Stephen Frost: How the London 2012 Olympics Made a Big Deal Out of Diversity

In this episode I’m speaking with Stephen Frost. Stephen is a globally recognised Diversity, Inclusion and Leadership Expert and the founder of Frost Included. Stephen was the Head of Diversity & Inclusion for the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and is the author of two books, the Inclusion Imperative and Inclusive Talent Management.

Stephen has a wealth of experience; he established and led the workplace team at Stonewall growing the Diversity Champions programme to being the largest of its kind in the world. Stephen was chosen by the World Economic Forum to be a Young Global Leader and he also teaches Inclusive Leadership at a number of institutions including Harvard University. I was thrilled to speak with Stephen so that she could share the benefit of his considerable experience with us.

In todays show we discuss several things including:

  • The ground breaking work Stephen did with Stonewall at an interesting time in history
  • The three step Diversity & Inclusion process Stephen implemented to make the London 2012 Games a success
  • The truth about what individuals can say about themselves but others cannot and much much more.

Here’s some of the wisdom that Stephen shared:

Diversity & Inclusion helps to Correct Market Failures

Stephen describes how existing forms of discrimination and biases within the workplace reflect a market failure that must be addressed. Stephen suggests that organisations need to be clear about what their priorities are regarding the business case for diversity:

“The business case is self evident, do you want a meritocracy or not? Do you want to correct market failure or not?”

Labels have a Time and a Place

Stephen describes how labels are important as part of a conversation about Diversity & Inclusion. Stephen explains that labels such as LGBT can lose their use under particular circumstances:

“Labels have a time and a place, ..but labels also have limitations too”

We live in Interesting Times

Stephen draws attention to the considerable progress that has been made in the world in recent times. Stephen explains that despite the considerable work required, society has made considerable progress over the past 1o years:

“Some of stuff we may take for granted right now, was absolutely not the case even just over a decade ago”

HOW SUMMARY SLIDES

If you want a quick snapshot of what the episode is about, I’ve created some slides that you may find interesting

THE KEY TAKEAWAY

Surround yourself with as much diversity as you can possibly handle

Show notes

Here are some selected links to for the resources and reports I discuss in the episode.

Frost Included

Frost Included Twitter

Inclusion Imperative

Inclusive Talent Management

Stephen Frost Linkedin

Young Global Leader

World Economic Forum

Harvard University

Stonewall Diversity Champions

Olympic and Paralympic Games

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