A WELL-known figure in Dorset’s digital and creative sector has been named among the nation’s best male advocates for equality.

Matt Desmier, of the consultancy Wise Old Uncle, ran seven Silicon Beach events in Bournemouth as well as three London spin-offs.

The Diversity in Marketing and Advertising (Dima) summit named him among its Top 50 Male Advocates for Equality in Marketing and Media.

“I think it was because from the start, going back eight years, Silicon Beach always tried to get good gender representation and from year three it was 50-50.

“Then I did a year in London here it was all women speakers,” he said.

“I had ethnically diverse speakers for a long time.”

He has also run SheSays networking, mentors on the Future Leaders programme and works with apprentices. His latest London event, which he says will be the last Silicon Beach conference for the foreseeable future, had only speakers under 25 years old.

“It was always a very selfish conference. It was people I wanted to hear from and I had a male perspective, so I wanted to hear a female perspective. I now have a middle-aged perspective and I want to hear a young perspective,” he said.

Mr Desmier’s father was born in Burma and made his way with his sisters to the UK in the 1950s to settle in the Midlands.

“When we moved to Bournemouth in the early 1980s, with our seemingly permanent tans and exotic last names, my sisters and I had our own issues to deal with,” Matt said.

“I watched my parents work hard to create opportunities for us and I’ve never forgotten how lucky that makes me.

“If I can do for others, just a fraction of what my parents did for me, then I know that their hard work won’t have been wasted.”

Matt went to local schools including Corfe Hills in Broadstone.

“In a school of 1,200 people, there were maybe six of us that were not white,” he said.

He added: “I grew up with two older sisters. My dad worked hard but was away a lot because he worked around the world. I grew up in a very matriarchal household. I definitely knew my place.”