‘Intelligence agency releases 3-year ‘diversity and inclusion strategy’
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The Central Intelligence Agency three-year “Diversity and Inclusion Strategy” includes a dedicated program to recruit transgender individuals and agency-wide “unconscious bias” training.
The plan, released by the CIA’s Diversity and Inclusion Office last week, lays out several goals for “weaving diversity and inclusion throughout the talent cycle.”
One agency goal is “Becoming an Employer of Choice,” and includes “dedicated programs” to recruit every demographic imaginable.
“Cultivating an inclusive culture that encourages collaboration, flexibility, and fairness enables all officers to contribute to their full potential,” the CIA plan stated. “When employees feel included, have a voice, and are given opportunities to develop and maximize their potential, we create an organization of choice and become a model employer for the full diversity of America’s talent.”
“We will continue to enrich our workforce by targeting diverse communities across the United States to meet our talent needs, with dedicated programs for citizens of African, Asian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Native American descent; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals; Persons with Disabilities; Veterans; and Women,” the CIA said.
Among the intelligence agency’s key actions to meet this goal is to teach recruitment officers to “strengthen cultural competencies and combat unconscious bias.”
The CIA will measure its progress of recruiting minorities, LGBT individuals, veterans, and women by using an “inclusion index.” The agency will also track “Diversity and gender break-down of applicant flow data and recruiting trends.”
CIA Director John Brennan said diversity and inclusion are “at the heart” of what the intelligence service is “charged to do.”
“This three-year strategy renews and strengthens our focus on diversity and inclusion and sets us on a course to further enrich our workplace and fully leverage our talented workforce,” Brennan said. “Combining what we have in common with what each of us brings as unique individuals is a powerful recipe for success. This is the kind of Agency our employees expect and deserve. Together we can make this happen.”
Maja M. Lehnus, the agency’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, said the plan allows the “opportunity to weave diversity and inclusion deep into the fabric of” the CIA.
Accordingly, another goal of the three-year plan is “Weaving Diversity and Inclusion Throughout the Talent Cycle.”
“Diversity and inclusion must become an integral part of our culture to position the Agency to compete for and retain top talent and cultivate a qualified bench of future leaders,” the plan stated. “Deliberative processes combined with greater diversity and inclusion awareness will help combat unconscious bias and foster fair and equitable decision-making.”
“We will focus on consistent diversity and inclusion messages and standards in our learning curriculum,” the agency said.
The CIA will “establish diversity and inclusion objectives for programs focused on professional development, including mentoring, coaching, shadowing, and other experiences that aim for officers to develop as CIA Intelligence Professionals.”
The CIA will also “deepen diversity and inclusion awareness” by providing agency-wide “unconscious bias training.”
The third goal is “Increasing Diversity of Leadership.”
The CIA defined diversity as “the collection of individual attributes that together help Agencies pursue organizational objectives efficiently and effectively.”
“These include but are not limited to characteristics such as national origin, language, race, color, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, socio-economic status, veteran’s status, and family structures,” the CIA said.
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