The first diversity forum was held in London yesterday. The forum aimed to try and turn promises from companies about bettering employment diversity and the creating of a gender balance in the workplace, into reality.

The impressive range of speakers at the forum featured senior business leaders from around the world. Many choose to emphasise the need for companies and government to work together on diversity in an attempt to better productivity. Currently UK productivity is off kilter with the rest of Europe and the United States. The UK has to catch up or risk falling behind, something bettering the gender balance in the workplace could help.

With a large number of employers currently reporting a skills gap, speakers at the conference emphasised the need for more joined up thinking with government to create more apprentice schemes and to better options available to young people when in full time education.

The conference also considered the changes in the work place that will need due to people opting to work longer and put off retirement. “In the future there is going to be a career arc, not a career ladder,’ commented Pat Chapman Pincher, Chairman of the Cavell Group. “The packs of people’s careers will happen at different times.”

Look out for two exclusive interviews with Heather Jackson founder of the Balanced Business Forum and Sir Nigel Knowles Global Co-Chairman and Senior Partner at DLA Piper.