TPM reports that the State Department spokesperson argued on Twitter that “The assertion that @StateDept is ‘racist’ is disgusting and false—a brazen attempt to create division for domestic political gain,” an apparent reaction to a letter from House Democrats and a CNN editorial arguing that a senior department official had improperly worked to remove anti-racism rhetoric from a UN document.
.@StateDept hires and empowers those who represent diversity of race, color, religion, sex, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation and opinion to advance US Foreign Policy.
— Heather Nauert (@statedeptspox) September 16, 2018
Now, Ms. Nauert claimed that “State is among the most diverse of government agencies, employing a workforce from every part of America and every region of the globe.” First, it’s really nice to see that local employees from around the globe are considered employees when necessary but not really when it comes to EEO regulations (see Baloun v. Kerry: U.S. Equal Employment Protection Do Not Cover Foreign Employees of U.S. Embassies). Second, the official word is (since it’s from the spox) that the State Department is among the most diverse of government agencies. Yo, is it? Really, really, really?
CRS report dated May 2018 states that “senior officials at the Department of State, some Members of Congress, and others have long maintained that the demographic makeup of the Foreign Service is not sufficiently representative of the American people with respect to race, gender, socioeconomic background, and regional origin.” That report also notes that Secretary Pompeo has not commented on former Secretary Tillerson’s diversity-related priorities or indicated what diversity-related priorities he may pursue.110
CRS report R45168 dated August 2018 on State Ops and FY2019 Budget and Appropriations notes the following about diversity at State:
Former Secretary Tillerson prioritized efforts to promote diversity in the Foreign Service.16 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who replaced Tillerson in April 2018, has commented that “the State Department’s work force must be diverse … in every sense of the word” and indicated that he will be engaged on diversity matters.17
The Human Resources funding category within D&CP provides funding for the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs and Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs fellowship programs to promote greater diversity in the Foreign Service, as authorized by Section 47 of the Department of State Basic Authorities Act (P.L. 84-885). While Congress required the State Department to expand the number of fellows participating in the Rangel and Pickering programs by 10 apiece pursuant to Section 706 of the Department of State Authorities Act, 2017 (P.L. 114-323), it has provided the department the discretion to fund these programs at levels it deems appropriate from monies appropriated for Human Resources. The House and Senate committee bills would continue to provide such discretion. The House committee report indicates support for department efforts to increase diversity in hiring, including through the Rangel and Pickering programs. It also encourages the Secretary of State to explore more opportunities to further the goal of increasing workforce diversity.18 The Senate committee report recommends the continued expansion of the department’s workforce diversity programs and directs that qualified graduates of the Rangel and Pickering programs shall be inducted into the Foreign Service.19
Take a look at the agency’s diversity stats as of June 30, 2018 below (the original document is available here via state.gov).
Career diplomat Uzra Zeya previously served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Paris. Previous to that, she was the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL). She has over two decades of policy experience in the Department, where she has focused on the Near East and South Asia regions and multilateral affairs. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1990, Ms. Zeya’s overseas assignments have included Paris, Muscat, Damascus, Cairo, and Kingston. Ms. Zeya also served as Chief of Staff to Deputy Secretary of State Bill Burns, where she supported a range of policy initiatives, ranging from the U.S. response to transitions in the Middle East to deepening engagement with emerging global powers. Other assignments include serving as Minister Counselor for Political Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, Deputy Executive Secretary to Secretaries Rice and Clinton, Director of the Executive Secretariat Staff, and as UNGA coordinator for the International Organizations bureau. Below is an except from the piece she wrote for Politico.
In 2017, as the media ran out of synonyms for “implosion” in describing Rex Tillerson’s tenure as secretary of state, a quieter trend unfolded in parallel: the exclusion of minorities from top leadership positions in the State Department and embassies abroad.
This shift quickly became apparent in the department’s upper ranks. In the first five months of the Trump administration, the department’s three most senior African-American career officials and the top-ranking Latino career officer were removed or resigned abruptly from their positions, with white successors named in their places. In the months that followed, I observed top-performing minority diplomats be disinvited from the secretary’s senior staff meeting, relegated to FOIA duty (well below their abilities), and passed over for bureau leadership roles and key ambassadorships.
