment service for several years.

Panellist: Mercedes Benson, Founder of SocialFixt

With over 8 years experience working within the entertainment industry, London based DJ, Partnerships Manager and now social entrepreneur, Mercedes Benson, has found herself on a social mission to solve the creative industries lack of black representation. In 2017, Mercedes Benson launched SocialFixt – a recruitment and job-board platform aiming to connect black talent to career opportunities within the creative industry. Since then, it has grown into a burgeoning online community with a combined reach of 20,000, with resources ranging from CV workshops to mentorship and online and IRL events on employability. Brand Partners so far include Red Bull, Unilever & Warner Music to name a few. The aim for SocialFIXT is to grow a more diverse and fair representation of black talent within the workplace, by disrupting the traditional routes of recruiting talent.