This is Beyond is for everyone. Here’s how we’re committing to make our events more inclusive.
We have always prided ourselves on being a forward-thinking, progressive company. For 11 years, we have strived to see and do things differently; to evolve conversations; to question the status quo.
But we recognise now that we have been at fault on several levels: by only defining ways to make our company more diverse, while not being proactively inclusive. These shortcomings were far from intentional – they were the result of complacency, ignorance, and yes, the fear of being judged while trying to do the right thing.
But ultimately, we’ve realised that to be loyal to our vision – to prove the power of humanity in business – we had no excuse to not try and do much better. Right now, not everyone is equally represented or feels equally comfortable at our events. We want to change that and embark on a journey where This is Beyond, with the help and advice of our industry friends, fights for increased diversity and inclusion, and works to prevent discrimination and racism of any kind, and at any level, in our ecosystem.
We believe if we are not part of the solution, we are part of the problem, so we’re starting in-house with self-reflection and most importantly, action. We’d love to take you, our communities, on this journey with us, as we prioritise diversity and equality in our company and industry. We won’t always be perfect, but we are committed to progress. In every respect, it is the right thing to do.
In recent years we’ve been striving to diversify our communities, from speaker panels to press trips, but it’s not enough. Real, tangible change demands action, so we’re making new commitments we believe will make our company and events a place where everyone – including BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) hospitality professionals, people with different abilities, and other underrepresented groups feel welcome, included, and able to thrive.
Diversity matters because travel needs stories: our industry is built on telling them. If we only hear the same stories and see the same type of travellers represented, it’s as if we’re reading the same page of a book, over and over again. Hearing the same stories is not just dull, but dangerous, because it sends a message that diverse stories don’t matter or that luxury travel is only for one kind of person. And in an industry built on widening perspectives, this cannot be tolerated. This is Beyond may be a small piece of a much bigger puzzle, but we want to work with the wider travel industry to encourage all of us to do more to drive the inclusion of diverse perspectives.
The global luxury travel industry isn’t as diverse as it could be. Our events have not been as inclusive to everyone as they should be. But together, we believe we can make a difference. Change begins at home, so we’re starting here. Having spent the past few weeks having frank, often uncomfortable discussions, here is our plan of action.
Together, we can prove that travel is the progressive, inclusive industry we know it can, and should, be. Let’s not wish for change; together, let’s be the change.
See below for the commitments we are making in our communities and internally at This is Beyond.
Internally, we are:
Learning and challenging. We held unconscious bias training for our team last year, and also produced a guide to antiracism and inclusivity in the workplace, which every Beyonder is required to read and sign when they join us. We will be building on this work by holding training on workplace microaggressions in the very near future.
Widening our net. Many of us stumbled into this industry, but many more don’t know it even exists. That’s why we are creating a paid internship scheme for BAME and underrepresented graduates in our London and Cape Town offices, which will launch in 2021. We are also adding a diversity panel to our hiring process, ensuring a fair and balanced interview experience for every new candidate (and potential Beyonder).
Building on the work of our Diversity & Inclusion Team. We have had an internal D&I Committee for over two years, but it will be the job of our new Diversity & Inclusion Union to critically assess every piece of marketing content – from party themes to the language we use – to ensure it is respectful, sensitive and does not have the potential to offend or hurt underrepresented groups.
In our communities, we are:
Listening. We are opening up the opportunity for our communities to talk to us transparently. How can we do better? How can your expertise help us do better? We are listening, we are accountable, and we want to hear from you – you can reach out to us at email@example.com.
Understanding. First, we need to assess the current levels of representation in each of our communities. From here, we will take actionable steps to improve diversity at each of our shows – PURE Life Experiences, L.E/Miami, We Are Africa and Further East.
Evolving the conversation. We are committing to a Diversity & Inclusion activation at each of our shows in 2021. These will serve as an open forum for us to host discussions and share how our communities are actively driving diversity and activism forward in travel. In addition, we are currently programming digital content aimed at opening a constructive dialogue for our community around diversity in travel, and how to ensure more equitable treatment for all, across hospitality.
We are learning, we are accountable, and we want to hear from our communities. Talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re all ears.
– Team This is Beyond