Conference News September 2021 - Page 38

38 Diversity



Mash Media MD Julian Agostini is putting his money where his mouth is to support REACH , a new scholarship in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University , to improve diversity in the events industry
ut your money where your mouth is ! It ’ s quite an aggressive and unerring phrase insofar that the recipient is left under no illusion that they are being ‘ called out ’. The Government is often asked to pick up this gauntlet , especially over the past year or so .
A burning topic over the last year has been tackling racism and addressing diversity and inclusion in the workplace which is , rightly in my opinion , being treated as a priority .
Communities accelerate in their development with better and fuller programmes of diversity . This has been demonstrated in society over the centuries and , while it ’ s not an instant fix , which is what everyone wants to buy of course , it ’ s not so slow as to be indiscernible to those that make the investment .
Julian Agostini
It ’ s a straightforward equation , in fact . A diverse community produces far more desirable outcomes , such as efficiency , harmony , equality , education and therefore better lifestyles , progression in problem solving and so on . From personal experience , as someone from a
“ Mash Media will commit £ 3 to the REACH scholarship for every visitor who comes to International Confex .” family from over the water , and as an employer , I ’ ve always thought that immigrants bring a lot to any party ; if they are welcomed , but perhaps I would say that !
I had a feeling of needing to prove oneself ; being under pressure to earn every opportunity . No entitlement : that ’ s not a bad thing . It certainly helped me and my wider family . In every sense , diversity elevates the community in each direction , so why wouldn ’ t it be the number one investment ? Can we apply that to our very own community of events ?
Certainly , we have talked about this topic for years ; about the need to ensure equity ( it ’ s not equality , it ’ s about equity ) to those from Black , Asian and ethnic minority communities to level the playing field , but what have we actually done about this ? It ’ s been mainly just talking , if we ’ re honest .
Despite some fantastic work from a handful of industry professionals , and with the exception of one or two prominent individuals , if we cast a glance around the teams right up to the boardrooms of our industry , has much changed ? Are we in any way representative of the population ? It ’ s doubtful . Perhaps it all needs a bit of an overhaul and that means investment . In an ideal world , the events industry would be a shining example of diversity and inclusion ; a model for other sectors to follow , but that simply isn ’ t the case . Can we change this ? Here ’ s what I am doing : Mash Media is involved in setting up a scholarship for students from diverse backgrounds : an event management degree in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University . The taskforce is being steered by industry recruitment expert Robert Kenward . I asked him to contribute a comment to this blog to explain a www . conference-news . co . uk