In 2021, Envestnet Elevate was one of the first conferences to receive a Choir Certification™, a diversity certification for financial conferences – the first of its kind. This certification sets rigorous representation standards to amplify the voices of speakers who are women, non-binary people, and people of color. We remain committed to representation and diversity, receiving the Choir Certification again in 2022 and for this year’s 2023 event. Three years in a row and counting!
The importance of Choir’s mission
Founded by Sonya Dreizler, a former CEO of a Broker-Dealer and RIA, and Liv Gagnon, a former PR/branding/media relations executive, Choir’s mission is to lift the voices of people of color, women, and non-binary professionals in industries historically represented by white men – starting with finance.
Despite years of research showing that diversity enhances corporate environments and improves business outcomes, some industries still struggle to improve representation in practical ways. Choir makes that easier by helping organizations identify and reach clear and actionable speaker diversity benchmarks.
Why start with conferences? As Choir would say, “we’ve been listening to the same voices for far too long.” Changing who is on stage and in the media – the two of the most public platforms for recognizing and amplifying expert voices, gives us the power to course-correct our broken systems. A full list of Choir Certified Conferences is available at hellochoir.com.
What is the Choir Pledge and Choir Certification?
For conferences and events in the finance industry, the Choir Pledge sets a baseline standard of:
- At least 1 of every 3 keynote speakers is a woman or person of color
- Every panel with 4 or more people includes at least 1 woman or person of color as a non-moderator expert
- Women of color are represented throughout the agenda in expert sessions, not only sessions about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)
- There is an enforced policy against harassment of all kinds
The Choir Certification goes further, ensuring conferences accurately represent the voices of women and people of color in proportion to their representation in the U.S. population.
The Choir Score is an objective, proprietary 100-point assessment that quantifies how well a conference represents women, non-binary people, people of color, and specifically women of color on stage in comparison to their representation in the U.S. population. Conferences with a Choir Score of 60+, significantly higher than both the industry average and the Choir Pledge, are eligible to receive the Choir Certification.
Envestnet’s efforts to ensure representation
We are proud to have both surpassed a score of 60 and met the criteria of the Choir Pledge for the last three years.
“Envestnet was one of the early believers in Choir and we’ve been honored to work with them since our first round of evaluated conferences. The team there has been valued partners as our conference services have grown and evolved, so it brings me great joy to see that Envestnet Summit is the first “three-peat” Choir Certified conference. Big thank you to Envestnet for making representation of people of color and women professionals on stage a priority at Summit/ Elevate.”Sonya Dreizler, Co-Founder, Choir
Our 2023 Choir report highlighted that a primary contributor to our success was having women involved in keynote speaking roles, including two women of color, and several solo women presenters in breakouts and spotlight sessions. We’re also proud to have increased representation of several minorities on stage as well.
One of the great things about the Choir evaluation is that it also gives us concrete suggestions for continuously improvement on our score, making our path forward that much more clear. We’re striving to continue to increase our score and impact each year.
For more information about how the Choir Certification works, or to apply to become Choir Certified, visit hellochoir.com/certified.