2023 HR&A Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ADEI) Progress Report

2023 HR&A Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (ADEI) Progress Report


In 2023, HR&A focused on accelerating our progress from past years and working to further embed ADEI into the fabric of our culture and processes. This work is never done, and it’s important to us to reflect on the past year and set strong intentions for the year ahead. In 2023, we made progress in the following areas:


We continue to attract diverse talent and are better positioned to serve the communities in which we operate. Of the 47 employees who joined HR&A in 2023, 61% identify as BIPOC and 74% as women. Overall, 47% of our entire staff identify as BIPOC, which is consistent with 2022 levels and up from 36% in 2020. Our recruiting team continues to incorporate ADEI principles in our recruitment process, helping support our company’s diversity.


We were honored to be named a 2023 New York Urban League Champion for Recruitment, Retention, and Belonging. We are grateful to Senior Analyst Ejiro Ojeni for nominating our organization for this prestigious award, and to our staff for championing internal efforts across the firm to ensure HR&A continues to be a place that is stronger because of our diversity.


We began providing dedicated ADEI training for staff in management roles. We understand that one of the most effective ways to move the needle on ADEI across our organization is by building capacity within our project manager cohort. Supporting them to apply an equity lens to every aspect of our work — including how we support, train, and mentor diverse staff; how we work with our clients and community partners; how we publicize our work externally; how we conduct performance evaluations, and much more — is critical to transforming our operations and culture as a firm. In May, project managers across roles and offices met for a two-day, in-person training tailored to HR&A.


We completed our first year of HR&A Advisors’ BIPOC Sponsorship Program, through which we paired 13 BIPOC staff with Partners and Senior Advisors for continued, intentional sponsorship. Participating sponsored employees met with their sponsors monthly, attended conferences and networking opportunities with their sponsors, and worked with their sponsors to promote their professional development and visibility within and outside of the firm.


Staff across the firm engaged in conversations about ADEI during our inaugural HR&A Summit in October. HR&A’s Anti-Racism Core Team hosted two sessions at HR&A’s inaugural Summit, attended by staff from across our six offices:


  1. Solidarity and Allyship at HR&A: This panel elevated how staff currently show up for their coworkers and communities in often unseen but impactful ways, including through mentorship, volunteering, recruiting, and procurement, then the team engaged participants in small-group, facilitated discussions about how everyone can use their positionality at the firm to practice acts of solidarity and allyship.
  2. Supercharging our Projects through Equity and Inclusion: This panel highlighted how staff center equity in both our client-facing work and internal operations. Panelists highlighted lessons learned across diverse topics and methodologies including homelessness, innovation districts, public health, and inclusive community engagement.


Our staff-led Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) continue to foster a culture of belonging. We have seven affinity groups including: Accessibility, Asian American and Pacific Islander, Black, Foreign-Born, Latino/a Comunidad, Queer, and Women’s ERGs. Over 80% of our staff participate in ERGs, and they play an instrumental role in creating a community of belonging through virtual convenings, in-person events, and mentorship opportunities.


We look forward to continuing our journey in 2024. Click here to learn more about our commitment to ADEI, and here for past progress updates.