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For immediate release: June 21, 2023
Phone: 5184748418


Brings Together Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practitioners and Leadership from Across State Agencies to Learn About Best Practices and Strategies to More Effectively Apply a DEI Lens to their Work 



Governor Kathy Hochul today announced New York State's inaugural symposium "Advancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the New York State Workforce." The symposium brought together diversity, equity, and inclusion practitioners and leadership from across State agencies to learn about best practices and strategies for more effectively applying a DEI lens to their work.  


"Diversity is our greatest strength in New York and that is reflected in the most diverse administration in our state's history," Governor Hochul said. "As we come together in spaces like these, it's important to learn from each other and redouble our commitment to the important work of increasing diversity and inclusion across State government. Together we'll continue to build a brighter future to ensure everyone can access the New York Dream." 


"From our workplaces to our communities to our own democratic system, we can only achieve our goals if everyone is included in the process," said Lieutenant Governor Delgado. "That is why diversity matters - it's the only way we are able to maximize the full potential of our collective action. By prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion, we can bring our unique perspectives to State government and into our daily lives, working together to solve our biggest problems and move New York forward."


Led by the Workforce Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Council, with the support of the Governor's Office of Diversity and Inclusion and several state agencies, the full day in-person event consisted of expert speakers, workshops, award presentations, and strategic relationship building. 


Chief Diversity Officer Julissa Gutierrez said, "Today's symposium serves as a resounding call to action, igniting our collective determination to strengthen our efforts and deepen our understanding of how to center diversity, equity, and inclusion in our work. By leveraging best practices to serve all New Yorkers, we will drive meaningful change and shape a State where we can all thrive." 


Department of Civil Service Commissioner Timothy Hogues said, "Today's symposium brings together diversity, equity and inclusion stakeholders from across state agencies to highlight all New York State is doing to attract and retain a pipeline of new and diverse talent into the State workforce. At the Department of Civil Service, we are pleased to be moving forward with several exciting initiatives that were included in this year's budget that will advance these efforts, from promoting equal access to civil service careers and expanding job opportunities for individuals with disabilities, to making New Yorkers from all communities more aware of the many meaningful career opportunities available across public service. Under the leadership of Governor Hochul, we will continue to lead the way here in New York by strengthening diversity across the State workforce, fostering respectful and inclusive work environments, and creating pathways for incorporating equal opportunity principles into the State's business and operational policies and practices, and the many vital programs and services delivered to the public."


The symposium featured keynote speaker Rosanna Durruthy, Vice President of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at LinkedIn, who is an influential leader on creating diverse, inclusive, and equitable opportunities in the workplace and beyond. The symposium also featured four workshops related to capacity building for advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in New York State: 


  • DEI Organizational Change Methods: An Introduction To Strategies For Sustaining Long-Term DEI Change 
  • DEI Organizational Assessments: Centering Equity and Accessibility in Policy 
  • Using Data to Drive DEI Strategy: Opportunities and Threats When Translating Data to Action 
  • Embedding DEI Into the Employee Lifecycle 


Additionally, as part of the symposium, the state recognized the accomplishments of one state DEI practitioner and two state agencies that have made outstanding contributions towards advancing DEI initiatives for New York State. The awards celebrated those who have demonstrated excellence through their efforts to support an inclusive work environment and enhance equitable program delivery within their field. The three awards were presented to: 


  • Nancy Harvey, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer at New York Power Authority 
  • New York State Office of Children and Family Services 
  • New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation  


As the first female Governor of New York, Governor Hochul has been a champion for diversity, equity, and inclusion. One of her first priorities was to change the culture in Albany and restore the people's trust in the state. She ushered in a new era for government - one that is collaborative, transparent, and accountable - and adopted new measures aimed at creating a safe and respectful workplace for all.  


In 2022, Governor Hochul appointed the state's first Chief Disability Officer to lead the state's efforts to increase equity for people with disabilities. Also last year, Governor Hochul launched the new Office of Language Access to oversee and provide guidance on the expanded statewide language access policy. In this year's FY 2024 Budget, Governor Hochul took several actions to make Civil Service exams more accessible, such as waiving Civil Service exam fees, which will remove a substantial barrier to entering public service, particularly for candidates from traditionally marginalized communities. The FY 2024 budget also included $3.5 million in funding for the Hate and Bias Prevention Unit at the Division of Human Rights to combat the alarming rise in hate crimes. This year, Governor Hochul has also made historic appointments, such as the nomination of Judge Rowan Wilson to be the Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals and the first Black Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, and the appointment of Seth Marnin to the New York State Court of Claims, who is the first openly transgender male in American history to serve as a judge. 



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