Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Philosophy & Policy
SMPS recognizes, respects, and values the dignity of all people. We are united in our stance against all forms of injustice and inequity. SMPS commits to actively champion diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within our organization, the firms we represent, the communities we serve, and the architecture/engineering/construction (A/E/C) industries. We are intentionally working to increase participation in our organization and the A/E/C industries by underrepresented groups; advocate for recruitment and retention of professionals of all backgrounds by creating inclusive and welcoming environments; and promote equality and opportunities for advancement in the Society and industry overall. Together, we can transform our businesses, enhance membership experiences, and influence change in our communities.
We recognize that our diversity is reflected by our different people and firms. We believe our varying ethnicities, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, ages, levels of experiences, physical abilities, and other differences benefit us as individuals and as an organization. In SMPS, we will organize and promote programs and activities that espouse our beliefs and increase awareness, understanding, recruitment, and participation of diverse persons and firms.
Our Action Plan
SMPS is dedicated to strengthening equitable and inclusive practices, and through the DEI Task Force and Society leadership, we will:
- Develop and provide proper training materials, toolkits, and guides to encourage DEI, allyship, and relevant conversations for our chapters and members.
- Provide resources and references from diverse individuals who can provide a different and profound perspective, especially in panels or speaking events, allowing others the chance to speak and engage audiences of their peers.
- Cultivate exposure opportunities to enhance awareness of professional services marketing career paths for K-12, community colleges, and higher education institutions, targeting underrepresented groups.
- Broaden recruitment, participation, retention, and involvement efforts to build a more engaged and inclusive network.
- Identify research opportunities for the SMPS Foundation that support DEI competencies among professionals and firms.
- Through the SMPS Foundation, provide $25,000 in scholarships for the 2021-22 academic year to students from across the country attending historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) to provide awareness and accessibility to the A/E/C industries. Scholarship recipients will receive mentorship, support, and access to SMPS programming through a student membership included as part of the scholarship award package.
- Expand strategic partnerships with other A/E/C organizations and DEI entities that support this mission allowing us to fight in strength and numbers.
We recognize this effort is ongoing and that we are just beginning our journey to transformational change.
Areas of Impact
Tackling the Work
- Recrafted the 2003 SMPS diversity statement
- Created HBCU engagement/scholarship program
- Held first-ever DEI Townhall on September 15
Immediately Actionable Items
- Defining messaging
- Establishing strategic partnerships with other industry organizations and service providers
- Utilizing preferred personal pronouns in all SMPS communications
DEI Efforts Underway
- Modifying the SFE/CPE guidelines and chapter operations manuals
- Developing SMPS-owned DEI resources
- Evaluating our role in recruiting a more diverse workforce—HBCU engagement/scholarship program
- Encouraging collaborative partnerships with minority-owned firms
- Expanding internship opportunities
- Developing career paths leading to elevated leadership roles
- Ensuring marketing materials reflect the diversity of people who experience the built environment
We hope you were able to join us for our first Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Townhall on September 15. As we endeavor to become a more inclusive Society, this forum was an opportunity to learn from DEI experts, hear perspectives of A/E/C professionals, and have honest conversations, in a safe space.
- Welcome – Michael Geary, SMPS CEO and Bernice Rios Bako, FSMPS, CPSM, SMPS President
- Taking Action – Asheya L. Warren, CPSM, SMPS DEI Task Force Chair
- Addressing Unconscious Bias at Work – Stacey A. Gordon, MBA
- Supplier Diversity: Why it Matters (includes Q&A) – Marnese Elder, MBA, and Asheya L. Warren, CPSM
- Closing Remarks – Antonio Payne, CPA, DEI Advocate, SMPS Chief Financial Officer
Check back for a posting of the recording.
Below are a few SMPS and industry partner resources around DEI. If you’re an SMPS member, join the discussions on MySMPS and to get additional member and chapter resources.
Three Major Steps Toward Inclusion and Racial Equality in A/E/C, by Asheya L. Warren, CPSM (published in the August 2021 Marketer)
Industry Partner Resources
Chapter Resources and Events
Are you interested in finding out what local chapters are doing around DEI? Navigate to your chapter’s website to find out more.
About the DEI Task Force
Prosperity comes from diversity.
Research shows that firms with diverse experiences and perspectives seated around the table are more profitable. That’s why SMPS is working to promote a culture of inclusion, amplify the voices of the underrepresented, and support the business case for diversity.
In February 2020, the SMPS board approved the creation of a DEI Task Force. Its purpose is to suggest initiatives and strategic objectives to the board of directors and staff to increase awareness of and support DEI for our membership, the marketing profession, and our members’ firms.
As our goal, SMPS aspires to be a leader for our members, among our peer groups, and in our professional community. We will have diverse leadership structure, staff, and membership; we will create a supportive environment for people of color; we will offer tools to make change in our organization, profession, and industries.
Through our task force, SMPS is leading the way forward.
Task force members are passionate about finding and illuminating the Society’s voice and strategies through the lens of DEI. Their work will help our members and chapter leaders advance our profession, industries, and SMPS to achieve our vision for a more just society.