Reports show legislative branch agencies improving leadership diversity

Despite progress, House chairman and inspectors general say more should be done to boost number of minorities in the SES.

The senior executive ranks of some legislative agencies have become more diverse, according to a summary of reports from inspectors general released on Tuesday.

Between fiscal 2002 and 2007, the five agencies studied all increased the number of women in the Senior Executive Service ranks. The reports looked at diversity in the leadership at the Government Accountability Office, Library of Congress, Congressional Budget Office, Government Printing Office, Capitol Police and the Office of the Architect of the Capitol. At GPO and the Architect of the Capitol's office, the number of men of all races in the Senior Executive Service increased as well.

But Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-Ill., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Federal Workforce Subcommittee, said more should be done to make agency leadership truly diverse. "The summary report paints a slightly more optimistic picture than is warranted," Davis said during a hearing on the issue. "This report is the first of its kind, and it serves as a wake-up call to Congress that it needs to do more to ensure that its own agencies are representative of the people it serves." There are five reports in total, but they have not been released individually. A summary of their findings was presented at Tuesday's hearing.

Texas Rep. Kenny Marchant, the ranking Republican on the committee, noted that the Sept. 16 hearing was the sixth the subcommittee had held on diversity since the beginning of 2007. A November 2007 report by the Democratic subcommittee staff that found there was a smaller proportion of racial minorities in the Senior Executive Service than in the general workforce at GAO prompted the IG reports.

According to the recent findings, the number of African-Americans in the SES increased at the Architect of the Capitol, GAO and GPO; declined at the Library of Congress, and stayed the same at the Capitol Police. The number of Native Americans stayed the same at all five agencies, while the Library of Congress boosted the ranks of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the SES. Hispanics in the SES went from zero to 1 at the GPO.

In the GS-15 jobs or equivalent positions -- considered the most likely hiring pools for the Senior Executive Service -- the five agencies increased the number of women in those jobs between fiscal 2002 and 2007, sometimes dramatically. GAO added 49 women to its GS-15 positions, GPO went from 1 to 23 women, the Library of Congress added 30 females, and the Capitol Police grew from 4 females to 20.

These agencies also increased the number of African-Americans and total minorities in the GS-15 or equivalent jobs, and all except the Architect of the Capitol boosted the number of Asians and Pacific Islanders and Hispanics in those positions.

J. Anthony Ogden, the GPO inspector general, said although the agencies are not required to consider them, he thought it was important to include people with disabilities, and gays and lesbians in the conversation about diversity. Davis said he thought it was important that agencies consider where they might be able to best accommodate disabled employees.

All the IGs provided recommendations to their agencies for improving diversity at the top levels, ranging from expanding the recruiting pool at the Architect of the Capitol to conducting a formal analysis of barriers to promoting a diverse range of candidates at the Library of Congress. Many recommended that their agencies use the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Management Directive 715, which requires rigorous self-assessment of diversity efforts as a basis for future efforts, even though legislative branch agencies are not required to follow that mandate.

GAO in particular has intensified its diversity initiatives after a report by an independent consulting firm concluded that structural and cultural factors at the agency had contributed to disparities in the performance ratings of Caucasian and African-American analysts. But in its annual report to Congress on diversity this year, GAO made data errors and posted the wrong information regarding complaints and discrimination charges to its Web site.

GAO said in its report to Congress on Tuesday that it had identified the sources and was correcting the data error. GAO also is moving to adopt more of the EEOC's best practices for diversity management.

"The bottom line," said Frances Garcia, GAO's IG, "is diversity is good business."

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.