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How to Support Diversity in Your Association’s Industry

With the right approaches, you can run a career fair that not only gives members some of the top benefits they’re seeing but also supports diversity in your industry. Here’s how.


Diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) has become a powerful movement. Many organizations are considering how to use principles of DEI to encourage greater innovation, greater collaboration, and new ideas.

As you consider how your association can support a diverse community, here’s something to think about: Offering a career fair is a great way to connect leading employers in your industry with a broad pool of talented and diverse candidates (your members and prospective members).

You might not automatically think about career events, like career fairs, when it comes to supporting diversity in your industry. But consider this: the 2023 Association Trends Study by Community Brands indicates that job opportunities and help with career advancement are among the most important benefits to members. And with the right approaches, you can run a career fair that not only gives members some of the top benefits they’re seeking but also supports diversity.

Here are five steps to help your association run a career fair that supports diversity in your industry or profession:

1. Brand your career fair as diversity-driven.

Make sure your career fair branding helps to make all of your members and prospective members feel supported and encouraged to attend. For example, ensure your career fair title and branding promote the event as diversity-driven. Also, use images and messaging that are both inclusive and reflect your organization’s mission.

2. Partner up with other diversity-focused organizations.

Show your members that you are committed and willing to support them alongside other like-minded organizations by partnering with an organization that also supports diversity. This could be a charity, educational system, or fellow association.

3. Invite a thought leader to speak about a DEI topic.

Bring enriching content to your event by inviting a thought leader to participate. This person should have a powerful story or experience to share with your audience. Invite your thought leader to have their own booth, give a presentation, or simply provide a powerful speech.

4. Market employers’ DEI initiatives.

Make sure your members know that employers participating in your career fair have a strong diversity initiative. Send out an email before the event showcasing the employers and highlighting each companies’ DEI initiatives.

5. Include a welcoming message from your executive director or CEO.

Use a welcome message, such as a pre-recorded video, as the kickoff to your event. The message should convey to your members and other participants that this career fair event is important to all members and levels of your association. Seeing that the CEO can take time to share a personalized message will go a long way toward making everyone feel included.

Discover more ideas about DEI and associations.

Read the guide on Fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

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