Advocating for change with our diversity pledge

Belinda Comninos
October 28, 2019

At Astrolabe Group, we are always curious and wanting to learn. We also want to share our own insights, knowledge and experiences to make a positive impact for people and places. A lot of the time this is done by organising, attending or participating in events. We've been noticing at some events we attend that unfortunately, the room still looks a little too similar.

The team at Astrolabe got together and explored what we could do to promote diversity. We decided to design a pledge to guide our behaviour when organising or participating in events.

Our pledge

We pledge to actively contribute to the diversity of voices and contributions to events.

We will do this by

  • Let organisers know we have a diversity pledge
  • Suggest diverse speakers that we think can contribute to events
  • Pay attention to the mix of people presenting at events where we also have a voice, and let organisers know if the outcomes don’t meet our expectations
  • Not attend events where diversity is not considered or where no effort to do something different is attempted
  • Make sure our own events have diverse representation
  • Keep track of our actions and outcomes 

Why we’re doing this

Change doesn’t happen unless we all contribute to shifting behaviours:

  • The 2019 Women for Media Report found that only 18% of voices represented in major newspapers’ business pages were those of women; and it is estimated that only 30% of event speakers in Australia are women.
  • Australian media coverage of issues relating to multicultural Australia found that more than a third of stories reflected a negative view of minority Australians.
  • Young people are emerging voices that are more engaged than ever about key issues facing our future such as climate change but are routinely sidelined in the debate.

At all events, Astrolabe wants to hear from diverse perspectives that open up a wider range of ideas and experiences that all people can benefit from.

Visible role models help to breakdown entrenched systems where we have seen an over representation, particularly of men, being asked to present or participate in panel as the ‘expert’.

Without the opportunity for many to be recognised as experts, we will all miss out on increased depth of knowledge and empathy towards experiences different from our own.

We would love to hear what others are doing to create change and we will make sure to update you on the progress of our own diversity pledge.

Belinda Campbell Comninos is the CEO of Astrolabe Group where she works with clients to understand and embed user perspectives. She proudly works with a multi-disciplinary team of varied ages, cultural backgrounds, part time and full time, parents and a pottery artist.

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