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One Year On 25 May 2021

Press Release 

One year on – what the EMA are doing to help with diversity and inclusion.


Louise Dempsey (Events & Project Manager – Media Trust)

Mai Cheung (Head of Events, EMEA- FTI Consulting)

Co-Chairs of EMA DEI Committee

On 25 May 2020, in what was already turning out to be a turbulent year, the world watched on in disbelief as it learnt about the news of the death of George Floyd. This sparked anger and reignited the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Social media saw users posting black squares, people protested, and companies across the globe pledged their support to combat racial injustice.

One year on, whilst the noise of the movement may have quietened down on the outside, on the inside, companies are busy putting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies and strategies in place, with employees holding their employers accountable if they fail to do so.

In response to the movement, the EMA took their own pledge to tackle inequality within the events industry, and in December 2020 the EMA DEI Committee was born.

Our mission is to support the BVEP with its and its members vision to drive change and support sustainable growth for the UK Events Industry, ensuring that human differences are valued and recognised, and where every person feels welcomed, empowered, advanced, and valued.

To achieve this, we are focussing on the 3 E’s:

  • Educate – to inform our members and help them to learn and understand what DEI means and its importance.
  • Empower – to allow all our members a voice at the table.
  • Engage – to give our members the opportunity to network and keep the conversation alive.

As a committee, we identified five key diversity categories to initially focus on:

  • Race and ethnicity
  • Disability and accessibility
  • Gender
  • Poverty and social mobility (socio-economic)
  • Mental health and wellbeing

We then hosted an event to encourage discussion amongst EMA members and to gather information on what issues they feel are the most relevant and require immediate action. From this, we ascertained four key areas to start working on improving DEI within, splitting into four sub-committees to cover:

  • Access to the industry and education
  • Speaker panel diversity
  • EMA education
  • Mental health and wellbeing

It is an ongoing project and there is no time frame of when we can “fix” this. As we continue to learn and seek to educate one another on all things DEI, it will be an ever-evolving topic. We don’t all have the answers and so we hope that by organising various events (both educational and networking/socials) on each of the above topics, we continue our journey to keep the conversation alive and to support our members to drive change on behalf of their organisations and through their supply chains.

We are developing an events programme, for the remainder of the year which we encourage our members to attend as well as working with the BVEP and member associations working together to drive change. Other things in development include toolkits and best practice guides for our members to use in their day-to-day job. Longer term our aim is to help our members be DEI compliant and be better equipped and educated when organising events.

EMA DEI committee

EMA DEI Committee


About EMA.

The Event Marketing Association is the UK Industry Association for in-house corporate event professionals. The association was founded as a not for profit in 2013 by a small group of UK based corporate eventprofs and our chair Richard Waddington wishing to have their own industry network and representation.

Our ambition is to continue our national and expansion and support across the UK raising the profile of our industry and help people develop their careers.

The association is based on the following guiding principles:

  • Events/webinars - To provide a forum for knowledge sharing, learning, mentoring, and networking.
  • Development - To be at the forefront of professionalisation of the events industry.
  • Standards - To promote and champion industry best practice.
  • Position - To be the industry’s voice for the corporate event world.


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For more information contact General Manager Priya Narain – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.