On June 25, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the Federal workforce.
Let’s be honest- despite all the progress we’ve made as a country, the Federal workforce has a complicated history of employment discrimination, systemic racism, and gender inequality. These things can still be seen and felt today. However, to right some of these longstanding wrongs, President Biden’s Executive Order establishes an initiative that takes a systemic approach to embedding diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in Federal hiring and employment practices.
It also establishes a government-wide initiative to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in all parts of the Federal workforce. Led by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), this initiative advances opportunities for communities that have historically faced employment discrimination and professional barriers. This includes people of color, women, first-generation immigrants and professionals, individuals with disabilities, LBGTQ+ individuals, Americans who live in rural areas, older Americans who face age discrimination when seeking employment, parents and caregivers who face employment barriers, people of faith who require religious accommodations, individuals who were formerly incarcerated, and veterans and military spouses.
The Federal workforce is changing to reflect the changing demographics in our country. Every organization needs diversity and inclusion training in its toolbox to educate and motivate employees to be more inclusive in their actions and thoughts. These are the top five objectives that diversity and inclusion training helps organizations:
#1-Address workplace microaggressions. Microaggressions- subtle insults, slights, or snubs- often stem from unconscious bias. They perpetuate stereotypes and can negatively affect how an employee engages, including their health (mental and physical) and productivity.
#2–Reveal unconscious bias. Unconscious bias is a huffed attitude based on a social stereotype. We all have them, and we can’t necessarily separate ourselves from them, but being aware of them allows us to minimize their influence on our behaviors and interactions in the workplace.
#3–Affirm the organization’s commitment to D&I A clearly-statement commitment to diversity and inclusion can be an attractive quality for potential candidates. Training in diversity and inclusion reinforces the organization’s commitment to creating and maintaining an equitable, diverse workforce.
#4-Increase employee morale Emphasizing your organization’s commitment to diversity in the workplace can foster a greater sense of community and increase morale amongst employees.
#5-Drive growth and revenue Research shows that when employees feel safe and respected, their performance improves. One report showed that organizations with more culturally and ethnically diverse boards were 43% more likely to experience higher profits than those with less diverse boards.
Your organization would benefit greatly from an investment in quality training in diversity and inclusion.