“The 2017 Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Conference was a cracker of a conference!”

It’s a lofty expectation for any conference organiser to plan the speakers and panels with the intent of keeping the attention of participants for the entirety of the conference – but I believe this one did!

To ensure I’m continuously updated on Australian diversity & inclusion practices, successes and lessons learned, I attend many conferences, workshops, and events throughout the year, and yet I found myself jamming the pages of the workbook with quotes, ideas and examples, all selflessly shared by the many and varied credible speakers and panel members.

I attended this particular conference as a participant, however, due to an overwhelming increase in the number of attendees, I gladly stepped in to facilitate an extra workshop at short notice. My session looked into the challenges faced during implementation of their D&I strategies – a topic very close to my heart! This is exactly the stage so many of our clients find is the primary issue. Whether just starting on the D&I journey, or encountering challenges in gaining buy-in or embedding the strategy, so many encounter numerous issues.

It was also refreshing to hear from such a broad range of speakers, a mix of government, corporate, ‘not for profit’ delegates, ranging in size of organisation and role. Speakers shared their strategies, statistics, lessons learned and engaged in open and candid discussion with fellow speakers and attendees alike, and to the delight of participants, openly shared their slides and supporting research.

Anyone considering planning their next D&I conference, would do well to consult Aventedge. It’s time to stop spinning the wheels around this agenda. Too many event speakers from large corporate organisations talk about their successes, without truly having their ‘finger on the pulse’. Emphasising the challenges, the inconsistencies, the leadership and engagement issues is what really resonates.

Consider it as a ‘movement’. Carefully selected, current and relevant topics, speakers with the insights and intent to contribute to the change agenda is paramount. Only then will Australia progress with the change to an inclusive workforce culture.


Diana Hewitson, Head of Diversity & Inclusion Services, Ambition Group Consulting

A thought leader and popular speaker, Diana Hewitson is the Head of Diversity & Inclusion Services at Ambition, a leading boutique recruitment and consulting organisation.

Along with her team of Ambition Elite Partners, Diana supports Ambition’s Clients with their Diversity & Inclusion goals and strategies and also supports top female talent with their career and work-life balance aspirations.