Be Innovative

How will you innovate through inclusivity?

Private Virtual Roundtable
25th April, 2-3pm BST (3-4pm CET)

Diversity and inclusion, which are the real grounds for creativity, must remain at the center of what we do

Marco Bizzarri, CEO of Gucci

Last year was a disappointing year for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I). Despite some positive movement since Pathfinder’s last exploration of the topic in 2022, unemployment continues to remain 3x higher for workers born outside of the EU compared to native workers [ENAR, 2022], over 33% of companies still have no women on their executive teams [McKinsey, 2022] and on average LGBTQ+ individuals are 21% less likely to be employed [Eurostat, 2022].

But with the small group of organisations getting DE&I right seeing a 70% increase in innovation and agility, a 33% increase in profitability [Forbes, 2022], and a 47% higher retention rate [McKinsey, 2022], failure to drive change not only widens the gap between your competitors and yourself, but directly impacts your bottom line.

With such slow progress across the board, the question is raised: are large corporations built in a way that hinders diversity, and subsequently, innovation? And if so, what can the disruptive leader do to break this worrying trend?


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the panel

Jacqueline Chinwe Stephen – Board Member, Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers

Jaqueline is passionate about DE&I initiatives and joined the Association for Black and Minority Ethnic Engineers in 2022 to become an active advocate. Additionally, Jacqueline has recently been accepted as part of the UN Women UK Delegation at the UN Commission on the Status of Women. On top of her work as an DE&I ambassador Jacqueline has previously been involved in strategic initiatives to challenge the status quo within the Civil Construction, Oil & Gas, Nuclear Power and Renewable Energy sector.

Ritushree Panigrahi (She/Her) – Diversity and Inclusion Professional, Lawyer, Human Rights Activist & India’s First Transgender Woman Stand-up Comedian

Ritushree is a queer rights activist and is associated with many campaigns and issues of the LGBTQIA+ community. With a Human Resources Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University (ecornell). Ritushree brings both the knowledge of Human Resources and DE&I to the table, and her experience as a lawyer ensures that the organisation follows important legislation guidelines pertaining to the community. Ritushree also follows her passion for Stand-Up Comedy. Ritushree is India’s first and to date the only Transgender Women Standup Comedian.

Ben Dowling - Co-Founder, Unloc

Ben is a founding member of the Unloc team where he acts as the organisation’s senior lead on HR, Finance, Asset Management, Health & Safety, and IT. When he was 20, Ben was elected to Portsmouth City Council and served two terms from 2014 to 2022. Ben held various roles on the council including as a spokesperson (and later a Cabinet Member) for Planning, Regeneration and Economic Development, as Chair of the city’s Employment Committee, as the city’s Deputy Lord Mayor and most recently as the Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development.


Pathfinder, a community of business leaders, is supported by our club partner Verizon. The aim: to learn from one another by enabling cross-industry conversations, to discuss what might be around the corner and how we must adapt. With the event series running for nearly 2 years, members are encouraged to look beyond the horizon towards radical solutions that make a sustainable difference. Through collaboration and peer insights our community support each other on the journey of personal growth and leadership.

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We’re committed to supporting our society and environment. When you attend a Pathfinder event, we pledge to offset your travel or energy usage by planting a tree via One Tree Planted. Once mature, the average tree has a net absorption of 30 kg of CO2 per year, which equates to 227 miles of travel by car or 96 hours of office usage. You can see the maths and learn more here:

Thank you for joining us!