What is the Workplace Equity & Civility Initiative?

The Workplace Equity & Civility Initiative was born out of two separate, yet similar, movements; one from the office of City of San Diego Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry and later spearheaded by Danna Cotman and Lawyers Club of San Diego (Lawyers Club), and the other from the joint efforts of the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) and The San Diego Union Tribune. Now a collaborative effort, The Workplace Equity & Civility Initiative is seeking to transform workplaces throughout the county of San Diego and beyond.

The Workplace Equity Initiative started as a response to the #MeToo movement and the vision was to bring together small business, big business, nonprofits and labor organizations to address harassment and equal pay in the workplace. By hosting forums and gathering bright minds from various organizations around the city of San Diego, The Workplace Equity Initiative was realized. The Commitment was developed through the combined efforts of the steering committee and open forums to establish set standards for equity in the workplace. Tool kits, developed by Lawyers Club, were offered as a resource to shed light on the laws around harassment in the workplace and empower individuals to seek help when necessary.

Simultaneously, NCRC, seeing a need for greater civility in the workplace, developed an initiative with The San Diego Union Tribune to host a variety of workshops that would empower individuals to champion civility in the workplace. These workshops offer three innovative ways to create a more respectful workplace culture. The ART of Inclusive Communication explores how to cultivate inclusive communication with a diverse workforce. The Exchange teaches managers and supervisors how to facilitate challenging conversations between employees who might be in conflict with one another. The Bystander Challenge empowers individuals to be effective bystanders by giving them tools to speak up when they see inappropriate conduct in the workplace, in order to prevent these situations to escalate into harassment. When 50% or more of an organization’s workforce completes one of the three trainings, NCRC and The San Diego Union Tribune publicly recognize that organization as being “dedicated to a civil workplace”.