Last year, as social justice issues emerged in the wake of George Floyd’s death, a stronger spotlight was shone on the issue of diversity among association volunteer leaders. And while many organizations committed to diversifying their boards, that change doesn’t happen overnight. Building leadership diversity is a process, and it can start now, with some concrete moves toward that goal, experts say.
“Most boards do not reflect the diversity of their constituencies,” says Cie Armstead, director of diversity and inclusion at the American College of Healthcare Executives. “There is still a lot of work to do.”
The Credit Union National Association added diversity and inclusion to its guiding principles in 2019 and has been working to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) throughout the credit union sector, including on boards.
“The most effective way to approach board diversity is to acknowledge that it takes time. It is a continuous journey and has to mirror the evolution of our communities,” says Samira Salem, Ph.D., vice president for DEI at CUNA.