CHANCELL-ING: High Honors for Our Workplace

Two researchers in clean room lab
UC Davis has earned spots on Forbes lists of the best places to work in several categories. (Karin Higgins/UC Davis)

2023 was a banner year for UC Davis in many ways, including our rise in national rankings, setting new campus records for sponsored research funding, and exceeding our annual philanthropic fundraising goal. We continue to expand our scholarship and drive innovation, all while addressing the world’s greatest challenges.

Blue graphic of Chancellor Gary S. May with text: Gary May Chancell-ing. A town-gown newspaper column.

It takes a tremendous amount of work and dedication to fulfill this mission. It is rewarding, then, when we are named among the very best for the work we do as an institution.

In August, UC Davis was honored by Forbes as a Best Employer in California for the third consecutive year both as an educational institution and for our healthcare. It's a testament to our university's thriving workplace culture, one that values diversity, competitive pay and a positive work-life balance.

This recognition is paired with being named as a Forbes Best Employer for Diversity for the fourth consecutive year and a Best Employer for Women for the second consecutive year. 

UC Davis has taken several steps over the years to strengthen inclusivity across our community. Some of these efforts include establishing employee resource groups to foster a sense of belonging for veterans, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, individuals with disabilities, women and others. 

A major impact

Our university is the second-largest employer in the region with more than 25,000 jobs that span the Davis campus, UC Davis Health in Sacramento and beyond. As one of the largest employers in the area, we are contributing members of society both culturally and financially. 

It’s estimated that Americans will spend about one-third of their lives at work, about 9,000 days total. Our co-workers are sometimes like extended family members and having a workplace that feels welcoming and supportive is key for productivity, creativity and collaboration.

That’s why we listen closely to our employees’ needs. That includes a Staff Experience survey to get feedback on such issues as career growth, equal opportunities and communication flow. At UC Davis Health, the CommUNITY Feedback Survey is a similarly important way to start conversations and take actions that continually improve the workplace. The feedback from these surveys is then used to establish working groups that make recommendations to leadership about how to implement improvements in the workplace.

A welcoming employer

Once staff are hired, we help them as they prepare to arrive at our online Front Door. The Front Door provides information about the rich experience of living in Davis and Sacramento. It helps new employees learn more about what makes each campus unique, provides information about housing resources, and more.  

We also offer a public You Belong Here Job Series that shows you how to start a career at UC Davis. The series teaches you how to apply for a position, how to do well during the interview, and how to write a resume, along with other strategies.

About one third of our staff stay with us for the long haul, with 34% of our Davis campus staff having worked for us 10 or more years and 30% of the UC Davis Health staff staying a decade or more.

With a new year underway, I’m encouraged that our employees continue to contribute in meaningful, positive ways to our university and to our region. 

I wish our employees and our community a 2024 filled with an even stronger commitment to our shared goals. 

Chancellor Gary S. May’s monthly column is published in The Davis Enterprise and Dateline UC Davis.

Primary Category

Secondary Categories