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Podcast: Empowering Women in Local Government with Pamela Antil

Posted on October 16, 2020


Pamela Antil - GovLove

Pamela Antil

Pamela Antil
City Manager
City of Encinitas, California
LinkedIn


Encouraging diversity. Pamela Antil, the City Manager of the City of Encinitas, California and Founder of the League of Women in Government, joined the podcast to talk about diversity in local government. She shared what the League of Women in Government does and why they were founded as well as the value of diversity. Pamela also talked about her new position, why data is important to the conversation, and ELGL’s Diversity Dashboard.

Host: Alyssa Dinberg

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Learn More

League of Women in Government Website

Diversity Dashboard

Why We Need More Women Running Our Local Governments

New city manager arrives ready to listen to residents

Encinitas picks Santa Barbara administrator to be new city manager

Santa Barbara Assistant City Administrator Pam Antil to Take Top Job in Encinitas

Illuminating the Gender Balance Challenge

Podcast: The League of Women in Government

 


Episode Transcript

Message

This is Brian Murphy, ELGL’s Data Manager. The ELGL Diversity Dashboard is the first national data collection on the gender, race and age of local government leadership. We’re excited to launch our third full year of data collection. This year, we’re expanding our collection to include all levels of local government positions, not just Chief Administrative Officers, in an effort to get a better understanding of diversity across a wider variety of local government positions. This year’s survey is looking for responses from local government leaders working in many different positions. We look forward to hearing from department heads, project managers, analysts and others as we hope to get data on the diversity of local government leadership. You can find more information on the survey and a link to respond at elgl.org/diversity-dashboard. We hope you’ll respond and follow the data as we work to make local government more diverse.

Alyssa Dinberg

Coming to you from Denver, Colorado, this is GovLove, a podcast about local government. GovLove is produced by ELGL, the Engaging Local Government Leaders network. We engage the brightest minds in local government. I’m Alyssa Dinberg, and today I’m joined by former Traeger winner Pam Antil. Pam is the founder and Chief Administrative Officer for League of Women in Government. In addition to her work supporting the advancement of women in local government, Pam is currently the Assistant City Administrator and COO for the City of Santa Barbara, California. Welcome to GovLove, Pam.

Pamela Antil

Thank you so much, Alyssa. So great to be here today and great to meet you virtually.

Alyssa Dinberg

I know. I feel like we have orbited in the same world but not actually met in person or virtually.

Pamela Antil

True. True.

Alyssa Dinberg

I’m super excited to have you on.

Pamela Antil

I think we have probably less than six degrees of separation. Maybe like two degrees.

Alyssa Dinberg

Oh, absolutely. For sure. Yeah. And I hear you have some exciting news.

Pamela Antil

I do.

Alyssa Dinberg

So you want to share that with everybody?

Pamela Antil

I do. I’m so excited. So effective October 12, I’ll be leaving Santa Barbara and I will be the new City Manager for Encinitas, California, which is down which is down in San Diego County. So we’re going to be moving south along the coast. And we’re super excited as a family to move and I’m just over the moon to finally be a city manager. So yeah, it’s really exciting.

Alyssa Dinberg

So not only is that like exciting for you, but it’s also really fitting for the conversation that we’re having today. And so it’s perfect timing to note that so I’m really excited. And I’m super happy to have you on.

Pamela Antil

Thank you. I’m so happy to be here with you today.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yeah, so today we’re going to talk about all things diversity in local government. But let’s get started, before we get started, let’s start with a lightning round.

Pamela Antil

Got it.

Alyssa Dinberg

So if you could only eat one snack for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pamela Antil

Pizza.

Alyssa Dinberg

Whoo Okay, yeah, what kind of pizza?

Pamela Antil

So I’m just I’m really kind of boring. I’m just like a cheese pizza, but it has to be the right cheese.

Alyssa Dinberg

Okay, I agree.

Pamela Antil

Yeah. Yeah.

