Why We Funded: The Novak Consulting Group & the Diversity Dashboard

ELGL All-In Member The Novak Consulting Group pledged $1,000 to the Diversity Dashboard.

We caught up with Julia Novak to learn more about why her firm is backing ELGL’s Kickstarter campaign.


Why did TNCG pledge funds to the ELGL Diversity Dashboard?

We pledged funds to the diversity dashboard because one of our core beliefs is that the people that serve our cities and counties need to be inclusive and diverse – not JUST reflect the communities they serve but truly to seek out diversity and work towards inclusion even when diversity is not yet a strength of your community’s populous.

TNCG is a woman owned firm whose principals were not so fortunate as to enter local government at a time when the profession – and the people who recruited top executives for local governments – were diverse. We began our Executive Search practice as part of the changing faces of recruiters, and hopefully over time, the profession.

This is not a ding on the great people who have been doing this work for decades, rather it’s a statement of our intention to be inclusive in our work. Our CAO placements of women hovers at 40% despite women being less than 18% of our applicant pool. Supporting the diversity dashboard is a natural extension of our values and our desires for local government. We track this data and we want everyone to!


Why is diversity in local government leadership important?

I suppose first and foremost the research tells us that about diverse companies in the private sector and that they outperform their less diverse counterparts. We make better decisions when we include people in conversations who see and experience the world differently than we do.

And of course, people have said this – I heard ICMA Past President Pat Martel say it repeatedly – “you cannot be what you cannot see.” Diverse leaders inspire hopes and dreams in others. Inspiring others is, after all, an important part of leadership!!!


What’s the most innovative thing you’ve heard of a local gov doing to become more inclusive?

Earlier this year one of our clients, the City of Boulder, Colorado, hired a Director of Diversity to work exclusively on increasing diversity and inclusivity in its workforce – that is walking the walk!


If you had to make one prediction about what the data will show when it’s all collected, what do you think it will be?

I actually believe that the communities that we currently don’t have data on will be MORE diverse than what we know now from the ICMA member communities.


Why should the local government community pay attention to this data collection project?

Data provides the beginning of the conversation. Data can inform policy and action and thus has the ability to positively influence service delivery. That’s worth checking in on, don’t you think


Anything else you’d like to add?

Thanks ELGL for taking this project on and I applaud everyone who has contributed to this Kickstarter campaign.