Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Kent County...A Great Place to Work

January 2016 marked the 15-year anniversary of the CIC and the County’s formal diversity & inclusion efforts. County leadership decided to hit the reset button on its diversity and inclusion efforts to determine what the organization wanted to achieve moving forward. The County engaged in a strategic planning process led by Dr. Sandra Upton from the Cultural Intelligence Center, the CIC and an assembled executive oversight team comprised of various County leaders.

The process used a combination of group discussions and surveys to gather feedback from key stakeholders to the County’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) efforts, including the CIC, County employees and various community organizations that represent underserved populations. The input from these groups was the basis for the formulation of the overall strategic plan.

One result of the planning process is a new mission statement for County DEI efforts: To advance a culture that demonstrates diversity, equity and inclusion. This mission statement reflects a much more action-oriented approach to DEI efforts planned over the next several years.

We also incorporated “equity” (and access) into our existing framework for diversity and inclusion. Equity is the guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement for all employees and community stakeholders, while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups, particularly historically underrepresented or underserved groups.

Finally, we identified the following three areas as priorities for our DEI efforts over the next 3-5 years:

  • LEADERSHIP - Address enhancing DEI efforts by encouraging top leadership to model the way and demonstrate a commitment to DEI, engaging the Board of Commissioners and improving hiring practices to ensure a more diverse pool of talent.
  • ORGANIZATIONAL CULTURE - Continue working toward developing an inclusively excellent organizational culture through employee training, assessment and improved communications.
  • ACCOUNTABILTY - Develop and implement strategies to monitor efforts and progress.

Questions about the work of the CIC or Kent County’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts may be directed to Darius Quinn, Human Resources Manager at (616) 632-7468 or Darius.Quinn@KentCountyMI.gov.