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ASAE’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

ASAE’s long-term goal is to ensure that our membership, volunteer leadership, and staff represent a strong, vibrant, and evolving model of diversity and inclusion for the association community. As set forth by the Diversity & Inclusion Committee and approved by the Boards of Directors in March 2007, the organizations are committed to creating and influencing a model of inclusive behaviors and for setting a tone and culture that embrace diversity.

Our Diversity & Inclusion Statement
Diversity and Inclusion in Associations
Diversity Summit
Diversity and Inclusion Assessment Process
Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP)

Our Diversity & Inclusion Statement

In principle and in practice, ASAE values and seeks diverse and inclusive participation within the field of association management. ASAE promotes involvement and expanded access to leadership opportunity regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, appearance, geographic location, or professional level. The organization provides leadership and commits time and resources to accomplish this objective while serving as a model to other associations engaged in such endeavors.

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Diversity and Inclusion in Associations

A literature review and preliminary recommendations for research for ASAE.

This report was prepared for ASAE in July 2008 by Dr. Mary Tschirhart, the director of the Institute for Nonprofit Research, Education, and Engagement at North Carolina State University. The report is a preliminary product of an initiative to better understand the effects of diversity and diversity management in associations. It weaves together the literature on diversity in organizations to answer some fundamental questions of relevance to leaders of membership associations.

  1. How can we define diversity and inclusion?
  2. How is the rationale or business case made for diversity?
  3. What evidence-based conclusions can be made about diversity?
  4. What explains diversity and inclusion initiatives in organizations?
  5. What are additional resources for understanding diversity?
  6. What questions for future research are suggested by a literature review?

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Diversity Summit

100 association thought leaders and diversity practitioners participated in ASAE’s first ever Diversity Summit on December 10-11, 2008 in Baltimore, MD.

The goals of the Diversity Summit were twofold:

  1. To build a common understanding, purpose, and shared commitment to diversity and inclusion in associations and to introduce and share tools, resources, and best practices for launching sustainable diversity and inclusion initiatives throughout the association community;

  2. To elicit feedback from members about the types of support and services they will need from ASAE to help build cultural competence and diverse and inclusive organizations.

The Diversity Summit was designed for attendees to hear from thought leaders on best practices in implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives, to share their perspectives on the key issues for associations, and to provide input on what associations need from ASAE to advance diversity and inclusion in their organizations and throughout the association community. To that end, Summit attendees expressed unequivocal support of the notion that ASAE should take a leadership role in this regard and provide members with diversity and inclusion best practices, learning opportunities, leadership development, research, metrics, and so forth. Click here to link to the Diversity Summit executive summary.

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Diversity and Inclusion Assessment Process

From October 2008 – March 2009, ASAE engaged in a comprehensive, organization-wide assessment and audit to establish benchmarks as well as to better understand the strengths and challenges faced by the organization in regard to building a more diverse and inclusive culture. Based on best practices in the field of organization development, the data gleaned through this process will provide a strong foundation and baseline of knowledge to enable strategic decision-making and planning in order to successfully launch and sustain ASAE’s diversity and inclusion capacity building.

The assessment and audit - of people, programs, policies, structures, practices and culture - solicited feedback from 1000 volunteer leadership and staff of ASAE. This process has resulted in qualitative and quantitative data regarding our current work and workplace. Volunteer leadership and staff’s perspectives and expectations for future organizational culture change will shape recommendations for the next phases of implementation and will guide our efforts to embed new, inclusive practices, policies and programs throughout ASAE and enable the expansion of such offerings to our members.

An overview of the key findings and recommendations resulting from the diversity and inclusion assessment were presented at the ASAE board of directors meeting on April 1, 2009 and a final report will soon be completed and made available on this site.

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Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP)

The Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) supports individuals from under-represented identity groups in the association community, to advance into the ranks of leadership in the association profession. DELP scholars participate in an accelerated leadership program of education, mentoring and volunteer service in the association community. The program is sponsored by the Detroit Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Goals of the Diversity Executive Leadership Program

  • To provide support, education, access and service opportunities to individuals from identity groups (i.e. people of color, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender, people with disabilities) who are under-represented in the association community
  • To provide scholars with a mentor, group coaching, and volunteer experiences to enhance their career development and expand their professional networks
  • To encourage more diverse candidates to assume leadership roles in association management
  • To develop a more diverse leadership pool for the association profession
  • To demonstrate the long-term benefit of the program to the scholars, ASAE and to the association profession

ASAE’s Diversity and Inclusion program is funded in part through the generosity of
Global Hyatt Logo Global Hyatt Logo
Detroit Metro Convention Visitors BureauThe Global Hyatt Corporation

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