Gender, Race, and Diversity Values Among Local Government Leaders

Mary K. Feeney, Leonor Camarena

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Scopus citations


    Despite the increased emphasis placed on diversity and inclusion, there is relatively little research that focuses on diversity values in small and medium-sized cities. This research uses data from a 2016 nationally representative survey to investigate how city department leaders’ perceptions of their organizations valuing diversity are related to the identity of the department head, the mayor, and the community. We find that women and people of color are underrepresented in city department leadership. Reporting that one’s organization values racial and gender diversity is significantly related to respondent gender, respondent race (for women), mayoral race (for women), and diversity in the community (for men), and that the interaction of mayoral and community identity is related to perceived diversity values. We conclude with a discussion of what these findings mean for diversity and inclusion in practice in local government departments, which often lack demographic diversity.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)105-131
    Number of pages27
    JournalReview of Public Personnel Administration
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Mar 2021


    • diversity
    • gender
    • local government
    • values
    • workplace culture

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Public Administration
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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