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The End of The ‘Man-el’ At Events: Rolling with DICE on Inclusion & Equality

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“The days of all-white panels and speakers are over.
There is no excuse for not having diverse panels and/or keynotes at conferences – especially when they are held online.”

 

This year has seen a transformation in our society.

Starting with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, which highlighted the huge disparities both in race and socioeconomics.

This was all compounded by the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests across the Western world, calling out for equality and an end to systemic racism.

These events have been the catalyst to cause entire industries to start re-evaluating their efforts on inclusion and diversity.

With Diversity-lead jobs popping up on LinkedIn daily as companies scrabble around to implement DE&I strategies that should have been at the very heart of their organisations all along. 

For many years, one of the least diverse areas in business has been conferences and events.

Often hosting the widely recognised Man-el, (a panel consisting of only men).

However, this is not a new issue, for decades we have witnessed events across every sector indulging in the cisgendered, white, male panel and conference.

In 2015
Saara Sarma, a Finnish feminist started the infamous Tumblr blog Congrats! You Have an All-Male Panel, which features over 300 pictures of all-male panels, including the Global Summit of Women!

So how do we make a change? … Get Dice!

Originally co-founded by Amy Kean, an agency global head of innovation and author of ‘The Little Girl Who Gave Zero Fucks’, a feminist fairy-tale.

Alongside James Whatley, a strategy partner at Digitas UK as well as an official Momma Mentor for SheSays. 

DICE is a charter that allows companies to quickly and easily assess the diversity of their events, providing them with a DICE score and clear actions on how to make improvements.

The DICE team now also includes
Seb Joseph, an award-winning journalist. Nicky Kemp, managing editor of BITE and Faisal Ahmed, an industry leader in changing recruitment processes to become less biased.

Whilst the teamwork within many different industries, they all share one common goal, to eradicate the need for DICE. 

How does DICE work? 

The DICE Charter is based on the 2010 UK Equality Act and the 9 protected characteristics, which have informed a scoring set of guidelines.

There are 10 sections to the charter with a maximum of 10% awarded to each section, giving an overall possible score of 100%.

These scores inform the DICE certifications as follows: 

  • 39% Poor – NO DICE
  • >40 <59% OK – DICE CERTIFIED. 
  • >60 <89% Great – DICE CERTIFIED AND APPROVED.
  • >90 <100% Perfect – DICE CERTIFIED AND RECOMMENDED EVENT. 

It is important to note that the DICE charter is not a ‘box-ticking’ exercise, a judgment on how businesses operate or compulsory.

It has been created as a tool to help organisers navigate the challenges faced when trying to make their events more diverse and inclusive.

It provides a clear framework to follow, in the hopes that these questions will become an automatic part of the creation process. 

Getting Certified

The actual process is incredibly simple. It’s free and available to anyone planning an event. Simply go to Get Dice – Get Certified and fill out the form.

You will be asked to include a full agenda of your event as well as a link to all promotional materials.

Followed by such questions as
“Is your line-up a maximum of 50% men?,  “Is your event line-up multi-generational?” and “How have you attempted to include individuals who are disabled or neuro-divergent in your event line-up?”.

As well as providing the titles of all panel events and analysing the diversity of your event with regards to socio-economic factors. 

The DICE team fully appreciates that this is not an exhaustive process, however, it is a starting point and the charter is already proving to be a valuable guideline for events. It is currently endorsed by GovX Digital, the UK public sector’s largest digital transformation conference (1300+ participants),

The Unmistakable, award-winning culture and communications consultancy and
Outvertising the UK’s most well-known LGBTQ+ advertising lobbying group.

DICE Champion 

All the work that DICE does is based on a volunteer basis and so they are currently building the team to include DICE champions.

The role of a champion is to be an advocate of DICE, however it is not subject to one area. DICE champions can support the charter based on their own skills.

This could be as a spokesperson, it may be offering marketing skills, it could be involved with developing partnerships.

Ultimately the end goal, in the words of co-founder Amy,
“is to bring about the extinction of DICE.” 

This isn’t about building a multi-million-pound consultancy or governing body, this is about providing a temporary service to eradicate what should be a non-existent problem.  

Next Steps

The DICE charter is a starting point and a way for industries to hold themselves accountable to the responsibilities they have when creating events.

We are asking you to start talking about DICE, to use it wherever possible and to ask event organisers if you can see their DICE score. 

This is a problem that actually affects us all and takes a global effort to correct.

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