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Diversity Ally announces judges for inaugural Diversity in Events Awards

by Joe Gallop

Diversity Ally, the events, MICE and hospitality diversity and inclusion organisation, has announced that Fay Sharpe OBE, Ryan Curtis-Johnson and Amrita Devaiah will be judges for its inaugural awards night.

The Diversity in Events Awards will take place on 26 April at Cutty Sark in Greenwich.

Diversity Ally founders Ashanti Bentil-Dhue and Gabrielle Austen-Browne launched the awards to recognise, promote and celebrate those doing positive work for equality, diversity and inclusion through events. 

Fay Sharpe (pictured centre) is the founder of mentorship programme Fast Forward 15, and this year was awarded an OBE for her work in equality, mentoring and charity.

Sharpe said: “Spotlighting this important work is key to our industry’s success in attracting and retaining talent. I will be looking for innovation, openness and honesty in the entries. And of course, putting good practice in place.”

Ryan Curtis-Johnson (pictured right) is director of communications at the Valuable 500 – a global business collective made up of 500 CEOs and their companies that work towards disability inclusion.

Curtis-Johnson said: “It’s vital that we see actions towards diversity and inclusion not just saying you are. I will be looking at how they went about making the steps to make the event as inclusive and accessible for all, the proof will be in the level of detail within the entries.”

Amrita Devaiah (pictured left) is currently the head of external affairs and engagement at the Cabinet Office, with responsibility for events and all aspects of ministerial engagement for the department.

Devaiah said: “What a time to be celebrating the amazing work the industry is doing across the board to be more equitable, diverse and inclusive – though it blows my mind that these awards haven’t existed previously.

“I will be looking for creativity and impact in the entries and am so excited to see what individuals and organisations have delivered during one of the most difficult periods for the industry.

“The events world is full of diverse talent, and individuals who go above and beyond to make spaces and events accessible for all – I want to celebrate them, share the best practice and amplify their great work.”

Categories for the awards include ‘Diverse Events Team of the Year’, ‘Best D&I Initiative’ and ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’. 

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