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August 26th 2020

Event First Steps and C&IT Launch Research on Racial Diversity in Events Industry

Heather Lishman image by Heather Lishman


Event First Steps (EFS) have released a sector wide survey on Racial Diversity in the Events Industry. EFS is an initiative for industry newcomers founded by Caitlin Kobrak, Elena Clowes and Priya Narain.

They initiated the diversity research project which will provide the insights needed to make meaningful change within the industry, in collaboration with C&IT, and supported by Dr. Caroline Jackson of BVEP, and data analyst Nigel Williams.

Dr. Caroline Jackson comments: ‘I was pleased to be invited to contribute to the creation of the survey in support of Events First Steps. Diversity and inclusion is an important aspect of event management and any company working within the industry. #BlackLivesMatter really brought the issue of racial diversity and racism to the fore’.

Over the years, EFS have hosted events on the topic of diversity with some of the most open and real conversations with EventProfs. However, with the renewed attention on #BlackLivesMatter in recent months, they realised tangible data on racial diversity is needed to inspire real change across the industry.

Kobrak says: ‘We have always been very vocal about pushing for wider diversity and inclusion in events, but as there is limited data on this topic it is difficult to provide benchmarks for improvement’.

‘For years we have patiently waited for the industry to do more than just ‘talk’ about the subject. However, we need data to hold the industry accountable’ - adds Narain.

The survey will be open until mid September, and the EFS team are urging everyone to take part, and to share as widely as possible. Once the results are in, they will work with C&IT to share key takeaways and actions.

Clowes states: ‘We need to see change, not just for those already in our industry, but for the benefit of the next generation waiting to come up’.

For any more information about the survey, get in touch with the EFS team at

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