Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Action

Resources Roundup: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In this article:
ASAE’s Conscious Inclusion strategy and other resources will help associations apply a DEI lens to a variety of operational areas.

Conscious Inclusion

Conscious Inclusion (CI) is ASAE’s practical, action-oriented framework to help associations cultivate the desired culture and environment of organizational diversity, inclusion, and belonging.

CI goes beyond identifying and embracing DEI concepts to consciously adopting and executing a practical strategy for leveraging DEI to achieve superior outcomes. This strategy will help organizations unlock the full potential of a diverse workforce and membership.

ASAE has already rolled out new initiatives and is concurrently working on other new programs, products, and services that will support the strategy. Among them:

  • introduced a CEO Conscious Inclusion Pledge that outlines a specific set of actions signatory CEOs will take to cultivate a culture and environment of organizational diversity, inclusion, and belonging
  • launched a revised Diversity Executive Leadership Program concept and related offerings
  • developing a ReadyMe DEI Bootcamp to prepare leaders for upward mobility and executives who are responsible for hiring decisions.

Books and Research

Learn about larger trends affecting DEI strategy for associations.

ASAE ForesightWorks

ASAE’s future-focused environmental-scanning research initiative identifies 50 drivers of change important to associations. Each is described in an action brief that examines its implications and offers ideas for steps associations can take to respond to the trend. The drivers most pertinent to DEI include:

  • Dismantling Systemic Racism. Added in 2021, this action brief discusses how industries, professions, and organizations are exploring and implementing policies and programs focused on racial justice. Change will be complex as implications are worked out on the ground.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Although American society and workplaces will continue to grow more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, this will occur against a backdrop of social and political polarization. To help organizations meet these challenges, this action brief posits that DEI efforts should be treated as a systemic priority, supported by a new generation of tools and processes.
  • Empowered Women. This action brief, updated in 2021, addresses the unique and important role associations play in promoting women in the workplace and making their presence visible.
  • Immigration-Driven Demography. Immigration will remain the central driver of American population growth and diversity for decades to come, reshaping not only demographics but also values and attitudes. This action brief examines implications for associations, including more diverse membership communities with more varied ideas, expectations, and needs.

Effective DEI Practices in Association Governance (coming soon)

An effective DEI strategy for your board fosters greater innovation and creativity among its members. A new report from the ASAE Research Foundation will provide insight into processes that strengthen volunteer leadership and improve organizational outcomes.

Learning Opportunities

Professional development centered on DEI principles and strategy.

2022 ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition

The Conscious Inclusion learning pathway at this year’s meeting will help associations to strategically, intentionally, and thoughtfully value differences across membership, board composition, staff culture, accessibility, and program design.

Executive Leadership Forum

This two-day program offers a highly interactive learning experience for senior-level leaders seeking intellectually demanding and open-ended learning. Experts will present provocative ideas around intentional and deliberate inclusion and leadership transparency.

Related Articles

Additional must-read content from and

Building a Culture of DEI and Empathy in the Workplace

A recent report from the Society for Human Resource Management found that racial issues in the workplace cost U.S. employers billions of dollars each year. In this article, SHRM offers tips on improving DEI and empathy to help organizations get on the right path.

Four Strategies to Make Your DEI Messaging Clear to Members

How can an association ensure that its DEI messaging makes an impact? This piece provides some insights on how to balance member communications when executing a DEI strategy.

How a Mentorship Program Can Improve Internal DEI Initiatives

DEI can be challenging to implement in practice for both managers and employees. This article explores how turning differences in background, culture, and gender into opportunities—with the help of mentoring—can support successful DEI integration.

Make Inclusive Language a Key Part of Your DEI Efforts

Using the wrong language in communications can offend, or worse, lead to a crisis at your association. This piece offers ideas on how to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders.

Recruit to Increase Board Diversity

This article looks at recent ASAE Research Foundation studies that highlight the value of deliberate recruitment to increase board member diversity and provide practical steps for better recruitment.

Samantha Whitehorne

Samantha Whitehorne is editor-in-chief of Associations Now.

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