D&I - Kellie Rixon

Diversity and Inclusion means different things to different people. In fact, Diversity and Inclusion can mean different things to the same person at different times in their life.

It is exactly what Kellie Rixon MBE FIH spoke about recently when she addressed a room of 19 other professional female business leaders at the Diversity & Inclusion event hosted by ourselves and HSBC.

Kellie addressed her experiences of gender bias when she spoke about her fight for her place at board level within a hospitality business.

Kellie spoke with passion about being the only female board member of a large hotel group that saw her travel around the world to attract new talent to the business.

It was during one such business trip that Kellie’s understanding of diversity and inclusion switched away from the challenges of being a female board member.

Kellie was struck by the realisation that by travelling to a cosmopolitan city, visiting an outstanding hotel school and recruiting a select group of privileged individuals, she was never going to find another her.

Off the back of that visit Kellie went on to lead the development of the company’s in-house training programme. The training academy scaled to 12 schools across the country, based in areas that attracted talent from a broad and diverse community.

The schools went on to support over 14,000 students from disadvantaged communities – 57% of whom graduated into paid employment.

This one example – at the event there were many more – demonstrates how diversity and inclusion in itself is a diverse subject matter. One that we look forward to continuing to shine a spotlight on.