• February 23, 2024

IWD 2024: What it really means to Inspire Inclusion

IWD 2024: What it really means to Inspire Inclusion

IWD 2024: What it really means to Inspire Inclusion 1023 683 micebook.

Neil Hudson-Basing, event manager at We Create Space, freelance emcee with The Attendee Experience Company (atex), and host for our upcoming IWD 2024 event on 8 March, shares his insights on how to inspire inclusion for all…

I am incredibly excited about joining the micebook community again, so soon after hosting EXPO, to co-host your International Women’s Day event. Especially with this year’s theme being #InspireInclusion which encourages everyone to inspire others to understand and value the inclusion of women to create a better world. Sounds great right – but you might be wondering, what does that look like and how can I be part of it?

Firstly, let me share why International Women’s Day is important to me – as a man. The women in my life have always been my biggest advocates and allies, influences and inspirations. Whether that’s been friends and chosen family or colleagues, managers and community leaders. From the person who gave me my first big role in events and guided me through those early years, the wonderful Shonali Devereaux, who continues to champion me all these years later. To Phyll Opoku Gyimah (or Lady Phyll as she’s affectionately known), CEO of UK Black Pride, a pioneering activist dedicated to advocating and fighting for race, gender and LGBTQ+ equality. And so many others along the way.

I would simply not be the person I am today without their support, love and recognition of their impact – and so I carry this with me daily in my commitment to women’s inclusion. Finding ways to return that life changing allyship has become fundamental to who I am. Whether that’s in my day to day role as an Events Manager at We Create Space or in my freelance role as an emcee for atex – the attendee experience co. As well as in my personal life. It requires ongoing effort, learning, dedication to put this into action and constant reminders to myself to do better, particularly when there is still a great deal of gender inequality around us.

Here’s a few of my go-to ways to inspire inclusion in others as you go about your day, whether in your professional role or personal life…

Educate yourself… and then take action.

There is so much information and resources out there when it comes to issues impacting women – and other minorities. From stats, research and events to books, podcasts and blogs. I also listen to the lived experiences of those around me. All of which can be easily accessed and therefore factored into either your professional output or simply daily conversations.

For example, as a gay man and a proud part of the LGBTQ+ community, I am more than aware that many identities under our big colourful umbrella are often overlooked. I’ve learned that less than half of LGBTQ+ women and non-binary people are out at work and over 50% of trans employees have experienced harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Off the back of this learning, I’ve had conversations with people I know who are directly impacted by this.

So as an events manager and emcee working in inclusion, I can take this knowledge and understanding and create content that communicates this to an audience in an effective and meaningful way to inspire change. This is an example of allyship in action.

Amplify voices

When you take the time to understand someone’s lived experiences, it’s much easier to be a more effective ally and find ways to put that into practice. Finding opportunities to amplify the voices of women is one of those.

As an events manager, that’s pretty straightforward, right? I can make sure that my panels at events are diverse and representative. And I do. But sadly, it’s been shown that women make up less than 25% of panel discussions at events and they’re more often brought in as a tick box exercise later down the line. This stat gets even worse when it comes to Black women and women of colour.

Making sure women, and other marginalised voices, are amplified isn’t difficult to do but it shouldn’t be overlooked that many voices are not heard. Whether that looks like creating space during a meeting, hosting an IWD awareness event, commissioning a comms piece by a female colleague or simply making sure a friend gets heard during a day-to-day conversation.

Celebrate women’s success

Seeing people that I love and admire succeed brings me so much joy. And I will grab whatever opportunity I can to celebrate them. A friend and former colleague of mine, Professor Tirion Havard, recently gave her inaugural lecture following her promotion to Professor due to her incredible career devoted to tackling violence against women and girls.

I had the pleasure and privilege of working with Tirion for many years on a series of events on this issue highlighting her work and research on topics including coercive control, the impact of lockdown on domestic violence and better education for boys and young men. I was able to support her professionally in my role as events manager and her work has empowered my allyship hugely … so you bet I was there in that audience watching her shine on stage last week to celebrate this monumental milestone in her academic career and her impact!

So, take a moment to shine a light on the success of the inspiring women around you – friends, family, colleagues, employees – because you’re doing so will inspire others to hopefully do the same which lead to a whole lot of inspiring inclusion and visibility.

Where do I start?

This might be as simple as reading a book on gender equality, committing to understanding the correct terminology when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community or following someone on LinkedIn who is out there doing amazing things when it comes to inspiring inclusion.

Here’s a few suggestions from me in terms of resources that inspire inclusion…


  • Invisible Women by Caroline Criado Perez (she/her)
  • Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon (they/ them)


  • Menopause whilst Black by Karen Arthur (she/her)
  • The ADHD Women’s Wellbeing Podcast by Kate Moryoussef (she/her)

Instagram Educators

  • Nina Tame (she/her) for sweary and colourful disability insights | @nina_tame
  • Lori-Jade Siegel (she/her) for mid-life and ageing thoughts and vintage fashion | @midlifeinvintage
  • Aja Barber (she/her/they) for sustainability and fashion | @ajabarber
  • Jessica Kellgren-Fozard (she/her) for deaf & disability content, queer parenting and more vintage lifestyle | @jessicaoutthecloset

LinkedIn Heroes

  • Gabby Austin Browne (she/her), Diversity Alliance, for truly intersectional, accessible and person-centred content
  • Thea Bardot (they/them/she/her), Lightning Recruitment, for bold, straight talking thought pieces about neurodivergence and LGBTQ+ life featuring iconic looks and sass

If you found this useful, please follow me over on LinkedIn and feel free to get in touch.

Find out more about how atex can support your event design needs, or discuss booking an expert emcee, like me, here.

Book your ticket for micebook’s IWD 2024 event here

We Create Space, is a global learning platform and social enterprise specialising in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion consultancy.  Our platform connects over 250+ queer change-makers worldwide with organisations to foster an inclusive space through shared personal experiences, educational content, and training.  Find out more here.

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