Diversity, Access, and Inclusion in Global Lactation Credentialing

As a global organisation with, as of early 2023, almost 36,000 IBCLCs around the world in 131 countries, the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners genuinely embodies diversity in professional lactation care.

Diversity is an integral part of the cultural fabric of IBLCE and its affiliates and is a core value, guiding the work of IBLCE and its affiliated organisations.

How do IBLCE and its affiliates promote diversity in, accessibility to, and inclusion in professional lactation care? By:

  • facilitating representation of the global lactation community on the IBLCE Board, IBCLC Commission, and committees and panels which make policy and other decisions on behalf of the profession.
  • ensuring key governance documents such as bylaws and IBCLC programme documents include an express focus on diversity and access and making them publicly available.
  • widely disseminating public calls for leadership and subject matter experts that are representative of the global IBCLC and lactation support community.
  • soliciting public comment on key documents such as strategic plans or bylaws.
  • providing information in multiple languages on its websites and via its professional team and Coordinator network.
  • offering the IBCLC examination in a number of languages in alignment with the Translation of the IBCLC Examination into a Language Policy.
  • leading the conversation in professional credentialing and in the global professional testing industry about the critical importance of access to appropriate lactation accommodations during professional certification examinations.
  • using inclusive language.
  • offering, through the Monetary Investment for Lactation Consultation Certification (MILCC) organisation, a number of scholarship programmes including:
    • MILCC General Scholarships;
    • the Joanne W. Scott (JWS) Scholarships for those from a peer-to-peer support background;
    • the Emerging Leaders in Lactation (ELL) Scholarship to IBCLC candidates who demonstrate leadership potential and belong to a group historically underrepresented in the profession and its leadership;
    • the Dr. Clifton J. Kenon, Jr. Scholarship, which seeks to reduce health disparities through the certification of lactation professionals primarily serving African-American communities in the United States; and
    • the Global Humanitarian Scholarship.
    • Since 2011, MILCC has awarded scholarships totalling approximately a quarter of a million dollars USD to over 670 individuals in over 60 countries.

Diversity, access, and inclusion are ongoing processes, and IBLCE and its affiliates will provide updates on new developments.