LEAD Network Event 2018 Speaker Interview Series

Peter Higgs

Executive director

BNI Birmingham & Coventry



Can you tell us a bit about your background and your role?

Originally a Qualified Accountant who became FD across several Industries and went on to become Managing Director for a division of the Plastics Group, Linpac.  Now Owner of Business Network International (BNI) for the West Midlands Region I help over 500 members generate new business by helping one another using Referral Networking.

Why is diversity important for you?

History has taught us that Oppression of any description is toxic whereas Diversity and Inclusion provides positive behaviour patterns and more successful outcomes.  I also have 4 Daughters and do not believe their future should be impacted by their gender or anything other than their ability to contribute positively.

What is your perspective on LEAD and what advice would you have for us?

LEAD can impact at a visible level in both Organisations and to the Wider Community if we can influence and action, changes in beliefs.  I would like to see LEAD help the next generations too, so we can influence a lasting change to Diversity in our Leaders of the future.

Tell us about something innovative you’ve done recently related to diversity?

In BNI, we have introduced varying times for our meetings to allow members to accommodate their Childcare requirements and have started new Groups that are over 75% Female led.

How important is diversity within your organization?

Very Important as the diversity of Business owners continues to grow we need to ensure we are bringing more people together in a positive, inclusive and supportive environment.

What is your biggest achievement related to diversity?

I used the result of a large contract win to ask for a Female Directors pay to be increased substantially to bring it in line with fellow Directors across the business.  The end result was that this individual was also asked to lead the business upon my departure.