DIVERSITY & INCLUSION POLICY
The Locate Conferences Australia (LCA) Board have developed a Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Policy as a visible commitment to raising the profile and importance of these principles in our community and for our industry. The publication of this policy on our website is a demonstration that we intend to ‘walk the talk’ and approach each conference with a commitment to D&I principles and as an opportunity to demonstrate good practice. The policy is intended to provide guiding principles reflecting board commitment and direction for the Organising and Program Committees. The policy is intended to strengthen and amplify LCA’s business objectives to be the national conference of choice for our industry and to represent and include a wide variety of stakeholders and participants across our industry and allied industries.
Locate Conferences Australia (LCA) is committed to developing and maintaining an inclusive industry that embraces and celebrates diversity. LCA’s vision for diversity is to foster safe, inclusive and diverse conferences reflective of the community we serve. LCA recognises that diversity improves its ability to attract and motivate to deliver the highest quality services.
In the words of the Spatial Industry Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan ‘our ambition of leadership, innovation and collaboration will only be as effective as the people who share our aspirations’, those we can get involved. Our industry is founded on the sharing of knowledge, skills and information for growth, broadening the participation of those ‘sharing’ provides a key trajectory to LCA’s growth.
The key motivators can be summarised in three points from the plan (though there are many others also relevant):
- We need to engage younger and newer members of our community – they are the next generation of LCA. By 2025, there will be a shortfall of approximately 1,300 graduate or licensed surveyors and 300 geospatial specialists with university degrees. At the same time, almost 20 percent of us working in this space are over 55 years old.
- The sector is male-dominated. While women make up around 50 per cent of Australia’s workforce, only one quarter of the spatial workforce is female.
- More broadly, there is limited evidence of cultural diversity, indigenous employment, or people with disability in the sector.
A diverse and inclusive environment establishes a sense of belonging. When people feel more respected and included, they tend to contribute and embrace the community. Proven benefits of diversity and inclusion include:
- Access to a bigger talent pool
- Increased engagement and trust
- New perspectives and innovation impacting decision making, performance and business outcomes.
Businesses that are in the top quartile for racial, ethnic, and gender diversity have a 25 percent greater likelihood of being more profitable than the national median for their respective industry. Great Place to Work research has shown highly diverse, inclusive companies experienced a 14.4 percent gain while the S&P 500 saw a 35.5 percent decline in stock performance in times of crisis, such as a recession. If LCA are to be resilient and remain relevant it is time we think differently about the composition of our conferences to reflect the possible diversity of our community and their representation from across different industry sectors.
This Diversity and Inclusion Policy (policy) provides the framework by which LCA actively manages and encourages diversity and inclusion across the conference-convening organisation. It is intended to set out the guiding principles and practices to promote LCA and our conferences as a diverse and inclusive environment.
This is an organisational policy only, and does not in itself give rise to any cause of action. The policy should be read in conjunction with other company policies and the Spatial Industry Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.
LCA’s objectives for this policy include:
- Attracting a greater diversity of people to our events from across the industry (outside the usual and currently less diverse surveying and spatial circles)
- Leverage the industry’s diversity of skills and perspectives to enhance the Locate Conference experience and organisational growth of LCA
- Providing an environment that reflects the diversity of our stakeholders, where “everyone is welcome”
- Reflecting the values supported and promoted by LCA shareholders, who are signatories and key sponsors of the Spatial Industry Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan
- Championing diversity and inclusion – demonstrating our core values and culture, living up to them, and demonstrating pathways to do so. We have the opportunity to lead our industry – set the tone, set the direction, show what D&I can look like by example, and how it boosts business outcomes.
- Empowering individuals involved in guiding and developing Locate conferences to work and grow together in an inclusive, safe and flexible way.
Diversity: Accepting each person as an individual irrespective of differences is used to differentiate groups and people from each other (both visible and invisible). Such differences include but are not limited to age, gender, physical abilities, disability, nationality, cultural background (race, colour, descent), ethnicity, marital, family or relationship status, religious or political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, carer responsibilities, pregnancy, breastfeeding, socio-economic background, geographic location. The Spatial Industry Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan also includes industry background.
Equality: Ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to make the most of their lives/talents. We aim to remove barriers and look to eliminate all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment which may be caused by personal stereotypes and prejudices.
Inclusion: An environment that makes every individual or group feel comfortable and safe to speak up and be themselves, where similarities and differences are not just accepted, but are valued and utilised to achieve a broader industry perspective; where all are welcome and able to participate.
