Associations Trends Talk: No Roadmap, No Problem

Ewald Consulting hosted Associations Trends Talk on September 21, 2023. No Roadmap, No Problem: Navigating the Terrain of DEIA features Valerie Dosland, Government Affairs Director at Ewald, Brian Haney of the Haney Company, and Rhea Steele of the School Nutrition Association. In this discussion, they give real life examples of how to make associations more accessible and inclusive.

Here are some of our key takeaways:

  • Each of us will define DEIA (diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility) in terms of our members and the field they work in. Different associations will have different areas of focus. Listening sessions with members can be a great way to get started on a DEIA journey.
  • It’s critical to have diversity of thought on an association’s board of directors; so much data reflects this reality. Board members need to hold each other accountable and to have the self-awareness to say that the right voices are not in the room when decisions are being made.
  • When we see something that could be uncomfortable for other members, we all need to become comfortable with speaking up; the burden should not always fall to marginalized people to say that a situation could be better.
  • You can’t avoid difficult conversations. If the person raising a challenge is still a member and they’re still engaged, that is good—even if they are bringing up a difficult issue. That shared connection of care can help to create an ally.
  • Both Brian and Rhea recognized the association community and ASAE as an excellent resource for help. We all represent different aspects of society — through different lenses. A sampling of useful DEIA resources: McKinsey, SHRM, Harvard Business Review, universities, Forbes, other state and national associations.

We will see you in November for our next installment of Associations Trends Talk featuring Laura Orr of Forward Governance Consulting.