WiN Annual Conference 30th January 2019 – Our Theme

0Well, here we are, that time of year again when the WiN Executive Board are paddling like crazy to design and finalise the details of the WiN UK Annual Conference on January 30th 2019 (and the House of Commons Reception on 29th January 2019). The WiN family work with passion and commitment to producing a conference that inspires each of you on your journey to improving the gender balance in our nuclear industry.

I’m not going to say it’s easy! The logistics are the simple bit. The content and creativeness are more challenging. Our aim is to deliver a conference that is the most fresh, relevant, practical and inspirational to date. So you can see from that list of superlatives that we have our work cut out.

The good news is that we feel we have achieved that (but you will be the ultimate judges!). Our title for the conference this year is “Conscious Inclusion – Reimagining the Future”. So I thought I would share with you how our thoughts evolved to get us to this theme.

There has been a lot of discussion, training and awareness in recent years that centres around “Unconscious Bias”. Hopefully, you will all be familiar with that phrase and what it means but here’s a quick recap:

Bias is a prejudice in favour of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way that's considered to be unfair. Biases may be held by an individual, group, or institution and can have negative or positive consequences. We may be aware of these biases, but when we are not, they are classed as unconscious bias.

So whilst training and awareness can be helpful, it occurred to me that this idea has quite a negative connotation. How on earth do we truly address our biases when they are unconscious? How do we bring them into consciousness? By simple virtue of the description does it feels like there’s blame attached if we are doing something unconsciously and with bias? Trying to identify and address something we are doing “badly” seems like a negative approach.

So we considered how we could “flip it” to a proactive mindset, one where we are consciously taking action and addressing inclusion. And hence “Conscious Inclusion” emerged as our theme. And “Reimagining the Future”? Well, that’s the strapline to say, if we become conscious of inclusive behaviour we can reimagine the future in a positive sense, with co-operation, vision, enthusiasm and collaboration. Working together regardless of our differences to create an industry that is dynamic, powerful, successful and (most importantly) happier!

So we would be delighted if you could join us for the conference, so together we can “flip it” and get a sense of positivity in addressing inclusion, making a conscious decision to take action (whether small or large) to keep us moving in the right direction. I am so grateful that WiN is supported by so many amazing women and men. Strong women and men. But together we become stronger. So come on. Join us and let’s build that strength to become consciously inclusive together. 

Written by:

Jack Gritt 

President WiN UK