Alyssa Dinberg

I totally agree. A good cheese pizza. Like there’s nothing better.

Pamela Antil

Right. Right. Geno’s Sicilian here in Santa Barbara is the best cheese pizza.

Alyssa Dinberg

If I’m ever out that way, I’ll check it out. I’ll definitely check it out. Um, okay, who is your celebrity best friend?

Pamela Antil

Oprah. By far. Hands down.

Alyssa Dinberg

Okay.

Pamela Antil

Yeah. Hands down. She’s made, she’s made such an, she’s so influential in so many different areas that it just it’s hard not to admire all of the work that she does outside of her usual talk show hosts that type of thing. So yeah, she would be my celebrity best friend, If I could have one.

Alyssa Dinberg

I also have a really, really big crush on her garden. Like I follow her on Instagram. And she posts pictures of all the things that she takes out of her garden and cooks with and like, it’s just gorgeous.

Pamela Antil

Yeah. And you know, she just lives down the street. She lives in, she lives in Montecito, which is here in Santa Barbara County. She’s in a little different neighborhood than I live. But yes, she definitely. It’s kind of a treat if you have an Oprah sighting here in Santa Barbara. And unfortunately, I’ve been here five years and I have never had an Oprah sighting.

Alyssa Dinberg

Noo. That was going to be my question.

Pamela Antil

That’s kind of a bummer. Yeah. Yeah. Time’s running out.

Alyssa Dinberg

Maybe you will see her before you leave.

Pamela Antil

I know. Wouldn’t that, that would be, my work would be entirely complete here if I could run into Oprah. That’s true.

Alyssa Dinberg

We should just like rally the troops and have everyone tweet at her and coordinate, like, everyone, Oprah meet at this location and then we’ll bring Pam there.

Pamela Antil

I love it. That is a great idea. Let’s make that happen. Then I would probably like see her and just like lose my words and like be a dork and whatever. So, yeah,

Alyssa Dinberg

You are so funny. Yeah. Okay, I’ll see if I can make that happen. Um, what is your current cell phone wallpaper?

Pamela Antil

It is my two rescue dogs. Forest, who’s a little Beagle mix, and Penny, who’s a Chihuahua mix? And they’re my cell phone wallpaper. In fact, my kids are always like, you have the dogs as you’re on your cell phone more than you have us on your cell phone. But they’re really cute and sweet. They have their own Instagram page too.

Alyssa Dinberg

Really? What is it?

Pamela Antil

Yes. @forestandhoney.

Alyssa Dinberg

Okay, I’m gonna ….

Pamela Antil

Yeah. Yeah.

Alyssa Dinberg

My wallpaper is my rescue puppy as well. We, my partner and I got a COVID dog. So yeah.

Pamela Antil

Yeah, I heard that. Yeah, I heard that the all of the shelters are like empty. Everybody took all of the dogs and cats and puppies and kittens. And that’s kind of a cool thing.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yeah, it’s a good time to get a puppy right now.

Pamela Antil

What’s your puppy’s name?

Alyssa Dinberg

Her name is Corastar. She Cora short for Corona.

Pamela Antil

Aww.

Alyssa Dinberg

I know. And star because she came from Texas. So that’s the middle names in this household.

Pamela Antil

That’s cool.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yeah. Um, okay, if you could bring back any fashion trend, what would it be?

Pamela Antil

Fashion trend? Ah, you know, I gotta say that I would bring back the whole preppy thing. Like the sweaters and the shirts and the pink and green and the penny loafers. That would be really fun. That was kind of like my late high school and college days. That’d be a lot of fun.

Alyssa Dinberg

That’s not a bad one to bring back. I can definitely do that one.

Pamela Antil

Yeah, no. Yeah, it’d be, it’d be good. If I could get rid of a fashion trend, it would be, you know, some of those crop tops. They are just like too short.

Alyssa Dinberg

I knew you were going to say that. I know.

