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AAOS Governance Diversity Report

AAOS launched a new five-year Strategic Plan and Core Values in 2019, which includes a goal focused on increasing diversity in the Board and volunteer structure. To operationalize this renewed commitment to diversity, the AAOS Board of Directors charged its Diversity Advisory Board (DAB) to provide recommended tactics to achieve this goal.

AAOS is working with its DAB to execute a variety of new initiatives focused on leader recruitment, selection, retention, and culture.

Governance Diversity Report

As part of the selection metric, which focuses on purposeful and transparent selection for governance and leadership positions, AAOS developed the Governance Diversity Report: Composition, Engagement, Selection. 

The report was developed with the objective of identifying a baseline and establishing a goal for increasing diversity among the volunteer structure. It provides an analysis of the AAOS’ volunteer structure composition, member engagement, and applicant selection. The report will be provided on an annual basis.

Progress on achieving the goal of increasing diversity among the AAOS volunteer structure is tracked through the AAOS Diversity Dashboard.

Addendum to the AAOS Governance Diversity Report

In accordance with the 2019-2023 AAOS Strategic Plan, the Diversity Advisory Board (DAB) is charged with informing the AAOS Board of Directors (BOD) to help execute the strategy to increase diversity within the AAOS Board and volunteer structure. The DAB helps to support a transparent volunteer selection process with training in diversity and implicit bias, promote a culture that embraces diversity, inclusion, and equity for AAOS membership, and acts as a connection point for orthopaedic specialty societies that focus on URM and female orthopaedists. The purpose of this Addendum is to support the AAOS efforts to increase transparency and accountability in the CAP selection process.

Assumptions and Definitions

The DAB and the BOD need your help in this area. The total reported governance structure statistics count member service by race, ethnicity, and/or gender voluntarily reported in Membership Profiles. Less than 58% of members report their race, ethnicity, and/or gender. While some of this information may be inferred by society nomination (e.g. Ruth Jackson Orthopaedic Society (RJOS), J. Robert Gladden Orthopaedic Society (JRGOS) or the American Association of Latino Orthopaedic Surgeons (AALOS) representative to a committee), this practice is inexact at best. As a result, governance leaders may not be aware of which candidates belong to any under-represented group when making selections for council and committee membership. We are leading efforts to encourage self-identification of our LGBTQ+ members to improve AAOS representation, engagement, and support. We encourage all members to fully report all requested demographic information within your Membership Profile.

Composition

For the AAOS Governance Diversity Data, please take into consideration several factors. First, total governance positions fluctuate year to year, and there was a decrease in the total number of available positions for 2020 vs. 2019. Second, for line items reflecting volunteers as a percentage of Total Reported positions, members who did not report race, ethnicity, an/or gender were excluded from those totals. Nevertheless, there was a net increase in the percentage of under-represented minority (URM) and female members in all AAOS governance structure positions from 2019 as compared to 2020.

Engagement

Engagement is measured in the report as the number of AAOS governance volunteers by gender and race/ethnicity as a percentage of total membership. However, please keep in mind that full membership total includes all Active Fellows, Emeritus Fellows, and associate membership categories that are eligible, per the Bylaws, to volunteer on a committee. Furthermore, not all membership categories nor every specific applicant is eligible for every individual volunteer position. Interested members are referred to the AAOS Now article on navigating the CAP Process and to the CAP Regulations and Procedures.

Selection

Readers are reminded that CAP selection is a rolling process. Thus, the 2020 statistics report will only reflect 2018 and 2019 data as it reports on a lagging basis. The lack of 2020 data is not an error of omission, but rather will be reflected in the 2021 report. Additionally, members are reminded that selection for the AAOS Nominating Committee and Board of Directors is separate from the CAP selection process. Members of the AALOS, JRGOS, and/or RJOS are encouraged to engage their respective DAB Liaisons and their leadership for opportunities to serve and maximize selection. The leadership of these societies meets with the DAB leadership on a regular basis. In addition, the AAOS Presidential Line meets regularly with the respective leadership of each of these societies.

Summary

The AAOS Board of Directors has placed a great deal of support and intention behind the efforts to increase the diversity of our Academy. However, there is still much progress that needs to be made. Members are encouraged to continue to apply to any position that matches their strengths and interests. Under-represented minority and female members are encouraged to engage their respective societies’ leadership and liaisons to best prepare their application packets.

Members are also reminded to confirm that they are eligible to apply for the position in question which includes being a current, active member of the AAOS as well as having the appropriate level of experience for the position to which they are applying.

Should you have any questions related to this report or the review & analysis, please do not hesitate to reach out to governance@aaos.org. Questions will be shared with appropriate staff or DAB members as shown below:

Chair, AAOS DAB: Anthony E. Johnson, MD, FAAOS
AALOS Representative to the DAB: Monica Payares, MD, FAAOS
JRGOS Representative to the DAB: Angelo Rashad Dacus, MD, FAAOS
RJOS Representative to the DAB: Julie Samora, MD, MPH, PhD, FAAOS