The Port of Seattle is working to ensure that their policies, practices, and procedures recognize and address social injustice as it impacts the work of the Port. They are clarifying their values and practices with the ultimate goal of increasing equity, diversity and inclusion in their work.
The Port recognizes the negative impact of institutional and structural racism. By building capacity to address racism, they will also improve their ability to recognize and address other forms of discrimination such as sexism and heterosexism. At the Port of Seattle, diversity is viewed as a source of possibility and strength. It is not an initiative or campaign. Rather, it is integral to policy, processes and programs that are woven into all daily activities within the port community. This effort is integral to:
- The core values of the organization
- Pursuing their mission and the Port’s Century Agenda
- Attracting and retaining talent with shared values
- Improving the quality of work-life integration
- Sustaining an environment that treats people and communities fairly and equitably
Over the next year, The Port of Seattle will work to design a “Model of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion” that will link the Port’s values and commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion to specific behaviors and practices at the organizational, department, and individual levels. The Model will enable them to operate more effectively and sustain organizational performance, including:
- Identifying and addressing barriers to opportunity (for example, internally for current employees, attracting future employees, in their Small/WMBE efforts, in their role in the region as an economic engine, and in efforts to build environmental sustainability)
- Producing innovative and effective solutions
- Achieving higher levels of employee engagement and commitment
- Building more collaborative relationships with the communities they serve
In addition, the Port is working to increase Small Business contracting participation across the Port by half, including an increase to 4% for Minority/Women-Owned Business participation.
Tracy Patterson is the Port of Seattle’s Talent Development and Diversity Manager. In this role she designs, implements, and manages professional and leadership development programming and equity, diversity and inclusion programs.