Pamela Antil

Right. You just can’t, they do not look good for a side profile. That’s for sure.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yeah. Okay. I agree with both of those. If you could be a vegetable, what would you be and why?

Pamela Antil

I would never be a vegetable.

Alyssa Dinberg

No? Is there a fruit?

Pamela Antil

That is, that is…no. A fruit? Strawberry.

Alyssa Dinberg

Okay.

Pamela Antil

Yeah.

Alyssa Dinberg

I can make that pass.

Pamela Antil

Yeah. There’s only a few people that really love vegetables and have to eat them. But you know, I know there’s a couple of people who are like, I love vegetables. But you know what, there’s really very few of those folks. [Laughter] No one likes vegetables.

Alyssa Dinberg

A lot of people like fruit though.

Pamela Antil

Yeah. That’s true. That’s true.

Alyssa Dinberg

That’s a good point. All right. So I feel thoroughly warmed up. How about you?

Pamela Antil

Yeah.

Alyssa Dinberg

Okay. So let’s shift our work or shift our work. Let’s shift our talk to the work that you’re doing with League of Women in Government and the importance of diversifying our profession.

Pamela Antil

Yeah.

Alyssa Dinberg

So what is the League of Women in Government? And why did you found it?

Pamela Antil

So the the League of Women in Government is a, the only nationwide women’s local government group, meaning there are several states that have like here in California, we have a really great local government women’s group called Women Leading Government. And if you’re in California, we have lots of resources, etc. But one of the things that we realized back in like 2014 is there was no nationwide group like Local Government Hispanic network, or the national NFBPA. There was nothing for women that would unite everybody across the country. So myself and two other women, Bonnie Svrcek who just recently retired as the City Manager in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Tammy Letourneau who’s the City Manager in Laguna Niguel, California, the three of us had been working on a project together, the ICMA Taskforce on Women. And at the conclusion of that we said, you know, there really needs to be a local government women’s group that is nationwide. And so the the league was born, if you will. So that’s that’s really why we started it, to try to share resources and ideas as well as work on part of our core mission, which is to educate public officials who actually do the hiring in local government, whether it’s city managers, and department heads, or elected officials, really start to teach them about gender bias and the value of gender balance in organizations and diversity in organizations. So, you know, we can work together and preach to each other about diversity in in organizations, but it’s really a bias conversation that needs to happen in organizations. And that’s, that’s what we really seek to do. We also try to as other parts of our mission to strengthen the relationships between the local government groups that support women. So the legacy project in Illinois, we want to make sure that the content that we put out there is available to the legacy project, and their content is available to women leading government, Colorado, or California, and the secret sisterhood in Florida. And so we really wanted to create something that there could be a shared network of women supporting women, and, you know, frankly, a few good men out there that really, also do incredible work to support the organization and our mission.

Alyssa Dinberg

That’s great. Um, how much has changed since you began the league? Like, have you noticed a shift?

Pamela Antil

So what I’ve noticed is that, I have noticed a shift, a shift in two different ways. One is that through time, the organization is now known, if you will, you know, we have 5000 members. It’s free to join. So we have 5000 members across the country. And what we’ve found is that people now understand what it is that we do as a mission, what our work is that we’re doing. So the brand, if you will, that people are now familiar with. So we now are starting to come up with the organization is only five years old. So I think in the five years, we now have some recognition of our logo. And we have people that actually reach out now to the league as a resource, which was always one of the biggest goals for us is that if people don’t know who you are, you want to help them. But if they don’t know where to go for help or for support, they’re not going to reach out. So we’ve definitely seen an increase in interest and motivation. And we have elected officials that reach out not only to possibly join the league, but to help them understand how they might do better in their hiring process to consider diverse candidates in their recruitment pool, say, for example, for city and county managers. So that’s been great. We’ve also seen an incredible, another group, so we started out as a group of city managers and county managers and assistants. And the biggest groups that have reached out have been women in law enforcement and women in the fire service.

Alyssa Dinberg

That’s interesting.

