Incorporating diversity and inclusion at your local association can benefit from taking specific steps and building subsequent actions based on your previous efforts. This actionable roadmap can help you identify specific actions that will help you research and understand your membership and discover which demographic groups may be underrepresented in your market. Use this roadmap as the first steps to engage your full spectrum of membership, including those potentially underrepresented, through activities and leadership.
The following are some actionable steps that local Associations can consider:
Step 1 – Research and analysis.
- Identify the demographic makeup of your local market areas.
- Explore the demographics of members active in your Association. Does this membership reflect or actively serve the market demographics? Are new members reflecting any changes in your market area?
- Examine the demographics of your leadership to determine if it reflects the demographics of the market and your membership. Identify which groups are not well represented.
Step 2 – Discovery
- Host an implicit bias workshop and discuss how racism and bias can limit inclusion of diversity
- Identify and build relationships with the real estate professionals serving your underrepresented or growing market demographics.
- Learn their passions, needs, issues, and observations or knowledge about the needs of the markets they serve.
- Attend meetings they organize or are part of, and if they are part of a local multicultural chapter or board, learn more.
- Provide training to general membership about serving underrepresented demographic groups in the market area
- Build in diversity and inclusion into your association’s strategic plan.
Step 3 – Engage members representing diversity you desire to include
- Recruit based on their passion, interests, expertise and new perspectives
- Develop a pool of prospective leaders reflecting your market’s diversity
- Focus on activities and committees that advance the Association’s mission, including advocacy, professionalism and ethics.
- Communicate diversity and inclusion related programming at new member orientation to set the tone for member engagement.
- Be transparent regarding committee and leadership selection.
- Provide opportunities for leading activities, discussions and for speaking opportunities.
- Engage your leadership to reach out to members involved in local multicultural organizations.
Step 4 – Realize the benefits of inclusion
- Mentor and train rising leaders
- Include diverse members on committees addressing advocacy, ethics and professional development.
- Engage your elected leadership in multicultural organizations.
- Encourage multicultural organization members to serve in leadership roles.
- Evaluate and plan - sustain your diversity and inclusion efforts.