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    Diversity and Inclusion

    Background of the image is a pride flag on the left side side and the American flag from the right side overlapping.  In white all caps text in the middle say 2017 LGBT PRIDE MONTH.

    The month of June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month (LGBT Pride Month).   As noted by the Library of Congress, LGBT Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June.  LGBT Pride Month is just one way that we can honor the struggles and achievements of the LGBT community, including the LGBT members of our Federal workforce.  Please join me and the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) in celebrating LGBT Pride Month. 

    I firmly believe that when we draw on the wisdom of a workforce recruited from all segments of society, we are better able to understand and meet the needs of our customers – the American people. 

    The Federal Government leads by example by providing equal employment opportunities to all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.  It is important to note that a fundamental value of civil service has been to draw from all segments of society, where selection and career advancement of Federal employees are “determined solely on the basis of relative ability, knowledge and skills.”  This is an ideal time to emphasize that all Federal employees – including LGBT individuals – should be able to perform their jobs free from any unlawful discrimination.  Additional information on this important topic can be found in a helpful resource guide titled “Addressing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination in Federal Civilian Employment:  A Guide to Employment Rights, Protections, and Responsibilities.”  

    June 12th is the one year anniversary of the horrific massacre at a nightclub in Orlando.  As a nation, we showed our respect and solidarity to the LGBT community.  On this one year anniversary, I invite you to pause and reflect on this tragedy again.  It is also an opportunity to show the American people that Federal agencies will continue promoting equal opportunity and stand against any unlawful discrimination.

    I want to remind you that various resources are available to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce.  I invite you to take advantage and learn more from these helpful resources.   In addition, to learn more about the benefits that are extended to same-sex partners of Federal employees and their children where the law permits, please visit our frequently asked questions for LGBT Federal employees and annuitants.

    Enjoy your celebration and Happy Pride Month.

                

    The background is a close up of two windows of OPM's headquarters in Washington D.C. reflected in the window is American and OPM flags waving in the wind. Beside the building is blue sky and in black text:

    Every day, the 2.1 million women and men of the Federal Workforce tackle some of our country’s most pressing issues. Whether caring for our veterans, supporting our troops, fighting forest fires, or planning a mission to Mars, Federal employees are focused on making life better for the American people.

    In a 2014 address, President Obama said: “To rise to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we need a Federal Workforce with the necessary skills, experience, and tools to meet its diverse mission now and in the future.”  At the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), we work to fulfill this vision. Our mission is to help agencies recruit, retain, and honor a world-class Federal workforce to serve the American people.

    Today, OPM has joined our sister agencies in sketching out for the American people a summary of the efforts we have made during this administration to fulfill the President’s vision.

    Over the past eight years, our overarching focus has been to modernize the way OPM supports agencies, current and former Federal employees, and their families. By embracing new ways to use data to make decisions, investing in new tools and technologies, and streamlining our processes, we have helped foster a workforce capable of tackling 21st century challenges. In particular, we have focused on:

    • Making the Federal Government a model employer by adopting workplace policies that reflect the modern American economy;

       

    • Strengthening the personnel system to improve Federal agencies’ capacity to recruit, hire, develop, engage, and retain workforces ready to meet 21st century challenges;

       

    • Building a roadmap to better protecting the integrity of the Federal workforce by modernizing the way the government performs background investigations;

       

    • Improving our operations by embracing new tools and technology and enhancing our focus on customer service and cyber security.

    The memorandum goes into detail about our agency-wide efforts. I want to highlight just some of the work we’ve done. You can see a fuller description of these efforts and what we see as the best way to continue this journey in OPM’s full memorandum.

    In striving to make the Federal government a model employer, OPM has expanded opportunities for people from all elements of society. We’ve made progress in closing the gender pay gap, increased workplace flexibilities to help employees balance their work life and home life. We’ve also promoted diversity and inclusion in the Federal workforce.

    Strengthening the personnel system needs to reinforce and build on the merit system principles that represent the bedrock values that have long stood as the foundation of this nation’s civil service system.

    Through our Pathways programs we’ve created clearer paths to Federal careers for students and recent graduates and enabled the government to compete more effectively with the private sector for this talent. We’ve brought experts from the private sector into government through innovative fellowship programs. And we established a hiring excellence campaign to help human resources specialists and managers hire the critical talent they need.

    The events of recent years have underscored the need to guard against threats to the Federal Government’s personnel, property, and information systems. OPM plays a central role in protecting against threats as we conduct 95 percent of the Federal Government’s background investigations that help agencies make employment, security clearance, and credentialing decisions. By establishing the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) and continuing to modernize the background investigations process, OPM has come a long way in helping the Federal Government build and maintain a trusted workforce.

    At OPM customer service is at the heart of everything we do. OPM has embraced new tools and technologies to help deliver better customer service and better secure the information we house. We’ve made significant progress in modernizing and securing information technology systems. We continue to provide high quality health benefits for the 9.2 million Federal employees, retirees and their families who are enrolled in the Federal Employment health Benefit program.

