On August 18, 2011, President Obama signed Executive Order 13583, “Establishing a Coordinated Government-wide Initiative to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in the Federal Workforce.” As we commemorate the 2-year anniversary of this Executive Order, we want to take this opportunity to remind you that each employee in the Federal Government has a role to play in bringing about this change by weaving diversity and inclusion into the fabric of their agencies. As stated in the Executive Order, “Our Nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all. We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges.”
We, the Federal Government, have been tasked to be a model employer and to commit to our shared goals in support of workforce diversity, workplace inclusion, and sustainability, which are to:
- Recruit from a diverse, qualified group of potential applicants to secure a high-performing workforce drawn from all segments of American society;
- Cultivate a culture that encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness to enable individuals to contribute to their full potential and further retention; and
- Develop structures and strategies necessary for the successful growth of diversity and inclusion.
As we celebrate the signing of Executive Order 13583, we’ve already made progress. At 57 Federal agencies – including all Cabinet agencies – Diversity and Inclusion efforts have been consolidated and streamlined. Agencies continue to adopt best practices like Diversity and Inclusion Councils that include senior leadership – assuring that high-level commitment and accountability will drive results. Additionally, the Federal workforce is the most diverse since we’ve been tracking the data.
It is important to understand that much more still needs to be done as we live and work in a global environment with people from many different segments of society. We will continue to advocate for, promote, and—most importantly—practice the principles of workforce diversity and workplace inclusion in carrying out our mission. As Diversity and Inclusion Ambassadors we are committed to fostering an inclusive culture that improves our organization’s creativity, decision-making, employee morale, job satisfaction, and effectiveness. Harness the power of diversity and inclusion, and make a difference!