New initiative set to review states diversity policies

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JEFFERSON CITY - A week after the NAACP advised people of color avoid traveling in Missouri, the state announced a new initiative to review its workforce diversity policies.

The Office of Equal Opportunity will team up with the Workforce Diversity Council to make sure the state is promoting an inclusive work environment, and that employees are educated on diversity issues.

The Workforce Diversity Council is made up of employees from every executive department. 

Executive Order 10-24, signed by former Gov. Jay Nixon in 2010, established the Workforce Diversity Council.

Although the council is several years old, Office of Equal Opportunity Director Seth Bauman said with a new administration in the governor's office, it's the right time for a fresh look at the state's diversity policies in order to "reinvigorate this workforce and to give it a new life." 

Bauman also said the initiative was not in direct response to the NAACP's advisory.

Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman applauded the new administration's commitment to diversity in a press release Thursday.

“I am proud this administration is prioritizing diversity and inclusion," Steelman said. 

Bauman said the initiative helps keep state employees accountable on issues of diversity.

"If we have an initiative that can make us better at our job, that can make the environment better to work in, then at the end of the day the goal is to only to promote a more inclusive work environment, but by doing so we can better serve the people of the state," Bauman said.

The Workforce Diversity Council will provide Gov. Greitens with a report of its findings Nov. 29.