Equality, Diversity & Accessibility Chair

Role description

There is a lot of scope in the role of EDI chair for implementing new ideas that you bring to the role, so the following list should be seen as a guideline only.

It is your role on the committee to ensure that each Chair is considering EDI in everything they do and suggesting ways to improve our EDI in all ways.

The EDI chair should provide statements covering the conferences’ goals in regards to equality, diversity, inclusivity and accessibility. These statements will be agreed on by the Society and the Conference Steering Group as a reflection of the Society’s aspirations and goals for each of these areas for the RSE community. The Society can discuss with the EDI Chair who we would like to encourage to attend the conference. 

The Society will provide input into the collection of EDI statistics that have been normally collected at the online registration point so we ask that the EDI Chair liaises with the EDI Trustee team. The EDI Chair is asked to provide a summary after the conference to the Society. Any changes to this format must be proposed and agreed by the Society.


  • Prepare the EDI statement for the conference website. An EDI statement will need to be updated to include accessibility information for the conference venue if it has changed.
  • The code of conduct will be given to you from the Society to go onto the conference website.
  • Work to ensure that people from a wide range of backgrounds are encouraged and feel welcome to apply to present at the conference. This may include EDI statements in the call for submissions, or actively advertising to underrepresented groups.
  • Ensure that the website has as much information as possible to make all groups feel that they can submit and get involved.


  • Work to ensure that people from a wide range of backgrounds feel encouraged to register for the conference.
  • Ask for accessibility requirements from conference attendees as part of registration. (read access to past surveys is possible)
  • May choose to collect EDI statistics as part of registration. In previous years it was collected anonymously as part of the call for submissions, which made following GDPR simple but didn’t result in full coverage.


  • Ensure that the selection process for conference presenters is as fair as possible, minimize unconscious bias and handle conflicts of interest. In 2018 application data was anonymised and applicants were asked to avoid including personal details in their abstract etc.
  • Work with other chairs to ensure new presenters are given access to mentors.
  • Work to ensure that invited talks reflect the audience and are from a diverse range of backgrounds. It may be useful to go outside of the RSE community to find a speaker as long as they are someone we can learn from.
  • Prepare guidelines for reporting harassment and other violations of CoC for conference attendees and guidelines for responding to reports of harassment for committee members and volunteers. Ensure that all committee members and volunteers are familiar with the documents.
  • You may visit the venue ahead of time to assess accessibility issues if you wish. If any accessibility requirements are listed in registration, work with those attendees to handle requirements.
  • Post signs to reach registration using an accessible route.

On the day

  • Handle any accessibility requirements (asking security to open accessible routes etc)
  • Handle any breaches of Code of Conduct along with other members of the committee in accordance with plans made in responding to breaches of CoC document.

General remarks

  • It is useful to have a diverse group of people look at diversity documents/offer advice etc
  • Any personal data collected should be handled sensitively — there is advice available on how to frame questions related to gender etc.