Stephen Frost Profile

Stephen Frost is a global authority on making inclusion and diversity happen in the workplace. After an intense five years designing and implementing the social inclusion program for the 2012 London Summer Olympics – which has been hailed as the most diverse Olympics to date – Stephen shows organizations the key strategic benefits of supplier diversity and makes them re-evaluate how they are addressing diversity in their procurement strategies.

Having led a 200,000-member workforce for the Olympic preparations, Stephen understands the leadership and communication skills that executives and managers must exercise to harness their teams’ full potential and talents. Prior to serving as Head of Diversity and Inclusion for the London Organizing Committee, Stephen gained respect and recognition for his groundbreaking advances in the treatment and inclusion of Europe’s LGBT community in the workplace.

Currently Stephen teaches Inclusive Leadership at Harvard University Business School in the US and Sciences Po in France; additionally, he serves as an “Expert Advisor” to the British Government, The White House, and KPMG’s Diversity and Inclusion Program. He has taught Inclusive Leadership at Harvard Business School, Singapore Management University and Sciences Po in France and advised the British Government, Royal Air Force and the White House. He is author of The Inclusion Imperative (2014), Inclusive Talent Management (2016) and Building an Inclusive Organization (February 2019). His fourth book, The Key to Inclusion is due for release in July 2022.

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    Stephen is a globally recognized diversity, inclusion and leadership expert, and founded Included in 2012. He leads the team and works with leaders around the world to embed inclusive leadership in their decision-making.

    He was responsible for 22 programs across a 200,000 person workforce, £1.1 billion procurement spend, and 57 delivery functions. These ranged from inclusivity in an 11 million ticket program, to accessibility at 134 separate venues. His team managed a series of recruitment outreach action plans that achieved unprecedented workforce inclusion. The LOCOG Business Charter set new standards in supplier diversity and LOCOG became the first organization in the UK to achieve the Diversity Works for London Gold Standard and Advanced Level of the Equality Standard for Sport.

    From 2004-2007 Stephen established and led the workplace team at Stonewall, Europe′s largest LGBT equality organization; establishing and growing the Diversity Champions program to over 300 members, launching the UK′s first lesbian and gay recruitment guide, establishing the LGBT Leadership program in conjunction with Henley Management College, and developing the Workplace Equality Index which has become a standard across many leading UK and global employers.

    Stephen started his career in advertising, where he worked on disability and age awareness campaigns, and has worked in consultancy and communications in the USA, Greece, Tanzania, China and Brazil. He was a Hertford College Scholar at Oxford and a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard. He was elected recipient of the 2010 Peter Robertson Award for Equality and Diversity Champions and in 2011 he was named one of the top 100 influential LGBT people in the UK, and a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

    Stephen was a Hertford College Scholar at Oxford and a Fulbright Scholar at Harvard. He remains a Visiting Fellow of the Women and Public Policy Program. He has won various awards from the 2010 Peter Robertson Award for Equality and Diversity Champions and 2011 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum to one of Management Today’s Change Agents for his race and gender work and 2022 Winds of Change Awards from The Forum on Workplace Inclusion.

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Stephen Frost's Speech Descriptions

Stephen Frost uses a range of methods from oratory to multi media to inspire and engage audiences in understanding diversity and inclusion differently. In addition to the information below, Stephen can tailor his programs according to your group and goals. In the past he has worked with boards and senior management teams to improve their understanding of diversity and leadership development; guided employee resource groups in interactive programs on boosting motivation and identifying personal contribution; and inspired 3,000-member audiences to realize their potential and contribute fully to the goals of their organization.

Inclusive Leadership - How to Develop an Inclusive Mindset and Behavior for Business and Personal Success

There’s a simple contradiction in the way leaders manage their people and run their organizations that is too often overlooked; they are addicted to sameness in an age of diversity. That is fundamentally an unsustainable position to be in. Understanding and being adept at inclusive leadership will help leaders thrive in their increasingly diverse environment. Inclusion is not just about accepting people’s differences – it’s about leveraging colleagues’ and employees’ unique experiences and backgrounds, as well as understanding your customers’ needs, to drive innovation and results.

Stephen reframes the business case for diversity and then shows how it is in all leaders interests (whomever we may be) to embrace difference. With reference to in-groups and out-groups in addition to self and role, audience members are guaranteed to have an a-ha moment in terms of why they should lead inclusively. They’ll leave this session equipped to take business goals, customer loyalty, and their career to the next level.

The Business Case for Diversity - Reframing an Old Debate for a Future of Real Inclusion

Many organizations have talented Diversity Officers and operate Diversity 101 programs; however, they may find to get the most out of their program they need to upgrade to inclusion 3.0. Diversity is great, but so is bringing differences together in one team, and often this second imperative is forgotten in the pursuit of the former.

