Obama Strengthens Push for Federal Hiring of Minorities
But when it comes to diversity, the problem isn't with the federal government.
Yesterday, President Obama issued an executive order establishing a "coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce." In other words, the President has ordered federal departments and agencies to come up with a plan to hire more minorities.
Here's what you should know about this executive order:
- The federal government is the nation's largest employer. It's also one of the nation's most diverse employers. Hiring minorities is not a problem for the feds, at least not under the Obama Administration. According to a recent report from the Office of Personnel Management, over a third of the federal workforce consists of minorities, and 17.7% of the federal workforce is African-American. The percentage of minorities in the federal workforce is larger than the percentage of minorities working in the general national workforce.
- There have already been other executive orders -- many of them in recent years, some of them under Obama -- that have aimed to spruce up diversity in hiring, retention, promotion and professional development in the federal workforce. This order aims to integrate all of those into one master plan for diversity.
- The higher up you go in the federal government, the whiter it gets. In 2010, only 6.7% of senior-level positions were occupied by African Americans -- up from 6.4% the year before. Women made up 31.2% of senior-level positions in 2010 -- up from 2009's 30.4% -- but like African Americans, far below the percentage of women in the nation's general population.
Read the executive order in its entirety here.