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Diversity in Email Matters

As an organisation we have always recognised that the email industry is not as diverse nor representative as we could be. We also recognise there is far more we could do as an industry to bridge gaps in society in respect of those subject to exclusion. We adhere to the Equality Act 2010 which strongly promotes equality and diversity and strives to reduce victimisation. the oppressed, marginalised, disenfranchised.

The business incorporated in late November 2019 and from the outset Emailexpert looked to be a catalyst for positive change. This is something we take seriously.

This is a brief blog post to state our position as explained above, further to point out the we stand with the #BlackLivesMatter movement, this aligns very much with our organisations ethos and culture. Finally it outlines a few of the small steps we have taken towards being true to our ethos.

The company is a micro organisation in terms of size, and we are not even a year old, however we started in earnest to try and address the issues outlined. It is much easier to do this when you are still laying the foundations

We are proud that our small executive team has included a Chief Governance Officer since inception, Daniel Max-Orumbie. His guidance led us to an expert for addressing issues of inclusion, gender and sexual diversity.

Analise, the first consultant we engaged, provided us advice on how as an organisation we should approach our obligations around Corporate Social Responsibility, with special attention to issues of diversity and social inclusion.

As a direct result of these exceptional individuals efforts we understood what ACTION we had to take. We immediately went to work on our first project, a conference. Inbox Expo an email conference with a difference. There was not much time, it was December and we set a date of March 18th for the event.

A whole new concept in conference, summit, expo and un-conference. Planned from the ground up to be more diverse, more accessible and more inclusive.

Inbox Expo 2020, London Edition

Actually billed as a celebration of Diversity and Accessibility in Email. We sought to address a range of issues relating to ethnicity, sexuality, gender and corporate social responsibility.

For our part the casual staff for the event was to be entirely made up of disenfranchised local youth and their mentors, and all professionals contracted to work were on the day were largely BAME (Audio/Visual and Media crew). Fair pay and conditions overseen by our Chief Governance Officer.

This would be the first email conference to explicitly celebrate gender and sexual diversity, and it was to be the first time an email conference looked to address the issue of Black diversity in email. To the best of our knowledge it would be the first time an email conference in the US or Europe would have discussion panels that would have consisted of a majority of BAME individuals.

Our goal was to enable and empower a diverse (gender, sexuality, race, culture, religion) group of professionals and experts and provide a platform to amplify their voice.

Due to C-19 we had to switch to an online format at the last moment. The speakers all went to great efforts to accommodate the change, and as a result we had a a successful 3 day conference. This a testimony to their professionalism.

What was heartbreaking was the fact we were no longer able to deliver the planned extra-curricular activities. This aspect of the conference had taken as much time, effort and planning as the conference agenda itself.

A huge effort had been made to find the perfect location and topical post event socials. Every penny being spent carefully considered. Was the venue accessible? Only the beginning of our search and select requirements.

We wanted to spend our money with an organisation that had a commitment to diversity and inclusion, ideally in the third sector. What we really wanted was to feel that real good would come as a result of spending a five figure sum with a venue.

This was to have been our opportunity to pull together the themes and issues of the conference and have people address them in a more informal social setting. We hoped to expand on discussions addressed at the conference, to encourage positive discussion and collaboration in a safe space of industry peers.

We struck lucky as a result of the size and scope of the event increasing very quickly. The need for multiple spaces for lectures, round tables and workshops led us to a University (Kings) and the Science Gallery. Part of the same complex was the ‘HH Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the father Emir Gallery’. With incredible views and the perfect exhibition in situ we had found our location for the evening gala reception.

Our extra-curricular activities included a private showing of the interactive art exhibition exploring class, culture, race, age and sexuality; GENDERS.

Alongside that we had arranged for an exclusive showing from an incredibly talented local artist Esther Maxwell-Orumbie who was going provide every delegate a personally addressed piece of art. The events were designed and planned to encourage discussion and provide the opportunity for our photographer Marlon Ruddock and videographer 1 Ramsey Nasser to take exciting and striking images that would help us continue and extend the discussion beyond the event.

That opportunity for the in-person event has slipped us by due to the situation overtaking the whole world with respect to covid-19. We hope that the opportunity to hold the event in person comes around sooner rather than later. That we will be able to deliver our full vision of Inbox Expo on a future date. In the interim we will continue to try and be true to our ethos and act in a way that helps effect positive changes.

We are of course primarily. business, but one that wants to do the right thing. We will undoubtedly make mistakes along the way, and aim to recognise and learn from them. However we firmly believe we can meet the core goals of the organisation whilst also being socially conscious and responsible.

You will therefore find us advocating for and supporting movements for change in and outside of the email industry.


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