Takeaways from Henley's Masterclass on Diversity, Inclusivity and Emotional Intelligence

Author Henley Business School Finland

Published 13.6.2024

Leadership Masterclass Diversity

Takeaways from Henley's Masterclass on Diversity, Inclusivity and Emotional Intelligence

Henley's latest Masterclass with VTT continued to draw many people to join talks this time on diversity, inclusion and emotional intelligence.

The event kicked off with Dr. Naeema Pasha's, Henley Business School, masterclass followed by VTT's case study on emotional agency, presented by Kirsi Nuotto, CHRO at VTT. The evening was wrapped up by an interactive panel discussion on "The Different forms of Diversity" with Maija Fast, Bird & Bird, Jason Staines,Leading Light Oy, Salla Gantsi, DEI Consultant at Gantsi Consulting Oy and Dr. Naeema Pasha.

Henley Finland's Managing Director, Paula Kilpinen, and Business Director, Saara Karhula, opened the event with welcome words!

Here are some of the takeaways from the impactful evening.

image00001-Jun-06-2024-10-26-00-9381-AMMissed the event or want to refresh your memory? Find the presentation slides and the recording of the masterclass at the end of this blog.

Empowering Leadership: Advancing Inclusivity with Empathy at the Core

We were extremely pleased to have Dr. Naeema Pasha, an expert in the future of work specialising in AI, diversity, and employment trends, visit us in Helsinki to deliver an insightful keynote.

Watch the recording of the Masterclass here 

Dr. Naeema Pasha, currently a Visiting fellow at Henley Business School, has worked with and done extensive research on diversity, inclusion, future of work, AI, equity, leadership and much more. She has written a book called "Futureproof Your Career", directed Henley's World of Work Insitute, and she is also a consultant and a fantastic speaker. We could not have had a better person deliver this masterclass.

The world is not as inclusive as it should be

At the beginning of her keynote, Dr. Pasha asked the questions "Are we in a fair world? Are we experiencing things that don't always work out?" She continued to argue that even though we are continuously educating ourselves on these topics, in a world that is not as fully inclusive as it should be, what we are doing is not enough. There are more things we need to work on.

Technology and Diversity

Dr. Pasha brought focus on technology's role in shaping and reflecting our world, for example biased AI, which is well illustrated with the following video.

"If you train AI on data that is not representative, that is overwhelmingly obtained from and reflects the experiences of men then the AI will be biased towards men too."


Purpose means Equity

Dr. Pasha talked about how social purpose is important, however, she highlighted that what we are seeing now in the world of work is younger people taking a stance on sustainability or voicing their political opinion. She also argued that purpose is embedded in equity.

According to research done in Henley:

  • Nearly half (47%) of employees want a career that helps them make a positive impact on society, the same number for Gen- Z is 66%.
  • Almost one in three (30%) business leaders feel that racial inequity exists.
  • As many as 22% of employees say they have personally experienced or seen discrimination of some sort in their workplace.
Businesses which actively confront inequity and racism with practical measures, recorded an average revenue 58% higher than those which did not.

The Equity Effect

On Monday 7 June 2021, Henley Business School published research into racial equity in UK businesses. Our aim was to understand the reasons racial inequity still exists in British workplaces, and the barriers and challenges to overcoming it.

The research found that:

  • Almost one in three leaders (30%) and one in four employees (24%) feel that racial inequity exists in their workplace.
  • As many as 22% of employees say they have personally experienced or seen discrimination of some sort in their workplace, with many citing race as the primary pretext (55%).
  • Business leaders rated achieving racial equity as the least important challenge to overcome in the next 12 months.
  • Only 1 in 20 business leaders (7%) considered achieving racial equity the primary challenge to overcome.

Skills we need

Dr. Pasha also talked about the changes the world of work is undergoing, including more diverse workforce and hybrid work, inter alia, and how this calls for new skills. She also argues that together the right skills and diversity of the workforce will increase productivity. See more about this from the recording.

Dr. Pasha went through her  the '3 Cs' model of Collaboration, Caring, and Creativity, which help build strength in leading diversity and inclusion strategies. 

Watch the entire keynote from the recording

Emotional Agency

Our second keynote was presented by Kirsi Nuotto, Chief HR Officer at VTT & Board Member at Fintraffic, who shared VTT's impressive research on "Creating impact through Emotional Agency". Kirsi presented VTT's Emotional Agency programme, which consisted of 8 months of emotionally intelligent leadership training for over 200 leaders.

The results of this programme speak for themselves:

  • Mental health absences went down by 27%.
  • People Leadership KPIs jumped from 69 to 81.
  • Major developments in psychological safety & sense of belonging.
  • Significant progress inwork engagement & organisational ​commitment.

You can read more about the programme and and its impact at VTT from the event slides.

Paula, Kirsi & Naeema





The Masterclass delivered invaluable insights into the critical leadership skills of empathy, inclusivity, and emotional intelligence.

Thank you to all speakers and attendees!



Watch the recording of Dr. Naeema Pasha's Masterclass "Empowering Leadership: Advancing Inclusivity with Empathy at the Core".

*Event presentation slides are included.






Henley Business School Finland

Henley Business School Finland