The Biden administration is working on a “national strategy” to establish diversity, equity and inclusion policies for the government that officials hope can be used as a model for businesses and other organizations across the country.
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) last week convened the first meeting of the Executive Council of Chief Diversity Officers, a group that includes diversity officers from various federal agencies. The council will work to “implement and sustain” a government-wide plan to foster policies that support diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA) in government contracting and employment.
However, OPM also said it wants to make sure the government is “the model of excellence for our country” when it comes to implementing DEIA policies.
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The council is made up of Dr. Janice Underwood, director of OPM’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility. OPM said Underwood’s role on the council effectively makes her the government-wide director of diversity, but Underwood said the council also has its eye on influencing organizations beyond government.
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“This landmark council will be a nexus of the most promising policies and practices from the public and private sectors alike,” Underwood said. “As a council, the chief diversity officers will collaborate on an approach to advance DEIA’s work throughout the federal government and our society.”
The OPM added that while the council will help government diversity officials advance DEIA’s goals by establishing “clear strategies, benchmarks and metrics,” it will also collaborate with “public and private stakeholders” on DEIA policies both in government and “through other jobs”. sectors”.
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Underwood was the first director of DEIA in the state of Virginia, under Democratic Governor Ralph Northam. After Underwood was replaced by Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin, she gave an interview in 2022 in which she said that people, both inside and outside of government, should promote DEIA policies in all aspects of life.
“We need more people who respect and affirm diversity, equity and inclusion to run for political office at all levels,” he said. “We also need people, reasonable people with common sense and elected officials and their communication partners, who will speak up and not be so afraid to speak up at school board meetings, in the media, at the local town square, at the YMCA, at the grocery store, and on the campaign trail.
The OPM did not respond to questions from Fox News Digital about its DEIA initiative.