Carol Ann Whitehead FRSA - Panel Chair - Conference and Hospitality Show, Leeds, 30th April 2019

Carol Ann Whitehead FRSA – Panel Chair

Embracing True Diversity in the Events Industry

  • 11:00am - 11:45am
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Some might say the events sector is more diverse than any other, this could be true, however, you really need to look more carefully.

Women in the events Industry are not getting past middle management, they’re not in the boardroom or on boards.

The people of colour, on the other hand, are nowhere near middle management. They are not the negotiators, deal makers, primary hosts, venue owners, on Boards or in senior management but serving the drinks, door security or ensuring the hospitality areas are clean and tidy. That’s where some of the elevated diversity stats come from when submitted.

The decision makers have to be diverse, it doesn’t just happen, a conversation about race is difficult, at times uncomfortable; but the reality is, if we don’t talk about it, we’ll never make the progress that’s necessary, there is a global shift be brave and have let’s have that courageous conversation.

The benefit of attending: Hear the experiences of the panel, listen to case studies and suggestions

Take away: Ideas for improving diversity, suggested help, contacts for in-house support

Panel Members:


The Zebra Partnership publishing, campaign and events agency is headed by Carol Ann Whitehead. A Royal Society of Arts Fellow and award-winning magazine publisher Carol Ann is a communications expert with experience organising a variety of events from 8 to 8000, U.K. and overseas, plus organising five royal visits since 2004.

A former Associate Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University and Trustee of Walk the Plank Outdoor Events and Arts Charity, Carol Ann is also an advocate for equality and diversity she has organised International Women’s Day events since 2013. She is the co-founder of the Ada Lovelace Day Zebra Wikieditathon, which aims to increase women’s global presence on Wikipedia from 17% and contributors from 10%. This took place in 6 different countries and is also logged on History Pin. Carol Ann collaborated with feminist charity FiLiA to bring their globally recognised annual conference to Manchester for 2018. She joined 300 MPs and fellow potential MPs at the historic #AskHerToStand event at the Palace of Westminster the campaign is striving for 50% representation of women in Parliament.

Carol Ann is a Northern Power Women ‘Person with Purpose’ finalist and proud to be a 50:50 Parliament Ambassador.

As part of ‘The People’s Hub’ campaign team, she delivered a lecture at the United Nations Youth Association in Denmark. The team is now working to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and planning a workshop for the UN Festival in 2019.

Carol Ann is married to Dan Whitehead, author, editor, film and games reviewer and voting member of BAFTA. They have two children, a cockatiel called Rocky and a Shih Tzu called Milo. In her spare time she loves to attend graphic novel conventions, the cinema and theatre and enjoys traveling with her family and experiencing different cultures.

What does Carol Ann love the most about working within the events industry?

“I love to channel my experience in organising eclectic events and playing to my networking strengths to create the ultimate unforgettable experiences for clients. Every day is different and exciting and gives me the opportunity to explore new challenges and develop cutting-edge ideas that culminate in a positive outcome for all.”