Top Ten Ways to Increase Diversity of Membership and Leadership at the APWA Chapter Level


APWA Diversity Statement:
The American Public Works Association recognizes, appreciates and fosters the synergy which is created when the work environment values the differences in individuals and practices inclusiveness and open communication.

APWA values all individuals and different perspectives of the individuals.  Processes must be put in place for all to feel included as part of the whole.  APWA membership must recognize its diversity and members must seek to uncover the ways that they are different and understand how these differences can add value to their professional association.
APWA Meaning of Diversity
The term “diversity” means assortment, variety, or mixture; and for APWA membership and leadership purposes includes:

  • Race, creed, national origin, geographic origin;
  • Gender, lifestyle, marital status;
  • Age, height/weight, energy level;
  • Educational background, social status, income level;
  • Processing style, thinking style, political views;
  • Personality, values, likes/dislikes, goals, ambitions, assertiveness level;
  • Tenure/level of position within an organization;
  • Management/union, public/private, rural/urban; and
  • All the other ways in which we are different from each other.


Top Ten Ways to Increase Diversity in APWA at the Chapter Level.

  1. Provide outreach to young people of all ethnicities through tutoring and encouragement in the areas of math and science and through the provision of scholarships for ethnic youth.
  2. Provide education to young people of all ethnicities on how public works affects their lives and enlighten them on the future employment opportunities available in the public works profession through videos, brochures and programs that reflect diversity.
  3. Collaborate with other public works related associations with a minority or gender specific base on public works related issues to increase APWA’s value and credibility to their membership.
  4. Attract and encourage younger public works staff to join APWA.   Organize Chapter functions geared toward young professionals.
  5. Start a Welcoming Committee in the Chapter to make sure guests and new members want to return and/or maintain their membership.
  6. Determine the leadership interests of new members and appoint them to an appropriate Chapter committee or task force.
  7.  Survey current Chapter members to determine who is interested in serving in leadership positions and work with them to establish a clear path to achieve their goals.
  8. Determine how younger members prefer to participate in the Chapter and then create opportunities for them through program presentations, Chapter projects using technology or short-term task force work.
  9. Provide programs and areas of interest for all Chapter members regardless of their staff position level.
  10. Realize that the differences in all our members can contribute to the success, productivity level and prosperity of each Chapter and ultimately, APWA.

The APWA Diversity Committee encourages Chapters to be as inclusive as possible in serving our members.  Being supportive of all types of members simply makes good business sense and strengthens APWA for all its members.
If your Chapter has carried out diversity programs or increased the diversity in your membership and your leadership, please let the National Diversity Committee know.  We would like to include your successes on the Diversity pages of the APWA website.
Questions or information should be directed to Staff Liaison Cindy Long,, or phone: (816) 599-5520.