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Taking Charge of Who’s in Charge

DE&I is everyone’s job, but it’s the responsibility of particular persons

For associations just starting to work on a DE&I strategy, one of the biggest challenges can be establishing accountability for its programs. That was a key question for the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) in 2017 when it made a commitment to strengthen its DEI efforts. It identified what it calls DEI&A (the A stands for anti-racism) as a key strategic pillar. But AACP needed to determine how to both establish responsibility for it and measure progress.

Cindy Ziegler, AACP’s associate director of governance and executive office operations, says there’s an essential connection between metrics and accountability. “Whenever you’re trying to measure something, having a policy or statement around it really holds you accountable,” she said. “What gets measured gets done.”

Assigning Responsibilities

In 2020, AACP established a DEI&A Committee that’s responsible for studying DE&I gaps and barriers, identifying goals, and serving as a resource throughout the organization. For instance, AACP has set a priority around diversifying its board to make it more reflective of its member population. That means Ziegler sets ground rules with the nominating committee and the DEI&A committee around diversity.

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