Courageous Conversations: The Surrey Virtual Veterinary Diversity Conference

14-15th August – virtual all day events. To join as a delegate please register here.

Courageous Conversations is the first dedicated veterinary diversity conference held in the UK, occurring at a critical moment in time where conversations around diversity, inclusivity and equality are sorely needed.

This two day virtual diversity conference for the veterinary profession will provide a platform to champion diversity and equality. Through honest conversations, this event seeks to address the lack of diversity in the profession, the barriers to inclusivity and find solutions and actions that will make our profession and the society we live in equitable.

‘Within the veterinary professions, we need to start conversations which centre those who are affected by discrimination. Conversations around diversity and inclusion are not always comfortable, but they are necessary to find effective solutions. Let us have courage to start these vital conversions” BVEDS.

‘We’re really excited to be participating in this historic conference. The issues around lack of diversity and discrimination in the veterinary profession have never been clearer than they are today, and we hope that this conference will enable us as an industry to have the difficult
conversations that we need to reflect on this. We hope to build on the work that’s already been started, and strive for solutions that will make us a truly inclusive profession’ BVCIS.

The event format will include live and pre-recorded sessions in formats of talks followed by Q&A sessions, keynote speeches, such as “Diversity within organisations – bring voices to the table” and ‘Students creating change’ alongside organisations such as Animal Aspirations.

Workshops include “Mitigating unconscious bias in practice”, Plus, public facilitated workshops with break out rooms, “Discrimination & client communications” and “Inclusive Workplaces” as well as private community spaces.

Courageous Conversations will create a lasting network of speakers and participants and provide a virtual social networking space, which can be accessed by anyone in the profession.

We encourage participants to build community resources together, and provide information about the Diversity work they are involved with or are interested in signing up to. Outside of the 2 day conference all organisations will be offered the opportunity to highlight their own equality work and opportunities. Open Keynote speeches and talks will be recorded and available after the conference, key points from closed sessions will be transcribed and disseminated. In the evenings there will be an opportunity for delegates to meet, socialise and network creating a collegiate feel to the conference through a virtual 3 course dinner experience and virtual games!

This novel and important event will be hosted by the University of Surrey School of Veterinary Medicine in partnership with the British Veterinary Ethnicity and Diversity Society. Other contributing organisations include Animal Aspirations, AVS, BVLGBT+, BVCIS, SPVS, RCVS, BVA, AVIVA and VSGD with more to be announced.

“In supporting this conference and through having courageous and difficult
conversations, I hope to better understand the issues around discrimination and bias. I also want to understand what actions I can take to create a more equitable and tolerant society.” Chris Proudman. Head of the School of Veterinary Medicine.

“We’re proud to be part of this day of education and discussion. We want a
profession where everyone is able to thrive in their workplace. Educating ourselves on the lives and needs of others is key to making this happen. We also believe that supporting diversity will make our profession stronger and happier. This event is a must for practice leaders and all who care about the welfare of veterinary teams” BVLGBT+ .