New EO from Obama to push diversity in the federal workforce

posted at 6:10 pm on August 18, 2011 by Tina Korbe

The president won’t present a jobs plan until September (as Ed says, he’ll be working on that while on “vacation” in Martha’s Vineyard), but he today issued an executive order to tackle another top national priority: increasing diversity in the federal workforce.

Like all EOs, the order out-and-out accomplishes little: It merely establishes a “coordinated government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce.”

The details of the initiative have yet to be worked out. Instead of creating a new administrative body, as did Obama’s 2009 executive order on veterans’ employment, the diversity initiative will lean on a council of deputy agency chiefs, along with the Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

That group will be responsible for creating a government-wide plan within 90 days. According to the order, after the government-wide plan is released, each agency must present its own specific plan for diversity within 120 days. The plans must reflect initiatives on a number of issues, including recruitment, training and promotion.

In other words, the EO demands plans — first a government-wide plan from the council of deputy agency chiefs, then agency-specific plans. Funny how Obama would like to see ideas to increase diversity on paper, but seems to think a speech will suffice for ideas to address the debt, deficit and job creation.

This order represents the highest-profile response to concerns about a lack of diversity in the federal workforce — and, as such, tells us something about Obama’s priorities at the moment. In fact, that seems to be the entire point of the order — to demonstrate that Obama has not forgotten his commitment to this all-important cause (sarcmark) (interesting, given the Congressional Black Caucus’ disappointment with the president’s lack of attention to the fact that unemployment has hit some minorities particularly hard). John Berry, the director of the Office of Personnel Management, said the order ensures efforts to increase diversity won’t fall by the wayside.

The emphasis on diversity-for-diversity’s-sake has always perplexed me. The EO repeatedly states the new diversity-improvement plans must be “consistent with merit-based principles,” but a system to explicitly increase diversity cannot possibly be a system to reward merit and only merit, unless it’s true that various markers of diversity add to an individual’s ability to perform a given job well. Based on the executive order, the president seems to think this.

“Our Nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all.  We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges,” the executive order states. “To realize more fully the goal of using the talents of all segments of society, the Federal Government must continue to challenge itself to enhance its ability to recruit, hire, promote, and retain a more diverse workforce.”

Certainly, I can think of any number of tasks that would be best tackled with a team made up of people from all different backgrounds — but I can also think of tasks in which it doesn’t matter whether the person who performs it hails from one part of the country or another, comes from one race or another, operates from one political ideology or another, etc., etc., etc. Mail delivery, for example, requires only that the carrier be efficient.

This order is extraneous and distracting from what should be the government’s role: providing certain basic services that cannot otherwise be provided (like national defense!) as efficiently and effectively as possible.

 


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

A better description would be:
“feral workforce” and “feral government”.

GaltBlvnAtty on August 18, 2011 at 9:04 PM

Hooray, because:
 

Only 4 percent of black students met the college-readiness standards

 
Keep &$#*ing that chicken winning that future, Barry.

rogerb on August 18, 2011 at 9:21 PM

I wonder what would happen in so many state and city type jobs if they pushed this?
CW on August 18, 2011 at 8:30 PM

there is a position in the NYC government that pays 175,000 a year yo fo just that

guarantees to use your money as inefficiently as possible and call it progress

the machinations of designing men

Sonosam on August 18, 2011 at 9:29 PM

I very concept that the federal workforce is not already “diverse” is ridiculous. Actually thinking that it is not diverse is akin to thinking there are 57 states. Hey, I’ve got an idea! Maybe a conservative journalist could take time out from picking apart Republican candidates so the liberal press doesn’t have to long enough to call Obama on this latest bit of demagoguery.

Knott Buyinit on August 18, 2011 at 9:40 PM

“For being not white, I award 50 merit points”

~President Dumbledoor

BobMbx on August 18, 2011 at 9:42 PM

As if the competency of the government employee and the quality of government service weren’t already suspect.

This discriminates against young white males trying to get in, older white males trying to advance, and white male bureaucrats throughout who are staring at layoffs.

Big Government just became less competent by arbitrarily downgrading a large population. Merit and qualifications matter, more than genetalia, pigmentation, or sexual orientation (oh it’s coming).

Yup, when sexual orientation starts to score diversity points, keep an eye on sex change statistics. :-/

exdeadhead on August 18, 2011 at 9:47 PM

The emphasis on diversity-for-diversity’s-sake has always perplexed me.

When are “respectable” conservatives ever going to understand that “diversity” is just code speak for anti-white discrimination? Most of us tremble in our boots at the very thought of one of the Trotskyites calling us a “racist”.
The Progressives keep winding this spring and they will not recognize the point before the spring breaks and releases its energy.

OneCleverCookie on August 18, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Obamigrints. Riding DHS waivers and Diversity mandates to preferential treatment for hiring.

