Three Ways to Embrace DE&I Practices For Your Association

Diversity, equity, and inclusion have all become buzzwords in the association world, particularly in the wake of the social unrest happening in the United States and around the world. 

As you navigate day-to-day operations in your association, you may not see the silent struggles some of your team faces. If you do, you may question how you can make a positive impact for them and your organization. 

Inspirus, an employee recognition and research organization, recently released a report containing a series of trends, with a special focus on DE&I.


The report’s key takeaways include:

1. Making it happen. “Building a strong culture around diversity and inclusion requires more than just words in a mission statement,” said the report.

  • Put these thoughts and feelings into action
  • Make your hiring team aware of the importance of diversity
  • Put special care into actually diversifying your organization

The article cites a McKinsey & Company study that shows that “$12 trillion in additional GDP (is) on the table if we can find a way to close the gender gap by 2025. And there’s $2 billion in potential revenue if we can expand “financial inclusion efforts” to extend more services to black Americans.”

It is not just about the people; a commitment to DE&I is better for your organization.

2. Adopting a zero-tolerance mentality. As a leader of an association, you will need to invest extra time and energy in recognizing what those facing adversity need.

  • Put the effort in to make sure that team members in under-represented groups are equal players on your team.
  • Call on individuals at meetings and ask for their input.
  • Make sure that microaggressions do not go unnoticed and untreated.

3. Discuss issues in performance reviews. Do not be afraid to be honest and open about diversity issues with those with privilege on your team.

  • Have open and honest conversations about how to help underrepresented groups on your team.
  • Accept criticism and be proactive. 
  • Explain how actions are being received

Diversity equity and inclusion practices are not just a trend – recognizing how you can make an impact on your team will make you a better leader and your organization more successful.