Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is Everybody's Everyday Work

Commitment and Vision | DEI Program | Strategic Implementation Plan |Goals | Definitions | Actions

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. 

DEI Ecosystem

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.

Infographic of DEI ecosystem which includes the efforts from all county employees, trainers, leadership groups, departmental equity change teams, unified equity change teams, employee resource groups and leaders, the County Board of Commissioneres, County leadership and the DEI Steering Team.

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.

DEI Definitions

We intentionally provide definitions for “diversity”, “equity”, and “inclusion” to allow for shared understanding and thoughtful conversations.

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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

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providing access to resources and advancements to underrepresented communities, so everyone has an opportunity to succeed

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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.

  1. Equity Change Teams

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.

  1. Employee Resource Groups