Mar 11, 2021

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) Committee

The IES Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Respect (DEIR) Committee was created to shape the internal and external systems, processes, and assumptions of the organization from the view of a newer, more inclusive lens.
  Join the IES and on Friday November 4th (11:00am – 5:00pm ET) as we explore the intersection of lighting in the public realm with environmental justice and social equity. This virtual event will examine the history of lighting injustice, current knowledge and policies, and just lighting in practice. LEARN MORE

Message from DEIR Chair

June 3, 2022

In the beginning, there was light.  It had no color and knew no color.  It simply shined.   What it shined upon meant nothing to light.  It is all colors and any one color at the same time. We believe in a Lighting Society that recognizes this fact.  That has dedicated itself to the study of this medium making great strides in knowledge and applicable practice for the betterment of the Earthen environment.  Yet, it also admits the humility of what is yet to be known from this complex medium.  It remains perceptibly any one color and yet is composed of all colors.  We appreciate it for the complex entity that it is without thought or judgement.  We recognize that our primary interaction and perception lies within the reflectance of surfaces that give it the qualities that we associate with it.  Light does not shine any more or less on the white sand, red clay, black and brown soil.  It brings all of its majesty equally on all surfaces and we see.  When there is no light, we cannot see.  We become afraid, anxious, and feel helpless.  Yet, when there is light, any light, any color, we can see.  Our anxiety and fear is alleviated.  We feel empowered again within our surroundings.  We believe everyone should feel this safe and empowered.

We believe in a Society that admits these things and wants all to see, equally and with the same opportunities.  We believe in what the IES can be.  We believe…

IES Statement of Support for NACLIQ

May 26, 2022

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) is proud to support the North American Coalition of Lighting Industry Queers (NACLIQ). NACLIQ exists to provide a safe space for all LGBTQIA+ members and others in the lighting community.

The IES strives to positively impact our Society and the global lighting industry at-large to promote a community that is diverse, equitable, inclusive and respectful of all members. We are eager to participate in discussions that lead to the sharing of differing points of view and the evolution of new ideas. The IES community is made of up a vast number of different ethnic, sexual, religious and other backgrounds and values, and we are committed to moving forward in a genuine and formative way by radiating and promoting inclusiveness.

Our support of NACLIQ is rooted in our commitment to DEIR principles and initiatives. From their website, NACLIQ is “dedicated to uniting all gender and sexual minorities in the lighting industry to address important issues such as workplace and hiring discrimination, income inequality, harassment, inclusion, representation, etc.” IES looks forward to working with like-minded organizations to advocate for these and other issues in the interest of a more just and inclusive lighting community.

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.

IES Diversity | Equity | Inclusion | Respect

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:

Lauren Dandridge Gains, Peter Hugh, Tanya Hernandez

IES Board of Directors and Staff Statement of Support for Black Lives

To 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 Scope

Identify 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

Peter Hugh, Committee Chair

Hugh Lighting Design
“I joined this committee on the belief that the lighting profession is a better one when we are a profession of all people regardless of their diverse make up. The knowledge bases, experience, cultural values, and expertise that all people can bring when provided equal opportunities to contribute only further adds to the credibility and strength of the IES. As the nation, and indeed the world continues to evolve and become one world, the IES must similarly evolve and take a good hard look into the mirror, determine how we can grow in knowledge and tolerance to be a better Society and role model.”
Mariel Taviana Acevedo

Mariel Taviana Acevedo

“We cannot be the group that writes the Recommended Practices for lighting for everyone, when everyone is not part of the process. The needs and preferences of different groups need to be part of the scientific and academic studies, the voices and experiences of everyone need to be part of the committees and the faces of everyone should be part of our leadership, presenters and participants. Helping the IES establish policies that will make this happen is why I joined DEIR.”
Edward Bartholomew

Edward Bartholomew

Bartholomew Lighting
“I wanted to be a part of DEIR because it corresponds with what I have fought for and experienced my entire career. To me, diversity is more than just increasing the proportion of non-white, non-male members of an organization. I believe that a design firm should have diverse and just practices. Diversity and inclusion are critical to a design practice that effectively furthers justice in demonstrable ways: The power, position, and influence of its leadership and staff. How it represents itself and promotes its values. The type of clients and projects it pursues or rejects. And, how it effectively serves under-represented communities through an inclusive design process with a genuinely diverse design team. Based on this definition, diversity as a practice is anti-racist.”
Bernadette Boudreaux

Bernadette Boudreaux

“In the future I will be graduating from the EP program and intent to establish myself as an industry recognized resource in relation to the DLC and other energy and diversity related activities. Since I have been fortunate to have great mentors/support, I intend to offer the same to the new generation of EPs by sharing experiences, knowledge, and resources. As a black woman, I have also recognized the need for more diversity and inclusion, and I intend to be a change-agent and very active in this arena for our industry. I want to be example to EPs and young brown girls that there is opportunity in lighting, and you can be successful. I hope to assist and work with the various organizations to ensure there are processes/tools in place that ensure more groups will be included and supported.”
Rita M. Harrold

Rita Harrold

Rita Harrold became the first woman President of the IES in 1985, seventy-nine years after the IES was established.
James Potts

James Potts

Salty Raven
“I am serving on the DEIR committee as a liaison to the IES Board in my Board Officer role as Treasurer. My mission is to assist with needs that require Board interaction or communication to insure the success of the goals DEIR put forward. I am firm believer in this Committee and feel the needs to reach everyone that is participating, utilizing and influenced by the IES has fair and equal voice available to them. Focusing on equality for all is always something that should be continuously sought and improved as needed. IES is and will be available to all. ”
Susanne Seitinger

Susanne Seitinger, PhD

“As the new IES president, I’m honored to serve as a liaison to the DEIR committee. As a board member over the last several years, I’ve seen the Society pivot to a more open and inclusive approach to all our programming, policies and procedures. I’m also convinced that our strategic advocacy plan reflects this evolution and prepared us to make some decisive statements during the pandemic in response to protests on racial justice in 2020. I’m proud to have been part of these efforts in a small way and I appreciate the opportunity to learn and grow with the incredible founding members of the IES DEIR committee.”
Elizabeth Williams

Elizabeth Williams


“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.”