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Most And Least Diverse Cities: Brown University Study Evaluates Diversity In The U.S.

 

With the battle over immigration raging on and racial and ethnic minorities surpassing whites for the first time, there's no question the U.S. is getting more diverse.

A newly released study from Brown University has pinpointed just where the most diversity is taking place, scoring metro areas by how evenly each city's populatibrownon is spread across the five racial groups: Non-Hispanic whites, Hispanics of any race, African-Americans, Asians and an “other” category comprised of Native Americans, Alaska Natives and people of two or more races.

According to the US2010 Project, immigrants from Latin America, Asia, and elsewhere have expanded the population of minority residents beyond African Americans, a trend that experts say will eventually lead to as many "minority" as "non-minority" residents, if it continues.

As of 2010, western, southern and coastal metropolitan areas continue to be the most diverse, with California's Vallejo-Fairfield claiming the top spot.

In addition to location and how evenly a city's population was distributed across racial groups -- a perfectly diverse place would have a population with exactly 20 percent of each category and a total score of 100 -- the community characteristics researchers correlated with diversity were: large total and foreign-born populations; high rental occupancy, as a community needs a supply of rental housing to accommodate newcomers; a range of occupational options, including entry-level jobs; and a low minority-to-white income ratio.

Check out this article to see the most and least diverse cities in the U.S.

Bringing diversity to the nursing workforce

 

by Katrina Gravel

This past month, the George Washington University School of Nursing (GW) received a three-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration to fund a program that aims to increase the diversity of nursing professionals, according to a press release from GW. The school’s Success in Nursing Education project focuses not only on drawing in African-American, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American students, but also male students and economically disadvantaged students from Washington, D.C., and rural Virginia. nurse ethnicA report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in September 2010 showed that men made up less than 10% of employed RNs licensed between 2000 and 2008, while non-white or Hispanic nurses represented only 16.8% of all registered nurses in 2008. While those percentages may have grown in years since the HHS survey, it is unlikely that the gap has become significantly smaller.

The lack of ethnic minorities, males, and economically disadvantaged nursing students does not reflect the immense diversity of the patients these students will soon be treating. As an article in GW’s student newspaper The GW Hatchet cites the school of nursing’s Dean Jean Johnson as saying, “the nursing workforce should reflect what the population at large looks like.”

GW will use the grant to launch a recruitment campaign to reach disadvantage students, as well as students who are changing careers. The program will offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing, and will utilize retention tools such as mentoring programs. The grant will also create scholarships and financial aid for some students, according to the GW press release.

Has your organization made efforts to diversify its staff? What are your thoughts on the GW program? Leave a comment and let us know!

Health disparities found among black, white and Latino children

 

By Anna Gorman, Los Angeles Times
August 22, 2012

Black and Latino children were more likely than white children to be obese, witness gun violence and ride in a car without a seat belt, according to a study released Wednesday.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found wide ethnic and racial disparities in health behaviors among fifth-graders in Los Angeles, Houston and Birmingham, Ala.
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“The disparities were pretty substantial across so many different health indicators,” said lead researcher Mark Schuster, a Harvard Medical School professor and chief of general pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital.  “The breadth of the findings was striking to us.”

The researchers examined 16 health behaviors, including cigarette smoking, alcohol use, exercise habits, terrorism fears, bike helmet use and psychological quality of life.

Many of the behaviors carry potential for lifelong health problems, Schuster said. For example, researchers found that obesity rates were twice as high among black and Latino children, placing those children at increased risk for diabetes and heart problems. Black children were also more likely to be bullied, smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol than white and Latino youths.

Parents’ education and income played a critical role in the disparities, according to the study. Researchers also found that schools had a huge influence on children’s behavior, and that there were differences among schools even in the same neighborhoods.

Researchers interviewed more than 5,000 fifth-graders and their parents between 2004 and 2006. Schuster said the team focused on 10- and 11-year-olds because there was already significant research and public awareness about risky behaviors among adolescents.

“Finding disparities this young suggests that we have to start young to try to address them,” he said. “There is a strong likelihood that these disparities will persist unless we intervene to change them.”

