The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is providing a progress report on the Federal government’s efforts to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal workplace, as well as a look ahead into upcoming DEIA plans.

The agency outlined the Federal government’s DEIA accomplishments to date and upcoming initiatives in its inaugural DEIA Annual Report from OPM’s Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (ODEIA).

The report previews priorities for 2023 consistent with President Biden’s June 2021 DEIA executive order (EO).

“In order to recruit and sustain the best talent, we must ensure every service-minded individual feels welcome and supported in contributing their talents to the Federal workforce,” OPM Director Kiran Ahuja said in a statement.

“This inaugural report highlights progress made to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the workplace, and we look forward to continuing the work to break down barriers to serve and help build a Federal government that draws from the strength and diversity of its people,” she added.

DEIA Highlights From 2022

According to the report, key DEIA highlights from the last year include establishing the Chief Diversity Officers Executive Council, convening a national Employee Resource Group (ERG) Summit, and leading a new DEIA Learning Community.

Additionally, as directed by President Biden’s DEIA EO, agencies promoted equitable healthcare coverage for LGBTQI+ employees and worked to remove barriers to accessing gender-affirming healthcare through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program.

Another key highlight was OPM’s addition of the DEIA index in the 2022 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (OPM FEVS). The survey found that 69 percent of Federal employees report positive perceptions of agency practices related to DEIA.

OPM said the new DEIA index will serve as a baseline to assess future changes and as a benchmark to compare agency DEIA initiatives.

A Look Ahead at 2023 DEIA Priorities

As for 2023, the report outlines four key DEIA initiatives Federal agencies can anticipate from OPM over the next year.

“There is more work to be done to ensure our Federal workplaces consistently embody and model all DEIA principles,” Ahuja said. “However, the Biden-Harris administration is deeply committed to achieving that goal.”

The first DEIA initiative OPM is working on for 2023 is to host additional summits to underscore the importance of a governmentwide strategy for DEIA.

Second, OPM is seeking to measure the impact of DEIA training on equitable workforce outcomes. In partnership with the General Services Administration’s (GSA) Office of Evaluation Sciences, OPM is looking for agencies who are planning to conduct DEIA training starting in fiscal year 2023 to participate in a “no-cost rigorous outcome evaluation.”

The third initiative is development of the DEIA Government-wide Dashboard, which will provide demographic information, trends, and analysis of the Federal workforce.

Finally, OPM is expanding upon the DEIA Talent Sourcing for America initiative – which launched in September 2022. The “Sourcing for America” campaign will provide agencies with information on how to use a data-driven approach to talent sourcing, engage historically underrepresented communities to apply for internships and employment opportunities, and work with local Federal Executive Boards in regions outside of the Washington, D.C. area to build a diverse Federal workforce.

“Looking ahead, my goal is to establish DEIA work as a necessary part of the public service mission of the Federal government because DEIA work is everyone’s job,” ODEIA Director Dr. Janice Underwood said. “It is my vision to have this annual state of DEIA report to illustrate the Federal government’s collective progress and path forward in supporting all communities, including by removing barriers to underserved communities.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.