Director of the Centre for Social Innovation and Global Public Service at St Mary’s University, Twickenham Prof Francis Davis was the keynote speaker at a groundbreaking colloquium focused on responsible leadership and inclusive enterprise.
The event, which was organised by the Mental Health Foundation and hosted by the Institute of Directors, was attended by business leaders and those leading in the HR and community investment strands of corporate strategy.
Prof Davis mainly focused on the role and potential of disabled employees and, in particular, those with experience of living with mental ill health.
Describing the challenge to include these communities in mainstream business life as ‘one of the last glass ceilings’ to shatter, he also spoke of ‘the silent bond’ between those living with conditions, carers and those who have shared similar journeys. ‘This bond’, he said ‘makes for an unnamed staff network of support as potentially powerful for unlocking value as firms have found creating the right conditions for black, LGBT, and women colleagues’.
Prof Davis, who is an NHS non-executive director and a ministerial advisor in inclusive enterprise, also championed the role of social enterprises in 'enhancing the social value of supply chains’.