Although the department did not dispute the decline in minority and female ambassador nominees, an official said the percentage of African Americans, Hispanics and women hired as Foreign Service officers had increased from 2016 to 2017. That’s an encouraging sign at the entry level, but it does not address reduced minority representation at the senior level. With dozens of ambassadorial and other senior positions vacant, there is still time for Secretary Pompeo to reverse the slide in diversity among the department’s leadership; it’s worth noting that the Trump administration is not even two years in, while Obama and Bush each had eight years to shape the department’s top ranks. But up to now, Foggy Bottom’s upper echelons are looking whiter, more male and less like America.
In my own case, I hit the buzz saw that Team Trump wielded against career professionals after leading the U.S. Embassy in Paris through three major terrorist attacks over three years and after planning President Trump’s Bastille Day visit. Upon returning to Washington, as accolades for the president’s visit poured in, I was blocked from a series of senior-level jobs, with no explanation. In two separate incidents, however, colleagues told me that a senior State official opposed candidates for leadership positions—myself and an African-American female officer—on the basis that we would not pass the “Breitbart test.” One year into an administration that repudiated the very notion of America I had defended abroad for 27 years, I knew I could no longer be a part of it, and I left government earlier this year.
[I]t is difficult to leverage diversity with a Senior Foreign Service that remains 88.8 percent white and more than two-thirds male. If the State Department is not going to acknowledge this problem, Congress should insist on a serious commitment to diversity in American diplomacy from Secretary Pompeo—by demanding answers for the slide in minority and female senior representation at State, accountability if any officials have violated equal opportunity laws, prohibitions on political retaliation and protections for employees who report wrongdoing.
“Colleagues told me that a senior State official opposed candidates for leadership positions—myself and an African-American female officer—on the basis that we would not pass the ‘Breitbart test.’” cc: @statedeptspox @SecPompeo https://t.co/Aas7T2yuQV
— Nahal Toosi (@nahaltoosi) September 17, 2018
Author Uzra Zeya was a senior career diplomat at the @StateDept.
— Diplopundit (@Diplopundit) September 17, 2018
Posted: 1:25 pm ET
Note: In an ideal, healthy organization, this letter would be signed by the author and you’d be reading this and discussing creative solutions on the Secretary’s Sounding Board. What is clear to us is that the fears of reprisal/retaliation are real. This anonymous letter is one more proof of that. Except for the four active hyperlinks we’ve added to help readers, the text and photo below are published below as received — [twitter-follow screen_name=’Diplopundit’ ]
A poignant piece in the President’s Memorandum on Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the National Security Workforce was the conclusion that “In broad comparison with the wider Federal Government, the federal workforce dedicated to our national security and foreign policy is – on average – less diverse, including at the highest levels.” Unfortunately, when it comes to the highest levels of the Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) diversity is not only less than the average – – it is nonexistent!
A review of the facts.
DS senior leadership is composed of an Assistant Secretary, a Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, seven Deputy Assistant Secretaries, an Executive Director, and a Coordinator for Security Infrastructure. Four years ago all of these positions with the exception of the AS were held by active Senior Foreign Service and Senior Executive Service officers. Two positions were held by female officers and one by a African-American officer. In the past three years, all three minority members either retired or moved into other positions outside of DS. Eight of the ten senior leadership positions have become vacant during that time, some more than once, and the current PDAS – Bill Miller, who became subject to Time-in-Class (TIC) restrictions and left active service – was appointed into the PDAS role.
Of the ten opportunities that DS has had to select officers to fill vacancies at the Bureau’s senior-most positions it has consistently selected Caucasian male officers. DS went from a Bureau that from a diversity standpoint was about where the rest of the government is now – less diverse than the average – to one that is now all white, all male, all the time.
We have witnessed the cleansing of DS over the past three years. It is troubling, and, it should be raising alarm bells throughout the Department.
But is it not.
