Civil services are foundational for the growth and development of any community. In the absence of law enforcement, sanitation and crisis containment services like the fire department, it seems nearly impossible to keep a city running. Employees of the civil services are required to interact with all sorts of people, without discrimination and raise the quality of life of the inhabitants of the city. Through the resolution of each inhabitant’s unique problems, the civil services lift-up the whole society.
Having a diverse workforce and inclusive hiring practices is a fundamental requirement for societies because how else is someone supposed to understand the problems faced by the people. It’s a simple thought, really, that all people have their respective circumstances and worldviews that are unique in every respect. As such, there is no way that the public sector can establish practices that solve everyone’s problems if each sub-community within a society isn’t represented in these services.
Law enforcement in the US is an area that has come under attack multiple times for its lack of diversity. According to statistics, minorities are underrepresented throughout the country by about 24%—even in areas where these minorities form a greater share of the regions’ population. These problems are reflected at all levels of society, and academic circles have become increasingly vocal about racial/gender disparities. One particular publication of note was Kimberley Crenshaw’s policy paper that identified how legislation and policy didn’t take into account women’s economic status and ethnicity—which is why the US government has traditionally failed to curb domestic violence.
While these questions are often raised at the highest level of governance, the problem is often found at the ground level because communities are marginalized at the most basic levels. Interestingly enough, there’s plenty of reason to believe that diversity in the civil service—or any occupation for that matter—is great for the workforce in general. Diversity and inclusivity increase the visibility of minorities in the workplace, brings new and innovative ideas into the workplace and givers organizations a greater pool of candidates to choose leaders from.
The Need for Diversity in Civil Services in NY
New York is the fourth most populous state in the US, with nearly 14 million inhabitants. The population of New York comprises of multitudes of communities that can be divided based on ethnicity, religion and gender. When you think about it, it’s even more important for the civil services in NY to include more people from different backgrounds than any other state in the US. It’s the only way to make sure that you create a sense of community and equality in the region—so that people can live prosperous and happy lives.
What Has The State Of NY Done To Promote Diversity?
Thankfully, possibly because New York has traditionally been one of the most diverse settlements in the country, the government of NY has taken various measures to promote inclusivity in the civil services. The most recent of these events were the amendments to the Civil Services law back in 2019. These amendments included:
- Accelerating the hiring process for minorities
- Targeted recruitment and outreach to welcome more minorities into the civil services
- Offering more avenues for testing
- Encouraging the participation of veterans and individuals with disabilities in the workforce
These are just a few of the changes that Andrew Cuomo introduced through the amendments. It’s actually a really long list of changes that made civil services open to people who might have been sidelined before.
The Benefits of Diverse and Inclusive Workplaces
While there are no numbers that have measured the impact of a diverse workforce at the governmental level, there is plenty of research that focuses on how they might improve organizational performance. Most of these numbers come from corporate organizations, but it’s possible to see how minorities can help even the civil services sector in the same ways that they improve corporations.
1. Racially Diverse Teams are 35% More Effective
When you’re making a case for diversity, it’s always important to look at the ways in which it affects the effectiveness of work processes—is there an actual contribution of diversity to efficiency? The answer is a resounding yes!
Organizations from around the world have spoken of how working with diverse groups has made these companies more effective. The teams work well together and are much more likely to give differing opinions more consideration.
2. Organizations with a Diverse Workforce Make More Money
The World Economic Forum is quick to report that organizations that look for a diverse workforce generate 19% higher revenues. They put this down to the fact that when you put individuals from different backgrounds together, there is greater innovation and better ideas are put forward compared to non-diverse groups.
3. It Increases the Quality of Life for the Community
Hiring underrepresented groups and offering access to employment can help raise the economic status of the people living there. With a livelihood and increased representation in the civil services sector, it’s possible to pave the way for higher incomes and greater human capital developments to improve the economic standing of the community as a whole.
Diversity is always a good thing
A former deputy director for the CIA, working with Deloitte, had some very interesting insights to offer. Carmen Medina, the person in question, said that the world is becoming increasingly complex and problem solutions that worked 20-30 years ago are no longer working out with the same effectiveness. She made it clear that it was important for the public sector and civil sector services to become more diverse because that’s the only way where we can get enough brains working together to solve these new problems.
Looking for a career in civil services in New York?
Civil Services Success offers online classes for the NYS Court Officer Trainee Exam, Suffolk County Police test and NYC sanitation workers exams. Get in touch with us today for more information.