Diversity in Public Service
“[You] can succeed because of who you are, not despite it, and not because of what other people tell you you’re supposed to be. You can succeed because of who you are. And that goes for no matter what you look like, where you come from, how you worship or who you love. If you’re well-qualified for office, if you’ve got good ideas, bring them to the table, because this is your republic too; this is your representative democracy within a republic. You have every right to bring your ideas to the table and to champion them, not just sit in the back.”
-Danica Roem, first openly transgender state lawmaker, Virginia House of Delegates
Age, economic, educational, ethnic, gender and racial diversity are important components of identity that must be considered in shaping the civic sphere. However, many of these identity factors have historically been intentionally excluded from the policymaking process. Demographic shifts further necessitate appropriate diversification in the public service workforce in order to build a more egalitarian society. Administrators in every public organization should aim for their agency to reflect the composition of the populations that they serve. Representation in the public workforce communicates to the public that their interests are important – not just those of the dominant groups.
Another important reason for diversity in public service is that varying perspectives on issues will lead to innovative approaches to problem solving and conflict resolution. Diversity in public service also fosters collaboration and cooperation across the different groups that comprise the population.