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Introduction to the Association Inclusion Index

By: Rob Stott

ASAE's new tool will help associations benchmark D&I efforts. [Titled "Indexing Inclusion" in the print edition.]

ASAE recently introduced a new online tool for associations to measure their diversity and inclusion efforts. The Association Inclusion Index evaluates D&I policies, philosophies, and practices against community standards in five areas: mission and focus, roles and leadership accountability, resources, operations, and communication and culture.

"The index is a very easy and straightforward way to help users get a sense of where they are with their diversity and inclusion efforts in these areas and then how to improve on that if possible," says Richard Yep, FASAE, CAE, executive director and CEO of the American Counseling Association and an Inclusion Index beta tester. "D&I is one of those issues that people tend to think is a good aspirational thing to do, but this tool will help them realize that there is a return on investment and a value proposition to being a diverse and inclusive organization."

Upon completing the survey, users are immediately provided with data, resources, and analyses on how to improve their organization's D&I efforts.

"It gave us a good barometer in terms of our finding out if we were practicing what we preach, and what we need to do, as we move forward to be even more diverse and inclusive," says Yep.

In the future, organizations that have used the tool will be able to compare their results with those from other associations by industry and staff and budget size. As more organizations use the index and more data is collected, its benchmarking capabilities will improve.

"It's important to understand that with demographic changes in society, we have an obligation to try to be more responsive to those people who are potential members or customers," Yep says. "Using the Association Inclusion Index will give association professionals a gauge on how well positioned their organizations are to be successful now and in the future."

Rob Stott is editorial assistant at Associations Now in Washington, DC. Email: rstott@asaecenter.org

For more information or to purchase the tool, visit www.asaecenter.org/diversity and click on "2013 Association Inclusion Index."

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