Department of Public Works

Department of Public Works

1999 Report
2001 Update
2002 Update
2006 Update
2007 Update
FY2007-2008 Budget Report
2012 Update

Department of Public Works

1. Overview

The San Francisco Department of Public Works (DPW) is the department responsible for maintaining city streets and public areas, restoring public monuments, and providing architectural and engineering services to other city departments.1 The Department has a budget of approximately $115 million and a staff of 1549, making it one of the larger city departments in San Francisco.

The Department is organized into three primary Divisions: Finance and Administration, Engineering, and Operations. The three Divisions are run separately, but senior management in the Divisions work closely together, especially in the collaboration of services and when handling customer service issues. The Engineering and Operations Divisions are each organized into Bureaus.

Traditionally, service delivery has not been examined for its gender effect, especially in the public works arena. Incorporating gender concerns into service delivery was in large part a new concept for the Department. Gender sensitive indicators to measure how services impact the quality of life for women and men have not been used before in San Francisco. This is especially true with indirect services (i.e., services such as street lighting, not provided directly to an individual person) where the gender impact is not immediately obvious and difficult to address. Also, many of the Department's architectural and engineering projects are done for other city departments that also lack human rights and gender training. Hence, these projects will not consider the gender impact unless the Department of Public Works brings this awareness to its clients.

Most staff members were receptive to the gender analysis, although a few did not understand how women and men could have different service needs. The learning process, begun with this study, will need to continue. As the Department recognizes, incorporating gender concerns into service delivery will require significant training and resources. Training on human rights with a gender perspective, in particular how to incorporate gender into such activities as building design and street maintenance, will greatly aid this learning process.

DPW maintains an advanced "customer satisfaction approach." The Department has created numerous mechanisms to obtain community input, including quality of life forums, Neighborhood City Hall programs, community meetings, customer satisfaction surveys, and pre- and post-construction surveys. The Department should integrate gender into its customer service approach.

The Department offers an extensive employee training program that emphasizes fairness in the workplace and leadership development. It allows for cross-departmental participation in "teams" that problem-solve and make policy recommendations. These professional development opportunities demonstrate the Department's commitment to its staff. This commitment should also include expanded family friendly work practices. Creative solutions to the realities of employees' family obligations are necessary, even if difficult to implement.

Before the gender analysis began, community members interacting with the Department, and the Department itself, had produced several reports concerning employee discrimination issues with a focus on women and/or people of color.2 The Department maintains statistics about workforce composition in order to identify discrimination and under-representation in particular job classifications. While the Department conducts recruitment and outreach to ensure equal opportunity, these efforts must be expanded. There is much work to be done to bring women into nontraditional positions, such as the skilled trades. Creative efforts to include women and underrepresented minorities should be developed together with other city departments, unions, tradeswomen's associations, and community organizations.


The Department of Public Works conducted the gender analysis under the direction of liaison Assistant City Engineer Kathryn How. Senior management and other staff were open and receptive to the COSW and project consultants throughout the gender analysis process. Discussions took place with the Director, deputy directors, bureau chiefs, managers, and other staff members to develop and use the gender analysis guidelines.

Each bureau that provides public services conducted its own analysis of these services, and examined how these services were or might be evaluated based on gender specific needs. Most employment data and information were provided by staff in Personnel, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Programs section and the training department. Although personnel staff recognized the need to convene focus groups and conduct surveys to gather concerns and recommendations directly from employees, the Department did not have the time to do this during the limited time frame allowed for its response.

2. Delivery of Services

a. Gender and Service Delivery

In response to the guidelines, several Department of Public Works sections ("bureaus") summarized services for which they have lead design responsibility and others briefly described their general services. While some services that the Department provides are sex specific, such as building separate facilities for female firefighters, services are rarely gender specific.3 Much of the Department's work is requested by and produced for other departments. In general, gender specific concerns are not integrated into the design, implementation and evaluation processes unless a client department so requests.

Staff in the Engineering Division and the Operations Division provide most of the Department's public services. Each is analyzed below, with a focus on the various bureaus.

The Engineering Division

The Engineering Division provides public services through the Bureaus of Architecture, Engineering, Construction Management, and Street-Use and Mapping.

A good example of how gender concerns are incorporated into facility design came from the Bureau of Architecture, which had lead design responsibility for a number of projects completed for the Recreation and Park Department. The Bureau of Architecture staff designing these services addressed safety issues from a gender perspective. Public facilities were designed as a safe place for people, with additional lighting and visibility where customers enter and leave public facilities. In particular, there were doorways with controlled access, office windows that monitor entrances to dressing rooms and children's playgrounds, and increased exterior lighting which provides lighted paths from facilities to parking lots. These are excellent examples of how integrating gender concerns in the design of public services can benefit both women and men. Many of these design functions may be perceived as benefiting only women, since women may be more likely to visit a playground with children, or to experience fear of violence in a dark parking lot. But safety precautions greatly benefit all persons, including men and boys, who will feel more secure in well lit, visible facilities.

