Executive diversity legislation gains support

Diversity organizations are confident that legislation aimed at increasing the number of women and minorities in the Senior Executive Service can pass Congress in 2008, and they are moving forward with training programs to help members move up in the ranks.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, and Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill. introduced bills in October that would create a resource center for oversight of SES diversity efforts, promote mentoring programs and collect and publish statistics in the Federal Register.

"It seems pretty noncontroversial," said Janet Kopenhaver, a representative for Federally Employed Women, a Washington advocacy group. "I would hope that we could get it through the Congress next year. They've had a lot on their plate. This is not one of these big issues that you read about, but maybe we can get it through on the merits."

Kopenhaver said ongoing training would be key in addition to any changes the legislation made. "If we can get more training so … they know how to get into that feeder pool, [that] is important," she said. FEW offers programs in a variety of skill areas every July.

FEW members now are concentrating on lining up more sponsors for the legislation to demonstrate that it has momentum. So far, Akaka is alone in supporting his bill in the Senate. In the House, Davis has nine co-sponsors for the bill, including Reps. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.; Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.; Elijah Cummings, D-Md.; Charles Gonzales, D-Texas; Ruben Hinojosa, D-Texas; Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio; Stephen Lynch, D-Mass.; John Sarbanes, D-Md.; and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.

Both bills are waiting for action by the subcommittees that Akaka and Davis chair. But Kopenhaver said she was pleased with how far the diversity legislation had come and the amount of time that had been devoted to the issue.

"A lot of this year was used in drafting the bill, and that takes a couple of months, the behind-the-scenes work, getting it off the ground," she said. "There was work done this year; it wasn't out in the open."

Next week, the Washington chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives will kick off its Leadership and Senior Executive Service series. The sessions are designed to help NAHFE members learn more about what it takes to join the SES ranks. Davis will address attendees at the first session.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.