The Southampton Town Affirmative Action Task Force has helped develop a program to educate town managers, supervisors, and staff on the important of diversity.
The training, conducted January 22 and 23 in conjunction with the Human Resources Department and the National Coalition Building Institute, taught how a more diverse workforce can enhance the overall success of the town’s mission to provide excellent municipal government services to Southampton residents and visitors.
“As chairperson of the task force for the last 10 years, I’ve been so pleased to see this positive work gain the traction it has,” said Affirmative Action Task Force’s Minerva Perez, who is also the executive director of Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island. “Affirmative Action has grown leaps and bounds past quotas to include process and transparency practices, which provide concrete ways to measure successes and challenges while striving for full local representation at all levels of employment.”
National Coalition Building Institute held two-hour training sessions that included a series of discussions and personal or small-group explorations.
“All attendees found the training to be very engaging and educational, and the town would like to continue building on it to further our efforts to improve as a welcoming and diverse workforce and community,” said Councilman John Bouvier, liaison to the task force.
Staff was led through exercises to assess internal biases and stereotypes; work in inclusion and diversity caucus groups on listening exercises; learn about how unchallenged biases can negatively impact the performance of employees; explore the organizational structure and how it either encourages or discourages diverse viewpoints in decision-making; and learn new skills to apply in departments and divisions to ensure all voices are heard, and all employees are developed and encouraged to grow professionally and achieve and advance within the town.
“I have been the human resources’ liaison to the Affirmative Action Task Force for just over three years now, and I’m very proud of all we’ve accomplished during that time,” said Juan Becerra. “Diversity training for our managers, in its second year, is meant to inspire the town’s leaders to continue growing as supervisors and as people.”
He said this year the task force will begin rolling out more diversity training to include all staff, so that every employee understands the importance of diverse perspectives at work, and of treating all colleagues with respect.
National Coalition Building Institute is an international leadership organization that provides training in diversity, equity, and inclusion in community organizations, schools, college and university campuses, corporations, and law enforcement. Over the past 33 years, it has developed into an international network of associates who are trained in highly-effective principles and practices, and work cooperatively to institutionalize diversity and inclusion programs.
“I am proud to say that Southampton Town is ahead of the curve with respect to emphasizing the importance of diversity in our workforce and supporting efforts to develop a more diverse workforce, from entry level positions, to upper management,” said Director of Human Resources Sandra Cirincione.
For more information on the program contact Becerra at 631-702-1921 or email [email protected]