The Meetings Industry Association (mia) has appointed VisitBritain/VisitEngland’s Debra Lang to its voluntary board of directors to lead on its diversity, equity and inclusion work.
Lang, who is the Director of HR & Professional Services of the national tourism agency, will be using her extensive experience to develop a strategy and best practice framework for the business meetings and events sector to ensure it is recognised as being fair, impartial and without biases.
Prior to her current role at VisitBritain/VisitEngland, Lang worked for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) where she held several HR roles including Director of People and Workplace, Director HR and Organisation Development and HR Director.
She has also held positions in other UK Government departments including HM Revenue & Customs and the Department for Work and Pensions and recently secured a place on the #EX50 list that celebrates HR leaders who excel at employee experience.
Kerrin MacPhie, chief executive of the mia, said: “We are delighted that Debra has accepted the non-executive role of Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and alongside her role with VisitBritain/VisitEngland will lead on this crucial area on behalf of the mia. While working at the national tourism agency she’s transformed the employee experience launching a people strategy during lockdown and creating numerous diversity and inclusion networks, which will provide great insight to our work championing best practice in this area.
“One of the first activities we will be developing with Debra is an event for both members and the wider industry to advance diversity, equity and inclusion and share practical ways that businesses can turn strategies into actions.”
Lang added: “I am very pleased to join the mia’s board and excited to be leading on its commitments to champion diversity, equity and inclusion, supporting it to develop its strategy and best practice across these critical areas. I am also passionate about ensuring its strategy is practical and deliverable, bringing it to life with a clear roadmap for engagement and implementation across the sector. I am very much looking forward to getting started with the mia team, working together to enable the business and events sector to realise and harness the benefits of an inclusive and diverse industry.”