Sustainable events

Diversity and inclusion in the company

Diversity and inclusion is also becoming an increasingly present topic in the MICE industry. Read more in our article by expert Linda Brunner.

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The tech sector is considered one of the domains dominated by men.

Real diversity and inclusion is therefore rather difficult to find in some companies. But how can you support a change within the company and how can you actually recognize an inclusive corporate culture?

Inovex is an innovation and quality-driven IT project house with a performance focus on "digital transformation". The company won the ECN Award with its "Women & wyne & Tech" event series.

The EuroCloud Native (ECN) is an initiative in the association of the cloud computing industry in Germany.

Linda Brunner, Brand Builder, Coach & Team Lead, tells us in an interview how the event series came about, what challenges she encountered along the way and how other companies can also support an inclusive culture with events.

What role do events play in your company?

We organize many target group-specific events: from customer to employer branding events, everything is represented in the program. "Networking" and "exchange" are two elements that are particularly important to us. We are also very happy to open our offices to create a place for this exchange.

During the pandemic, of course, we switched to online events.

When did you realize that female empowerment was a topic that was relevant to your company?

As an IT project house, this is a topic that is generally very relevant for us. We have our own diversity team that drives initiatives forward, and diversity is also anchored in our jointly designed vision.

As a company, we focus on topics such as innovation and excellence and want to make our customers and ourselves happy in the process. Sustainability and the community idea are important components of our corporate culture.

Female empowerment

What are the advantages of a diverse corporate culture?

Different teams help diverse opinions to emerge and there is more impetus on different topics.

All can contribute their own strengths and individuality.

We also live this in marketing, for example, and like to try out new formats on a regular basis. We are open to other opinions, cultures and challenges that you may not have experienced yourself.

What are the most important advantages of an online event for you?

The fact that we organize the event online means that colleagues from all locations can take part. This type of event is also much more flexible for mothers, for example. In my view, online events are much more inclusive than physical events.

What was the goal of the event series you created?

There was already a similar format internally, through which I regularly exchanged ideas with female colleagues. We talked about the different challenges that women with or without professional experience, with children or with different backgrounds face.

We wanted to create a space where other colleagues could participate. With this step, we opened the event series to external participants as well.

After winning the "EuroCloud Native (ECN) Award", our visibility has also increased. Before that, we had only promoted the event in our own network.

We have different keynote speeches and theme tables each time. So you can exchange ideas about different topics.

We wanted to provide a safe space for women to feel heard and talk about issues that are important to them.

What was the feedback from the event?

We were very surprised about the extremely good feedback. The "no-show rate" was very low.

We have also received more and more requests from women who would like to give a keynote speech or host a topic table.

Our event series will certainly not be able to solve all the problems that exist in companies, but it is a pragmatic measure that can help.

What challenges did you face during the process?

We were very happy to have the support in the company to drive the issue.

Word of the lectures got around so well that many a male colleague would have liked to attend as well. 

We then make it transparent that it is a target group-specific event that he cannot attend this time, and that there are challenges that he is not familiar with in this way and that we would like to discuss in a safe setting. We tried to create understanding and the colleague in question ended up becoming a multiplier and Male Ally for us, who himself invited many women from his network to our event.

We made a conscious decision to keep the group of participants relatively small, with 30 to 40 women, and to continue hosting online.

What requirements did you have when choosing the event platform?

We were looking for a platform that was easy to interact with and that offered some classic functionalities, such as the fact that there could be an impulse lecture with a question and answer session.

We then opted for one of the American market leaders. However, we would have liked participants to be able to speak to the speaker alone and for other elements of participant managementto have been automated.

Also, one of our challenges was to keep the space secure. This could have been solved well via whitelisting automated, as this allows domains to be listed that are allowed to register or are automatically released.

How does a Women & wyne & Tech event work?

The event begins with a keynote speech and there are additional topic tables on selected topics such as application tips, imposter syndrome, challenges in everyday project work, work and cycle, feminist AI or role models. Participants can ask questions anywhere and switch between the topic tables. There is a separate moderator for each topic.

What is the meaning of "wyne"?

"wyne" is a start-up from Munich, led by Nelly. She held the first impulse contract and we found the idea behind it so exciting that we offered her a cooperation. 

wyne was Germany's first digital winery. In the male-dominated winemaking industry, it's not exactly easy to establish something new. What has always been good is still valid there today. Nelly, on the other hand, doesn't think much of complicated wines and wants to make high-quality wine accessible and understandable for everyone.

How did the award come about?

We were approached by the initiative because they found the format very interesting.

What set us apart from the other nominees is that our event is a very practical tool that can help make a difference.

A partnership with the second-place initiative was also formed afterwards, and the initiative took over a theme table at the next event.

Do you have any tips for people who would like to start their own network?

We didn't have a dedicated budget for promoting the event, so we mainly activated our own network.

It was important to us to keep the framework relatively small.

The decisive factor for the success of the event was that it is a practical tool and that we combine two components: Namely, we are about women working in IT. That would also be my advice to women who want to start a network themselves: Look for two topics that narrow down your target group well and that bring certain challenges with them! Ask yourself what the connecting element is between the participants!

Another tip would be: Find a topic that you are on fire for!

Women network

How did you measure the success of the event?

The very low "no-show rate" was a very important indicator of relevance.

In addition, we have received more and more inquiries and positive feedback on the topics and presentations.

About the expert

Our expert Linda Brunner

Passionate networker, infectious motivator, curious tech enthusiast: these are just three of the qualities with which Linda inspires those around her! With her, you find professional competence and emotional intelligence in one person. Linda has built up a broad knowledge of tech and IT during her various professional positions in marketing and sales. She is now a team leader and brand builder in an IT project house.

In her leadership activities, a cooperative, appreciative and mindful style is important to her. She puts people first and is thus the best example of Servant Leadership and Mentoring. Outside of the professional environment, she is also dedicated to empowering and strengthening her coachees as a systemic coach.

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