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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at SIIA

Alone we are smart, but together we are genius.

SIIA members are united by a shared belief that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are critical core values for society and our individual organizations. We believe achieving greater advancement in DEI is not only the morally correct course of action, but also research proves diverse organizations provide better business results. Embracing a diversity of perspectives fuels innovation while connecting us closer to our customers and the communities we serve.

For too long, underlying inequalities, racial biases, and discrimination have plagued the United States and communities around the world, denying too many the ability to contribute to and reap the benefits of the innovation economy. Removing these barriers to elevate opportunities for all individuals to participate will lead to the creation of new businesses and foster economic growth.

As business leaders, we recognize our responsibility to contribute to the betterment of society not only through the information, products, and services we provide but also as good citizens. We also recognize that while DEI is rooted in the need to address historic social inequities, we strive to create workplaces that reflect the communities in which we work, live, and serve our customers and where everyone feels empowered to bring their full, authentic selves to work. This means promoting a workplace culture that welcomes a diversity of ethnicity, gender, identity, nation of origin, and thought.

SIIA is committed to work with our members and within our organization to improve DEI performance for the benefit of our employees, the industry segments we represent, our nation and our world. Our efforts include:

  • Organizational Policy. Ensure that we are an organization making progressive change toward diversity, equity, and inclusion through our hiring practices, culture, operations, and offerings.
  • Member Experience. Assist our members in improving DEI outcomes through our content and knowledge offerings as well as by our example as a membership organization.
  • Promoting diversity in our internal staffing, among our volunteer leadership, our speakers, and presenters, as well as our vendors and partners.

This includes but is not specifically limited to:

  • Ensure the representation of diverse speakers at all SIIA events.
  • Ensure diverse representation across SIIA boards, committees, councils, and working groups.
  • Strengthen leadership and staff accountability and capabilities for inclusion and diversity.
  • Enable equality of opportunity across our organization through fairness and transparency.
  • Promote openness and tackle microaggressions.
  • Foster belonging through support for multivariate diversity.

Promoting DEI is not just about words. It is about action. SIIA will seek to advance our diversity goals in 2021 by:

  • Compiling data to identify metrics. We cannot know how to address inequities until we know what they are. We will capture data on demographics within the SIIA workforce and among speakers across our events to help us understand the diversity of our employees and speaker rosters and identify any areas of concern or
  • Setting a specific metric by which to measure speaker diversity at our events. Once we collect data to establish a baseline, we will set a goal to measure our success in improving outcomes.
  • Conduct a membership survey to help identify their needs as related to DEI and lead to the development of programming, and/or content to help
  • Leverage our content channels to help educate and share solutions. Integrate DEI topics across SIIA content channels, including events, and our digital and print publications. Seek to include one DEI-related story per week/month for newsletters and per issue for Signature magazine, one of our flagship publications.
  • Develop an award to recognize contributions to DEI by SIIA members. Award will be integrated into existing award
  • Review our RFP and contracting processes to ensure we are providing partnership and vendor opportunities for minority-owned and operated businesses and organizations.
  • Revitalize SIIA DEI Staff Committee. Task the committee with conducting an equity audit of our organization and develop specific metrics including questions to examine and hold us accountable in:
    • Organizational success in meeting stated
    • Our recruitment and hiring practices.
    • Ensuring diverse representation across our management and volunteer
    • Provide regular updates and reports to SIIA leadership and help support reports to volunteer

Connectiv To Merge With Major B2B Publishing Associations

Editor’s note: The following is an announcement from Jeff Joseph, President of Connectiv parent SIIA; Meg Hargreaves, SIIA Board Chair; and Kevin Novak, Connectiv Board Chair. 

We hope that this email finds you and your organization in good health and steering to solid ground during this time of upheaval and transformation. We have seen Connectiv members move with impressive agility and originality in accelerating and shifting strategies and operations and we have been pleased to see strong response to Connectiv programs designed to help you navigate these turbulent times.

We are excited to announce change is coming to Connectiv as well. SIIA, the parent association of Connectiv, is pleased to announce the consolidation of ConnectivAssociation Media and Publishing and the Specialized Information Publishers Association into one newly branded association, designed to bring greater value to your membership while retaining the high value programming, content and networking opportunities that have long been hallmarks of each division. This change follows a vote and passage by the SIIA board of a streamlined FY21 budget (effective July 1) and a strategic plan framework that included both this merger and the elimination of two other separate divisions, ETIN and SSD.

The board moved with both strategic and financial considerations in mind as the organization seeks to shape a compelling future-focused value proposition, retain popular programs and conserve resources under a single leader, unified brand and updated website. These efforts were obviously accelerated following COVID-19, which has dealt the Association as well as our members difficult challenges around live events. We are confident this new streamlined and consolidated membership group will be the premier membership organization for the specialized publishing, content, and media community, as we convene, develop, educate and advocate for current and emerging leaders of an industry undergoing rapid and continuous change.

This important effort is not taking place in a vacuum. We have convened a working group consisting of board members and representatives from the three associations to help develop value-added programming, content and a governance and operating structure that provides myriad volunteer opportunities. As we move forward, your interests will continue to be well represented via a new advisory board, which we expect to announce in the coming weeks – along with the new association’s branding, staff leadership and additional volunteer opportunities for you.

Of course, we need and desire current and recent member input as we take the next steps toward building the new organization. To that end, we are working with Readex Research to conduct an online survey designed to probe on membership benefits, service gaps and needs. The insights gained from your survey participation will help ensure that SIIA continues to serve as a valuable resource to you and others in the media, content and publishing industry.

Kindly be on the lookout for a survey link from Readex this Thursday, August 13. The short survey can be completed in about 10-12 minutes, and your participation is greatly appreciated.

This letter is the first of regular updates you will receive throughout August discussing the changes and our new path forward. On August 31, we will hold a live webinar providing an update, further describing the rationale and strategy, and taking your questions. FAQs, which may answer other questions, are now available on the SIIA website.

As our members have long recognized, SIIA operates at a pivotal and difficult juncture for trade associations, exacerbated by the pandemic. We believe this consolidated approach sets a strong foundation to launch a new division, poised for the growth, serving both for-profit and non-profit entities. We hope you will share our excitement as the vision takes shape.

Please feel free to reach out to Jeff or SIIA staff with your questions, comments, or concerns. We greatly welcome and value your input as we move forward. And please let us know if you wish to opt out of future communications on this matter.

Jeff Joseph

Meg Hargreaves

Kevin Novak