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Our Director Director's Blog

Diversity and Inclusion

I am excited today to release an insightful report on Women in Federal Service, which draws on OPM’s deep reservoir of data to shine a light on opportunities for women in Federal service. One of my top priorities as Director of OPM is to make sure women have a seat at every decision table. This report not only illustrates our significant progress toward that goal, but also points to what we still need to accomplish.

For me, the first step in any challenge is to take a look at the data. We looked at how women are doing in the Federal workforce from the perspectives of work-life flexibilities, opportunities to move into leadership, and pay equity.

The data revealed some positive and gratifying trend lines. Women are increasingly moving into leadership roles compared to their counterparts a decade ago. Today, they make up 34.4 percent of senior executives in the Federal Government, compared to estimates of 14.6 percent in the private sector. Younger women are doing especially well. Women entering the workforce now are more likely to be on a management track than they were a decade ago. And while we are proud of the progress we’ve made, the data shows a lingering gender gap within our Senior Executive Service. Clearly, we have work to do.  

We’ve also made great progress closing the pay gap between women and men, especially in leadership positions. Within the Senior Executive Service, the pay gap is nearly non-existent. As of 2012, women made 99.2 cents on the dollar compared to men. The gap has also closed dramatically among women in the 25-to-34 age bracket, showing that younger women are more likely to be paid similarly to their male counterparts. We’re thrilled to see so much progress.

We also know that work-life flexibilities are crucial for women – and men. They want the ability to manage their personal lives outside of work, whether that means helping to take care of children or older parents. Among women who take advantage of workplace flexibility programs, more than three-quarters are satisfied with those opportunities. 

This report is just the start. I’m committed to making sure opportunities for women in government continue to grow. Last month, I unveiled the REDI Roadmap, which stands for Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion and provides a data-driven strategy for helping agencies reach one of President Obama’s major workforce goals: a diverse and inclusive Federal workforce at every level of government.

We want to make sure that women are fully represented at every level of government to create a stronger Federal service.

This is an infographic of the Women's Report from the 2014 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey results. The top of the infographic shows the web address to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey website at www.opm.gov/fevs and hashtag #FEVS.The infographic has 4 sections. In section 1, the title reads, Women in Federal Service, A Seat at Every Table. United States Office of Personnel Management. This section also shows a series of women and men avatars seated around a table.  OPM Director Katherine Archuleta's quote reads:  We're working hard to remove the barriers to women having seats at decision tables at every level of Federal service. In section 2, the Title reads, Leadership. Image of a pie chart that shows 14.6 percent of women executives in the private sector. Another image of a pie chart which shows 34 percent of women executives in senior executive service positions in the Federal workforce. Also in section 2, the Title reads, Workplace Flexibilities. Image of a bar chart which represents men and women who are satisfied with workplace flexibilities, like telework, child care, and the alternative work schedule. Section 3 shows images of people representing Federal employees and their family members, from babies to the elderly who benefit from work life policies. OPM Director Katherine Archuleta's quote reads,  our work life policies are continually evolving to make the balance of caring for families and pursuing a career complementary, rather than contradictory. In section 4, the title reads, Closing the Pay Gap. The subtitle reads, Federal Women Executives in senior executive service positions. Image 1 shows the amount of money females in senior executive service positions were paid to the dollar compared to their male counterparts. In 1992, it was 97.6 cents. In 2012, it was 99.2 cents. Under the subtitle, Federal Women in White Collar Jobs, in 1992, women in White Collar Jobs were paid 70 cents to the dollar. In 2012, Women in White Collar Jobs were paid 87 cents to the dollar. This section also shows women and men avatars seated around a table. Images of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's social media accounts. Find U.S. OPM on Twitter at https://twitter.com/usopm. Find OPM Director on Twitter at https://twitter.com/OPMDirector. Find us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/USOPM. Find us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/usopm. Find us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/opm. Find us on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/USOPM, and find us on Instagram at https://instagram.com/opmdirector/.The very bottom of the infographic shows the web address to the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey website at www.opm.gov/fevs and hashtag #FEVS.


My passion for building a Federal workforce that looks like the America we serve is not just about numbers. It is about the American people benefiting from the talent, the wisdom, the experience, and the insights of people from every community in this great country. We need that diversity at every level and at every decision table.

In August 2011, the President issued an executive order that called for a government-wide coordinated effort to promote diversity and inclusion within the Federal workforce. The President’s Management Agenda builds on that commitment.

At the Office of Personnel Management, we work every day to help agencies build a workforce that reflects the bright mosaic of the American people. We know we must work equally hard to be sure that once hired, employees feel included and engaged at all levels of government. Although we know there’s still much work to do, the data shows us that we are making progress on the President’s vision.

For example, four years ago, the President set a goal of hiring 100,000 people with disabilities. I am proud to say that we are more than half way toward reaching that milestone. In fact, OPM’s latest report on the employment of people with disabilities shows that the Federal Government has hired people with disabilities at a higher rate than at any time in the past 33 years.

Our data also shows a steady increase in making our Senior Executive Service more diverse. For example, in 2009, women represented just 31 percent of the SES. Today, they make up 34 percent of these senior leadership positions. We’re also making progress in improving representation along all racial and ethnic lines.

