Today I want to celebrate diversity—not just talk about it but truly celebrate it.
Fifty years ago, an uprising occurred at the Stonewall Inn in New York City that changed the face of diversity forever. It opened doors not just to one community but to a nation that was still struggling with equality based on gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. That day, the nation experienced a shift that, 50 years later, stands as a focal point for inclusion in profound ways.
Why do I focus on diversity today? The answer comes from our recently completed TMA Global nominations process. As part of that effort, we at TMA Global reached out to women, young professionals, and international members in a targeted way to urge them to become part of the global conversation.
We broadcast loudly and clearly that everyone is welcome to a seat at the table in this Big Tent. We promised inclusion for all of our members. And we wanted to break the glass ceiling and show that who we are is about empowerment of all.
The result? I am proud to share that this year we have nearly 80 nominees for TMA Global board positions for 2020, a record. But it’s more than the number of nominees that is truly impressive. It is where the nominees came from.
Our nominees for TMA Global board roles came from 22 North American and four international chapters. Our presence, messaging, and support motivated nominees from 11 chapters that have had minimal or no global participation in the past. Our younger members are taking ownership of the future, and women members of TMA continue to make a statement by upping their involvement and engagement as well.
Of the almost 80 nominations for 2020 TMA Global Board of Trustees and Executive Board roles, nearly half were for women and TMA NextGen members. That is 23 women and 15 NextGen members, a feat I suspect no other organization in the restructuring space can even come close to matching.
The Nominations Committee, chaired by Immediate Past Chair Milly Chow, has begun its deliberations and will forward its final slate of nominees to the Executive Board to act upon at its meeting at The Annual in Cleveland in September.
The face of TMA is changing because of our members’ diversity. It is changing because our members have taken ownership of our future. And it is changing because in the field of leaders who have emerged for next year, there is a wave of excitement, creativity, ambition, and drive. This makes me TMA proud.
Diversity—embracing it, fostering it, and making a reality of the opportunity associated with it is yet one more distinguishing and powerful attribute of this TMA.