Pamela Antil

Yeah, another so I always thought if it’s very difficult for a woman to become a city manager or county manager, it’s probably 10 times as hard to become a female fire chief. It’s just a really, really, really difficult group to break to break through. So it’s been nice to, to hold hands with with our women and other career paths to be able to support them and to also hear about what their challenges are, etc. So in addition to those women, statewide women groups, we also partner with women in transportation, which are female transportation engineers in local government, women in policing across the country. And there’s some groups that are very specific to planning and community development, etc. Everybody is really trying to do the same thing that we’re doing, which is to really try to see the number of women increase in organizations. Now that being said, our focus is on women and women of color. But we do hold hands with the Local Government Hispanic network, INAPA, ELGL and NFBPA because we also whether it’s men or women, we want to see diversity of all kinds not just in gender, but also in our, In ethnicity and background. We, you know, we want to open up that conversation for everyone. But our specialty core mission is women, increasing the number of women as chief executives.

Alyssa Dinberg

So I have to say, I have been going to the symposiums since it started in 2017 in Kansas City. And it’s been really, really, really cool to watch it grow every single year. Every year it gets bigger, every year it gets …  . The energy last year was just in Nashville was really cool. Can you briefly just talk about what the symposium is?

Pamela Antil

Yeah. So that was another thing that we, we started to think about. Okay, if you have a national group, how is it that you can bring women together? What would what would be the forum without increasing, being another conference or another membership or something that you have to pay. And so we came up with the idea of doing the symposium the day before the ICMA conference started, because that’s a that’s a, an easy, you know, gathering of people that we know is going to happen. So by putting our symposium the day before the conference starts allows folks like myself and you to say, you know what, I’m going to go into Nashville one day early, and see what kind of speaker and our speaker content has also dramatically, dramatically improved through the years. The first year that we had a speaker was actually in, where were we? Were we in Kansas City or..

Alyssa Dinberg

Yes, your first year was in Kansas City.

Pamela Antil

Yeah. So in that first year, we were begging people to speak for free and you know, we didn’t really have any money. And we had a great speaker, Dr. Marianne Cooper, from the Stanford Clayman Center of Gender Research. And people just like gobbled up the information. And then this year is Glennon Doyle, the, you know, national, you know, New York Times bestselling author for Untamed and a number of other ….

Alyssa Dinberg

I’m so excited.

Pamela Antil

I know, right?

Alyssa Dinberg

I love that book.

Pamela Antil

Yeah. And, and, you know, what’s, what’s awful about COVID and the pandemic is that our symposium this year is gonna be, it’s gonna be virtual. But what’s great about it being virtual is that we did have access to this speaker this year that we probably would not have been able to afford. She’s a great speaker. And so anyway, I digressed. But the that’s going to be, that that is that feels like a real accomplishment for us. And we do partner with ICMA. We couldn’t do some of the things that we do without some support from ICMA, and NFBPA and our partnerships and, and our work that we do with other organizations. And that that’s another thing that we’ve really learned through the years is that we don’t, we don’t want to do this in a vacuum, which is why I like the ELGL Diversity Dashboards so much is that there’s there’s a way for all of us to take little pieces of all the work that needs to be done for diversity. And if you had to do it as one organization, it would be overwhelming. But if everybody does these different things all together, we have some really fantastic content and work that’s being done. And I just think that that’s another thing that’s really grown for us that we’ve seen as a change. Now, what we haven’t seen as a huge dramatic change is the number of women who in the last five years have become city and county managers or the chief executive officer.

Alyssa Dinberg

I was wondering if we can talk about that a little bit.