CDC Creates Campaign to Help HIV Among Black Women

 

New CDC Campaign Aims to Stem HIV Crisis among Black Women

 

To combat the high toll of HIV and AIDS among black women in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today launched Take Charge. Take the Test., a new campaign to increase HIV testing and awareness among African-American women. The campaign – which features advertising, a website and community outreach – is being launched in conjunction with National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day in 10 cities where black women are especially hard-hit by the disease.

“At current rates, nearly 1 in 30 African-American women will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetimes,” said Kevin Fenton, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention. “To help reduce this toll we are working to remind black women that they have the power to learn their HIV status, protect themselves from this disease, and take charge of their health.”

The program is being launched in Atlanta; Chicago; Detroit; Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Houston; Memphis, Tenn.; Newark, N.J.; New Orleans; Hyattsville, Md.; and St. Louis.

Take Charge. Take the Test. is part of CDC’s commitment to address the urgent HIV prevention needs of African-American women, who are far more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than women of any other race or ethnicity in the United States. African-American women account for nearly 60 percent of all new HIV infections among women (and 13 percent of new infections overall). The rate of new infections among black women is 15 times higher than among white women.

The campaign emphasizes the importance of HIV testing as a gateway to peace of mind and better health. Campaign messages will reach black women through a variety of highly visible channels, including outdoor and transit advertising; radio ads; posters and handouts distributed in salons, stores, community organizations, and other venues; campaign ads and materials on health department and partner websites; and a dedicated campaign website,http://hivtest.org/takecharge, where women can find HIV testing locations in their communities.

In addition to promoting HIV testing, the campaign encourages African-American women to talk openly with their partners about HIV and insist on safe sex, and to bring these same messages to other women in social settings, workplaces, living rooms, and religious congregations.

Take Charge. Take the Test. reflects a strong partnership between CDC, health departments, and local organizations in the 10 participating cities, which worked together to develop local campaigns for the communities they serve. The campaign was initially piloted in Cleveland and Philadelphia, where Take Charge. Take the Test. community events were attended by nearly 10,000 women, and campaign messages were seen more than 100 million times.

“We hope to extend the reach of this campaign to multiple cities throughout the nation, help empower many more women to take control of their health, and help break the silence about HIV in their communities,” said Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP).

Research shows that black women are no more likely than women of other races to engage in risky behaviors. But a range of social and environmental factors put them at greater risk for HIV infection. These include higher prevalence of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in some black communities, which increase the likelihood of infection with each sexual encounter. Limited access to health care can prevent women from getting HIV tested. Research also shows that financial dependence on male partners may limit some women’s ability to negotiate safe sex. HIV stigma, far too prevalent in all communities, may also discourage black women from seeking HIV testing.

“This campaign is just one part of the solution,” said Donna Hubbard McCree, Ph.D., associate director for health equity at DHAP. “All of us have a role to play in stopping the spread of HIV among black women – by talking to our sisters, daughters, husbands, and boyfriends about how to protect ourselves against HIV and the importance of getting tested; by speaking out against stigma; and by tackling the social inequities that place so many of us at risk for HIV.”

Take Charge. Take the Test. is the latest campaign of CDC’s Act Against AIDS initiative (http://actagainstaids.org) a five-year, $45 million national communication campaign to combat complacency about the HIV/AIDS crisis in the United States. The campaign also directly addresses the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, which calls for reducing new infections, intensifying HIV prevention efforts in communities in which HIV is most heavily concentrated, and reducing HIV-related deaths in communities at high risk for HIV infection. Other Act Against AIDS campaigns include those targeting high-risk populations such as gay and bisexual men, as well as efforts to reach health care providers and the general public.

from The CDC   

 

What do you think? How will the CDC Campaign work? Will it be effective? Shoot off in the comments!

Nursing Students Go High Tech

 

Student at the UCLA School of Nursing start their nursing career with a high tech boost. As part of their ceremony to receive their white coats, this year they were also give iPod Touch devices preloaded with Medication and Diagnosis guides as well as a Spanish language dictionary and translation assistance. UCLA is determined to offer new grad nurses that are ready for "High Touch" care but within a "High Tech" environment.

 Nursing Reimagined. Nursing Redefined.

Discover America′s Black History

 

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Want to Learn More?

  • Civil Rights Memorial Center Located in historic Montgomery, Ala., across the street from Southern Poverty Law Center, the center offers images of iconic civil-rights leaders, a 56-seat theater and the Wall of Tolerance, where visitors pledge to take a stand against hate by entering their names on an interactive wall.
  • DuSable Museum of African American History This Chicago museum has been dedicated to the collection, preservation, interpretation and dissemination of the history and culture of Africans and Black Americans for more than 46 years.
  • Hampton University Museum & Archives Located on the grounds of Hampton University campus, the museum, which was founded in 1868, is one of the oldest in Virginia. It features more than 9,000 objects, including African American fine arts, traditional African, Native American, Native Hawaiian, Pacific Island, and Asian art.
  • Idaho Black History Museum Housed in St. Paul Baptist Church in Boise, one of the oldest buildings constructed by Idaho Blacks, the museum presents exhibits and educational outreach, including workshops, literacy programs and music.
  • International Civil Rights Center & Museum This newly opened exhibit and teaching facility, located in the historic F.W. Woolworth building in Greensboro, N.C., where four N.C. A&T freshmen set off a nonviolent sit-in 50 years ago, is a recreation of what the segregated South was like during the civil-rights movement. 
  • Museum of African American History in Boston Based in an African Meeting House, the oldest U.S. church built by free Blacks in 1806 has recently been restored, thanks largely to sponsorship from Walmart Foundation. It features stories of Blacks from 1638 through the Civil War.
  • NAACP Interactive Historical Timeline Funded through a $500,000 grant from the Verizon Foundation, this newly launched online learning tool from the NAACP offers major milestones in Black history, biographies of legendary leaders in Black history and other educational resources. Verizon Communications is No. 22 in the 2011 DiversityInc Top 50.
  • Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture Although the museum is currently being built on the National Mall in the District of Columbia, not far from what were once slave markets called “Robey’s Den,” a gallery can be found on the second floor of the National Museum of American History. And thanks to a $1-million grant of technology and expertise from IBM (No. 7), you can take a virtual tour at nmaahc.si.edu.

VIDEOS

  1. DiversityInc CEO Luke Visconti and National Civil Rights Museum President Beverly Robertson
  2. Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
  3. African American History Museum in Boston
  4. Smithsonian National Museum of African American History series
  5. National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

COLLATERAL MATERIAL

The Nursing Career Lattice Program and Diversity & Cultural Competence at Children's Hospital Boston.

 

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In addition to being a Career Job Board for student Nurses up to CNO's, we are an Information Resource. We hope you find this "Focus on Diversity" story particularly interesting...

Pat Magrath, National Sales Director at DiversityNursing.com recently sat down with Dr. Earlene Avalon, PhD, MPH, Director of Nursing Diversity Initiatives; and Eva Gómez, MSN, RN, CPN, Staff Development Specialist at Children's Hospital Boston to discuss the Nursing Career Lattice Program, Diversity and Cultural Competence, and their roles at Children's Hospital Boston.

 

Dr. Avalon has overseen The Nursing Career Lattice Program (NCLP) at Children's Hospital Boston since the Program started in 2009. The NCLP is an initiative designed to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of Children's nursing staff. Through a generous grant, the NCLP was designed to "address the local shortage of nurses of color as well as to create a workforce that better reflects our patient population's multi-ethnic and multi-racial makeup. The Lattice Program looks for potential nursing students among our current employees-including Clinical Assistants, Surgical Technicians, Administrative Assistants and Food Service staff." The NCLP provides the services and support employees need to complete their education in various nursing schools throughout the Boston area.  

 

Dr. Avalon states, "It is important to note that I am not a nurse by training. My training is in public health and workforce development in healthcare. I have always been interested in ways that we can increase diversity at the provider level (e.g. nursing) and how that impacts patient satisfaction and outcomes."   

 

Dr. Avalon suggests "workforce development programs are a win-win for both the employee and the hospital. In particular, given the significant impact that nurses have on the lives of our patients and their families, we are committed to continuously growing a nursing workforce that is able to successfully meet the needs of our changing patient population."

 

"Our work focuses on looking within our own four walls and developing our employees to their fullest potential," says Dr. Avalon. "One of my responsibilities, and truly one of the best aspects of my job, is the opportunity to sit down with an employee and discuss their aspirations and any challenges they face in pursuit of a career in nursing.  For many, they were forced to put their dream of becoming a nurse on hold.  Oftentimes, employees express that they are the first in their family to attempt college-level courses and they do not have support systems at home. As a result, they often do not know what questions to ask or where to begin and this can negatively impact their success in college. NCLP offers support to our employees that allows them to realize that they are not alone in this process."  

 

The program provides employees with one-on-one mentoring, professional development, academic counseling and the financial support needed to successfully complete nursing school. "My team helps employees to create a semester-by-semester plan that will enable them to pursue their dream of becoming a nurse - even if it is on a part-time basis." Dr. Avalon continues "We also support our employees by providing them with an experienced nurse as a mentor and the opportunity to shadow a nurse in order to have a better understanding of the profession."

 

NCLP is not just an academic resource; they help each employee with tutoring, selecting pre-nursing coursework as well as creating a plan to help balance the demands associated with school, transportation, family and work. NCLP enables Children's Hospital Boston to create a strong multicultural workforce that provides the best family-centered care to their patients and community.

 

Five years ago Ms. Gomez came on board as a Staff Development Specialist to focus the work on Cultural Competence and Diversity. She states, "Among my many roles, I lead the Multi-Cultural Nurses' Forum, the Student Career Opportunities Outreach Program and I provide Cultural Diversity Awareness training to staff throughout the hospital."

 

I asked Ms. Gomez why Healthcare Institutions should have someone like her on their staff. She responded, "Cultural competence and diversity are two essential ingredients in delivering care for all patients and should be assets that are recognized, valued and embraced at every level of any hospital or healthcare institution. Awareness, advocacy and education are essential components of successful diversity and cultural competence initiatives. Having someone in this role can help hospitals remain on track by carrying out the activities that drive these initiatives. This effort will ultimately lead us into providing care for all of our patients in a culturally appropriate and meaningful way."

 

She also states, "The work of diversity is ongoing and evolving. In 5-10 years, we will probably have grown and improved the diversity within the nursing profession. However, I expect we will continue to work so our efforts don't become stagnant and we need to sustain the positive changes achieved thus far. The future is hopeful, but it will require time, dedication and work from all of us."

 

Working together with other Children's Hospital Boston employees, Dr. Avalon and Ms. Gomez have:

  • Organized and coordinated The Multi-Cultural Nurses' Forum, which included their first-ever night session. This session was held at 2am in order to better meet the needs of their night nurses. The hospital's CNO and Senior Vice President, Eileen Sporing attended the meeting in order to have a one-on-one conversation with the night time nursing staff who are part of the forum.
  • Brought diverse high school students into the nursing profession through their Student Career Opportunities Outreach Program.
  • Created a successful nursing mentoring program.

Q&A with Sylvia Terry: 'The Peer Advisor Program Has Been My Passion'

 



The Peer Advisor Program, which pairs upper-class students with first-year students to help them get acclimated to and thrive at U.Va., became her extended family. Students in the program came to rely on her like a mother away from home.

On the occasion of her retirement, Terry sat down for an interview with UVa Today's Anne Bromley and talked about the philosophy behind the Peer Advisor Program and her roles at the University.



UVa Today: Did you feel like you were creating something new here at U.Va., changing its history?

Terry: I didn’t think of it so consciously at that time. I thought of it more as exposing more people, more children, more students about possibilities about college. 

The great thing about those sessions is that not only were we talking with high school juniors and seniors, but the families were there. I remember creating a series of leaflets for children. We called it "Steps to College." In it we were suggesting things for them to think about for that particular year. 

It makes me feel very proud, being in the Office of Admission for almost 10 years, from 1980 to 1989, and seeing the numbers of black students increase. When I look at the alumni who come back, many of them were students in high school when I met them. That makes me feel older, but it also makes me feel proud because of the things that they are doing. 

Those days at admissions laid the foundation in terms of this work for the Peer Advisor Program. 

I often tell the story of my second year in admissions when the vice president for student affairs, Ernie Ern, invited me and others to a meeting he was holding of black students. The thing that touched me the most was a young man, and I remember his words: "U.Va. has done everything to get me here, but now that I’m here, nobody seems to care." I never forgot that, because here was a student who had been recruited and who had come, but who was experiencing what I’ll call disappointment, experiencing isolation.

When I left that meeting, I went back to my office and I sat down and I looked at the black student admissions committee that I had organized. One of the things I immediately thought is, I'm going to add a subcommittee to check on students we had had contact with. I assigned members of the committee to the different residence halls, and they picked up where we left off – after two or three weeks, we were gone – but the students were there to check on the welfare of other students, and that was one of the forerunners of the Peer Advisor Program.

