Establishing an employee-based council to advise leadership


The Board of Pensions senior leadership wanted an ongoing focus on the advancement of equity in its programs, policies, and practices.


The Board of Pensions formed its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leadership Council (DEILC) in February 2020. The group, composed of employees who reflect a range of professional expertise as well as racial, ethnic, and gender diversity, advises on diversity initiatives. In its first 18 months, the council accomplished the following:

  • Established council leadership structure, work process and cadence
  • Defined mission, scope of work
  • Developed foundation for DEILC multi-year strategy to:
    • build the pipeline of future leaders in the workplace;
    • engage staff by creating a respectful and inclusive workplace; and
    • leverage external connections and partnerships in the community outside the Board
  • Established four workstream groups in these categories:
    •  Workplace – positioning the Board as an employer of choice internally and externally
    •  Workforce – increasing employee understanding of the importance of DEI
    • Sustainability – developing key performance goals and metrics to measure DEI success
    • Marketplace – exploring opportunities to engage with external diverse professional organizations

• Issued public-facing agency statement on racial justice June 2020
• Participated in the December 2020 annual meeting of the Church Benefits Association on the Understanding Diversity and Inclusion panel
• Expanded internal communications by publishing monthly national ethnic/cultural observances, monthly educational news stories, and significant religious, ethnic, and cultural observances on Serve Well, the agency’s online community site
• Met with the National Black Presbyterian Caucus in June 2021 to share DEI mission and strategy
• Became a silver sponsor of the National Association of Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) in September 2021, offering complimentary membership to 20 Board employees
• Began work in summer 2021 to establish a Girls Who Code club for children of Board employees, supporting this nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology
• Began work to research how to enhance the Board’s Editorial Style Guide to reflect inclusive and bias-free language
• Partnered with the Human Resources team to engage diverse search firms to ensure diverse candidate selection
• Developed a DEI training plan and assessment for 2021
• Launched self-study DEI resources for Board employees available from LinkedIn Learning – one six-part collection in spring 2020 and a second launch of a monthly series beginning fall 2021


The Board of Pensions has a long history of recruiting and maintaining a diverse workforce that reflects metropolitan Philadelphia, where it is located; but we know we can do better, for example, in expanding diversity among Board leadership. We're looking to DEILC to provide input that will help us accomplish this.

The Reverend Frank Clark Spencer
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