Instead, the Department is preparing to reward DSS Director Miller with a third appointment year as PDAS of DS. Furthermore, DS is now expanding the practice of appointing officers subject to TIC up or out restrictions into positions formerly held exclusively by active SFS officers with the appointment of the outgoing Overseas Security Advisory Council Office Director into his own position, as an appointee. This was accomplished quietly, with the Department’s concurrence, devoid of any semblance of transparency.
The lack diversity is not limited to the FE-MC/OC and SES level officers who make up DS’s Senior Leadership. It also extends to the subordinate staffs. Unlike the Assistant Secretary’s DS Front Office, which to Gregory Starr’s credit has consistent been composed of a highly qualified and richly diverse staff, the PDAS’ DSS FO has been anything but. To this day, the DSS FO staff with the exception of the Office Manager consists of…all white males. One DS Senior sets a model for the Bureau to emulate, the other projects a do as I say not as I do standard.
In May, PDAS Miller brought most of the DS leadership from around the globe to the Department for a two-day leadership forum. On day two he showcased his all-white, all-male team of seniors on the dais for a full day of Q&As. The one area the PDAS and the rest in the dais were unprepared to discuss were the stream of questions on the topic of diversity that were raised throughout the day and which went largely unaddressed.
It is difficult to reconcile Director General Arnold Chacon’s statements about Department values and principles, and ensuring that the Department’s workforce reflect the nation’s richness and diversity, when matched against the reality of the past three years within DS. Even more difficult considering that all senior-most assignments in DS require the approval of Department Seniors.
In response, the Department should:
Posted: 1:47 am ET
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On October 5, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum on Promoting Diversity and Inclusion in the National Security Workforce. Below is an excerpt:
Currently, more than three million military and civilian personnel in the U.S. Government are engaged in protecting the country and advancing our interests abroad, through diplomacy, development, defense, intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security. In broad comparison with the wider Federal Government, the federal workforce dedicated to our national security and foreign policy is – on average – less diverse, including at the highest levels.
While this data does not necessarily indicate the existence of barriers to equal employment opportunity, the Presidential Memorandum outlines a number of actions that will allow departments and agencies to better leverage the diversity and inclusion of the federal workforce, consistent with the existing merit system and applicable law, including:
#Collection, analysis, and dissemination of workforce data: Data is an essential tool to help departments and agencies identify workforce talent gaps, assess the efficiency and effectiveness of their diversity and inclusion efforts, and promote transparency and accountability. The memorandum provides guidance for departments and agencies to make key workforce data available to the general public, provide an annual report to their leadership and workforce on the status of diversity and inclusion efforts, expand the use of applicant flow data to assess the fairness and inclusiveness of their recruitment efforts, and identify any additional demographic categories they recommend for voluntary data collection.
#Provision of professional development opportunities and tools consistent with merit system principles: Providing access to professional development opportunities consistent with merit system principles is a key element to retaining and developing a diverse and inclusive workforce. The memorandum directs departments and agencies to engage their workforce through regular interviews to understand their views on workplace policies and why they choose to stay or leave, prioritize the expansion of professional development opportunities including programs specifically designed to develop the next generation of career senior executives, and implement a review process for decisions related to certain assignment or geographic restrictions.
# Strengthening of leadership engagement and accountability: The memorandum recognizes the critical role that senior leadership and supervisors play in fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce and cultivating talent consistent with merit system principles. It encourages departments and agencies to reward and recognize efforts by senior leaders and supervisors to participate in mentorship, sponsorship, and recruitment; to disseminate voluntary demographic data for external committee and boards that advise the leadership of an agency; and to expand the provision of training on implicit or unconscious bias, inclusion, and flexible work policies.
The full text of the memo is available here.
The State Department’s top HR person Arnold Chacon forwarded President Obama’s message to agency employees encouraging them to read the memo and learn of government-wide efforts:
Today the President issued a new Presidential Memorandum providing guidance on the implementation of policies to promote diversity and inclusion in the national security workforce. Under the leadership of Deputy Secretary Higginbottom the Department has been an integral part of this effort. It’s consistent with our values and the principles enshrined in the Foreign Service Act of 1980 and other legislation. As outlined in the QDDR under Secretary Kerry’s leadership, we’ll continue to work to promote a diverse, capable, agile workforce that can advance America’s interests and values in the 21st century.
