Tracey Cunnington - Marketing Assistant

IoD Diversity in Leadership Convention 2021 features Novacroft’s CEO & Founder as panelist

Debra Charles, Novacroft’s CEO & Founder, joined the panel at the IoD East Midlands Diversity in Leadership Convention 2021 on Friday 23rd April.

The event, running between 1pm – 4pm,  was a continuation of the IoD East Midlands’ Annual Women as Leaders Convention, and was free to attend. Visit the official event page.

Diversity for innovation and growth

The convention focused on the importance of diversity for encouraging innovation and growth, discussing the hypothesis that diversity is a prerequisite for innovation and growth in organisations.

Panelists discussed their own inspirational stories, and focused on, in particular:

  • Personal examples of innovation resulting from diversity, and why it is important for their organisation
  • What is the link between diversity and innovation? Research has found that diversity of thought, or applying a different perspective to a problem or issue, creates more, and better, solutions.
  • What directors can do to help encourage this concept of diversity of thought

The event aimed to inspire attendees to appreciate that leading a diverse team will bring greater results in many areas.

People First

Debra is passionate about putting ‘People First’ within Novacroft, and leads a 450-strong team specialising in harnessing smart technology and customer care to make a meaningful impact on society. Today, 32m people use Novacroft’s products and services.

Debra’s ‘People First’ mission shines a light on the future of humanity and work. Debra provides practical support and promotes diversity, social, emotional, and technological skills that will be increasingly essential differentiators between humans, robots, and artificial intelligence systems of the fast-approaching Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Debra is a trustee of the Northamptonshire Community Foundation, and a co-founder of The Kindness Movement, which encourages kindness in school children worldwide. Debra is also a Cranfield University Entrepreneur Alumnus of the Year and a University’s Advisory Board member.

In 2019, Debra was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from Cranfield University for her work in shaping UK business.