Roadmap - Diversity Equity Inclusion
Areas of Focus
Below are the specific areas the City will focus its efforts on to foster, cultivate and preserve a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion within the City of Modesto. Click on an area to see details.
Hold leaders accountable for implementing the City of Modesto’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) vision, setting goals, achieving results, and being role models.
Leaders view the accomplishment of DEI goals and objectives as an important part of their management and oversight responsibilities. They publicly support internal and external diversity related activities and are seen as DEI change agents. Leaders are held accountable for implementing the DEI strategy. They position DEI as a key component of the City’s sustainability agenda and provide DEI coaching to those they manage, creating both a psychologically and physically safe workplace. Leadership development includes DEI competency building and this is evaluated when determining succession for leadership.
Ensure that attraction, sourcing, and recruitment is done through the lens of DEI.
Through recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining employees from diverse backgrounds, we are better able to identify creative, innovative solutions to meet the needs of a rapidly connected diverse world.
A conscious effort is made to conduct appropriate, inclusive public outreach and recruitment programs to attract and ensure a diverse applicant pool, especially with respect to underrepresented groups in the City of Modesto, to achieve and maintain a workforce that is equitably representative across levels and functions. Advertising and recruitment and other forms of outreach are focused to ensure that applicant pools reflect our diverse [and underrepresented] communities. Diversity on interviewing panels is standard, and staffing/hiring managers are educated on the impact of conscious and unconscious bias. The recruitment process is regularly reviewed to ensure it is equitable and fair. Our review encompasses practices such as tracking statistical data, identifying and analyzing areas of concern, and using findings to develop and implement outreach initiatives. We also publish our findings in the interest of maintaining transparency and public accountability. There are clear DEI measures of success throughout the recruitment process.
Ensure that DEI is integrated into talent development, performance management, advancement, and retention.
A conscious effort is made to maintain a workforce that is diverse across levels and functions. The onboarding process results in all new employees feeling valued and included. As with our recruitment and hiring practices, we take a systematic, data-driven approach to evaluating our advancement and retention practices to ensure they reflect our aspirations of maintaining an inclusive workforce. This process involves a multi-faceted assessment of performance reviews, exit and stay interviews, employee engagement surveys, and measures of involuntary and voluntary turnover.
Ensure that job design and classification are evaluated for bias and that compensation is equitable across key dimensions of diversity.
We will systematically review job requirements, classifications, technology and compensation for potential bias and adverse impact. Job descriptions and requirements are understandable and do not include unrelated factors. Compensation is based on job requirements and performance. The City of Modesto aspires to pay a living wage, in accordance with locally agreed upon standards. Compensation analyses are conducted regularly to ensure that biases based on race, ethnicity, age, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, function, and other potential areas of discrimination are significantly reduced.
Achieve work-life integration, flexibility, and equitable benefits. Flexible work options are widely available and accessible.
Work-life integration, flexibility, and equitable benefits are encouraged, actively promoted, recognized as enhancements of productivity, and are not career limiting. Performance management focuses on output, contribution and impact. Benefits and services that are specific to the diverse needs of employees are provided based on ongoing assessments of employee needs. Some examples of possible benefits and services are: subsidized dependent-care, parental leave, extended family consideration, eldercare, emergency care, fitness programs, and paid leave. Accommodations for religious practices, cultural practices, persons with disabilities, and others are achieved with care and consideration and go beyond legal requirements. We prioritize safety, security, and wellness within our employees’ work environment.
Ensure that assessments, measurement, and research guide DEI decisions.
DEI measures are explicitly linked to strategy and have an impact on leaders at all levels, including their performance appraisals, recognition, and rewards. City of Modesto has a dashboard or scorecard for reputational risk assessment on DEI issues. The views of the community are an important factor in measuring DEI and sustainability performance for both the City and individuals. The measurements include community opinions and experiences, and a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures. Information on all aspects of DEI is gathered and evaluated using practices such as 360-feedback and/or multifaceted, culturally sensitive, and linguistically appropriate feedback, focus groups, opinion and engagement surveys, and organizational audits.
Make communication clear, simple to understand, and a crucial force in achieving our DEI goals.