Without inclusion, diversity can fail. Stephen offers a powerful, humorous and compelling argument for inclusion, based on empirical evidence from around the world combined with the latest Harvard research. It is a thought provoking, challenging and informative opportunity to refresh the believers and convert the currently unconvinced to Real Inclusion!

Diversity to a Deadline - How London Created Everyone’s 2012 Olympics

The 2012 London Games are recognized as the most diverse, inclusive and successful ever. As Head of Diversity & Inclusion at the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Ltd., Stephen Frost was responsible for incorporating diversity and inclusion across the 200,000 person workforce, volunteers and contractors, as well as in the $2 billion procurement program and all aspects of service delivery.

Stephen will share how diversity and inclusion were embedded in 57 departments, 134 venues and 8,000 torchbearers and resulted in reduced recruitment costs and contributed to supply chain savings of over $150 million. 

Authentic LGBT Leadership - The Importance of Being You

As any gay person knows, coming out is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do in life. Coming out is not a one-off event, it is a constant process. It is a situation LGBT people face with every new job, every new boss and every new client. Often, this places LGBT people at a disadvantage in the professional environment. How do you navigate a diversity of reactions, including negative reactions from clients? Questions straight people take for granted can cause additional stress, anxiety and effort for LGBT people, and divert effort away from the day job.

However, not only can this potential disadvantage be neutralized; it can actually be turned into a net benefit for the individual and for the organization as a whole. Using powerful theory and compelling case studies, Stephen can support, inform and inspire your LGBT staff to step up, lead and make an enhanced contribution to their careers and your organization.

What People are Saying about Seeing Stephen Speak

Rating Entries

I have been fortunate enough to work with Stephen on a couple of occasions, and he always brings a compelling mix of engaging ideas, opinion, fascinating experience, insight and humor to bring to life Inclusive Leadership discussion and debate. Change is personal, and Stephen has acted as a positive catalyst to help guide individuals and organizations we partner with to broaden their thinking, re-focus on D&I Culture and proactively lead change.
— Tim Cozze-Young, Executive Engagement Program Manager, Microsoft UK

I invited Steve to give a lecture at Harvard Business School on diversity in the workplace. He was fantastic. He was able to successfully engage the students on a sensitive topic without offending anyone. Many, myself included, came away thinking differently about the value of diversity in the workplace. His presentation was so much more than the platitudes that many of us have come to expect from a diversity talk. Of particular value was a discussion of concrete strategies to successfully create an inclusive environment beyond just setting quotas. I can highly recommend Steve.
— Brigitte C Madrian – Aetna Professor of Public Policy and Corporate Management, Harvard University

With humor and pragmatism, Stephen Frost uses stories to show what works and doesn’t in building inclusive teams. He makes a clear business case for leaving aside ‘Diversity 101’ trainings and preaching. Instead, he offers proven strategies, based on metrics and proven results, for removing bias from the interview process and for recruiting diverse applicants.
— Michele Wucker, President, World Policy Institute.

    “Steve Frost spoke as a keynote at the March 2012 Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity in Minneapolis, talking about the creation of a diverse and inclusive 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. In about 40 minutes he held the 600 diversity professionals in attendance spellbound as he recounted the opportunities and challenges of the first truly inclusive Olympics. He also challenged them to do the same within their own organizations and left them inspired to rise to Olympic heights. I have a received kudos and high praise for inviting him to speak, but the kudos and praise belong to Steve Frost!”

    Steve Humerickhouse, Director, Multicultural Forum on Workplace Diversity, University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business, Minneapolis, USA

    “Stephen was the keynote speaker at our recent Canadian Supplier Diversity Conference in Toronto. He added great value to the session with his obvious conviction to diversity/inclusivity, his knowledge of this subject, and his humourous/entertaining presentation style. Thanks so much for sharing your zeal; it′s contagious!”

    Don Chapman, Vice President, Business Development, Diversity Business Network (DBN), Toronto, Canada

    “I had the opportunity to hear Stephen speak at a Toronto conference in March, during the middle of his preparation for the upcoming London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. He described succinctly how to create policy and process that embraces diversity and inclusion using the example of his work at LOCOG. The speech was brilliant. The candor of his comments was refreshing.”

    Len Rosen, VP, Communications and Business Development, Diversity Business Network (DBN), Toronto, Canada

    “Stephen recently gave an excellent presentation at OFT on diversity and inclusion in the 2012 Olympics. It was both informative and thought-provoking, and we had very positive feedback from those who attended.”

