Feds Feel That Agencies Pay Lip Service to Diversity & Inclusion

Mary Barrett
February 25, 2022
Five people of color having a discussion at a conference table

91% of federal employees say their agency places at least some importance on diversity and inclusion (D&I). Yet, only 46% of federal workers say these agencies are showing the importance of D&I through their actions, according to new research from Eagle Hill Consulting.

President Biden and his administration have established a government-wide effort to guarantee the federal workforce reflects the diversity of the United States population. Federal agencies are now taking another look at hiring practices, assessments, and D&I strategic plans.

The research is based off of the Eagle Hill Consulting Federal Employee Experience Survey, which was conducted by Greenwald Research. The poll asked over 500 federal employees how they see their agencies' actions supporting equal opportunity in the workplace.

Andrew Edelson, a human capital expert in Eagle Hill's Public Service practice said, "It's encouraging that nearly all federal employees believe agencies consider diversity and inclusion as important. But our research finds a substantial amount of federal workers say agency leaders and employees need to take more action to drive meaningful D&I progress."

A typewriter with paper loaded with the word Diversity printed on itd

According to Edelson, "Part of the problem may be related to a disconnect on D&I definitions and language. For example, some employees view D&I through a social justice lens, while others view it as a compliance issue. This can create tension if employees think their agency is falling short on D&I action when an agency sees itself in compliance.

Regardless of the cause, agency leaders must shift their strategies, otherwise they risk damaging employee engagement while missing the upsides of a diverse and inclusive workplace,"

Additionally, the research indicates that 75% of federal employees say they feel it's important to have productive conversations on race, ethnicity, and bias. However, only 54% report having these conversations themselves. 84% of Millennial federal workers are most likely to value D&I discussions and 65% actually participate in these conversations.

If you're a federal employee who has been a victim of discrimination or harassment in the workplace based on your race or ethnicity, contact Melville Johnson, P.C. today to find out how we can help.

Give us a call or fill out the contact form below to discuss your situation and book a consultation with a highly experienced federal employment attorney.

This blog and web site published by Melville Johnson, P.C. should not be used as a substitute for seeking competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney. Readers of this information should not act upon any information contained on this blog or website without seeking professional counsel.
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