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Kinly's Second 2024 DEI Forum: Inspiring Collaborative Inclusion

Tuesday, 26 March 2024 marked a significant milestone for Kinly as we ran our second UK Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) forum. Building upon the success of our inaugural forum in September 2023, the event brought together a diverse range of voices from within Kinly and beyond, encouraging dialogue, collaboration and a shared commitment to driving positive change within the AV industry.

The event was hosted by Shure at its central London Customer Experience Centre and we were pleased to welcome some new faces alongside our suppliers, customers and industry supporters, including Exertis, Neat, Imperial College, HP, AV Magazine, AVIXA, Blackrock and TD Synnex.

Our aim for this forum was clear: to move beyond surface-level discussions and delve deeper into critical issues surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion. Recognising the importance of addressing underrepresented voices, particularly those with disabilities, we put on sessions that challenged assumptions, sparked conversation and, ultimately, created a sense of collective responsibility.

The day commenced with an inspirational keynote address from Mark Webb, whose personal journey with multiple sclerosis (MS) served as a powerful reminder of the importance of inclusivity in the workplace. Mark's moving, funny and hard-hitting insights reminded us of our responsibilities in creating an environment that embraces and empowers individuals of all abilities.

In a first for our DEI forum, we then engaged in an activity in partnership with Team Tactics who work closely with The Hand Project, a charity that provides prosthetic hands to people in developing countries. Attendees came together in groups, working collaboratively to build the hands. There was definitely a competitive vibe in the air but it was also a humbling experience knowing that we were working together towards a meaningful goal.

The day concluded with a panel discussion moderated by Kinly's Chief Information Security Officer, Don Gibson. Featuring panellists from Neat, Imperial College and HP, the session provided a platform for open conversations about the challenges faced by underrepresented groups in the AV industry. From personal anecdotes to practical insights, each panellist offered valuable perspectives on what needs to be done, as well as what isn’t being done, to create a more inclusive and supportive workplace and culture. We wished we had had more time to hear all their stories and ask them more questions!


Katy Thorpe, Global People Director, Kinly, said:

“We wanted to change things up from our first DEI event where we shared ideas around the table in terms of what was working well in terms of our efforts. This event acted as a look forward to what we would all like to see change in the industry moving forwards.

The momentum generated by our March 2024 DEI forum serves as a springboard for ongoing action and engagement because we know that if we all come together as a whole, not just in siloes, the industry will be a better place. With plans already underway for our next DEI event in September, we remain committed to driving a culture of inclusivity, empathy and respect within Kinly, and beyond.”

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