When I was elected Chairman of the Arthur W. Page Society last year, many members told me that Page should be more diverse, so that we can benefit from the breadth of knowledge and experiences of our peers from around the world. Member surveys have shown that similar sentiment exists right across the Society.
Our Diversity and Inclusion workstream, co-chaired by Sheryl Battles of Pitney Bowes and Ellen East of Time Warner Cable, is exploring how Page can help encourage diverse candidates to consider and remain in the profession. They are partnering with PRSA Foundation to develop research that will help us to benchmark the profession on these issues. We'll be looking at best practice across recruitment and retention of diverse talent, and then, will seek to develop and establish realistic, measurable benchmarks for improvement, for the Society, for our membership and for the communications industry.
Globalization is a key facet of diversifying Page, and our Globalization workstream, co-chaired by Sandra Macleod and Tom Kowaleski, is seeking to build an understanding of the Page Society and its thought leadership content, among non-U.S. members and potential members. In 2014, this included Page leading or participating in events in Madrid, London, Dubai and Tokyo. As I write this post, I'm looking forward to travelling to London for the upcoming Insight Forum hosted by Tim Baxter of Standard Chartered. We also hope to host recruitment events in 2015 in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Sao Paolo, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Toronto.
We are guided by our seven Page Principles, one of which is Manage for Tomorrow. It is our responsibility to equip future generations of CCOs with the knowledge, capabilities and mindsets that they will need to effectively lead communications for their diverse, global enterprises. Diversifying Page enriches us all, widening our experience and knowledge pool to strengthen the thought leadership that we develop for the profession.
But we need to ask ourselves difficult questions. We operate in a global business environment, with diverse, global markets and stakeholders. Is it right then, that the Page Society is developing thought leadership on the future of the global CCO based on learnings extracted largely from a majority of American CCOs of American-based enterprises? Today, only nine percent of our 578 members are from outside the U.S. How would you feel if it was 50 percent? How would we manage that kind of growth and still maintain the sense of intimacy and connectivity of the peer networking that we know is a core value proposition for our members? We need to ask ourselves, are we doing all we should?
The Page Society was started in 1983 in America for American communicators, and named after Arthur W. Page, an American. Our traditions have since seen us host annual spring seminars and conferences in America, with Insight Forums only in recent years starting to take hold in cities outside of the U.S. What if one of the flagship events, the Spring Seminar or Annual Conference, were to be held outside of the U.S? How about London? Would our core American membership still attend?
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