Diversity & Accessibility Chair

Role description

There is a lot of scope in the role of diversity 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 diversity in everything they do and suggesting ways to improve our diversity in all senses of the word.


  • Prepare the diversity statement for the conference website. Diversity 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 diversity 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 diversity statistics as part of registration. In 2018 it was collected anonymously as part of the workshop preferences survey, which made following GDPR simple but didn’t result in full coverage.


  • Write the inclusion survey that precedes the workshop choices form (read access to past surveys is possible)
  • 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.