11c. Attachment 02

Equity Motion and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Ass

Item Number: 11c_attach 2
Meeting Date: Jan 4, 2022

Port of Seattle Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Organizational Assessment 2021 

Executive Summary

Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI)
January 2022


The Port of Seattle is committed to working both regionally and nationally to achieve equity
and justice for all. The Port recognizes our essential role in building a socially just institution by
dismantling the structural barriers that have prevented the full participation of our most
marginalized communities.
Since 2017, the Port has stepped up efforts to integrate equity into its work including by
creating a standalone Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (OEDI) in 2019. OEDI's mission is
to build capacity across the organization to address institutional oppression and to transform
Port policies, practices, and processes. OEDI has used the three-pronged framework outlined in
the Port's Equity Strategic Plan to 1) normalize, 2) organize, and 3) operationalize equity Portwide.
Already, OEDI has made major progress in its first few years of existence, from trainings and
assessments focused on improving equity within the Port to shaping the implementation of
externally facing efforts like the South King County Fund and the development of the Port's
Equity Index. However, there is clearly more work to be done, and so, on October 13, 2020, the
Port of Seattle Commission adopted Motion 2020-19, known as the Racial Bias & Equity
Motion, "[t]o direct the Executive Director to examine Port operations and policies for sources
of racial bias and discrimination and to develop programs and policies eliminating inequity in all
aspects of the organization." This document reports back on the tasks contained in the Motion.
The findings and recommendations contained in this report draw on input gathered from
several employee engagement efforts  ranging from Port-wide initiatives, such as the 2021
Equity Survey, to focused gatherings to solicit feedback from specific groups of employees, like
EDI Assessment Listening Sessions. Each of these efforts is described, along with a summary of
the results, in the report and its appendices. OEDI also utilized employee feedback to vet and
finalize this report document, ensuring that it accurately reflected the inputs received.
The results of this effort are fifteen key issues grouped into six focus areas.
Workplace Culture
Operations and Processes
Equity Capacity Building
Engaging WMBEs and Small Businesses
Engaging Impacted Communities
Each of these focus areas represent an opportunity to address concerns and make progress in
key areas of Port-wide equity. Furthermore, to ensure that the Port turns issues into action, this
report lists 50 clear, tangible next steps that can be implemented beginning in 2022, beyond
the steps already taken on each of these fronts. The full report contains additional details on
each of these recommended actions, including further discussion of the issues and concerns
raised by Port employees on each topic as well as existing progress to date on the issues


Finally, it is critical to note that this report reflects a synthesis of input and key issues expressed
by all employees and drawing from multiple sources of evidence as described above. However,
the data also indicate that individual experiences of equity, diversity, and inclusion across the
Port vary widely.
Specifically, issues and concerns often fall along racial and gender lines, with some employees
indicating satisfaction with the status quo and/or less concern, while others face greater
barriers, have comparatively greater concerns, and/or are more negatively impacted by racism
and other inequities. The latter groups include Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC),
women, and represented employees. As one employee noted, "It's a tale of two Ports."
Black, Indigenous and People of Color. A recurrent pattern was that BIPOC employees,
especially Black/African American workers, expressed greater concerns about racism
and other inequities, across almost all topical issues, whether hiring or compensation or
workplace culture. This was especially evidenced in the qualitative data of the Equity
Women, with a focus on women of color. Women employees also shared gender-based
concerns across several of the employee engagement activities. In the Equity Survey, for
example, respondents called for consideration of other aspects of equity besides race,
with gender equity mentioned most often.
Represented and off-shift workers. This group of employees expressed unique
challenges, including lack of access to professional development opportunities,
inadequate support for participation in equity activities from their supervisors, and
often not being included in or provided meaningful access to Port-wide equity or
professional development activities.
Additionally, intersectionality compounds inequities. For example, women of color, or
Black represented workers, expressed even greater barriers and inequities.
Informed by the experiences of these specific groups, this report intentionally strives to
recognize these inequities and take a proactive, racial equity centered approach. In the
report, this is done by spotlighting perspectives from these groups, and integrating
Recommended Actions specific to these groups throughout the Recommendations.


Table of Issues and Recommendations
Fifteen key issues were identified from the various sources of input previously described. These are grouped into six focus areas:
Workplace Culture, Operations and Processes, Employment, Equity Capacity Building, Engaging WMBEs and Small Businesses, and
Engaging Impacted Communities. These are shown below along with a Summary of Recommended Actions for each issue.
Equity Assessment Focus Areas, Key Issues and Summary of Recommended Actions
Focus Areas                  Key Issues                           Summary of Recommended Actions
1.     Ongoing racial equity training and development for Port of
Seattle's leadership.
1. Inconsistencies in Port-wide
2. Policy Directive to codify equity
vision for and commitment to
3. Continue communication efforts to make information accessible
4. OEDI on-site presence at SEA Airport Office Building (AOB) and
maritime locations
5. OEDI continues EDI learning opportunities (e.g., book clubs,
caucusing, etc.) to normalize racial equity, including accessible
training opportunities for represented and shift employees.
6. Language and Meaning Initiative on how to use language that is
equitable and inclusive.
Workplace Culture      2. Lack of open dialog about
7. Uplift examples of supervisors and employees who are advancing
equity and racism
racial equity.
8. Targeted caucuses.
9. Strengthen the Change Team's impact.
10. Identify and address equity and anti-racism as central to the
Port's Special initiative to address anti-black racism.
11. Each year, ERGs, D&D Council, Change Team, and OEDI review
and coordinate annual work plans and priorities including
3. Lack of BIPOC representation
budgeting needs. 
and voice in decision making
12. Develop organizational policies, practices, and mechanisms for
participation in decision making tailored to specific groups.

