CIA agent, Beverly Kennedy’s Black History Month is “EveryDay” in Honor of STEM Diversity interview validated for me the importance of having a mentor. With this affirmation about the importance and value of mentorship, I began to think about the question of what would government look like if every Director of an Agency included on the performance reviews the number of people you mentored at work? What would our communities look like, and how much more successful would students be in the STEM fields if we all took on the pledge to make sure that government workers mentored at least one student from another community.
How would this commitment help to make mentorship a standard and natural thing to do as a professional? How many not for profits would be better served if government workers committed to giving so many hours a year to a charitable organization?
When I think of our mantra "Diversity Is What Diversity Does” and then go into the Board rooms of corporate America, look within the offices, of the public and private sector, at the senior management level in most of these companies, and when we look into the science laboratories, and at the CIA, we simply do not see a positive balance of diversity, especially of African American and Latinos. We do not see enough diversity in the Senate chambers, and our our benches in the courtrooms. So you might say what is new about this assessment? I would say nothing, so let’s begin to approach the problem by finding out “What Works.” Adding mentorship as a part of the corporate or agency culture could literally prove successful if measured. OGTV intends to measure movie forward.
Last week there was another terrorist attack, and this time it was in Brussels. Only four months ago, the attack was in Paris, and just this past Sunday, the attack was in Pakistan. Collectively, we have witnessed over 250 people who lost their lives to terrorist attack, and well over 700 people were injured, and in some cases severely. These numbers are tragic, and the timelines are so astounding to me, that I began to realize that our interviews at the CIA, and my perception about Diversity may need to shift from the age old petition calling for equity, and equality, to one of safety to the Homeland. It is no longer safe for any institution to fail to embrace diversity. According to a BREAKING NEWS report on the NY Times, “two years before the Paris and Brussels attacks, a unit inside the Islamic State dedicated to carrying out terror attacks in rope was already in motion.” These operatives began plotting small attacks mean to test and stretch Europe’s security apparatus, according to court proceedings, interrogation transcripts, and records of European wiretaps obtained by the Times.” America is in need of an educated STEM prepared workforce and it is in the interest of national security that we pre are to address this reality head on. Everyone counts who wants to be counted in this mission.
Not A New Discovery
Yes, National Institute of Health, (NIH), Central Intelligence Agency, (CIA), National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), are agencies that have suffered from an unfortunate and historic reality that diversity is lacking, and that as a result, the country depends on educated talent from other countries to provide research, science innovation, and discoveries for disease, design and development of ammunition, technology, medicine, aviation, and nutrition. The diversity challenge, especial in the rans of senior management within these agencies is not only not right, but more importantly than the fairness issue, is potentially placing our country in danger. Example; the more minority youth and adults are disconnected from the means to contribute to world peace, safety, technology advances, and law enforcement, the more this population is perceive to be dependent and is more of a victim to world affairs and national circumstances than being afforded the chance to be game changers. So, hence, we believe that immediate attention needs to be paid to implementing diversity solutions, and then tracking the type of training, solutions and mentoring practices we see to achieve new and more balanced results in addressing diversity and inclusion.
Yes, my friends, there is not more a perfect time in American history to make stark contrasts the destructive politics of division, and to begin to concentrate on how can you can make sure that your workplace helps someone become interested in STEM? OGTV, has begun a concentrated review of Director Brennan’s Diversity in Leadership study “Overcoming Barriers To Diversity,” and note in concert with our OGTV Feature story, a stark contrast to the findings on Accountability:
The Accountability Factor
Accountability – The Agency does not hold its officers accountable for creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive workplace. Findings indicate some officers trust their supervisors and managers less than others. A lack of transparency in Agency processes and decisions has led to perceptions of unfairness.
• The DLS survey results indicated that minority officers and officers with a disability were less positive about (a) their supervisors and managers providing honest answers (see figure 14); (b) being comfortable discussing their work concerns with their supervisors and managers; and (c) supervisors and managers making time to discuss work concerns.
• According to the survey, 40% of supervisors and 55% of non- supervisors disagreed that they had a Performance Appraisal Report (PAR) objective that encourages respect for diversity or inclusion. Moreover, the criteria for SIS bonuses outlined in the 2014 SIS Recognition Performance Categories did not include expectations for inclusive behaviors.
• The survey indicates that Agency officers are very likely to agree that senior leaders communicate the importance of diversity to Agency employees. At the same time, officers are less positive about supervisors and managers communicating this importance. Focus group participants frequently observed that diversity is valued in some parts of the Agency, but that individual supervisors and managers have the most influence on a daily basis.
OGTV believes after meeting Agents like Beverly Kennedy, and Andy Anderson, that we will indeed see a visible shift in the Agency’s approach to diversity and inclusion. And it is with the recent global terrorist attacks, we at OGTV would expect that in order for each Agency Director who reports to the President of the United States, or to a Director of the White House would insert the importance of STEM when addressing Diversity in the 21st Century. Meanwhile, OGTV will continue to build partnerships nationally to find out "What Works" in STEM Diversity. We will lead by example, and not just Talk About it, But Be about it.