What is DEI and Why is it Important?
DOS Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)
The New York State Department of State — one of the oldest and most diverse agencies in state government--works to make New York State a more welcoming, equitable, and prosperous place.
Our mission is to provide a better quality of life and expand opportunities for all New Yorkers by fostering community revitalization, catalyzing economic growth through business formation, protecting consumers, helping new Americans, supporting local governments, assisting individuals and families to achieve upward economic mobility, and ensuring safety and integrity through the regulation of licensed occupations and the development of building standards and codes.
We define . . .
Diversity: as the range of similarities and differences in individual and organizational characteristics that shape our workplace. It is everything that makes us who we are, and all the ways we are different from everyone else. This can include gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status, veteran status, or family structure; however, the concept also encompasses other differences among people, including geographic location, diversity of thought, and life experiences.
Inclusion: as a reference to people with different identities feeling valued, and welcomed within a given setting. Inclusion encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness, and leverages diversity throughout the organization so that all employees are able to participate and contribute to their full potential. Inclusion creates a sense of belonging.
Equity: as an approach that ensures everyone access to the same opportunities. Equity recognizes that advantages and barriers exist. Equity is a process that begins by acknowledging that unequal starting place and makes a commitment to correct and address the imbalance.
Our DEI Goals
At the New York Department of State, we commit to and support DEI principles that enhance and build strength and value in our organization.
We commit to the following goals:
Promote Diversity and Inclusion Through Active Engagement of Leadership
- Demonstrate leadership commitment and accountability through agency policy, messaging, and behavior that advances diversity and inclusion goals and objectives
Include and Engage Everyone in the Workplace
- Cultivate a supportive, welcoming, inclusive, and fair workplace culture that allows employees to feel connected to the agency’s mission and contribute to their full potential.
Foster a Diverse, High-Performing Workforce Using Data-Driven Approaches to Recruitment and Retention
- Pursue a comprehensive strategy to build and maintain a high-performing workforce drawn from all segments of the population.
Provide Equity in Service Delivery
- Pursue a comprehensive strategy to build and maintain a high-performing workforce drawn from all segments of the population
- Identify opportunities to continue to embed diversity and inclusion practices within the organization’s work.
Our Commitment to DEI
DOS values and celebrates the uniqueness that we all bring to the workplace. Diversity brings a broader perspective to problem solving which creates more effective outcomes.
DOS fosters a diverse workforce that reflects the state’s diversity and relates to the needs of different communities. DOS is committed to enhancing the workplace through inclusive and collaborative approaches. These efforts will result in a skilled and engaged workforce that contributes to the Department accomplishing its critical mission well into the 21st century.
The Department of State offers several comprehensive programs to assist local governments--including the County-Wide Shared Services Initiative. As a partner, the Department continuously seeks to increase the applicability, utilization, and efficacy of the programs and funding administered to reflect emerging challenges to local governments. The Department of State plays an important role in fostering the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems –that are often the anchors of a neighborhood business corridor.
As an economic development engine, the Department of State is an integral part of helping to create jobs for New Yorkers. The Department licenses more than 40 occupations and oversees nearly 900,000 licensees, from real estate agents to security guards to appearance enhancement professions. In addition, we assist aspiring entrepreneurs with the formation of a business in the State of New York.
We strive to ensure equity in all of our program delivery options and methods by:
- actively engaging constituents and customers to collect feedback on program and service delivery.
- ensuring that all communications from DOS are accessible and reflective of diversity and inclusion principles.
- utilizing the knowledge and expertise of employees and impacted communities in the development of programs.
We know that when employees feel like they belong and are valued for their unique contributions, our agency flourishes. At Department of State we regularly host Cultural Awareness programs, events and celebrations that highlight the contributions of communities and people that have been historically marginalized or undervalued. We engage staff and leadership in professional development opportunities that build competency in cultural awareness and communication.
We foster a culture that encourages employees to feel uniquely valued and experience a sense of belonging and ensure that all new employees are well acclimated to their new environment. We provide a safe space and open line of communication with staff to share ideas and insight.