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News | Jan. 24, 2018

Survey shows agency support for diversity continues to rise

By Tonya Johnson DCMA Public Affairs

FORT LEE, Va., Jan. 24, 2018 — The Defense Contract Management Agency has made significant strides in the support for diversity category based on recent data from the 2017 “Best Places to Work in the Federal Government” survey.

The survey is conducted by the Partnership for Public Service, and is based on data from the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey completed by the DCMA workforce. The agency has an index score of 63.7 in the diversity category, which led to a rank of 62 out of 148 reporting agencies.

George P. Braxton, DCMA’s special advisor for diversity and inclusion, said the score has climbed since 2010 and has remained above the median since 2013 when compared to other federal agencies. According to the partnership's website, “The Support for Diversity category measures the extent to which employees believe that actions and policies of leadership and management promote and respect diversity.”

Braxton said the survey shows DCMA is committed to improving diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

“We attribute this continued success to agency leadership’s promotion of inclusive work environments, the encouraging and participating in diversity and inclusion training, and the demonstrated efforts to prevent harassment, bullying and other adverse behavior in the workplace,” said Braxton. “The survey is important because it tracks the perceptions of employees at DCMA about specific aspects of the workplace. Perceptions can be as important as statistics and these perceptions drive the climate and culture of our organization.

“The upward trend reflects the increased resources and attention dedicated to issues such as diversity, mentoring, harassment and sexual assault prevention by the leadership. The vision is of DCMA as an inclusive and safe work environment where people from various backgrounds can succeed is resonating.”

Braxton would like the agency to continue to rise higher in this category and is working with senior leaders on various initiatives.

“We see that we are moving in the right direction,” he said. “Along with the appropriate initiatives, we must make transparency and communication a priority. It was the wisdom of DCMA leadership in following the Office of Personnel Management’s model that recognized diversity and inclusion as being different from Equal Employment Opportunity and workforce management and recognizing there would need to be an entity to advance those goals and concepts within the agency.

“Once the Office of Diversity and Inclusion was stood up in late 2012, we developed the DCMA Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan and executed it through training, mentoring programs, and employee resource groups. We still have a long way to go before we reach our goals, but we are comfortable that a solid foundation for diversity and inclusion success has been laid.”

Navy Vice Adm. David Lewis, DCMA’s director, said in an email to the workforce that he was proud of the diverse team.

“The world we live in is still far from perfect, but I am proud and honored to say that the individuals of this organization come from all walks of life to form one team,” said Lewis. “Collectively, we work to provide our warfighters the service and products they deserve, and we’re successful in this because of our broad range of political opinions, religious beliefs and racial backgrounds.”

According to Braxton, it’s important for supervisors and employees to understand that everyone plays a role in making the agency a great place to work.

“It often seems that the employees who exhibit the most satisfaction are also the most engaged employees,” Braxton stated. “I would encourage employees to become involved with special emphasis programs, employee resource groups, including the veterans’ ERG, and other groups within DCMA that enhance the mission of the agency.

“Supervisors have the challenge of managing people more than processes. I encourage all supervisors to take advantage of training that helps them evolve from the golden rule, which is to treat others as you wish to be treated, to the platinum rule, which is to treat others as they wish to be treated. A 30-year-old millennial may have different expectations than their baby boomer supervisor. The onus in on the supervisor to take the steps necessary to keep the employee engaged.”

Braxton said he will continue to travel around the agency to make sure diversity and inclusion remains a top priority.

“During my five years here, I have had an opportunity to visit almost half of our continental United States locations to speak or train,” noted Braxton. “All are different but all are filled with some of the most dedicated people I’ve met.

“The challenge of DCMA is to continue to recruit and retain newer generations with this same level of dedication by presenting a workplace that values them. Mentoring, flexible work schedules, telework and wellness programs are all tools available to federal agencies, but it is how we use and allow the use of these tools that will determine how the culture and climate of the agency will be perceived.”

To view survey results, go to: