‘Diversity Works...’ 101 portraits


OBV is delighted to have been involved in an exciting online gallery which launched last Wednesday, 8th March.

‘Diversity Works…’ was thought up and created by the artist Shahid Bashir and curated by Dowshan Humzah with the aim of celebrating and embracing diversity in, primarily, the workplace.

The project showcases 101 influential people in business and thought leadership, some of whom work directly in the ‘diversity and inclusion’ field, whilst others are leaders who actively choose to embrace diversity and inclusion.

The gallery features a black and white photographic portrait of each contributor, accompanied by a powerful narrative in which each has completed three statements: ‘Diversity Is…’; ‘Diversity Isn’t…’; and ‘Diversity Works…’

The resulting statements offer a varied and thought-provoking range of perspectives around the concept of diversity. This variety of statements reflects the nature and spirit of diversity itself – distinct and different, yet linked and strengthened by such difference. Some of the most memorable and thought-provoking quotes include:

‘Diversity is…the acceptance and celebration of the rich variety in our society.’

(Simon Collins – Senior Partner and Chairman, KPMG UK).

‘Diversity works…when it’s no longer spoken about.’

(Wretch 32 – Rapper).

‘Diversity is…an opportunity, not a problem.’

(Mike Adams OBE – CEO, Purple).

‘Diversity isn’t…a fashionable thing that’s going to go away.’ (Kate Adams – Chair, Missing

People; Chief of Staff, Comic Relief).

OBV director, Simon Woolley, was asked to be one of the 101. His comments offer a valuable insight into OBV’s perspective on diversity and inclusion:

‘Diversity is…truly believing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Together we are stronger, more dynamic and much more united as a society.’

Woolley and others have constantly stated that there are certain areas in the public sphere that are not yet as diverse as they should be, particularly in politics and government. Indeed, the number of BME MPs in Parliament is still not representative of society.

Evidently, there is progress still to be made. But this project is a way of celebrating the diversity that does exist and those who are actively supporting it, whilst also reminding us that it is an issue which still requires discussion.

You can take a look at the full gallery via http://www.diversityworks.co/ and share your thoughts on Twitter with the hashtag #diversityworks or #diversityworks101.

Talia Robinson