How marketing & communications can support professional bodies with their diversity

Professional membership organisations aren’t always the most diverse of organisations. Often the professions they represent can also have an issue with a lack of diversity, especially at the top. I recently highlighted how my own professional body, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, is organising conferences with just male speakers on the programme – despite the fact half its membership is female.

Being more diverse and inclusive isn’t just about ‘doing the right thing’, it makes commercial sense. If you are more representative of your audience, you should appeal to a wider market.

Tackling diversity has to be a proactive undertaking across the organisation, it rarely ‘just’ improves.

So I was pleased to come across the Diversity and Inclusion Progression Framework for professional bodies from the Royal Academy of Engineering and the Science Council. This practical framework is designed to help professional bodies improve diversity and inclusion within their organisation.

The framework looks at eight operational areas and gives examples of the sort of activities/behaviours are recommended/expected depending where along a four-stage model – initiating, developing, engaging & evolving – the organisation is.

I really like the chart below, which shows how marketing and communications can support organisations to improve their diversity and how they communicate about it:

Obviously diversity within organisations cannot just be changed by more inclusive and diverse marketing, but I do think it can play an important part.

What do you think?
Could you use this within your membership body? Download the free report and see if you can help make your organisation more diverse and inclusive.

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