|MWA Workforce Diversity Plan|
MWA Workforce Diversity Plan
The Midwest Area (MWA) is currently under-represented in several aspects of its workforce relative to the Civilian Labor Force (CLF) and EEOC goals, according to data in the most recent MD-715 (see Table A1 below). The MWA permanent workforce is over-represented in males (61.4% to 51.9%), white males (55.2% to 38.3%), and Asian males (3.9% to 2.0%). In all other categories, the MWA workforce is either roughly equal to or below the CLF, including the EEOC Federal Goal for individuals with targeted disabilities (0.37% to 2.00%). Addressing gaps in the MWA workforce requires efforts on several levels. Increasing the numbers of candidates from under-represented populations in applicant pools will provide greater opportunities for increasing workforce diversity. The use of direct hire and other authorities where feasible to recruit under-represented groups is another mechanism. Longer-term efforts such as outreach, use of internships, and building relationships will help “fill the pipeline” with a more diverse population of qualified candidates for ARS positions in the MWA. Finally, a commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace will make ARS - and MWA locations – a preferred employer, and strengthen ARS as an organization.
Goals, barriers, and actions
A number of goals and barriers to increasing the diversity of the MWA workforce are listed below, along with proposed actions to address them. An existing barrier to implementing this plan is the vacancy of the MWA ODEO Program Manager position. Once this position is filled, this individual will play a central role in working with and coordinating efforts at MWA locations, strengthening outreach and other activities through the MWA ODEO committee, and coordinating efforts with HRD. While this plan does not provide much detail on implementation, the MWA ODEO Program Manager will be tasked with developing a more detailed implementation plan.
- Goal: Create a MWA workforce more reflective of the CLF
- Barrier: Lack of diversity in applicant pools
- Are advertisements/announcements reaching diverse applicant populations?
- Selecting officials are not fully informed of hiring authorities.
- Strategic advertisement – match vacancy type with candidate source
- Develop networks for job announcement placement
- Professional societies
- Job fairs – provide current vacancy listing and website for new openings
- ODEO PM reviews job ads and assists hiring officials
- ODEO PM sits in on ARMP reviews for PSP discussions
- Increased and more effective communication between RLs, selecting officials, and MWA ODEO Program Manager
- Goal: Increase visibility and desirability of ARS as a career destination
- Barrier: Ag research is not recognized as a career option, or not viewed as desirable work, by some under-represented groups
- HSI partnerships and fellowships
- Wallace-Carver and similar programs
- MWA summer intern program
- ARS 1890 Faculty Research Fellowships
- Outreach programs to stimulate career interest in ag sciences
- Develop relationships with minority-serving institutions
- 1890 schools
- Mentoring and graduate student training – ongoing at university co-located sites; raise visibility?
- Promote and communicate research outcomes through multiple outlets (press releases, social media, MWA websites, etc.)
- Targeted outreach activities to more effectively reach and engage under-represented groups
- Utilize graphics and images that focus on individuals in cutting-edge aspects of agricultural research (biotechnology, big data, etc) rather than simply production (fields, animals, plants)
- Goal: Use existing mechanisms to increase MWA workforce diversity
- Barrier: Low use of direct hire authorities
- ODEO PM/HRD conduct training (Agency webinar would have broader reach; Area-specific may be able to focus on locations and their vacancies)
- ODEO PM advises/works with hiring officials on use of direct hire options in early stages of recruitment process
- Goal: Create a more inclusive work environment
- Barrier: Workplace engagement and support of diversity
- Special Emphasis Program events
- Communications to broaden audience – website, video/audio recordings
- Medley publication
- DEOC activities
- Awards – encourage and facilitate locations/DEOC
- Mentoring networks to enhance engagement and retention of new employees
The MWA ODEO Program Manager (once hired) will provide quarterly updates of MWA efforts and workforce changes to the Midwest Area Director. In addition, this position will coordinate and document efforts with Research Leaders, AOs, and hiring managers to ensure strategic placement of recruitment announcements to reach wide and diverse sources of potential applicants.
- ODEO office and staff
- MWA ODEO Program Manager/Specialist
- MWA ODEO council
- Professional scientific societies and organizations