Equity Assessment Focus Areas, Key Issues and Summary of Recommended Actions
Focus Areas                  Key Issues                           Summary of Recommended Actions
13. Town Hall briefing for new Commissioners to discuss potential
collaboration and partnership.
14. Set baseline for, track progress on, and publish data on racial and
gender diversity in senior level positions and higher.
15. Curriculum and training for supervisors that increases
supervisors' comfort with addressing issues of race and gender.
4. Lack of safety and a fear of
16. Training to increase supervisors' awareness of what constitutes
retaliation when reporting
racism and discrimination
17. Human Resources to offer training on the fair and consistent
application of HR-18 and Code of Conduct policy.
18. Workplace Responsibility and Employee Relations continue
process improvement and report back in 2022.
19. Increase communication and clarity about how Workplace
Responsibility and Employee Relations processes work.
20. Workplace Responsibility and Employee Relations will publish an
annual report.
Operations and        5. Unclear discrimination         21. Title VI reporting issues will be clarified by OEDI, Legal, and
Processes                 reporting process                 Employee Relations.
22. Develop a process for consultants and contractors to report
issues of discrimination.
23. Additional training for represented workers on reporting
24. Port-wide dialogue about reporting discrimination and manager


Equity Assessment Focus Areas, Key Issues and Summary of Recommended Actions
Focus Areas                  Key Issues                           Summary of Recommended Actions
25. Executive Director, Commission, Executive Leadership Team lead
by example.
26. Consistent and on-going messaging from Port leadership to all
supervisors about the importance of leaders' accountability to
6. Gaps in critical role of
Port values and EDI.
27. Foundational EDI training for all new supervisors and additional
advanced racial equity training for all supervisors.
28. Develop EDI performance goals, competency, and evaluation
best practices for all supervisors.
29. Trainings and technical assistance on how to integrate equity
7. Inconsistent integration of          into department budgeting processes.
equity in key Port-wide         30. Training and working group to develop skills, expertise, and
processes                        capacity on using data with an equity lens.
31. Starting in 2022, all departments set annual EDI goals.
32. Integrate equity considerations more deeply into the interview
8. Inequities in recruitment,           and hiring process.
hiring, and qualifications        33. Develop system to track equity indicators in hiring processes.
34. Increase BIPOC representation in leadership positions.
Employment                                     35. Make salary information more accessible and easier to find.
36. Additional work on compensation equity: complete Port-wide
9. Inequities in compensation         analysis, establish a definition and philosophy for pay equity,
determine potential remediation, and implement a new pay

1 In this report, "supervisors" includes employees with at least one direct report.

Equity Assessment Focus Areas, Key Issues and Summary of Recommended Actions
Focus Areas                  Key Issues                           Summary of Recommended Actions
37. Performance Link goal for all supervisors to provide training and
development opportunities to all employees interested in
38. Assess if certain formal education or credentials are needed to
10. Barriers to advancement for        perform the essential functions of open jobs.
internal candidates             39. Develop system to track promotion of internal candidates.
40. Increase staff awareness about the Port's internal mentorship
41. Improved supervisor training on how to use coaching and
mentoring as a management practice.
42. Expand equity-related training activities.
43. Explore the need to create dedicated funding to support
Equity Capacity         11. Barriers to participation -          employee participation in EDI efforts, especially for represented
Building                    resources and resistance           workers.
44. Explore development of a policy to allow and support employee
participation in equity learning activities.
45. Assessment of barriers for small businesses and WMBEs to
12. Barriers for WMBEs and small      contract with the Port.
businesses                    46. Strengthen internal communication and training about
contracting processes with WMBEs and small businesses.
Engaging WMBEs and                                47. For all new contracts, add provisions for language services, anti-
Small Businesses                                             harassment language, and integrate anti-bias video review and
13. Barriers in procurement            discussion in contract evaluation panels.
processes                     48. Support community partnerships by reducing paperwork,
expediting contracts, and creating feedback loops and a
dedicated CPO team for CBO engagement.


Equity Assessment Focus Areas, Key Issues and Summary of Recommended Actions
Focus Areas                  Key Issues                           Summary of Recommended Actions
49. Continue work to stand up and operationalize the Community
Equity Board.
50. Create processes and best practices for how the Port engages
14. Lack of empowered and
meaningful ways for external
51. Ongoing training and support to develop employees' skills to
stakeholders to engage with
navigate power dynamics, build authentic relationships, and
Engaging Impacted        the Port
engage communities in inclusive, meaningful ways.
52. Create dedicated funding to support and remove barriers for
community engagement.
15. Challenging processes for
community-based            53. Continue process and system improvements in Port's community
organizations to contract with      investment programs.
the Port


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