Case Study: State Agency
“Staff have reported feeling supported and heard.”
WHERE WE STARTED
- From Ally to Accomplice® 5-month for leadership staff members
- Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) for 12 leadership staff members
- Brave Space Discussions for BIPOC employees
WHERE WE ARE
- Development of leadership team impacted the entire organization
- Identified areas to build capacity around antiracism and equity work
- Increased trust with BIPOC employees
- Hired a dedicated DEIJ member of the leadership team
- Increased shared understanding of the impacts of systemic racism
- Learned how to have difficult conversations
About the Organization
The organization is a state agency offering affordable housing loans. For more than 50 years, the agency has provided access to safe, decent, and affordable housing and works to build stronger communities.
Before The Woke Coach
The organization had created space for employees who identified as Black, Indigenous and People of Color to gather together and talk about their experiences, but they needed support in facilitating these discussions, healing and addressing the issues that were uncovered.
Why did they engage The Woke Coach?
The agency partnered with The Woke Coach to facilitate discussions with interested agency employees about the agency work experience of Black, Brown, Indigenous, and employees of Color following the murder of George Floyd. These sessions provided a Brave Space for employees to share their feelings and experiences, and set the stage for a deeper partnership.
70 leaders, managers, supervisors, and members of the Agency Cultural Competency Committee completed the IDI assessment and coaching with The Woke Coach. The development of this group indirectly impacted the remaining 190 employees.
The work with The Woke Coach highlighted the need to build the internal capacity to support antiracism and equity work. Following the partnership, the agency hired a Director of Equity and Inclusion, who reports to the Commissioner and is a member of the Agency Leadership Team.
Through this work, the leadership team increased their shared understanding of race, the impacts of systemic racism, and increased their ability to have challenging discussions.
A Mindset Shift
“The most impactful change to our organization as a result of the work with The Woke Coach has been the mindset shift of our senior leadership. As a team, we look out for language, comments and behaviors that marginalize or disrespect and we hold ourselves accountable to putting the work into building a strong culture, not just accepting the status quo.”
More Inclusive Practices
The company has created a process to solicit feedback from employees on all levels and from different backgrounds when making decisions and rolling out initiatives.
Improved Recruitment and Hiring
The Woke Coach Team made concrete recommendations for the company to improve its practices. Through setting goals for recruiting and hiring, they are starting to see the composition of the company change and better represent the communities in which they are located.