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CEOs make public pledges for action on diversity and inclusion

Initiative started in the private sector now has more than 1,300 signatories, including a growing number of association and nonprofit leaders

Chris Busky

Oct. 9, 2020
By Lori Sharn

When Chris Busky signed the CEO Action pledge in 2018, he said there were probably “just a handful of associations” participating in an effort launched by business leaders to advance more inclusive workplaces. Today, dozens of association chief executives have joined CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, publicly committing themselves and their organizations to implement unconscious bias training, foster open dialogue and take other crucial but sometimes difficult actions.

Key to the initiative: sharing both their successes and failures on this journey.

Busky, CEO of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, attended his first closed-door meeting for CEO Action signatories in November 2018 and was struck by how “brutally honest” people were about some of the missteps they had taken. While IDSA has about 60 individuals on staff, some of the corporate CEOs at the meeting had hundreds of thousands of employees, Busky said.