Diversity and Affirmative Employment

The Code of Federal Regulations (5 CFR Part 720) requires Federal agencies to have an Affirmative Employment Program (AEP). The focus of the AEP is to ensure that certain targeted demographic groups have equal access to hiring, promotions and other opportunities in the Federal workplace.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lists the targeted groups as: Hispanic or Latino, White, Black or African American, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and people of two or more races. The data for each of these groups is tracked by gender. The benchmark for on board ratios is the National Civilian Labor Force, which is the number of people in the workforce aside from the military.

The EEOC also requires agencies to track the number of employees who self-identified as having a disability. Agencies are to report separately the number of employees who have targeted disabilities, defined by EEOC as: blindness, deafness, missing extremities, partial paralysis, complete paralysis, severe intellectual disability, psychiatric disability, epilepsy, and dwarfism. The current on board goal for this group is two percent of the workforce. Disability is the only EEO-protected group where quotas, head counts, hiring goals, etc. can be used, as they are required by the Rehabilitation Act and EEOC.

The Affirmative Employment and Diversity team has identified low representation rates for certain groups.

Low Representation Rates in WHS and Serviced Components

Compared to their representation levels in the Civilian Labor Force, Hispanics, White women, Asians, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives have a low on board ratio. Employees with targeted disabilities are at less than 25 percent of the goal. The same groups were hired at lower than expected rates, compared to their availability.

With the pay distribution of the total workforce as the benchmark, we have low representation for:

  • African Americans at the GS 14, 15, and SES pay levels
  • White women at GS 14 and 15
  • Hispanic men at GS 14 and SES
  • Hispanic women at GS 14, 15, and SES
  • Asian women at GS 15
  • Employees with targeted disabilities at GS 13 – SES

There is a high voluntary separation rate for White, Hispanic, and Asian women compared to their on board rate. There is a high involuntary separation rate for African American and Hispanic men.

AEP Action Plan

To address the disparities, managers and supervisors will work with the Human Resources Directorate and EEOD to:

  • Expand recruitment of the groups with low representation rates
  • Identify ways to provide promotion opportunities to qualified employees
  • Improve retention by investigating the reasons for separations