I believe strongly that we have no greater resource than our people. As the face of America to the world, we have a responsibility to ensure the Department’s workforce reflects our nation’s richness and diversity. I encourage you to read the White House fact sheet below and the Presidential Memorandum to learn more about government-wide efforts to strengthen diversity and inclusion at all levels.
Waaaaa! When the State Department sounds like Baghdad Bob!
The statement says, this has been so “consistent with our values and the principles enshrined in the Foreign Service Act of 1980” that it was impossible to pry the gender and diversity data from the State Department (a 2013 stats was made available to AFSA). For years we’re been looking at the State Department to make available publicly its diversity statistics, most particularly the gender and race component of its promotion statistics (see related posts below). Somebody from Secretary Kerry’s office once told us he would look into it and then we never heard anything back despite periodic reminders. Data is available annually, just not available publicly.
Last April 2016, the Senate passed a bill (introduced in June 2015) that would require the State Department to report on diversity recruitment, employment, retention, and promotion. That same month, just days before the Senate passed S.1635, the State Department dumped online its promotion data for 2015 (see @StateDept Dumps Online the 2015 FS Promotion Statistics Including Diversity Data, Have a Look!). The way HR presented this data –particularly the one on diversity and cone — is enough to give you migraine. But what happened to the previous years’ data? Is the State Department going to wait until Congress forces it to publish promotion data going back three fiscal years?
Patricia Kushlish of WhirledView wrote two posts Lies, Damned lies and non-comparable statistics: reporting diversity at the State Department and More than Undiplomatic Moments: State’s Diversity Record Remains Behind a Hard Line that are both worth a read.
Talking the Talk, But Where’s the Walk?
The DGHR cites “the leadership of Deputy Secretary Higginbottom” his boss’s boss and the State Department as “an integral part of this effort.” He further cites “the QDDR under Secretary Kerry’s leadership” as the State Department “continue to work to promote a diverse, capable, agile workforce that can advance America’s interests and values in the 21st century.”
Look, first — remember back in 2014 we posted about FSO Margot Carrington’s paper on Advancement for Women at State: Learning From Best Practices? That report was written during a sabbatical sponsored by the Una Chapman Cox (UCC) Foundation and the State Department (see Advancement for Women at the State Department: Learning From Best Practices). The paper includes multiple recommendations including the collection of detailed attrition data and exit interviews to better understand the factors leading to attrition/retention; training and other assistance to women to help them learn to network more effectively and solicit sponsors to help them in their career development and advancement; mitigating unconscious bias; mentoring requirement for all SFS officers and making them accountable for their performance as mentors, to cite a few. Wasn’t the State Department’s “integral” participation in this WH effort informed by the report done by Ms. Carrington? Yes? No? Never heard of it?
WhirledView once asked, “Why is it that Foreign Service recruitment is able to recruit entry level classes that are far more representative of the American population as a whole but the further an individual advances up the career ladder the fewer the women and minorities are found.” That is a really good question and top officials at State should be able to answer that. And what would have been most useful in that DGHR statement? Had DGHR included information on what the State Department has done or is planning to do in support of promoting diversity and inclusion. What programs and accommodations is it doing to improved D&I at the agency? Since the State Department was an “integral” part of President Obama’s effort why not talk about what is the State Department doing in terms of collection, analysis, and dissemination of workforce data? What is it doing in support of strengthening leadership engagement and accountability? What is it doing in support of professional development to improve opportunities for women and promote a more diverse leadership?
Because after reading and admiring the government-wide D&I efforts– then what?
Posted: 12:12 am ET
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For years we’re been looking at the State Department to make available publicly its diversity statistics, most particularly the gender and race component of its promotion statistics (see related posts below). Somebody from Secretary Kerry’s office once told us he would look into it and then we never heard anything back despite periodic reminders. For whatever reason, the State Department has no interest to make its gender and race promotion statistics available publicly. Data is available annually, but it remains behind the firewall. Which is rather curious.
