Why was 2021 Selected as AIB’s Year of Diversity & Inclusion?
When I became president, a year ago, on my long list of must do’s was D&I. 2020 was a trying and tragic year for the world, and it took until the 2020-21 AIB Executive Board to ask one of our new vice presidents of administration (VPAs), Dana Minbaeva, to head up a Diversity & Inclusion taskforce, under the AIB Board. Dana has set about this enthusiastically and energetically with a team she put together herself.
As AIB is a global organization, we must be mindful of respecting local customs and traditions but, at the same time we have our ethics, and our unfolding program of diversity & inclusion that, ultimately must be implemented universally. As many of us study aspects of culture, we recognize we will need both skill and good judgement. And the way to address this is to make sure that we – AIB – are, ourselves, diverse and inclusive.
So, we must lead in becoming diverse and inclusive as an Academy – which is why 2021 will be our year of Diversity & Inclusion or, rather, our first year within a future in which AIB strives, every year, to meet our aspirations regarding diversity and inclusion. We will surely discover, every year, that we have not achieved as much as we would wish, but that will just redouble our resolve to do better the next year.
That is why we now have our Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce, chaired by Dana. This taskforce will enable AIB to create a framework for experimentation and align our existing actions (already mentioned) with new initiatives. At present, the Taskforce’s plans are taking shape. It is clear that our Taskforce will need to work with the different “components” of AIB, by which we mean our chapters and Shared Interest Groups, also our journals and the AIB Board’s committees and taskforces and, last but not least, our Fellows.