Efforts in Boston and Chicago to improve diversity and inclusion in the events industry set a positive tone for the start of Global Diversity Awareness Month.
Meet Boston will officially launch a supplier diversity initiative on October 5 to expand the CVB’s network of businesses owned by women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color), veterans, and other underrepresented groups. The bureau announced it will also build a database of diverse suppliers, allowing groups to “act with more intentionality and purpose in their procurement processes.”
On the same day, Meet Boston is kicking off a Workforce Development Initiative to “empower individuals from all backgrounds with training opportunities designed to enhance their skill set and employability.” Both programs will be guided by a task force that includes such organizations as The Black Economic Council of MA, Urban League, Amplify Latinx, and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
In Chicago, a new apprentice program is now accepting applications. Tourism Diversity Matters, a group founded in 2021 to foster diversity and inclusion in the tourism and events industries, is partnering with Choose Chicago, as well as the Professional Convention Management Association and United Airlines on an events-track apprenticeship for 2023–2024.
The apprentice will gain 600 hours of experience working at Choose Chicago, PCMA, and United Airlines, receive a monthly stipend, paid travel expenses, and job placement upon successful completion of the program. The apprenticeship is open to BIPOC applicants, and information on applying can be found here.“At TDM, we are passionate about creating equitable opportunities for everyone to succeed in their chosen career,” said Greg DeShields, TDM executive director. “This program is an important step towards creating a more diverse and inclusive industry.”
In other news from Tourism Diversity Matters, on October 23-24, the group will hold The Collective Experience: 2023 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Conference in Philadelphia. The conference is designed for CEOs, corporate leaders, chief diversity officers, government officials, and university-level educators and administrators looking for innovative diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies.