Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) Committee
IES DEIR Chair Report
October 26, 2021
Since the creation of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Respect (DEIR) Committee, we have been steadily working on the means to bring awareness of the committee as well as begin the research we needed to develop plans for recommendations to the IES Board of Directors. We developed a survey for release to the membership to provide us with information that the Society had never obtained. This included candid assessments of the diverse make up of the Society, the opinions regarding personal comfort in IES events, and exposure to DEI in the workplace. We received a 10% return on the survey and are using that information for developing programs and ideas for the Board to consider.
During the IES Conference, we held a series of awareness videos where we discussed the committee’s charter and some thoughts of where we will be going from here. The committee has a representative on the search committee for the new Executive Director and have worked to put in DEI language into the parameters for the new Executive Director.
The committee has identified existing programs within the Society that could benefit from DEI recommendations. They include (but are not limited to) the education and awards programs.
One of the unexpected things that came up this year was that we have become an inspiration/leader of a DEIR program within the greater lighting community. We have been contacted by groups within W.I.L.D, the IALD/LIRC, and others regarding our thoughts for where DEI principles and actions could be considered and implemented within the lighting industry. Though this is technically not within the charter of this committee, we are happy to act as liaisons to these groups. This may become something that we consider expanding this role given the reception of DEI principles in the industry.
Most recently, we are looking at working with the Society to continue recognizing holidays and days of recognition for more diverse groups. We are working with IES to provide translation tools and means for members with disabilities to better interact with the society website. We have been asked to develop a working checklist of recommendations for all IES committees to use going forward to recognize opportunities for furthering DEI involvement. This is especially important as the IES Strategic plans includes further international growth and recognition. We realize that this committee must grow to allow us to move forward exploring these opportunities and develop recommendations for the Society. We have begun the process of bringing on an independent DEI consultant to help us navigate the waters around this subject and how it can beneficially be integrated into a technical society such as IES.
This has been an overall encouraging year for this committee. We cannot express the appreciation we have for the backing of the IES Board and staff. We are fully cognizant of the trepidation of this addition to the society, but knowing that the Board understands the positive effects that it can have, now and in the future, things are promising indeed.
From the LightFair blog (February 24, 2021):
Our vision of serving as a global platform for lighting innovation would not be possible without a vibrant and diverse lighting community offering a broad range of perspectives and expertise.
In honor of Black History Month, we profile inspiring lighting industry leaders who share their views on representation, opportunity, diversity, inclusion, equality and offer glimpses into their own journey.
We are grateful to Tanya Hernandez, Peter A. Hugh and Lauren Dandridge Gaines for participating in our series, and sharing their stories, voices and inspiration with us. Their thoughtful posts offer plenty to reflect on. While there are encouraging signs of positive change in our industry, true change only comes about when each one of us commits to being open-minded, checking inadvertent bias, and speaking up on behalf of someone who may not have representation at the table.
Do check out the inspiring posts from each of these amazing lighting industry leaders and voices:
- Inclusion, Opportunities and Ownership: Encouraging Diversity, Representation and Inclusion in the Lighting Industry – Tanya Hernandez, PE, LC
- Incorporating Diversity, Equality, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) into the IES Culture – Peter A. Hugh, IALD, IES
- Diversity is a Push for Opportunity – Lauren Dandridge Gaines, LC, IES
IES Board of Directors and Staff Statement of Support for Black LivesTo IES Members and the lighting community, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others have lost their lives because they were Black. Murdered, because they were Black. Unfortunately, due to the deep-seated systemic racism that exists, unless we act now, there will likely be others. Read more
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) Committee ScopeIdentify standards, best practices, and related frameworks governing Diversity and Inclusion globally, including:
- Systems to provide opportunities for self-identification in data collection
- Protocols for education, development, and implementation of the DEIR lens, specifically during the onboarding process for staff, members, and volunteers
- Procedures for measurement of data to evaluate causation, correlation and progress
- Identify and nurture meaningful and valuable partnerships with appropriate organizations
- Identify channels and opportunities for articles, blogs, and posts on this topic within IES and with partner organizations
- Develop and manage a virtual community(ies) around diversity, inclusion, and equity to drive member engagement and communication in a safe environment
- Support relevant existing IES programs, events, and publications with a DEIR lens for improving messaging, materials, and opportunities for staff, members, and volunteers
- Recommend to IES Board of Directors and Staff Liaison approaches to identify future potential volunteer leaders in underrepresented groups within IES current membership for sections, committees, and board positions.
- Participate in educational opportunities at all levels of the Society as DEIR subject-matter experts at IES, IES-sponsored, IES-section, and non-IES events
- Identify potential research topics within our industry and participate in research around DEIR issues
Peter Hugh, Committee Chair
Mariel Taviana Acevedo
Susanne Seitinger, PhD
“I know what it’s like to be disrespected, just for being who I am. I want to do everything I can to prevent others from feeling that way. I believe that diversity education, equity and inclusion must become integral to our professional environments, and that the key to doing so is making a commitment to ourselves and each other to listen, learn and grow from challenges. I am proud to embark on this vital endeavor with the IES DEIR Committee.”