Leland L. “Ted” Cogdell, Jr. replied to the topic As a leader, do you excel at EEO and diversity management? in the forum Leadership, Management, Supervision 7 years, 4 months ago
You’re so welcome, David! And let’s not forget to mention “advancement,” that oft-dropped part of the diversity equation, for the numbers across the government are poor, to put it professionally and politely. In my personal experience, that has been the toughest nut to crack.
If a thorough and honest barrier analysis is conducted in this area, you are likely to find, in most, if not all agencies, that there is an almost-bulletproof glass ceiling for persons with disabilities, especially those with targeted disabilities at the GS-14 level and above. If you are a leader and coach in the workplace who is a reasonable person with an abiding sense of integrity and fair play, who learned anything in Risk Management 101, you would seek out and give special attention (to avoid successful claims of retaliation–and it’s the right thing to do) to those who earned their federal appointment through Schedule A, are working under a reasonable accommodation, and have prevailed in an EEO case against the agency. A strong trained leader and coach knows what to do, so I won’t go into all that. If not, consult your agency diversity officer. Whether they know it–or not–how the agencies leads and coaches persons with targeted disabilities is viewed with special interest by the EEOC. How that program is going (and please be honest about it) should be reflected in the agency’s annual MD-715 report. If you have no idea what I’m speaking of, again, see your diversity officer. If you get that dreaded blank stare with some glaze thrown in for effect, then in-box me. I would be happy to bring you up to speed at no extra charge. 😉
As we lead and coach in training sessions and in our day-to-day operations around the agency, let’s ensure that we understand that the disabled employees of today are looking for the whole package in return for their absolutely dedicated services and loyalty to the agency–recruit, hire, train, engage, retain, accommodate (if necessary), award, and advance. They indeed know what is required to advance, and they will seek it out. Because of their unique life experiences, these are some very determined people–trust me on this–because I’m one of them. They have unique perspectives that should be valued by agency leadership. They know that they need higher complexity and higher responsibility work and that it’s all about, “What have you done for me lately?”
Finally, they mostly likely will know how to seek out a mentor and ask for help, for they have probably been asking for help, as needed (not wanted, you need to understand the difference as a person with a disability sees the difference–if you don’t know, just ask) since their disability happened or was discovered. They know how to respond to the ever-changing needs of the agency. Studies have shown that disabled employees are some of the most loyal and hard-working out there when leaders and coaches in the workplace recognize, embrace, and apply their abilities and how they help the agency achieve its vital mission for the taxpayers of this great Nation, who rightly expect nothing less.
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