Creating “moments that matter” in an employee’s career is one of the most rewarding aspects of Bonita Decker’s job.
Decker proudly leads the SFPUC’s Employment Life Cycle team with the Human Resource Services department. Within the organization, they play a pivotal role in an employee’s journey by coordinating the important changes that mark each SFPUC employee’s career: new hire onboarding, employee transitions and promotions, and offboarding. Currently, Decker’s team is the only HR group in the City and County of San Francisco that completes onboarding in a virtual environment. Decker says the team tries to set the standard for the new employee hire experience and continuously look for ways to improve employee experience.
“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is knowing I have made a difference by creating a great welcome for SFPUC new hires,” Decker shared. “After all, the SFPUC’s most important resource is our people!”
Decker joined the SFPUC in 2014. As a Senior HR Analyst, she knows how important it is to facilitate smooth transitions during employees’ important career milestones. Throughout her years at the SFPUC, she has seen how vital diversity and inclusion are in public service. She described that women working in public service and utilities should know more about their predecessors’ contributions and milestones. “Sadly, this information is hard to find. I’ve noted the lack of representation in SFPUC’s own archival records, photos, and other cultural artifacts,” she shared. “Our history was recorded by men and told by men. The SFPUCs historical accounts mirror that fact. Like many other organizations formed to address a growing demand for public goods and services, parity for marginalized groups was rare until the late 21st century.”
For Decker, Women’s History Month is important because it celebrates the vital role women have held in social and historical events. “Women’s History Month is a great opportunity to take time right now to recognize the overlooked body of women-lead work and talent in science, math, technology, arts, and the humanities,” she said. “It’s a time to recognize that prior social structures and norms often omitted, minimized, took credit, and produced biased historical accounts of contributions made by some of the greatest minds and problem solvers the world has known.”
“Marginalized in the past, women should be everywhere and anywhere they want,” Decker explained. She shared that more women are choosing to work in utility industry and that will continue to grow, but are still underrepresented in C-suite leadership, policy, and revenue generating management roles.
“The SFPUC can be leaders of change by committing agency budget and resources toward universal gender equity and diversity goals,” Decker said hopefully. “I look forward to seeing new initiatives targeting access to equitable compensation at all levels of leadership, targeting professional development in emerging utility growth areas, and making room for decision-making roles that tap into non-traditional perspectives.” Decker noted that new voices are critical for the SFPUC’s important work. “It takes courage to reflect on past injustice and make aspirational ideas a reality. March is one more opportunity for everyone at the SFPUC to step up to the challenge.”