DIVERSITY NEWSLETTER Businesses worldwide are starting to put diversity on the agenda. The message of openness, diversity and inclusion for all staff is an important one, be it age, disability, gender, race, reassignment of gender, religion or belief or sexual Orientation. Prime Performers are proud to have some wonderful, moving and thought provoking speakers from all sections of society, who have addressed meetings at some of the world’s largest organisations. Listening to our speakers’ personal stories about their journey towards acceptance, be it self-acceptance, acceptance by their peers or by wider society is often moving and though provoking. We have picked just a few of our favourite speakers here, but please do get in touch with your brief and we will be happy to make recommendations from the many inspirational people we work with. Nigel Owens: Nigel Owens, widely regarded as the best rugby union referee in the world once struggled to come to terms with the growing realisation that he was gay. He did not talk publicly about his sexuality until 2005, just as his professional refereeing career was taking off. He did so then in part because of fears that his private life would be cruelly exposed. Nigel has said that Rugby, despite its macho image, has generally been supportive. A witty, likeable and interesting speaker, Nigel’s touching and personal story carries a positive message from an inspirational role model and speaker. Gareth Thomas Former rugby star Gareth Thomas hopes his story will help tackle homophobia in the sports world and beyond. The former Wales captain, at one-time the most capped Welshman in rugby union, went on to excel in rugby league until his retirement in 2011. He also topped the Pink List and became Stonewall’s hero of the year, after declaring he was gay in 2009. Gareth is always happy to share his story, and he never objects when people ask him to revisit this awful time, to relive the pain and shame he went through, because he thinks it might help someone else come out. Gareth is an excellent speaker with an inspirational story to tell and he’s done Celebrity Big Brother and Dancing on Ice.! Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson is Britain's greatest Paralympic athlete. She competed in five Paralympic Games, winning 11 Gold Medals, and won the London Wheelchair Marathon a total of six times. Tanni was born with spina bifida, walking until confined to a wheelchair at seven she has never seen her disability at a reason not to do something. Being in Wheelchair has never stopped Tanni from doing anything she wanted to do, she is frequently surprised that people presume because she is in a chair that there are things she can’t do rather than looking at what she can do. Tanni talks about the belief within yourself and going out there and doing what you want, a truly gifted and courageous sportswoman with a lively personality and down to earth humour that shines through. Martine Wright Martine Wright lost both legs in the 7/7 terrorist attacks on the London underground. The worst injured, and consequently last rescued survivor of the 7/7 bombings, Martine was trapped for over an hour having lost 80% of her blood supply as well as both legs above the knees. There followed a painful year of rehabilitation including learning to walk again on prosthetics. She has since rebuilt her life, skydived, learned to fly, and become a member of the British 2012 Paralympic volleyball team. It's the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics that gave her life new shape and her days meaning. For everybody in Britain, those two days were among the strangest and most shocking in recent history for Martine it provided a spring board for new opportunities and goals and a new life! Martine is now busy sharing her story, her experiences and what she has taken out of her journey to be a Paralympian. A truly inspirational speaker. David Waboso OBE. David Waboso is the Director of Engineering at London Underground and a key player in a multi-billion pound investment programme which will renew the tube over the next decade. He holds one of the most high profile, challenging engineering jobs in the country. As LU's Capital Programmes Director, David is accountable for delivering the multi-billion pound upgrade of the Underground - a huge programme of modernisation, with major stations, trains, track and signalling being upgraded, rebuilt and replaced to provide more capacity for London's rapidly growing population. David, was named as Leader of the Year in the Manufacturing and Infrastructure section of the Black British Business Awards in 2014. The aim of the awards is to promote a good understanding of the economic contributions and potential of the Black community within the workforce, in the boardroom, and as a key customer segment. The Black British Business Awards celebrate and promote the often unsung contributions by black professionals in businesses in Britain, uncovering inspirational role models and ambassadors across all UK industries. David has a passion for the training and education of engineers and the wider communication of engineering and its fundamental importance to human advancement. He has served on committees into the teaching of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects in schools, speaks regularly to the media and radio/TV on engineering matters, and promotes opportunities for people of all backgrounds to realize their full potential in engineering and other professions.