Why the MICE industry needs to recognise the importance of diversity
With ongoing global discussions and protests about racism and LGBTQ+ rights, there has never been a better time to discuss how we as an industry can improve our values and representation.
Creating an environment where diversity can prosper is fundamental if the meetings and events industry wants to continue to deliver engaging and informative solutions to delegates around the world. After all, the defining point of this industry is to bring people together.
Ensuring speaker programmes showcase a breadth of voices and opinions, setting up diversity panels that actually represent a wide range of people, catering for all religious or cultural dietary requirements, keeping in mind event design that accommodates disabled people and choosing destinations that are welcome to all minorities and marginalised groups can all help to improve the experience of thousands of delegates, event planners and suppliers.
Diversity allows for a varied approach to problem solving, taking into account differing viewpoints, needs and reasoning to create a more holistic solution. Anything from hiring a new team member, to sourcing entertainment for your event, can be made easier by ensuring your team, and the partners you work with, are made of a diverse group of people. It allows for event planners to have a greater insight into their customer base, spanning a wider breadth of groups to reduce oversight and keep everyone in mind.
The 2020 McKinsey ‘Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters’ report found that there is also a strong business case for gender, ethnic and cultural diversity in corporate leadership, where more diverse companies are now more likely than ever to be more profitable than less diverse competitors, and the greater the representation the higher the likelihood of outperforming less diverse organisations.
Of course, diversity should not be promoted for just business gain and it’s an important social issue that must be addressed for the simple moral reason of freedom, equity and justice. Stamping out racism, sexism, ableism, classism, anti-LGBTQ+ (including anti-trans) and ageism, amongst other prejudices, will not only be conducive to promoting a healthier working environment, but is also just morally right.
And although many, if not all of us, can’t claim to be perfect in getting everything right all the time, the pursuit of acknowledgement and education is significant in amplifying the voices of all. As an industry, we can all play our part in providing representation of a wide range of people from different backgrounds and experiences at all levels, and as an integral business sector in the UK, we should utilise this power of influence to truly drive diversity and inclusion and become a thought leader.
Join us at The Meetings Show on 19 & 20 October to take part in our conversation on diversity and inclusion with an inclusive education seminar.As part of Northstar Travel Group, we have taken a pledge to make diversity and inclusiveness a company priority, signing as a member of the CEO Act!on for Diversity and Inclusion to show our dedication to practice and promote the highest standards of equality and ethics. Find out more here. For more on our own policies, including the newly formed diversity and inclusion committee, check out Northstar’s statement from chairman and CEO, Thomas Kemp, here.