Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle.” Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are a top priority for CXPA, and we hear that we can do better. We are thankful for the CXPA members who have shared feedback, ideas, messages of support, as well as messages reflecting the urgency and importance of diversity and inclusion within CXPA. This feedback has been extremely important to the Board. As a result of what we heard from you, the Board recently conducted a self-assessment on the state of D&I in CXPA. This self-assessment was based on top diversity and inclusion practices for membership associations as reported in Diversity Officer Magazine and developed by ASAE: The Center for Association Leadership. The self-reflection affirmed that we have a long journey ahead to achieve the diversity and inclusion goals we want for CXPA. Collectively, we were reasonably satisfied with our progress on five elements, identifying 10 elements where we do not feel we are yet performing satisfactorily. We reflected on the results in three broad categories:
- Leadership/Strategy – These components center on the association’s values and leadership support for diversity. This was the category where we had our strongest self-assessment, pointing to CXPA’s core values and statements by CXPA leaders past and present. But there is still room for improvement, especially ensuring that statements are brought to action and that we explicitly discuss and profess our vision for the diversity of the CXPA community.
- Welcoming Environment – These components focus on how CXPA attracts, welcomes, and engages potential and current community members. Our strongest rating in this area was welcoming meeting opportunities, including several respondents mentioning the collegiality and value of local CXPA network gatherings. However, if we want to create a more diverse CXPA and CX field, we need to take action to attract and nurture involvement from underrepresented groups.
- Diversity Advancement – These components address the association’s direct actions to understand the diversity of our membership, as well as to enhance the D&I knowledge of members, staff, and leadership. Significant work is needed on every component in this area.
The Board focused on these results in its July 16 Board meeting, and CXPA will be taking the following actions:
- In the next 10 days, we will create a learning and support community dedicated to advancing conversations on diversity and supporting those from underrepresented groups.
- On August 4, we will host two CXPA Member Town Hall discussions to provide members with a direct opportunity to provide input to CXPA priorities, strategic direction, and diversity and inclusion practices. Stacey Nevel, CCXP, Director, Voice of the Customer at Prudential and New York CXPA Network lead will serve as facilitator for the sessions. (You may also submit your thoughts in writing if you prefer.)
- Within the next month, we will form a Diversity and Inclusion Committee with two subcommittees:
- Welcoming Environment subcommittee, whose purpose is to understand social barriers that prevent individuals from becoming involved with CXPA and to recommend steps to reduce or remove such barriers; and
- Diversity Advancement subcommittee, whose purpose is to review the state of CXPA's diversity program and bring forward recommendations to advance diversity practices and education within CXPA and the CX community.
- The Town Hall discussions and D&I committee will serve as a resource to the Board’s continued diversity and inclusion work, which will include:
- Development of a diversity intention statement to more comprehensively articulate our diversity vision for CXPA and the CX field;
- Revision of the CXPA Board nominations process to ensure a focus on diversity and member involvement in the selection process; and
- Implementation of our diversity commitments.
As all CX professionals know, change requires both time and collaboration. We hope that you will get involved by attending a CXPA discussion program, applying to serve on a committee, joining the learning and support community, or providing your comments. We are stronger when all voices are heard, perspectives considered, and we move forward together.
Together in advancing CX,
Annette, Barbie, Nancy, and Greg
CXPA Executive Team