DEI Strategic Plan Overview
The goals and objectives in the Department of Public Service's Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan reflect the Department’s recognition of the value and impact of a diverse workforce. It also reflects the Department’s priorities to implement new or improved practices to better: recruit, retain, and develop a talented and diverse workforce; provide opportunities for all staff to grow and reach their potential; and cultivate an inclusive environment where all staff feel appreciated, valued, and empowered. This plan represents a critical step forward for the Department and is complementary to our mission to ensure affordable, safe, secure, and reliable access to utility services for all New Yorkers.
The Department's five-year strategic plan is centered around four goals:
- Recruiting and Retaining a Talented Workforce
- Developing and Retaining Strategic Leaders
- Fostering an Inclusive Workforce Culture
- Delivering Effective Programs and Services
Recruiting and Retaining a Talented Workforce
The Department is committed to recruiting and retaining a talented and diverse workforce that is representative of the State’s population. To accomplish this goal, the Department will improve its demographic data collection methods in order to establish a clearer baseline of the Department’s composition. The Department will also enhance and formalize its recruiting, application, interview, and appointment review processes, to ensure the Department recruits and retains talented and diverse employees at all levels of the organization. In order to increase retention rates, the Department will further promote its Telecommuting Pilot Program and Alternative Work Schedules and look for improvement opportunities in these programs, as well as improve data collection in its Exit Interview Survey.
Developing and Retaining Strategic Leaders
The Department is committed to supporting, developing, and retaining strategic leaders to ensure that the Department is able to successfully fulfill its mission. To accomplish this goal, the Department will examine its approaches to employee development and ensure that qualified employees are provided with equal opportunities for growth and development within the organization. The Department will also ensure that current and future leaders understand their responsibilities to cultivate an environment of equity and inclusion for all staff.
Fostering an Inclusive Workforce Culture
The Department is committed to fostering an inclusive workplace culture where staff feel welcomed, supported, and have the opportunity to contribute and provide input. Actions the Department will take to support this goal will include establishing regular opportunities for staff to provide input on the topics of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and undertaking a review to ensure that concepts of equity, inclusivity, and respect are adequately integrated into Department policies, training courses, and programs.
Delivering Effective Programs and Services
The Department is committed to overseeing and delivering effective programs and services that are inclusive, equitable, and meet the diverse needs of our constituents. The Department is also committed to ensuring that regulated utilities achieve best practices in diversity, equity, and inclusion in their operations, workforce, and outreach. To accomplish this goal, the Department will take steps to ensure inclusive outreach and external communication and will work with utilities to create and implement plans that incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices.
Ensuring Utility Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
In June 2022, the Public Service Commission issued an order requiring that utilities issue diversity plans. In early 2023, the Department began working with the utilities in a working group, where utilities share current efforts and learn about best practices. The utilities will be required to file DEI plans after the conclusion of the working group meetings.
In consultation with the utilities, the Department will establish a deadline for such filings following the initial working group meeting. The plans will cover issues such as:
- The importance of a diversified work force
- Corporate strategies and communications
- Training, recruitment and retention
- Outreach and engagement
- Supplier diversity
Ensuring Transparent and Inclusive Services
The Department currently maintains a website and electronic document filing system that provide the public with access to a wealth of information on utility proceedings and consumer information. Obtaining public input through outreach and hearings is also a critical part of all Commission proceedings. The Department has taken steps to improve transparency, stakeholder input, and communication with the public.
- The DPS public website was updated in January 2023 to a more transparent and accessible platform.
- The DPS site is now available to be translated into 12 languages besides English.
- Sessions, hearings, forums and other events are clearly posted on the DPS website along with how to access the events and how to comment on cases.
- Comments due, hearing dates, press releases, videos, transcripts and other key information is regularly shared on DPS social media accounts.
The Department will continue to ensure that climate justice and an equitable energy transition for all New Yorkers are incorporated into the programs it oversees and authorizes by ensuring that utilities and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have specific programs and services focused on disadvantaged communities and focused attention on developing a diverse workforce for clean and renewable energy job opportunities.