Other Bureau of Architecture projects, done for different city departments, did not address any gender specific concerns. Some of these projects were sex specific, such as constructing separate restroom facilities for female firefighters, or separate locker rooms and toilets for females in a facility. For the seismic upgrade and other improvements to the War Memorial Opera House, sex specific services included adding locker rooms and dressing rooms for female musicians and staff, which added facilities for women that were presumably no different than the facilities of men. Adding bathrooms for women is sex-specific, whereas deciding the number of bathrooms based on gender is gender specific. For instance, a gender specific design at the Opera House increased the capacity of the public restrooms for women by 80%, recognizing that women need more restroom facilities than men.

Improvements to City Hall, the Bureau of Architecture's largest undertaking, did not appear to integrate any gender concerns. With all projects, the "norm" or "public" must be viewed through a gender perspective. The needs and impact of services on all persons, both men and women, must be considered. When designing each project, the queries must be made. What are women's needs? What are men's needs? How, if at all, are the needs met or not met based on gender? How can the needs and concerns of all persons be best incorporated into the project? Even if one concludes that no difference exists, it is important to ask these questions to assess if there are different needs or a differential impact based on gender.

The Engineering and Construction Management Bureaus also perform work that impacts women and men, but neither integrates gender into service designs. Some projects, such as the redesign of a sewer system or landslide abatement, may have no differential impact based on gender. However, many projects that appear to be gender neutral actually may impact women and men differently. For example, the Bureau of Engineering designs street lighting projects. On the surface these appear gender neutral, as both men and women have a need for safety. However, a woman, in particular, may fear sexual assault, making her feel more vulnerable than a man. Thus, increased lighting on dark streets, in parking lots, or near public facilities creates a more equitable outcome: both women and men feel safe walking down a street at night. Likewise, the renovation of city parks and playgrounds should integrate gender into its decision-making. The design might then reflect such features as providing sufficient lighting and pruning greenery to maximize visibility.

Finally, another Bureau in this Division, the Bureau of Street Use and Mapping, provides permit and inspection services for use of streets and sidewalks, and approves subdivision maps. The Bureau reports that it is "[n]ot currently engaged in activities that would measure results to gender."4 However, here, too, gender integration would be useful. For example, when granting permits, the Bureau could require that permit seekers integrate women's safety needs, such as designing construction walkways without dead ends, and providing adequate lighting.

Train staff to integrate gender in building and environmental design.

Recognizing the need to enhance the capacity of staff to integrate gender into their ongoing work, the Bureau of Architecture plans to develop a training program to raise awareness of issues that are critical to women and girls in building and environmental design. Experts in this area will be consulted to develop specific design training on how to address issues that are critical to women and make women's issues part of the routine project review process. One person will staff this initiative for six hours a week over a three-month period. The Department's estimated budget for this activity is $10-20,000.

This plan will be most effective if the training and project review considers the needs of and impact upon both women and men. Gender awareness training and standardization of gender concerns would benefit other bureaus as well. Each bureau could involve experts who have an understanding of gender issues in relation to building and environmental design, and develop staff skills to integrate the concerns of women and girls as they relate to the specific services provided by each bureau. Such training could result in a checklist of questions for project managers and staff to use as they carry out their work for client departments. The checklist could include:

· A review of how the physical differences between women and men, such as height and upper body strength, are taken into account in building design and the placement of furniture; and

· Indicators that measure the impact of building and environmental design, particularly on the safety of women and girls. For example, safety concerns call for increased lighting, especially in tunnels and under bridges. Restrooms for women should be well-lit, clean and equipped with sanitary product dispensers. Curb ramps enable access to people with disabilities, seniors, and men or women with strollers. Entrances and exits that are close to bus stops also enhance accessibility and service.

When providing services, the Department must, by law, meet code regulations and other legal requirements relating to design and construction. These legal requirements should also be reviewed to determine what provisions, if any, have a differential impact on women and men.

The Operations Division

The Operations Division provides public services through the Bureaus of Building Repair, Streets and Sewer Repair, and Street Environmental Services. The Bureau of Building Repair ("BBR") repairs potholes, paves streets, operates bridges and tunnels, and provides contractual services throughout the City ranging from custodial services to building a complete structure. The Bureau of Street and Sewer Repair ("SSR") primarily maintains and repairs street structures, and repairs the sewer system as requested by the Public Utilities Commission. The Bureau of Street and Environmental Services ("SES") cleans streets, maintains landscaped areas adjacent to City streets, removes and discourages graffiti, and enforces "relevant Public Works, Police, and Public Health codes."5 SES also operates the "Adopt A Street" program in which it partners with neighborhoods to jointly maintain clean streets.

The Bureaus of Building Repair, Street and Sewer Repair, and Street and Environmental Services do not provide any public services that the division perceives as gender specific or sex specific. BBR and SES each has a fairly institutionalized system for setting priorities for service delivery based, in part, on public complaints and safety, and with some community input. SSR "operates almost exclusively on a complaint basis and sets its service priorities according to the severity of the situation." The Bureau stated that "the severity of the situation is analyzed as it affects the health and safety of the population as a whole, not a gender-specific sub-group."6 These perceptions reflect a view that the "public" is genderless, ignoring that the "population" is comprised of both women and men. While much of this Division's work may have no apparent gender effect, some services do impact women and men differently. For example, safety of the public is always a concern surrounding construction sites, but again, women may have some additional needs for well-lit walkways. Asking about the impact of public services, without assuming that it will be the same for all persons, allows for an analysis of possible differential impact.

