Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Objective: Maintain a Welcoming Place for All on Their Career Journeys

NCMA recognizes that access to opportunities and resources differ for each of us on our career journeys. We also believe that access, belonging, and diversity in all its dimensions are paramount to effective outcomes while on the job and on those career journeys.

As the professional society for contract management and acquisition-related functions, we know the importance of a community that welcomes all. Our profession is most effective when diverse perspectives are applied to finding procurement solutions that best serve missions. Diversity of ethnicity, gender identity, and experiences encourage powerful perspectives and enriching outcomes.

NCMA supports respectful dialog to uncover and celebrate different perspectives that demonstrate the value of diversity. With that as a goal, and to continuously maintain a welcoming place for all on their career journeys, the Board of Directors stood up the DE&I Council to provide recommendations and take on special projects to uncover blind spots that could prevent us from achieving our goal. See Resources below for the results of a 2023 membership study and articles on changes to our National Board process.

The Council reflects views from across the entire organization, including Directors, Committee members, Chapter leadership, standards and certifications oversight functions, Board of Advisors, Council of Fellows, CMLDP, and members at large. Their recommendations and statement of beliefs will be public for transparency and further awareness of progress.

On behalf of our association, we ask for your commitment to continue to welcome all in their journeys at NCMA.

Denyce Carter, PY24 Board Chair
Kraig Conrad, CEO

What We Believe

NCMA strongly believes that a diverse workforce in an inclusive environment will improve individual and organizational performance in the contract management profession. We are fully committed to the approach to assist in the advancement of equity and support for contract management personnel. NCMA will continue working with members and stakeholders to help create a more diverse, high performing, professionally trained workforce. 

Results from the 2023 NCMA DE&I Study

Embed in the fabric of the association    

The NCMA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council (DE&I Council) continues efforts by the NCMA National Board to identify strategies to embed and sustain DE&I in the fabric of how the association is governed, managed, and operated to foster and maintain a culture of trust and removal of barriers to opportunities within NCMA.

The DE&I Council increases member awareness of National leadership positions by encouraging recruitment, retention, and advancement of interested members to grow through successive and varying experiences in an equitable, fair, and inclusive manner.

NCMA DE&I Triad: Community, Governance, and Practice

Community

1. Objectively measure NCMA community experiences      

Establish a baseline of membership experience through the lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.

Conduct independent DE&I assessments regularly (no less frequently than the Strategic Plan updates every 3 years) to understand NCMA progress toward objectives to continuously promote and ingrain DE&I principles in the Association's governance.

Continuously employ methods to understand member perceptions and epxpectations of NCMA DE&I practices.

Implement recommendations so that NCMA can create a roadmap for identifying measurable DE&I objectives and goals.

2. Know the NCMA community     

Use NCMA profiles to capture member demographics to ascertain representation and identify areas where NCMA can implement practices that reflect the diversity of the Association.

Consider member demographics in governance, content development, and speaker selection.

3. Engage chapter leadership      

Incorporate DE&I recommendations into the Chapter Playbook and add related elements to the awards process. The Chapter Playbook is the guide shared with Chapter Leaders on how to manage and run a Chapter. The Playbook should encourage greater transparency in Chapter Leadership selection procedures and DE&I principles.

National to continue Chapter engagement to extend the DE&I campaign, per recommendation, 6. Increase transparency, and share the objective of this effort, which is to promote and sustain a welcoming place for all on their career journeys.

4. Grow our community      

Enhance academic outreach efforts to help students see themselves in our community. Share with students the contract management career journey from both buyer and seller perspectives. Expand our community to professionals in acquisition related practices.

Tell the stories and share the experiences. Provide insight on our programs, events, and initiatives to educate, engage, and captivate!

5. Promote diversity of NCMA community      

Consider the diversity of our community when creating resources and materials used to educate our members and promote our brand, products, or other services.

Governance

6. Increase transparency      

Increase transparency of the selection process to NCMA members for National and Chapter leadership positions and communicate progress that fosters NCMA DE&I goals and objectives.

Conduct research to identify ways to keep members informed on DE&I initiatives. For example, consider sharing updates on the NCMA resources page that at a minimum include the following: 

  • References to the President's Executive Order 13985 on DE&I
  • NCMA Leadership goals and objectives in support of its own DE&I awareness policies and campaigns, including importance of DE&I structures relative to strength and diversity in CM
  • Charter and intent of NCMA DE&I Council
  • Metrics and demographics of NCMA leadership and overall membership
  • Changes to policies in the Association Policy Manual

For further transparency, include updates on initiatives in opening remarks in speeches, articles, and videos from leadership. 

7. Further governance leadership introspection      

Board of Directors and Committee members commit to ongoing behavioral self-assessments and team building activities for greater awareness of leadership styles to help foster productive, inclusive dialogue that values all forms of diversity. Review and analyze NCMA documents, such as policies and procedures, to ensure words and actions are clear and consistent.

Practice

8. Invite people as they contemplate their career journeys      

Establish an outreach program to universities and Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) that represent underrepresented populations, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Asian, Latino and Hispanic, Native American, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students. This, in turn, will expand the awareness of CM as a career/profession to schools who are either underrepresented or are not afforded the same opportunities and resources. All students, regardless of course of study, are welcome to participate.

Outreach program to include NCMA leaders, volunteers, and CMLDP alumni as resources to speak to students.

9. Provide a consistent message to our community     

Include DE&I content and discussion in the CMLDP and other volunteer leadership programs, such as Chapter Leadership and National events focusing on how our community welcomes all on their career journeys. Ensure speakers, programs, events, and materials reflect adherence and belief in the importance of DE&I to ensure the profession and community reflects a culture of inclusion.

Consider including DE&I content in CMBOK™ 7 under Guiding Principle and Team Dynamics/Empathy.

DE&I Council

Diversity Equity and Inclusion group photo

From left to right: Will Cannon, Steve Woo, Heather Gerczak Dallara, Wanda Wallace, Soraya Correa,
Denyce Carter, Shene Commodore, Omar Nuno, Demetrius D. Kittrell

Not pictured: Alan J. Boykin, Kraig Conrad and Ruby Harvey

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