Update: We’ve received 223 responses to the survey. Survey respondents will receive access to the detailed survey results. Deadline for completing the survey is July 17 at 5:00 p.m.
We’ve received more than 150 responses to the State of Local Government workforce survey. This is a great response but not good enough. You can help by inviting those in your professional network to complete the six-question survey by July 17 at 11:59 p.m PST.
What We’ve Heard So Far?
The population is changing, but the power structure has not. The power structure continues to hire people who have shared experience, shared communication styles and shared outward features.
I think age diversity is often overlooked. There’s a lot of knowledge loss buy pushing older employees out the door via retirement. With local, I’m starting to see that trend. It’s still very heavy on leadership in their 50’s. It also seems the entire GenX gen has been bypassed and they are not being represented.
We need to learn how to talk about race and reject the colorblind mantra. If you wanted to put together a resource list I recommend the book The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. It is a powerful book that gives a thoughtful and historic analysis of institutional racism.
It is imperative that public sector employers rally together around diversity, equity, and inclusion. There must arise fiefdoms. The very diversity, equity, and inclusion that’s promote within organization must include region connection whether by vocation, trade, and profession.
There needs to be greater effort to specifically address the role of older white men (stale pale males, of which I’m an aspiring member) in having more inclusive organizations. It’s not a very engaging topic for many leaders who see it at yet another pseudo problem to be deflected and avoided rather than a challenge to tackle. Too often it’s “how to I keep them happy/off my back” rather than “how can we make our organization better.”
Inclusion of women in local government workforce is very important. Let’s also consider the Millenials. How are we as local government leaders going to include this group in our hiring practice and give them the opportunities to succeed and grow. We need to not fear the millenial generation and instead embrace and learn from them. Let’s partner together and change local government!
I hope that we are past a time of thinking about quotas and who we have in the picture that gets placed on the front of the parks and rec brochure. And yet, having supervisors who are diverse is one of the surest ways to send the message to prospective employees that “you are welcome here.” And honestly, people just want to feel welcome.