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Workforce and Diversity SIG Charter

The Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) was formed to "encourage systematic study of human resource development (HRD) theories, processes, and practices; to disseminate information about HRD, to encourage the application of HRD research findings, and to provide opportunities for social interaction among individuals with scholarly and professional interests in HRD from multiple disciplines and from across the globe” (www.ahrd.org). The Academy’s vision is "leading the profession through research.” The Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Special Interest Group (WDI SIG) was created to support the Academy by actively pursuing research that will ensure equitable and fair workforce environments for all groups of people.

Defining Workforce Diversity and Inclusion

According to Thomas (2011) workforce diversity refers to demographic differences (for example, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, age, and other social or self-constructed lines of difference) and related tensions and complexities that can emerge from these differences. Workforce diversity also encompasses behavioral variations (for example, thought, problem-solving approaches, or behavioral traits associated with personality). Three management strategies have evolved to manage workforce diversity: managing workforce representation, managing workforce relationships, and managing diverse talent. Workforce diversity in today’s organizations should represent the benefits of difference, but should not lose focus on inclusion and social justice in workplace rules, policies, processes, and practices. 
Source: Thomas, R. R. (2011), The management of workforce diversity: A continuing evolution. Empl. Rel. Today, 38: 1–9.

Objectives of the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Special Interest Group

  • Introduce the concept of workforce diversity and inclusion to the Academy through research and practice and create mechanisms that sustain, over time, the respect and appreciation for creating a welcoming, inclusive and supportive environment for all members and prospective members without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, and other forms of difference.
  • Promote the value and benefits of workforce diversity and inclusion within AHRD and provide mechanisms to encourage the dissemination of these ideals within its members’ workplaces and other external organizations.
  • Ensure conceptual clarity regarding the meaning of workforce diversity and inclusion across various HRD contexts to promote informed exploration of consumption of diversity related research and related practices.
  • Contribute to the body of workforce diversity and inclusion scholarly work through research and publications and provide resources for practitioners.
  • Increase awareness, understanding, and appreciation for the contributions of diverse perspectives and create opportunities for members to have their voices heard.
  • Develop partnerships with practitioners in the field of HRD who are working in the area of workforce diversity and inclusion.
  • Promote the development of theory and conduct of research that addresses the most current and emerging issues of workforce diversity and inclusion.

WD&I SIG Vision

The Workforce Diversity and Inclusion SIG will be a leading resource of workforce diversity research for the Academy of Human Resource Development. We extend our research beyond the traditionally focused aspects of diversity and include other marginalized populations as well that are part of the diversity tapestry. We will provide human resource development practitioners and professionals with a rich resource of scholarly work that can be applied to practical workforce diversity situations. The intended outcome is a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all individuals to work and thrive.

WD&I Key SIG Tasks

  1. Coordinate at least one activity to coincide with the AHRD International Research Conference in the Americas.
  2. Conduct semi-annual conference calls with the larger membership.
  3. Maintain a listserv for networking and discussion.
  4. Establish and maintain a SIG website within the AHRD website to promote SIG visibility and awareness.
  5. Promote publications and conference contributions that focus on diversity issues.

WD&I Membership

Individuals may become members of the SIG through the AHRD website or by recruitment of SIG members. The Workforce Diversity and Inclusion SIG members are responsible for:

  1. Creating opportunities for information sharing and open discussion of SIG issues.
  2. Participating in SIG meetings.
  3. Participating in working groups to accomplish SIG activities.
  4. Recruiting new SIG members.

SIG Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is responsible for:

1. Ensuring that SIG members are active members of AHRD.
2. Identifying SIG long and short-term goals.
3. Ensuring SIG long and short-term goals are met.
4. Periodically reviewing and evaluating the state of the SIG.
5. Implementing structural, organizational, and other changes as needed if goals are not being met. 
6. Representing the SIG to AHRD, its Board, and general membership.

Duties of the Steering Committee officers:

Chairperson

  • Coordinates SIG meetings and other committee activities.
  • Communicates with AHRD Board liaison as needed.
  • Calls quarterly steering committee meetings.
  • Disseminates information to the larger group as needed.
  • Serves as the primary point of contact for the SIG.
  • Oversees the election of steering committee members.
  • Completes a twice-yearly written report of SIG activities and conveys to the AHRD Board Liaison.

Current Steering Committee members only are eligible to be elected as the incoming Workforce Diversity & Inclusion SIG chairperson.

  • Past Chairperson
    Remains as a member for at least one term to assist in the transitioning of new chairperson and to provide support as needed.
  • Publications Manager 
    Solicits and coordinates opportunities for SIG literature to be published.

  • Online Communication and Technology Manager 
    Promotes and coordinates SIG web presence (ListServ, Web Casts, and Telephone Conferences).
  • Professional member at large 
    Represents concerns of the practitioner members.
  • Academic member at large
    Represents concerns of the academic members.
  • Student member at large
    Represents concerns of student members.

The SIG Steering Committee members:

  • Must be members of AHRD.
  • Will be elected for a term of 2 years with term beginning in January.
  • May be reelected to an additional 2-year term.
  • Will serve specific roles as determined by group consensus.

If a member of the Steering Committee is not fulfilling his or her duties, any member of the Committee may call for a vote of removal. The non-performing member must be given at least two months notice of the pending vote. During this period of time, the member may choose to resign or may choose to begin performing satisfactorily so that the call for removal is withdrawn or voted down. If members of the Steering Committee resign or are removed between elections, they can be replaced by majority vote of the other members of the Steering Committee. The replacement will come up for election at the next election cycle.

SIG Steering Committee Election Process

  • The Chairperson (election manager) or an appointed member of the Steering Committee will oversee the annual election process of Steering Committee members.
  • The election manager will announce the collect self-nominations containing statements of interest from eligible AHRD members beginning October 1 until October 15.
  • The election manager or a selected Steering Committee member working with election manager will consolidate self-nominations and issue an online ballot containing nominee statements no later than November 1.
  • Election will remain open from November 1 until November 15. Results will be announced via email and will be posted to the SIG website 2-3 weeks after the election closes.
  • Newly elected officers will begin their terms of office in January following the election.

If a member of the Steering Committee is not fulfilling his or her duties, any member of the Committee may call for a vote of removal. The non-performing member must be given at least two months notice of the pending vote. During this period of time, the member may choose to resign or may choose to begin performing satisfactorily so that the call for removal is withdrawn or voted down. If members of the Steering Committee resign or are removed between elections, they can be replaced by majority vote of the other members of the Steering Committee. The replacement will come up for election at the next election cycle.

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