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How Do DEI Policies Impact Recruitment & Retention in the Public Pension Workforce?

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  • On: 06/15/2024 10:33:25
  • In: News
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NCPERS' June 13th webinar underscored the vital role of DEI policies in enhancing recruitment and retention within public pensions.
By: Lizzy Lees, NCPERS

The recent webinar, "Public Pension Workforce Update: How DEI Policies Impact Recruitment & Retention," hosted by the National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), explored critical aspects of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. This session highlighted the significance of DEI policies for recruitment and retention within public pensions, featuring insights from industry experts and case studies from notable institutions such as CalPERS.

Industry Trends and Compensation Insights
Taylor Sprague, a Senior Compensation Consultant for CBIZ, discussed broader trends in compensation and benefits. Key points included:
  • Compensation Survey: CBIZ, in collaboration with NCPERS, is conducting a comprehensive Public Pension Compensation Survey covering 80 common public fund positions. This initiative aims to provide valuable data for benchmarking and improving compensation strategies.
  • Labor Market Trends: Sprague emphasized the importance of monitoring wages and inflation trends, optimizing pay structures, and ensuring that salary increase processes are competitive and equitable.
The Role of DEI in Talent Management
Todd Sears, CEO of Out Leadership, shared insights into the latest research on LGBTQ+ workforce issues. Notable findings included:
  • LGBTQ+ Workplace Comfort: An increase in the number of young LGBTQ+ employees feeling comfortable being out at work has been observed, rising from 36% in 2016 to 80% in recent years. This comfort is linked to higher engagement and retention rates.
  • Visible Leadership: The presence of visible LGBTQ+ senior leaders significantly influences the attractiveness of an organization to potential employees, particularly among Gen Z leaders, who prioritize LGBTQ+ inclusion and climate action.
CalPERS' DEI Strategies
Michelle Tucker, Human Resources Director at CalPERS, provided a detailed account of their DEI strategies and initiatives:
  • Inclusive Leadership: Tucker shared her personal journey at CalPERS, highlighting the impact of having out LGBTQ+ leaders and representation on the board. This visibility fosters a sense of safety and inclusion for all employees.
  • DEI Integration: CalPERS integrates DEI into all aspects of its operations, guided by a five-pillar approach: culture, talent management, health equity, supplier diversity, and investments. This comprehensive integration ensures that DEI principles are not isolated goals but are woven into the organizational fabric.
  • Rapid Recruitment Event: CalPERS' innovative rapid recruitment event successfully increased diversity among hires. By redacting identifying information, the event doubled the representation of historically underrepresented groups compared to the overall company profile.
Software and Tools for DEI
CalPERS uses various software tools to promote inclusive language and practices. The software OnGig, for instance, helps ensure inclusive language in job postings and other communications. Similar tools are also employed by other public pension funds to support their DEI efforts.

The webinar underscored the vital role of DEI policies in enhancing recruitment and retention within public pensions. By sharing best practices and real-world examples, the session provided valuable insights for HR professionals and organizational leaders looking to foster a more inclusive and equitable workplace. The success stories from organizations like CalPERS serve as powerful examples of how DEI initiatives can lead to a more engaged, diverse, and high-performing workforce.

To learn more about public pension workforce trends and HR best practices, join us for NCPERS 2024 Public Pension HR Summit. Held September 24-26 in Denver, this unique event brings together public pension HR professionals for networking, peer-to-peer learning, and hands-on training. Learn more and register here.


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