Pamela Antil

Yeah, you know we’ve seen a little bit. So we have hovered between you know, ELGL had a really, has a really great and people still use the hash tag 13%. And, you know, that was the number in the 1980s. And today, you know, we hover you know, every any given day the number changes because people quit the profession and new people come in, etc. But right now we’re at about 17%. I think about six months ago, we were closer to 20%. But the thing that you know we always joke around is it’s not hashtag 50%. Like we’d really like to see a greater number of women in these roles. Women make up more than half of local government, county, University and state employees, but they are very, very low numbers are the chief executives. So those are the numbers that we’d really like to see. So we have not hit 25%, which is a goal. But it’s a goal that we can’t control. We have to keep going out there and talking to, again, mostly elected officials to try to get them to see the value and make the business case for diversity in organizations, which by the way, makes organizations more creative, more financially stable, more innovative in doing the work that we do in community. So there’s a there’s a reason to, to be diverse. That isn’t just because it’s a nice, cool thing to say, you know, we’re a diverse organization, it really does have an impact on the business of local government.

Alyssa Dinberg

Absolutely. So I know that you can’t directly control the numbers, because that has all to do with the hiring.

Pamela Antil

Because I’m not a wizard. [Laughter]

Alyssa Dinberg

Exactly. Not yet. You’re not a wizard yet, maybe in your new role you will be. But what strategies is the league using to increase women in leadership positions? What kind of offerings does the league have?

Pamela Antil

Okay, so we’ve tried to use like a three prong approach. So one, one approach is to continue to provide resources and information through the league, and through ICMA, US Conference of Mayors and National League of Cities to directly get to elected officials. And we’ve done and state league state municipal leagues, to get in front of elected officials and talk about the business case for diversity in local government. And that is something that has, once you can show folks that the, you know, one, there’s a business case, and then number two, that we all have biases, and we have to try to overcome them, people start, you know, really nodding, that they that they start to understand that better. And also, we try to make it a little bit uncomfortable in terms of the conversation that, you know, when you close your eyes, and you picture what a chief executive looks like, most of us throughout our lives have been kind of core trained to imagine a tall, older white gentleman as that CEO, because that’s what we see on TV. And that’s what we read about in books. And we have a long history of that being the model for leadership in organizations, not just in the public sector, in the private sector as well. So getting out and talking about those biases and how to overcome them. I don’t want to lose out on a job because I remind somebody of their second grade teacher that they hated. And in that kind of thinking happens more with women than it does with men in terms of, of of we people think more about that as as something that’s a ding on women more so than men. And we need to keep that in check. The second prong is our helping to provide resources for women to get ready for that next chapter in their career, whether it’s a department head, whether it’s an assistant city manager, whether it’s the chief of police or county manager, we want to provide some resources, because it’s another area that we’re hearing from recruiters that there’s some areas that women are not often given some of these tasks in their careers. And so then when they go into the interview, they are not as not as successful in talking about their experience in these areas. So in some cases, it’s financial acumen. We’ve worked really hard on that the last couple of years. And so we’re finding and hearing from recruiters that, that that’s not as much of an issue as it was maybe 10 years ago. So we feel really good about that. Another is is kind of the overall strategy of an organization. So rather than being able to work on a project, for example, that you want to be the person who’s in the room, talking about the strategy of how you’re going to fix, you know, 20 years of infrastructure. Are you going to do a bond measure? Are you going to do a tax measure? Are you going to, are you going to have a blue ribbon committee, etc. And a lot of times, what we find is that women are involved in some part of that project. And this is just one example, but not necessarily the strategic leader of that. And when they go into the interview, the people interviewing want to hear that you are the person who can handle the problem, issue, etc, from a strategic standpoint. And that’s something that’s really hard to pick up if you’re not assigned something that’s a really, really big municipal or community need. And then the last prong is the kind of work that we do that is similar to what ELGL does or NFBPA, or LGHN, which is to provide some resources and content, be it newsletter, be it on our website, etc, to celebrate people that have advanced in their career, achieved different types of levels of awards, or have, you know, hit some pinnacle in their career and celebrate that. And that’s why we created the Leadership Trailblazer award. Again, another area where there really wasn’t a nationwide award for women. And so we thought, hey, you know, that’s really something that that would be really great to really highlight and show that there’s some really great people in government. Now, I don’t think anybody does it better than ELGL. I think ELGL does a fantastic, they do a fantastic job with identifying real superstars in in government. And so what we, what we’re trying to do with ours is really trying to just carve out our piece, which is some fantastic women that not only are doing great in their own career. The Leadership Trailblazer is really about women that are doing things to support other women, whether they’re an advocate for somebody to get them that next position, whether they started a women’s group in their region or their state, or they’ve been very big supporters of women through their career, through their hiring practices, etc. So that’s the kind of stuff that we want to, but we do bow down, we do bow down to ELGL and their fantastic award. They just have the most creative, wonderful awards. So we’re happy to just have our little piece.

