Belinda Parmar OBE is a renowned expert on empathy, effective leadership and inclusion.
Belinda is a diversity campaigner and the CEO of The Empathy Business and a Non-Executive Director for the Ministry of Defence.
Belinda uses the science of empathy to change the way companies transform their organisations, focusing on leadership, communications and operations.
She is the creator of the Global Empathy Index, which was published in the Harvard Business Review- the first index to measure empathy and inclusion at scale.
Belinda works with large companies to implement hundreds of ‘nudges’ and interventions that organically build an empathy revolution and give people simple, practical ways to create more inclusive cultures.
Her focus is on belonging and diversity and creating more courageous cultures.
Belinda was Empathy-In-Residence at Barclays, Lloyds and Centrica, and she created the first-ever Empathy Hub in Europe’s largest bank. Belinda was chosen in 2019 to speak at Davos as she is a Young Global Leader for the World Economic Forum.
Belinda was awarded an OBE in 2015 by the Queen for her services to Women in Technology.
In 2020, she was chosen as one of the top 20 Global Public Figures in Diversity and in 2021, she was voted a top 20 Diversity Champion.
Belinda has a law degree and a languages degree and believes that the magic in companies happens when you combine rational and emotional thinking to drive change.
Belinda is the author of Little Miss Geek, which is used in schools to inspire young women to become tech pioneers.
As a keynote speaker, Belinda’s popular speech themes include ‘AI and the role of the Human’ and ‘Transforming the corporate world with Empathy and Diversity’.
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.
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
The Global Empathy Index
Belinda Parmar OBE and her team at The Empathy Business are the creators of the original Global Empathy Index published in the Harvard Business Review using their EMBRACE model. Leveraging generative AI, Belinda and her team have now scaled their Empathy Index to give companies an empathy ranking.
What problem are we solving?
Companies want live data that can give them an accurate ranking of how empathic they are against their top 10 competitors and also help them identify with precision where the biggest empathy deficits and strengths are. Using ChatGPT alongside BERT embeddings, our EMBRACE model can quickly analyse large amounts of data offering insights into how a company’s employees feel and also the way a company communicates.
How does this help for speeches?
Rather than give companies a generic speech, Belinda can give them a unique, bespoke speech based on their own data using AI.
What is the EMBRACE model?
Our EMBRACE model has been built over the last 10 years to define corporate empathy. It transforms the concept of empathy into 7 tangible factors:
- Equity: How diverse is the company?
- Meaning: Does the company live by its values?
- Belonging: Do employees feel that they belong?
- Reassurance: Do employees trust the company?