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January 13, 2022

Senior Living Industry Groups Join Forces as Catalysts for Diversity and Inclusion

Argentum, the American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA), and the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care (NIC) have formed the Senior Living DEIB Coalition in a shared commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) to empower businesses operating in and around senior living.

The goal is to co-create a plan of action and strategy around DEIB, including the development of resources that inform, equip, and catalyze positive impact and thinking around DEIB.

“As industry challenges continue with recruiting and retaining talent, we hope this effort can serve to catalyze thinking around diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, and how it is critical to future business, how it will strengthen human capital, and why it is the right thing to do,” shared James Balda, president & CEO of Argentum.

ASHA president & CEO David Schless added, “It has been mentioned that talent is equal but oftentimes opportunity is not. This coalition is driven to an eventual goal of equally distributed opportunity, thus empowering diversity and industry growth.”

Initial steps under way

The coalition’s three-step process is designed to inform itself and the industry about the current DEIB picture, needs, and data and to determine the most effective ways the three industry groups can support DEIB in senior living.

As a first step, third-party consulting firm The Axela Group is conducting detailed interviews with several industry thought leaders on the current state of DEIB and the future vision for DEIB. Second, The Axela Group will form a diverse industry work group to address challenges and opportunities around DEIB.

Third, the coalition and work group will collaborate with Ferguson Partners, a leader in industry intelligence, to develop and conduct a DEIB survey to gain organizational insights and perspectives from senior living operators and owners.

The themes and insights gathered through the interviews, work group, and survey will support the DEIB Coalition to co-create a long-term action plan and an industry call for positive and real change, as well as to prioritize the development of supporting tools, education, and resources for senior living owners and operators to advance best practices around DEIB.

“This initiative will be a very intentional and thorough process to launch a long-term movement around DEIB, with a desire to measure and realize industry progress year-over-year,” stated Brian Jurutka, president & CEO of NIC. “The member organizations within the coalition felt it critical to unite and advance this initiative together. We are all excited to be a part of this important industry movement and the positive change it will generate.”

Volunteers sought for work group

The coalition is seeking a manageable number of volunteers to form the initial work group, with diverse race, ethnicity, gender, orientation, and abilities representation being a priority. Pending applications and demand, some volunteers may not be offered a seat in this initial work group; however, all applicants will be added to a DEIB support list for future DEIB initiatives or opportunities.

The initial work group will meet February 16, 9:00-11:00 AM ET and February 22, 1:00-3:00 PM ET, with the potential for an additional session or two based on work progress. Senior living professionals interested in volunteering for the DEIB work group can fill out this information form or reach out to [email protected] for more details. The application deadline is January 21, 2022.

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