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 continuously working to cultivate professionals with diverse expertise that are critical to sustaining a thriving industry.
The SMPS DEI Committee suggests 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.
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 DEI initiatives SMPS is leading the way forward.
Marketer is the Society’s award-winning bimonthly journal, reporting on current business development and marketing practices, issues, and trends.
Regularly cited as a top benefit of membership, Marketer provides original, knowledge-based content relevant to A/E/C professionals: innovative marketing, management, and leadership strategies, case studies, and lessons learned. Articles are written by industry practitioners and experts who face the challenges of marketing professional services every day.
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 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.
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, religious beliefs, 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.
Please join us at our next DEI + AEC complimentary townhall on October 10, 2023, at 3pm for DEI+ A/E/C: Embracing Neurodiversity in the Workplace. We will hear from thought leader, Kelly Green. This program will be moderated by SMPS DEI Committee member James Kent.
Kelly Green is a coach/consultant and evangelist of all things personal and professional branding! A Howard University alum and classmate of Sean “Diddy” Combs, her first big break in the music industry was interning for him at Bad Boy Records. Kelly worked her way up through the ranks of various record labels culminating in 2005 as Senior Director of Marketing at Universal Records. She has had the privilege of working with such groundbreaking artists as Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, The Notorious B.I.G. and has won numerous awards and accolades. Following a successful 15-year career in Music marketing, she launched her own Brand Strategy firm focused on growing small businesses and organizations. Inspired by her own personal journey living with multiple sclerosis, Kelly formed The Abilities WORKS! Project, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create a more inclusive culture in employment, entertainment, and politics. Through training, consulting, and speaking, Kelly strives to help people with disabilities live a fuller more engaging life. She is currently writing her memoir, “Behind the SEEN” which chronicles her music career while battling the ups and downs of a chronic illness
Upcoming DEI + AEC Townhall
Previous DEI + AEC Townhalls
Due to an overwhelming response to the SMPS DEI + A/E/C Townhall on January 30, join us as we continue the conversation around Mental Health in the Workplace and Stopping the Stigma.
This program will be moderated by SMPS DEI Committee Chair, Jennifer Nix McGerald, CPSM (she/her).
Keyona King-Tsikata, MPH, is Sr. Director of Health Equity and Access and Sr. Director of the Socioeconomic Status (SES) portfolio of the American Psychological Association. She is responsible for directing, overseeing, facilitating and promoting psychology’s contribution to 1) advancing health equity and access; and 2) the understanding of SES and the lives and well-being of low-income and economically disadvantaged populations. As such, Ms. King-Tsikata works to develop and facilitate relationships and activities to advance psychology as a major force in research, education, policy and advocacy related to Health Equity and SES. She received her B.S. in Health Science from the University of Florida and her MPH from University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health.
Seth Kahan is widely recognized as being on the forefront of Visionary Leadership® and a trusted advisor to more than 100 association CEOs and world-class leaders like the president of the World Bank, director of the Peace Corps, and senior managers at Royal Dutch Shell, Seth Kahan is a sought-after business strategy specialist, respected thought leader, and convener on Grand Challenges. Today he leads the Grand Challenge to eliminate stigma around mental health and substance use disorders, supported by the Huntsman Mental Health Institute and spanning partners that include the Ad Council, Carter Center, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, Jed Foundation, Shatterproof, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Human Rights Campaign, SHRM Foundation, NAMI, and many others.
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
- AAPI Heritage Month | Keeping Commitments: Going Beyond APAHM and Mental Health Awareness Months in the Workplace