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Federal employees agree their agency places importance on diversity and inclusion, but many say more focus is needed on action, new Eagle Hill Consulting research finds

Arlington, Va., December 9, 2021 – Ninety-one percent of federal employees say their agency puts at least some importance on diversity and inclusion (D&I). But, only 46 percent of federal workers indicate they are demonstrating the importance of D&I through their actions, according to new research from Eagle Hill Consulting

These findings come as the Biden administration has established a government-wide effort to ensure the federal workforce reflects the diversity of the U.S. population. Now, agencies are revisiting hiring practices, conducting assessments, and developing D&I strategic plans. 

The research is based upon the Eagle Hill Consulting Federal Employee Experience Survey conducted by Greenwald Research. The survey polled more than 500 federal employees to understand how they perceive their agencies’ actions to support equal opportunity in the workplace. Read the research here

“It’s encouraging that nearly all federal employees believe agencies consider diversity and inclusion as important,” said Andrew Edelson, a human capital expert in Eagle Hill’s Public Service practice. “But our research finds a substantial amount of federal workers say agency leaders and employees need to take more action to drive meaningful D&I progress.” 

“Part of the problem may be related to a disconnect on D&I definitions and language. For example, some employees view D&I through a social justice lens, while others view it as a compliance issue. This can create tension if employees think their agency is falling short on D&I action when an agency sees itself in compliance. Regardless of the cause, agency leaders must shift their strategies, otherwise they risk damaging employee engagement while missing the upsides of a diverse and inclusive workplace,” Edelson said.  

Additionally, the research indicates that 75 percent of federal employees say they feel it’s important to have productive conversations on race, ethnicity, and bias. Yet, far fewer (54 percent) report having such productive conversations. Millennial federal workers are the age group most likely to value D&I conversations (84 percent) and are most likely to actually engage in discussions (65 percent).

Read here how federal agencies can make quantifiable progress on their D&I initiatives. 

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, from financial services to healthcare to media & entertainment. Eagle Hill has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact:  Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill