DEIA – Mandated Diversity Training for All Federal Employees. Will This Backfire?

Faye Higbee

Biden issued an Executive Order that mandates Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA) training for all federal employees. It all sounds “good” on paper, but in practice it may be something entirely different. Will it backfire?

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Establishes a government-wide initiative to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in all parts of the Federal workforce. This initiative will be led by the Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget, in close partnership with the White House and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The initiative will reinvigorate the whole-of-government approach to DEIA first established in the Obama-Biden Administration. The initiative will advance opportunity for communities that have historically faced employment discrimination and professional barriers, including: people of color; women; first-generation professionals and immigrants; individuals with disabilities; LGBTQ+ individuals; Americans who live in rural areas; older Americans who face age discrimination when seeking employment; parents and caregivers who face employment barriers; people of faith who require religious accommodations at work; individuals who were formerly incarcerated; and veterans and military spouses.

White House Fact Sheet for the DEIA mandate

At a time when numerous communities are pushing back against Critical Race Theory, this order mandates some of the tenets included in it, according to The Gateway Pundit. It mandates agencies create or advance “Diversity officers” — in short, it demands hiring practices that may not help the actual issue of discrimination. In fact, it may one day produce a severe backlash — if this new mandate fails to deliver qualified employees, or creates more division and rancor.

Some of the DEIA mandates include:

  • Charges all agencies with assessing the current state of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within their workforces, and developing strategic plans to eliminate any barriers to success faced by underserved employees. 
  • Directs agencies to seek opportunities to establish or elevate Chief Diversity Officers within their organizations. 
  • Expands diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility training throughout the Federal workforce. 
  • Addresses workplace harassment, including sexual harassment. 
  • Reduces the Federal government’s reliance on unpaid internships, which can create barriers for low-income students and first-generation professionals. 
  • Advances pay equity to ensure that all public servants are fairly compensated for their work and their talents. 
  • Advances equity in the workplace for individuals with disabilities. 
  • Advances equity in the workplace for LGBTQ+ public servants. 

On day one of his administration, Biden deleted President Trump’s order stopping the CRT training for Federal employees. This new DEIA version isn’t much different. Working toward understanding of everyone is one thing – mandating compliance is another.

When Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen Mark Milley told Congress that requiring recruits to read books on race hate was good for them to “expand their thinking,” many veterans were sickened. The military, and indeed the Federal government, has one real mandate: to protect the American people regardless of their skin color. This DEIA training will not promote that mission, and it may do the exact opposite.

Remember school busing? Remember hiring quotas? Those kinds of mandates did not advance the needs of the communities they were designed to help. Getting along with everyone is a condition of the heart, and does not lend itself well to being forced. The Biden administration and its henchmen may simply be adding to the anger and division that already exists.


Featured photo: Screenshot via the inclusion solution

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