Ethnicity Pay Gap Summit 2024

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“The best ED&I event EVER!”, “Amazing”, “Depth and Breath of the event was Incredible”, and “Great Knowledge Sharing”. These are just a few of the comments made about the Ethnicity Pay Gap Summit 2024. My vision was to create an impactful event where people could learn and feel supported on their Ethnicity Pay Gap Journey. From the response I can say, I achieved what I set out to do.

How did I get there? A lot of hard work, support from others, (Spktral, ShareAction) and of course my family who stopped me from going crazy.

My journey started in 2022 when I realised that there were a lot of events for the Gender Pay Gap but nothing for the Ethnicity Pay Gap. I felt very frustrated by this, particularly as the founder of the #EthnicityPayGap Campaign, it really crystallised for me the need for more awareness and more action. I deliberated for months on how I could create a platform that could put the Ethnicity Pay Gap in focus, my vision started to take shape and I was ready to mouth my thoughts to others.

Roll forward to May 2023, I met with Anthony Horrigan, CEO Spktral and Kohinoor Choudhury, Senior Campaigns Office ShareAction. I came prepared with a presentation of my vision and talked them through what I wanted to achieve. When I finished I asked them what they thought, they both smiled and said it was a great idea and would like to be involved. This was the green light I needed to move ahead with my plans. Next stop venue, speakers, I knew it was potentially going to be a big undertaking to create this summit but I knew it was important for me to make it happen.

It took me 3 months to find a venue, and what a great venue Lloyds of London turned out to be. Finding speakers was a little easier for me, I had some good connections and they all had a real understanding of the issues around the Ethnicity Pay Gap, the key was to make sure their diaries could support the date I wished to have the summit. Luckily all speakers were very accommodating, and the lineup was put together. The last person selected was our Keynote speaker. Gillian Joseph, Sky News presenter. Although I knew Gillian, I still felt nervous asking her, I am glad I did, she did a marvellous job.

Let’s talk about what was happening in the background. There was the website to book tickets, social media assets to create and day-to-day coordination to keep us focused and organised. Anthony Horrigan, Lauren Galligan, Ziwei Wang and Yumi Kobayashi were the backbone of this project. As a group, we had some stressful times dealing with various issues but we were triumphant in the end. It was great working with them, we all had strong attributes to bring to the table.

The day, started off with me hopping into a cab at 7 am, being stressed at 8 am, because we hadn’t reached the venue at the time I wanted, and shaking because I got to the venue at 8.50 am, some of my colleagues managed to get there before me, which I was grateful for. Coffee in hand and surveying the event space I began to calm down. People started to arrive at 9.00 am even though the start time was 9.30 am, luckily we were prepared, merchandising was laid out and breakout rooms and quiet rooms were established.

And so it started, My nerves went as soon as I got up to speak, it was made much easier for me by the introduction I received from Gillian. Throughout the day the panels and presentations were amazing. I heard so much conversation during the breaks and heard positive feedback. There was a lot of knowledge shared, and the audience really contributed with their questions. It was unfortunate that we could not hear from everyone who wanted to speak due to the schedule. We packed quite a lot into the day, the speakers made themselves available during the breaks to speak to people and I am sure exchanged details with those who required it.

As the event came to an end I managed to speak to some of the audience, who thanked me for putting on the event and asked when the next one would be. I smiled and said “Let me absorb what has happened today before I think about the next one”, knowing full well that would be something I would have to think about. Another said, they truly got the intention of the event, and he was amazed by it.

I am already in discussions about the next steps, we will keep you updated on our plans. Rest assured we plan to build on what we started.

I feel I have achieved all that I wanted to accomplish for the day. I would like to hear from the audience about what their plans are after coming to the event. I have handed the baton to you to run with, to ensure that change happens in your organisation.

My thanks to Jacqueline Hinds, Susan Baker, Taylor Greyson, Alesha De Freitas, Rose Williams, Josimar Senior, and Jahrome Scott-Brereton whose support contributed to making the Ethnicity Pay Gap Summit the success it became.

Closing Statement

If you have a vision, don’t let anyone dissuade you from making it a reality. Be the change you want to see.

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