b. Involvement with Clients and Community

The Department has an advanced customer service approach. The Department's mission, revised under the leadership of Director Mark Primeau, states, "We are dedicated individuals committed to teamwork, customer service, and continuous improvement in partnership with the community."7 The current administration has taken great strides to implement this mission, prioritizing community partnerships and involvement. Specific activities have included "Quality of Life" forums where DPW staff convene meetings in various communities, a Neighborhood City Hall Program,8 and various other neighborhood and community-based volunteer efforts. Many of these activities involve the Department literally going into the City's various neighborhoods and seeking input. Other programs at the Operations Division involve community members as partners in joint efforts to revitalize and/or maintain neighborhoods. The public is also involved with the Department's budget process by requesting specific services and capital projects, participating in quality of life meetings, and interacting with the Department of Public Work's client departments.

These forums provide a positive approach to gathering community input. The Department states that "community groups play a significant role in designing services provided by the department," but that "no distinction can be made between women's groups and community groups."9 This statement fails to recognize that services may impact persons differently based on gender. The Department can add to its community forums by asking questions that speak to the quality of life for women and men, which may be different based on gender. For example, the Department once partnered with neighborhood residents to plan, fundraise, and construct an improved community playground. This project was completed with the goal of enhancing community service and partnership. The community, which includes both men and women, will be even better served by a process that involves both gender equality and gender equity. Gender equality requires that the planning team be well balanced with men and women who reflect the neighborhood's diversity. Gender equity requires that the design of the playground incorporate the different needs of all persons who will use the playground. This could result in a design that ensures safety (e.g., increased lighting and visibility) and accommodates differences (e.g., size of recreational equipment).

In conducting the quality of life meetings and neighborhood forums, the Department could:

· Solicit the different concerns that women and men may have on health and safety;

· Provide translation facilities based on neighborhood demographics to ensure that language is not an obstacle to participating;

· Institutionalize outreach efforts to involve the entire public, including men and women (especially immigrant women, women of color, elderly women, women with disabilities, and other underrepresented groups); and

· Publicize the action plan for services and provide routine updates on the Department of Public Works web site, at community centers, etc.

In addition, the design and construction bureaus could also invite selected residents who would use the facilities, both men and women, to walk through the site/facilities in the pre-construction/renovation phase and comment on design features that would increase residents' sense of security and comfort.

3. Employment Practices

a. Workforce Data

In conducting the gender analysis, the Department provided data on their employees by sex, race, occupational category, employment status and salary range. These data are analyzed below.

Some data was missing or difficult to access, making the analysis less effective. For example, there were little or no data available on parental leave, childcare needs, work options, promotions, or participation in apprenticeship programs. Collecting information in these areas would allow the Department to address the different needs of both men and women in the workforce.

Prior to beginning the gender analysis, community members interacting with the Department and the Department itself had produced several reports concerning employee discrimination issues in the workforce.10 The Department maintains statistics about workforce composition in order to identify discrimination and under-representation in particular job classifications, and conducts recruitment and outreach to ensure equal opportunity. Still, expanded efforts are necessary, especially to expand recruitment of women into nontraditional positions, such as the skilled trades.

Analysis of Workforce Composition Data

The Department's workforce is racially diverse, and includes Asian Americans (27% "Asian and Pacific Islanders"), African Americans (16% "Black") and Latinos (17% "Hispanic"). European Americans (30% "White") are represented roughly in proportion to their representation in the San Francisco civilian labor force (28.8% for males, 23.2% for females).11

Women have not yet been fully integrated into nontraditional jobs. This societal issue is clearly demonstrated in the workforce of the Department of Public Works, where nontraditional jobs form the bulk of the Department's job classifications, and where women make up almost half of the general population labor force but only a quarter of the Department's 1549 employees.12

Women are notably underrepresented among service and maintenance workers and over-represented among office/clerical workers. Among the 651 service and maintenance workers, 19% are female (35.6% availability in the Bay Area) and 81% are male (64.4% availability in the Bay Area). Among the 106 office and clerical workers, 82 % are female (67.1% availability in the Bay Area) and 18% are male (32.9% availability in the Bay Area). While salaries are comparable between the office/clerical and service and maintenance positions, the disparities reflect societal gender roles defined for women and men.

A broader problem is that for some nontraditional positions, female availability pools are low. Women and men might view themselves in stereotypical roles, thus only applying for traditional positions. An individual department cannot easily change how people define themselves. But there are some proactive measures the Department can take. It can conduct effective outreach to ensure that all persons in the available labor pools are aware of job positions. It can work with other city departments such as the Department of Human Resources to develop and/or utilize programs to recruit women for nontraditional positions where under-representation exists. It can work with unions and tradeswomen's associations to develop apprenticeship programs and other creative solutions to recruit the potential applicants. Outreach and recruitment programs will be most successful if they are developed in concert with unions, and include activities in the community that highlight the need and desire to hire a diverse workforce.

Availability pools are also low for certain specialized professional classifications at the Department. Women comprise only 28% of the professionals in the Department, yet are 47.8% of professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Much of this disparity may be explained by noting that professionals include architects and engineers. Within the Department, female architects are underrepresented, and female engineers are slightly above parity.13 However, women are only 11.8% of all engineers, and only 19.8% of all architects in the San Francisco Bay Area.14 This indicates the need to encourage more women to enter these fields. The Department could work with unions to increase recruitment of women and other underrepresented persons for these professions.

