Racial Equity in Action

This DPH Racial Equity Action Plan is the first step in our ongoing commitment to create a culture of equity and inclusion for our own staff, which will in turn, improve the way we deliver services to all San Franciscans

“Illustration” by Lyubov Ivanova

Racial Equity Action Plan

Hiring & Recruitment

Identify, attract, invest in and retain a diverse city workforce.

Retention & Promotion

Retaining a strong workforce means supporting our employees holistically and creating intentional ladders for promotion.

Discipline & Separation

Managerial practices, job expectations, and evaluations can create inequity - or help correct it.

Diverse & Equitable Leadership & Management

An equitable workplace starts with diverse leadership that has the skills to build an equity culture. Attend our upcoming Anti-racism, Equitable and Inclusive Leadership Fellowship series

Mobility & Professional Development

When all employees can reach their highest potential, the Department and the city benefit.

Organizational Culture of Inclusion & Belonging

Growing a diverse workforce is just the first step. Employees must feel welcomed and included at every stage of their employment.


Boards & Commissions

An equitable workforce starts with equitable decision-making.

Where we stand

2019-2020 Employee Engagement Survey

Increase in staff who report feeling comfortable talking about race and racism in the workplace – especially for White employees who moved from 58% to 70%.

Increase in staff who report that they are actively working on equity initiatives - largest gain for Black and African American staff increased from 50% to 61%.

No change in proportion of staff agreeing that respect is being shown from managers to staff of all races/ethnicities - except for Latinx staff who reported favorably less often, moving from 76% to 73%.

Increase in reported staff seeing coworkers showing respect to members of the public of all races/ethnicities.

Increase in the number of staff agreeing on the role institutional racism in health disparities - especially for Black and African American staff increased from 56% to 80%, eliminating a large racial gap.

% of Staff Reporting Favorably Each Year

I feel comfortable talking about race and racism in the workplace.

2019 - 52%

2020 - 56%


I am actively involved in advancing racial equity in my work. 

2019 - 50%

2020 - 55%


Managers in my department treat staff from all racial/ethnic groups with respect.

2019 - 74%

2020 - 74%


I understand government action and policies contribute to the difference in health between racial/ethnic groups.

2019 - 68%

2020 - 82% ⇧


Staff in my department treat clients/patients from all racial/ethnic groups with respect.

2019 - 76%

2020 - 79%


My department is taking active steps to improve racial equity.

2019 - 50%

2020 - 54% ⇧


More survey results here

Our workforce has reported liking their jobs but experiencing stress and having unmet needs. Black/African American staff in particular are reporting negative experiences.

What we've done

We have implemented or expanded:
  • Added a Director of Workforce Equity to the Office of Health Equity staff
  • Designated Equity Leads, now covering all DPH service and administrative areas
  • New Equity Champions program with 80+ participants
  • New racial equity trainings and training requirements
  • Annual equity plans for all DPH sections
  • Compiled a total of 95 actions in the Racial Equity Action Plan to be addressed from FY 2021-2023

Activities we implemented or expanded in response to the Employee Engagement Survey results.

What's next

What we still need to do

These activities were deliberately established first in order to support the difficult work of implementation. We  are now working on creating and sustaining equitable programs, procedures and policies. 


The 2021-2023 Racial Equity Action Plan is a major part of that work, primarily focusing on workplace disparities.

Racial Equity Action Plan Update, April 29, 2021

You can watch the Racial Equity Action Plan Town Hall from April 29, 2021 here

We have made progress in normalizing racial equity among employees and leadership, as well as organizing groups and committees to sustainably support racial equity work.