DANEgerus on August 18, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Diversity means only one thing. Lots of new Muslim mini bosses. Seems legit.

BL@KBIRD on August 18, 2011 at 9:58 PM

Anytime I’m in a meeting that delves into the need for more “diversity” in our workforce, I usually state quickly:

“Oh. . . so you mean now we need to discriminate in our hiring practices. . . rather than being blind to race, creeed, sex-o, disabilities . . . Right?”

That usually tables the discussion and keeps the moron who suggested it looking at their shoes all day for wasting our time with such drivel.

Jason Coleman on August 18, 2011 at 9:59 PM

Diversity huh, has anyone been in Fed facility recently? I guess this means they’ll start hiring white people for a change.

Archimedes on August 18, 2011 at 10:05 PM

Jug-eared-fugging-azzhole is really doubling down. Azzhole with the face of an azzhole, as the Arabs say.

Fortunata on August 18, 2011 at 10:11 PM

Blacks make up 18% of the federal workforce but only 12.6% of the US population. I guess they are planning on hiring more white people?

DoS_Conservative on August 18, 2011 at 10:32 PM

Diversity for diversity’s sake, is precisely why we have this a$$hat, unqualified, “community-organizer” deliberately taking this country into economic armageddon. He’s a disgrace. Time for another vacation. (But Jobs are priority one…priority one…priority one…priority one…)

realitycheck on August 18, 2011 at 11:09 PM

I’d go for it if it imposed strict aggregate racial quotas. Whites and Asians could only gain. They’ve been unconscionably discriminated against for decades. More than that, I’d support firing those necessary to bring the aggregate racial balance into numeric alignment, Hispanic hiring to be gauged by citizens not illegal aliens.

Mason on August 18, 2011 at 11:13 PM

…unconscionably discriminated against for decades…….

Mason on August 18, 2011 at 11:13 PM

What in the world makes you believe it is unconscious.

whbates on August 18, 2011 at 11:35 PM

Ehhh, there’s a law already for that. It’s on every single cafeteria and hallways on any office.

BTW if ppl can’t find a job would they care about this? Perhaps holding the illegals is one method of amnesty via work in the USA and save the hassle of the debate.

“Heeere’s your sign!” Comedian Bill Engvall (sp?)

ProudPalinFan on August 18, 2011 at 11:38 PM

“Our Nation derives strength from the diversity of its population and from its commitment to equal opportunity for all…

No, we do it in spite of diversity. Diversity is in common with the words division and divisive. We work together despite our differences toward a common goal. That’s where our nation derives it’s strength. Or at least we used to when we were a “melting pot’ and not a “tossed salad”.

Big John on August 19, 2011 at 1:32 AM

I will strongly consider any Republican candidate (except Romney) who promises to void every EO of the Obama administration. That should be their third order of business the day they are sworn in, right behind signing Obamacare repeal and firing every damned one of Duh Won’s worthless, effing czars.

Extrafishy on August 19, 2011 at 6:40 AM

We are at our best when we draw on the talents of all parts of our society, and our greatest accomplishments are achieved when diverse perspectives are brought to bear to overcome our greatest challenges,” the executive order states.

You know, I was thinking just that when looking at those clean up pictures coming out of Japan, after just a few months, and comparing them to Detroit.

Really, I was. ;-)

MNHawk on August 19, 2011 at 7:24 AM

The cure for racism is individualism. Down with diversity; up with excellence.

petefrt on August 19, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Our Nation derives strength from the diversity of its population…

Silly me…and I thought we derived strength from the unity of our population, not pitting one hyphenated group against the other. Name change needed? The Diversified States of America?

pannw on August 19, 2011 at 9:04 AM

pannw on August 19, 2011 at 9:04 AM

Yeah, silly me too. That “diversity is our strength” slogan is a crock. Supporting diversity without competition is like supporting the color blue. It’s preposterous.

petefrt on August 19, 2011 at 9:15 AM

Hasn’t the e Europeans just cried uncle over diversity

eff u obama

Sonosam on August 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM

…unconscionably discriminated against for decades…….

Mason on August 18, 2011 at 11:13 PM

What in the world makes you believe it is unconscious.

whbates on August 18, 2011 at 11:35 PM

whbates, I’m with you. I said unconscionably not unconsciously.

Unconscionably:

1. not guided by conscience; unscrupulous.

2. not in accordance with what is just or reasonable: unconscionable behavior.

Cheers

Mason on August 19, 2011 at 12:07 PM

I guess it matters if that Air Traffic controller is gay. Unless the pilot of that plane they are tracking is a “right wing Christian”. Then it’s “smoke break”.

Hummer53 on August 19, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Federal, state and local governments already employ a disproportionate number of minorities. So what is he proposing? That they hire ONLY minorities?

maryo on August 19, 2011 at 4:44 PM

Comment pages: 1 2