#FBF: ELGL at NYSAC talking #13Percent

Posted on December 4, 2015

Conference Flashback – ELGL at NYSAC talking #13Percent
by Sarah Hazel (LinkedIn and Twitter)
This September, Southeast ELGL members, Brittany Bennett and Sarah Hazel headed north to beautiful Lake Placid, New York to the New York State Association of Counties Conference to talk #13percent with their members – elected and appointed county officials.
nysacBrittany and I teamed up with fellow- panelist Isaac Diebboll, a candidate for local office who has done innovative work focused on making government more accessible, empathetic, and understandable.  With our all –star team assembled, we were ready to tackle an important and multifaceted topic: attracting and developing women, minorities and millennials to local government.
To start this complex conversation, we discussed the current state of women in local government and the dialogue and experiences ELGL members have shared on the #13percent subject. Highlights from our presentation included the opportunity and challenge to deliberately mentor women and people of color. We waxed about the importance of visible leadership – making a concerted effort to put women and minorities in out front leadership positions.  We also discussed the reality that we all have inherited inequitable institutions, but we have the ability to transform them, to make them equitable. We ended the session by asking our participants to share personal stories of their own leadership journeys. How inspiring to hear about the pathway and experiences of elected and administrative leaders.
Perhaps the most powerful part of the session was the ideas and comments from the session participants. We asked 1) How well does your workforce represent the community you serve? 2) What do you see as the value of diverse leadership?
Then, during a rapid ideation session, complete with colorful sticky notes and markers, we challenged our audience to tackle this issue in their own counties. The prompt? What are ways you can support women and people of color in leadership?
On the last question, here is what we heard:
nysac session 1“We need buy -in from the top”
“Educational reimbursement programs”
“Encourage self- confidence”
“Better Recognition programs”
“Woman-to-woman buddy system”
“Let’s start a professional women minority organization in our County”
“Let’s start a networking organization with others in areas and discuss these issues”
“Let’s use the mantra “She should run” to encourage women to run for office.”
“Let’s ask, who else should be included in this conversation? Let women in the room!”
“Start women’s golf team!”
“Listen to each others experiences”
“Speak to young minorities and encourage them to come into service”
“Incorporate ban the box”
“Invest in leadership training”
“Recruit on Facebook and Twitter”nysac session 2
“Start a diversity advisory council”
“Include diversity and inclusion into our strategic plan”
Thanks for having us NYSAC, and thanks to the participants who shared valuable ideas, their passion for public service, and engaged in meaningful and challenging discussions on the topic throughout the conference.
These conversations aren’t easy. Just vital. Let’s keep ‘em going.
View the Prezi presentation here

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