From Within and Beyond: ICC Sydney’s Holistic Approach to DEI

15th May 2023

ICC Sydney's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is a testament to its recognition of the value of diverse perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds in creating a work environment that fosters creativity, innovation, and excellence. This commitment extends beyond its internal teams, as it ensures that the events it delivers are inclusive of everyone, regardless of their age, background, disability, sexual orientation and gender. In doing so, ICC Sydney has positioned itself as a leader in the business events industry.

Words Remi Deve

ICC Sydney’s efforts to promote DEI are rooted in its belief that these values are essential to its success. According to a recent article on the ICC Sydney website, promoting diversity and inclusion can lead to a more engaged and motivated workforce, as well as improved decision-making and problem-solving capabilities. In addition, diversity and inclusion can help to demonstrate a positive culture for the organisation, which can translate into increased customer loyalty and improved business outcomes.

ICC Sydney, managed by ASM Global, demonstrated its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion through its participation in Sydney WorldPride 2023. The event, which took place from 17 February to 5 March 2023, was the world’s biggest celebration of LGBTQIA+ pride. In this framework, ICC Sydney was chosen as the host venue for the Human Rights Conference, which gathered 3,200 delegates both on-site and online. As an organisation dedicated to promoting DEI, ICC Sydney took a proactive approach to ensuring that the event was inclusive of all attendees. This included working closely with event organisers to develop accessibility plans for attendees with disabilities and implementing a gender-inclusive language policy to make everyone feel welcome and valued.

Worth noting is that ICC Sydney played a crucial role in ensuring that Sydney WorldPride was a sustainable, carbon-neutral event. By activating the Environmental Sustainability stream of its Legacy Program, the team met the objectives of the  sustainability plan set by the WorldPride Planning Committee for the Human Rights Conference. They replaced plastic water bottles with sustainable options and used waste stream bins to reduce waste. They also provided expert support to the organisers to review waste planning legislation and identify suitable waste management resources to minimise the event’s overall landfill footprint.

As part of its commitment to Reconciliation with Australia’s First Nations people, ICC Sydney also supported Sydney WorldPride’s mission to incorporate First Nations representation in the event delivery, another activation of its industry leading Legacy Program] . Through the program, the venue team connected the event organisers into First Nations community partners and businesses to enrich the event delegates’ experience while leaving a positive social impact in the host community. 

Industry-wide efforts

But this is not all. ICC Sydney has also made a commitment to promoting gender equity in the business events industry. Although they are proud to report that 40% women make up the company’s senior leadership team. In this regard, ICC Sydney CEO and Group Director – Convention Centres, ASM Global (APAC) Geoff Donaghy has been advocating for an increased representation of women in leadership positions in the events industry. He notes that while progress has been made in recent years, there is still much work to be done to ensure that women have equal opportunities to advance their careers in the industry. 

To this end, ICC Sydney has committed to accommodating individuals in all stages of their life and they provide their team members with initiatives like ‘Keeping in touch’ opportunities, financial planning sessions or flexible work practices. Its Parents and Carers program supports parents and primary carers transitioning back into the workforce following a period of parental leave and provides ongoing internal support networks for working parents beyond their return. Inclusion for gender-diverse people is also an area of focus as the ICC Sydney team has undertaken pride in diversity inclusion training as part of their membership with leading workplace inclusion organisation, the AIDS Council of NSW (ACON).  

ICC Sydney’s diversity, equity and inclusion strategy is built in alignment with the ASM Global ACTS framework and pillars – Invest in People and Strength Communities. As a leading global business events destination and a world class brand, it will undoubtedly continue to set an example for others to follow.

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