"Accelerating the use of genomic technologies in Australasia"

AGTA Conference and Events Equity Diversity and Inclusion Policy and Guidelines

Introduction

Equity, diversity and inclusion are important for the further development and success of the genomics, genomic technologies and bioinformatics sector. AGTA is committed to supporting and empowering our members to bring their whole selves to their engagement in our sector.

Our organisation will promote balance and belonging by actively seeking to include and celebrate a diverse range of faces, voices and perspectives in our prizes, awards, publications, meetings, and events.

Our Conference and Events Diversity and Inclusion Policy sets out our commitment to diversity and inclusion across our programs. Conferences and events are flagship opportunities for inclusion and to showcase the diversity of our sector. This document sets out the considerations we commit to undertaking in planning and running our events and conferences to be as welcoming as possible to all.

Considerations or actions for planning the conference or event

Our conference or event organisers will:

  • Make sure the Organising Committees are diverse. This should include gender, cultural and linguistic, and age/career stage diversity, and may also include diversity of ability, sexuality and gender expression.
  • Seek and appoint a Diversity and Inclusion Representative for the event to advise the organising committee(s) and champion the event’s diversity.
  • Ensure that the list of speakers and session chairs includes gender, race and age diversity. To the greatest extent possible, invited and plenary speakers and session chairs should have equal gender representation.
  • Remain flexible and responsive to the needs of individual conference delegates and speakers
  • Make arrangements to support the inclusion of participants with primary carer responsibilities, and provide information on these when inviting speakers or participants. These arrangements may include but are not restricted to:
    • Providing child care on-site or child care rebates for parents with young children
    • An on-site private ‘family room’ for nursing mothers, including consideration of a ‘crying room’ in which mothers are able to view and hear proceedings in private (via windows and AV feeds)
    • Family-friendly considerations in scheduling, including social events
    • Where possible, travel and/or accommodation support for partners or carers
  • Seek advice and guidance for locally important and appropriate observations, such as an ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ or a ‘Welcome to Country’ for a local Indigenous elder for events in Australia. Indigenous elders should be paid for their time and will be allowed for in the budget.
  • Ensure an appropriate avenue for delegates and speakers to advise of any special requirements
  • Ensure the venue is accessible for people with disabilities, including but not limited to wheelchair access and facilities, adequate provision of hand-held and radio microphones to ensure adequate amplification of questions as well as those on stage, provision for additional screens that can be placed near sight impaired delegates, policies that welcome service animals, provision for special dietary/cultural requirements.
  • Actively seek diversity among nominations for prizes and awards presented at events. Consider diversity in selection criteria and ensure a diverse selection panel.
  • Transparently report event diversity and inclusion statistics on our website and in our annual report.
  • Prioritise promotional activities, materials (banners, images, brochures, programs etc.) and language that promote inclusion and reflect the diversity of the STEM workforce and of those for whom the event is relevant
  • Ensure promotional activities, materials and language are accessible through inclusive photography and accessible fonts.
  • Use inclusive language in event material and ensure non-binary pronouns are provided as an option when registering for events (eg. Mr/Ms/Dr/Other). Invite delegates to choose their pronouns for their event name badge.
  • Appoint peer ‘duty officers’ from our membership who can be contacted in the event that someone is experiencing a problem at the conference. Make the contact details of this person available to attendees.
  • Ensure the conference has a published and accessible Code of Conduct, and a clear complaints procedure that identifies multiple points of contact and articulates the process for investigating and acting on complaints
  • Ensure session chairs are briefed to seek diversity in the people asking questions.
  • Appoint a person to track the diversity of people asking questions, and other conference demographics.
  • Brief media and communication people to take photographs and share comments and images that reflect and celebrate the diversity of the event with a wider audience.

Accountability and Responsibility

It is the responsibility of Conference Convenor to ensure the implementation of this policy.

Progress on the implementation of the of this policy will be reported bi-monthly to the AGTA Executive by the Conference Convenor or delegated Diversity and Inclusion Representative.

Review of this policy

This policy will be formally reviewed in 31 December 2022 by AGTA Executive and any revisions implemented.

Reviews may also occur as needed when opportunities arise to enhance or improve the policy.