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Stronger commitment to DEI benefits CalSTRS

A workplace filled with curious minds, compassionate hearts and open arms is a great benefit for employees. It also leads to a greater likelihood that CalSTRS will achieve its goal of being a sustainable organization, which supports its mission to provide a secure retirement for California's public educators.

This conclusion, backed up by research, was presented to the Teachers' Retirement Board by a panel of experts on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI).

Consultants from Guidehouse, which offers outside expertise to commercial and public-sector enterprises, presented the results of a 2023 benchmark organizational assessment of CalSTRS staff and its current DEI effort and made recommendations to improve on its enterprise DEI effort.

The assessment concluded CalSTRS is a proactive DEI organization; CalSTRS demonstrates a strong commitment to managing DEI activities in recruitment, job design and sustainability; and CalSTRS stakeholders support a future DEI best practice strategy that is data-driven, evidence-based, continually assessed and measurable.

The presentation emphasized that focusing on DEI best practices, and creating a positive work environment where employees from all backgrounds have equitable opportunities to contribute and influence the well-being of the organization, will inevitably have a positive return on investment in the workplace.

In addition, the research suggests that a more diverse team leads to greater innovation and creativity. It also can result in operational cost savings through lower staff turnover because people who feel valued find greater job satisfaction. Guidehouse presented five recommendations to the board and will create action plans for these recommendations to strengthen DEI within CalSTRS in 2024.