DEI communication is frequent, ongoing, innovative, and contributes to an enhanced reputation for the City. Employees who serve in public communication roles are educated about DEI and its link with sustainability. All internal and external communication is accessible and available in multiple formats and, if applicable, in the languages identified as a Substantial Number of Limited English Persons Group. The City will use a defined method for Language Access and communicate the use of inclusive language to account for various diversity dimensions. The communication sent out both internally and externally does not prejudice or harm any group intentionally and where this occurs, it is corrected quickly and clearly. DEI topics are easy and quick to find on our websites and social media platforms. Progress on reaching DEI vision and goals is reported to the public regularly.
Educate all to achieve a level of DEI competence and confidence needed to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization.
Leaders and employees throughout the City will receive DEI training specific to their job and level geared to achieving the established goals and benchmarks. Learning and education is also offered to other stakeholders such as vendors, and the public at large. A DEI lens is used to integrate all learning and education programs. The City will use blended DEI learning and continuously update and customize this to changing needs. Programs may focus on general DEI and on specific issues such as systemic and structural racism, sexism, ageism, ableism, internalized oppression, classism, heterosexism, prejudice, discrimination (including harassment and bullying), privilege, micro-aggressions, and conscious and unconscious bias, all of which are addressed with sensitivity, conviction, and compassion, and in ways that enhance inclusion and equity.
Be proactive in working with community, public and private partnerships, other local government, society at large, and through philanthropy.
The City will become a recognized leader for supporting and advocating for DEI interests within the community. We will be socially responsible and leverage efforts with industry and sector peers. It is generous in partnering with or supporting other organizations in their DEI initiatives to advance DEI in the community. Employees are encouraged to participate in and support various community projects, share DEI learning from such activities and reinforce the City’s commitment to DEI. The City will focus on equitable allocation of resources when delivering services to the community and diversity in commission and board appointments.
Integrate DEI into marketing and customer service.
Marketing and customer service strategies meet the needs of diverse groups. Sophisticated market analysis techniques are deployed on an ongoing basis to understand the organization’s diverse customer and stakeholder base. Marketing and advertising strategies are inclusive and challenge stereotypes. While outside DEI expertise may sometimes be sought, the City leverages the expertise of its diverse staff. Accessibility and cultural sensitivity are incorporated into the process of design and development of all marketing materials and customer service strategies.
Below is information about the various sections of the diversity, equity and inclusion program within the City of Modesto. Click on any topic to see details.
About our Commitment
City of Modesto is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion. A diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace and community is one:
- Where all employees, volunteers and the community we serve feel valued, respected and heard;
- Where equal opportunity for employment and advancement in all of our departments, programs, and worksites exists; and
- Where we respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages.
The collective sum of the individual differences, life experiences, knowledge, inventiveness, innovation, self-expression, unique capabilities and talent that our employees invest in their work represents a significant part of not only our culture, but our reputation and achievement as well.
We embrace differences in age, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, political affiliation, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socio-economic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make individuals unique.
We are committed to a nondiscriminatory approach and ensuring that our practices and policies on recruitment and selection; compensation and benefits; professional development and training; promotions; transfers; social and recreational programs, the ongoing development of a work environment; and the services that we provide to the community are built on the premise of diversity, equity and inclusion that encourages and enforces:
- Respectful communication and cooperation between all employees and in the delivery of all services.
- Teamwork and employee participation, permitting the representation of all groups and employee perspectives.
- Employer and employee contributions to the communities we serve to promote a greater understanding and respect for its diversity.
Inclusion & Belonging Guiding Principles
We believe that by investing in an inclusive culture, we will attract the best and brightest talent, leading to more innovative solutions for our community. Building and sustaining an inclusive and diverse culture is essential, and it is the right thing to do.
Who We Are
- We believe in an inclusive work environment where employees and the public are welcomed, valued, respected, and heard.
- We believe that diversity brings strength.
- We believe in equality of opportunity free from discrimination.
- We believe that employees should be provided a safe work environment.
- We believe in hiring and promoting the most qualified candidate.
- We believe in employee development at all levels of the City of Modesto.
- We believe in the power of belonging as an integral component in achieving diversity and inclusion.
Commitment to Continued Progress on Diversity & Inclusion Matters
- We will continue to make our workplaces safe and trusting places to have complex, and sometimes difficult, conversations about diversity and inclusion.
- We will create and maintain environments, where our employees feel comfortable reaching out to their colleagues to gain greater awareness of each other’s experiences and perspectives. By encouraging an ongoing dialogue we are building trust, encouraging compassion and open-mindedness, and reinforcing our commitment to a culture of inclusivity.
