Although over the past decade the ACCP Board of Regents (BOR) has mirrored the ACCP membership in gender identity and represented diversity in geography and practice areas, other dimensions of diversity have been underrepresented. The June 2021 and December 2022 ACCP Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) member assessments both demonstrated a mismatch between the diversity of survey respondents and those in elected leadership positions. Further analysis of the diversity at each step in the continuum – beginning with the initial nomination, then acceptance of the nomination, followed by selection for the slate, and finally election to the position – revealed a lack of diversity in the initial nomination step that persisted throughout.
These results prompted a comprehensive evaluation of Nominations Committee policies and procedures by the 2022 DEIA Task Force. The task force subsequently implemented several BOR-approved changes to the now-standardized process, including:
- Required DEIA training for the Nominations Committee chair and vice chair via a module focused on an overview of ACCP’s DEIA data, followed by guidance on how to embody inclusive leadership
- A communications campaign to encourage nomination of qualified members from underrepresented groups, including encouragement of self-nomination and a clear stepwise approach engaging PRNs, regional chapters, the membership-at-large, and the DEIA Task Force
- Revisions to the nominations portal to streamline the submission process for nominators and nominees and improve accessibility for self-nomination
- Emphasis on the role of the Nominations Committee members in providing one-on-one counsel to nominees to discuss eligibility criteria and responsibilities of positions, when needed, so that nominees can make informed decisions about following through with dossier submission
- An addition to the candidate statement requesting inclusion of how the candidate will promote DEIA in ACCP or encourage health equity among members, patients, and society
- Multiple revisions to the evaluation rubric and process, including the addition of an assessment of the candidate’s promotion of DEIA/health equity and a multistep approach with a semiquantitative scoring process whereby all candidates meeting a predetermined threshold are considered for ranking for the slate
- Enhanced transparency of the process by sharing evaluation criteria with membership via the nominations webpage
The full impact of these changes has not yet been realized and may be bolstered over time by the changing demographics of the membership. For example, DEIA assessments demonstrate the greatest racial and ethnic diversity in the youngest member segments (students, residents, and members 0–5 years) and more representative diversity in PRN leadership roles. As these young leaders progress through their careers and the association, it is hoped that they will consider the pursuit of elected College leadership. Furthermore, as efforts toward increasing the diversity of the nomination pool continue, ongoing efforts to evaluate subsequent steps in the nominations process continuum will be needed. An example of this ongoing evaluation from the 2023 DEIA Plan is an internal diversity audit of all leadership positions across the College. It is hoped that this approach will provide a more comprehensive demographics data set that allows identification of barriers to nomination acceptance, selection for the slate, or election.