The Equality and Diversity Group welcome the statement by CIfA rapidly responding to the disappointment and anger over the all-male panel in a session discussing professional standards and ethics at the 2017 conference. This single event, however, should be viewed within the context of structural inequality, barriers to accessibility and lack of diversity in conferences, and indeed the underlying institutions, more generally. As acknowledged in CIfA’s statement, considerable research and work has been and continues to be done by other groups to address these underlying problems.
We will be working closely with CIfA to ensure that new practices are a genuine benchmark within the industry, and that they are put in place in partnership with those who are already producing advice and guidance in these areas. Our aim is that the event at the 2017 conference and the frustration which it has rightly engendered is a catalyst for embedding equality, diversity and accessibility in the planning, organisation and hosting of all future conferences and events.
We see this as a positive opportunity for change and are very keen to invite any individuals or groups who want to work with us or share experiences about conference diversity and accessibility to contact us: