Diversity & Inclusion
A working definition for diversity is: all the ways we differ, the various identities that make us unique individuals. For inclusion, a working definition is: an environment where all individuals and groups feel valued welcomed and engaged. Diversity and Inclusion are interconnected concepts – not synonyms. Diversity and Inclusion are not a natural response, political correctness or compliance, an end onto itself, lowering standards, changing others, somebody else’s responsibility or program du jour.
AHIMA defines diversity in the broadest sense, such as differences in race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical capabilities, and religious beliefs; domains of HIM practice and AHIMA credentials; cultural histories, backgrounds, and personal experiences. Also the AHIMA Code of Ethics clearly states that the "inherent dignity and worth of every person" should be respected.
Benefits to diversity include access to the best and brightest professionals, source of innovation, more productive teams, broader leadership competency, new business/revenues, competitive advantage, more resilient culture, brand enhancement, and culture change.
AHIMA has taken several steps to embrace diversity and inclusion:
- A Diversity Analysis was conducted in 2007 and 2009, and was summarized in an AHIMA Advantage article.
- A House Resolution was developed and approved by the House of Delegates in 2011.
- The AHIMA Foundation added a diversity-related question to the scholarship application and considers diversity in scholarship selection
- The Nominating Committee uses the Application to Serve to identify candidates and considers diversity in ballot selection.
- The House of Delegates, through its House Team on Volunteer & Leadership Development has ongoing discussion about the Diversity Resolution and the 2009 AHIMA Volunteer Diversity Analysis. The Team has considered the following elements of diversity: age, gender, and credentials, and calls for AHIMA to embrace inclusion and diverse volunteer leaders.
- AHIMA acknowledges Component State Associations that have achieved and exceeded core services in eight categories, one of which is diversity. These achievements are recognized annually at the AHIMA Leadership Conference and AHIMA Advantage articles.
- A Diversity Community of Practice is available for AHIMA members to discuss and encourage diversity and inclusion.
| Diversity Breakdown by Race|
| || U.S. Population Esimate*|| Active AHIMA Members**|| Active Student Members**|
| Caucasian|| 78%|| 81%|| 67%|
| African American|| 15%|| 8%|| 17%|
| Asian|| 6%|| 5%|| 6%|
| Hispanic|| 16%|| 4%|| 7%|
| Native American|| 1%|| 1%|| 2%|
| Bi-Racial|| 2%|| 1%|| 2%|
* Source: 2010 Population Estimates, Population Division, US Census Bureau
** Source: 2011 AHIMA Membership Profile Data