Shola Kaye

Communication, Diversity, Leadership

Travels from London, United Kingdom

Shola Kaye's speaking fee falls within range:
$20,000 to $25,000

Check Shola Kaye's Availability and Fee

Shola Kaye Profile

  • Empathy & inclusion speaker, communication specialist, author, and award-winning speaker.

  • Speaks on how to create a more inclusive environment for introverts with SAY IT!.

  • Former international professional singer who has appeared on the BBC & her work has been mentioned in Forbes and Harper’s Bazaar.
  • Shola Kaye works with large companies to help them transform their cultures using the power of empathy, transparent communication and inclusion nudges. Shola’s work is frequently described as both practical and inspiring. Shola created The Empathy to Equity Blueprint, a step by step programme that guides and supports organisations on their journey towards greater diversity, equity and inclusion. She shares implementable insights that help her clients create happier and more engaged environments where belonging can flourish.

    Early in Shola’s career she worked in consulting and account management in New York and London with clients such as Goldman Sachs, Charles Schwab and British Airways. She also spent time in academic research at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Later, she performed on four continents as a professional singer and entertainer.

    Shola’s experiences as a Black woman working for global corporations led to an understanding of some of the many challenges faced by underrepresented groups and she shares these insights during her keynotes and training, helping to create greater understanding. She always provides compelling data and research alongside multiple opportunities for reflection and interaction.

    Shola’s work blends her background from both the STEM and the creative industries to deliver clear, effective frameworks that allow people to work better together. These are delivered in a warm, engaging, relatable style that draws in even the most reluctant audience members.

    Shola’s clients include American Express, Deloitte, The United Nations, Google, IBM, Nestle, Henkel, HSBC and Oracle. Typical events include global company keynotes, leadership development sessions, employee network meetings, diversity summits and industry conferences.

    Shola Kaye grew up in the UK and as a child was fostered. She went on to obtain a degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a Masters in Neuropharmacology from Emory University in Atlanta. She’s a LinkedIn Learning Instructor.

    Shola believes that alongside creating awareness, keynotes should drive action, inspiring audience members to become catalysts for change. One of her favourite quotes is from author Susan Cain, ‘Everyone shines given the right lighting’.

    Shola Kaye Speaking Videos

    Bring Shola Kaye to Speak Live at Your Event


    Check Speaker Availability

    Shola Kaye's Speech Descriptions

    CULTURE, D.E.I., Leadership: Elevating Empathy
    – To increase inclusion, productivity and engagement (Suitable for all employees and delegates)

    Creating a workplace where everyone feels that they belong is more important than ever before, but how can you build supportive, cohesive environments within your organisation?

    This is a high-impact, inspiring keynote. You’ll walk away with the tools and the inspiration to become a more compassionate and effective leader, manager, or individual contributor. It can be modified for senior leaders, management, and whole-company keynotes. We’ll look at the important themes of curiosity, courage and being a catalyst and you’ll understand the vital components of empathy, how to be compassionate while avoiding burnout, and why skills like emotional intelligence are in high demand.

    Learning objectives:

    - Understand the different types of empathy and their impact on your well-being
    - Find out how empathy can have an effect upon diversity, inclusion, engagement, retention, innovation, and happiness
    - Walk away with a simple three-step framework for being empathetic in nearly every situation
    - Watch a live demonstration or (optional) participate in a short breakout to discuss and practise the strategies
    - Optional workbook (available for an additional fee per employee): The 30 Day Empathy Plan, contains conversation starters, empathy frameworks and ongoing strategies to help you keep the momentum up, providing reminders and prompts to take action

    CULTURE, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION: Embracing Psychological Safety and Inclusive Communication
    – Are you wondering why there has been so much interest in the topic of psychological safety?

    During this interactive keynote, we explore the vital role of psychological safety in fostering an inclusive environment that values open, authentic communication. We’ll discuss the importance of embracing vulnerability, trust, and empathy in your daily interactions, enabling your team to unlock its full potential through collaborative ways of working.

    Learning objectives:

    - Understand the key elements of psychological safety and their impact on team performance
    - Explore the relationship between psychological safety and emotional intelligence
    - Discover strategies to create a culture of inclusive communication that values and supports diverse perspectives
    - Recognise the role of empathetic leadership in fostering psychological safety
    - Learn practical techniques for building trust and promoting vulnerability within teams
    - Understand that cultural factors also play a role in the creation of psychologically safe environments

    – Equip your leaders with the skills and knowledge to combat bias and foster belonging

    After the impact of the pandemic, we know that many workplaces will never be the same again. That’s why today’s leaders need an expanded repertoire of skills and know-how to ensure staff are engaged, happy and productive. In this highly impactful program, leaders are given the skill set to flourish in today’s complex work environments, managing ever more diverse and demanding teams.

    Learning objectives:

    - Explore the 6 key traits of an inclusive leader and their related behaviours
    - Review key data that support the value of compassionate leadership skills in today’s work environments
    - Discover what it takes to create an environment of psychological safety
    - Explore inclusive communication best practices to ensure everyone feels encouraged to speak up and make a contribution
    - Discuss a number of behavioural nudges that help us bypass bias and create an atmosphere of innovation and belonging
    - Review important cultural factors that all managers must consider when they lead diverse, multigenerational, international or intercultural teams

    – Develop the skills to support and co-create your colleagues’ success (Session is suitable for all employees, not just managers)

    At work and in our personal lives, delivering effective feedback is a valuable skill. Delivered in the right way, feedback can be empowering, inspiring and can drive an individual, and their team, towards fantastic success.

    However, delivered in the wrong way, feedback can be divisive, demotivating, and destructive. And when we avoid giving feedback to spare someone’s feelings, the eventual outcome can be just as damaging.