Congress has now included a reporting requirement for the State Department’s diversity recruitment, employment, retention, and promotion. The requirement is included in S.1635 Department of State Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, Fiscal Year 2016 which was passed by the Senate by unanimous consent on April 28, 2016. (See Whoa! Senate Passes @StateDept Operations Authorization and Embassy Security Act, FY2016). Since this reporting requirement is mandated by Congress, if this becomes law, the promotion stats, can no longer be shielded behind the firewall. The report has to be submitted no later than 180 days after the Act is enacted, and the information required includes the 3 fiscal years immediately preceding the fiscal year in which the report is submitted.
(a) In General.–Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and quadrennially thereafter, the Secretary of State shall submit a comprehensive report to Congress that–
(1) describes the efforts, consistent with existing law, including procedures, effects, and results of the Department since the period covered by the prior such report, to promote equal opportunity and inclusion for all American employees in direct hire and personal service contractors status, particularly employees of the Foreign Service, to include equal opportunity for all races, ethnicities, ages, genders, and service-disabled veterans, with a focus on traditionally underrepresented minority groups;
(2) includes a section on–
(A) the diversity of selection boards;
(B) the employment of minority and service-disabled veterans during the most recent 10-year period, including–
(i) the number hired through direct hires, internships, and fellowship programs;
(ii) the number promoted to senior positions, including FS-01, GS-15, Senior Executive Service, and Senior Foreign Service; and
(iii) attrition rates by grade, civil and foreign services, and the senior level ranks listed in clause (ii);
(C) mentorship and retention programs; and
(3) is organized in terms of real numbers and percentages at all levels.
(b) Contents.–Each report submitted under subsection (a) shall describe the efforts of the Department–
(1) to propagate fairness, impartiality, and inclusion in the work environment domestically and abroad;
(2) to eradicate harassment, intolerance, and discrimination;
(3) to refrain from engaging in unlawful discrimination in any phase of the employment process, including recruitment, hiring, evaluation, assignments, promotion, retention, and training;
(4) to eliminate illegal retaliation against employees for participating in a protected equal employment opportunity activity;
(5) to provide reasonable accommodation for qualified employees and applicants with disabilities;
(6) to resolve workplace conflicts, confrontations, and complaints in a prompt, impartial, constructive, and timely manner;
(7) to improve demographic data availability and analysis regarding recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, length in service, assignment restrictions, and pass-through programs;
(8) to recruit a diverse staff by–
(A) recruiting women, minorities, veterans, and undergraduate and graduate students;
(B) recruiting at historically Black colleges and universities, Hispanic serving institutions, women’s colleges, and colleges that typically serve majority minority populations;
(C) sponsoring and recruiting at job fairs in urban communities;
(D) placing job advertisements in newspapers, magazines, and job sites oriented toward women and people of color;
(E) providing opportunities through the Foreign Service Internship Program and other hiring initiatives; and
(F) recruiting mid- and senior-level professionals through programs such as–
(i) the International Career Advancement Program;
(ii) the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship Program;
(iii) the Institute for International Public Policy Fellowship Program;
(iv) Seminar XXI at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Center for International Studies; and
(v) other similar, highly respected, international leadership programs; and
(9) to provide opportunities through–
(A) the Charles B. Rangel International Affairs Fellowship Program;
(B) the Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program; and
(C) the Donald M. Payne International Development Fellowship Program.
(c) Scope of Initial Report.–The first report submitted to Congress under this section shall include the information described in subsection (b) for the 3 fiscal years immediately preceding the fiscal year in which the report is submitted.
Posted: 1:05 am EDT
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— DG Arnold Chacón (@StateDG) October 7, 2015
— DG Arnold Chacón (@StateDG) September 28, 2015
— Kristie Kenney (@KristieKenney) October 21, 2015
— Kristie Kenney (@KristieKenney) October 21, 2015
Things are going great but … all these news and wonderful talks and the State Department’s promotion statistics by gender and race, as well as its breakdowns by grade level for FSOs and specialists by gender and race, are still behind the firewall.
Any good reason why the State Department continues to put its gender and ethnicity/race data beyond public reach? Is there a specter hiding under Foggy Bottom’s bed?
