Potentials for the Meetings Destination Germany
"Diversity" is currently finding its way into many societal, economic, and social processes. But what exactly is behind this concept and what is the status quo of diversity in the world of business events? What are the potentials, where is the need to catch up, and how can we as the GCB German Convention Bureau do our part to increase diversity in the meetings destination Germany? With this and following articles we will focus on the relevance of diversity for the events world, taking a closer look at individual diversity dimensions and highlighting concrete options for action.
What Lies Behind "Diversity"?
Generally speaking, diversity means appreciating and recognizing the different identity traits of each individual in a non-judgmental way and celebrating all colors and facets of personality. In total, there are seven core dimensions of personality. These include age, gender & gender identity, sexual orientation, social origin, religion & belief, physical and mental abilities, as well as race. (Source: Diversity Charter - "Charta der Vielfalt")
Diversity Potentials: Our Motivation
We at the GCB acknowledge the value of the individual diversity dimensions and want to further differentiate the potential of diversity and exploit its opportunities. Diversity thus becomes another building block of the values anchored in the GCB's mission statement: Knowledge and Competence, Networking, Openness, Sustainability and Innovation. Business events unite people from all over the world, ensure the exchange of ideas and knowledge, and drive innovation. Our study results from the Future Meeting Space innovation network confirm the increasing importance of diversity. For example, the future scenario "Diverse and Flexible - the Global Community" outlines an increasingly diverse global community that benefits in particular from strong global networking and new collaborations.
We are convinced that promoting diversity improves our work, builds respect and trust, and makes a significant contribution to an economically successful future through creative solutions - both for the GCB and for Germany as a meeting destination as a whole.
"Meetings made in Germany" stands for diversity: for the diversity of ideas, knowledge and new solutions; for the diversity of suppliers along the entire delegate journey of business events; for the diversity of German cities and regions; and above all for the diversity of people who make Germany what it is: one of the world's leading meetings destinations.
First Steps towards Change
In order to develop concrete measures and initiate change, we need to know what causes a lack of diversity. The term "unconscious bias" helps us to understand why diversity is not yet established in society as a whole. It describes unconsciously developed prejudices against certain groups of people. Identifying these and becoming aware of them is crucial to developing more tolerance and openness towards others. This awareness is necessary on the individual level, but equally on the societal level as well as in public discourse.
Even if the global community is apparently colorful, positions of power are still unevenly distributed in many cases. A classic example is the role of women. Even though this has been strongly questioned and developed in recent years, there are still deeply rooted prejudices against women and an existing inequality between the sexes in the labor market, the so-called "glass ceiling". This refers to an invisible barrier that women often face in the course of their careers. In order to break down these barriers in the long term, it is necessary to reflect on the structures behind them. Applied to business events and the practical implementation of diversity, this means on the one hand valuing the diversity of each individual on a micro level and on the other hand promoting diversity through planning processes at the event organizer level, for example by selecting diverse speakers for events. Nevertheless, developing an awareness for existing inequality is the first step towards change.
We have already taken this first step and are ready for many more to follow. The basic prerequisite is to create an appreciative working environment for everyone in the GCB's team - regardless of gender, age, race, physical and mental abilities, religion and worldview, sexual orientation and social background. This appreciation applies equally to our dealings with our members, partners, and customers. It is our concern to promote diversity at events outside the GCB as well and to use their important role as platforms for knowledge exchange in order to structurally integrate diversity.
In our next blog post on this topic, you'll soon read why diversity is a real business case for the meetings industry and how diversity drives innovation.