President Biden signed a new executive order on June 25th dealing with diversity, inclusion, and accessibility within the federal workforce. It’s known as DEIA, but what exactly does this law contain? Here’s everything you need to know.
Reflecting the Diversity of the American People
The primary goal of DEIA is to “reaffirm that the United States is at its strongest when out Nation’s public servants reflect the full diversity of the American people.” To accomplish that, this executive order aims to hire under-represented groups into federal positions.
The order focuses on eliminating the long-lasting effects of employment discrimination, systemic racism, and gender inequality that has caused under-represented groups to miss out on employment opportunities. Something legal professionals like this workplace harassment lawyer in San Francisco know all too well. The plan is broken down into the following parts.
Establishing a Government-Wide Initiative
Every sector of the federal workforce is now part of a diversity initiative, led by the Office of Personnel Management. This office works in conjunction with the Office of Management and Budget as well as the White House and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Together, they’ll work to hire:
- People of color
- First-generation professionals and immigrants
- Individuals with disabilities
- LGBTQ+ people
- Americans from rural areas
- Older Americans facing age discrimination
- Parents and caregivers
- Those who need religious accommodations
- The formerly incarcerated
- Veterans and military spouses
Assessments and Actionable Plans
Each agency in the federal workforce is now tasked with assessing the current level of diversity in their offices. Agencies have 100 days to complete this task, then must develop strategies to remove any barriers in the way of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Those strategic plans will also address any barriers to under-represented groups gaining employment, as well as steps toward promotions for their workers and offering professional development. While each agency may face different obstacles, the goal remains the same.
Creating Diversity Officers
To make this a cohesive effort across agencies, each is tasked with creating Chief Diversity Officers. This role is a senior leadership position that ensures their specific agency is promoting diversity and inclusion in the workforce. If an agency already has these officers, then they are tasked with making sure those individuals are in a position of senior leadership.
President Biden had already removed a ban on diversity and sensitivity training on his first day in office. With this new executive order, DEIA training begins. Each agency will offer this training with the following goals:
- Support for building respectful and inclusive skillsets
- Understanding implicit and unconscious bias
- Aiding the diverse communities these agencies serve
There’s plenty more inside the executive order, but the above sections are the primary focus moving forward. DEIA is all about having America’s federal workforce represent the communities they serve. Other aspects designed to aid diversity and inclusion include:
- Policies and training to eliminate harassment
- Reducing the reliance on unpaid internships
- Advancing pay equity to promote fair compensation
- Ensuring those with disabilities have the accommodations they need
- Ensuring LGBTQ+ individuals have equal access to healthcare
- New recruitment partnerships for the public
- Helping the formerly incarcerated re-enter society through work opportunities
- Improving how the government collects demographic data for its workforce