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International Women's Day: Is your event embracing equality?

When selecting a keynote speaker for a corporate event there are a lot of factors to consider. The keynote speaker is selected to make a big impression on the audience and set the tone for the entire event. So, what factors should be considered when it comes to selecting the perfect keynote speaker? And why is diversity one of the most important elements to consider?

The Value of Inclusion and Diversity

When selecting a keynote speaker, diversity and inclusion should be towards the top of your list of considerations. The speaker should represent a variety of perspectives and experiences. By valuing diversity and inclusion, you foster a setting where all visitors feel at home and appreciated. Supporting marginalised voices gives the keynote speaker from an under represented group a platform to share their experiences and thoughts. Additionally, it makes a strong statement to your guests that you value different viewpoints and are dedicated to equity and inclusion.

Consider how the speaker's identity may impact their experience. A keynote speaker who is a woman of colour, for instance, can talk about the particular difficulties and experiences that are unique to their intersectional identity, providing a more thorough and nuanced perspective on topics relating to race and gender.

Making Underrepresented Voices More Heard

There are a variety of ways to elevate the voices of underrepresented groups throughout your event in addition to selecting a keynote speaker. This can entail showcasing diversity and inclusion.

Through visual and multimedia components, give attendees the chance to network with people from various backgrounds, or have a varied choice of panelists or breakout session leaders. Here are some strategies:

  1. Create more opportunities: It's critical to provide underrepresented groups with greater chances to engage and be heard. This might be done by delivering training and mentoring programs, developing leadership and speaking opportunities, or giving out financial aid in various ways.
  2. Foster inclusive environments: Increasing the visibility of minority perspectives requires the creation of inclusive environments where everyone feels respected and accepted. This can involve making sure that everyone has a seat at the table, abstaining from discriminatory words and actions, and fostering an environment of respect and cooperation.
  3. Support diversity in decision-making: To give underrepresented voices a greater chance of being heard, it is crucial to make sure that different points of view are included in the decision-making process. When preparing your event, giving everyone who will be there a safe and pleasant environment should be your main focus.
  4. Encourage open communication: Safe spaces ought to be locations where people feel free to express themselves and talk about their experiences. Facilitators and organisers should promote open dialogue and foster a climate where participants feel heard and valued. Promoting open communication can help people and groups connect. This can be done by encouraging a respectful and understanding culture, actively listening to others, and exchanging thoughts and experiences.

Diversity is a major force behind performance and innovation in the workplace. A workforce with a variety of viewpoints, experiences, and talents may solve problems more creatively, make decisions more effectively, and produce better results for the organisation as a whole.

Create common ground to identify and pursue common interests, objectives, or ideals. Creating a shared understanding between people and groups can be beneficial. By creating opportunities for cooperation, people and groups can cooperate to achieve common objectives. 

Think about a keynote speaker's ability to unite people and bridge gaps. You can assist in removing barriers and promoting greater understanding and empathy by choosing a speaker who can address a wide range of experiences and opinions.

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