Episode 341: Show Notes
Today we are talking about a real hot topic and something we should all be talking about more often! We will be unpacking inclusivity and diversity and our own experiences and the lessons we have learned in this area. We will be drawing mostly from our recent summit and what we took away from the event that we will carry forward. This episode will have actionable strategies and tips about how to invite everyone to your table. We have spoken on this topic in various ways on the podcast before but it definitely deserves a dedicated episode, so we will be discussing community over competition, inclusion in our own company, the speakers we invited to the summit and what to do when something rubs you the wrong way.
We all have a responsibility to open up these conversations if we are going to make any progress as a society. Do not worry, you are not alone if the discomfort itself makes you feel uncomfortable! There is a lot of work to do and processing all of this is not always easy but you learn best by doing and mistakes are okay! It is a big misconception that we will all get it right every time, so do not put too much pressure on yourself in that regard, rather commit to learning, listening and trying your best to contribute to important change!
What Does Diversity and Inclusion at an Event Look Like?
There is not one version of this conversation, it can happen in so many different ways. It is most often about race but there are also the areas of gender, sexuality, political views and so on. The main thing is to attempt to represent as many people as possible but at the same time to not just be checking boxes. This is something we have tried to do and the best way for us was to make sure that a section of our summit speakers were diverse but not be specific about in which way. We focused on amazing speakers across the board and creating a well rounded experience for attendees and the best way to do this is to look outside of your immediate circle. It is really boring for attendees when all the speakers are the same! So we tried to limit the amount of people we knew and who had taken part before, be open to applications, connections and recommendations!
Inviting New Faces, Opening Doors and the Reality of Diversity
There are some really common and let's face it, lame, excuses for not confronting this issue. It is just downright cowardly if someone says they could not find more diverse people to fill roles. It takes a bit of work but we promise if there is a will, there is a way. It will be worth it for you, for the work you are doing and the communities you serve! In the end you just have to put in the time when you are coming from a place of privilege. Lately we have been feeling like scouts on IG and FB groups, looking for great and diverse people to speak at our next event and it can be so much fun too! You can go down a rabbit hole, looking at different niche communities and connections' connections! The chain of people that are connected to you can help you build a great network of people who do not look like you and when we broaden our horizons we all benefit. You can open so many doors and there is such a multitude of people out there, why get caught in your same circle and cycle?
Images, Representation and How Your Brand Appears from the Outside
Let's face it, there is such an over representation of people who look just like us. This is a message to all those photographers out there, create more diverse images! It is something we had to focus on, showcasing everyone and letting everybody shine! There is such an amazing thing that happens when people feel represented and it can be a great welcoming signal to outside parties. Another thing to remember is to learn as you go and keep tweaking and changing things for next time. We all have a responsibility to make change happen and it is 2019, the time of non-diverse panels and events is over!
The Words that We Use; Language in the Pursuit of Inclusion
Language is of vital importance to this conversation and there are so many resources you can employ. It should all start at home, talk to your family and friends, speak up at organizations, churches and business, take up the cause if it does not seem to be a priority. If the space does not seem open to this it is worth considering severing ties but always try first. These are all hard and uncomfortable things but we have to do the work. Even between the two of us, we find ways to keep ourselves in check. It is all about the books you read to your kids, who you associate with, so call people out where you can. There is an impact we can all make, no matter how seemingly small, so be the ally in your community, it is a very powerful and simple strategy!
Where to Get Started if You Feel Overwhelmed
Ignorance is not an option people! Step one is to listen and if you are not hearing these stories and conversations it is because you are choosing not to. You put up your own walls and that is a serious part of privilege so shut your mouth and open your ears! One of the biggest lessons we have learned is around spaces that you can enter and how they are great for learning and listening but are not for privileged voices. You do not need to speak up in these spaces, you have to do you own emotional labor and make conscious decisions. There is nothing wrong with starting and making mistakes, give yourself and those around you a disclaimer that you are still learning, state your intentions and people will respond to that. You cannot completely escape ignorance in one swoop, you can be an ally and still have loads of work to do. The effort to change things is constant and actually has no end in sight. Let go of the idea of accomplishing something and being done, it is all about action!
What Does Diversity and Inclusion at an Event Look Like? [0:05:12.4]
Inviting New Faces, Opening Doors and the Reality of Diversity. [0:10:23.5]
Images, Representation and How Your Brand Appears from the Outside. [0:17:17.4]
The Words that We Use; Language in the Pursuit of Inclusion. [0:25:30.1]
Where to Get Started if You Feel Overwhelmed. [0:32:25.3]
And much more!