Director of DEI
Metra is one of the largest and most complex commuter rail systems in North America, serving Cook, DuPage, Will, Lake, Kane, and McHenry Counties. The agency is linking communities in Northeastern Illinois by providing safe, reliable, and efficient commuter service.
Metra’s Human Resources Department’s mission is to recruit and retain qualified employees in a diverse workforce; treat all employees fairly; facilitate training and professional development for career growth; effectively manage and administer compensation; negotiate and administer flexible benefit programs that provide quality and value; administer medical leaves and related services; promote wellness; provide confidential and efficient records administration; ensure that Metra’s policies and procedures comply with all laws governing employment, benefits and other ancillary services; and foster an environment of trust and mutual respect with employees as well as internal and external partners. Human Resources is staffed with 30 employees.
Reporting to the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Director, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will partner with internal leadership, HR staff, and employees to assess and implement innovative, engaging, and impactful initiatives and programs in support of Metra’s commitment to building an inclusive and diverse work culture advancing Metra’s reputation as an employer of choice for individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds. The Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion will regularly report progress, recommendations, and plans to executive leaders and the CEO.
The primary duties include: Partner collaboratively and build consensus with key stakeholders and leaders to develop plans and programs with clearly defined deliverables and milestones; frequently review plans to identify risks, elicit feedback, and remove obstacles that could hinder goal attainment; and make adjusts to deliver the agency’s commitment to foster a climate of inclusion and improve access to opportunities for underrepresented groups. Establish key performance indicators, track progress, and perform data analysis for effective decision making. Report on accountability metrics, apprise senior leadership of status, and present best practice solutions to achieve objectives. Leverage cross-functional teams and consultants to develop and conduct DEI-based education for staff and stakeholders creating a culturally aware workplace and increasing employee engagement. Contribute to leadership development programs to ensure key DEI learnings and inclusive practices are incorporated and connected to the expectations of managers at the company. Serve as the key point person and liaison with stakeholders, minority groups, and the general public regarding DEI issues; and initiate, build, and maintain relationships with educational institutions, external agencies/boards/committees, and professional organizations to further effective implementation of DEI initiatives. Function as subject matter expert, research emergent issues in DEI that could impact the Agency’s initiatives, and provide guidance on DEI best practices. Mentor and coach internal managers and leaders on the needs for creating an inclusive environment. Promote psychological safety of all employees across teams. Perform other related duties as assigned to meet the ongoing needs of the organization. Approve time off, coordinate staff schedules, fill vacancies as necessary, and ensure compliance with departmental and company policies and objectives. Decide/implement staffing decisions, performance evaluations, and performance improvement, disciplinary, and/or termination procedures.
Candidates can expect salary offers that range from the minimum to the mid-point of the salary range. Metra provides full pay ranges so candidate can consider their growth potential.
Metra is a railroad employer subject to the provisions of the Railroad Retirement Tax Act, not the Social Security Administration.
- Bachelor’s degree.
- In addition to #1, must have a minimum of seven years of experience implementing and managing programs or projects including two years working on the advancement of organizational cultures into one of equity, inclusion, and diversity.
- Considerable knowledge of talent planning and diversity.
- Considerable knowledge of Title VII (EEOC) laws as well as Affirmative Action (OFCCP) regulations and leveraging that knowledge to build an engaged diverse workforce and inclusive environment.
- Considerable knowledge of racial, ethnic, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, gender, and age-based initiatives focused on advancing historically marginalized populations.
- Considerable knowledge of effective strategies that are designed to advance DEI in the workplace.
- Considerable knowledge of civil rights laws and statues.
- Knowledge of operational challenges and solving problems in various areas of business.
- Considerable organizational, analytical, and critical thinking skills.
- Strong verbal and written communication skills.
- Strong leadership, collaborative, negotiation, and conflict management skills.
- Skill in creating a culture of respect.
- Skill in effectively employing change management.
- Interpersonal skills including influence, relationship building, and collaboration within cross-functional team.
- Ability to develop and administer programs, processes, and policies.
- Ability to meaningfully engage stakeholders in challenging dialogue around racial, gender, and cultural inequities.
- Ability to handle confidential information.
- Ability to understand and interpret applicable policies, laws, and regulations.
- Ability to explain data sharing philosophy and how we hold leaders accountable to actions tied to the DEI Tech strategy.
- Project Management Professional (PMP) certification
Please note: Regardless of any state laws that legalize marijuana, Metra prohibits applicants and employees’ use or possession of marijuana (or marijuana paraphernalia), or having detectable amounts of marijuana in their bodies, including synthetic and/or non-synthetic substances such as THC for any reason for preemployment screening purposes, while on duty, subject to duty, on Metra property, or in Metra work equipment and vehicles.
Metra is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. It is our policy to fill vacant positions with qualified candidates without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, gender identity, disability, or any protected categories, assuming an individual can perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodation.
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