‘Diversity’ isn’t just one conversation: it’s billions

March 03, 2021 4 min read

  • Amy Kean

    Co-founder at D.I.C.E

  • Introducing the Permutive and DICE ‘Make Possible’ podcast for Women’s History Month

    Different women have different histories. That’s why — for our only activity during Women History Month — the DICE community has partnered with Permutive to shine an intersectional light on the experiences of all women, and the fact no two journeys to equality are the same. 

    DICE — which stands for Diversity and Inclusion at Conferences and Events — has been in operation for around 18 months now, and during that time we’ve been very clear on our main goal: to ensure that every voice and community is heard and celebrated on event stages. 

    Why? Because we were tired of straight, white, middle class men owning the conversation. Actually, owning every conversation, particularly when it comes to conferences. In every industry. 

    All male panels still occur  

    There’s fewer manels now than previous years, but they still pop up every now again (on social media) and every time I see an all-male-lineup for an event like ‘The Future of Innovation’ or ‘The Future of Retail’ it baffles me that so many people would have been involved in signing off such a mess. 

    But as women start to get the representation they deserve on stages everywhere (albeit virtual ones) we cannot make the same mistakes as the institutions and systems that have actively benefited white men for millennia. 

    This is why our focus is intersectionality: a framework created by Black scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw in 1989 to widen the feminist conversation away from ‘white feminism’ to include the experiences of women of color, and other groups as defined in the 9 Protected Characteristics of Equality Law, including race, social class and sexuality. In the pursuit of true equity, we can’t just have one conversation taking place. To really do the concept of diversity justice, we need billions. 

    The DICE podcast line up  

    DICE is a volunteer organisation and so our time is tight, so we’ve decided to partner with a company that doesn’t simply say they care about this stuff, they show it. Permutive’s Make Possible Podcast in March is a DICE series of women we want to celebrate. 

    Tash Thomas, Director of Diversity, Equality & Inclusion at European Coworking Assembly will be interviewing Amber Hikes, the current Chief Equity & Inclusion Officer for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Amber is an unapologetic queer black woman, responsible for passing one of the nations most trans-inclusive police policies. She will share how she is using her experience to shape her organisation and the wider community. 

    Charu Malhotra, Director Of Global Talent Brand, will be interviewing Leyya Sattar who is the co-founder of ‘The Other Box’ – an award winning D&I training consultancy and community. The global community Sattar created focusses on spotlighting and nurturing people of colour in the creative industry.

    Izzy Ashton, Deputy Editor, BITE Trends, will be interviewing Yolanta Boti who is a Creative Copywriter at Ogilvy UK. She co-founded Ogilvy Roots, a network aiming to champion greater ethnic and cultural diversity in the agency, industry, and its work. Through Roots, Yolanta has created a powerful internal network that supports a collaborative approach to inclusion, working to build safe spaces and foster conversation. 

    Fiona FitzGibbon, Founder / Director, Diversiffi Media will be interviewing Marsha Powell, who with her sisters, dedicates her life to empowering girls & young women to become leaders of their world through BelEve, a girl focused charity. Equipping them with the skills, support and confidence to find their voice and make informed choices about their future.

    The series kicks off with Nicola Kemp, Editorial Director, Creativebrief interviewing Gemma Charles, who is deputy editor of Campaign magazine and at the forefront of ensuring that the gap between accountability and action is tackled by well researched journalism. Having led the magazine’s BLM Adland Audit, which brought transparency and accountability to bear on agency pledges surrounding Black Lives Matter, she shares her thoughts on the year ahead. 

    Real conversations versus gestures 

    March (especially the 8th of March!) can be filled with so many empty words and grandiose yet ultimately meaningless gestures. We want these conversations to be real, insightful and actionable, in the same way that everything DICE does is about not adding to the noise, but driving real, measurable change. 

    And in the spirit of not adding to the noise too much, each podcast is only 10-15 minutes long! So you can listen to them in between your 8 or so Zooms that you have each day in the working week 🙂 You can subscribe and find past Make Possible episodes on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Happy listening.