Alyssa Dinberg

They are all super fun.

Pamela Antil

They are. They’re super fun. So yeah. So that’s really kind of in a nutshell, I mean, there’s so many things that we’re doing to, you know, we’ve had a bit of a slowdown this year because of COVID. And people find, we’re finding it difficult to have people engaged. They are so zoomed out, and they have so many organizations that are trying to come at them, and they’re in addition to being at their, at their day to day jobs, that we’re finding that some of the content that we’re putting out there is going unread, or, or, hey, I just don’t even have time to think about this. I’d love to do that webinar. But I can’t do it right now because I need to do this other thing. So we did to a little bit of a slowdown and used that time to do more things internally with our board to try to think about the organization post COVID. And some things that we’re going to take on next year. So yeah.

Alyssa Dinberg

Cool. So, um, my next question is about data. I was wondering if you could talk about how data drives decisions, especially with hiring, leadership and women, women in leadership, and how having more data would better help serve your mission?

Pamela Antil

Mm hmm. So thank you for asking that question. Because it is so important. I’ve never seen a city council or city manager, not say something along the lines of this. I’m hiring a new city manager. And I really want to make sure we have a diverse candidate pool, or a city manager is hiring a police chief and says, I really want to make sure that we have a diverse candidate pool. But what does that mean? So it used to mean that there was one spot for an ethnic minority, one spot for for a woman and then the rest were in a kind of call it a day. The problem with that is that if if you aren’t actively seeking out more people and there’s there’s people way smarter than me that actually study this for a living. The the aspect of that is, if there’s only one woman, the way way that our brains work and the way that we’re kind of trained to do interviews and such is, we have nobody to compare that person to. And when you’re hiring somebody, there’s this inner thing that’s, that’s built into your brain that you need to have somebody to compare your candidate to. And so if there’s only one African American candidate, and only one woman candidate, and by the way, that’s why there is some competitiveness between women, when they’re applying for jobs, because for so many years, there’s only one spot, so I can’t, I can’t support you. Because if there’s only gonna be one spot, I gotta make sure I get that spot. So what we need to do is we need to have a more common practice that you have multiple diverse candidates. For example, in Santa Barbara, when we hired a police chief, four years ago, we told our recruiter we would like a diverse candidate pool, even if it takes us longer to hire someone. So we don’t want one African American or one Latino. We want multiple candidates that are diverse. And I’m, I’m really happy to say that at the end of the day, when we interviewed we had three women and three men, and four of them were diverse candidates of ethnicity. And but but we took the time, and we told the recruiter or people who tell their HR departments, take longer to get more people in the pool, so that people see and it starts normalizing a different look and feel versus what we talked about earlier of this kind of vision of the the tall, only white male as being the leader of something. So what’s great about for example, like the diversity dashboard that ELGL is doing is that how do you even know what percentage of people is out there if you’re not somehow keeping track of the data. And so we need to, we need to be able to say that, that there’s a way to look at it and and even like so, for example, there’s definitely more white people in government. It is from what I can see from what I’ve been able to see in the diversity dashboard. So there are some areas that you can say, it’s going to be a little harder to recruit. Well, but but then maybe that’s where we need to do more recruiting in MPA programs to try to get more diversity. So you don’t just say, well, this is what we have. So that’s all we can do. What you want is to really drive those numbers and get more people so that when you have your city manager recruitment, there’s five women and three African Americans and two, Latinx folks, etc. so that you have a really diverse pool, because there’s fantastic people out there. But I don’t think that we’re doing as good of a job tapping into those talents. So that’s how I envision using the dashboard is that if if organizations would continue to put information in, the information gets better. I’m a data person. So I love things like the diversity dashboard where you can, you know, it’s like, I like when somebody says, we do something a certain way, or whatever. I’m like, I show me the data, let me know like, I mean, I understand that there’s the politics, and there’s the things that we do in the community. And there’s a lot of reasons to do or not do things. But I would like to always see the data. And I think in hiring, it’s super important.

