Finding Balance: 6 Tips for a More Inclusive Event

Finding Balance: 6 Tips for a More Inclusive Event

By FQ Correspondent

Once you have evaluated the diversity of speakers at your past or planned events using the Speaker Equity Assessor, you might be wondering what to do next. The good news is that you’ve already taken the first step by analyzing your events, establishing a baseline and identifying the voices and perspectives missing from your program. 

Whether it’s building your speaker pipeline with intention or cultivating new talent and ideas, there are several steps you can take towards cultivating more inclusive events.

Here are six tips to get started.

  1. Be aware from the beginning. When you plan your next event, update your data in the Speaker Equity Assessor as you confirm speakers, keeping an eye on the overall mix with each addition. Men still tend to self-promote more than women, for example, and curators who don’t pay attention may end up with a poorly balanced lineup, whether they intended to or not. 
  1. Build your pipeline with intention. Once you identify gaps, bring your colleagues into the conversation and make it a priority to close them together. If you find that certain groups are less likely to accept your invitation to speak, be sure to invite a higher proportion from that group.
  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Beyond asking your network for suggestions, which is always a great place to start, try some of the following ways to build relationships with more experts and potential speakers in your field:
  • Be public about your commitment to an inclusive program and ensure it is noted alongside all requests for speaker nominations.
  • Put out a call to your community for speaker nominations, highlighting your commitment.
  • Ask past speakers who they might like to hear from.
  • Get to know your audience. They are a source of ideas, connections, and potential future speakers.
  • Ask like-minded organizations to suggest speakers.
  1. Be dimensional in your programming. Think about the topic of your event in a broader context. How does it impact society and culture? Which voices and perspectives might  create a broader understanding of the subject matter? Changing how you frame your ideas will, no doubt, open up some exciting new speaker possibilities and enrich your program.
  1. Help rising stars succeed. If you are curating an event you also have an opportunity to feature new diverse talent, build reputations and even help launch careers. Ensure new speakers feel supported and prepared when they take the stage. Something as simple as taking the time for an extra prep call or to provide feedback on their talking points can provide a huge confidence boost. Consider adjusting the format to include some shorter talks for those who are not quite ready to hold a room for 20 minutes.
  1. Give yourself time and be patient. Set a goal, make a plan, get buy-in from your stakeholders and keep at it. 

When you reach your diversity goals, nominate your event for a GenderAvenger Stamp of Approval.

 


Get started with the Speaker Equity Assessor now.