We caught up with National Pest Management Association (NPMA) CEO Dominique Stumpf, CAE, for an update on the activities of the association’s Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (IDE) Task Force.
1. The IDE Task Force was formed in September 2021. Why was it created, and what has it accomplished since it launched?
The task force was created to assess the structural pest control industry’s IDE needs and work toward implementing solutions that improve the inclusivity of the pest control industry. We want to reflect the diverse communities in which pest management professionals (PMPs) serve. The task force also was charged with enhancing the industry’s ability to attract diverse prospective professionals in this highly competitive and diverse labor market.
The group met several times over the course of nine months, from September 2021 through May 2022. With the assistance of NPMA staff and a professional facilitator, the task force outlined and put forth a detailed action plan for the future that was unanimously supported by our board of directors at our Executive Leadership Forum in June.
2. Could you please tell us more about this plan?
It identifies four initial priority areas: establishing an inclusive and diverse leadership at both the board and committee levels, establishing an IDE plan and fundraising strategy, creating inclusive recruitment and retention, and ensuring diversity and inclusion at NPMA events.
Already, we’ve taken concrete steps in how we seek out new volunteer leaders. We are being proactive in our outreach, and now have a more comprehensive process for how our elected leaders are nominated and vetted for the annual election process. We’ve also appointed an IDE ambassador to each of our volunteer committees. These ambassadors are the conduit between recommendations of the task force and the activities of each committee, and also serve as the “welcoming” lead to ensure all voices are represented in committee discussions.
3. You’re saying the plan the task force created is now being rolled out across the NPMA?
Exactly. While many of these tactics will be facilitated from an organizational standpoint with an NPMA staff lead, there will be engagement with each of the councils to meet the objectives. The task force completed its mission, so now the work starts with the leadership, the board, as well as our individual councils and committees. We’ll have more specific details to share about this after PestWorld 2022 takes place in Boston, Mass., next month.
4. How can PMPs get involved with the NPMA’s plans to implement diversity and inclusion initiatives across the industry?
The NPMA welcomes new volunteers for inclusion in all of our councils and committees each year. We encourage our members to visit NPMAPestWorld.org/volunteer, where they can review the roles of volunteer members, the activities of each of our current groups, and sign up to be a part of projects and initiatives.
5. How are you feeling about the progress being made thus far on the IDE Task Force’s recommended plan?
I’m always blown away by how enthusiastically and generously NPMA members come together to tackle an issue and work together toward the greater good. This is no exception. Our leadership is committed to making progress on the objectives set out by the task force, and continues to engage membership in the process. An inclusive environment builds both our association and the industry for the future, so it’s a win-win.