Among the 188 skilled craft workers, only 3 (1.5%) are female, compared to 9.2% availability in the San Francisco Bay Area. These positions can be fairly high-paid, especially in comparison to office/clerical positions. Interviews with the three female skilled craft workers within the Department, union representatives and others might shed light on why so few women have entered this trade, and why even fewer exist in the Department. Development of apprenticeship programs and women's support groups could aid the Department in recruiting, training, and retaining more tradeswomen.

Based on the above disparities, it is not surprising, but still problematic, that over 80 percent of the employees earning over $70,000 are men. Only in the lowest salary range is there a roughly equal percentage of women and men. The percentage of women across all other salary ranges is consistently below 30 percent. The Department should evaluate whether this salary discrepancy is due to seniority, discrimination, or other factors. These data are striking, as it indicates that, whatever the reason, women are earning far less money than men.

Department of Public Works Employment Statistics15



# of
at DPW

% of Females at DPW

1990 SF

Pool 16

# of
Males at DPW

% of Males at DPW

SF Male
Pool 2




A. Administrators
























Misc. Professionals








B. Subtotal

















Student Design Trainee17










(Protective services)









Skilled Craft



























Office & Clerical








Efforts to recruit women in almost every category, except clerical and office workers where women are over-represented, are still needed.

b. Recruitment and Professional Development

Recruitment and professional development are both areas the Department recognizes as crucial to the advancement of both women and men. In particular, the current administration has shown leadership in these areas by initiating some innovative programs. The Department should continue to allocate resources to these areas until it achieves gender equity.

Recruitment and Hiring

Historically, the Department has been subject to outside criticism from community groups, political leaders, and female employees for the lack of quality work assignments and promotions for women and people of color. The Department has responded to this criticism by beginning to conduct additional outreach and recruitment, hiring, and promotions. Recent initiatives in this area should be evaluated for their effectiveness.

Expand the Department's creative internships and training for underrepresented persons.

The Department has developed a creative program to ensure that young people, especially female students and students of color, are given equal access to fields such as engineering and architecture. The "Project Pull" internship program allows high school students the opportunity to work at the Department of Public Works and other city departments, to encourage young people to enter architecture, engineering and other fields in which their racial and gender communities are underrepresented. The Department reports that currently, program participants are 60% female. As this is a relatively new program, it would be useful to track participants' entry into these selected fields.

Another Department initiative is the Transition to Employment Program. This is targeted at providing work opportunities for people with histories of unemployment or no employment, including single mothers and other women. Participants are trained and hired "in basic manual labor jobs such as sweeping with emphasis on work ethic, team effort, and responsibility."18 Additional job skills will eventually be necessary for career advancement beyond manual labor jobs. Other creative programs include Summerbridge and the Environmental Service Trainee Program. Departmental staff participate in Summerbridge, a year-round academic support and enrichment program for San Francisco middle school students, encouraging students to enter engineering and other nontraditional fields. The Department has also worked with Laborers Local 261 and four community based organizations to establish and staff twenty-four Environmental Services Trainee positions in the Bureau of Street and Environmental Services. As these programs develop, the Department could conduct exit interviews with participants, asking if the program was worthwhile and soliciting ideas for improvement.

Enhance recruitment efforts together with unions and community groups.

Additional efforts are necessary to ensure equal opportunity in recruitment and hiring. Currently, the Department's recruitment includes:

· advertising to minority, women's, and community based organizations;

· diversity and anti-discrimination training for subject-matter experts who conduct job analysis and develop selection procedures; and

· rating panels that are diverse in terms of both gender and ethnicity.

The Department, recognizing that much more can be done, made many recommendations about recruiting women for jobs in which women have been historically underrepresented. In the next fiscal year, the Department will develop a five-year plan to hire and train women for professional and managerial positions, particularly as engineers, architects, and technical staff. Specific activities include forming a Process Improvement Team among existing employees and visiting high schools, colleges, and participating in job fairs.

Also, several bureaus recommended intensifying efforts to recruit women with the help of the Department of Human Resources. The Bureau of Engineering has committed to hiring recruiters to attract women engineers and landscape architects. Activities will include increased networking opportunities at professional conferences and mentoring middle and high school students. The Bureau of Building Repair will focus on recruiting qualified women and/or minorities in the craft shops through apprenticeship programs and other training and education opportunities. The Bureau of Street and Sewer Repair has committed to increasing efforts to recruit and retain women in the bureau, especially for field crew classifications.

While the Department of Public Works should work in collaboration with other city departments, such as the Department of Human Resources, it must be responsible for its own effective recruitment. The Department must constantly evaluate each program's effectiveness and provide its staff with additional training on how to conduct recruitment. It must go beyond mailing announcements to community groups and forming diverse rating panels, to initiating additional apprenticeship programs for areas in which women are underrepresented. Recruitment must also go beyond professional positions and expand for the skilled trades and other such positions. Also, one of the most effective means of recruitment is publicizing the fact of a diverse well-balanced workforce. As the Department continues to provide equal opportunity, its workforce will undoubtedly become even more diverse. An increasingly diverse workforce and recruiting teams will likely increase success in outreach efforts.

