The IRMS always strives to be an inclusive organisation. Information and Records professionals come from a range of backgrounds, ages, genders and ethnicities, amongst others. It's important that we reflect that and ensure we offer a Society fit for all.
We are always looking for ways to improve, but here is a short summary of what we are doing now to ensure our events, benefits and volunteering opportunities work for as many people as possible.
1. We ensure our speaker base is equal between genders
In 2019, our Conference speaker lineup was one of the best yet. We had a nice split between genders in the keynote speeches, and session speakers reflected a wide range of backgrounds and genders. There is always room for improvement and we will always be constrained by who submits a paper, but this is something we actively encourage and are proud of as part of the conference experience.
2. We ensure our content (electronic and other) is as reader-friendly as possible
With thanks to input and expertise from our membership, we have been able to tailor our production guidance and standards to ensure things like the IRMS Bulletin are produced in layouts, colours and formats that work for those with sight difficulties. As reading technologies continue to grow, we will be looking to enhance this further and if any members have ideas on how we can make this even better for our members, please do get in touch.
3. We put on events in venues that ensure ease of access where possible
Group events and the Conference are our only events where people get together in the same venue. At the Conference we work to ensure accessibility is a key requirement, as we want delegates to focus on the great content and networking, and not have to worry about getting around. For some of our group events, we are bound by the generosity of those that give us free meeting spaces, however we do what we can to support all delegates and offer a seamless experience.
4. We are set up so our volunteers can work remotely and collaboratively with ease
We have no fixed office, therefore all of our volunteers do their IRMS 'work' from home or from their work office (depending on their circumstances). People don't have to travel to the IRMS and can contribute to the discussion and work regardless of any personal circumstances. The IRMS only meets in person four times a year, and we ensure that we meet in venues (typically hotels) with suitable dietary and access requirements for everyone's needs.
5. We ensure that our events, forums and social spaces have no space for negative or derogatory views
We offer a range of channels for members to get in touch with each other, share idea and participate in discussions on all things Information and Records Management. These are, however, governed by a set of rules and standards that make it clear the IRMS is an inclusive and diverse society. Any behaviour to the contrary may result in channels being blocked off to the guilty party or, at its most severe, expulsion from the Society.
6. We ensure our Conference caters for all dietary needs and has space to ensure mental wellbeing
One of the things that makes the IRMS Conference such a great experience and value for money is the social and catering side. Every year the delegate experience team put in a lot of work and research to ensure that the catering is fit for all purposes, and we engage with each and every delegate to ensure their dietary needs are met. No requirement is too big and if anything goes wrong on the day we do our best to correct it and work with the venue to meet your needs.
7. The Executive believes there is the need for a Diversity and Inclusion Strategy to help us continue to grow as an inclusive and diverse Society
To develop this Strategy, we need ideas and feedback from the membership on how we can improve in the area of Inclusion and Diversity. An Online Diversity Forum has been set up for this purpose. Further details will be provided in the Bulletin and our online message board on how you can get involved.
There will always be more we can do and ways we can improve, but we are always willing to listen and make our Society as welcoming, accessible and inclusive as possible.
This is your Society and you belong here.
If you have any queries or concerns about our diversity and inclusion, you can contact any member of our team or, if you prefer, you can reach out to our Membership Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.