Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion State-Level Survey

In collaboration with Morrison Foerster, Inclusive America analyzed 3 important aspects to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at the state-level: 1) Boards and Commissions States 2) DEI Offices and Officials) 3) Published DEI Reports. Analyzing all of these factors together, we aim to demonstrate the advancement of DEI within certain states, and see what we can learn to apply at the federal level.

StateBoards & CommissionsOfficialsReports
District of ColumbiaNoYesNo
New HampshireYesYesNo
New JerseyNoYesNo
New YorkNoYesNo
North CarolinaYesNoYes
North DakotaYesNoNo
Rhode IslandYesYesYes
StateTypeStrict/PermissiveImplementing LanguageGenderRaceEthnicitySexual OrientationDisabilityEconomicGeographyOther
U.S.FederalPermissiveFor State Commissions on National & Community Service: “The chief executive officer of a State shall ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that the membership of the State Commission for the State is diverse with respect to race, ethnicity, age, gender, and disability characteristics.YesYesYesNoYesNoNoNo
CaliforniaStateStrict5 or more members can’t have more than 60% of board of the same gender; 4 or less can’t have gender uniformity for cities over 50,000 peopleYesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
ColoradoStatePermissive“Shall make reasonable efforts, to the extent an application for board membership is submitted to the Governor…along with meeting the board’s specified membership requirements…reflect the geographic and demographic diversity of the entire state….”YesYesYesYesYesNoYesNo
ConnecticutStatePermissive“Shall make a good faith effort….(board and commission members are) qualified and closely reflects the gender and racial diversity of the state according to the most recent United States census population data.YesYesNoNoNoNoNoNo
FloridaStatePermissive“Appointing authority should select…those persons whose appointments would ensure that the membership…accurately reflects the proportion of each group of [enumerated] minority persons”NoYesYesNoNoNoYesNo
IllinoisStatePermissiveAll appointments “shall be gender balanced to the extent possible…if gender balance is not possible, then appointments shall provide for significant representation of both sexes”YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
IowaStatePermissive“All appointing authorities…should consider qualified minority persons for appointment to boards.”YesYesYesNoNoNoNoYoung Person
KentuckyStatePermissiveGovernor may reject board appointments “in the event the current membership of a board or commission reflects a proportion of the minority group less than the proportion of the minority group in the total population”NoYesYesNoNoNoNoNo
MissouriStatePermissive“When making appointments … the governor shall take affirmative action to appoint women and members of minority groups.YesYesYesYesYesYesYes“All minority groups”
MontanaStatePermissive“… all appointing authorities of all appointive boards. Commissions, and councils of state government shall take positive action to attain gender balance and proportional representation of minorities resident in Montana to the greatest extent.”YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
NevadaStatePermissive“the Governor shall solicit nominees … who represent the geographic diversity of this state.”NoNoNoNoNoNoYesNo
New HampshireStatePermissive“… when an appointment is made and when a vacancy is filled, one of the factors which may be taken into consideration shall be the gender balance in the population which is served or regulated by the state office, agency, commission, or board…”YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
North CarolinaStatePermissive“In appointing members to public bodies … the appointing authority should select, from among the most qualified persons, those persons whose appointment would promote membership on the body that accurately reflects the proportion that each gender represents in the population of the State as a whole or, in the case of a local body, in the population of the area represented …”YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
North DakotaStatePermissive“Appointments to boards, commissions, committees, and councils of the state established by this code, if not otherwise provided by law, should be gender balanced to the extent possible and to the extent that appointees are qualified to serve on those boards, commissions, committees, and councils.”YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
OregonStateStrictAll appointive authorities for state boards, commissions and advisory bodies shall implement this policy of affirmative action in their appointments, subject to the legal requirements for each appointment.”YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Rhode IslandStatePermissive“… each person responsible for appointing one or more individuals to serve on any board or commission or to the governing body of any public authority or board shall endeavor to ensure that, to the fullest extent possible, the composition of the board, commission, or governing body reflects the diversity of Rhode Island’s population.”YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
TennesseeStatePermissive“It is the intent of the general assembly to recognize the importance of balance in the appointment of minority and non-minority persons to membership on statutorily created decision-making and regulatory boards, commissions, councils, and committees…”YesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
UtahStatePermissive“In making a nomination, appointment, or reappointment to fill a vacancy on any board, committee, bureau, commission, council, or other entity, the appointing authority shall strongly consider nominating, appointing, or reappointing a qualified individual whose gender is in the minority on that entity.”YesNoNoNoNoNoNoNo
CaliforniaYesOfficiall State Chief Equity OfficerGovernment Operations Agency (2022)Develop DEI framework and vision for California State Employees.

