President Biden on June 25 signed an executive order (EO) that aims to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) for the Federal workforce.

The EO works to establish “a governmentwide 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) with help from the White House and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

“The initiative will reinvigorate the whole-of-government approach to DEIA first established in the Obama-Biden Administration,” the EO says. “The initiative will advance opportunity for communities that have historically faced employment discrimination and professional barriers.”

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Among the communities that the EO will work to help advance opportunities for include: people of color; women; first-generation professionals and immigrants; individuals with disabilities; LGBTQ+ 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.

Additionally, the EO will:

  • Charge all agencies with assessing the current state of DEIA with their workforces and developing strategic plans to eliminate barriers to success faced by underserved employees;
  • Enable agencies to seek opportunities to establish or elevate Chief Diversity Officers;
  • Expand DEIA training throughout the Federal workforce;
  • Address workplace harassment, including sexual harassment;
  • Reduce the Federal government’s reliance on unpaid internships;
  • Advance pay equity to ensure all public servants are fairly compensated for their work and talents;
  • Advance equity in the workplace for individuals with disabilities;
  • Advance equity for LGBTQ+ public servants;
  • Build a more diverse pipeline into public service through recruitment;
  • Expand Federal employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals;
  • Advance professional development equity; and
  • Improve the collection of demographic data regarding the Federal workforce.

“When public servants reflect the communities they serve, the government is more effective and successful,” the EO states. “Today’s Executive Order will help develop a Federal workforce that looks like America where qualified people from every background and walk of life have an equal opportunity to serve our Nation.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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