National Intelligence Agency: Diversity & Inclusion Combats Global Threats

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The Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its annual demographics report this month, with details of diversity programs and hiring requirements.

A summary of requirements for hiring minorities “highlights diversity and inclusion initiatives,” saying diversity is needed to combat global threats:  

“To be successful against increasingly complex global threats, the IC must employ and develop a dynamic, agile workforce that reflects diversity in its broadest context and includes all aspects that make individuals unique and America strong. This includes, but is not limited to, race, culture, heritage, gender, age, religion, language skills, differing abilities, sexual orientation and gender identity, ideas, and perspectives. Diversity is necessary to build a solid foundation of key capabilities and capacity within the IC, and diversity is recognized as essential to advancing the core mission objectives set forth in the National Intelligence Strategy of the United States of America, 2014 (NIS). As stated in NIS Enterprise Objective 5: Our People, the IC is collaboratively moving forward to “build a more agile, diverse, inclusive, and expert workforce.”

During the fiscal year 2015, the Obama administration’s National Intelligence Agency held 12 seminars on diversity and inclusion, including programs on “Islamic Culture” and “unconscious bias” to provide cultural sensitivity.

One seminar was conducted by Judith Williams, a former “Global Diversity and Talent Program Manager” for Google, who developed an “unconscious bias training” program.   “The training “encourages people to feel comfortable calling out and being held accountable for unconscious bias.”

The Justice Department is also using the training, announcing this week that over 30,000 agents will go through the program to prevent unconscious bias from influencing their law enforcement decisions.

Washington Free Beacon reported that the government recently held its Fifth Annual Intelligence Community Pride Summit, where employees participated in breakout sessions on “Getting Inclusive,” “Building Trans Inclusivity,” and “Boots to Rainbow Suits.”

The report also lists employee resource groups that are available to intelligence community employees. At the top of the list are the Agency Network of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Officers and Allies (ANGLE), and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Officers and Straight Allies (IMPACT).

Other groups available to FBI and CIA employees include “Life Inclusion for Everyone” and a group on “Islamic Culture.”

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