Alyssa Dinberg

So we’ve talked about or you’ve talked a little bit about the diversity dashboard. We haven’t actually said what it is. We may have some listeners that are like, oh what is this? What is this? What is the diversity dashboard?

Pamela Antil

Everybody knows about the dashboard.

Alyssa Dinberg

No, everybody doesn’t know what it is. I hope everybody knows hopefully, by the end of this episode, everybody knows. So I’m just going to briefly tell everybody what the diversity dashboard is. So the ELGL Diversity Dashboard is the first ever national data collection on gender, race, age and veteran status of local government employees. So it was started in 2018. And both in 2018 and 2019 the survey collected this information for Chief Administrative Officers and Assistant Chief Administrative Officers only. But we’re really, really excited that this year in 2020, the survey has expanded to include all local government employees, which is fantastic. I think a lot of times women get stuck at like mid management and don’t ever make it beyond that. And so I think it this is going to be really helpful for us to be able to track that. So I’m very, very very excited that we’ve expanded for 2020.

Pamela Antil

Yeah, it looks great. And it looks like one of the things that I really like about the diversity dashboard too is that you can track the data from when it began, and then through through the years, and as years go by, you’re gonna be able to really see a change. I love that feature of it. So, yeah, highly two thumbs up highly recommend.

Alyssa Dinberg

Wohoo. So just to give everybody a little bit of understanding of how it works. ELGL distributes a demographic survey to all local governments in the United States and in Canada. And the really cool thing about this is that local governments don’t need to be members of ELGL to complete the survey. So this is really, really geared towards everybody. We’re really opening the tent wide on this one. And we want to make sure that the diversity dashboard is serving its purpose and reaching everyone. And the survey is electronic via our partners at Public Input. So you don’t have to fill out a paper piece of paper, there’s no clunkiness, super easy to do. So that’s a little bit of how it works. The data is then compiled and shared without names and contact information into an online report. And if you’re interested in looking at our 2019 report, just visit us on our website at elgl.org. And you can see our 2019 report. Oh yeah, have you filled out your diversity dashboard yet?

Pamela Antil

We have not filled it out for this year. Again, I’m gonna blame COVID. We’ve all been distracted. But you’ve really, in our discussion today, I’m going to make sure that I do that for Santa Barbara, before I leave the city. And when I get down in to Encinitas, we’ll definitely be putting in our information for there as well.

Alyssa Dinberg

So the cool thing is only takes about five minutes, it’s really quick. And I think a lot of organizations are feeling the same way as you. They’re just so, they’re spread so incredibly thin right now, because of COVID. And, you know, a lot of us are still working from home and the zoom meetings day after day, after a day get really exhausting. But this is just a reminder, for everybody who has not filled out the diversity dashboard yet, please, please, please take five minutes to do it. It really makes a huge difference. And if we all spend five minutes filling it out, the data that we’re gonna get back is going to have significant impacts on the future of our profession.

Pamela Antil

Excellent.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yeah, so that was my pitch. So I just have a quick question for you. Have you have you used the information from the diversity dashboard to influence your organization?

