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Diversity & Inclusion at Events

June 4, 2020

Did you know, that we still live in the world where 69% of event speakers are men?

The world is moving on from typical stereotypes which were popular decades ago. These are the times when we should embrace diversity and I promise, it will only add value and character to you your event. It is not only about gender and race, there is so much more to it! Visible and non-visible characteristics, variety of backgrounds, opinions, experiences and just simply embracing the differences of all people.

Looking at current trends and events climate, the panels of five typical male CEOs will not do any good. Can you remember the conference in Davos – the panel about women in business consisted of 4 white male panellists and the only woman there was a moderator! Have you seen the backlash and mockery on the internet?

Davos Panel

 

There are so many high achieving people from minority groups across the globe, why not include them on your panels?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the 69% male speakers are very knowledgeable and great experts in their fields, but let me ask you – would you prefer to sit in a conference venue and listen to a panel of all male CEOs, who had a very similar road to success or would you rather add someone with a different road to success in the mix? Perhaps someone inspirational like Kiera Roche, CEO of LimbPower, a powerful woman with one amputated limb who uses her lived experience to help people rebuild their lives? Or Neil Heslop, who is the first disabled CEO of Leonard Cheshire, whose 5,000 staff and 10,000 volunteers support 50,000 people with disabilities in 15 countries?   Inspirational, isn’t it?

I particularly remember one event organised by IUA of London which took place at our America Square Conference. Along with high ranking male speakers the organisers have also invited Inga Beale, ex CEO of Lloyds of London, to participate in one of the panels, and what can I say, it was a hit! The conference room was packed, all delegates were really inspired by her story, even AV technician was impressed. I don’t think I know a single person who wouldn’t be impressed by this fascinating woman – first female CEO in the insurance market’s 328-year history, who is also openly bisexual! Wouldn’t you want to listen to this person, who has changed the cultural understanding and embedded modernisation into the heavily male populated insurance world?

But it’s not just about the speakers in the conference room, diversity of delegates is just as important. Can you imagine the way a female delegate feels walking into a conference venue dominated by male delegates? Or a black male in all white audience? If it was me, I would just be uncomfortable and wondering if I have entered the wrong conference room?

I guess my point is that diversity in events and conferences is important and it’s one of the key ingredients towards a successful event!

Here at Cavendish Conference Venues we embrace diversity and are proud to be working with clients who include minority groups in their events! Over the past few years our conference venues have been hosting many conferences about diversity, including “WIG Diversity & Inclusion Conference 2019”. We also work closely with Dods Group’s D&I team, who designs and delivers cutting edge events to keep you up to date with the evolving landscape of Diversity and Inclusion.

“When we listen and celebrate what is both common and different, we become a wiser, more inclusive, and better organisation.” — Pat Wadors, Head of HR at LinkedIn (Source: LinkedIn)

With Love,

Valeria

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