Obama orders agencies to develop plans to increase workforce diversity

President Obama on Thursday issued an executive order directing federal agencies to develop strategic plans to recruit and retain a more diverse workforce.

The directive will promote diversity in the federal workforce through a governmentwide initiative and a timeline for results, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said during a conference call with reporters.

Berry, along with Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Jeff Zients, the President's Management Council, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, will release a strategic framework for the effort and guidance to agencies in 90 days to help them develop their own roadmaps for hiring, training and promoting more minorities, women, and disabled employees in an effort to diversify the federal government, particularly at the senior levels.

Agencies will have 120 days after that to devise their own plans for implementing the initiative. The governmentwide plan will be updated every four years, and agencies will be expected to revisit their own plans in the same time frame, officials on the conference call said.

"The federal government has a special opportunity to lead by example," said Berry.

The plans will include a framework for developing accountability measures to ensure agencies make diversity and inclusion a priority when making hiring and promotion decisions. There are no specifics yet, but agencies will be expected to devise their roadmaps based on their individual workforce needs and level of diversity among employees.

During the briefing, OPM Deputy Director Christine Griffin acknowledged that the effort to create a more diverse federal workforce is not new, but said the executive order gives the issue more visibility and indicates it is a high priority for the administration.

Agencies will not be required to meet specific hiring targets, but they will have to figure out how to comply most effectively with the executive order based on their individual needs, said Griffin and Veronica Villalobos, director of OPM's Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

President Obama in 2009 and 2010 issued executive orders aimed at increasing the number of veterans and people with disabilities hired by the government. In June, OPM released a report that concluded agencies had hired more veterans in fiscal 2010 than in fiscal 2009.

Another OPM report released in June showed the number of women and minorities in senior-level jobs increased in fiscal 2010. The government also employed more minorities than the national workforce in 2010, according to the report.

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

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

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    Download
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    Download
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    Download

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