Blue Grass Chemical Activity (BGCA) held its fourth annual Diversity Day celebration in October. Each year, BGCA employees gather to reflect on the strengths and benefits a diversified workforce brings to the mission.
“I believe a diverse and inclusive workforce can make our organizations stronger, more equitable and more successful,” said Alan G. Lott, deputy director for the U.S. Chemical Materials Activity and guest speaker for the event. “Effective mentors and leaders recognize and promote merit, experience, curiosity and diversity. Not because it is required, but because it benefits the mission.”
A command priority at the BGCA is to foster a workplace that honors differences and respects the inherent value in each individual.
“We want to ensure leaders and employees at all levels are treating everyone with dignity and respect. Taking time to listen, and to value diverse perspectives will build trust through the organization and cultivate an inclusive and effective team,” said Lt. Col. Tyler S. McKee, BGCA commander. “This annual celebration is an opportunity to highlight that the strength of the Army comes from its diversity.”
According to the Office of Personnel Management, the goal of federal recruitment is to attract a workforce from all segments of society in order to draw from the diversity of the American people.
Lott said that employees from varied backgrounds bring different perspectives, ideas and solutions to the workplace that result in new capabilities, challenges to the status quo, and new collaboration. This has a positive impact for our mission, community and country. He shared how his personal journey from airman to an Army senior civilian leader involved a great deal of risk, challenge and uncertainty, which helped equip him for his current position.
“Mr. Lott’s presentation was a good reminder to be open to learn from the different experiences and perspectives of those around you,” said Kimiko C. Alexander, BGCA management and program analyst. “You can take that knowledge and apply it to improve your life, and to help others.”
Lott ended his remarks with a challenge: “I encourage you to challenge any preconceived ideas you may have, your assumptions about your capabilities, and your viewpoints about people who are different from you. Taking on those challenges and risks could provide a bridge to a future you would have never thought possible.”