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Cultivating the Public Service Workforce of the Future: Lessons from Federal Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plans

EasyChair Preprint no. 1113

34 pagesDate: June 8, 2019


For years, workforce scholars and practitioners forecasted the coming era of diversity. For example, Fullerton (1999) predicted that by 2015, the civilian workforce would be comprised of 48% women and 32% minorities. That prediction is today’s reality. In 2016, the federal workforce included 43% women and 36% people of color (U. S. OPM). While these statistics may suggest progress toward a more diverse workforce, the pursuit of a more representative workforce is complicated by: 1) evolving elements of differentness, 2) evidence of occupational segregation, and 3) systemic cultural barriers to equity and inclusion. Aggregate federal workforce statistics may paint a picture of a representative workforce, but studies reveal marked differences in the employment of women and people of color especially in leadership roles (Riccucci, 2009). Occupational segregation is expected to persist and impact leadership pipelines in the years ahead. In addition to nondiscriminatory recruitment and hiring, organizations must also prioritize equitable and inclusive practices that support the retention of underrepresented groups (SHRM, 2017).

President Obama’s 2011 Executive Order 13583 was a catalyst for a coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce. This order mandated the creation of a government-wide diversity and inclusion strategic plan and that agencies develop agency-specific diversity and inclusion plans. This paper explores what impact these plans had on cultivating a more diverse and inclusive federal workforce. Utilizing a mixed-methods approach, this paper examines federal diversity and inclusion strategic plans and agency demographic data to determine the impact of diversity plan adoption. The aim of the study is to determine how diversity and inclusion plans define workforce diversity and inclusion indicators and its impact on agency level diversity and inclusion outcomes.

Keyphrases: diversity and inclusion, Human Resources Management, Public Management

BibTeX entry
BibTeX does not have the right entry for preprints. This is a hack for producing the correct reference:
  author = {Erin L. Borry and Heather Getha-Taylor and Maja Husar Holmes},
  title = {Cultivating the Public Service Workforce of the Future: Lessons from Federal Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plans},
  howpublished = {EasyChair Preprint no. 1113},

  year = {EasyChair, 2019}}
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