‘Diversity Makes Us All Better’; SIIA IMPACT Award Winners Offer New Paths to Success

It was moving to hear the hard work and accomplishments of the winners of the inaugural SIIA Impact Awards at a luncheon Tuesday in Washington, D.C. From inclusivity guides to fellowships for those underrepresented to gains in diverse workforces, the winners are blazing a new path and showing that diversity means better business. Some examples:

The American Chemical Society created the ACS Inclusivity Style Guide—an online guide on inclusive communication, including language and images and the accessibility of content. Senior copywriter Sabrina Ashwell coordinated this huge effort. The guide contributes to knowledge development by teaching why certain words, images, and framing are non-inclusive, and providing the tools to make informed decisions about communication.

Travis Wolfe, associate director for event content for GovExec, started a group within the media company called PRIDE to represent employees who identify as LGBTQ+. It has had an immediate and wide-ranging impact as a sounding board and source of best practices. (At the same time, in his work, Wolfe secured speaking commitments from all five service chiefs: Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, and Space Force—an amazing achievement.)

Sarah Gaydos, art director at Graphek, has advocated for herself and the other designers for additional Paid Time Off for mental wellness and better benefits, and has onboarded new designers and provided feedback to the company handbook to be more inclusive. Oh, that’s in addition to the 18 awards she has won for her work.

Money-Media, under managing director Dan Fink, has increased the number of staff who identify as ethnically diverse from around 10% to close to 45%. Now, all hires and promotions must have at least one man and one woman in the decision process. The company also reaches out to professors from HBCUs with journalism programs, asking for candidate referrals, and has an annual fellowship for journalists from underrepresented communities.

These are just four of the 10 winners of the inaugural SIIA IMPACT Awards, handed out yesterday afternoon in a celebratory and moving luncheon at Washington, D.C., landmark The Tabard Inn. (Winners and sponsor Al Rickard, second from left, are pictured here.) All of the winners will be highlighted in more detail in the coming weeks in this space.

The awards provide an extension of SIIA’s continuing commitment to support members in achieving better outcomes in diversity, equity and inclusion and to spotlight and develop outstanding young professionals across the publishing industry. Ten awards were presented across seven categories. The other six winners, in addition to the ones named above, include:

Emerging Talents: (These recognize those aged 35 and under who have 3+ years of service to the industry and have demonstrated outstanding success and leadership potential.)
Matt Ausloos, American Health Law Association
Martha Porado, EnsembleIQ
Alayna Hyler, Questex

Equity Awards:
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) – Outstanding Employee Resource Group (ERG)
American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians – Team Award: Less than 50 employees
American Physiological Society – Team Award: 51–99 employees

“The IMPACT Awards recognize not only emerging talent, but organizations that have embraced the importance of diversity,” said SIIA President Chris Mohr, who handed out the awards. “Diversity is integral in everything our member companies do. These awards not only elevate the phenomenal work being done, but amplify our deep belief that it is our differences which makes us stronger. Congratulations to all of the winners.

“We also extend our sincere appreciation to the IMPACT committee, judges and to the sponsors who made this program possible: Association Vision, Cristaux (the official IMPACT award manufacturer), and PrintCinch.”

Other accomplishments of the winners range from the American Physiological Society’s Porter Physiology Development Fellowship, their flagship diversity program, to Alayna Hyler increasing Questex’s programmatic revenue stream and transforming their client services, to Matt Ausloos taking AHLA’s podcast program from zero to 60 in short time. SIIA commends all of the winners for their hard work and commitments to DEI.

“Diversity makes us all better,” said Fink, “and makes our content better as well.”

“The influx of diversity has made the industry better,” said Rickard, president, Association Vision. “When our leadership matches that diversity, it all gets better.”


Comments are closed.