Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion are core values at the County of San Mateo and fast becoming business imperatives for any organization that wants to work smart, innovate, and promote equity.
A diverse and inclusive work environment brings in new ideas and experiences. Different ideas and perspectives lead to better problem-solving. Working in diverse teams open dialogue and promotes creativity.
San Mateo County is committed to promoting diversity in addition to fostering equity, inclusion, respect, and appreciation across the entire workforce.
What is Diversity?
“Diversity” means more than just acknowledging and/or tolerating difference. It is about understanding that each individual is unique. Our unique qualities can be along the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies. It is the exploration of these differences in a safe, positive, and nurturing environment. Diversity is about understanding each other and moving beyond simple tolerance to embracing and celebrating the rich dimensions of diversity contained within each individual.
“Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” -Ola Joseph
What is Equity?
Equity in the workplace is about ensuring that everyone receives fair treatment and has equal opportunities for growth, career development, and to contribute, regardless of their personal identities or backgrounds. Equity is the condition that would be achieved if one’s identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. Equity is one part of justice, and thus includes work to address the root causes of inequities, not just their manifestation. This includes elimination and reversal of policies, practices, attitudes and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race, sexuality, gender, religion, ability/disability, or socioeconomic status.
“Equality is leaving the door open for anyone who has the means to approach it; Equity is ensuring there is a pathway to that door for those who need it.” -Caroline Belden
What is Inclusion?
An inclusive work environment is when individuals with different backgrounds are accepted, welcomed and feel a sense of belonging. Employees feel respected and valued for their individual and group identities as well as a level of supportive energy and commitment from others so they can do their best at work. The process of inclusion engages each individual and makes people feel valued as being an essential part of the success of the organization. Evidence shows that when people feel valued, they function at full capacity and feel part of the organization’s mission.
“Diversity is being asked to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” -Verna Myers