Virtual conference highlights lack of workplace diversity and inclusion

767

Almost a hundred business leaders joined a global virtual conference recently to learn about workplace diversity and inclusion.

This Is Us Conference took place for a third consecutive year on Tuesday 20th October and Wednesday 21st October, attracting delegates from the UK all the way to Australia, Pakistan and Europe.

The conference, created and led by Meena Chander, CEO and founder of Events Together (pictured), included exclusive talks, seminars and workshops delivered by inspiring thought leaders. The sessions covered a range of topics including the challenges businesses face in attracting and retaining BAME staff, how to eliminate conscious and unconscious bias in the workplace and why acknowledging the struggles, experiences and journeys of the people we work with is so important.

Speakers included:

Advertisement
  • Jacqui Gavin – equality, diversity & inclusion adviser for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service and recent winner of the British Empire Medal (BEM) for her contribution to highlighting and driving positive change in transgender issues in the workplace
  • Ian Washington-Smith – director at Shinesmith Academy
  • Nic Jennings – content marketing and diversity & inclusion consultant and expert on identity and the intersection of diversity

The event revealed many hard-hitting statistics evidencing the distinct lack of workplace diversity and inclusion, including:

  • 7 out of 10 LGBT people have experienced sexual harassment at work
  • Out of 1096 job roles analysed in a recent report, only 47 [4.3%] are BAME
  • 1 in 3 UK employers will not hire a trans person
  • BAME females account for only 10 roles out of 1096 [0.9%]. Out of these only 3 are black females
  • A third of people surveyed believe ethnic minorities face discrimination in the workplace today

The floor was opened up for delegates to debate and discuss their own experiences, and speakers outlined actionable tips for how employers and individuals from underrepresented groups can work together to tackle issues on inequality and discrimination in the workplace and create lasting change.

Several highly important issues were discussed and debated including menopause in the workplace, ethnic entrepreneurship, and ways in which you can set up an LGBT network or workplace community.

Speaking following the event, Meena Chander, founder of This Is Us Conference, said: “This Is Us Conference is all about championing diversity and inclusion for LGBTQ+ employees, women and BAME people in an organisation. The issue has never been more important than it is now, so I knew I had to do everything to ensure the event went ahead despite the challenges of Covid-19.

“The virtual conference had a fantastic turnout with delegates tuning in from all around the world proving that, increasingly, people want to become more educated on important workplace and social issues and help make a difference.

“I would like to thank all of this year’s speakers and delegates for making This Is Us Conference 2020 a success and for helping bring the challenges minority groups continue to face every day to the forefront.”