Diversity Award from the State Council on Affirmative Action

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​2023 Diversity and Virginia Hart Special Recognition Awards

​24th Annual ​Diversity Awards

The 24th anniversary of the State Council on Affirmative Action's annual Diversity Awards were celebrated on October 27, 2023. The SCAA established the Diversity Award in 2000 to recognize the achievements of outstanding affirmative a​ction and equal employment opportunity practices among state agencies.  The Diversity Award is structured to recognize state agencies, Wisconsin Technical Colleges and UW campuses for their strong commitment to the recruitment, retention and promotion of a diverse classified workforce as measured by the creation of programs, initiatives, and practices.
In addition to the annual Diversity Award, the SCAA began recognizing institutions of higher learning in 2003 for their exceptional efforts in preparing minorities, women, and persons with disabilities for employment in the State of Wisconsin.  In 2004, the award was named The Ann Lydecker Educational Diversity Award to honor UW-River Falls Chancellor Ann Lydecker.  The Ann Lydecker Award is structured to recognize exceptional efforts made by University of Wisconsin campuses for their r​recruitment​ and retention of a diverse student and faculty workforce as evidenced by data showing improved outcomes.
The ​Outstanding Leadership and ​Lifetime of Service ​diversity awards were created in 2019 in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Diversity Award.  These awards recognize state employees state employees in leadership roles or with 15+ years of service, employed by state agencies, Wisconsin Technical Colleges and University of Wisconsin system campuses who have exhibited exemplary service in the areas of inclusion, diversity, and wellness.  These awards are given to individuals who have created and maintained an inclusive, healthy, and positive work environment, and promoted equity, acceptance, and understanding of different backgrounds.

The Virginia Hart Award recognizes the service of women in state government employment whose contributions to clients, co-workers, or the public are substantial.  The award was established for Virginia Hart, Wisconsin's first woman cabinet member, upon her retirement in 1983.  Her friends and colleagues established a fund so that each year a woman in Wisconsin state service could be recognized for exemplary performance and contribution to the citizens of Wisconsin. The award is faciltated by the Department of Administration and funded by donations to the Virginia Hart Awards fund within the Wisconsin Women in Government (WWIG) organization. More information on this award and how to make a nomination can be found on the Virginia Hart Award webpage.

How to Make a Nomination

Submissions for the 2024 Diversity Awards will open in June of 2024.

​Awards Criteria

2023 Diversity Award

2023 Ann Lydecker Educational Diversity Award

2023 Outstanding Leadership Award

2023 Lifetime of Service Award


Awards Ceremony​

The winners are celebrated at an awards ceremony in the Wisconsin State Capitol Assembly Chambers.

​​​Previous Diversity Awards Programs:

For the 2020 Diversity Awards program, the SCAA created the below video in honor of two decades full of significant strides towards a more equitable and inclusive workforce, honoring every winner of the Diversity Awards throughout the years. For any additional information regarding the previous years' winners or for more information on the history of the awards or the Council, please contact doadpmbei@wisconsin.gov.