Finally, the Department and bureaus should work directly with unions and certain community organizations (e.g., Chinese for Affirmative Action, Equal Rights Advocates) to design new initiatives. Apprenticeship and training programs, and outreach to tradeswomen will help to ensure that women have equal access to nontraditional fields.

Professional Development and Career Advancement

The Department recognizes the importance of affording employees opportunities for professional development and career advancement.

The Department furthers career advancement by encouraging its employees to take leadership in improving departmental service. The Quality Assurance Council (QAC) is a group of management and non-management employees who meet once a month to hear presentations, receive training, and make department-wide suggestions. The Process Improvement Teams (PITs) are smaller topic-driven teams who meet biweekly to improve processes that impact customer service. Participants gain experience in meeting facilitation, quality management, and knowledge of department wide and city-wide operations.

The Department's Training and Development Unit offers extensive high-quality internal and external training. The training content is varied, and includes management and leadership skills, how to take civil service exams, career management training, and personal effectiveness skills training. Current data indicate that female staff have utilized these programs in proportion to their representation in the department's workforce. The Department itself noted that employees cannot participate in training unless it is related to their current jobs due to time conflicts, and labor and overhead costs (that arise when employees are in training and not working). While budget needs are always a constraint, fostering career growth means that employees must be allowed to participate in training that is outside of their job description. Investing in skill acquisition may also save money by decreasing turnover.

In addition to the programs described below, Training and Development Staff have served as ombudsperson, mentor and personal coach for many women throughout the Department. For example, one staff person, assigned to the Engineering Bureau, serves as ombudsperson for many women there, helping them to resolve work-related problems they have experienced as women in a predominantly male environment, and providing them with a sounding board for career planning. Staff has also served as mentors for women department-wide, and even for women from other departments. Finally, staff has individually coached both women and men on how to take civil service exams, a skill critical to career advancement within the City.

Train managers to discuss career goals during performance appraisal.

As the Department reports, female employees "have expressed a desire to have more mentoring and to have more training, development, and career discussions built into the performance appraisal process between them and their supervisors."19 The Department's immediate plans include developing and conducting mandatory training for managers and supervisors in all bureaus on how to develop their employees. For example, managers and supervisors will be asked to discuss employees training and career goals during performance evaluation. Training will take place from September 1999 to May 2000. Results will be evaluated through an audit of the performance appraisals conducted by personnel staff in May 2000, as well as a participant feedback survey of women employees in June 2000. This is an excellent plan. However, the Department should ensure that the training includes a gender focus.

Expand women's caucus & mentoring to all divisions, especially operations.

The Department currently has a Women Engineers' Caucus. Mentoring and counseling is provided on request. Currently, the Public Works Training and Development Unit provides part-time staff support for the Caucus, with oversight from the Unit's Director.

The Training and Development Unit recommended strengthening the Women Engineers' Caucus through a series of activities designed to develop women engineers and other women employees. The Caucus will meet at least once a month to recruit women engineers for two large-scale Caucus meetings to take place in November 1999 and April 2000. The estimated budget for these activities is $6000. This effort will be staffed by the Training Director herself. In recruiting employees, the Department should thoroughly publicize the Caucus, making its existence known to women engineers, and consider creating similar programs for other female employees, such as women architects and women in the skilled trades, who are not included in the expansion plans.

As part of this project, this fall, the Training and Development Unit will also conduct a pilot mentoring program for women employees. The Unit's Director and a Training Officer, in collaboration with the Women Engineers' Caucus and other senior women engineers from the Department of Public Works and other departments, will recruit and train women to become mentees and assign each of them a mentor. Participants will evaluate the program by March 2000. Once the Engineering group has evaluated this program, the Department will consider expanding such a program to the Operations Bureaus.

The Bureau of Street Environmental Services also intends to work with the Training and Development Unit to support women in non-traditional employment. The Training and Development Unit will develop a training program designed for all women at the Department of Public Works, on personal effectiveness, career management, problem solving, and how to receive feedback and learn from it. Professional development opportunities should be extended to all staff as this will create a more skilled and dedicated workforce.

Conduct focus groups across all bureaus.

The Department recognizes the need to conduct focus groups across all bureaus not only to gather the concerns of employees with regard to the department's recruitment practices, but also to discuss professional development opportunities, and evaluation and promotion processes. Confidentiality should be maintained to the extent possible.

c. Work Environment

Data Collection

The Department's data collection on employee work environment issues must be expanded. Policies exist for parental leave and flexible schedules requests but data about who participates in these programs was not readily accessible for review and analysis. To track the needs of its employees, the Department should maintain and analyze data in these areas. For example, data maintained on family leave should include:

· the number and demographics of employees requesting family leave;

· the type of family leave requested (e.g., leave to care for a parent, paternity leave, maternity leave);

· the duration of family leave; and,

· whether and to what degree employees received promotions after returning from family leave.

Family-friendly Work Policies

The Department provides standard unpaid family leave as required by law. It reported that both male and female employees express concerns about parental leave being unpaid. This is a city-wide issue that is currently being explored by the Board of Supervisors.

