The city of South Bend reveals Diversity and Inclusion Plan
On Monday the first steps in south bend’s city wide diversity and inclusion plan were outlined.
“There are great people in this area and across the nation that are diverse and definitely have the capabilities to come in and be game changers in a department,” says Christina Brooks, South Bend’s Diversity and Inclusion Officer.
For the past two months Brooks has studied the city’s current work force versus the job applicant pool. She studied how many women and minorities hold jobs and from that info new decisions will be made.
“We will develop priority departments and use that data to make sure that when we do have an open position that we are looking for the highest quality candidates of color,” says Brooks.
According to the South Bend’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan the amount of minorities in positions of fire fighters, police, technicians, and administrators is less than the amount of those qualified for the positions.
When strictly looking at women, the plan shows the number of those who hold positions in maintenance, paraprofessionals, technicians, and administrative roles, is less than the amount who qualify for the job.
“The real focus is making sure that we are driving quantity and quality of applicants for positions of the city that enable us to have a city workforce that better represents the people in the community that we serve,” says Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
Mayor Buttigieg says inclusion cannot be legislated but he is leading department heads to focus on what they can control and that’s taking advantage of qualified applicants.
“I think this is a challenge in local government in general south bend is not immune and this will prompt us to be more consistent when it comes to how we handle that,” says Mayor Buttigieg.
A lot of the action items laid out in the plan include tracking and documenting the demographics of each department to make sure the city is getting closer to a more inclusive work force.