Army Workforce Diversity
What is it?
Workforce diversity refers to the many differences in our people, Soldiers and Civilians, that enrich the workplace and contribute to the overall mission effectiveness of the Army.
What has the Army done?
As a part of its ongoing efforts to recruit and retain a diverse and Army Strong force, the Army Diversity Office (ADO) has been established within the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-1, Human Resources Policy Directorate.
The ADO was stood up in 2006 following recommendations from a 2004 study conducted by the Commission on Officer Diversity and Advancement (CODA), and a subsequent 2005 CODA Senior Review Panel’s endorsement of the stand-up. That study and review indicated the need for a Headquarters Department of the Army–level office to oversee the full spectrum of all workforce diversity issues for Soldiers and Department of the Army Civilians.
In addition to providing oversight of workforce diversity, the ADO’s mission encompasses the integration of all Department of the Army Civilian and military workforce diversity–related issues; review of current policies, procedures, and practices; the development, coordination, and execution of strategic-level plans for accessions, assignments, promotions, professional education, and retention.
In conjunction with the ADO’s mission, an internal Army Diversity Working Group led by the ADO and comprising key Army/Department of Defense (DoD) officials and stakeholders was established in mid-2006. The group, which meets quarterly, is tasked with satisfying Army and DoD-level workforce diversity requirements, and shaping diversity outcomes for senior leader decisions.
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
The Army is currently conducting a comprehensive workforce analysis to establish where we are now (baseline), provide a scientific method by which leaders can determine where we want to go, and enable ADO to formulate action plans to address areas we can improve. The analysis is a three-tier process:
- Tier one: A review of workforce statistical data and distribution indexed by race, national origin, and gender across multiple variables, to include participation rates by supervisory and management position; total selections for promotions; rates of promotion, recruitment, training, and performance incentives or bonuses; total compensation; years of service; and separations.
- Tier two: Examination of the Army’s policies to identify structural barriers that limit or tend to limit the employment or career progression of certain groups.
- Tier three: Analysis of existing employee satisfaction surveys and diversity climate surveys conducted by the Department of the Army, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, and the Office of Personnel Management.
Why is this important to the Army?
The Army draws strength from its ethnic and cultural diversity. Dimensions of diversity among U.S. Army workforce members include race, culture, religion, gender, age, profession, organizational or functional area, tenure, personality type, functional background, education level, political party, and other demographic, socioeconomic, and psychographic characteristics. The concept of diversity refers to the collective mixture of human differences and similarities. Workforce diversity is a multifaceted concept that continues to evolve as the Army determines how to respond to the dynamic changes in the 21st century national security environment.
Our challenge is helping each employee reach his or her full work potential while accomplishing shared goals of the Army. A natural part of this challenge is the need to develop Army leaders who will serve in both operational and institutional capacities to fight and win America’s wars.