A recently introduced tool is helping direct marketing associations assess how successful they have been in incorporating equity, diversity, and inclusion into their operational practices.
The EDI assessment tool was developed by Destinations International following discussions and a memorandum of understanding with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Professionals, says Sophia Hyder Hock, Destinations International chief diversity officer.
“They held discussions about the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusion with the emphasis on creating metrics of accountability to ensure our members can track tangible progress,” Hyder Hock explains. “The MOU sparked a two-year developmental process to discuss metrics that should be measured on an annual basis.”
The tool is designed to be a self-assessment, with results being private to organizations that conduct it.
“The goal is to help our destination members understand what they have accomplished and how they can improve,” Hyder Hock says, adding, “Data and metrics are important to assess progress. Using a tool like this is a powerful way for organizations to understand their progress and to develop methods to improve upon their EDI goals.”
Hyder Hock describes the tool as “groundbreaking” in that it provides destinations with tangible benchmarks on how they’re doing and what they can do to improve.
“The assessment covers workplace dynamics, operations, and policies, vendor selection, community engagement, and accessibility related strategies.”
So far, more than 200 destinations have completed the assessments and individual destination reports have been generated for members to purchase. Other DMOs have until March 31 to complete the assessment for 2022.
“The reporting features are dynamic,” Hyder Hock says. “Destinations can choose different filters of interest and receive data on how their current EDI practices align with the median range and industry best practices. The results are powered by destination responses. The responses of our members provide insight into the median and best practices ranges per category.”
Hyder Hock adds that it’s likely an eventual outcome will be development of a certificate program that aligns with assessment findings and feedback from members.