Helena looking to increase diversity and inclusion

By NATHAN HOWELL | Staff Writer

HELENA – The city of Helena is seeking to create a more diverse environment that accurately represents the community through their Diversity and Inclusion Framework.

Helena Mayor Brian Puckett said that the framework was created as a way to promote inclusion in areas such as public service and employment, through meaningful partnerships and a safe work environment.

“The city of Helena is proud of the steps we continue to take to push forward with diversity and inclusion with everything that the city does,” Puckett said. “The city along with leadership has been cognitive and transparent when making decisions that affect the residents of Helena to ensure that we are accurately representing the community we serve.”

Puckett explained that this framework has already been used in the hiring process for city employees and appointments to boards and committees, so that all participants in the hiring, or application, process are considered equally and without any prejudice.

“The framework will help us in our continued efforts to build a diverse and inclusive workforce, and provide programs and services to our residents by using diversity and inclusion lenses,” Puckett explained. “The Framework identifies key priorities to help advance these efforts, both in our organization and communities, now and into the future.”

Some of these priorities include providing for equitable access municipal services, programs and facilities, ensuring that a respectful relationship exists between internal and external partnerships within the city and creating a workplace for city employees where they are free from discrimination.

Overall, Puckett said that the goal of creating and implementing this framework for the city was to ensure that everyone would be treated fairly within the city regardless of things like race, ability, sexual orientation or gender.

“Through an implementation plan, the framework will support business units in recognizing diversity and inclusion in all policies, practices, programs and services,” Puckett explained. “The framework will help the municipality address and remove systemic barriers for employees and residents, to facilitate the full participation of everyone.”