One of New Jersey’s greatest strengths is the diversity of its residents. The Attorney General’s Office has a special responsibility to reflect and promote that diversity, not simply as the employer of a large and talented workforce, but also as a law enforcement agency tasked with guaranteeing equal protection of the law and as a regular purchaser of professional services, including outside legal counsel. Under the direction of Chief Diversity Officer Lora Fong, the Attorney General’s Office has worked to strengthen its commitment to diversity and inclusion by establishing clear goals and benchmarks for progress.
Implicit Bias Training
Over the past several decades, social science research has revealed that all people experience some degree of “implicit bias,” the unconscious and often subtle associations that individuals make between groups of people and stereotypes about those groups. But research has also shown that individuals can counter the effects of implicit biases by acknowledging their effects and learning how to recognize when they influence one’s behaviors and actions. In June 2018, the Attorney General directed that all New Jersey State Troopers, as well as all prosecutors and detectives employed by the Division of Criminal Justice and the 21 County Prosecutor’s Offices, receive implicit bias training by the end of 2019.
- Division-specific Diversity Plans
The Attorney General’s Office handles a wide range of matters, from prosecuting crime, to protecting consumers, to regulating a wide variety of industries, including racing, gaming, boxing, and the distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages. The Office’s thirteen divisions vary considerably in size, budget, and scope, and so in June 2018, the Attorney General tasked each division director with drafting a “diversity and inclusion plan” that describes the specific steps the division would take to reaffirm and strengthen its commitment to diversity. These plans include specific goals and objectives and chart a path forward for the coming months and years, and complement the Department-wide “Diversity and Inclusion Report” issued at the same time.
- Equal Opportunity Employer
The Attorney General’s Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our staff. State law prohibits discrimination in hiring or employment on the basis of race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, ancestry, age, sex, marital status, pregnancy status, affectional or sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, or mental or physical disability.
- Diversity Council & Employee Resource Groups
The Department-wide Diversity Council is comprised of employees from different divisions and levels of the Department and supports the effort to create an inclusive, respectful and effective cross-cultural workplace. The Council meets several times a year to discuss issues affecting employees and to identify opportunities for new programming across the Department.
In addition, the Department supports several “Employee Resource Groups,” or ERGs, which help create a sense of community among employees from historically underrepresented backgrounds. The Department’s ERGs include those supporting Black, Latinos, women, Asian-American & Pacific Islanders (AAPI), and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees.