The WAFWA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee (DEI Committee) was established in 2020 by the President to be comprised of members from the Board. The committee’s approved Statement of Purpose:
“To support efforts of WAFWA public agencies to create a more diverse and inclusive workforce, and develop broad and meaningful relationships with people and organizations from diverse lives and cultures.“
- Assist our agencies to develop a foundational understanding, and an operational meaning, for the terms Diversity, Equity and inclusion.
- Be a resource for agencies that are striving to create a more diverse workforce.
- Be a resource for agencies to help them develop meaningful and mutually beneficial relationships with individuals and groups that have been marginalized in the natural resource field, and in society at large.
- Create a DEI resource library with contacts, books, webinars, TED talks, training resources, etc., that will be available for all WAFWA member agencies.
- Provide training opportunities in workforce diversity outreach, recruitment and retention, hiring with a diversity lens, and creating a welcoming work environment for people from all backgrounds and cultures.
- Provide training opportunities in anti-racism and anti-sexism.
- Collect and share best DEI practices among our agencies. Acknowledge and celebrate our successes.
- Be a supportive and confidential listening ear for employees that are striving to work toward achieving their agency DEI goals.
The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee hosted Dr. James Mason during the 2022 WAFWA Winter Meeting.
The DEI committee is using a multi-state grant so that Dr. James Mason can advise them as they develop a survey tool. This survey tool will be used to evaluate the DEI efforts in each participating member agency and, if they so choose, to compare to other agencies in WAFWA. The evaluation of the results will identify competencies and how each member agency can build on those competencies to continue to improve.
This video is from our virtual committee meeting in January 2022 during the WAFWA Winter Meeting. It opens with Chair Brad Loveless setting the stage for what this survey tool is and how paying attention to diversity, equity and inclusion can improve the performance of agencies in many ways.
Dr. Mason explores evaluating organizations DEI in pragmatic manner. He emphasizes that DEI is contextual and dynamic. He predicts that this evaluation tool will highlight areas of strength within WAFWA agencies that can be used as examples for other agencies.
“WAFWA could be a clearinghouse on great ideas that are emerging that can be shared so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel.”Dr. James Mason
2022 WAFWA Summer Meeting – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Minutes