The City of Sacramento is becoming more inclusive in its hiring following concentrated efforts to increase diversity and equity in its workforce, a new report said.
The City Manager’s office, with the support of the Department of Finance and the Department of Human Resources, produced the annual “Ethnicity & Gender Diversity Report,” which provides a snapshot of the City’s workforce and its ongoing efforts to improve its hiring practices and better reflect the community it serves.
The new report took a comprehensive look at City’s new hires in 2018. According to the report, new hires as a group included a higher percentage of Hispanic/Latino employees than what exists in the current workforce, a higher percentage of people of “two or more” races, a higher percentage of Asian people, a higher percentage of women and a lower percentage of non-Hispanic white people.
“This is good news and a step in the right direction for the City of Sacramento and its residents,” said Aimée Z. Barnes, the City’s Diversity and Equity Manager, who will present the report to the City Council April 9. “It shows the City has a solid baseline to lay the foundation for a hiring strategy that drives fairness and opportunity for all.”
To determine the trends, City staff compared the ethnic and gender breakdown of the City’s roughly 4,000 full-time employees over the past three years. The report found that in 2016, the majority of employees — 60% — were white. In 2018, however, 48% of new hires were white. The second largest ethnic category for City employees – Hispanics – went from 17% of existing employees in 2016 to 22% of new hires in 2018.
The category for people identifying as “two or more races” represented 10% of hires in 2018; that category did not exist for comparison in 2016.
The analysis showed a slight decrease in the City’s hiring of African American/Black people. In 2016, that group represented 10% of the City’s workforce. In 2018, they were 9% of new hires. Barnes said this statistic could reflect the African American/Black population in Sacramento, which also is slightly decreasing, as well in the rise of people identifying as two or more races.
In the gender category, the City hired 35% women in 2018. Women currently represent approximately 30% of the City’s 3,777 full-time employees.
The report outlined the distance the City needs to travel to achieve the goal of workforce equity, Barnes said. To set this goal, the City used data from the U.S. Census Bureau. According to that data, Sacramento overall is 33% white, 28% Hispanic, 19% Asian and 13% African American/Black. Gender-wise, it is 51% female and 49% male.
The City’s goal is to have its workforce within -10% or +10% of those overall demographics. In 2018, the City’s workforce was 58% white, 18% Hispanic, 9% Asian and 9% African American/Black in the four top ethnic categories.
“I am pleased to see the positive trend in our new hires, which shows that the City is turning the corner on ethnic and gender diversity,” said Vice Mayor Eric Guerra. “Since the 2016 audit report, our work with staff, employees and community stakeholders has led to the hiring of a Diversity and Equity Manger along with significant policy changes. These efforts are moving our city’s government to look more like its residents.
“Through community and employee input, our city is doing a better on in addressing clear oversights such as providing access to good jobs for woman of color,” Guerra continued. “We must continue the positive trend and continue to ensure no community in our city is forgotten or ignore.”
In addition to underscoring areas of improvement, the report identified issues that would benefit from more complete data, including workforce equity pay.
Currently, full-time women at the City earn on average $11,501 less a year than men, the report said. However, the salary of men and women with the same classifications and the same number of years in the organization was within 10% of each other 98% of the time.
More comprehensive data would help to determine whether bias in pay may be present due to factors including performance and education level, the report said. Currently, approximately 36% of all City employee data does not indicate education levels.
Data collection is just one of the goals moving forward to improve diversity and equity at the City, said Barnes, who was hired as the City’s first Diversity and Equity Manager in July 2018.
In direct collaboration with Human Resources, Barnes and a citywide work group in December 2018 began drafting a new Recruitment & Hiring Manual for the City that provides consistent policy interpretation, accountability and implementation of practices for the recruitment and hiring of employees. The manual is anticipated to be completed by fall 2019 with staff training to follow.
“The changes in the demographics of our new hires shows a dedication to diversity and fairness that is more than words – it’s action,” Barnes said. “Without a doubt, this is an ongoing process. Meaningful change always takes time. But I am proud of the progress the City has made and of the strong promise we have committed to for the future.”