A couple questions about OPM, Diversity and EEO offices

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  AJ Malik 7 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #100061

    Dan Gephart
    Participant

    Anjali Patel did an analysis piece on OPM’s Diversity Office on cyberFEDS today. She writes that during a recent hearing before a Senate appropriations subcommittee, OPM Director John Berry made his case for funding “to fully staff the Diversity Office and deploy new policies, processes and procedures for improving diversity and promoting inclusion across the federal government.”

    The article also mentions that some agencies are struggling to determine whether to create a stand-alone diversity office or to include a “diversity” function as part of their EEO office. I guess the reason to keep them seperate is because the EEO office focuses on compliance. And diversity, while certainly a goal, isn’t really compliance-driven.

    That raises a couple questions …

    1. Should diversity be one of OPM’s major initiatives now?

    2. Does your agency have a Diversity Office? Do you think it should?

    As an aside for those interested, Georia Coffey, Assistant Secretary for Diversity and Inclusion at the VA, will be presenting a session on “Making a Business Case for Diversity” at the 25th Anual FDR Conference in Atlanta this summer. I should also mention that the conference-opening speaker is none other than GovLoop’s own Steve Ressler.

  • #100069

    AJ Malik
    Participant

    What are the internal and external needs of the federal government in the area of diversity? What is the federal government’s strategic response to diversity? What will be the strategically aligned approach? What is the vision for diversity? The Diversity Office should manage diversity initiatives with both short/long-term focus and very specific goals and objectives. Outcomes should also be easily measurable and tied to the government’s overall human capital management (HCM) strategy. In terms of implementing the initiative, the entire federal government – from the top down – should be held accountable for implementation and the overall success. A growing diverse population, with changing demographics, increases the federal government’s need to maintain and sustain customer relationships with diverse populations.

  • #100067


    ===> From Eric Melton over in the “Diversity in America” group:
    ===> “Maybe a Diversity Office can be an expansion of an EEO office?”

  • #100065

    John Bersentes
    Participant

    Very timely post Dan, short answer yes.
    It is not so much a question of should diversity be one of OPM’s major initiatives, it has now become a question of how should an agency ( OPM or any other agency) address strategic talent acquisition in terms of attracting the best and brightest talent.

    The way in which agencies look to attract this talent is as important as how they do it.

    With all due respect to my colleagues in the staffing or recruitment industry-contingency staffing models, hiring contractors to convert interns into FTE’s is one way to introduce cultural changes in the workplace- and as of late OPM has put out an RFP to do this related to PWTD, as has FAA. I applaud these efforts, but to me this kind of an approach seems to be a quick fix, and may not lead to real sustainable or long lasting results- ultimately one that may not yield the most effective ROI over time.

    Developing diverse pipelines of talent needs to be the logical extension of the employment brand platform
    ( brand being the first step in the E2E process related to recruitment) as well as the result of EEO and HR’s strategic partnership to build an approach to outreach and like VA Diversity & Inclusion program at VA -looked upon as a shared responsibility with metrics that can support the goals of the overall recruitment plan.
    For instance, VA D&I has the Community Prosperity Partnership program whereby the hold Hispanic outreach events around the country for Veterans and stakeholder community based networks. A model for building out sustainable diversity focused partnerships in the community. The monies invested in this type of approach to me, seem to be better served than fees to a head hunter. At the end of the day, be inventive, creative, and EEO and HR should start to talk and think collectively how to leverage their unique networks and resources instead of being caught up in the “gotcha” politics that all too often lead to the compliance mentality.

  • #100063

    Carol Davison
    Participant

    Diversity is a good thing, because different people solve problems from different viewpoints. We need all genders, races, national origins, abilities, etc to produce the best results. Additionally, diversity can be achieved if one plans for it. In one organization I changed our leadership development program from 100% white male to 60 female and 40 minority by diversifying the board that selected program participants, getting diverse individuals who had participated in the program in the past to conduct speeches about the program, and having individuals submit written applications with recommendations and agreements to release them from duty for the period of training from their supervisor. The board then interviewed, rated and ranked the individuals. Because I made it MORE DIFFICULT to get into the programs, our graduation rate rose from 60 to 100%. When I realized that I only had black and white participants I attend the Navy’s Hispanic Leadership Development Conference (there wasn’t an Asian one), I was taught that Hispanic culture teaches them to be humble, and if I wanted Hispanic applicants, I needed to ask them to apply. I decided to ask anyone I thought qualified to apply.

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