How to Create a Committee on Diversity in your ACR State Chapter

1. Commit to the Value of Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion in the radiology and radiation oncology workforce promotes excellence in our profession and in the care we provide to our patients. Do your research on the ACR’s organizational commitment to diversity and inclusion in order to better align the chapter’s goals and initiatives.

  1. ACR Strategic Plan (adopted September 2014) indicates the priority to increase diversity and inclusion in the radiological professions under the section on goals and objectives for membership and member engagement.
  2. ACR Council Resolution entitled “Diversity is Central to our Mission” (adopted May 2015) states “that the American College of Radiology affirms that diversity of our membership, and of the radiological professions in general, strengthens our organization and enhances our ability to achieve our mission.”
  3. ACR Commission for Women and Diversity Strategic Plan (adopted 2014) commits to the vision “to achieve a radiology profession that celebrates diversity and actively promotes inclusion at all levels of training, practice and leadership.”

2. Engage Chapter Leadership

By embracing diversity and inclusion as key to their core missions, organizations derive benefit from various perspectives, experiences and leadership which further performance and allow organizations to excel.

  1. Discuss with the officers on your chapter’s Executive Committee or Board the critical role that state chapters can play in helping the ACR achieve diversity and inclusion as an integral part of its organizational mission.
  2. Make the case that promoting diversity and inclusion initiatives within the chapter will serve to increase membership engagement, bringing more diverse perspectives and experiences to the table. This enhanced participation will recruit new ideas, talent and innovative problem-solving skills which will ultimately strengthen the chapter and expand its impact.
  3. Have the chapter President and other executive leadership approve an initial special or ad hoc Committee on Women and Diversity, appoint the right leader, and recruit a mix of chapter leaders and other active members passionate about the mission and exploring key goals of diversity and inclusion within the chapter.
  4. Draft a bylaws amendment (example in Table 1) to create a Standing Committee to solidify the chapter’s commitment to the ongoing work on diversity and inclusion, present it to chapter leadership for its approval and to the general membership for its vote and final approval at the appropriate meeting.

3. Engage Membership

Promote implementation of diversity initiatives locally at the state level where membership resides and is most directly impacted. Encouraging more diversity and inclusion increases participation of all members, and recruits previously untapped members and underutilized talents to contribute to chapter programs and activities.

  1. Educate the membership by making a diversity a part of your annual or other regular chapter meetings. For example, do a presentation on the work of the ACR Commission for Women and Diversity or provide updates on the work of your chapter diversity committee.
  2. Start small at first—focusing on one or two key areas of activity and incrementally grow diversity initiatives within the chapter, while continuing to enlist passionate members who are willing to provide creative input in the formulation and implementation of initiatives.
  3. Communicate with and engage membership on issues of diversity via newsletters or blogs, reference articles and other resources in a dedicated section of chapter websites.
  4. Invite active and diverse participation of members of your state Residents and Fellows Section (RFS) in initiatives and as working members of your chapter diversity committee. Ensure their representation on the Chapter Board or Executive Committee.

4. Engage the Community

Do active outreach to relevant stakeholders in the community. Collaborative efforts between the chapter and local organizations similarly invested in a mission to empower an inclusive culture will help your chapter to further its work on diversity and inclusion while availing of the knowledge of other thought leaders and existing organizational infrastructure in your community.

  1. Contact the Diversity Officers of local universities or colleges in your area regarding collaborative opportunities to advance diversity initiatives such as increasing exposure of women or underrepresented in medicine (URM) undergraduate, medical or other students to the fields of diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology and the related professions.
  2. Participate in panels, introductory lecture series or workshops, or focus groups aligned with chapter diversity initiatives.
  3. Network in the radiology community to connect diverse groups—for example, women radiologists in academics with those in private practice and other practice settings (multispecialty groups, military, locums).
  4. Find ways that members can enhance the growth of our profession by mentoring or sponsoring female radiology residents or medical students, underrepresented members-in-training or younger physicians in practice or training, or other diverse members aspiring to leadership within the chapter.

Table 1.

Example of the Bylaws amendment submitted by Gail N. Morgan, M.D. Chair, Washington State Radiological Society (WSRS) Bylaws Committee

Proposed Amendment: Add a new section to Article VII establishing the Committee for Women and General Diversity as a standing committee. This committee shall consist of at least 5 members, the Chair appointed by the President. Representation shall be inclusive of active Chapter members and members of the WSRS Resident and Fellows Section (RFS). This committee shall be charged with exploring activities and initiatives which align with the American College of Radiology’s Commission for Women and General Diversity and further its mission.

Rationale: The ACR Strategic Plan includes in its goal to grow, retain and engage the membership a key objective of increasing diversity and inclusion in the radiological professions. This committee would facilitate and coordinate the Chapter’s efforts.