Each year, the League of California Cities (LOCC or League) Annual Conference provides an opportunity for public executives to gain insight, expand knowledge, and collaborate with cities across California. The California City Management Foundation (CCMF) delivered a thought-provoking session last week on the “Benefits of Diversity in Municipal Management” during the 2018 League Annual Conference. Paul Arevalo (City Manager of West Hollywood) served as the panel moderator and was joined by Pat Martel (former City Manager of Daly City), Kurt Wilson (City Manager of Stockton), and Lori Sassoon (Deputy City Manager of Rancho Cucamonga).
The panel began with a deep dive into the business case for diversity, then outlined strategies to manage unconscious bias in the executive search. When it comes to your city management staff, having a truly diverse team can lead to some enormous benefits, such as creative problem-solving and the growth of a flexible, collaborative, and inclusive work environment. The more your community can identify with your Staff, the better your public engagement can be and the more your organization can be seen as the employer of choice for future generations.
Rounding out the session, the group discussed why they value diversity in their staff and shared ideas on how to grow a diverse workplace. Many organizations – including CCMF, the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), and Women Leading Government (WLG) – offer mentorship, training, and other resources to help organizations improve.
Thank you to our speakers for sharing your expertise on this important topic! We hope the session provided attendees with valuable lessons and insights.
Download the session presentation and view photos from the panel below.