Diversity encompasses issues of equity, inclusion, accessibility and intersectionality (the interconnection between gender and racial inequality alongisde other social disadvantages). I’ve created a resource to ensure academic and science events support diversity. Below is a brief version.
Equity is a concept illustrating ways to identify barriers, issues and solutions to structural disadvantage. To challenge equity issues when we organise academic and science events (and other types of public debates and protest), we should start by asking ourselves: who should lead?
Some tips for thinking critically about equity and leadership include these considerations:
✅ Leadership should reflect and reinforce diversity
✅ Centre Indigenous leadership
✅ Recruit other people of colour
✅ Bring in disability experts
✅ Ensure lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA) representation, especially transgender people.
Inclusion is about actively seeking out, valuing and respecting differences.
For individuals wishing to address inclusion, some initial things to address:
✅ Publish clear equity and diversity statement at event launch
✅ Regularly promote anti-harassment policies
✅ Address safety for the event, especially for minorities
✅ Craft an inclusive communication strategy, including for social media.
Access is about creating, measuring and redesigning opportunities to enhance participation by underrepresented groups.
When should you address issues of access for your academic science event? From the first day of planning to the day of the event, demonstrate active commitment!
✅ Disabled experts must have decision-making power
✅ Accessibility planning prior to venue choice
✅ Consider timing of activities, rest stops, quiet areas and other needs.
The concept of intersectionality addressses how gender and racial inequalities are interconnected (Crenshaw 1989). This interrelationship of disadvantage in turn compounds other forms of social exclusion related to sexuality, disability, class, age, and so on. Intersectionality is central to understanding why science is not an even playing field.
Having a strong understanding and application of intersectionality will enable event organisers to:
✅ Actively manage diversity to ensure everyone feels safe, welcome and represented
✅ Proactively lead on structural inequities
✅ Address the issues affecting underrepresented academics and scientists as part of core business.
Read more tips and download posters on my resources page, How to Support Equity and Diversity in Academic and Science Events.