One of the outcomes of Covid has been the migration of in-person events to online. I've enjoyed my fair share of conferences and workshops this past year. I've been following the BookNet Canada's Tech Forum, which is one of the country's largest book industry conferences with a focus on technology, data, and collaboration. In recent years, like many industries, it's focused a lot on EDI topics, and 2020 highlighted some excellent sessions, one which particularly caught my attention.
Cynthia Pong, Feminist Career Strategist & Founder at Embrace Change, is a lawyer turned career coach whose passion is helping women of colour realize their ambitious career goals. Her webinar at the conference, "Be seen be heard: A workshop to help you reclaim power in your career," however, is for anyone who is a minority and wants "actionable, high-impact tools and strategies to empower themselves in their day-to-day" — and in their overall career trajectory. A few strategies I found extremely useful:
1) Make room for yourself to interject and be heard
2) Seize the moment or pause the agenda
3) Use non-verbals
4) Pre-meet and amplify each other
5) Demonstrate your leadership
6) Make yourself visible to sponsors and champions
7) Identify allies
8) Sharpen your communication
There are some fabulous sessions on EDI that I'm sharing here with you from the Tech Forum. It's heartening to see that there's a real sense of inclusion, which is an evolution from previous conferences. As libraries, publishing, and creative writing are all intertwined, these webinars are all so relevant and important.
- Foreign object in the house of Canadian literature with Annahid Dashtgard, Chelene Knight, and moderator Léonicka Valcius.
- How to combat racial gaslighting in the workplace with Keni Dominguez
- Don't believe everything you think: How to spot and overcome your hidden biases at work with Michelle Grocholsky
- Why are women always talking to men in novels? A conversation about debiasing books with Andrew Piper
- Diversity benchmarking: Improving diversity and inclusion in library collections with Laina Kelly