by Jessi Minneci | October 28, 2019

The American Society of Association Executives will recognize the heterogeneity of the industry when it presents its first-ever Diversity and Inclusion Award as part of the annual Power of A Awards in 2020. 

"Developing a diversity and inclusion award for organizations to illustrate the importance of D+I in the association community is important," said Wendy-Jo Toyama, MBA, CAE, executive director of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and chair of the diversity and inclusion committee. "Diversity and inclusion initiatives have become a driving force across organizations."

Recently, ASAE published an interactive resource, the Association Inclusion Index, for membership organizations seeking to calculate and improve the management of their current diversity and inclusion philosophies, policies and practices.

"Diversity and inclusion fluency is essential to organizational health and success," said Susan Robertson, CAE, interim ASAE president and CEO. "Associations' ability to create supportive environments and serve multiracial, multiethnic, generationally diverse members and staff will define their success today and well into the future." Speaking on the new awards category, she continued, "There is no better time for the association community to recognize and celebrate this commitment."

ASAE's Power of A awards is the organization's annual initiative for honoring associations that go above and beyond the everyday mission by undertaking actions that benefit the greater good. ASAE says the program ensures that the full range of activities and initiatives associations adopt to benefit society are recognized and awarded.

"Through the Power of A Awards, ASAE has long recognized the extraordinary efforts of associations to train the workforce," said Sharon Swan, FASAE, CAE, CEO of the American Society for Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics and chair of ASAE's Power of A Awards judging committee. "As we periodically review the award categories and make changes for the future, it's important that we are able to recognize organizations that value and promote diversity and inclusive practices."

The 2020 Power of A Summit Awards dinner will take place next September. The committee is currently reviewing all award categories for next year; for 2019, honors included the Power to Prepare for the Future, the Power to Make a Better World, the Power to Innovate, the Power to Create a Competitive Workforce and the Power to Enrich Lives. For more information on award categories and nomination eligibility, visit the Power of A Awards website.