Let’s begin with the basics – What is DEI?
Firstly, DEI stands for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Which may come as a bit of a surprise that it doesn’t stand for Equality, and here’s why…
Equity is “the fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all people, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. Improving equity involves increasing justice and fairness within the procedures and processes, as well as in their distribution of resources. The image below explain it perfectly.
Diversity “includes all the ways in which people differ, encompassing the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from another,” including identity markers such as race, ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, and more. It also takes intersectional diversity into account, when people’s identity is made of a number of underrepresented . Simply put, diversity is often boiled down to a persons perception when they walk into a room “am I different?”
Inclusion is “the act of creating environments in which any individual or group can be and feel welcomed, respected, supported, and valued to fully participate. An inclusive and welcoming climate embraces differences and offers respect in words and actions for all people.” Inclusion goes beyond diversity, because once you have a diverse group of speakers and attendees, you need to keep them!
What is the SQLBits DEI Committee?
We are a small committee that meets fortnightly (or more often!) that’s responsible for ensuring that DE&I is a big, integral part of Bits. I’m sure the rest of the team will make themselves aware below!
We’re constantly researching new patterns of behaviours in both public and private sectors and adapting/adopting the things that we feel will drive the increase in inclusivity for Bits – Diversity and Equity will then naturally follow.
What did we do for DEI at the last event?
Throughout the year leading up to the event, we were doing everything we possibly could to make our first post-covid, in-person event, the best, most inclusive experience. Such as we introduced a childcare facility, a multi-faith prayer room, and pronoun badges. We had a psychotherapist onsite during the whole event – who was contactable in confidence via phone. As well as this we created a “quiet party” that ran alongside the Friday night party, for those who were not comfortable, for whatever reason, at the party. And there was so much more that went on behind the scenes.
What are we doing for SQLBits 2023?
Taking on board all the feedback and suggestions, we are aiming to do all those things, better. We’re adding some new changes as well – one of these initiatives is to be making the most of the socials to publicise everything well in advance of the event. For example, there is little point in providing childcare or a multi-faith prayer room, if people are not aware of them when making the decision to attend. We’ll be making sure that we are providing any physical assistance, over and above that of the venue.
How can you help the DEI Committee?
If you feel that you could spare half an hour every fortnight to join us, to bring a new perspective that we don’t have, to provide insight that is valuable, or to be a voice for people who are underrepresented at the moment, then please get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org