Another city-wide problem of concern to Department of Public Works employees is the lack of available childcare. There is no childcare facility particular to these employees, and the City's childcare facility at City Hall is licensed for only 46 children, not all of whom are children of city employees. Female employees, in particular, have expressed that there is a lack of affordable childcare facilities in the Civic Center area. A joint City-Union Childcare Committee was assigned to study the feasibility of establishing or locating additional facilities, but the results of this study were not available. While the city as a whole can do more for its approximately 29,000 employees, the Department can also take some action. As a result of this analysis, the Department will look into providing general information about childcare as a part of employee processing. This suggestion should be implemented and expanded to all employees. For example, the Department can establish an information and referral program for all employees.

Within each bureau, flex time and part-time work schedules are available, subject to supervisory approval. All requests must be renewed annually. Flex time is permitted in according to three different policies, one department-wide policy and two policies in effect with unions. The department-wide policy allows flextime between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., and all employees must arrive by 9:30 a.m., and leave after 3:30 p.m. The two policies in effect with unions allow employees to work eighty hours over a nine day period, with one day off in each two week period. These two policies in effect with unions are relatively new, while the department-wide policy has been in effect for some time. Without readily accessible data on who is utilizing flex time it is not possible to analyze its effectiveness. Data should be collected and reviewed regularly to ensure that it is meeting the needs of both the bureau and its employees.

The Department's first job share, allowing two employees to actually share one job position, was recently initiated in the Personnel division. Although not for everyone, job sharing can be useful in allowing an individual employee to work less than full time, while still maintaining full time coverage in a particular position. Job sharing can be especially useful, for example, in management or other positions that require full time coverage, and should be explored for such positions.

Employees have also expressed a desire to telecommute. The City and County of San Francisco currently has no policy that allows for telecommuting. While not an option for everyone, the viability of telecommuting should be examined, city-wide and the Department, in an annual review of employment practices. By eliminating commute time, telecommuting is both an environmental issue and one that allows employees to spend more time with their families during non working hours.

Many employees desire flex time to better accommodate family care responsibilities. For example, a lack of flex time and telecommuting, coupled with a lack of on-site childcare, poses a burden to many parents. Similarly, eldercare and other family responsibilities require flexibility in the workplace. The traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. model is incongruent with the realities faced by current family structures. Within the Department, several female professional employees expressed that flexible work options must be given a greater priority. Some female employees have reported that they seek out certain bureaus or departments where flex time is more readily honored. In the private sector, flex time is expanding into the trades.20 A creative flex time policy should be implemented department-wide, with a process to appeal denied requests. If the Department wishes to retain its employees, especially those with family obligations, it must find ways to implement flexible work options.21

Anti-Discrimination Policies

The Department trains managers and supervisors to address sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and diversity. It is the supervisor's responsibility for handling complaints of this nature. These practices are primarily implemented by the Department's Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEO") Manager and other personnel/ administration staff. The Department's EEO Manager receives and investigates complaints of discrimination. The Department should analyze discrimination complaints for patterns of problems, on a long-term basis.22 This would allow it to raise awareness of recurring discrimination issues and ensure that discrimination training addresses these issues.

The department's "mandatory" gender and diversity training has a budget of $35,000, and is staffed part-time by a training officer. In the last fiscal year, 357 of the Department's 1521 employees were trained and 5% of those were women. These low figures suggest that the training is either mandated only for managers or is not mandated on an annual basis. Given the Department's male-dominated workforce, it should require gender and diversity training and, especially, sexual harassment training for all its employees on a regular basis. The Department reported that some male employees felt "punished" by being required to attend training. It is important to discuss with employees that the training serves a preventive purpose: to ensure a safe, respectful environment for all. The Department should also incorporate the definition of discrimination contained in the CEDAW Ordinance into its training.

Contracting Policies

Contract Administration is responsible for managing the entire contract process, including outreach and solicitation of bids, awards, contract processing, and ensuring compliance with various regulations, including the City's Ordinance about minority, women and local business enterprises ("MBE/WBE/LBE Ordinance"). The City's MBE/WBE/LBE Ordinance requires prime contractors to make good faith efforts to award business to women owned businesses (WBEs) and minority owned businesses (MBEs). However, much of the outreach & recruitment efforts rely on Human Rights Commission resources and contacts. During the second and third quarters of the last fiscal year, the Department reported that no construction or consulting contracts was awarded to WBEs.23 It did not report what, if any, subconsultant contracts were awarded to WBEs or MBEs. The Department should make a concerted effort to expand the pool of certified WBE's from which to select and meet the city-wide goal of providing equal opportunity for women. The Department also reported that it could not ensure that contractors receive gender and diversity training and are unaware of whether or not contractors receive such training from other sources. Generally part of any contract includes numerous requirements and assurances regarding issues of licensing and insurance, for example. Like these stipulations, evidence that a firm engages proactively in gender and diversity training for its employees should make it a particularly attractive contractor. The Department could convey this as a norm for its contractor selection process.

4. Budget Allocation

The Department of Public Works is one of the larger departments in San Francisco, with a total budget for fiscal year 1998-1999 of $115,436,075. These monies are 6.7% of the total public works, transportation, and commerce budget ($1,705,153,036) for the City and County of San Francisco.

The Department's Finance and Administration Division includes Personnel, Contract Administration, Computer Services, the Office of Finance and Budget, and Accounting. The Office of Finance and Budget is responsible for financial planning and budget preparation.

