Workforce Diversity Plan Attributes

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1 Workforce 1. Attribute: Established Foundation for Diversity and Inclusiveness Explanation: The City of Ithaca has a goal to reflect what Roosevelt Thomas, Jr. defines as attribute diversity1: different personal characteristics such as race, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and disability status throughout all departments, and at all levels of the City of Ithaca. The City of Ithaca recognizes that an effective and successful diversity and inclusiveness initiative includes established equal opportunity and affirmative action programs to ensure equal access to opportunity in employment. The City of Ithaca's senior staff recognizes that its equal opportunity practices for employment must include well defined, effectively enforced, and well communicated policies of nondiscrimination and harassment and sound complaint procedures for addressing discrimination issues, including the use of prompt and appropriate corrective/disciplinary measures to address instances of discrimination. The City of Ithaca s equal opportunity practices are based on obligations created by current legal requirements, such as Executive Order 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. These regulations provide that the City employ effective affirmative action principles in its employment practices, including hiring and promoting women and minorities. 2 These principles include completion of an annual Workforce Diversity Progress Report and the semi-annual Equal Employment Opportunity-4 reports for the employment of women, underrepresented groups, individuals with disabilities, and veterans; communication of the annual goals to all individuals involved in hiring/promotion activities; regularly monitoring the progress of achieving diversity goals, and the active recruitment of employees and volunteers consistent with our commitment to diversity. The Mayor has reaffirmed the City of Ithaca s commitment to diversity in employment and services: {recent statement, then annual statement hereafter} The City of Ithaca s senior management also recognizes the need to carry out regular training for supervisory and non-supervisory staff on equal opportunity, disability and religion accommodation, and workforce diversity issues. Success in this area will contribute to role modeling and mentoring that will create a dynamic and engaging environment. be charged with implementing regular training for supervisory and non-supervisory staff on equal opportunity, disability and religious accommodation, and work place diversity issues. 2. Attribute: Demonstrated Commitment to Diversity and Inclusiveness Explanation: The goal is for City of Ithaca employees and volunteers to value different personal characteristics such as race, sex, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and disability status across all formal and informal organizations, to recognize and respond 1 The term minority is based on the language used by the federal government in its equal opportunity and affirmative action regulations. 2 The term attribute diversity is used by Roosevelt Thomas in his book Building a House for Diversity.

2 Page 2 effectively to differences, and to identify and remove systemic and historical barriers to the goal of diversity. Plan 1: The City of Ithaca s Mayor, Common Council, its officers and department heads shall act affirmatively with regard to recruitment and retention of employees and volunteers from diverse backgrounds. Plan 2: The City of Ithaca s Mayor, Common Council, its officers and department heads shall make good faith efforts to review and implement programming that is necessary to ensure that individuals from different religious backgrounds are included within the work environment. Plan 3: The City of Ithaca s Mayor, Common Council, its officers and department heads shall encourage diversity in the recruitment, interview and selection process. 3. Attribute: Holistic View of City of Ithaca Community Members Explanation: The City of Ithaca desires that all employees and volunteers are viewed and respected as whole persons with identities and lives that extend beyond employment. be flexible within organizational culture and address work/life issues. 4. Attribute: Accommodation for Individuals with Disabilities Explanation: The City of Ithaca recognizes that it is critical to actively recruit employees and volunteers with disabilities and that disability status is not to be considered a factor in the denial of employment. The City of Ithaca is committed to providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities and recognizes the need for and benefit to offering effective adaptations in the workplace to eliminate barriers to work performance and participation. Therefore, the City of Ithaca recognizes the need to implement a clearly defined and communicated system for addressing disability accommodations and for providing user-friendly" documents for individuals with disabilities, such as employment applications, recruitment materials, and other official materials. The City of Ithaca also realizes the need to provide educational programs to employees and volunteers that promote a better understanding of disability issues and to provide an opportunity for employees and volunteers to learn communication modes or languages that advance the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, such as use of TDD/TTY or American Sign Language. Plan 1: The City of Ithaca s Mayor, Common Council, its officers and department heads shall develop a clearly defined and communicated system for addressing accommodations for individuals with disabilities. Plan 2: The City of Ithaca s Mayor, Common Council, its officers and department heads shall implement training for the ADA Coordinators.

