DEIA: Reviewing the Past Year and Anticipating Future Developments

“Looking Back on 2023 and Ahead to the Future: Progress and Priorities of the DOC Equity (DEIA) Council”

As we enter the new year of 2024, it is important to reflect on the significant strides made by the DOC Equity (DEIA) Council in 2023. Through their dedication and hard work, the Council has inspired, ignited change, and sparked action across the Department to cultivate a culture of fairness and inclusion.

One of the major accomplishments of the Council was the Equity Town Hall with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Q&A, hosted by Secretary Raimondo and Deputy Secretary Graves. This event brought together bureau Diversity Councils for enhanced coordination and collaboration. Additionally, the Council completed a new Equity Action Plan (Executive Order 14091) and developed an inventory of all DOC-wide equity initiatives.

The Department of Commerce also ranked #2 in the FEVS DEIA Index for 2022 for large agencies and improved by 1% in 2023, demonstrating sustained progress at the highest levels. This progress was further supported by the completion of an Equitable Data Playbook with promising practices and examples, as well as the development of a framework for embedding equity into program lifecycles.

In order to ensure accountability and progress, the Council rolled out a revised DEIA performance element for all 450 executives and 150 senior level/scientific positions in FY 2023. This was followed by the issuance of revised DEIA performance language for all 1,200 supervisors and 50,000 employees in FY 2024. The Council also prioritized Equity and DEIA initiatives with the highest return on investment for FY 2024, including increasing engagement in the governance structure, promoting knowledge transfer from political staff to career staff, and ensuring adequate financial and organizational resources.

Equity is at the core of everything we do at the Department, and meeting our goals means including communities who are too often left behind. This commitment is reflected in the Department’s A+ rating for the Fiscal Year 2022 Small Business Procurement Scorecard, achieved for the seventh consecutive year. This accomplishment highlights the Department’s efforts to devise innovative procurement strategies that increase awards to small businesses in all socioeconomic categories while removing barriers for new entrants.

The Secretary, Deputy Secretary, and DOC Equity (DEIA) Council remain dedicated to fostering a diverse and inclusive environment where all employees feel valued and organizations are supported. As we turn the page on 2023, we look forward to an exceptionally great year in 2024, filled with continued progress and achievements.  

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