OPM is expanding the data we collect through the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey to capture information from employees who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. As more LGBT employees self-identify through this powerful tool, agencies will be better equipped to support this important part of our Federal family.

OPM is providing agencies with the tools, strategies, and guidance to help them continue this progress. This week, OPM unveiled the REDI Roadmap, which stands for Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion, and is designed to make sure that across government, we are using the latest data-driven expertise, digital tools, and collaborative thinking to continue to build, develop, and engage a talented and diverse workforce, now and for years to come.

REDI reflects OPM’s commitment to the President’s vision of ensuring that all segments of society are represented and feel included at every level of America's workforce. You can learn more about the new REDI Roadmap at www.opm.gov/REDI.

This post was originally featured on the White House Blog.

Snippet of data from the REDI Report available at www.opm.gov/REDI


As I reflect on the bravery and commitment of the Americans who marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge 50 years ago, I think about how far we have come as a Federal workforce in championing the values of justice, of equality, and of fairness.

The President’s visit to this hallowed spot sends a message to our nation that we must not forget the struggles it took to make it possible for an African American to hold the most powerful position in the free world.

My lifelong passion has been to make sure that people from every corner of our great country have a spot at every decision table. At OPM, we work every day to help agencies across this government fulfill that promise.

Let us never forget the trailblazers who showed us the way. 

Banner photo from WhiteHouse.gov's page on Selma


UPDATE: Due to Washington, D.C.-area weather-related closures, the REDI Kickoff Event has been postponed until 2 p.m. ET on Monday, March 9. For more information, check out www.opm.gov/REDI

Since becoming the Director of OPM 15 months ago, I have made it a priority to travel the country meeting Federal employees, educators, students, and stakeholders. I set out to learn what the agency could do to better serve its customers – the hard-working executive agencies of the Federal Government and their equally hard-working employees. I have been inspired by the stories, questions, and thoughts of the people I’ve met.

These conversations inspired me and my team to create OPM’s new Recruitment, Engagement, Diversity, and Inclusion Roadmap.

The REDI Roadmap is designed to make sure that we are using the latest data-driven expertise, social media tools, and collaborative thinking to build a Federal workforce that is talented, well-trained, engaged in the workplace, led by executives who inspire and motivate, and draws from the rich diversity of the people it serves. The goals of REDI reflect OPM’s commitment to the People and Culture pillar of the President’s Management Agenda.

I will unveil our REDI strategy during a virtual event to be held at 1:30 p.m. EST on Thursday, March 5.

One of the key components of our roadmap is the work we’re doing to improve USAJOBS.gov. During Wednesday’s event, the OPM team will preview some of the changes that will make the website a better experience for job seekers and help our agency partners attract top talent. The planned site enhancements grew from feedback we got from users across the country, and they demonstrate our commitment to customer service. Tune in to get a first look at a few of the updates we will implement in the coming months.

To learn more about the REDI Roadmap, I encourage you to watch and share the preview video below. This event is about sharing what we are doing for you – agency leaders, Federal employees, job seekers, educators, students, and stakeholders. I think you will like what’s in store. 

REDI to join us? Watch the REDI Kickoff Event LIVE at www.opm.gov/REDI.


Each February, our nation pauses to recognize the countless contributions African Americans have made throughout our history. They have helped shape the fabric of our society, our culture, and our growth as a country. 

One hundred years ago, Carter G. Woodson, a son of former slaves, created the Association for the Study of African-American Life & History. The association celebrated the first “Negro History Week” in February 1926. Fifty years later, in 1976, February officially became African American History Month when President Gerald Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Each year, the association chooses a theme for the month and this year it is: A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture.

In the past century, our country has witnessed so many changes -- from the civil rights movement to the construction this year of the first National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall. African Americans have been instrumental in many of the advancements that have shaped our society and certainly our Federal workforce. Countless African Americans have served the American people, many making significant contributions to government, just as many still do today.

This month, OPM will spotlight African American Federal employees who make a difference every day. They are the history-makers of their time. These dedicated public servants carry on the promise of such trailblazing leaders as former HUD Secretary Patricia Harris, the first African American cabinet member; Jocelyn Elders, the first African American U.S. Surgeon General, and Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. As the month goes on, I look forward to sharing stories of the latest generation of talented and committed African American Federal workers.

Even as we celebrate, we all know that we still have work to do. In September 2014, President Obama issued the “My Brothers Keeper” challenge. The initiative helps young people successfully make the journey from childhood through college and into a career. The program is particularly focused on helping young men of color develop the knowledge and skills necessary to unlock their full potential.  Many cities, towns, corporations, and organizations have already made a pledge to this call for action and have plans to implement their pledges over the next few years. These partnerships will not only benefit the young men being mentored, but also help the communities and neighborhoods where they live and work become stronger and more economically viable.

America wouldn’t be the nation it is today without the sacrifices and efforts of those who came before us. When we read and hear the stories of the courageous individuals who wanted to see the American dream fully realized, it reminds us that whatever our race or ethnicity, we all benefit from, and should recognize, African American history.

As President Obama says in this year’s presidential proclamation: “Like the countless, quiet heroes who worked and bled far from the public eye, we know that with enough effort, empathy, and perseverance, people who love their country can change it. Together, we can help our Nation live up to its immense promise.” 

And I know that as a Federal family, together, we will continue to live up to that promise.


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