Inclusivity Not Tokenism

green counter and one red one

Taking steps to make your events team, supply chain and processes more inclusive, without falling into the traps of tokenism can seem tricky. Tokenism, which can basically be defined as diversity without true inclusion, can is performative and ultimately counterproductive to genuine efforts. But fear not, there are ways to steer clear of this trap and foster genuine inclusivity within your events team and processes.

First and foremost, it’s essential to be proactive. For example, rather than treating diversity as an afterthought, when you’ve already got a stack of CVs in front of you, think about how you can get your message out to a wider candidate base from the word go, by making it a priority from the outset. This might mean actively seeking out diverse candidates for roles, attending events tailored to underrepresented groups, and collaborating with organisations like Brixton Finishing School to broaden your talent pool.

Studies have shown that the employment and payment gap between disabled and non-disable folks still leave a lot to be desired, so factor this in in recruitment from the outset. And don’t wait until someone’s needs aren’t met to make adaptations – plan for inclusivity from the start by anticipating potential accommodations and adjustments in advance, and let potential candidates know these adaptation are in place.

Lastly, please please avoid tokenise individuals for the sake of optics – the one person of colour or visually disabled person in your team does not need to be dragged front and centre of your team photo. Instead of forcing representation in a superficial way, strive for authentic and accurate portrayals of your team and workplace culture in your marketing materials.

By taking proactive steps to foster genuine inclusion, you can create a more welcoming and supportive environment for all members of your events team. Let’s build a culture where diversity isn’t just a checkbox, but a valued and integral part of the fabric of our organisations.