Good Reads You Might Have Missed: Leadership and Diversity

DEI issues are increasingly front of mind for many associations—but leadership plays a key role in ensuring that inclusion efforts have a true impact. Here are a few examples that underscore that point.

In recent years, the discussion on DEI has become increasingly important for many associations, as they navigate how their staff and membership can evolve more intentionally.

One thing that can make DEI efforts sink or swim? The support of the association’s leadership, which can help build validation for such initiatives as they grow within an organization—and possibly even mirror that growth through representation.

With that in mind, here are some selections from the asaecenter.org and Associations Now archives that could help leaders gain a new perspective on their role in DEI:

How Diverse Leadership Can Help Associations After the Pandemic. This post highlights a recent study from McKinley Advisors about addressing operations amid the pandemic—with a strong emphasis on issues of diversity. “We were reminded that who leads and how they lead has an impact on perceptions of an association and its performance,” the report states.

A Better Path to a Diverse C-Suite. This piece focuses on the challenges that organizations can face in offering paths to leadership for diverse employees. As Bryan Tayan, a Stanford researcher, puts it: “You look at your own C-suite and say, ‘I’m happy with it,’ but are you happy with the potential for everyone to reach the CEO position?”

Is Bias Affecting How You Lead? This piece discusses the importance for leaders to get past their own personal biases, as well as to admit that those biases exist. “Even the best decision makers are prone to biases,” says Sal Mistry, assistant professor of business administration at the University of Delaware. “Make sure you understand that.”

What Success Looks Like for Association Diversity. In the wake of the murder of George Floyd last year, a number of leaders and figures from the association space came together over Zoom to discuss the work they’re doing on DEI. This piece highlights the discussion, as well as other efforts to improve DEI in the association industry.

Lead on Diversity and Inclusion With Words and Action. This piece highlights an ASAE Research Foundation study on the role that leaders play in DEI issues. As the article puts it: “D+I initiatives are successful in organizations with leaders who actively support and participate in them.”


(zak00/DigitalVision Vectors)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

Got an article tip for us? Contact us and let us know!