3 Page 3 Plan 3: The City of Ithaca s Mayor, Common Council, its officers and department heads shall develop training for department heads and implement guidelines for department heads to address disability issues. 5. Attribute: Recognition of Organizational Culture and Process Explanation: The City of Ithaca has established a vision for its desired organizational culture and will continuously work to align this culture to support the organizational mission and values and the diversity vision, including helping people with different views to cooperate together to achieve these efforts. The City s senior administration will regularly assess its culture and how this culture impacts the City of Ithaca s ability to achieve its mission and objectives, and to provide guidance for the organizational behaviors and practices that enhance its values, despite divergent perspectives. The goal is to encourage organizational norms and practices that support collaboration, learning from differences, and incorporating the synthesis of divergent perspectives in decision making. To achieve this goal, all employees and volunteers commit to respect and carry out the organizational values through their behaviors and work practices. This includes seeking to develop leadership capability at all organizational levels to promote and reinforce these expectations, providing formal opportunities such as meetings and informational sessions to allow every member of the City workforce to learn about and to appreciate stated values and expected behaviors as shared in relevant documents. The City also desires to provide networking opportunities that enable members of the workforce to engage in mutually beneficial, continuous learning regarding their own identities, worldviews, and life experiences and the impact of these on the culture of the organization. develop systems (policies, procedures, rules, regulations, laws, etc.) that are aligned with City statements (i.e. Diversity Statement, Vision/Mission/Values Statement, etc.) 6. Attribute: Development and Implementation of Programs to Promote Diversity and Inclusion Explanation: The City of Ithaca recognizes that there is benefit to having a workforce that includes broad based diversity attributes, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability status, sexual orientation including bisexual employees, veteran status, ex-offender status, as well as other bases both protected by federal and local law and generally represented in the community external to the City. Therefore, the goal is for the Human Resources Department to work with the departments to develop strategic recruitment plans to aggressively increase the representation of Asian/Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic and Native American employees. The City also aims to expand the representation of women in non-traditional positions and to increase outreach to individuals who are veterans, people with disabilities, gay/lesbian, bisexual, transgender and individuals of different religious backgrounds throughout the City of Ithaca.

4 Page 4 Plan 1: Human Resource personnel would develop relationships with organizations on a local and national level addressing the employment needs of these groups to use as recruitment resources. Plan 2: The City of Ithaca s Mayor, Common Council, its officers and department heads shall participate in organizations that support employment interest of individuals of diverse backgrounds or organizations that are committed to increasing diversity in the community. 7. Attribute: Demonstrated Commitment to Continuous Learning Explanation: The City of Ithaca recognizes the need to create a flexible organizational culture that prioritizes continuous, collaborative, cross-organizational learning. This goal needs to include effective and ongoing formal and informal educational programs for employees on issues of discrimination, harassment, and conflict resolution/problem solving. The educational program should also include skills development programs through mentoring, newsletters, networking, and community service. The City s goal is to employ both a participatory decisionmaking process that reflects the value of the input and expertise of employees and an established system for reflecting upon and learning from positive and negative experiences and translating this learning into action. dedicate the resources, create an inclusive environment and develop programs designed to retain diverse hires and incorporate diversity education into all levels of training. 8. Attribute: Access to Opportunity/Succession Planning Explanation: The City of Ithaca is committed to creating a professionally nurturing environment in which employees have access to opportunities for personal and professional growth. The City of Ithaca recognizes the need to develop and implement formal and informal coaching and mentoring programs for its employees. To promote an environment for professional growth, all staff needs annual performance reviews. This involves developing performance evaluation criteria for individuals in supervisory roles that include advancement or career development and demographic tracking of promotions within that supervisory responsibility. This environment includes holding supervisors and other City of Ithaca leaders, who have responsibility for performance, achievement and succession planning within their groups, accountable for professional development. Plan: Each department shall develop annual organizational goals consistent with the mission and goals of the City. 9. Attribute: Systems of Recognition, Acknowledgement, and Reward Explanation: The City of Ithaca understands the need to recognize and reward diverse contributions and achievements of all staff and to evaluate, recognize and reward diverse forms of work excellence and achievements and to emphasize accountability of those who

