How the Federal Government is Implementing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Practices

Diversity, equity, and inclusion are key focus areas of the Biden administration's President's Management Agenda (PMA). Additionally, the administration issued an executive order in June 2021 directing agencies across government to implement more diversity training, rethink the use of salary history as a basis for pay determinations, and supply gender non-conforming and nonbinary and transgender employees with credentials that reflect their current names, pictures and pronouns. Finally, in November 2021 the administration offered a strategic plan to help guide agencies in diversity efforts, asking for the submission of agency-specific Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) plans by March 2023.

Diversity Today

This focus is starting to show results. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) released a first-ever report on the diversity of the federal workforce. It looked at hiring and retention across agencies and gave a snapshot of the administration's efforts to remove barriers for applicants from underrepresented communities. The report finds small but encouraging gains in racial diversity between 2017 and 2021 with Black employees rising from 18.15 percent to 18.19 percent of the federal workforce. Latinx made a much larger jump rising from 8.75 percent to 9.95 percent. Women's representation grew from 43.38 percent of the workforce in 2017 to 44.44 percent in 2021. Future reporting will look at nonbinary workers. Continue reading

Putting Work into Defining the Government Workforce

The last year has brought about incredible change in the federal workforce, and it shows no sign of stopping. With a new Director for the Office of Personnel and Management (OPM) confirmed, the next several months will bring new energy and activity to formalizing and standardizing workplace policies, processes, and approaches for the "new normal" of a digital-first government.

The move to telework changed how many people view and even perform their jobs. Before the pandemic, telework was sporadically used throughout government and viewed pretty skeptically. Now that the genie is out of the bottle, it's clear that government can continue to function without people in office buildings from 9am-5pm. As in-person work starts to come back around, the new shift will be in defining and managing a hybrid workforce.

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Federal Events Rebound in 2015

Market Connections released their seventh annual Federal Media and Marketing Study earlier this month and it has great news for the federal event community. The survey of over 3,400 federal employees showed a significant jump in event attendance. In 2015, 55% of respondents reported attending 1-3 events. That is up from 42% in 2014. Federal event attendance numbers had been declining for the past four years, making this year's jump even more notable.

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The numbers back up what we have been hearing from our GovEvents members. Budgets and rules around travel and training have been easing up. Panelists at the event agreed that the tightening down of budgets and approval for events and training was an overcorrection in response to the GSA scandal and now we're finally seeing the pendulum shift back to a more rational place. But it was not just the GSA scandal that led to the decline in event participation. Panelists report there was a perfect storm of scandal, sequestration, and OMB guidance that left people confused as to what was "right" in terms of event attendance. Continue reading

Phased Retirement is Finally Here

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share:

Originally posted on GovExec.com

After more than two years in federal regulation limbo, the law allowing federal employees to partially retire while continuing to work part-time for the government is finally being implemented.

Eligible federal employees can submit their applications for phased retirement beginning Nov. 6. The Office of Personnel Management on Thursday filed theá129-page final ruleáon the new program for publication in theáFederal Registeráon Friday. The so-called phased retirement provision, included in the 2012 transportation reauthorization act, allows eligible feds to work 20 hours per week, receiving half their pay as well as half their retirement annuity. Those employees who enter phased retirement must devote at least 20 percent of their work time, or about 8 hours a pay period, to mentoring other employees, ideally for those who take over for them when they fully retire.

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OPM Encourages D.C.-Area Feds to Telework During Africa Summit Next Week

From time to time GovEvents will come across information we feel our members and audience would benefit from. Here's something we wanted to share:
Originally posted on GovExec.com

The Office of Personnel Management has asked federal agencies to consider allowing employees in Washington, D.C., to telework early next week during President Obama's summit with African leaders, which is expected to cause major traffic headaches in the city.

OPM "strongly recommends" that agencies consider telework on Aug. 4-6, "to keep the government operating normally while helping to minimize traffic congestion" during the event. Traffic is expected to be particularly bad on Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 due to road closures, the agency said in aámemo to chief human capital officers.

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