Advancing Workforce Equity: A Guide for Stakeholders

Phase 4: Building a Strategy

In this phase, the working group will analyze and review the data to research and identify the most promising viable strategies to achieve the desired equity outcomes. In this context, viability is defined by the ability to secure and/or allocate resources to undertake the strategies. Aim for no more than six to eight strategies.

In this and all phases, you should be very clear about the people and populations you want to impact with your equity work. Name them. Stay close to the data and—let the data guide you. The strategy development guide, linked in the tools section below, will aid in this process.

Finally, the workgroup should determine how it will communicate and disseminate the group’s findings and recommendations. Will it be a published report, webinar, roadshow with a slide deck? All of the above? For the project that was the model for this guide, the findings and strategies were communicated in published reports, blog posts, two webinar series, and other special local and national events

Strategy in Practice

Disaggregated Data is Key

In Seattle, the equity working group and strategic planning team dug into their data and noticed immediately the way the pandemic affected workers of color differently across specific populations. Unemployment rose for all Seattle workers during 2020, but peaked at a substantially higher rate – and on a later timeline — for Latinx workers. This highlights the precariousness of much of the Latinx workforce. They are more likely to face health risks in essential jobs and more likely to be laid off from jobs that are vulnerable to business cycle swings.

Seeing and wrestling with this data led the group to seek specific strategy recommendations to meet the needs of the Latinx population.

Making Equity Part of Your Regional Growth Plan

In Boston, the equity workgroup was interested in addressing the stark wealth gap in Black and White households. White households have a median wealth of around $250,000, compared to a median wealth of $8 for Black households. Disparities in the system are felt by the whole region, but workers of color have most of the burden.

These realities fueled Boston’s strategy recommendations to leverage the real estate development boom and industry growth to expand apprenticeship and increase union participation, especially in construction and building trades. This was one of a set of strategies, which also included investments and policy solutions around social programs, child care, housing, and transportation, designed to support workers of color and close the wealth and asset gap.

Things to Consider

  • Stay close to the data as you think through possible strategies.
  • Name the people you want to impact.
  • Can any of these strategies be accelerated through existing work? Do some require new solutions?
  • Which strategies are consistent with the labor market and future of work?
  • Are strategies structured in a manner that clearly identifies the need for support?
  • Identify the levers available in your sphere.

Take Action

  • Identify four to six strategies
  • Determine how you will report on and communicate your findings and recommendations

Related Tools

 Strategy Development Guide and Workbook


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