Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is Everybody's Everyday Work
Our Commitment and Vision
Washington County commits to a vibrant workplace and community that practices engagement, representation, and service to all members inclusively and equitably with dignity and respect.
The term "DEI ecosystem" means the network that includes efforts and practices related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. It represents the interconnectedness of various elements, such as policies, programs, resources, and allies, working together to foster diversity, promote equity, and ensure inclusion in Washington County.
Washington County has put in place a comprehensive program that covers education, projects, and services. The DEI program aims to improve the county's ability to understand and work well with people from different cultures. It also aims to provide fair and equal services and results for everyone, without any differences or inequalities. The program involves various teams and groups that work together under the guidance of county leaders and the DEI Steering Team.
At Washington County, the comprehensive DEI program is known as the DEI Ecosystem.
Strategic Implementation Plan
To help guide the county's equity work, the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Steering Team (DEI Steering Team) was formed in March of 2020. DEI Steering Team members, along with the Office of Administration and leaders in every department, developed a DEI Strategic Implementation Plan with strategic goals for fulfilling the county’s vision.
Goals and Strategies
|Diverse, talented workforce and leadership.||Recruit, hire and build a diverse organization while retaining and promoting talent.|
|Equitable, accessible and inclusive services.||Listen, learn and adapt our service delivery to ensure inclusive and equitable access to all members of our community.|
|Inclusive, welcoming workplace.||Create a workplace that provides a culture of security and supports around acceptance, belonging, and inclusion for all identities.|
|Interculturally competent organization.||Establish a DEI baseline and develop interculturally competent mindsets through training, development and practice.|
|Organizational commitment to DEI.||Build a sustainable, socially responsible resource structure that declares commitment to and prioritizes DEI.|
We intentionally provide definitions for “diversity”, “equity”, and “inclusion” to allow for shared understanding and thoughtful conversations.
the range of human differences, including but not limited to; race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, physical ability, religious and spiritual beliefs, national origin, and political perspective
providing access to resources and advancements to underrepresented communities, so everyone has an opportunity to succeed
creating an environment in which an individual or group feels like a welcomed, respected, supported, and valued part of the community
DEI in Action
Washington County makes a commitment to creating a diverse, inclusive and discrimination-free workplace to leverage unique talents, value individuality, and develop inclusive leaders. Departments are charged with equity work to implement the county’s DEI Strategic Implementation Plan. Using best practice and data informed examinations of activities, the county strives to reduce disparities for our customers and our community.
Every Washington County department has an Equity Change Team (ECT). Members work together to:
- Support the DEI Strategic Implementation Plan.
- Create department Equity Work Plans that catalyze equitable systems change in policy, procedures and decision-making in government.
- Cultivate and develop new equity leaders.
- Build capacity to disseminate learning, skills, and tools for operationalizing equity.
- Champion equity projects and celebrate and sustain success.
- Communicate about equity across the department and management levels.
- Solicit input and feedback from the community.
All teams then come together as the Unified Equity Change Team.
Powered by employees and empowered by Washington County, countywide Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are open to all employees who share a common identity or have similar interests or want to be an ally to the group. ERGs are a network of employees that help drive results and act as a catalyst to build a culture of inclusion, equity and diversity across the organization. ERGs help to:
- Foster an environment that embraces and leverages the diverse cultures of employees.
- Encourage meaningful community involvement.
- Advance talent growth and professional development through collaboration across the organization.
ERGs offer a welcoming and supportive space to promote connection, growth, and understanding.
The group aims to eliminate racism and create a more intentionally inclusive and equitable environment through our actions. To promote allyship, accompliceship, and anti-racism among white employees for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) at Washington County.
This ERG is designed to be a safe space for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) employees with a passion to help eliminate racism from Washington County centered around empowerment, education, and inclusivity of all Asian American (AA) employees across Washington County.
Black Employee Network Resource Group (BEN)
BEN will be a pathway for Washington County to offer support to its Black employees as well as to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with the organization's inclusion mission. This resource group will be effective to help all employees feel a sense of equity and belonging at the county.
Pronounced "hehn-teh," this is a LatinX ERG focused on promoting, supporting, and connecting the Latinx and Hispanic community within the Washington County organization.
The Pride ERG is designed to be a safe space for all genders and sexual orientations within Washington County. Anyone who is a part of the LGBTQIA+ community, supports it, or even just wants to learn more about it is encouraged to join.
Women's Employee Resource Group
A Women's ERG is key to opening up possibilities and building a community for them and their allies. The Women's ERG was created to allow women to find support and resources:
- Where they can utilize their leadership capabilities.
- Connect to mentors or advocates that can help them unlock career advancement opportunities.
The Women's ERG will work toward a more inclusive and equitable work environment across the county agency to achieve diversity and inclusivity.