Satisfaction with diversity support wanes

workforce diversity

Federal employees are less likely than in 2011 to believe their agencies support gender and racial diversity. (Stock image).

Overall satisfaction with gender diversity support in the federal workplace has declined since 2011, according to a report by the Partnership for Public Service.

As part of its annual "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" review, the Partnership for Public service surveyed how men and women from different racial and ethnic groups viewed their workplace. New to the "Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey" this year was information from veterans and employees with disabilities. The survey focused on three out of ten workplace categories: effective leadership; support for diversity; and each demographic group's overall satisfaction with their workplace.


Read the report

Executive Order

In 2011, President Barack Obama signed an executive order titled "Establishing a Coordinated Government-Wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workplace." The Partnership for Public Service's report, based on a survey of 700,000 federal employees, sought to examine the progress that had been made, two years after Obama's executive order. The report found that the percentage of positive responses to gender diversity support has declined since then.

Both male and female federal employees were less satisfied overall in the categories of effective leadership empowerment and support for diversity.

The survey also found that Asian employees reported the highest level of satisfaction in workplace empowerment, almost 17 points higher than the lowest satisfaction scores, which were reported by multi-racial employees. Asian employees also had the highest overall satisfaction on the "Best Places to Work" index. For the first time, the survey collected data from federal employees with disabilities, who reported less overall satisfaction with their workplace than workers without disabilities.

The report gave four recommendations for agencies to promote workplace diversity and inclusion for all demographic groups:

Analyze agency data and use it to drive decision-making.

Establish a shared vision, shared values and practices among agency leaders.

Actively recruit and develop a diverse workforce

Build a culture of commitment to diversity and inclusion.


About the Author

Natalie Lauri is an editorial fellow at FCW. Connect with her on Twitter: @Nat_Lauri.

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Reader comments

Tue, Jul 16, 2013

The problem with diversity programs is that they are all about race and sex profiling while usually short changing getting the best performance for the buck. In the big picture they tend to add to division rather than unity. Considering that this country has had about a half century of these programs, is not it about time we say enough of this costly transition business and take the next step of totally throwing out anything that discriminates based on race most anything based on sex? Right now we seem to be going backward in civility in many ways because some groups have become addicted to the subsidies given to them based on race. In the economic side, we are all paying the price for these government agencies whose primary purpose is to run these expensive discriminitory programs that add non-productive work to everyone but do not add one bit of real output to the economy.

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