AMS is initiating an Equity Assessment (EA) process to allow the organization to fully integrate equity, inclusion, and justice (EIJ) into its programmatic activities and policies, foster a sense of belonging for its membership, and guide the activities of the Society over the short- and long-term.
The goals of the Equity Assessment are:
- Collect and analyze longitudinal data through a quantitative and qualitative Culture Survey to understand membership demographics, and identify successes, challenges, and needs in integrating EIJ.
- Develop an EIJ strategic plan from the Culture Survey data with goals, strategies, metrics, and benchmarks to fully integrate EIJ into AMS’s overall strategic plan and evaluate the impact of EIJ goals over time.
What is an Equity Assessment?
An Equity Assessment is a structured set of activities that illuminates an organization’s current culture, reveals the experiences of its members and staff, and provides strategic direction and transparency to create an equitable, inclusive, and just organization. Since 1973, AMS has been working to create a more inclusive society and has several ongoing initiatives that support this work. The Equity Assessment is a next step in this lifelong work. It represents:
- Qualitative and quantitative review of our practices, policies, and procedures.
- Establishing a baseline dataset for measuring the effectiveness of the actions put in place in response to those recommendations.
- Opportunity to review and pivot around our needs over the short and long-term.
- An additional tool set to complement the work already in place.
Steps in the Equity Assessment Process
There are three steps in the EA, which will repeat every several years to collect longitudinal data. Each step incorporates input and feedback from a variety of partners including membership, the Executive Committee, Council, Commissioners, and staff. In 2023, we started Step 1 through a review of AMS policies. We will start pre-survey focus groups.
- Assess the current AMS culture through a review of policies and practices, as well as pre-survey focus groups.
- Design and administer a Culture Survey instrument and analyze data to prioritize the most critical needs.
- Use the data, in conjunction with membership input, to develop an EIJ strategic plan with goals, benchmarks, strategies, and metrics.
Words matter. Language is one of the most powerful tools we have as humans. It has the potential to create a common understanding. The importance of shared language is even more crucial when we are working to dismantle the histories of exclusion and marginalization around identity. Given that language is dynamic, it is key to start with shared definitions.