Agencies to Implement Diversity Strategies next Month

In about a month, most agencies will launch new diversity strategies to improve the diversity of their workforces, said Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director of Diversity and Inclusion Veronica Villalobos.

“What we’re telling agencies is, on March 16, be ready to implement,” Villalobos said in an interview with Federal News Radio. “They’ve already gotten a lot of training and a road map.”

Minorities account for less than 20 percent of the government’s senior executives, despite representing a third of the overall federal workforce. The most underrepresented minority groups, Villalobos said, are people with disabilities and Latinos.

In an effort to create an integrated approach throughout agencies, OPM held seminars for human resources, equal employment opportunity and diversity personnel at various agencies.

“What we’re asking agencies to do is take a fully integrated approach, work together, share knowledge and innovation between the three offices,” Villalobos said. “We try to give agencies concrete actions that they can engage in to help them create a workforce that works for everyone.”

Agencies are encouraged to establish diversity and inclusion councils, she said, or develop new strategies such as assisting employees with career plans and telework and encouraging employee engagement. Even agencies that are not recruiting should establish an inclusive workplace, Villalobos said.

“People are excited,” she said. “We’re seeing good coordination and collaboration between the different offices.”

Posted in General News

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