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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
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Report to the Congress on the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion

Employment of Minorities and Women

The Board is committed to fostering an inclusive work environment where diversity is respected and leveraged to better serve the agency's mission. The Board has a long-standing equal employment policy and makes significant efforts to recruit and retain a staff that is diverse and inclusive. The best ideas, decisionmaking, and ultimately, service to the public are born from diverse perspectives.  

Equal Employment Opportunity Policies

The Board's Equal Employment Program, which is housed within the ODI, strives to meet the "Essential Elements of a Model EEO Program" as prescribed in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) Management Directive 715 (MD-715). The Board has formal policies regarding equal employment opportunity, reasonable accommodation, and sexual harassment; and the EEO Program undertakes training and analysis to ensure that the Board complies with all applicable laws and regulations. The Board uses MD-715 (which includes an annual barrier analysis) as the primary metric to assess the effectiveness of its diversity policies. In addition, the Board conducts an impact analysis on employment transaction data (i.e., hires and promotions) and a complaint trend analysis. Each operational division has an EEO liaison who works with the ODI to address recruitment and retention issues specific to the liaison's division. The ODI, in conjunction with each EEO liaison, monitors progress on increasing workforce diversity.

The Board submits an EEO Program Status Report based on the requirements of MD-715 annually to the EEOC, as required by law. As part of that report, the Board provides the EEOC with an EEO-1 Report on workforce demographics. The EEO-1 Report is available on the Board's public website. The Board's EEO-1 Report for calendar year 2011 is also appended to this report as appendix A. In general, the Board compares favorably to the federal government in workforce diversity, with an overall workforce that is approximately 46 percent female, 27 percent African American, 12 percent Asian, and 4 percent Hispanic. Within the ranks of Board officials and managers, approximately 44 percent are female, 15 percent are African American, 6 percent are Asian, and 2 percent are Hispanic. Recruitment and retention of Hispanics has been a strategic objective for the Board. We have made some progress in recent years; the Hispanic workforce has increased from 3.70 percent in 2010 to 4.02 percent in 2011.

The Board reviews the diversity profile of its workforce and applicant pool periodically, comparing against census availability data for major occupations. The following have been implemented based on the reviews and comparisons of our workforce against census availability data for major occupations:

  • identification of effective recruitment resources to increase diversity in the applicant pool;
  • development of recruitment outreach action plans;
  • increased participation by divisions in summer internships and recruitment at minority and female professional career fairs; and
  • mentoring and career development activities to increase the pipeline to senior professional, managerial, and official staff (i.e., its officers) positions.

To further strengthen its diversity, EEO, and inclusion policies and practices, the Board is a member of organizations that provide research, benchmarking, exchange of diversity best practices, and networking opportunities. The Board has participated in benchmarking surveys conducted by the Conference Board, the Society for Human Resource Management, the Organization Resource Network Council, the Equal Employment Advisory Council, and the Federal Inter-Agency Diversity Partnership. Board staff have also served on committees and workgroups focusing on diversity and EEO topics.  

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Recruitment and Retention

The Board uses a variety of recruitment methods depending on the role, level, and grade of the position. Different divisions also may use different recruitment methods based on specialty skill sets needed. Methods of recruitment include, but are not limited to, posting positions on job boards, placing advertisements in targeted minority and female publications (such as IMDiversity, Hispanic Business,and Careers & the Disabled), and announcing job opportunities with industry, trade, and minority and female professional organizations. The Board also works with career placement offices at colleges and universities. Organizations such as the American Economic Association and the Urban Financial Services Association provide access to applicants for positions critical to meet the Board's mission. The Board has found that including hiring managers at recruitment events enhances recruiting effectiveness, and it has increased its use of this technique in recent years. Also, in order to increase diversity in candidate pools for executive positions, the Board at times uses external minority and female recruiting search firms. In addition, the Board has a summer intern program that provides an opportunity for students to work in a variety of Board positions, including financial analyst, information technology (IT), economic research, and business management. Summer intern applicants are sourced from colleges, universities, and diversity organizations, including INROADS and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.

To assess the effectiveness of the different recruitment channels and strategies in achieving a diverse applicant pool, the Board performs applicant tracking reviews to determine the diversity of applicant pools, interviewees, and hire results based on interviews. Information derived from program assessments is used to improve diversity outreach and recruitment efforts at colleges, universities, and professional career fairs. The ODI similarly monitors the retention of minorities and women by role, level, and grade. Where issues are identified in hiring or retention, meetings are held with management in the specific division. This enables the ODI to address issues and/or trends that adversely impact the Board's policies and practices pertaining to EEO.  

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Training and Mentoring

The Federal Reserve System and the Board sponsor the Federal Reserve System Leadership Exchange Program. This program, in conjunction with customized division mentoring programs, enables participants to develop depth and breadth of skills and experiences in their careers. Exchange assignments come in many forms, ranging from a short-term job shadow to a long-term critical project or a specialized experience tailored to support an individual's development goals. The exchange and mentoring programs provide hands-on learning; promote exposure to different functions, experiences, and cross-System opportunities; and expand cross-System and cross-function networks and visibility.

Further, the Board has implemented an apprenticeship program to provide employees in job families with limited potential for advancement the opportunity to receive classroom and on-the-job training in order to develop careers in skilled trades.

In addition, the Board has provided training in classroom and web-based formats. The following are examples of diversity training and education activities that have been offered to official staff and employees: Leading in an Environment of Diversity, Working in an Environment of Diversity, Workplace Harassment, Conflict Resolution, and Leadership Competencies. The ODI plans to increase its training activities in 2012 and going forward.  

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An ongoing focus of the Board is to increase diversity in the official staff. In 2011, the Board increased its official staff by 14 positions, of which 3, or more than 21 percent, were minorities. In addition, 17 Hispanics were hired in job categories with low Hispanic participation. Further, the Board's increased outreach efforts resulted in more diverse applicant pools for a number of positions.  

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Despite some progress, the Board continues to have low minority representation in the economist job family. The Board hires a large number of Ph.D. economists, and the availability of minority candidates for these positions is low. To address this challenge, the Board participates in educational forums and is a member of the American Economic Association's Committee on the Status of Minority Groups in the Economics Profession.

The Board also identified the need to enhance diversity in the pool of applicants for key functions such as financial analysis, IT, middle management, and senior professional positions. In response, the Board enhanced its recruitment outreach efforts for these positions by targeting recruitment venues with a more diversified applicant pool. The Board also included hiring managers at recruitment fairs with high participation by black and Hispanic MBAs, attorneys, and IT professionals. In addition, the Board has enhanced its advertisement of career opportunities in minority and female conference publications. These activities resulted in a more diverse applicant pool.

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Last update: August 2, 2013