It’s well known that successful organizations are powered by the diverse opinions, skills, and life experiences of their employees. So, for over two decades, we’ve refined our practices, enhanced our knowledge, and implemented policies and processes that bring diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) best practices into our CalPERS culture and influence others outside our organization.
DEI practices have helped enable us to be customer-focused, operate efficiently and effectively, drive team engagement, and be a reliable partner and best-practice leader. Even so, there is always room to improve and bigger audiences to reach. As an organization, we have a role and responsibility to champion DEI policies—to create equitable opportunities, improve financial performance, and carve a path for others to follow.
Last year, we added our first-ever diversity, equity, and inclusion officer who operates at the highest levels of CalPERS. In this role, Marlene Timberlake D’Adamo has helped guide our DEI Framework and led us to implement a systematic approach to our DEI efforts.
Our DEI Framework formalizes the foundational work that CalPERS has long been a leader on into five key areas of focus: Culture, Talent Management, Health Equity, Supplier Diversity, and Investments. You can read more about our accomplishments in these areas in the 2020-21 Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Report.
Here are six highlights you should know about from the report:
- Awarded Disability Advisory Council of the Year by the Association of California State Employees with Disabilities and the Statewide Disability Advisory Council.
- Consulted with five other state agencies and shared best practices to help them develop their own DEI programs.
- Hosted a series of Unconscious Bias seminars where nearly 2,000 of our CalPERS team members learned how bias and microaggressions impact our working relationships and performance.
- Created the Health Demographic Profile, where CalPERS members can self-report their race, ethnicity, preferred language, sexual orientation, and gender identity that will eventually help CalPERS learn more about how they are served by our health plans.
- Increased the participation rate for the Voluntary Statistic Data Sheet by 200%, which gives us needed information to better understand our supplier and vendor community through the DEI lens.
- Supported progress in improving corporate board diversity by successfully engaging with 73% of companies to add at least one diverse director to their boards.
We continue to be steadfast in our commitment to people—the people we serve, those who work here, and the larger community around us. We’ve long since learned that diverse and inclusive environments enhance the quality of work we do and the value of services we provide to our members. We’re proud of the accomplishments made this past year and look forward to sharing our efforts for the 2021-22 fiscal year.