Diversity Guidelines

Introduc​​tion

Two basic tenets of association management and nonprofit governance are that 1) a Board of Directors should reflect the membership in its composition and that 2) diversity within a Board of Directors yields richer decision making.​

The AIHA Board of Directors and Nominating Committee encourage diversity in the candidates nominated by the membership to run for Director or Officer positions on the Association’s Board.  While past Boards of Directors have been diverse in many respects, the 2006/2007 Board, in its self-assessment, concluded that additional consideration of diversity in the nomination process is warranted.


Benefits of Dive​rsity

The more diverse a Board is the more communities within the membership the board touches.  And that is important, because members want to know that they have a seat at the table.  Simply put, a diverse Board should be better able to interpret the value-needs of a diverse membership and ensure that these needs are being translated into the representation and products and services that the members need and want.  And if needs are being met, there will be the perception of value.  And if a member or prospective member perceives value, membership acquisition and retention will be supported.  


AIHA Bylaws

Article IX of the AIHA Bylaws, which is specific to the Nominating Committee, states the following regarding diversity, “In making nominations, the Nominating Committee shall give consideration to a balance of the employer types, geographic areas, and interests that comprise the Association.”  

This Bylaw provides a clear charter to consider diversity in the nomination process.  However, although it points to several important aspects of diversity it does not provide a process through which specific diversity-related demographic information can be provided to the Board and the Nominating Committee during ballot development.  The following Guidelines are intended to provide that process.

Guidelines for the Promotion of Board Diversity

  1. Annually, late summer or early fall, the staff shall conduct basic dem​ographic research to determine the primary composition of the AIHA membership.

  2. Annually, late summer or early fall, the staff shall provide the Board with a report on membership demographics.
  3. Late summer or early fall the Board should review membership demographics and consider any that might be underrepresented on the Board.
  4. Annually, late summer or early fall, the Board should identify to the Chair of the Nominating Committee information regarding underrepresented demographic groups and encourage inclusion of qualified candidates representing these demographics, where appropriate.  This would be presented strictly in guidance form, not as a mandate.
  5. The Nominating Committee should consider the Board guidance when selecting individuals for the slate of candid​ates, but should always endeavor to select the most qualified individuals.