SAN FRANCISCO, March 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Choir, a diversity-tech platform and creator of the first diversity certification for finance conferences, is proud to announce the initial cohort of Choir Certified™ and Inaugural Partner conferences that have demonstrated actions toward increasing the representation of women, non-binary people, and people of color on stage:
Choir Certified Conferences undergo a rigorous assessment of their most recent event to determine the prominence and visibility of women, non-binary people, and people of color on stage in comparison to their representation in the U.S population. Choir’s proprietary algorithm scores the visibility of each speaking spot, then cross-references that with race and gender data of the speaker. Conferences earning a Choir Score of 60 or above – a level much higher than both the industry average and the Choir Pledge – are eligible for certification.
The Inaugural Partnership is reserved for first-year events that seek to meet high standards of representation. Choir works alongside the planning team to benchmark goals and assess the conference in real-time to keep representation on stage a top priority and increase the likelihood of earning a Certification once the event is complete.
“We are honored that this group of well-respected organizations has taken the leap with us and made the first steps toward changing who our industry listens to,” said Sonya Dreizler, co-founder of Choir. “We have reached a turning point in our industry. Speakers and attendees are paying attention to who is represented on stage at conferences, and many are choosing to spend their time and energy at conferences where women and people of color feel safe and welcome. If the initial momentum of Certified Conferences and 220+ Choir Pledge signers are any indications, we anticipate that this is the start of the long-overdue change we’ve been hoping to see.”
In addition to the assessment, Choir provides conference teams with tailored reports including granular diversity metrics and visibility trends to identify conference-specific challenges and opportunities. Looking ahead, conference teams receive custom toolkits to help maintain diverse and increasingly representative speaker lineups year over year. Resources include speaker tracking tools and templated speaker/sponsor outreach scripts, as well as facilitated speaker introductions and one-on-one consultations to address company-specific challenges.
Envestnet was the first organization to apply for the Choir Certification. “We’re extremely proud to be an early adopter of Choir and to be named a Certified Conference,” said Mary Ellen Dugan, chief marketing officer at Envestnet. “As we prepare for our next Advisor Summit in May, Choir’s detailed data and overall framework have been extremely helpful to ensure that our stages include new, diverse voices that represent the future of our industry.”
All Choir Certified conferences can be found on the Choir website (hellochoir.com), which will be updated in real-time as more conferences complete the certification process.
Choir also works with conferences that are committed to increasing stage representation but do not yet meet the minimum Choir Score for certification. Those conferences receive the same hands-on guidance. Should they choose to, they may use a “Choir Committed” badge to publicize their ongoing work.
"Since we launched, there has been an outpouring of interest from conferences across the financial industry searching for this exact type of third-party validation and support to help them reach their on-stage representation goals,” said Liv Gagnon, co-founder of Choir. “Conference teams have a massive job to do each year, and it can be easy to overlook nuances to the agenda that could have an impact on speaker diversity and equity. The data and guidance we provide has already proven to be valuable for conference organizers, and we’re just getting started.”
For more information about how the Choir Certification works, or to apply to become Choir Certified, visit hellochoir.com/certified. For media inquiries, contact [email protected].
Choir, LLC (“Choir”) is the financial industry’s first conference diversity certification and a diversity-tech platform focused on amplifying the voices of financial professionals who are women, non-binary people, and people of color. Creator of the Choir Certification™ and Choir Score™, the company aims to make conferences more representative of the U.S. population by helping organizations identify and reach clear and actionable speaker diversity benchmarks. A full list of Choir Certified Conferences is available at hellochoir.com. The company is based in San Francisco and Los Angeles.