WASHINGTON - In an effort to assess our efforts in preventing sexual harassment, sexual assault, and gender discrimination, the Department of Defense is administering the 2021 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey of Military Members, or WGR, beginning Dec 9.
Prior to the pandemic, the survey was conducted biennially by the Office of People Analytics (OPA), with the survey of the Active Component administered on even years and the survey of the Reserve Component on odd years. As a result of COVID-19, the 2020 survey was postponed and is now being combined with the scheduled Reserve Component survey.
The Department of Defense has been conducting the Congressionally-mandated WGR since 1988. Administered by the Office of People Analytics the WGR provides the Department’s official estimates of the prevalence of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination in the military.
The gender relations survey also provides a wealth of other information regarding Service member’s experiences and perceptions and supports the Department’s ability to prevent and respond to sexual harassment and sexual assault.
“After 20 years of war, our top priority remains our people and we must address head on the harmful behaviors that tear at the fabric of our force,” according to Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen James C. McConville.
Participation in the surveys is confidential, and individuals who complete the survey cannot be identified. Survey results allow the Department to monitor the progress of its programs and policies and to make progress towards its goal of reducing and, ultimately, eliminating sexual assault, sexual harassment, and gender discrimination within the military.
In addition, this year a new abbreviated survey is available to military members who are not sampled into the WGR. The benefit of this survey is that it allows for Soldiers who aren’t included in the sampled group to have an opportunity to be heard.
“We now have the opportunity to take action against these harmful behaviors through the WGR,” said Sgt. Maj. of the Army, Michael C. Grinston. All Service members are encouraged to participate and provide feedback on their experiences within the Army. The survey is official business meaning that Service members can take the survey while on-duty and on a government or personal device, including smart phones and tablets.