Shola Kaye

Expert in Communication, Inclusive Leadership and Empathy at Work

why book shola?

  • Her consultancy career spanned prestigious roles in U.S. investment banks and global clients in aviation and finance, contributing to a rich understanding of corporate dynamics
  • Shola’s time in academia at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, coupled with her corporate experience as a black woman, fuels her passion for creating inclusive workplaces
  • Blending STEM expertise and entertainment, Shola engages audiences with an interactive and high-impact delivery style, offering communication frameworks for better collaboration


Shola Kaye MSc is the author of two books and an award-winning speaker. She spent the first part of her career in consultancy in the U.S.A., working at household name investment banks and in the U.K for global clients in aviation and finance. She also spent time in academia, performing Neuroscience research at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Her experience as a black woman working for corporates led to an understanding of some of the challenges faced by minority groups on multiple levels. This in turn led her to develop an interest in learning to create inclusive workplaces with open, supportive communication. Shola went on to become a professional performer, appearing on stages around the world.

Shola has a unique interactive delivery that combines the energy and engagement of a performer with the insights and actionable communication systems of a scientist or technical expert. Today she blends her STEM and entertainment background to share clear, effective communication frameworks that help people work better together. These are delivered in a high-impact, engaging style.

Her keynote and masterclass topics include diversity and inclusion, workplace communication, and workplace empathy. She also speaks about how to change company culture through inclusive leadership practices.

Shola has been featured in Marie Claire, Harper’s Bazaar, and on the BBC and is often called upon to chair and facilitate conferences and events. Her work has been mentioned in Forbes and her articles have appeared in industry publications such as HR Zone and Management Today. Shola’s first book was an number one bestseller and her second book ‘Big Talk, Small Talk – Communication Skills for All Parts of Your Life’ was published in November 2020.


BREAK THE BIAS With Powerful Communication: Practical Skills For Challenging Bias

In this session, we’ll look at strategies to fight gender bias. You’ll walk away with practical tools and communication frameworks to make a difference. This session covers:

  • Common examples of gender bias and the damage they cause
  • Strategies for breaking bias
  • Calling out vs calling in – and how to decide which is appropriate, given your situation
  • Common gender-related microaggressions and strategies for responding to aggressors
  • Bystander interventions for male allies and anyone who wants to help fight gender bias
  • Recognising and understanding intersectionality: the overlapping of gender bias with other types of discriminatory behaviour

LEADERSHIP, DIVERSITY & INCLUSION: Inclusive Leadership For The Post-Pandemic Workplace

Equip your leaders with the skills and knowledge to combat bias and foster belonging

We know that many workplaces will never be the same after Covid19. That’s why leaders need an expanded repertoire of skills and know-how to ensure staff are engaged, happy and productive. In this highly impactful programme, leaders are given the skill set to flourish in today’s complex work environments, managing ever more diverse and demanding teams.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION: Use Empathy To Create A Workplace Of Respect And Belonging

Develop your listening, courage, and compassion to build an environment of trust and inclusivity

Bring our whole selves to work? How is that possible when we may not be accepted and valued by our colleagues?

This inspiring, story-based keynote speech includes tools, and interactive exercises to help you see the value of ensuring everyone feels they belong. You’ll understand the vital components of empathy, learn about key themes such as courage, curiosity and being a catalyst, discover how to be compassionate while avoiding burnout, and hear why skills like emotional intelligence are in high demand.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION: Microaggressions & Bystander Interventions

What are these harmful behaviours and how do we deal with them?

Microaggressions are the brief and commonplace verbal, behavioural or environmental slights, whether intentional or unintentional, that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative attitudes.

We’ll explore microaggressions, how to deal with them as a recipient and ways to respond as a bystander. Understand the damage they can do in the workplace if left unchecked and examine the results of psychological studies that reveal the impact of this problem.

LEADERSHIP COMMUNICATION: Delivering Effective Feedback With Empathy

Develop the skills to support and co-create your colleagues’ success

At work and in our personal lives, delivering effective feedback is a valuable skill. Delivered in the right way, feedback can be empowering, inspiring and can drive an individual, and their team, towards fantastic success.

However, delivered in the wrong way, feedback can be divisive, demotivating, and destructive. And when we avoid giving feedback to spare someone’s feelings, the eventual outcome can be just as damaging.

So what’s your intention as a manager? Is it to break or to build? To crush or to co-create?

COMMUNICATION: Managing Difficult Conversation

Approach difficult conversations with skill and confidence

Perhaps you need to resolve a conflict, or ask a team member to change their behaviour?

It sometimes seems easier to ignore the issue and hope it goes away, but this rarely happens. Instead, the situation may come back to haunt you. In this interactive session you’ll learn a step-by-step framework that will thoroughly prepare you for these conversations and help you achieve a positive outcome.

Shola Kaye




‘Shola is a big impact speaker and compelling story teller. Her contribution to a critical event was arresting, memorable and inspiring. Be warned: her energy and positivity are highly contagious.’

Paul Keenan – President Bauer Media Audio


‘Shola conducted a wonderful and engaging Webinar session on communication in Diverse Teams for UNFPA! Her method of using the chatbox on Zoom to make sure everyone was engaged was super helpful for those who were not comfortable speaking up with the large group of people she was presenting to. Shola was very well-spoken and kind and I would highly recommend her work to any organization looking to improve communication skills between colleagues and teams.’

Helin Alcinkaya – United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)


Shola delivered a top-notch remote keynote address for our Bryant University IDEA Program focused on “Elevating Empathy.” Shola was engaging, informative, and inspiring. She spoke to a group of about 900 students, faculty, and staff, and we received excellent feedback. Everyone loved her message and the practical tips she shared for how we might all learn to be more empathetic and emotionally intelligent. Shola told great stories during her talk and created opportunities for meaningful interaction with attendees even in the large webinar format. In the planning process, Shola was wonderful to collaborate with, and she delivered exactly what we were looking for. I highly recommend Shola if you are seeking an outstanding keynote related to empathy.’

Allison Butler – Psychology Professor & IDEA Director at Bryant University


‘Shola is a fabulous speaker, she has excellent tips and techniques for public speaking… Shola is highly intelligent and approachable and was so well received by our Women In the Law audience at Grant Thornton. Shola is so unique in that she has an outstanding education, professional experience in the corporate world, is a writer and also a professional singer, and draws on all of her experience to deliver very inspiring sessions.’

Sandra Mossios – Director, Forensic and Investigation Services (Valuations) Grant Thornton UK LLP


“Shola was a delight to work with. Her approachability, professionalism and calm demeanour put others at ease, and the combination of compassion and curiosity that she brought to the consideration of potentially difficult subjects was incredibly powerful. I would recommend her wholeheartedly and look forward to working with her again in the future”

Claire Brown – Society of Radiographers

‘I reached out to Shola, following an introduction from a colleague within our inclusion team. I was looking for a speaker to complement our agenda for international women’s day which was attended by over 120 female entrepreneurs and internal female corporates. Shola was extremely professional, the feedback we received off the back of her talk was fantastic. The audience was inspired and constantly engaged throughout the session, making this a great way to open our event. I would highly recommend Shola for any organisation that is looking for an inspiring / motivational speaker on communication in the workplace. Shola – thank you once again for your support on the day and bringing such great energy to the event.’

Victoria Legg – NatWest Business Growth Manager


‘An eye-opener for me. I exercise empathy often however, I considered it more of a nice to have. Now I realise the importance of it in our day to day lives.’

Achu Mani – Event Manager, Deloitte


‘Highly recommended, Shola’s approach is very engaging and effective. Shola ran a virtual session for us on personal brand in the workplace. The session was high energy and she encouraged the entire analytics team to participate via the chat and demonstrations. We came away with valuable insights and strategies that are easy to implement but will make a big difference to the way we communicate.’

Amy Sinclair – Head of Analytics Guardian News & Media


‘Shola ran an excellent virtual session for our delegates on Empathy in the workplace. The talk was informative, enjoyable and comprehensive. There were also high levels of interaction which engaged attendees from start to finish. The content was practical and a number of delegates mentioned that they will particularly benefit from Shola’s N.E.T. framework which will help them practise empathy in three simple steps. I highly recommend this virtual session to any organisation needing to boost inclusivity, employee engagement and emotional intelligence among their people.’

Ellie O’Connor – Digital Content Assistant, We Are The City


“Shola is a dynamic, articulate, empathic and warm presenter; made all the material accessible and relevant to the corporate environments that our members face; and was great at engaging the participants (virtually over Zoom, which can be challenging) to help them feel safe to share their own stories and ask questions, which turned into a memorable, lively discussion that she facilitated. (It also drew one of our largest audiences to date — which had to be based on the appeal of her topic and biography alone, because that’s all they knew about her at that point!) I’d highly recommend Shola if your company or industry association is considering a training on this topic.” 

Glenn Gutmacher – VP State Street