In its ongoing dedication to improving its workplace culture for all employees, the board of directors of the Metropolitan Water District has adopted a statement pledging its support of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
The Statement of Commitment approved by the board Tuesday (Oct. 12) is the result of a collaborative discussion among the 38-member board and provides guidance so that staff can develop, implement and maintain policies and practices to support diversity, equity and inclusion.
In the statement, the board pledges to create the highest standards of diversity, equity and inclusion at all levels. It also states that, "equity and inclusion can only be realized for a diverse workforce through ensuring greater access, opportunity, empowerment, and advancement for all employees by ensuring there are no institutional barriers and providing the needed resources and support to enable the full participation of all individuals and groups of people, including members of marginalized groups."
In addition, it speaks to the value of diversity ? both on the board and throughout Metropolitan's workforce ? to achieve the agency's mission of bringing water reliability to Southern California. The statement also focuses on continuing to build an environment where all employees feel safe and supports a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of harassment, retaliation and intimidation.
"As Metropolitan's leaders, we are setting the tone for the critical work that is already underway to create the culture that our employees deserve," board Chairwoman Gloria D. Gray said. "This statement demonstrates our commitment to embracing diversity and demanding that every employee be treated with fairness, respect and dignity. I want to thank my colleagues on the board for their leadership and I look forward to making great progress, together."
Metropolitan is taking steps to improve its workplace across all facilities by recruiting a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.
"My hope is to build on the positive momentum created by our board statement and foster an atmosphere and culture that attracts diverse candidates interested in joining the district's workforce and in doing business with Metropolitan and enhance workplace culture," Gray added.
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a state-established cooperative that, along with its 26 cities and retail suppliers, provide water for 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.
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