Diversity and inclusion

Our commitment

Hennepin County is committed to the creation of a diverse workforce which reflects the diversity of our residents.

Diversity at Hennepin County refers to the differences, similarities, and uniqueness of individuals, groups and communities, and is not limited to race and gender, but includes human attributes, values, beliefs, behaviors, orientations, norms and experiences.

Through vision and action supported by top leaders, Hennepin County  weaves diversity into recruitment, retention, and promotion, which in turn leads to an inclusive and welcoming environment that fosters creativity and innovation.

Diversity and inclusion are essential components to the success of our organization and meeting our primary goals of

  • Providing exceptional service to our customers
  • Being a forward-thinking, progressive employer, where job seekers want to come

Diversity in action

The Hennepin County workforce continues to diversify. We value differences and understand that a diverse workforce allows us to leverage unique talents and develop inclusive leaders; which in turn, increases our cultural competence and ultimately improves retention.

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Employee resources groups

Asian Connections

A resource for personal and professional development opportunities for Asian employees and their allies, embraces all Asian heritage, and aims to serve as a bridge between Hennepin County and the many Asian and Asian-American communities the County serves.

Lean in Hennepin

Seeks to raise awareness of gender differences in the workplace, provide professional development opportunities, and provide a safe, supportive environment that encourages both women and men equally to realize their full potential at work and in life.

Millennials

Envisions a workplace "in which all younger workers identifying with the Millennial generation feel connected, empowered, and valued, and [whose] unique perspectives, skills, and experiences… are reflected by Hennepin County as an employer, service provider, and government agency."

People of Color (POC)

Supports, engages and promotes the county's core values and works with county leadership to ensure equitable outcomes of the core values for all Hennepin County employees.

Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming

Meets to address the needs of gender variant employees, to recommend improvements in serving gender variant customers, and to broaden a network of allies through education. They envision a working environment in which employees and customers feel their gender identities are valued and supported.

Veterans (VERG)

Supports the integration of veteran status employees into the Hennepin County workforce by providing the support and mentorship of peers and allies, thus enhancing their employee experience and development.

Women in STEM

Strives is to attract, engage, advance, and retain women and their allies in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in Hennepin County by creating opportunities to learn, network and grow.

 

Cultural awareness training and events

Training and events are used to enhance our employees’ understanding of and sensitivity to cultural differences. Building awareness and increasing understanding provides a foundation for change and by acknowledging cultural differences, intercultural conflict is decreased and thus, productivity is increased.

  • New employees attend several classes on varying topics as part of the orientation process
  • All employees are required to complete annual D&I training, with additional courses for supervisors and managers
  • Hennepin County cultural speakers bureau - employees are welcome to share information about their cultures as volunteers with the Cultural Speakers Bureau - training is provided
  • Celebrating diversity in October – engaging and informative presentations are held throughout the month of October, providing numerous opportunities for employees to learn about the many dimensions of diversity

Mentoring

At the department level and county-wide, mentoring programs offer employees formal and informal learning and development opportunities. Our mentoring programs foster knowledge transfer, stimulate professional development, improve leadership and managerial skills, and develop the next generation of diverse, culturally agile leaders.

Non-biased interviewing

One of the most important things we do is hire employees. To ensure fairness and an unbiased interview, a panel is assembled. Members will include people with varying perspectives and who are diverse in experience, race/ethnicity, gender, years of service and position. The panel uses a detailed workbook as they prepare for the hiring process so they

  • increase their understanding of bias
  • overcome bias
  • develop interview questions void of bias
  • promote diversity in hiring

Our policies

It is the responsibility of all Hennepin County employees and volunteers to create, promote and maintain work environments in which all are respected, valued and welcomed.

Values and intent

Respect is a basic building block of every organization. Respect for one another is fundamental to getting work done in effective, efficient and innovative ways. Consistent with the Mission and Vision of the Board of Commissioners, Hennepin County will

  • Recognize similarities, respect and value differences among all employees, volunteers, union representatives, clients, customers and vendors
  • Strive to ensure a respectful work environment free of all forms of discrimination, including harassment, and workplace bullying
  • Promote a cooperative work environment that fosters a positive attitude toward the provision of services

Rights and responsibilities

Hennepin County is committed to providing public services and a workplace free from

  • Discrimination based on an individual's race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or public assistance status
  • Harassment, including sexual and racial harassment
  • Workplace bullying

Hennepin County is committed to providing equal employment opportunities in recruitment, employment, retention and promotion of persons from diverse backgrounds, including groups that are underrepresented or that previously have been given limited consideration for employment.

Hennepin County supports and will help to enforce the prohibitions against discrimination found in the state/federal civil rights laws, including the Minnesota Human Rights Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act.

All Hennepin County employees and volunteers will foster environments that demonstrate and support respect and eliminate workplace bullying and discrimination in the workplace.

Violations of this policy will not be tolerated. Any employee or volunteer found to have violated this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.

Employees and volunteers making a complaint will not be subject to retaliation as a result of making the complaint.

County managers and supervisors are responsible for investigating any reported situation of discrimination, including harassment and workplace bullying, and taking prompt and appropriate corrective action, which can include informal resolution or more formal action.

All county managers and supervisors are also responsible for monitoring their work environments by promptly addressing all reports and observations of disrespectful behavior and discrimination, including harassment and workplace bullying.

County managers and supervisors will receive training and, as a regular part of their performance appraisals, an evaluation of their efforts in regard to this policy.

Equal Employment Opportunity

State/Federal laws guarantee all people the equal right to apply and be considered for job opportunities, regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or public assistance status.

Hennepin County is an equal opportunity employer.

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