Barber Shop founder introduces initiative to showcase diverse industry speakers
The Barber Shop founder Dino Myers-Lamptey has created a non-profit project that showcases potential speakers across genders, ages and races for industry events.
Initiated in response to a demand for a wider demographic of speakers during events and conferences, Diverse Speakers works as a database that organisers can use to find a range of specialists for their events.
According to Myers-Lamptey, five events and 17 speakers registered with Diverse Speakers in the first hour of its launch on Monday.
"There are tonnes of people out there who are great speakers and who have always been available, but are never really contacted because of the methods that are used to reach and connect them," he said to Campaign.
Myer-Lamptey mentioned that Diverse Speakers came about due to his experience of attending events and seeing the overwhelming reviews surrounding male-only panels, something which he believes is down to a lack of focus on diverse perspectives when organising events.
He said: "It's hard enough to organise an event, let alone find the right speakers with points of view on the right topics."
The project comes after the IPA Agency Census in April, found out the number of employees from black, Asian and minority-ethnic backgrounds in UK agencies has fallen at each of the three highest levels of seniority.
Myer-Lamptey noted that in an industry that is constantly evolving, disruptors should be better represented in events, even if they are not perceived as "big hitters".