Hosting our First Business Ethics Fair
On Wednesday 10th May, Leighton Park hosted five organisations and six local secondary school in conjunction with social enterprise, Ethical Reading. The inaugural Business Ethics Fair saw students come together to meet representatives and discuss their company values, practices, and policies.
The event featured Grant Thornton, Francis Construction, NatWest, Shoosmiths and Cotswold Fayre, all of whom are Ethical Reading Partners, working to make the Reading a better place to live, work and do business.
Peter Rowley, Head of Business Studies and Economics, commented: “The fair was aimed at educating, collaborating, and inspiring our future business leaders and changemakers. It gave students the opportunity to meet and challenge business leaders from firms operating in as diverse markets as the law, accountancy, banking, logistics, and construction.”
Students from Leighton Park, Reading School, Bulmershe, The Abbey, Queen Anne’s, and Downe House, participated in three business sessions followed by networking over lunch and a panel discussion to wrap up the day.
Peter continued, “Students met the founder and CEO of Cotswold Fayre, who gave the keynote speech. They then get to meet a range of business leaders from Cotswold Fayre, Francis Construction, Grant Thornton, NatWest, and Shoosmiths. After their networking lunch, students were able to ask questions to the collective panel of leaders in a no holds barred Q and A session; our future business leaders challenged the current generation!”
“The Quaker values of respect, integrity, simplicity, equality, peace, truth, and sustainability that are at the heart of Leighton Park, are also at the heart of many familiar Quaker businesses; Cadbury, Clarks, Huntley and Palmers, Jacob’s and Lloyds Bank to name a few, have impacted the shape of the business world through the 19th and 20th centuries. We are now a quarter of the way through the 21st and they seem more important than ever. With this in mind, we were delighted to host Ethical Reading and the Business Ethics Fair; an opportunity for local students to meet each other and local business leaders to discuss current business issues that we face, and the solutions that may be found together.”
Alex Wallace, Deputy Head, added: “Successful businesses rely on strong values. This is something we hold dear at Leighton Park, which is why we were delighted to host the Business Ethics Fair, giving young people at other local schools the opportunity to engage with a range of organisations to discuss some of the ethical issues business contend with. It was a unique opportunity for them and one we hope will set them on a path to being great assets to their future employers.”
On the day, Professor Brad Hooker, Director at Ethical Reading, remarked: “Ethical Reading is thrilled that its inaugural Business Ethics Fair for secondary school students is being hosted by Leighton Park School… Representatives will be running discussions with students, fielding questions, and stressing the importance of ethics in business. The event has been funded by Berkshire Community Foundation. To all these organisations, Ethical Reading is deeply grateful.”