And now this:
— Diversity Reporting (@DiverseContact) October 29, 2015
Via Burn Bag:
During Ramadan our FSNs fast during the day. In an effort to build unity, our political section is holding its second offsite in 6 months for 7 Americans and 10 FSNs. They are paying a speaker over a thousand dollars to lecture on diversity in the workplace. Coffee breaks and a fancy lunch will be catered for the Americans.
FSNs – Foreign Service Nationals also known as Locally Employed Staff (LES).
Posted: 2:01 pm EDT
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This report is over a year old but still an interesting look into the workforce of the State Department. Thanks A!
Posted: 12:53 am EDT
Updated: 3:54 pm PDT
Updated: 5/24/15 11:58 am PDT
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Ambassador Tom Pickering, a seven-time ambassador and former Under Secretary for Political Affairs (P), and Ambassador Edward J Perkins, a four-time ambassador and former Director General of the Foreign Service just did an op-ed for WaPo about the American Foreign Service being too white. And that while our diplomats are “more representative,” we have not made “nearly enough progress.”
That’s changing. Today, our diplomats are more representative. But we haven’t made nearly enough progress. According to the latest statistics, 82 percent of Foreign Service officers (the commissioned career officers serving in embassies and consulates abroad as well as some policy positions stateside) are white. Seven percent are Asian American, 5.4 percent are African American, and 5 percent are Latino. About 60 percent are men. In contrast, the U.S. population is more than 50 percent female, more than 17 percent Hispanic and more than 14 percent African American.
U.S. foreign policy is informed and improved by a wider range of experiences, understandings and outlooks. To represent America abroad and relate to the world beyond our borders, the nation needs diplomats whose family stories, language skills, religious traditions and cultural sensitivities help them to establish connections and avoid misunderstandings.
How can the Foreign Service draw upon the country’s total talent pool? The challenge isn’t only eliminating the last vestiges of discrimination but also actively recruiting the most talented and dedicated people from every segment of society, especially those of great ability but limited means.
Continue reading, The Foreign Service is too white. We’d know — we’re top diplomats. Warning, the comments are mighty brutal.
Last year we posted Snapshot: State Department’s Permanent Workforce Demographics but that is the total agency workforce which includes Civil Service and Foreign Service employees. The Foreign Service demographics including the diversity stats from the annual promotion numbers continue to elude us.
The only publicly available data on diversity that we were able to locate is one done by State/HR in 2009 and published online by AFSA, which includes the FY08 Foreign Service workforce diversity statistics.
The latests stats cited by the Pickering-Perkins op-ed says that “82 percent of Foreign Service officers (the commissioned career officers serving in embassies and consulates abroad as well as some policy positions stateside) are white. Seven percent are Asian American, 5.4 percent are African American, and 5 percent are Latino.” The numbers they cite do not include the Foreign Service specialists (DS, HR, IT, etc).
But let’s look at those numbers against the pie chart and see what they look like. From 2009-2015, we have total gains of 1.4% and total losses of 1.66% or an overall loss of 0.26%. Take a look:
White: 82.0% – 81.87% = 0.13% (+)
Asian Americans: 7.0% – 5.73% = 1.27% (+)
African Americans: 5.4% – 6.81% = 1.41% (-)
Latino/Hispanic: 5.0% – 5.25% = 0.25% (-)
Wait, we have not gone anywhere in the last five years? It is, of course, possible that the numbers will not be as flat if this category includes the Foreign Service specialists. Maybe there is some improvement in the diversity hiring for FS specialists. Maybe it’ll look a lot better when we include those in the calculations. Or maybe not. See, there’s no way to tell how well, how bad, or how flat are those numbers since they’re not available publicly.
We’re wondering if this is the real reason why the demographics and diversity stats for the American Foreign Service is not publicly available. We’d be happy to update this post if State/HR or the Office of Civil Rights would helpfully send us the most current numbers, including the diversity numbers from the promotion statistics.
