Building a Truly Inclusive LMA

Building a Truly Inclusive LMA

By Ashley Black , Morgan Horvitz
December 06, 2022 | 4-minute read
Marketing Management and Leadership Content Type Article Video
Business Development
Share this story

In 2022, LMA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee set out to do more than just move the needle. We developed a plan that would make a genuine impact and chart a path toward a truly inclusive LMA.

After careful review of the DEI study and survey conducted by Converge on behalf of the organization, we established three distinct goals that would create the biggest impact. They would also be achievable with the help of the committee, the DEI Shared Interest Group (SIG) and by engaging a larger group of our diverse volunteer leaders.

Our 3 DEI Goals

Communications and Transparency: Our Communications Subcommittee set out to organize and execute a cohesive communications strategy. They focused on ensuring LMA’s communications provide a DEI lens and fully utilize LMA’s platforms to amplify the DEI committee goals and outcomes. In doing this, we asked LMA’s professional marketing team to take on the organization’s messaging on the various heritage and appreciation months and days, allowing the committee to focus on highlighting diverse authors and voices, bringing light to the organization’s structure and volunteer opportunities and providing a platform for our members to learn more about our diversity initiatives.

We also took time to define and amplify the roles and objectives for both the DEI Committee and the DEI SIG, to ensure we share ideas and fully utilize both groups to improve the LMA experience for our diverse members. We have also asked each DEI Committee member to post on the DEI SIG forum at least once per month, with the goal of encouraging more involvement in the group from our membership.

Overall Feeling of Inclusivity: The Member Resource Subcommittee started with two directives. The first was to launch the inaugural Member Resource Group (MRG) within LMA to serve an underrepresented demographic within the organization. This was a pilot to advance the idea of building an inclusive and collaborative community within LMA through the development of a safe space for deeper conversations about lived experiences. After a survey of our membership and a roundtable discussion with many of our diverse members, it was decided that the organization would launch three MRGs in 2022: LGBTQ+, Members of Color and Allies.

The second directive for this subcommittee was to develop an updated DEI Resource Center for our members. This comprised a facelift of the current page, highlighting educational articles and podcasts, regular spotlights on diverse members or groups. This also gave members access to the new MRG pages, a calendar of LMA’s diversity-related webinars and events and links to additional categorized resources.

Diversification of Leadership and Volunteer Opportunities: This Leadership Diversification subcommittee spent the year working in tandem with the Talent Development Committee to develop a diverse, inclusive leadership pipeline and provide resources and support to existing diverse, inclusive leadership. A number of webinars on this topic were provided to LMA’s membership throughout the year, which you can find in the DEI Resource Center.

Outcomes and Evidence

This year, monthly pieces have been written and published by and for our diverse members and allies, and we have developed a content calendar that will take us well into 2023. Multiple webinars featuring diverse speakers were put on by the Talent Development Committee, and multiple projects are in the works to continue strengthening the voices of our diverse members in leadership. At this time, diverse facilitators have gone through training for each of our three MRGs. Each group has held an initial meeting, with a plan to meet every other month.

While the racial diversity of our most visible volunteer leaders in 2023 mirrors our membership’s diversity and then some, there is still a feeling that our leadership is not diverse enough and our diverse members are searching for people they identify with. We are doing the work, but there is so much more to do, and so many more people and opportunities we need to dedicate time and resources to highlight.

How Can You Help?

At this time, only 45% of our members have completed the field about racial diversity on their member profile. In order to get a complete picture of our membership’s diversity and continue the progress we made this year, it is important that everyone fill out this part of their profile. Please take a moment to look at your profile on the website and make sure it’s complete.

Ashley Black
Porter Hedges LLP

Ashley Black is the diversity and inclusion manager for Porter Hedges LLP in Houston, Texas, and serves as the 2022 co-chair of LMA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. She holds a bachelor of science from Clemson University, a master of science from Florida State University, a diversity and inclusion certificate from Cornell University and has her Professional in Human Resources Certification. She currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona, with her husband, daughter and giant schnauzer.

Morgan Horvitz

With more than 15 years of industry experience, Morgan leads teams that develop and implement firm, regional, sector, and stakeholder-specific initiatives that expand band awareness, bring in new business, and heighten client satisfaction. Morgan received her master of arts in integrated marketing from Emerson College and her bachelor of arts in broadcast journalism from the University of Oklahoma. She currently serves on LMA’s International Board of Directors and as a co-chair of LMA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.