Diversity Ally launches consultancy service for the events industry

The new consultancy and membership organisation will help MICE businesses become more diverse and inclusive.

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.

Members include:

  • 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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