There is a lot of scope in the role of EDI Chair for implementing new ideas so the following list of responsibilities should be seen as guidance 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.
The EDI Chair should provide statements covering the conference’s goals in regard 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, which are normally collected at the point of online registration, so we ask that the EDI Chair liaises with the EDIA Working Group. 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. The EDI statement will need to include accessibility information for the conference venue.
- The code of conduct will be provided by the Society to go on 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 and, more generally, get involved. This may include writing EDI statements in the call for submissions, actively advertising to underrepresented groups, and ensuring the website has as much information as possible.
- 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. You can be provided with read access to past surveys.
- Decide whether 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, minimising unconscious bias and handling conflicts of interest. In 2018, application data was anonymised and applicants were asked to avoid including personal details in their abstracts.
- 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 beneficial to invite a speaker from outside of the RSE community, given they are someone we can learn from.
- Prepare guidelines for reporting harassment and other violations of the code of conduct for conference attendees, along with 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 support requirements.
- Post signs to reach registration using an accessible route.
During the conference
- Support any accessibility requirements (e.g. asking security to open accessible routes, etc.).
- Handle any breaches of the code of conduct, along with other members of the committee, in accordance with plans.
- It is beneficial to have a diverse group of people review any EDI documents.
- Any personal data collected should be handled sensitively — there is advice available on how to frame questions.