The Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd have shined a spotlight on the need for greater equity in all walks of life. They have also prompted many in the meetings industry to examine their own staffs and the events they host. While the need for greater diversity at gatherings has long been a concern for meeting professionals, it has gained fresh urgency in recent weeks, and greater scrutiny as many organizations and industry members have expressed regrets and frustration that these efforts have not gone far enough.
"You go to conferences, there still are hardly any Black speakers," says Anne Thornley-Brown, president of Executive Oasis International, who offers management consulting, meeting facilitation and is a frequent writer about the industry, most recently her post "A cry for equity to industry leaders" on MPI's Plan Your Meetings blog. "For someone to look at a conference brochure or a story about the top people in the meetings industry and to see that all the faces staring back at you are white, it means either people are unaware or they just don't care. It's hard not to take it personally."
Read the full story on NorthstarMeetingsGroup.com for practical steps on how to create events that are truly inclusive.