Pamela Antil

So we have, you know, it’s interesting, we have when, when the diversity dashboard first came out, we had a lot of interest around it. And I think it’s like anything else, we need to keep that conversation going. But you reminded me today, I need to check in with our human resources department and see if they are regularly checking in and, and making sure that we’re taking a look at that and see what it might be that we can do. We’ve used it in our organization, as a tool to talk about diversity in government. But we haven’t used it as a recruiting tool yet, or anything like that. But we have used it to talk about diversity and and the, again, bias and what we might do to do better at those things in our own organization.

Alyssa Dinberg

What about when you take over as city manager? What are you planning on doing?

Pamela Antil

Yeah, you know, we, um, you know, my city manager here in Santa Barbara, and I think very much alike. And I’ll use this as the same thinking. I think it’s really important for an organization to be able to have a diverse leadership group, diverse elected officials, of course, the voters decide that. But to as much as we can look for opportunities to really have different conversations in the organization. And the only way that that happens is to really, really encourage and promote the idea of diversity and why that is so important in the organization. And I am definitely I know, I’ll do the same thing that I did when I was in Santa Barbara and in Palo Alto, is to really impress upon when we have openings in leadership and throughout the organization, that we want a diverse candidate pool, that we want to, even if it takes a little longer, you really, really want to have the best people applying. And there are so many fantastic people out there that go untapped. And we need to do a better job. So this, this is something that is near and dear to my heart. So I will I will be a continued user of the diversity dashboard going forward.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yeah, I’m excited to see how you use it and how how things go with your new, your new job. I think it’s gonna be awesome. Thank you again. I really appreciate you taking the time to come on today. I think the work that you’re doing right now is absolutely needed. And you really are making a difference. So thank you for bringing, bringing League of Women in Government to us. And good luck with your new job.

Pamela Antil

Thank you so much. I am so we are so excited. And and I’m excited. Today, I’m so energized by our discussion. And it makes me want to like right after I get off the call, I’m gonna go into the diversity dashboard.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yeah! Wohoo! Do it.

Pamela Antil

Yeah. So thank you so much. I appreciate the time, and I hope to actually meet you face to face someday.

Alyssa Dinberg

I know. I know.

Pamela Antil

I hope we are able to travel and can see each other again. But it was fantastic to talk to you.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yeah, so my cousins actually live in San Diego. So anytime I ever make it out there to visit them I will definitely let you know, and we can grab a cup of coffee.

Pamela Antil

That sounds fantastic.

Alyssa Dinberg

So I have one more question before we go. If you could be the GovLove DJ for this episode, what song would you pick as our exit music?

Pamela Antil

Our exit music would have to be, Beyonce Run The World.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yes. I think that was the song played at the symposium last year.

Pamela Antil

Yes. Yes. We had a, we had a DJ at every every, and it’s my it’s my it’s my sophomore at San Diego State. It’s my daughter Peyton. So she has been a DJ and we we really try to, what we do is, we ask everyone who’s going to be a speaker, and they give us their walk up music so they get to choose that. So it’s a lot of fun. Well shout out dang DJ Peyton.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yeah. Shoutout to DJ Peyton. She makes the conference so much fun.

Pamela Antil

She sure does. So. Oh, thank you so much, Alyssa. Appreciate it.

Alyssa Dinberg

Yeah, thank you so much again. That ends our episode for today. And thanks again for talking about all things diversity. As a reminder, the diversity dashboard is currently open and local governments do not need to be members of ELGL to complete the survey. However, support means that we can continue to do important work like this. And you can always join ELGL for about $40 per year, which is a steal for what you get out of it. And GovLove is produced by a rotating cast of awesome ELGL volunteers. ELGL is the Engaging Local Government Leaders network. Our vision is amplify the good in local government and we do this by engaging the brightest minds. For our listeners, you can reach us at elgl.org/govlove or on Twitter at @govlovepodcast. And if you have a story for us, GovLove wants to hear it. Send us a message on Twitter or email [email protected] Thanks for listening. This has been GovLove, a podcast about local government.


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