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Accountability key to showing you’re serious about diversity

Association leaders need to establish tone and direction, draft policy goals and gather metrics that measure what progress must be made


March 5, 2021
By Walt Williams

Many associations have pledged to make diversity and inclusion a priority, both in the industries and professions they represent as well as in their staff and policies. But what are they doing to ensure those pledges have actual results and are not just feel-good statements?

The answer for one group starts at the very top. Sudip Parikh, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, said his group has made diversity and inclusion a priority since the 1970s. The problem, he said, is that the early momentum leading to those initial efforts quickly faded, and that led to stagnation. A recent review by the association of its functions found it still fails to recognize the contributions of underrepresented members in the science community.