- We will implement and expand unconscious bias education: Unconscious bias education enables individuals to begin recognizing, acknowledging, and therefore minimizing any potential blind spots they might have. By helping our employees recognize and minimize their blind spots, we aim to facilitate more open and honest conversations.
- We will create and share strategic inclusion and diversity plans with our community.
- We will work with our Council Members on the development and evaluation of concrete, strategic action plans to prioritize and drive accountability around diversity and inclusion.
We will create an environment that reflects a healthy disposition toward difference, by:
- Providing ongoing and relevant training on how to exhibit and encourage behavior that exemplifies our values of civility and respect;
- Establishing and promoting workplace culture expectations that all employees are made aware of and make commitments to follow;
- Motivating and empowering employees to take responsibility for their actions and to help positively influence the behavior and civility of their fellow employees;
- Sharing and implementing methods on how to best create a culture of accountability and respect when it comes to issues of diversity and inclusivity.
- Holding all employees responsible to treat others with dignity and respect at all times. Expecting all employees to exhibit conduct that reflects inclusion during work, at work functions on or off the work site, and at all other City-sponsored events.
- Maintaining our commitment to modeling diversity and inclusion within the public sector.
To provide informed, authentic leadership the City of Modesto strives to:
- See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our strategic plan and critical to ensure the well-being of our employees and the community we serve.
- Acknowledge and dismantle any inequities within our policies, systems, programs, and services, and continually update and report progress.
- Explore potential underlying, unquestioned assumptions that interfere with inclusiveness.
- Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.
- Commit time and resources to expand more diverse leadership and represent the community as a whole.
- Lead with respect and open-mindedness. We expect all employees to embrace this notion and to express it in workplace interactions and through everyday practices.
City of Modesto will abide by the following action items to help promote diversity and inclusion:
- Pursue cultural competency throughout the City by creating substantive learning opportunities and formal, transparent policies.
- Improve our cultural leadership by creating and supporting programs and policies that foster leadership that supports and reflects the diversity of our community.
- Develop and present training on diversity, inclusion, and equity to provide information and resources to employees, council members, committees and the community.
- Develop systems for managing contributors to and impact of intentional and unconscious bias during the hiring, promotion, and evaluation process including training of equitable practices for our hiring team.
- Advocate for public policy that promotes diversity, inclusion, and equity. Challenge systems and policies that create inequity, oppression and disparity.
The unique traits that individuals possess. It can be understood in two general ways:
- Inherent diversity, for example: race, gender, sexual orientation, or disability
- Acquired diversity, for example: diversity of thought, cross-cultural communication, language, or social skills
A person isn’t diverse. They’re unique. They can bring diversity to a group though. Diversity is about a collective or a group.
Equity is an approach that ensures everyone has access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that we don’t all start from the same place because advantages and barriers exist. It’s a process that acknowledges uneven starting places and seeks to correct the imbalance. Diversity and inclusion are both outcomes. Equity is not. It refers to the process City of Modesto engages in to ensure that people with marginalized identities have the opportunity to grow, contribute, and develop.
A state in which all employees feel a sense of belonging, valued for their differences, and empowered to participate and contribute freely.
In adopting this Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program, the City Council calls for the full cooperation of all managers and employees to carry out the identified tactics and actions in order to make Diversity, Equity and Inclusion a reality at the City of Modesto.
We choose to embrace diversity as a responsible business practice rather than a regulatory compliance matter. We understand that by implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, by offering equal employment opportunities to all residents and by developing the abilities of all employees, we improve the service provided to our citizens and strengthen the entire community.
Assignment of and Responsibility for the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program
Each member of Management is responsible for furthering of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and auxiliary programs and supporting all phases of implementation, benchmarking and training. Below is the description of the specific duties and responsibilities of the various City officials in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts:
The City Council
Is responsible for the adoption of the City's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program, and supporting Plans. The Council also provides a forum for public awareness of the City's program and periodically reviews program results.
The City Manager
Is responsible for the implementation of the City's personnel policies and for ensuring discrimination-free processes. The City Manager will establish a positive, supportive tone that guides department directors and other appointing authorities as they integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into all aspects of their departments, employee relations and work within the community. The City Manager will monitor results and report progress to the City Council. The City Manager shall also review and approve the EEOP and other program goals; ensure the City of Modesto adheres to and complies with the intent and objectives of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program; and evaluate the City’s overall performance and achievement of stated goals.
