Summary of Forums on Inclusion and Report to the Board of Directors
On Thursday, October 22 at the 2015 Annual Meeting, the AMGA hosted forums on inclusion led by Erica Engle and Derek DeBruin. The focus of the forums was gender inclusion in our guides’ association and the guiding industry at large. The forums were separated by gender to allow each group the opportunity to share their thoughts and experiences in a safe and comfortable environment.
The forums were focused on anecdotal data gathered through qualitative research via semi-structured interviews with 15 female members of the AMGA of diverse ages, backgrounds, geography, and careers. These interviews provided insight into the experiences of women in the organization, both positive and negative. A number of quotes from these women were used by forum participants to spur brainstorming with two goals. The first goal was to determine how the AMGA can continue to serve as a leader for our industry and other IFMGA member countries when it comes to inclusion. The second goal was to identify areas for growth in our organization to create a more inclusive environment that would benefit all members.
Erica and Derek presented the results of these discussion to the Board of Directors at their meeting the following Sunday. At the meeting, the Board voted to create a new ad-hoc committee to address inclusivity with Erica and Derek as co-chairs. The committee also includes the Executive Director (Alex Kosseff), the Technical Director (Dale Remsberg), the Logistics Coordinator (Jane Anderson), the Board President (Rob Hess), and Margaret Wheeler (Board Member).
The committee intends to address numerous initiatives including digital communication resources for female members, educational tools for all members, the establishment of a formal mentorship program, training for the Instructor Team and SP/CW Provider pools, and other organizational initiatives within the AMGA. If you have interest and time to commit to these initiatives, please contact Erica Engle and Derek Debruin directly to see how you can help serve your guides’ association.