“Inclusion is about valuing that difference, and creating work processes and cultures that enable a sense of belonging and psychological safety so employees feel valued and respected.”
Diversity & Inclusion Spatial Industry Action Plan p4.
The four key elements of the policy are its guiding principles, practices, measurable outcomes and accountabilities.
- LCA to be a leader and champion of diversity and inclusion in the industry and communicate this.
- Participant diversity – delegates, speakers, exhibitors, organisers, attendees at Locate should reflect stakeholder demographics and be associated with measurable outcomes.
- Content diversity – the program’s topics and speakers should reflect the diversity we aim to attract in our delegates, with a targeted appeal to new and/or different groups.
- Delivery diversity – the physical delivery of the conference should embrace accessibility physically and engage different formats, geographies, industry sectors, partners and sponsors.
- Inclusion – ensuring all feel a sense of inclusion and belonging, enabled by inclusive leadership, committees and working culture; Locate is organised so that all people across the diversity spectrum feel welcome (and thus want to attend) such as:
- All genders (male, female, other)
- Age (from students, young professionals through to our elders)
- Ethnicity (including first nations people)
- Geography (e.g. regional, international)
- Industry (sub-) sectors: spatial, surveying, RS, open source/devops
Zero tolerance for all forms of unlawful discrimination and harassment which may be caused by personal stereotypes and prejudices.
LCA will support the following practices:
- Commit to ensuring the membership and leadership across its Board, Committees and Working Groups reflect a diversity of backgrounds, knowledge, experience and abilities.
- Promote and encourage a diverse conference by fostering an environment of mutual learning, respect and appreciation of differences.
- Seek to ensure its business practices and processes do not prevent equal opportunity for participation within the organisation and conferences.
- Ensure the diversity among conference participants, speakers and delegates reflects that of society as a whole.
- Provide increased opportunities for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander peoples, organisations, communities to engage with our business.
- Establish mechanisms whereby barriers to participation are minimised for different ages, cultures or socioeconomic groups through scholarships or sponsorships.
- Consider how our conferences can most effectively reach a diverse audience, including through our website, social media, events and digital platforms, use of language and support of related forums.
- Endeavour to host events that are physically accessible and timed in a way that accommodates the needs of a diverse range of individuals and organisations.
- Ensure access to (and promotion of) appropriate facilities and services for diverse groups (eg prayer rooms and food of cultural appropriateness).
- Promote the use of inclusive language in all communications (internal and external).
- Publicly share and promote the policy for the board, organisers, delegates and other stakeholders to see and support implementation.
- Publicly share measurable objectives and progress against them.
- Collaboration – promote cross-pollination with organisations representing different cultural groups in our industry (or related industries) locally or internationally.
- Embrace partnerships with organisations promoting similar principles or able to inform and improve our practices.
- Seek advice where applicable from relevant experts and representative bodies such as disability support agencies, indigenous organisations or the SSSDLN to improve its practices.
- Participant Feedback
- Collect feedback from conference participants in relation to D&I issues and experiences in post-event feedback forms/surveys
- Provide a summary of this feedback to the D&I Board Committee
Each year the Board will set and report on measurable objectives with a view to progressing towards a balanced and diverse representation across our board, committees, speakers and delegates.
LCA to establish a Diversity and Inclusion Board Committee with board, organising committee and program committee representation that:
- Nominates measurable outcomes for a Locate Conference in consultation with the board and conference committees
- Develops a conference Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan for the upcoming event(s)
- Reports at agreed intervals to the board on progress
- Prepares an annual diversity report for shareholders and stakeholders
- Processes available to resolve complaints.
- Processes involved for reporting bullying or discrimination.
4.4 Review of Policy
The Board is responsible for the review and oversight of this Policy and will:
(i) monitor and amend this policy from time to time as required to determine its continued effectiveness;
(ii) encourage people to provide feedback on the policy; and
(iii) ensure the policy is subject, but not limited, to regular review and reporting:
I. The effectiveness of this policy its objectives and the strategies to achieve the objectives; and
II. The division of responsibilities and accountability for developing and implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives across the organisation and stakeholders; and
I. To the Shareholders on the outcomes of its review, including recommendations for change to those strategies or how they are implemented;
Publicly on measurable progress and learnings for the business and industry.
Adopted by the Board: 9 December 2021