    So what’s your intention as a manager? Is it to break or build? To crush or to co-create? Do you restrict your feedback to the obligatory once or twice a year, or do you feedback continuously, increasing the motivation and confidence of your team members?

    This interactive, high energy keynote contains insightful stories, impactful data, and valuable tools you can use again and again.

    Learning objectives:

    - Understand the importance of providing ongoing, tailored, empathetic developmental feedback
    - Explore the repercussions of poor feedback styles such as The Drive-by, The Comparison, The Public Humiliation, and The Wrecking Ball
    - Discover the four elements required to create psychological safety so that your feedback is well-received
    - Take away an effective strategy for delivering feedback as an individual contributor
    - Learn three different feedback frameworks and the pros and cons of each

    – Give your people the tools to challenge bias and create a more equitable workplace

    Unconscious bias training often gets a bad rap as it’s seen as divisive and ineffective. This empowering session goes beyond that, giving your people practical, accessible tools and strategies to challenge bias when they see it. It can often be hard to call out biased behaviour – especially when it’s from managers and clients.

    This session will help you initiate conversations grounded in curiosity, empathy and a desire to learn, which ultimately may help you achieve more than an off-the-cuff ‘put down’ or quick rebuke. You’ll also discover ways to set up your teams for success by creating conditions that favour bias-free decision making. If you’re just getting started on your D.E.I. journey, this session, or the keynote on Empathy, is a great place to begin!

    Learning objectives:

    - Common examples of bias and the damage they cause
    - Practical tools for breaking bias at individual and systemic levels
    - Calling out vs calling in – and how to decide which is appropriate, given your situation
    - Common examples of biased behaviours, with strategies for responding to aggressors
    - Bystander interventions for allies and anyone who wants to help fight bias
    - Recognising and understanding intersectionality: the overlapping of different biases and discriminatory behaviours

    – You’ll walk away with a better understanding of your colleagues and with practical strategies to support each other.

    This interactive, engaging session will delve into the power of empathy, its impact on the work environment, and how practising empathy and self-care can reduce burnout. Learn to cultivate compassion through mindfulness, increase self-appreciation, and apply practical frameworks for empathetic listening and support, even under pressure.

    Learning objectives:

    - Understand the importance of empathy and its impact on inclusion, work-life balance, and burnout prevention.
    - Differentiate between social and compassionate empathy and their effects on burnout.
    - Experience Metta meditation as a tool for cultivating compassion and reducing distress.
    - Apply the “Gap and Gain” exercise to enhance self-appreciation and personal growth.
    - Utilize the empathy N.E.T. and the F.E.E.L. frameworks to improve listening skills and display empathy in challenging situations.
    - Develop self-care practices and promote empathy and compassion under pressure in your work environment.

    What People are Saying about Seeing Shola Speak

    Rating Entries

    “Shola is a big impact speaker and compelling story teller. Her contribution to a critical event was arresting, memorable and inspiring. Be warned: her energy and positivity are highly contagious.”
    – Paul Keenan, President, Bauer Media Audio

    “A great company-wide virtual keynote on Empathy in the workplace. It was a fascinating subject, and I think it was the most engagement I have seen with a topic – clearly it gave people food for thought and resonated. Our HR team has already said that they would like to incorporate some of the tools you gave us into the updated manager training programme. Our Diversity & Inclusion sponsor on the board of directors even contacted me to say that he really enjoyed the talk and especially how engaging it was for the audience – which I consider a great success!”
    – Natasha Gibbs, Diversity & Inclusion Council, S-RM Corporate Intelligence

    “Shola conducted a wonderful and engaging Webinar session on communication in Diverse Teams for UNFPA! Her method of using the chatbox on Zoom to make sure everyone was engaged was super helpful for those who were not comfortable speaking up with the large group of people she was presenting to. Shola was very well-spoken and kind and I would highly recommend her work to any organization looking to improve communication skills between colleagues and teams.”
    – Helin Alcinkaya, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

    “Shola has been running workshops for our organisation FOCUS for a few years and we love working with her. Shola’s energy and engagement skills are very strong. We have experienced her skills live and online and her engagement and results are exactly the same in both settings which is a true strength. Shola has a real warmth and human approach which makes all the difference to our professional audience. People do listen to her and benefit from her knowledge.”
    – Gael Panhelleux, Executive Director, FOCUS Info UK

    Have You Seen this Speaker? Leave a Star Rating.

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Books by Shola Kaye:

    Big Talk, Small Talk (and Everything in Between): Effective Communication Skills for All Parts of Your Life

    Learn the art of effective communication with skill-building strategies and tools

    Effective communication doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but the good news is you can get better at it with practice and the right tools. Big Talk, Small Talk (and Everything in Between) is filled with strategies to help you build communication skills and put them into practice in everyday interactions with friends, family, work colleagues, acquaintances, and even strangers.

    Communicating effectively can create opportunities in your life, foster relationships that wouldn’t have existed otherwise, and smooth over awkward or stressful interactions. Learn how to make engaging small talk and incisive big talk, translate body language and facial expressions, and improve visual and written skills. You’ll find practical tips that help you get the most out of each strategy, scenarios that illustrate each technique in practice, and more.

    This book for building effective communication skills includes:

    – Communication 101—Learn about the social importance of effective communication skills and the different ways we communicate.
    – 46 Skill-building strategies—Discover a wide range of tips and tools to help you establish communication skills for any social situation.
    – Real-life scenarios—Explore a variety of common situations where effective communication skills are important, like sparking up a conversation with a stranger or letting someone know they hurt your feelings

    Related Speakers


    Need help filling the seats at your next meeting / event?

    Call us / email us / check availability and fee for your favorite speaker.

    Get in touch
    Call us: (760) 656-8770
    Toll free in the US: (877) 717-5327