Equity and justice for all, statewide across state government.
The Washington State Office of Equity exists to facilitate policy and systems change to promote equitable policies, practices, and outcomes to streamline our service delivery and improve the customer experience through:
- Agency decision making
- Community involvement
- Technical assistance and training to agencies
- Maintaining data and establishing performance metrics.
We will put you first when providing effective (doing the right things), efficient (doing things right), excellent (excellence is a habit), accountable (we own our stuff), and responsive services in an equitable and just way. You can expect every member of our team to:
- Treat you and one another with dignity, respect, and trust, supporting you and each other in this work
- Bring a growth mindset to the table – we educate ourselves and challenge biased systems, power, and control dynamics
- Listen with empathy to people that have lived experience with systemic racism, discrimination, oppression, and marginalization, acknowledging barriers that need to be addressed/removed.
- Speak up and own our truth, holding ourselves and others accountable when bias or microaggressions occur --in real time
- Create access to tools and resources for everyone to use to take strategic intervention for creating a new normal: a seamless, integrated, world-class, equitable and just state government public service delivery system.
- Recognize that every move that we make (phone call, email, meeting, conversation, policy revision, new hire, and the like) is either upholding the oppressive trauma-inducing system or dismantling it.
We the People
We unapologetically champion, challenge, and consult with others to develop and implement structural safeguards that improve the work and quality of life for federally and state identified protected groups: American Indians and Alaska Natives; Asian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders; members of the Black community; Immigrants; Latinos; Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex individuals; Persons with Disabilities; Veterans; and Women.
Empowered by federal Executive Orders issued by Presidents of the United States, state Executive Orders issued by Governors of the state of Washington, laws, regulations, and guidance from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Washington State Human Rights Commission, Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the state’s Office of Financial Management-State Human Resources (OFM State HR), our team of Equity Consultants work closely with state agency leaders, Commissions, Business Resource Groups, affinity groups, and a wide range of external organizations and stakeholders to set policy that identifies and removes systemic barriers that prevent these individuals and groups from achieving their career goals at rates consistent with the general workforce.
Our team of Consultants connect daily with a variety of agency stakeholders to provide an array of services to promote systemic and cultural changes by introducing best practices and change management to agencies to improve strategic thinking, manage change, and enhance organizational culture and performance.
Agency decision making. Assist agencies in applying an equity lens in all aspects of agency decision making, including service delivery, program development, policy development, and budgeting. We will:
- Facilitate information sharing between agencies around equity, diversity, and inclusion issues. Convene work groups, as needed
- Develop and provide equity/race equity assessment tools and equity/racial equity impact statement for agencies to use to develop and evaluate agency programs, services, policies, and budgets
- Train agency staff on how to effectively use and embed the assessment tools and statements developed into all aspects of the agency's operations, programs, and interactions
- Develop a form (format and content) that will serve as each agency's equity, diversity, and inclusion plan, required to be submitted by all agencies, for each agency to report on its work in the area of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
- Determine the frequency of reporting
- Post each agency plan on the dashboard
- Maintain an inventory of agency equity, diversity, and inclusion work
- Compile and create creating resources for agencies to use as guidance when carrying out equity work
- Help the state develop polices, programs, procedures, protocols, and practices that surpass accessibility requirements
Our Data Analytics translate statistical data and analysis reports into useful information and insights that drive equitable and just decisions and outcomes. They develop, monitor, and disseminate equity metrics, analyses, and reports, presentations and workshops to educate others on patterns in accessibility, Executive Branch leadership, supplier diversity, and a host of others, arranged by variables such as race, ethnicity, sex, and disability status.
The Analysts work in partnership with a variety of internal and external stakeholders, partners, and vendors to receive decolonized, disaggregated data to produce relevant information that result in equitable and just decisions and outcomes for people who work and live in the state of Washington.
Maintaining data and establishing performance metrics. We collaborate, when appropriate, with the Washington State Office of Financial Management, state agencies, the Washington State Office of the Chief Information Officer, and a host of others to:
- Establish standards for the collection, analysis, and reporting of disaggregated, decolonized data as it pertains to tracking population level outcomes of communities
- Create statewide and agency-specific process and outcome measures to show performance.
- Use outcome-based methodology to determine the effectiveness of agency programs and services on reducing disparities.
- Center community voice to determine whether the performance measures established accurately measure the effectiveness of agency programs and services in the communities served.
- Create an online performance dashboard to publish state and agency performance measures and outcomes.
- Identify additional subcategories in workforce data for disaggregation to track disparities in public employment.
- Address cybersecurity and data protection for all data collected by the office
Equity and justice for all is the “North Star” that guides our civil rights, equity, and anti-racist work at the Washington State Office of Equity. We listen to the ideas and perspectives of Washington stakeholder communities and partner across state government to develop and implement laws, rules, and policies to achieve equitable and just practices and outcomes for the people served by Washington state agencies and the people who serve them.
Each year, the Equity Director publishes a report to the Governor and Legislature, revealing state agency commitment to a workforce free of discrimination and its value proposition for embedding equity and belonging. To strengthen that commitment, our policies serve to outline the rights and responsibilities of every leader, supervisor, and employee and are consistent with current law.
Our team of Equity Consultants remain current about changes in state and federal statutes, regulations, executive orders, and new guidance and directives from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Washington State Office of Financial Management (OFM), respectively. We make every effort to ensure government agency policies remain current and that our state government workforce understands any changes to our policies.
- Community Involvement. We ask people with lived experience with systemic racism, discrimination, oppression, and marginalization of oppression to help identify policy and system barriers, including language access, that prevent their meaningful engagement in all aspects of agency decision making.
- Technical assistance and training to agencies. We will develop policies and provide technical assistance and training to agencies on operationalizing equity and belonging to sustain and retain a diverse workforce that delivers superior services in a humane and equitable way.
- Collaborate with and provide sound advice to the OFM and the Washington State Department of Enterprise Services (DES) on matters pertaining to the DES Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) mandatory training to agencies on maintaining a diverse, inclusive, and culturally sensitive workforce that delivers culturally sensitive services
- Collaborate with the key agency and external stakeholders to set policy and procedures that achieve racial equity in employment, contracting, and service delivery
- Collaborate with the key agency and external stakeholders to set policy and procedures that achieve access for state employees and people accessing state services in a variety of areas such as, yet not limited to, language (for people with limited/no English proficiency, people who are deaf and hard of hearing, and people who are blind or have low vision), physical design and reasonable accommodation, technology (such as website accessibility and access to affordable reliable internet and broadband for people who are historically and current left out and left behind), supported employment for people with disabilities and disabled veterans, and emerging considerations to address generational difference.