    John Fingleton, CEO, Office of Fair Trading, London, UK

    “Stephen Frost is an courageous, principled and extremely competent manager who understands people and can skillfully undertake challenging initiatives and difficult assignments with a unusual combination of determined commitment and clear headedness.”

    Marty Linsky, Harvard University and Owner, Cambridge Leadership Associates, USA

    “Stephen is highly committed, loyal and diligent. He is a good and inclusive team leader and an effective communicator. Stephen relates confidently and well to people at all levels and is an excellent ambassador for his organisation. He is good at developing a clear strategic vision and then implementing it tenaciously and practically in a way that adapts to changing circumstances.”

    Michael Pitfield, Director of International Business, Henley Business School, UK

    “Stephen was amazing to work with. He could be trusted to deliver on his word. We worked together on a new creative concept of funding research reports that could be developed and used by all companies.”

    Louella Eastman, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Aviva, London, UK

    “I initially worked with Stephen when he was Workplace Director at Stonewall, a role in which he was exceptional. His client focused, can-do attitude, combined with expert knowledge and rapid delivery made working with Stephen a delight. Stephen and I have also worked together in his role at LOCOG where he combines strategic thinking with great operational delivery.”

    Mark Palmer-Edgecumbe, Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Google, London, UK

    “Stephen′s inspiring leadership of Workplace Programmes was critical to the success of the Diversity Champions scheme, and a key reason my organisation chose to join at an early stage. Stephen′s exceptional ability to support and encourage, whilst setting unequivocal standards, presented a welcome challenge to us at Kent County Council. He balanced friendly advice with a professional manner throughout. Both in setting up the Stonewall Leadership Programme – a genuine “first”, with world-class facilitation – and in our personal dealings, Stephen has helped me to develop my role and my own leadership style. He has been a pleasure to work with.”

    Thomas Molloy, Chair, Rainbow Forum, Kent County Council, UK

    “Stephen generates a wave of enthusiasm amongst his colleagues and peers to implement his vision for the creation of a truly diverse and inclusive workforce. He does so with imaginative and thought provoking initiative and acts as a standard bearer for the mission.”

    Mick Wright, Head of Logistics, London 2012

    “Stephen′s approach to Diversity and Inclusion at London 2012 really displays his passion and determination to go beyond his personal best in firmly embedding D&I in our organisational DNA. He does this through his engagement with all areas of the business and through some inspirational, highly memorable approaches to getting the importance of D&I across to everyone.”

    Adrian Corcoran, Head of Venue Technology Services, London 2012

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Books by Stephen Frost:

Building an Inclusive Organization: Leveraging the Power of a Diverse Workforce

A diverse workforce is a business imperative. Without it, companies are made up of employees who come from the same background and have the same skills and, therefore, the same blind spots. A diverse workforce brings together different strengths, a variety of experiences, a huge breadth of knowledge and a wealth of creative problem-solving techniques. However, in order to leverage the benefits of this diverse workforce, businesses must be inclusive. Inclusion ensures that employees feel supported, are treated fairly and are therefore happier, more engaged and more productive. Building an Inclusive Organization is a practical guide to creating an environment of real inclusion. It explains how to remove unconscious bias from company processes including recruitment and selection, how to make the case for diversity and inclusion to all stakeholders and how to embed inclusion into an organization’s culture and overall business strategy.

Packed with case studies from organizations including KPMG, Uber, Salesforce, Harvard University and the UK National Health Service (NHS), Building an Inclusive Organization shows how to implement robust processes and policies to foster diversity and inclusion in organizations of any size, and in all sectors, including the creative industry, finance, tech, and academia and foundations. Guidance and advice is also provided on how to use ‘nudges’ to change behaviours and overcome bias, how to achieve transparency and accountability, and how to measure, review and evaluate inclusion.

The Inclusion Imperative: How Real Inclusion Creates Better Business and Builds Better Societies

The Inclusion Imperative showcases the inspiring commitment to inclusion the London Olympic and Paralympic Games’ organizing committee espoused, and details the techniques and frameworks that enabled it to truly deliver a ‘Games for everyone’ at London 2012. Diversity and inclusion expert, Stephen Frost, challenges preconceived ideas and strives to inspire professionals to tackle inclusion in their organizations with courage, creativity and talent. With highly relatable examples, The Inclusion Imperative constitutes the best argument to convince sceptics that real diversity and inclusion can deliver more engaged employees and customers, improved employee recruitment and retention, increase productivity and better group decision-making processes.

Real inclusion saves money and improves efficiency in the systems of an organisation, making the world a better place as a by-product. Building on concepts that include Diversity 3.0, detailed process journeys, and procurement governance, this is a must-read for HR and diversity officers frustrated with the guidance currently available, as well as for anyone who recognizes the legacy of the 2012 Games in fostering a tolerant and diverse society.

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