I found, probably about a year or two ago, a note that I had written Jean Rayburn, who at the time was dean of admission. She had sent out a note to the staff to ask if any of us had any ideas about ways of retaining students. I actually wrote – and I have it hand-written because we didn't have the computers then – several things, and one of them was what I called a "Big Brother, Big Sister program." I smiled when I read it because number one, I had forgotten about it; number two, when I read it, it was exactly the kinds of things I have done with the Peer Advisor Program. 

UVa Today: How did you come over to the Office of African-American Affairs?

Terry: I applied for the position because I wanted to have more time with my children. Did that happen? No. Looking at this office and that it had developed this program that I'd actually proposed, this was something I was excited about. It was the program that attracted me. 

Everybody makes sacrifices, and when I look at U.Va. and some of the sacrifices, it's not just been me, it's been my family. 

Shawna, when she was real little, she thought every person who was a teenager or a young adult was a peer adviser. I remember being in church one Sunday and U.Va. students talking to me. Shawna got antsy because she'd been good, she had sat through service, and she beckoned me and said, "Mommy, Mommy, can't we go home? Can't you stop talking to all these peer advisers?" 

I think in our household, it almost has been that I have three children as opposed to two – the Peer Advisor Program is actually the same age as my son, 24. So they have grown up around peer advisers. I'd have peer advisers over for dinner, we would do things together, so it's just been that other presence in our house.

UVa Today: Have people asked you, "Shouldn't every first-year student have this kind of program?" Are there things that are specific issues or challenges to black students, or has that changed over time?

Terry: The latter part hasn't changed. I have peer advisers do mid-year interviews. We have questions about the disappointments you have experienced, the joys you've had; what is the best academic experience you've had, what is the worst? I do find that students still talk about, sadly, some racial insensitivity. If one asks, "Is this program still needed?", it is still needed, though this program is not about separating, it's about providing support. 

Should every student have a peer adviser? I think every student should. The way I have always seen it is every student has a peer adviser through the role of residence life. I think the difference is peer advisers don't have to manage an environment within a dorm setting, so I know peer advisers don't have to enforce rules. With [resident advisers], there are certain rules they have to enforce. RAs are on call 24 hours; so, too, are peer advisers. 

Where I see the difference is, if there is some racial insensitivity – it's not to say that an RA cannot address that at all, an RA can – I have additional support here. If I have experienced something, then I can be of more assistance, perhaps, than someone who may not have experienced it. 

 

— By Anne Bromley

The Hausman Diversity Program at Mass General Hospital

 
by Alicia Williams-Hyman

Staff Assistant
Hausman Diversity Program at Mass General Hospital

 

hausman fellowshipThe Hausman Student Nurse Fellowship was created when MGH patient Margaretta Hausman, a social worker and graduate of Brown University, recognized the need for diversity among the top-level nursing staff. The Hausman Student Nurse Fellowship provides an opportunity for minority nursing students enrolled in an undergraduate baccalaureate nursing program to gain experience in patient care across the continuum.

The fellowship allows student nurses between the summer of their junior and senior year in college to experience care at the bedside in both inpatient and outpatient settings.  Under the mentorship of Deborah Washington, R.N., Director of Diversity for Patient Care Services and Bernice McField-Avila MD, Co-Chair of the Fellowship, the recipients have an opportunity to further develop skills required to thrive in a workplace where unique challenge to the minority nurse must be managed.

The first fellowship was awarded to Stevenson Morency in 2007.  The program flourished significantly and in 2011, the fellowship was awarded to 8 minority student nurses, the largest group in the history of the program. The Student Nurses worked on various units such as Endoscopy, Orthopedics, General Medicine, Thoracic Surgery, Cardiac Unit, Neurosurgery Unit, Wang Wound Care, Cancer Center and the Grey IV department.

At the graduation ceremony on August 19, 2011, the Hausman Student Nurses provided feedback about their time in the program. Vicky Yu, a student of UMass and a 2011 recipient, felt honored to be part of the fellowship. She stated she saw many procedures she had only read about in her textbooks: colonoscopy, hip/knee replacements and urinary catheterization. “I got to work with a nurse 1-on-1. I don't get this attention on my school clinical and I loved it!” stated Vicky.   

