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Executive Summary: Are Association Boards Embracing DE&I?

A new study examines how associations are advancing these initiatives

Associations are exhibiting some positive signs of integrating effective diversity, equity, and inclusion practices at the governance level, and also show significant opportunity for greater DE&I on their boards.

For example, boards that are intentional about their efforts to recruit underrepresented groups into governance roles, and measure their progress in the area of recruitment, are more likely to realize the full benefits of DEI practices. Diversity is the most established of the DE&I elements, garnering the most attention and measurement. Equity and inclusion are in more nascent stages of development among association boards.

The ASAE Research Foundation study, Are Association Boards Embracing DE&I?, provides significant additional insights for association staff and volunteer leaders. At the intersection of three major ASAE Research Foundation focus areas—leadership; governance; and diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I)—this research examined board composition, performance, and effectiveness; the current state of DE&I practices in governance; and the ways in which DE&I strategies are established and measured in a variety of associations. Importantly, this research also examined what factors—such as benefits, drawbacks and obstacles—influence an association’s board-level DE&I practices in setting the stage for organizational success.

Please select this link to read the complete article from ASAE's Center for Association Leadership.

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