OPM chief discusses new diversity initiative

Plans for diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce are taking shape, John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management announced Monday at the Blacks in Government National Training Conference.

Berry's remarks followed President Obama's directive, issued Thursday, ordering federal agencies to develop strategic plans to cultivate a more diverse workforce.

In conjunction with the announcement Thursday, OPM launched a diversity and inclusion website.

Berry on Monday cited OPM's previous accomplishments bringing in veterans and people with disabilities, speeding the hiring process and simplifying the recruitment process as evidence that the new diversity program will work. Still, he said, getting minorities into Senior Executive Service positions is an area that needs progress.

"We've come a long way in the last few decades, but we still have mountains to climb," he said. "Although minorities comprise 34 percent of our diverse federal workforce, they're just 18 percent of our SES. That's unacceptable. We can do better."

Berry also discussed OPM's plan for propelling the initiative forward. Within three months, he said, the office -- cooperating with Budget Deputy Director Jeff Zients, the President's Management Council and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission --will have created a governmentwide plan on diversity and inclusion.

This framework will detail the next steps, which Berry said will include a focus on recruiting through partnerships with colleges and universities that cater to diverse populations.

Individual agencies also should experiment with their own initiatives to improve diversity, Berry said. He named the Social Security Administration and EEOC as examples of diversity that other agencies should follow.

"Our ability to draw the most talented people, from every segment of our population, is one of the most important measures of our success as an employer -- and our greatness as a nation," Berry said.

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:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • 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.

  • 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.


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