Embedding Equality and Diversity into University-funded Conferences and Events

Embedding Equality and Diversity into University-funded Conferences and Events

The University of Glasgow’s ‘inspiring people’ strategy makes equality a focus for the University community. Within RSIO, we have put together a checklist to help us consider diversity and inclusion issues in the events that we run.  If you receive funding for one of your own events from RSIO, we hope that you will also make every effort to consider these areas during your planning and we ask that you report on how you will do this as part of the application process.  

We ask applicants to pay attention to:

Diversity of speakers:

  • Make reasonable attempts to secure gender balance of speakers at the conference; this aim can be more easily met by having a gender balance of reserve candidates, consulting potential speakers before the final date is set and ensuring you contact speakers sufficiently in advance to allow childcare arrangements to be made. There is some useful discussion on this topic here (particularly if you are worried about tokenism).
  • Consider the wider diversity of the conference speakers, including ethnicity, disability and age.


  • Make the conference fully accessible; this includes giving due consideration to all accessibility requirements for disabled speakers and attendees. The Accessible Event Policy and Checklist will assist with this aim. Ensure that your booking form invites participants to identify any accessible requirements, such as British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters, hearing loops, or provision of conference materials in alternative formats.

Marketing materials for the event:

  • Provide accurate information on accessibility in advance of your conference, as this gives people time to contact you in advance with details of their requirements.
  • Consider the images that you use to promote your event, by incorporating diversity in your materials.
  • Promotional videos should be subtitled, where possible.
  • If you are developing a website out with the University’s web design then you should ensure that your design is accessible.
  • Review the language that you use in your written materials to ensure that it is inclusive and welcoming to all: avoid jargon, use short sentences, and consider ways to aid readability by adjusting the font and font size, the contrast of text and paper, or by making use of white space or bullet points.


  • Consider providing a crèche for the duration of the conference (RSIO can provide outline costs), running it at a hotel with a crèche facility or allowing those with children to attend, or provide livestreaming or similar.


  • Consider the timing of events – e.g. where possible, avoid school holidays and Fridays (Friday is a day that is commonly not worked and additionally it can pose problems for colleagues of particular faiths).
  • Core working hours are 10am–4pm and therefore scheduling outside of these hours may mean that colleagues cannot attend.
  • If an early evening networking is scheduled, care should be taken to also include networking time during the day.

Dietary requirements:

  • Ensure that the food and drink served are suitable for a variety of dietary requirements, and that networking time includes non-alcoholic alternatives.
  • Where possible, gather dietary requirements in advance of your event.

Religious facilities:

  • Identify the nearest reflection/prayer facilities, and highlight these within the conference literature. On-campus facilities are availabile from the Chaplaincy website.


Research Strategy and Innovation Office

9 June 2017