Conference News May 2022 | Page 47

47 Column


Gabby Austen-Browne , ( she / her / hers ), event industry diversity and inclusion expert , talks metrics in DEI programmes
he most exciting part of working with organisations that fully embrace the full scope of Diversity , Equity and Inclusion ( DEI ) work , is when I see them smash one of the goals they committed to on their DEI journey . For example , Smyle was committed to diversifying its leadership team – because of the work they did with us , they understood that representation matters .
Yes , ‘ soft ’ skills , such as empathy and bias-free thinking are a key element to creating inclusive workplaces and diversifying teams and supply chains . However , at the same time , we have to recognise the need to approach this work with an analytical lens and a greater focus around benchmarking and metrics .
For those starting to implement a DEI programme or perhaps even refreshing a current programme , it ’ s not too late to collect some key data , to start benchmarking and setting goals .
Representation and recruitment There is still the misconception that representation means people of colour or other visual representation . Visual
“‘ Belonging ’ means the ability to bring their authentic self to work in a non-toxic environment .”
Gabby Austen-Browne , event industry diversity and inclusion expert
representation is important in the workplace and at events , but we should be considering all intersections of people when we are setting diversity goals and benchmarks . We don ’ t always mean ‘ what you can ’ t see , you can ’ t be ’ in the literal sense .
There are a few strategies companies can try , particularly when deciding what representation they should be focusing on . Such as , does the overall representation reflect the geographical location of the organisation or venue , and / or does the current organisation reflect the diversity of its clients and / or audience base ?
Equity Simply put , being less represented in higher-level , higher-paying jobs attributes to unequal pay . More importantly this heavily impacts and penalises women and people of colour , affecting everything to generational wealth and retirement due to smaller pension
pots . To remedy this , it takes being open to learning about pay gaps , being honest about where pay gaps exist , sharing the pay gaps , setting goals to change this and investing resources to fix it .
Inclusivity and a sense of belonging It ’ s actually simple to measure whether the team and individuals feel a sense of belonging . ‘ Belonging ’ means the ability to bring their authentic self to work in a non-toxic environment , with individuals having the ability to show empathy and understanding for those who are different to them knowing that they will receive the same in return . It ’ s about cultivating an environment where people can talk openly and honestly and share feedback without fear . Companies can effectively measure inclusivity and that sense of belonging by surveying their employees regularly and having a process to mitigate things that need improving .
Eventprofs , be bold . Share your DEI data . This shows a level of transparency and accountability that current employees and potential ones value . As an industry , we can ’ t measure our progress if we are unwilling to be open and share .
There is strength in vulnerability . CN
l If you ’ d like to learn how to begin collecting meaningful DEI data and get recommendations for DEI goal setting , email Gabby @ diversityalliance . co . uk
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