30 years and no change in the percent (13%) of women managers in local government. It’s time for a change. We’re asking you for your perspective and ideas for action. In the next several months, we’ll introduce a series of initiatives to address the 13 percent issue.
Orange County, FL — Program Development Supervisor
Where were you in 1984?
In 1984, I was a junior in high school (Lucy Craft Laney Comprehensive High School, Augusta, Georgia). I was preparing for my senior year and for enrolling at Georgia Southern College in Statesboro, Georgia the following year. In my senior year of high school, I was active in student government..
Describe your view of whether local government has been effective in attracting a diverse workforce.
I am a Program Development Supervisor for the Division of Building Safety for Orange County, FL. I have worked here for nearly 17 years. During those years, Chairman Linda Chapin and now our current Mayor Teresa Jacobs have led the county. When we look at diversity within the workforce in Orange County, we have a total workforce of 7,500 employees. Here’s a few figures:
- 43% of staff are females,
- Age range is from 20-to 84 years,
- Average age is 48 years,
- Average length of service 11 years,
- Ethnicity breaks down 49% White, 27% Black, 19% Hispanic, 3% Asian, 1% American Indian, 2% other,
- Hiring and recruitment shows new hires: 35% female, ethnicity distribution for new hires 44% White, 28% Black, 18% Hispanic, 1% Asian, 6% other,
- Promotions 68% male and 32% female, and
- Promotions by ethnicity: White 46%, Black 30%, Hispanic 20%, Asian 2%.
When you look at a breakdown by job categories:
- Administrators: 59 total women – 32 White, 20 Black, 7 Hispanic.
- Professional 589 total women – 275 White, 158 Black, 129 Hispanic 16 American Indian, 1 Asian.
- Technicians: 320 total women – 169 White, 92 Black, 44 Hispanic, 9 American Indian, 1 Asian.
- Administrative Support: 1,060 total – 396 White, 373 Black 243 Hispanic, 26 American Indian, and one Asian.
Note: the numbers are from the annual FY 20110 Workforce Report.
I believe that local government can do more to diversify its workforce by doing a better job of working to attract the best candidates for the available positions.
Wave a magic wand and give us three suggestions for improving diversity in the local government workforce.
If I had to offer three things for improving diversity in the workforce.
- Connect with high schools and colleges and universities to collaborate on making a pathway to public service as a career path
- Start conversations in the current workforce to learn what they think about diversity in the workforce
- Partner with industries that work with local governments and look to recruit from that workforce
Give us the names of the government professionals that you look up to.
- Cornita Riley
- Lori Cunniff
- Tyra Witsell
- Carla Bell Johnson
- Yolanda Brown
- Diana Almodovar
- Tiffany Moore Russell
- Lavon Williams
- Ruby Rozier
- Ralphetta Aker
- Jacqueline Torbert
- Melissa Lawrie
- Kristen Crane, City of Del Mar, CA
- Megan Smit, County of Cabarrus, NC
- Polly Hulsey, College of Southern Idaho
- Benjamin DeClue, City of Lebanon, MO
- Whitney Rhodes, Pierce County, WA
- Carmen Mays, City of Spartanburg, SC
- Diedra Lane, City of Tallahassee, FL
- Sarah Bledsoe, Village of Rye Brook, NY
- Michelle Daniels, City of Henderson, NC
- Dr. Penelope Culbreth-Graft, Culbreth Associates