October 20, 2018
The goal of this document is to provide guidance for AES Conference and Convention Policy Committees.
The Diversity and Inclusion Committee’s mission is as follows:
The AES Diversity and Inclusion Committee strives to ensure diversity in the AES worldwide and the audio industry as a whole by improving accessibility, welcoming diverse genres, embracing emergent audio fields and research, and radiating inclusiveness to all races, gender and gender identities, physical abilities, ages, and nationalities.
In order to do that, it is important for our members to see this in action. Conventions and conferences are one arena where our attitude towards diversity and inclusion manifests, and we would like to insure our pledge is not seen as an empty one.
By adopting these guidelines, not only do we exemplify our attitude of diversity and inclusion, but by doing so we increase interest in our events, draw in more people, increase membership (note the delineation) and become a stronger Society.
It also should be emphasized that this policy will only be as successful as the degree to which it is embraced, embodied and upheld by AES leadership, therefore the Executive Committee of the AES and the AES Board of Governors shall also endorse and deploy the document to insure its effectiveness and longevity.
Common pitfalls can be expressed in very avoidable statements that exemplify the attitudes we are hoping to change. These statements drive members away - in many cases, members who are trying to break new ground and change ingrained habits.
Here are some examples of statements made that do not represent an inclusive mindset:
The D&I Committee can recommend a diverse group of women and people of all races in every area of expertise represented by the Society. Please contact us. We are building a roster for this purpose.
Panels comprised solely of men have been the norm for decades.
Look at the benefits of increasing the appeal of your event and widening your audience. Find areas of overlap that can work.
This statement makes a sweeping statement about a particular group. The solution (in the case of youth) could be to have chaperones. Try to think of solutions instead of barriers. Young people are the future of our organization. Consider the benefit of ensuring the Society’s longevity.
Where possible, there should be metrics built into EasyChair. When presenters and authors sign up, we can gather demographic data so that organizers can have real-time feedback about diversity.
Conference and Convention planning committees shall have a representative from the D&I Committee.
These areas should be considered regardless of whether they have had dedicated conferences or conventions
Readers of this document are encouraged to keep these points in mind for web communication, discussion lists, social media, and other areas where AES activities happen.
*The conference in Redmond, Washington (2018) and York, England (2019) are noted
**ADA rules are US-Based, please check with the hosting country to determine the proper guidelines.