During its regular meeting this week the Board of Sedgwick County Commissioners voted to add a Diversity and Inclusion Officer to the organization. The purpose of this position will be to promote and provide opportunities for employees to feel valued, respected, and heard. It will be used to enhance recruitment, hiring, promotion, and retention of a diverse staff with experiences and backgrounds.

Diversity is one of the goals in Sedgwick County’s latest Strategic Plan which was developed with employee and stakeholder input. Their goal is to ensure the organization’s employees, policies, and programs promote diversity and inclusion to reflect the community.

Earlier this year, several County leaders had the opportunity to hear Dow’s Chief Inclusion Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer Karen Carter speak about the importance of diversity. Her analysis is that diversity leads to efficiency and enhances the organization’s bottom line, which in Sedgwick County’s case would lead to better service.

County Manager Tom Stolz stated, “we have taken steps over time but this will begin to enhance and bring this effort to the forefront.”

Once the position is filled, the individual will begin working with the Sheriff’s Office, District Attorney’s Office, and general government. One focus of this newly created position will be to review policies and procedures to help ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion within Sedgwick County.

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