Conference News September 2021 - Page 39

39 Diversity
bit more about it . “ Diversity and inclusion have been spoken about a lot in our industry recently ,” he said . “ However , I ’ ve always questioned exactly what companies think they can do about it . With only 3.5 % of # eventprofs being black or brown , it ’ s a marathon , not a sprint .
“ That ’ s where the idea of a scholarship came from and why I ’ m working with an awesome team of people from Diversity Ally , Event First Steps , Mash Media and Manchester Metropolitan University to deliver an industry programme that will increase the talent pool in the future and , as such , show the sector is an inclusive place to work .
“ The scholarship is called REACH , which stands for Race Ethnicity And Cultural Heritage , and we will be launching it officially later in the year ( most likely at International Confex ). Stay tuned .”
Robert is coordinating things , so if you want to get involved , please drop him a message on robert @ thehub . jobs . Essentially , it costs a student circa £ 27,000 per year to study for their degree plus , on average , £ 5,000 per year living costs . The living costs are where the drop out happens and where we are focusing our efforts and we
International Confex
need event businesses to support this . It is tangible positive action , not a token gesture .
Currently , 16 % of students studying for their event degree at MMU are from a black or brown background and the aim of the scholarship is to increase that to 25 %.
I would urge as many event businesses as possible to pledge £ 5,000 . But please don ’ t feel sub-standard if your business is struggling at the moment and you can ’ t commit this year , as are so many . This isn ’ t a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity , it will endure .
However , Mash Media wants to help too , so here ’ s my pledge …
We will donate £ 3 for every visitor to International Confex
I feel so strongly about this that Mash Media will commit £ 3 to the scholarship for every visitor who comes to International Confex , which takes place 1-2 September 2021 . So , register today , and if you join us on either of the two show days , that ’ s helping towards funding another placement . For context , in 2020 we welcomed 7,500 – that would have been £ 22,500 if we ’ d done it then . I am also keen to have a post graduate academy set up . Such a
l Register for International Confex today 1-2 September 2021 , ExCeL London www . international-confex . com
thing takes an enormous amount of work and conversations are already underway . We will circle back to this another time , as setting up the scholarship must come first .
We are also working on plans to create a future leader programme to facilitate a targeted amount of mid-level roles to those from non-white backgrounds , which will be combined with developmental mentoring and reverse mentoring . I will be discussing this further at a Diverse Leaders Roundtable at International Confex .
And we need to acknowledge the great strides we will be making with an award , too . Mash Media is already undertaking this with an eye on including the Diversity and Inclusion Award in 2022 . We will keep you updated as and when we have further details .
Let ’ s put our money where our mouth is
This is a mission that I feel passionate about and believe that it could pave the way for real progression within our industry . Educate and invest in the next generation and make our industry truly inclusive and even more powerful and innovative .
So that ’ s the mouth , here ’ s the money .
International Confex will put cash into this pot every year to get this started and , if we ’ re all in this together , in reality , this is my proposal .
As I have already mentioned , for every visitor we get , it will be worth £ 3 to the future of the industry . Last year we got 7,500 visitors but I ’ d like to invest £ 50,000 annually , if you ’ ll get behind this . So , shout and show your support and I ’ ll put my money where your mouth is ( or feet are ). Contact me on jagostini @ mashmedia . net
A full announcement about REACH and how you can support it will be published soon . CN
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