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


APWA Board of Directors Diversity Statement:
The Board of Directors of the American Public Works Association embraces inclusiveness within the APWA membership and leadership and will continually work to strengthen the diversity of its leadership by utilizing the vast contributions of the association’s diverse membership.

The APWA Board of Directors believes that institutionalizing the diversity concept takes a commitment from all levels of the association.  Most importantly, it must be embraced at the top level in order to empower the concept throughout APWA.  The concept involves constant introspection and attention to the ways we all communicate and work with one another.  APWA needs to be proactive in making sure the APWA leadership will be as diverse as the membership. 
Diversity means, “All the ways in which people differ from each other.”  How we accept and use those differences depends on whether diversity becomes an asset or a liability for APWA and its chapters.
We can either embrace and celebrate diversity and use it to APWA’s benefit, or we can fail to recognize the world’s demographic future and lose out on valuable resources and contributions to the association.

Top Ten Ways to Increase Diversity at the National Level:


  1. Reach out to public works young professionals and encourage them to participate in and join APWA.
  2. Encourage supervisors who determine membership rosters to include more diverse staff on those rosters or to designate a particular number of positions on the roster for younger employees, minority, and/or female staff.
  3. Nominate and appoint qualified diverse members for leadership positions.
  4. Request specific members to fill national level appointed positions.
  5. Increase APWA’s overall membership which will increase the diversity of membership.
  6. Work with minority/gender based public works-related associations through co-sponsorship of programs to get APWA’s name and mission in front of their members.
  7. Educate public works supervisors on the benefits of their employees getting involved in APWA.  Show supervisors how APWA will help develop all levels of employees in their job.
  8. Hold cultural diversity training for chapters through videos, brochures and programs to increase awareness at the local level.  See , diversity pages for assistance in this area.
  9. Provide leadership training at the local level, specifically for our diverse young professionals and provide mentors for them at the local level.
  10. Support the APWA Leadership & Management Committee’s core competencies for leadership; develop objectives for each of the competencies that reflect diversity; and share those objectives with your Chapter members.

Questions or information should be directed to Staff Liaison Cindy Long, e-mail: or phone: (816) 595-5220.