Oops, here is the workforce racial breakdown from 2013 (thanks A!):
A related topic, the current Director General of the Foreign Service Arnold Chacón (with Alex Karagiannis) also penned a lengthy piece in the May issue of the Foreign Service Journal. Below is an excerpt:
[T]he Bureau of Human Resources is committed to an overarching goal: to recruit, retain and sustain a diverse workforce geared to succeed in 2025 and beyond. We are moving forward on three tracks.
First, we are partnering with AFSA to develop and implement a professional code of ethics for the Foreign Service, based on our core values of accountability, character, community, diversity, loyalty and service.
Second, we are focusing on improving operational effectiveness.
Third, we want to devote greater resources to professional development. Partnering with the Foreign Service Institute and the Management Bureau’s Office of Management Policy, Rightsizing and Innovation, we are using the Culture of Leadership initiative to better align recruitment, training, bidding and assignments, and employee performance management. FSI is revamping many of its courses to concentrate on concrete, practical training and coaching, not just mentoring.
Within HR, we are advancing in three areas:
Recruiting and developing talented employees with diverse backgrounds (through internships and fellowships, and disability hiring), expanding our marketing strategies and underscoring our merit-based system;
Enhancing and integrating leadership and management skills (mandatory supervisory training, coaching for chiefs of mission and their deputies); and
Undertaking performance management and assignment reform (new FS employee evaluation form, overhaul of selection board operations, improved recognition and rewards, modernized assignment system, and targeted details beyond State).
If you’re looking at 2025, it would probably be helpful to see what the workforce would be like in say, 2020.
BLS projections say that every race and ethnicity is projected to grow over the 2010–2020 period. However, the share of White non-Hispanics in the total resident population is expected to decrease.
Over the next decade, the workforce will become even more racially and ethnically diverse. The share of minorities in the labor force will expand more than ever before, because immigration is the main engine of population growth and because Hispanics and Asians have high labor force participation rates. BLS projects that, by 2020, Hispanics (18.6 percent), Blacks (12.0 percent), Asians (5.7 percent), and all those belonging to the “all other groups” category (2.9 percent) will make up nearly 40 percent of the civilian labor force.
Asians: Asians accounted for 4.4 percent of the labor force in 2000 and 4.7 percent in 2010 and are projected to increase their share to 5.7 percent in 2020. The continued immigration of this group to the United States, coupled with the group’s high participation rates, contributes to its increasing share of the labor force. The Asian labor force totaled 7.2 million in 2010, and BLS projects this number to increase to 9.4 million in 2020.
Blacks: Blacks accounted for 10.9 percent of the labor force in 1990 and 11.6 percent in 2010; they are expected to increase their share to 12.0 percent in 2020. The increase in the share of Blacks in the total labor force comes mainly from higher birthrates, a steady stream of immigrants to the country, and the very high labor force participation rates of Black women.
The Hispanic labor force was 10.7 million in 1990, 16.7 million in 2000, and 22.7 million in 2010. BLS projects that the Hispanic labor force will reach 30.5 million in 2020 and the Hispanic share in the total labor force will increase considerably over the next decade. In 2000, Hispanics composed 11.7 percent of the labor force, a share that increased to 14.8 percent in 2010. BLS expects that Hispanics will make up 18.6 percent of the labor force in 2020.
And by the way, it looks like the 55-years-and-older age group is also projected to increase to 41.4 million in 2020, and their share in the labor workforce is expected to reach 25.2 percent that year.
We have heard often that “the Department wants its workforce to reflect the diversity of the country we represent to the world.” In 2020, the American workforce will be 18.6 percent Hispanic. DGHR’s recruitment strategy will have a hard time catching up with that. There’s nothing new or particularly innovative with internships and fellowships, and we’re not sure how much of a dent those made in the last five years. Are they going to make a difference in the next five years? In ten years? We have 16 Diplomats-in-Residence across the country who are responsible for providing guidance and advice to students, professionals and the community about Department careers. What kind of results do they get? Do they venture to state and community colleges?
If the State Department wants its diplomatic workforce to reflect our country’s diversity, it will need more than a handful of internships and fellowships to get there. And if it does not get there soon, it may be forced to do so soon enough by a changing electorate, and congressional priorities reflected by that change.