The Equity Commission
Is a citizen’s body that advises the City Manager and encourages Equity and Equal Opportunity in the City of Modesto. The City Council shall appoint eleven (11) Equity Commissioners for a four-year term. Members shall not be City employees and shall, as a group, include members of all protected classes. Members should have a background evidencing community involvement, understanding of business and employment practices, and awareness of the objectives and methods of equity and equal employment opportunity.
The Commission is governed by its Rules of Procedures, initially adopted by the City Council, which may be amended from time to time by the Commission.
The duties of the Equity Commission are:
- To advise the City Manager and the City Council in matters that relate to equity and inclusion, equal opportunity and disability related issues.
- To formulate and recommend policy to the City Council and City Manager in matters that pertain to equity and inclusion, equal opportunity and disability related issues, to include workforce and services provided to the community.
- To review the practices and procedures of the City of Modesto in all matters that relate to equity and inclusion, equal opportunity and disability, to include workforce and services provided to the community.
- To monitor the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan which strives to obtain a City work force which reflects the labor force within the City and Stanislaus County.
- To continually review the accomplishments of the City of Modesto in meeting its equity and inclusion goals.
The designated Equal Opportunity Officer
Has the responsibility for the implementation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan, and to:
- Develop policy statements, Equal Opportunity programs, internal and external communication techniques and monitoring systems for the Equal Employment Opportunity Plan.
- Identify problem areas and assist managers in arriving at solutions to problems.
- Determine whether the City has made progress toward achieving a workforce that is representative of, and reflects, the local labor market.
- Work with the Employee Relations Officer who investigates complaints of harassment and discrimination and coordinates with specific agencies.
- Serve as liaison between the City, private and public employment services and community groups for the recruitment of minorities, women, and members of the disabled community.
- Review and conduct periodic audits of hiring, promotion, and disciplinary actions to ensure that they are non-discriminatory.
The Human Resources Department, in coordination with the City Attorney’s Office
Has the responsibility for receiving, reviewing, investigating and responding to complaints of harassment and discrimination in a timely, thorough, and fair manner.
Are generally the "appointing authority" in City government. They are responsible for hiring decisions, promotions, disciplinary actions and insuring that City and departmental personnel policies are enforced. They are responsible for their departments’ employment decisions.
The Director of Human Resources
Is responsible for administering and maintaining a personnel system in which equal employment opportunity can become a reality. The Director of Human Resources is responsible for recruitment and selection efforts, training and any other matters of employment policy.
Are required to carry out their duties in directing, training, monitoring and evaluating subordinates without regard to non-job-related criterion, including those prohibited by this policy.
Have the responsibility of interacting with their fellow employees and the public in a respectful and non-discriminatory manner, so that an environment of inclusion and acceptance is modeled throughout the City's workforce.
Have agreed to support the City's efforts in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and all associated plans and policies in place to support the overall program. Specific commitments will be included in each Memorandum of Understanding.
Supporting Policies and Plans
City Policy Against Harassment and Discrimination
It is the policy of the City of Modesto that discrimination and harassment are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Further, it is the policy of the City of Modesto to treat its citizens, customers and employees with respect and dignity and to strive to provide a working environment free of discrimination and harassment. This policy applies to all employees, officials, agents and volunteers, and all non-employees who have contact with employees during working hours (See Exhibit A).
Code of Ethics
It is the policy of the City of Modesto to hold all individuals to a high ethical standard. The City of Modesto’s Code of Ethics require that all employees adhere to a standard during interactions within the organization and with the public that includes acting with integrity, treating others with respect, maintaining the public’s trust, providing quality public service, and assuring justice is provided to all (See Exhibit B).
Intent: Any person who feels that they have encountered discrimination and/or harassment is encouraged to come forward and present that information. All complaints are kept confidential to the extent permitted by law. However, it should be noted that when a supervisor or other management employee is made aware of a situation of potential harassment or discrimination, they are required to take steps to verify whether or not the discrimination/harassment occurred and to take whatever action is necessary to correct the situation. A prompt and appropriate investigation may require disclosure of the allegations, the identity of the person making the allegations, and may necessitate the use of other parties to assist in the investigation.