Note: California also announced a diversity partnership with Inclusive to help source diverse talent in California government in 2019, but it not clear if the project has gone anywhere.
Information Flyer
ColoradoYesOfficel Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion OfficeExecutive Order (D 2020 175) (2020)Develop a statewide DEI policy, create and implement diversity training, and provide an annual report to the Governor.Office Website
D.C.NoOfficiall Chief Equity OfficerGovernor Appointment (2021)Work in the Office of Racial Equity to ensure “policy decisions are evaluated through an equity lens” and engage with community stakeholders.Appointment Press Release
IllinoisYesMultiplel Office of Equity
l Chief Equity Officer
Executive Order (2018-02) (2021)Elevated Chief Diversity Office to Chief Equity Officer and created an Office of Equity by making DEI resources available to state employees, and coordinating DEI trainings.Reorganization Press Release
IndianaNoOfficiall Chief Equity, Inclusion, & Opportunity OfficerGovernor Appointment (2020)Coordinate trainings and initiatives for statewide employees, and develop an Equity Data Portal.Office Website
KansasNoOfficel Office of Diversity, Equity, & InclusionDepartment of AdministrationDevelop policies and resources to promote diversity in state agencies.Office Website
KentuckyYesOfficel Office of Diversity, Equality, & TrainingPersonnel CabinetDevelop policies and programs to promote and monitor progressive statewide workforce management for EEO, affirmative action, inclusion, and diversity.Office Website
MassachusettsNoOfficel Office of Diversity & Equality OpportunityExecutive Office of AdministrationDevelop DEI policies and release annual report on Executive Branch diversity demographicsFY2019 Diversity Report
MichiganNoOfficel Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion DivisionDepartment of Civil RightsDevelop DEI resources and guides for the states.Office Website
MinnesotaNoMultiplel Inclusion Council
l Chief Inclusion Officer
Executive Order (19-01) (2019)In Governor’s first Executive Order, created the Council and Chief Inclusion officer to provide direction and advance the work diversifying employees and appointments.Press Release
New HampshireYesCouncill Governor’s Advisory Council on Diversity & InclusionExecutive Order (2017-09) (2017)Review New Hampshire laws to identify ways to advance DEI and support community efforts.

Note: Office website posts monthly agendas, documents, and meeting minutes.
Office Website
New JerseyNoMultiplel Chief Diversity Officer
l Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Belonging
Executive Order (265) (2021)Established office to coordinate policymaking process for state agencies to strengthen DEIPress Release
New YorkNoMultiplel Executive Committee for Diversity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity
l Chief Diversity Officer
l Chief Disability Officer
Executive Order (187) (2018)Committee and Chief Diversity Officer advises the Governor on plans, policies, and programs for the state.

Governor appointed the Chief Disability Officer in 2022.
Executive Order
PennsylvaniaNoOfficel Diversity, Equity and Inclusion OfficeGovernor Appointment (2021)The Office of Advocacy and Reform created ad DEI office to lead DEI initiatives for state agencies.Press Release
Rhode IslandYesOfficel Office of Diversity, Equity, & OpportunityExecutive Order (13-05) (2013)Create a diverse and inclusive state government that matches Rhode Island demographics.Office Website
VermontNoMultiplel Governor’s Workforce, Equity, & Diversity Council
l Chief Racial & Diversity Officer
Executive Order (14-18) (2018)Chief Racial and Diversity Officer advises Governor and created mandatory implicit bias training for all appointed leaders in agencies and departments. Officer and Council advise Commissioner of Human Resources on EEO and diversity programs in the state.Press Release
VirginiaNoOfficiall Chief Diversity, Opportunity, & Inclusion OfficerExecutive Order (10) (2022)Promote DEI policies in the state.Press Release
WashingtonNoOfficel Washington Equity OfficeGovernor AppointmentAssist agencies in developing DEI plans and create a dashboard for DEI plans.Press Release
WisconsinNoCouncill Governor’s Council on Equity & InclusionExecutive Order (59) (2019)Develop DEI plans, mandatory training, and advise governor.Council Website
StateReport AuthorityPublic RequirementPublish StatusScopeGenderRaceEthnicitySexual OrientationDisabilityEconomicGeographyOther
AlaskaVoluntaryNot RequiredPublishedExec BranchYesYesYesNoNoNoNoN/A
ConnecticutStatuteRequiredPublishedB+CYesYesYesNoNoNoNol Compares to census data
l Year-over-year analysis
FloridaStatuteNot RequiredNot PublishedB+CN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
IllinoisStatuteNot RequiredPublishedB+CYesYesYesYesYesNoNol Includes Applicants Demographics
MassachusettsVoluntaryNot RequiredPublishedExec BranchYesYesYesNoYesNoNol Compares to census
l Tracks Veterans
North CarolinaStatuteNot RequiredNot RequiredB+CN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
OregonStatuteNot RequiredNot RequiredB+CN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
Rhode IslandStatuteRequiredNot RequiredB+CN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
TennesseeStatuteNot RequiredNot RequiredB+CN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A