5 Page 5 assess the achievement. This recognition system needs to provide a variety of intrinsic and extrinsic benefits. 1) establish an annual formal performance evaluation/feedback tool that uses commitment to diversity as a competency for evaluation; 2) highlight and publicly acknowledge behaviors in newsletters and at council meetings and exemplify an appreciation for and a commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce, and exhibits an ability to enable each individual to add value from her/his diverse experiences and backgrounds while maximizing their potential; 3) develop a city-wide incentive program to support diversity related initiatives in the community (i.e. First Fridays, Diversity Consortium). 10. Attribute: Shared Accountability and Responsibility for City of Ithaca s Mission Explanation: The City of Ithaca recognizes that staff must share responsibility for upholding organizational values and achieving clear organizational goals and objectives in a mutually respectful work and educational environment. Achieving success in creating a diverse and inclusive work environment rests with all City employees. Therefore, the City of Ithaca desires to provide orientation for all new employees to explicitly describe organizational goals and values, and describe and define the organizational institutional statement on diversity and inclusiveness. This orientation is not limited to full time employees but extends to temporary employees, elected officials and volunteers. In addition, customers and clients, business partners, vendors, suppliers, subcontractors, and visitors will be advised of the City s commitment to diversity and inclusiveness. Plan 1: The Diversity Plan component will be added to the new employee orientation program. Plan 2: The Mayor will reaffirm the City s commitment to diversity on an annual basis. Plan 3: As strategic plans are developed, one part of the plan would include how departments will meet the overall diversity goals. 11. Attribute: Commitment to Community Partnerships Explanation: The City of Ithaca recognizes the need to function as a responsible citizen and neighbor by forging constructive alliances with local colleges/universities, businesses, neighboring municipalities, schools, and community-based associations, expanding outreach to diverse communities, widening opportunities, enhancing access and promoting understanding to overcome bias and discrimination, and fostering principles of diversity and inclusion. Plan 1: The City of Ithaca will continue to have a representative serve on the Diversity Consortium.

6 Page 6 Plan 2: The City will partner with community agencies that support and serve the needs and interest of individuals from diverse backgrounds. Plan 3: The City will ensure that, when possible, information is presented in a way to accommodate different languages and different abilities. Plan 4: The Mayor and Common Council will monitor policies and decisions to ensure alignment with the City s Diversity Statement. Plan 5: Official documentation will follow National Braille Association s recommendation. Plan 6: The Mayor will issue a proclamation declaring support for the diversity months. 12. Attribute: Collaborative Conflict Resolution Processes Explanation: The City of Ithaca recognizes the need for a progressive conflict resolution procedure that empowers all employees at all levels, and across all departments to work collaboratively to solve problems, to resolve interpersonal conflicts, and to achieve mutually satisfying dispute resolutions. The City of Ithaca s goal is to establish a system of progressive conflict resolution procedures that begins with collaborative problem solving, encourages exploration of issues from multiple points of view, and culminates in a clear and accessible grievance process. conduct training on conflict resolution and make it available for all City employees. 13. Attribute: Participatory Work Organization and Processes Explanation: Work is completed in a collaborative environment where all individuals are expected to contribute. All those with supervisory responsibilities shall encourage team involvement. provide training, including but not limited to, team building skills, project management skills, dealing with conflict, etc. 14. Attribute: Communication and Information Sharing Explanation: The City of Ithaca supports the need for systems of communication and information flow in all directions and across all levels of responsibility for all employees, including encouraging input into City of Ithaca policies. Once decisions have been made, the policy decisions will be communicated clearly to the City of Ithaca workforce and community. This communication includes informing employees of organizational goals, operating environments, and expected performance outcomes.

7 Page 7 Plan 1: On an annual basis, all those with supervisory responsibilities will at a minimum provide feedback to individuals on their strengths and developmental needs and share department goals and objectives. Plan 2: The City of Ithaca s Mayor, Common Council, its officers and department heads will implement the City-wide communications strategy that will take into account diversity.