Senator Lieberman Calls On All Government Agencies To Follow Best Diversity Management Practices

WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Ranking Member Joe Lieberman, D-Conn., Friday urged all federal agencies to use the findings of a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report on how to better manage increasingly diverse workforces. The report on Diversity Management, which Lieberman requested, found that the agencies that successfully draw upon the strengths of employees of different levels and backgrounds rely on nine leading practices:

· commitment from top leadership

· inclusion of diversity as part of the organization’s strategic plan

· understanding the link between diversity and high performance

· measuring the impact of diversity programs

· holding managers accountable for implementing diversity policies

· succession planning

· recruitment

· employee involvement

· training

“I hope agencies across government will take advantage of the GAO findings and adopt these best practices to achieve and effectively manage diverse workforces,” said Lieberman. “Nothing is more important to the federal government’s ability to serve the American people than the creation of positive work environments where differences among people are valued. This report shows how it has been and should be done in the future.” For the purposes of its report, the GAO identified diversity management as “a process intended to create and maintain a positive work environment where the similarities and differences of individuals are valued, so that all can reach their potential and maximize their contributions to an organization’s strategic goals and objectives.” The report found that organizations successful at diversity management “foster a work environment in which people are enabled and motivated to contribute to the mission’s accomplishment and provide both accountability and fairness for all employees.” The GAO studied 10 agencies known for outstanding diversity management practices, including the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Postal Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Veteran’s Health Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the National Institutes of Health. The report concludes that the nine best practices were shared by the “majority” of agencies studied, although each agency implemented the practices in different fashions, depending on that agency’s structure, culture, and priorities. The full report is available online at: