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By DCMA Public Affairs
George P. Braxton wants to ensure the Defense Contract Management Agency is a model, inclusive workplace where all employees feel safe and have the opportunity to reach their career potential.
Braxton, who is the special advisor for Diversity and Inclusion, emphasized that message during the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month’s Lunch and Learn here June 28. The event was hosted by the Equal Employment Office in partnership with the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
DCMA Director Navy Vice Adm. David Lewis, members of the Senior Leadership Team and other employees attended the event, which included a multimedia presentation and a question and answer session.
“Bottom line — up front — discrimination is illegal,” said Braxton. “Laws, regulations and policies provide equal employment opportunity to all persons, including LGBT employees.”
Braxton presented two videos during his presentation, “LGBT 101: An Introduction to the Queer Community” and “Anyone Can Be an Ally.” The first video covered the terminology associated with the LGBT community and emphasized the importance of referring to individuals with the proper language. For example, a transgender male, which is someone who may have been born with female physiology but identifies as a male, should be referred to by masculine pronouns.
The second video featured testimonials from LGBT persons in the workplace. It emphasized the damage anti-LGBT bias can create and how non-LGBT individuals can be allies by supporting an inclusive work environment.
“Isolation and exclusion leads to attrition and disengagement in the workplace,” said Braxton. “A healthy work environment is not one in which people are isolated because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Bullying of any kind cannot be tolerated. Harassment leads to complaints, lawsuits and a general decline in morale. All of this undermines productivity and employee engagement.”
Braxton said it’s important to embrace diversity in the workplace.
“It is not our goal to be the diversity missionary,” he said. “We are not here to change your religious views or personal values. Religious diversity is very important. However, we do require that you confirm your behaviors to embrace the agency’s shared values of equal opportunity and inclusion. Members of the workforce are encouraged to learn more about the LGBT community by continuing to participate in diversity training and other diversity-related initiatives.”
Linda Galimore, EEO director, said employees should remember year-round the contributions LGBT individuals have made throughout the Department of Defense.
“While we celebrate LGBT pride in the month of June, equal treatment must be inculcated into our daily routine,” said Galimore. “We celebrate the diversity of the Department of Defense workforce and rededicate ourselves to equity, dignity, respect and justice for all.
“Contributions made by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender service members and civil servants have been just as outstanding as all others and we acknowledge their contributions by honoring them this month. The diversity and professionalism of LGBT service members, civilians and family members coupled with their loyalty, dedication and commitment to mission accomplishment make our nation stronger.”
For more information the agency’s diversity and inclusion efforts, visit https://360.dcma.mil/projects/command/odi/SitePages/Home.aspx.
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