Human rights are about constructing conditions in society for people to be fully human. The CEDAW Ordinance requires San Francisco to eliminate discrimination that impacts the human rights of its people.24 This in turn requires all departments to conduct a conscious and regular analysis of how spending decisions impact different populations, such as women and men. Although a relatively new concept, budget allocations based on gender can have a great impact on the lives of both men and women.

Generally, and within the Department of Public Works, budget information about services that have an indirect impact upon the lives of men and women (such as street lighting or street cleaning) are viewed as services that impact the general population, but not as services that impact women and men. This made it difficult to conduct a gender analysis of the Department's budget. There is a need for all departments, including the Department of Public Works, to collect data (1) on who in San Francisco is impacted by services (tracked by gender, race, and other criteria, (2) by the expenditure of services, and (3) by the impact of services on the lives of all persons (for example, women and men). Without this information, there is no data to assess whether resources are distributed equitably. Unfortunately, in many instances today, budget allocations to provide either sex specific and/or gender specific services are unknown.

The Department actively seeks input from all communities in San Francisco through its Quality of Life meetings. This model may be modified and applied to the budget process. Currently, clients and community groups are involved in the budget process when they make requests to the Department. "If women and women's community groups request capital projects or increased services, they are involved in DPW's budget development."25 This requires clients and community members to initiate contact with the Department. Both women and men, and especially women, may be unable to initiate this contact as individuals. In addition to soliciting input through current mechanisms, the Department may wish to expand its solicitation of information about service needs from populations who do not normally make requests to the department. The Department could conduct focus groups with women and men from specific communities, especially those communities that have not interacted with the Department before. For example, if the Department found that elder women were not providing any input through existing processes, it might conduct focus groups with elder women to assess service (and consequently budgetary) needs. This would require that the Department allocate funds for these types of proactive outreach.

Policy tradeoffs with other services competing for funds was named as an obstacle to securing funds for services targeted for women and girls. The Design and Construction Management Bureaus suggest that the provision of gender sensitive services may only require moderate increases in project costs that should be discussed with and borne by client departments. These issues must be explored. Training is also needed throughout the Department. Architects and other consultants require training on construction planning with gender considerations. The Department's Office of Finance and Budget must also be trained on how to conduct a gender analysis of the department's service budget. At the Department's request, the Commission on the Status of Women and the CEDAW Task Force will continue to work with the Department to further develop an analysis of its service delivery, and to provide training on conducting a gender analysis of budget. Once training has been completed, the Department should conduct a more complete gender analysis of its budget, focusing on the services provided to residents. All these actions will require careful planning and sufficient resources.

5. Recommendations

The COSW and the CEDAW Task Force presents the following recommendations for action. Some recommendations were proposed by departments themselves.

Conduct Human Rights Training With A Gender Perspective

· Train employees on human rights issues with a gender perspective. Incorporate the definition of discrimination contained in the CEDAW Ordinance into the department's training. This will enable employees to recognize gender differences among all, from coworkers to clients.

Collect and Analyze Disaggregated Data

· Expand data collection on workforce composition, employment practices, and client demographics. These data should be disaggregated by sex, race, ethnicity, verbal language fluency, sexual orientation, age, disability, parental status, and other criteria when possible. Collection of certain data (e.g., sexual orientation, parental status, age, etc.) must be obtained legally and voluntarily, and the confidentiality of respondents must be maintained. Collect data about the sex, ethnicity, income level, etc. of who uses services, asking, for example, who frequents a park and during what times. Workforce composition data should include data on family leave, childcare, flexible work options, and employee health and safety.

· Collect current San Francisco Bay Area Labor Market availability data for all occupational categories represented in the Department's current or anticipated workforce.

· Maintain gender and other disaggregated data to track participants' careers with the department to ensure that internship and apprenticeship programs provide equal opportunities for women and candidates from other historically underrepresented groups.

Enhance Recruitment and Professional Development

· Conduct focus groups across all bureaus to gather need and concerns of employees on employment practices such as recruitment practices, professional development opportunities, and the evaluation and promotion processes.

· Implement the Department's five-year recruitment plan. Plan to hire and train women for professional and management positions. Form a Process Improvement Team among existing employees, and visit high schools, colleges, and job fairs.

· Expand training and recruitment for underrepresented groups, with particular attention to recruiting tradeswomen, in concert with unions and community groups.

· Expand the current internship and apprenticeship programs, such as "Project Pull," with human and financial resources.

· Expand employees' professional development by creating more formalized training and mentoring opportunities, such as a training program on leadership skills for women managers and their mentees, as well as other professional and technical training programs for women and men in all occupational categories, particularly those in the operations Division.

· Implement the performance review process on career advancement, including access to work assignments that enhance the potential for promotion for all persons.

· Expand the "Women Engineers' Caucus" by publicizing it to all employees and by creating similar programs throughout the Department.

Create A More Family-friendly Work Environment

· Conduct focus groups across all bureaus to gather need and concerns of employees on employment practices such as: family leave, family care needs, flexible work options, and health and safety needs. Respond to the above needs with expanded family friendly practices, such as creating and promoting flexible work options, initiating a childcare and elder care information and referral program, and improving safety.

