Rifa Thorpe-Tracey

Speaker, Mentor, Coach, Diversity Consultant

Bio: Rifa is an award-winning coach, consultant, and connector for the digital and creative industries. She advocates for diversity and inclusion for women and people of colour.

Rifa is the organiser of the successful networking group SheSays Brighton for women in tech and the festival director of Spring Forward. She worked for over 25 years as a digital project manager in the tech industry; building large-scale websites, working at a senior level with global clients. Rifa is also a Sivananda Yogi and advanced meditation teacher. She trained with Tibetan Buddhist monks in Nepal and with gurus across India. Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of everything she does and champions women and people of colour wherever possible.

Public Speaker

I’m a public speaker for live conferences, webinars, online events and podcasts.  I’ve curated, moderated and spoken at more than 40 events, including for several years SheSays Brighton, where I’m the organiser and host. I’ve been the Festival Director for Spring Forward Festival since 2016.


Public Speaking

I was the host of The Story Conference 2019 at Conway Hall in London. My other public speaking work includes:

  • Wellbeing At Work Edinburgh
  • Agile on the Bench
  • DARE Conference London
  • Mind the Code
  • UX Camp Brighton
  • Brighton Digital Women
  • Host of weekly FM radio show
  • Presenter of Refigure weekly podcast

Masterclasses & workshops

I’ve produced and delivered masterclasses and workshops at:

  • Kings College London
  • Wired Sussex
  • University of Brighton
  • Lighthouse
  • The Old Market Theatre
  • Hosts weekly online zoom meetups

Panels & Podcasts

I’ve been a panelist for:

  • The Times
  • Brighton Cultural Summit
  • Vodafone
  • Diversity and Inclusion events
  • The Clearleft Podcast
  • Always Possible Podcast
  • Refigure Podcast

Want to book me for your event?

Get in touch to discuss your requirements.


I tell compelling stories and bring a warm, engaging energy to my public speaking. I’m happy speaking to 1,000+ crowds, small teams, or one-to-one, I passionately advocate for diversity and inclusion,  for women, people of colour, and other under-represented groups in the tech and creative industries. I champion diversity and inclusion in all my work. I am also a speaker on wellbeing at work, mentoring, and project-based strategy.


  • Winner Community Hero Award, Dynamic Business Awards 2022
  • Etc magazine Top 20 Inspirational Women 2020
  • Mentor/Coach of the Year finalist, Business Women Excellence Awards 2019
  • Best Networker of the Year runner-up, Business Women Excellent Awards 2019
  • Sussex Life magazine Top 50 inspiring women 2017
  • Nominated High Achiever of the Year, Venus Awards 2013, 2014

Advisory positions

  • Trustee Lighthouse Arts
  • Board member Marlborough Theatre
  • Board director Platform B Radio
  • Organisational Lead for Brighton Digital Festival
  • Radio presenter Juice 107.2 FM
  • Podcast presenter on arts, culture, tech, and diversity

Refigure Events

SheSays Brighton

I’m the host and organiser of the Brighton Chapter of global network SheSays. A quarterly conference evening of inspiring talks with fantastic female speakers. Come and celebrate their successes, hear about their challenges and learn creative solutions you can apply to your own life and career.

Spring Forward Festival

Spring Forward Festival is a month-long celebration of the role of women in digital culture and runs throughout March in parallel with Women’s History Month. I’m the curator, owner and director of Spring Forward Festival.

Refigure Workshops

I run inspiring and practical group workshops, open to everyone.
For updates on the next workshop, sign up to the mailing list.