Last Updated: January 7, 2021

Equitable Hiring and Retention

Equitable hiring and retention, as well as related efforts to diversify staff, are essential to an anti-racist work environment. In the past few years, individual departments within the Tenement Museum have taken crucial steps towards equitable hiring. However, these practices had not yet been adopted across the institution. Prior to the pandemic, the IDEA Council was working on a plan to begin this work Museum-wide, and the anti-racism statement put forward by the Museum renewed these efforts. Of the Museum staff who identified as BIPOC, about half were laid off this spring and summer when the Museum was forced to close due to the pandemic. This was a devastating loss, not only in the expertise and experience that staff brought to the institution, but also to many of the voices fighting for and building on these initiatives. Going forward, this working group will focus on the work of equitable hiring and retention in order to rebuild and strengthen our staff diversity and overall working environment for all employees – union and non-union, full-time and part-time.

Demographics of current staff, based on single selection categories in EEO-1 form completed upon hiring:

    • Asian: 7.14%
    • Black: 3.57%
    • Hispanic or Latino: 30.36%
    • Two or More Races: 1.79%
    • White: 57.14%


Our long-term goals are to increase staff diversity consistently over time, and strengthen practices that support employee retention focusing on transparency, performance reviews/training, benefits, community building, and recognition.

Below, we will update every three months with steps we’ve taken and milestones we’ve reached towards achieving these goals.  

  • Convened meetings with hiring managers to discuss current hiring practices and get input for developing institutional equitable hiring practices 
  • Revising existing performance review protocol  
  • Complete a broader evaluation of staff diversity to better inform practices going forward
  • Determine hiring goals to increase staff diversity
  • Create and implement institution wide hiring procedures that promote equitable and inclusive hiring
  • Define retention with an anti-racist lens and the processes necessary to improve and support retention at the Museum