Pioneer Stories

True stories about real organisations and real people

Get inspired and explore different individual and organisational journeys. They differ in starting points, their chosen areas of focus, the actions they first took, the barriers they have already surmounted, the successes they have celebrated and the road they see ahead, as they look to their next steps and long-term goals.


Dr Asakawa: “Change is always challenging”

Best practices

Dr Asakawa began her career in Computer Science at IBM in the 1980s. She made significant contributions to Web accessibility through the development of digital braille and web-to-speech software.


Motivating my staff was the biggest challenge

Step 1: Getting Started / Staff / Partnership / Content / Access

Sharing both the good and bad aspects of our work. Sharing the failures and the wins. Sharing motivation and sometimes disillusion… and learning that all of us, either small or big institutions, face the same type of challenges and that, as small as the footsteps are, they are the basal stones to produce a long-lasting institutional change!


It was quite difficult to create the opportunities to bring the team together

Step 2: Next Step / Staff / Access

An often-forgotten benefit of being involved in this kind of collaboration has been understanding that others are at different stages of their journey and that there are lots of different approaches to achieving the same aim. Because all the organisations have their own unique set of local issues and environments, being able to share experiences and exploring the issues that everyone else faces, has been enlightening.


Celebrate the small steps, join forces and share resources!

Strategy / Step 2: Next Step / Staff

Being part of the Pioneer group and the wider Equity@Ecsite Community of Practice offered a constructive space for experimentation and an exchange of experiences. This has proven invigorating, motivating and enlightening.


Engaging senior staff

Step 2: Next Step / Staff

In short, my recommendation is to have a strategy, research, know your audience/business and then make your pitch reflective to encourage them to discuss, feel empowered and find a new motivation for the good of the business agenda.


Try to find some allies and see where this leads you!

Step 1: Getting Started / Staff

Just start the conversation on DEI in your organisation, try to find some allies and see where this leads you. Don't think you have to be perfect straight away, but make a START!

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