Ensure Equal Opportunity For All

· Continue mandatory gender and diversity training, including sexual harassment training, for all employees.

Integrate Gender Into the Customer Service Approach

· Integrate gender into the Department's customer service approach.

· Conduct focus groups with women and men to assess service needs and impact.

Train Staff In Each Bureau on How to Integrate Gender Into Daily Operations

· Train staff to institutionalize gender analysis into the project review process, integrating the needs of and impact upon both men and women as they relate to the specific services provided by each bureau.

Conduct Annual Gender Analysis of Budget

· Conduct an annual gender analysis of the Department's budget. Assess the Department's annual budget for general services, gender specific services for women, and gender specific services for men. Develop an action plan that includes the department's detailed budget for that fiscal year, and its budgetary commitment to improving equity for women for that fiscal year.

1 More specifically, the Department is responsible for the following: street cleaning, repairs and maintenance; restoration of public monuments (e.g., City Hall, Opera House); building and maintaining plazas, stairways, and other public areas; coordinating street excavation work with other entities; caring for the city's urban forest; enforcing litter laws; removing graffiti and illegal signs; regulating street and sidewalk use; conducting utility undergrounding; and providing architectural and engineering services to other city departments. Department of Public Works 1997/1998 Annual Report, page 3.

2 See, for example, Chinese for Affirmative Action, The Broken Ladder '92:Asian Americans in City Government, May 1992. See also, the Department of Public Works, City and County of San Francisco, Response to the Broken Ladder '92: Asian Americans in City Government, July 1997.

3 Sex specific services are those designed for either males or females, while gender specific services meet the different needs of either women or men.

4 DPW Response, "Services and Population Served", page 27.

5 Department of Public Works Response to Gender Analysis ("DPW Response"), Services, page 34.

6 DPW Response, Designing & Implementing Services, Section A, Page 2.

7 Department of Public Works Annual Report 1997/1998, page 4.

8 The Department of Public Works conducts the "Neighborhood City Hall Program (NCH) to cover all of the city's eleven supervisorial districts. City employees who provide neighborhood residents with one-stop-for service staff NCHs. The public completes a customer satisfaction form and this feedback is used to set service priorities." DPW Response, Services, "Community Involvement," number 1.

9 DPW Response, Services, "Community Involvement," number 3.

10 For example, see Glass Ceiling Issues Experienced by Women In City Government, Department of Public Works, City and County of San Francisco, December 11, 1997.

11 San Francisco Bay Area Market Availability, 1990 Census data.

12 Overall, women are 24 % of the Department's 1549 employees, and comprise 45.7 % of San Francisco's civilian labor force.

13 Women are only 15% of all engineers in the Department, and only 11.8% of all engineers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Women are only 2% of all architects in the Department, and only 19.8% of all architects in the San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco, California PMSA availability data, City and County of San Francisco, Department of Human Resources, October 2, 1992.

14 San Francisco, California PMSA availability data, City and County of San Francisco, Department of Human Resources, October 2, 1992.

15 This chart is based on DPW's employment data as of 9/30/99; it highlights the areas where women are

under/over represented.

16 The San Francisco labor pool has not been updated since 1990. Labor pools reflect the percentage of

individuals in a particular category-in this case women, or man-available and qualified for this type of

work in the San Francisco Bay area. Presumably, these figures have increased in the last ten years.

17 This category is a subcategory of technicians. Even by 1990 SF Bay Area Labor availability standards,

women are underrepresented as technicians; however, the Department is making efforts to increase the

number of female technicians by recruiting student trainees.

18 DPW Response, Services, Page 42.

19 DPW Response, Employment Practices, page 37.

20 See, The San Francisco Examiner, "Flex Time Expanding Into Blue Collar Ranks," Sunday, October 17, 1999, page CL31.

21 The private industry has some useful models for flexible work options. Many employers have instituted aggressive job sharing and flex time provisions to retain female employees. "Corporations that make available flexible work arrangements ... report significant reductions in absenteeism, tardiness and turnover." A Solid Investment, Making Full Use of the Nation's Human Capital, Recommendations of the federal Glass Ceiling Commission, 1995. See also, A study of the availability, use and effects of family oriented workplace policies and benefits in one community, Mary Secret, University of Kentucky, Earlence Heckleberry, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, Institute for Women's Policy Research; Women's Progress: Perspective on the Past, Blueprint for the Future, Fifth Women's Policy Research Conference, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., June 1998. One finding of this study was that the more supportive of family-friendly policies an employee perceives his or her co-workers and supervisors to be, the less employees experience strain and stress.

22 Six complaints were filed in the last fiscal year all by staff of color. The four men and two women were from a range of occupational categories. The cases have yet to be resolved and are too few for meaningful analysis.

23 The Department reported that it awarded less than 3% to WBE's, except for professional services contracts.

24 The CEDAW ordinance requires the city to "take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women and girls in the city of San Francisco in employment and other economic opportunities..." City and County of San Francisco Administrative Code, Chapter 12K ("CEDAW Ordinance"), Sections 12K.2, subdivision (a) (1). Each departments gender analysis "must include an evaluation of gender equity in the department's budget, allocation of funding, employment practices, delivery of direct and indirect services, and operations." CEDAW Ordinance, Section 12K.3, subdivision (a).