Event professionals Ashanti Bentil-Dhue and Gabrielle Austen-Browne have launched Diversity Ally, a consultancy service and membership organisation which aims to help events, MICE and hospitality businesses become more diverse and inclusive.
“The tragic death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter global protests have caused the events, MICE and hospitality community to recognise we have an issue around the lack of diversity in our industry," said Bentil-Dhue and Austen-Browne.
"It became clear that there wasn’t an organisation for the sector taking ownership of this issue."
Services include helping organisations develop diversity and inclusion policies and facilitating workshops and training for leaders and employees around anti-racism, inclusivity and being an ally.
Diversity Ally has created industry-standard pledges to enable benchmarking for organisations in the areas of recruitment and hiring, developing talent, company culture and leadership.
And to celebrate and recognise the organisations and leaders committed to being diversity allies, the Diversity In Events Awards will be launched in 2021.
An Events Diversity Alliance Committee has been formed, consisting of senior business leaders in the industry who want to stay informed about the work Diversity Ally is doing. Committee members will meet on a quarterly basis and have agreed to share learnings with their peers and act as champions for diversity within the industry.
Mark Riches, industry investor and advisor - formally co-founder of global events agency FIRST
Ryan Curtis-Johnson, head of PR and marketing, DRPG
Caroline Jackson, BVEP vice-chair and AEME executive
Priya Narain, co-founder, Event First Steps
Benedicta Asante, venue sourcing specialist, American Express Global Business Travel
David Preston, CEO, Realise
Edward Poland, co-founder, Hire space
Felicity Cator, head of EventLAB - Hire Space
Miriam Sigler, director, Ways & Means Events
William Swannell, CEO, Hire space
Peter Kerwood, director, Elevate Mentoring / Peter Kerwood Marketing
Max Fellows, co-founder, Elevate Mentoring
“The events and MICE industry is poised to be a model industry when it comes to demonstrating the multiple benefits of encouraging diversity and inclusion in terms of people, culture and image,” said Bentil-Dhue and Austen-Browne.
“We rely on teamwork, collaboration and human connection to keep the industry thriving and therefore these same values can be used to make the events industry a better place for us all.”
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