The pandemic has made this Board year another challenging one. We didn’t get back to “normal,” as many of us hoped we would. However, the passionate volunteers that lead IABC/Toronto have been busy providing meaningful ways to continue supporting our membership and elevating the communications profession, despite our continued virtual reality and the challenges that can come with it.
One of our newly-formed volunteer groups, the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA) Committee is focused on providing strategic recommendations to the Board of Directors. The IDEA Committee presented to the Board of Directors in April a comprehensive report, which outlines the result of community engagement, in-depth conversations, brainstorming sessions, and quantitative research.
At the beginning of this Board year, the IDEA Committee set out to identify ways that IABC/Toronto can support GTA communications professionals in the diverse roles they play within their organizations, within their communities, and in their daily lives.
We’re proud to now present the IABC/Toronto Board-approved IDEA Recommendations Report. Thank you to all of the communications professionals across the GTA who provided insight, feedback, and valuable perspectives based on your lived experiences.
This report is meant to be a living tool to drive and refine IDEA initiatives, evaluations, discussions and ongoing recommendations. It’s meant to be a springboard for yearly discussions with members and amongst the Board, to encourage and potentially guide discussions with other chapters, organizations and educational institutions, and to inspire conversations with each team of portfolio volunteers about specific tactics to undertake each year.
It is not meant to solve every gap in inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. Nor is it meant to be a blueprint for each portfolio. Rather, the report is one important step in helping IABC/Toronto to better represent and support its diverse members. It’s one step in helping to keep inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility at the forefront of strategic and planning conversations at the leadership table.
The mandate of the IDEA Committee will continue to evolve year over year. This report will be used to inspire and guide conversations about how to continue to raise the bar on representation for every portfolio our VPs lead and for our volunteer teams as they begin planning for the 2021-2022 term. We have also committed to ensuring IDEA discussions are a priority around the Board table, with the addition of a new Board role commencing in 2021-2022: the VP, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility.
This Board position will lead the IDEA Committee in analyzing metrics associated with the recommendations in the report, and create an updated report with evolved recommendations. They will also advocate to IABC International on behalf of IABC/Toronto members to help keep a spotlight on inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. They will support and encourage continued conversation, brainstorming and implementation of the recommendations that have been put forth thus far; and they will lead important IDEA initiatives moving into the new Board year.
We’re excited about what we’ve already accomplished as a chapter, and about the leadership role we’ve played in helping support GTA’s diverse communications professionals. And we’re encouraged at what the addition of an IDEA portfolio will mean for the continued growth of IABC/Toronto as a chapter.
This year, our dedicated team of volunteers worked hard to ensure that the type of support we offer members continues to evolve as their needs evolve. If you’re an IABC member and this is an area you’re passionate about, we’d love to add you to the team. Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Thank you all for your continued support and engagement.
IABC/Toronto Past-President, IDEA Committee Chair