It is the intent of this procedure to provide an effective means for resolving individual or group problems of a sensitive nature quickly and with a minimum of formal procedural requirements. (See Exhibit C)
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement and Plan
The Modesto City Council is committed to the principles of equal opportunity and nondiscrimination in all employment practices. We fully endorse the plan of equal opportunity and have committed the City of Modesto to provide employees and applicants equal employment opportunities in all departments within the City.
The City's Equal Employment Opportunity Plan aims at: identifying and eliminating the effects of any past discrimination; removing any artificial barriers to the employment of women, minorities and disabled persons; developing and implementing employment programs that promote equitable access to careers within the City; and providing a continuing program of training for all employees. (See Exhibit D, Exhibit E)
Language Access Plan
It is the policy of the City of Modesto to provide meaningful, effective access for members of the public that identify as less than very well in English Proficiency. Language assistance services are available free of charge and the City of Modesto will provide these services for languages identified as a Substantial Number of Limited English Persons Group to ensure inclusion of all community members. The City continues to search for new solutions to meet public communication needs including more efficient use of existing resources to help improve, and expand, language access. (See Exhibit F)
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Plan and Addendum
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that mandates equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in the areas of employment, public accommodations, government services, public transportation, and telecommunication. It is the policy of the City of Modesto to provide access and equal opportunity to persons with disabilities. The City is committed to continuous improvement through the City’s ADA Transition Plan. (See Exhibit G, Exhibit H)
Dissemination of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program
The City of Modesto disseminates its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program through the following methods:
Internal Dissemination of Policy
- All City department directors are informed of the intent of the Program and their individual responsibility for its implementation.
- The Program is disseminated to City employees annually through our policy software program for acknowledgement.
- The Program, supporting plans, policies and related activities are highlighted in City publications.
- All new employees are informed of the program at the time of hire.
- All employee organizations are informed of the City's policies and commitment, and their cooperation is requested. A non-discrimination clause is included in all memoranda of understanding and all contractual provisions are reviewed to ensure they are non-discriminatory.
- All employees are required to attend harassment and abusive conduct prevention trainings at least once every two years.
- The Program is posted in City facilities and on the City’s Intranet site.
- All employees will have core competencies related to this program within all performance evaluations.
External Dissemination of Program
- The Program is incorporated into all job announcements.
- The Program is posted on the City’s website for the public.
- Basic Understanding of Diversity and Inclusiveness – all employees will receive training on the basics of diversity and inclusiveness within three months of hire.
- Understanding Unconscious Bias – all employees will receive training in unconscious biases and how they affect decision-making, interactions, and organizational environment within the first three months of hire.
- Fostering an Inclusive Climate – all employees will receive training on how to foster and maintain an inclusive culture within three months of hire. Supervisors will receive additional training on fostering an inclusive environment as a role model and in the application of policies and procedures within three months of hire or promotion.
- Inclusive Hiring – Comprehensive training for all hiring managers and panel members within six months of new plan and within three months of hire or promotion moving forward
The following metrics will serve to inform the City on progress related to the Program. A baseline will be established and used to measure and determine success. New metrics will be phased in as the City as the city progresses.
|The percentage of candidates within a specific identity group. Can be calculated overall, by position, by department, etc.||Number of applicants in group / Total number of applicants|
|Leadership Diversity||Percentage of employees within a specific identity group within leadership, or a specific level of leadership.||Number of employees in group in leadership / Total number of employees in leadership|
|Candidate Diversity Success Rate||The advancement rate of applicants who identify with a specific group through different stages of the hiring funnel.||Number of candidates in group in chosen stage / Number of candidates in previous stage|
|Turnover Segmentation||The turnover rate for employees within a specific identity group.||(Resignation + Retirements + Involuntary terminations for specific identity group) / Total number of employees in that group|
|Average Length of Service||Average length of employee service (based on headcount).||Sum of length of service / Headcount|
|Age Distribution||Percentage of employees within a particular age bracket.||(Number of employees within certain age bracket / Total number of employees ) * 100|
|Promotion Rate||Employees promoted as a percentage of headcount.||Promotions / Headcount|
|Workforce Diversity||Percentage of employees within a specific identity group within the broader workforce. This can be examined at a role or department level as well.||Number of employees in specific identity group / Total number of employees|
|Regrettable Turnover||The loss of an employee that the organization wishes it could have kept as a percentage of total turnover.||Number of employees who left that the organization wishes had remained / Number of individuals who leave the organization|