President Obama issued Executive Order 13583 establishing a coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the Federal Workforce. The Executive Order was broken down into several parts: Section 1 Policy. Section 2 Government-wide Diversity and Inclusion Initiative and Strategic Plan. Section 3 Responsibilities of Executive Departments and Agencies and Section 4 General Provisions.
Summarily, every agency within the Federal Government was mandated to adhere not in theory to the terms and conditions of the Executive Order but in practice. It further required that agencies within 120 days of issuance submit to the Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Deputy Direct for Management of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), an agency-specific Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan for recruiting, hiring, training, developing, advancing, promoting, and retaining a diverse workforce consistent with applicable law, the Government-wide Plan, merit system principles, the agency’s overall strategic plan, its human capital plan prepared pursuant to Part 250 of title 5 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and other applicable workforce planning strategies and initiatives.
That’s a whole mouth-full. That Executive Order was issued by President Obama on August 18, 2011. The anniversary of that issuance is upon us marking 3 years August 18, 2014. I would certainly be interested in the progress that has been made by the agencies in 3 years. We write down beautiful goals and objectives with tremendous intent, but how do we measure up when it comes to actually making the words active and accountable? What do you do when an Executive Order is not enough?
I have participated in many studies with the goal of creating true diversity, including a mammoth study for the Department of Veteran Affairs, where I designed a Barrier Analysis Methodology (BAM) to assist the VA in identifying and removing barriers to opportunities for identified members of its workforce. Yet, with an exhaustive study done for the VA in 2008 published by the National Academy for Public Administration (NAPA), the VA, like all Federal agencies, continues to struggle with achieving true diversity and inclusion throughout its ranks.
P. S. Always Remember to Share What You Know.