Shola Kaye – Keynote Speaker

Сommunication and inclusion specialist, an award-winning speaker and the author of two books

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Specialist Subjects

  • Elevating Empathy
  • Empathy Skills for a High Performance Culture
  • Inclusive Leadership
  • Delivering effective feedback with Empathy
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Inclusive Communication


  • English


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’.

Popular Talks by Shola Kaye

Elevating Empathy

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

You’ll walk away with the tools and the inspiration to become a more compassionate and effective leader, manager, or individual contributor. You’ll understand the vital components of empathy, how to be compassionate whilst avoiding burnout, and why skills like emotional intelligence are in high demand.

Learning objectives:

Explore data points that emphasise the importance of empathy and perspective taking for workplace success

Understand the different types of empathy and their impact on your well-being

Find out how empathy can affect diversity, inclusion, engagement, retention, innovation

Walk away with a simple three-step framework for being empathetic in nearly every situation

Explore the themes of curiosity, courage and being a catalyst for change

Empathy Skills for a High Performance Culture

This keynote explores the role of empathy as the foundation for a successful, inclusive workplace culture where employees are empowered to be their best selves and do their best work.
Many organisations have already made the shift from transactional to transformational workspaces where enlightened leaders and managers focus on the whole person rather than task accomplishment. Through the power of understanding, empathy and compassion we can create workplaces of belonging, happiness, high retention and productivity. This is an interactive keynote with opportunities for reflection throughout and stories to help land the learning.
Learning objectives:
Understand the increasing importance of empathy in the workplace
Learn about the three types of empathy and the differences between pity, sympathy, empathy  and compassion
Explore the importance of language and specific action when attempting to demonstrate empathy
Understand that perspective taking can help reduce biased decision making
Learn that an empathetic attitude can cut down on microaggressions and other harmful behaviours
Discover the link between empathy, feedback and performance
Understand the importance of creating psychological safety for your colleagues, especially if you’re a low-empathy individual
Value the gift of encouragement as a way to inspire high performance

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