Jennifer Etienne of Boston College stated: “As a minority nurse, it will be my mission to eliminate health care disparities and use my skills and knowledge to eliminate language barriers and become more culturally competent.”

Marthe Pierre shared: “The Hausman Fellowship is a ladder that provided a stepping-stone to my success. It allowed me to acquire skills, knowledge and confidence. It has also ignited my desire to one day become an extraordinary nurse who is culturally competent and compassionate.”

Jeffrey Jean of UMass Boston expressed that the program has reaffirmed his knowledge and his clinical experience. “Being able to walk in the shoes of a different RN has allowed me to re-invent myself. I have learned an abundance of new skills and techniques and have acquired a vast amount of knowledge. I believe that an important component of being an effective caregiver is to know what my strengths are.”

Sedina Giaff of Simmons College declared “It is with great pride that I introduce myself as a Hausman Fellow. This has been the best summer of my life. My experience as a Hausman Fellow has made me a better nursing student both clinically and intellectually. I have a better understanding and greater interest in the nursing profession. I am confidently looking forward to the coming school year and sharing my experiences with my classmates.”

Lauren Kang-Kim of Linfield College in Oregon had this to say: “Now I am reborn as a Hausman Fellow. For the last 5 weeks I found my own powerful voice and I am now proud of my minority identity. The Fellowship has opened the doors for me to become not just a better nurse, but a better person with a deeper understanding and respect for human beings.

Rosalee Tayag and Anna Diane of UMass Boston and Boston College respectively, stated that the Fellowship enhanced their leadership, critical thinking, assessment and communication skills; and  taught them to be more culturally sensitive. They also emphasized that they learned to work as members of a team more effectively.

Former 2010 Hausman awardees, Jason Villarreal and Penina Marengue, congratulated the Student Nurses on their graduation and cautioned them to use their new-found knowledge to provide competent care to their patients and uphold the good name of the Hausman Fellows.

Former Hausman Fellows include: Frew Fikru, Alexis Seggalye, and Christopher Uyiguosa Isibor 2008.  Chantel Watson and Stephanie Poon 2009.

The Hausman Fellowship is posted by Spring of each year at www.mghcareers.org. Qualified minority candidates should be in good academic standing (3.0 GPA or higher) and entering their senior year of a BSN program in the Fall.


Obama orders improved workforce-diversity effort

 

President Obama on Thursday issued an executive order requiring government agencies to develop plans for improving federal workforce diversity.

The long-awaited executive order directs a group of high-ranking officials to create a government-wide plan, followed by specific plans in each agency. It marks the highest-profile response to a problem that has been on the administration’s radar: Whites still hold more than 81 percent of senior pay-level positions.

“The federal government has a special opportunity to lead by example,” John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, said in a conference call. “We will only succeed in our critical mission with a workforce that hails from, represents and is connected to the needs of every American community.”

The order creates a framework, but the details have not been worked out. Instead of creating a new administrative body, as with Obama’s 2009 executive order on veterans’ employment, this initiative will look to a council of deputy agency chiefs. OPM, the Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission will participate.

That group will be responsible for creating a government-wide plan within 90 days. According to the order, after that plan is released, each agency must present its own specific diversity plan within 120 days. The efforts must reflect initiatives on a number of fronts, including recruitment, training and promotion.

Berry said that the executive order elevates the issue of diversity to a level of attention that will prevent this initiative from falling by the wayside, as other efforts have. “Rather than create a new structure, the president has built upon an existing structure at the very highest level that will get attention and scrutiny,” he said.

Officials did not commit to specific goals or measures, which they said will vary by agency.

“We are trying to say that this is something that should be folded into and a part of everything you do,” Deputy Director Christine Griffin said.

According to the latest Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program Report, women hold 31 percent of senior positions, African Americans 7 percent and Latinos 4 percent.

At an EEOC conference in Baltimore this week, the commission and OPM released a joint memorandum vowing “the most rigorous possible enforcement” of equal-pay laws for federal employees. The memo noted that while the gender pay gap had fallen from 28 cents on the dollar in 1987, it still stood at 11 cents in 2007.

Increasing workplace diversity has been among Berry’s top three long-term goals — alongside controlling health-care costs and improving the federal pay system — since he took office in 2009.

What do you think of this Executive Order? Please share your thoughts with us.

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