The City of Coral Gables recently received a prestigious award for its program to increase workforce diversity in the category for cities with a population of 25,001-100,000. The award was presented by the National League of Cities 2013 City Cultural Diversity Awards Program.
In the past few years, the City of Coral Gables has been restructuring its administration and much of its workforce to reflect the diversity of the community. Now, more than half of the city’s upper-management positions (assistant director level and above) and more than twothirds of the Police Department’s positions are occupied by women, minorities, or both.
The concept of diversity is broader than just different races and gender. A diverse workplace is one that values and respects differences, and understands that the potential of all employees can be maximized with an environment that recognizes the value of the unique contributions of different individuals, as well as one that reflects the community it serves.
The city has hired and promoted women in upper management positions, many of which traditionally have been roles occupied by men. Of 10 City departments, six are women, three directors and an assistant city manager are Hispanic (which is more Hispanics in leaderships post than in the past) and one is Asian Pacific. Women lead in such areas as sanitation, parking and transportation, police criminal investigations, building, planning and zoning, code compliance, finance, economic development and audit.
In addition to leadership positions, the city is actively recruiting women and minorities to the Police Department. The city’s Police Recruiter was hired to aggressively recruit the best female and minority candidates from police academies. As a result, the Police Department welcomed two female applicants in 2012, as well as its first Creole-speaking officer. The department constantly seeks recruitment of Hispanic officers, and more than 52 percent of its sworn employees and more than 55 percent of all department employees are Hispanic.
According to Adam McFadden, the program chair of the awards and president-elect of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials, Coral Gables “truly is a shining example of diversity and total community collaboration and partnership.”