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Mayor Walsh releases first ever workforce report examining diversity throughout city government

April 14, 2015

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Mayor Martin J. Walsh today released the City of Boston's first ever Workforce Profile Report to transparently examine the racial and gender makeup of Boston’s municipal employee base. The report was led by Shaun Blugh, the City's first-ever Chief Diversity Officer and Deputy Chief Diversity Officer, Freda Brasfield.    

The report analyzes annual pay rate disparities at the Cabinet, Department Head, and throughout each department, and highlights current initiatives and outlines recommendations for the Walsh Administration to establish a road map for further diversification of the Boston workforce. The findings of this report will play a role in succession planning as City Hall prepares for the upcoming transition of an aging workforce.

"This report represents a blueprint of where we are in city government when it comes to race and diversity of our workforce," Mayor Walsh said. "We were able to take a in-depth look at each department to see where we can improve and specifically what we need to do to reach our goals. It is our priority to not only improve the numbers but to create a strong pipeline that will ensure we are finding the best talent and cultivating that talent for positions throughout City Hall."

Mayor Walsh appointed Shaun Blugh the City's first-ever Chief Diversity Officer in December to provide strategic leadership in implementing Mayor Walsh's diversity agenda. 

"We know we have work to do, but this Workforce Profile Report is an important step in reviewing the City of Boston's current workforce composition and being transparent to our constituents on these significant issues," Chief Blugh said.  

The data for the report highlights the progress Mayor Walsh has implemented across City leadership level, appointing the most diverse cabinet in Boston history, while highlighting that areas of improvement are necessary.   

The report examines full-time and regular part-time employees of the city government. The findings of this report will be used to analyze which departments are currently making those strides and which departments have the greatest opportunity in the coming years to better reflect the demographics of the city of Boston and allow for a more engaged workforce motivated by the potential for development and career advancement.  

Since taking office, Mayor Walsh has actively recruited across the City and nation to bring in highly-skilled diverse talent to fill his Cabinet. However, in order to sustain true systemic change, the report emphasizes the need to examine how the City recruits, develops, and retains talent throughout all departments. This includes proactively developing internal pipelines of talent for leadership positions and preparing current employee base with the skills and opportunities for further professional development in order to retain more diverse talent in the overall workforce.  

The report highlights how diversity and inclusion initiatives are more than just about the racial and gender breakdown of the city workforce, but creating an environment in city government whereby each employee feels respected, valued and appreciated for their own individuality and diverse viewpoints.    The Mayor’s Office of Diversity is working with management across departments to foster a workplace culture that celebrates the individuality and diversity of thought of each employee in the city government workforce. 

Wage inequality based on ethnicity, race, gender or any other factors is also examined in this report. As an organization, it is essential that all employees feel that they are paid equal wages for equal work. The report examines all departments of city government to determine where the most significant gaps are currently in regards to racial and gender inequity.

The report outlined the following recommendations: 

  1. Unrolling an employee engagement survey to better assess the current employee base’s views on opportunities for advancement at City Hall;
  2. Ability to ask municipal employees to self-identify their ethnic/racial background through the City's current upgrade of the HR database;
  3. Working with professional organizations to aid recruiting efforts for current positions;
  4. Continue to look at ways to improve policies for the well-being of our employees and the city of Boston, similar to the recent paid parental leave program;
  5. Increase diversity training throughout city departments; 
  6. Continue to engage external stakeholders with the City through the Diversity Task Force; and,
  7. Utilize and build additional employee resource groups to provide advice on how to work and succeed professionally at City Hall.

The Mayor’s Office of Diversity is responsible for leading Mayor Walsh's diversity agenda, including the ongoing development and delivery of the City’s diversity goals and objectives in areas of hiring, leadership and career development, diversity training, strategic planning, recruitment and retention. The Mayor’s Office of Diversity is tasked with analyzing and improving the City’s procurement strategies, to support and increase opportunities for minority- and women-owned businesses to engage directly with the City of Boston. The Chief Diversity Officer and Deputy Chief Diversity Officer will continue to perform outreach to community, academic, and business organizations in order to increase diversity of employee candidate pools, and assist in the development of hiring processes to ensure maximum opportunities for employment and career advancement for candidates from underrepresented demographic groups.

The full report is available here.