FREDERICK, Md. – Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater announces the creation of the workforce plan on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. The DEIB plan was developed along with an employee survey conducted last year. The survey revealed the need to be more inclusive and create a culture that values the idea of diversity and the talents and contributions of employees.
“This administration is committed to ensuring Frederick County is a place where all people can live, work, and thrive while feeling a strong sense of belonging,” said County Executive Fitzwater. “By making this vision a reality in the workplace, we convey to our residents that our community is people-centered and committed to promoting a high quality of life.”
Over the past 10 years, Frederick County has significantly grown, revealing a shift in racial and ethnic demographics. 2020 census data showed that overall, minority populations are growing. The demographic shift offers a crucial opportunity for connectivity and greater social and cultural enrichment. Efforts to advance equity in the County over the past three years have included the creation and codification of an Office of Equity and Inclusion, creation of an Equity and Inclusion Commission and an Immigrant Affairs Commission to serve as ongoing community voices, evaluation of the workplace environment to begin designing efforts to attract and retain a diverse workforce, expansion of minority business outreach, and launch of a disparity study.
While DEIB is an ongoing journey of empathy, learning, and unlearning, deep-rooted biases manifested for centuries, improving the County’s DEIB posture and establishing an environment that will educate and promote a diverse and equitable workforce brings the community together.
“The move toward this level of inclusion could be labeled a ‘heavy lift’ for Frederick County,” said Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer Michael Hughes. “The DEIB Workforce Plan positions us to serve the public in a culturally competent and responsive way that will pay off not only for individual residents, but for the County as a whole.”
The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging Workforce Plan is targeted to achieve progress and implement public engagement within the first year. Employee information sessions will be underway starting this month to identify areas of improvement and steps towards progress.
For more information on the workforce plan, visit www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/Equity or contact the Office of Equity and Inclusion at 301-600-1063.