    These are some of the highlights of the work OPM has done during this administration to fulfill our mission to recruit, hire, develop, retain and honor the men and women who work every day to deliver excellent service to the American people.

    There is much more work to be done. I am confident that the dedicated men and women of OPM will continue in their efforts to build an even greater workforce now, and in the future.

     


    Photo of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities forum meeting.

    Building deeper ties with our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HCBU) and bolstering employee training were the key themes of events that the Office of Personnel Management’s Blacks In Government (BIG) chapter and the agency’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI) sponsored during African American History Month.

    BIG and ODI partnered to host a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) forum that brought together representatives from Claflin University, Bowie State University, Hampton University, Howard University, Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T, University of the District of Columbia, the Association of Public & Land Grant University, and Prince George’s Community College. They were joined by representatives of Federal agencies and the business community.

    The purpose of the HBCU forum was to have a robust discussion and to establish and sustain relationships with colleges and universities, Federal agencies, and other stakeholders in order to create a pipeline of talented students and alumni that will result in:

    • High school and college students knowing about and attending institutions of higher learning whose curriculum will prepare them to apply for the mission critical occupations offered by the Federal government;
    • College students nearing graduation looking to the Federal Government and government contractors as career destinations.
    • Federal agencies and the business community being more familiar and better understanding the mission of HBCUs, and be better prepared to recruit from these institutions.
    • Creating an environment for young college graduates and alumni who become Federal employees to have opportunities for professional growth and move into leadership positions;
    • Fostering genuine dialogue between the universities, the Federal Government, and other stakeholders to improve the kind of collaboration and engagement that will enhance the Federal Government’s continued efforts towards diversity and inclusion at all levels of Federal service.

     

    OPM’s Acting Director Beth Cobert said at the forum that “the contributions that graduates from historically black colleges make to the Federal workforce across the country are extremely important. OPM is proud of the relationships we have built with many of you in this room.” She also pointed out that HBCU’s are some of the biggest producers of black undergraduate degrees in STEM fields, an area where many Federal agencies are in need of talented and motivated employees.

    Director Cobert also challenged the attendees to take the opportunity to discuss and collaborate on ways OPM could work with the universities to enhance diversity and inclusion within the Federal and private sector. Also during African American History Month, representatives from Howard University provided executive leadership training to OPM BIG members and other agency employees.

    The “Leadership in Action Seminar” covered leadership and executive communications, principles in group and cross cultural communications, decision-making, and team building. The training was conducted by Dr. Kim Wells, Executive Director of Executive Education at Howard University’s School of Business and Retired Air Force General Frank Anderson.

    The interactive training discussed how easy it is to fall into making hiring and promotion decisions based on conscious or unconscious biases that can impact an organization or company having a diverse and inclusive employment culture.

    The events BIG organized during this year’s African American History Month are just the beginning. We will continue to promote collaboration and partnerships with representatives from our nation’s HBCUs, all with the goal of continuing to create a diverse and inclusive environment in the Federal workplace.


    At the Office of Personnel Management, every day we work to support the President’s Management Agenda’s goal to recruit, hire, and retain a world-class workforce. We develop human resources policies for everything from benefits to employee engagement to performance management to diversity and inclusion. And we believe strongly that the policy decisions we make must be grounded in research.

    Connecting research to policy is so important to us that it’s a goal in OPM’s Strategic Plan. This week, OPM partnered with American University to host its first research summit. We brought together researchers and policy experts from 20 Federal agencies, 19 colleges and universities, and partners from industry and the non-profit sector. We focused on six specific human capital policy areas: work/life issues; benefits; performance management; diversity and inclusion; leadership; and employee engagement.

    Our goal was to determine the current state of research in each of these areas.

    At this summit, we wanted to determine where there are gaps in the research we need to make the best informed decisions about human resources policies for Federal employees. We looked at the challenges to closing those research gaps and what research we need to best inform our policy decisions over the next several years.

    This summit will lead to enhanced collaborations. OPM already works with researchers around the country as they look at human resources issues in depth. We provide researchers will access to selected OPM data. For example, by accessing the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey data, which contains insights on employee engagement, productivity, innovation, and other employee concerns, researchers have written at least 60 academic papers in recent years.

    We must plan and make policy for the Federal workforce of the future. The way we all work is constantly changing. Employees are teleworking more. Workspaces are becoming more open and collaborative. We are asking employees to be more innovative and to think out of the box.

    By making sure that our human resources policies are informed by the most rigorous and up-to-date research, OPM can better design more effective human resources policies and help the Federal Government move to the forefront as an employer of choice.

    The ultimate goal of this summit and of the work of OPM’s Office of Planning and Policy Analysis is to use these collaborations to help us establish a research agenda for Federal human resources management that will shape human capital policy for years to come.


    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.


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