Belinda Parmar OBE is a renowned expert on empathy, effective leadership and inclusion.
Belinda is the founder of The Empathy Business and a diversity campaigner committed to transforming the world of work. Belinda is the creator of the Global Empathy Index, published in the Harvard Business Review measuring corporate empathy.
In 2021, she was voted as a top global diversity campaigner, and in 2015, she received an OBE for her services to women in technology.
Belinda works with CEOs and leaders of large companies to embed empathy at scale. Her work focuses on effective leadership, language and measurement using the power of empathy. Her innovative approach to measurement and cultural transformation has yielded commercial results amongst the most complex companies in the world.
Belinda changes cultures to bring more meaning and empowerment to people’s lives. Parmar is leading an empathy revolution at work and has helped transform some of the world’s biggest banks and energy companies in Europe.
Her client list includes Barclays, King, Lloyds, Centrica, Direct Energy, Lexus and the UK government. Belinda is a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum and regularly speaks at Davos.
Speaking topics include:
Empathy in Tech:
Belinda argues that technology is fuelling the empathy deficit despite its promises of democratisation and that our biases are becoming embedded in our algorithms, and empathy is becoming scarcer.
With a new workforce of digital natives, we are witnessing a backlash from society towards big business.
Belinda puts the case for businesses to be more empathic and shows the opportunity, drawing on tangible ‘nudges’ that companies can implement to improve their empathy.
Her talks are based on changes that she has made in businesses that have impacted company performance.
What will the future of work look like?
- What new skills will we need in this new technological era where robots don’t just perform menial tasks?
- What will our working lives look like for us and for the new generation of millennials who will have an average of twenty jobs over their working life?
- And is the 9-5 working day gone forever?
This talk argues that the most precious skill in an automated future will be our humanity. Our ability to problem solve, our creativity and our ability to empathise.
We will need to re-examine our relationship and interactions between man and machine (who is freeing who?) and learn new skills to augment and co-exist with machines.
Our loyalty to companies is also changing, with future generations being less tethered to a company and an individual and more tethered to a purpose that drives them.
The fourth industrial revolution demands a rethink in the way we train our staff and how we motivate the next generation of workers who want more purposeful and empathic cultures.
We have been taught to override and suppress our emotions, but we need to be more aware of our emotions to create a symbiotic relationship between man and machine.
The future of work belongs to the emotionally literate geek.
Hostage Negotiation workshop:
This workshop is a practical, intense, hands-on session that tests individual empathy skills in extreme conflict.
Developing empathy skills with people you like or are similar to you is easy.
This workshop is about pushing your empathy skills in stressful situations with those different from you.
This workshop works well with frontline teams, complaints teams, customer support, sales teams, company branch workers… anyone who has to deal with conflict regularly.
Why diversity programmes don’t work?
This talk is based on Belinda’s Guardian article on how diversity divides but empathy unites.
Belinda presents the data for why diversity programmes have failed over the last 30 years and combine this with her own journey from a diversity-based business to an empathy business.
This controversial talk focuses on the opportunities for empathy-based businesses where empathy becomes ‘core’ business, not the responsibility of a person or a department.
The Empathy Quotient: Why both Men and Women need to lead with Empathy at Work
Belinda talks about the power of empathy at work. Belinda talks about how companies can define empathy, how they can transform their companies and leadership and the impact of small changes. Belinda will share her journey from being the founder of a female-focused business called Lady Geek to running The Empathy Business and her experiences of using empathy in male-dominated industries, including finance, tech and energy.
This provocative and honest talk also challenges the effectiveness of diversity programmes and shares a new vision for what a gender-balanced world at work could look like and the commercial benefits it will bring.
How we can collectively break the bias at work
The issue of bias is paramount for Gen Z, who require inclusive cultures where leaders have a sufficient understanding of bias to engage with difficult conversations. Belinda shares her experiences of helping some of the world’s largest companies identify and break their biases. These biases include likeability bias, maternal bias, affinity bias, attribution bias, performance bias and AI/tech bias. We are often unaware of our own biases, and we need the tools and a safe space to acknowledge and explore our biases. The key to breaking bias lies in creating a sense of belonging and psychological safety.
Belinda shares ‘inclusive nudges’ based on a decade of working with large companies, such as Barclays, King, Lloyds and the UK government, where she used the power of empathy to start to break the bias collectively.
- Identifying six different biases at work
- Using the Power of Empathy to address bias
- Inclusive Nudges & behavioural science to collectively address bias
- How to measure your progress and hold up the mirror to your own company culture