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On the Road to a More Diverse Workforce

Cities, counties and states from coast to coast are cultivating efforts to create a more diverse workforce – one that mirrors the communities which they serve in terms of race, ethnicity and gender.

Among the efforts they’re embarking upon include trying to identify and reduce implicit racism among the people who are doing the hiring; cultivating public-facing images and messaging to emphasize how diversity is a priority in their workplaces; strengthening pipelines to communities that haven’t traditionally been well represented in their agencies; and even reaching into high schools and middle schools to expand their pool of potential employees.

This is critically important. As we reported in Route Fifty, according to data from a MissionSquare Research Institute survey, in 2021 only 38% of the cities responding found their workforce to be reflective of the community when it came to race and ethnicity.

Though 56% of cities surveyed by MissionSquare in another report indicated that diversity, equity and inclusion are a top or high priority, only “42% have a formal program in place,” according to Gerald Young, the senior research analyst there, although more may have an informal program.

Last month, we spoke with Linda Misegadis, Senior Government Strategist for UKG about just this issue.

The first in that series, which you can watch here, covers topics including questions of explicit versus implicit racism; ways to avoid implicit racism, which can make it difficult to expand the workforce in an equitable fashion; efforts to put forward an image of a city that appears welcoming to people of all races, ethnicities and genders; and developing a pipeline for people who have not traditionally found jobs in government to do so now.

Take a look. And if you enjoy it, don't wait, as next week this will be replaced with the second in this series of interviews.

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