By Rear Adm. Elizabeth Train
Office of Naval Intelligence
Diversity is about leadership. One indicator that the Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) is on the right track is the establishment of ONI’s first Diversity & Inclusion Council on August 7, 2013. This formal organization enables every employee in the ONI Enterprise, including centers, components, and employee groups, to be represented on the Diversity & Inclusion Council. I believe it is important for every employee to be represented, because every employee is unique and has a unique contribution to make to the mission. The vision to make ONI a model employer of choice with a diverse, inclusive, and engaging workforce is dependent on these contributions. Obtaining that more diverse workforce will enhance the accuracy, relevance, and impact of our intelligence mission.
The Council’s vision and mission statements that focus on the importance of diversity coupled with employee engagement are key aspects of the Diversity & Inclusion Council’s four subcommittees. The subcommittees have been instrumental in carrying out the important work of changing the culture from one that is focused on compliance to one focused on behavior through collaboration, inclusion, and engagement.
The Marketing and Communications Subcommittee initiated a marketing campaign, “That’s Diversity. That’s Inclusion. That’s the Mission.” The roll out of the campaign focuses on the different generations, talents, professional background, and education as critical elements of diversity that our workforce represents. It also provides the workforce a visual illustration of diversity in our enterprise.
The Workplace Morale Subcommittee is actively involved in identifying barriers that exist within ONI’s team environment, the military and civilian cultures, and generations in the workplace.
The Diversity and Inclusion Report Subcommittee is on target to produce the first diversity report that will highlight the lessons we have learned throughout our diversity and inclusion journey.
On August 28, 2014 the Multicultural Day Subcommittee will sponsor a day to celebrate the many different aspects of diversity.
The Council sponsors Cupcakes and Conversation workshops which have been instrumental in helping our employees to have those difficult conversations about the challenges of unconscious bias, differences in the military and civilian cultures, and multiple generations in our workplace.
One of the goals of the Diversity & Inclusion Council is to ensure that all representatives are champions of diversity. We have facilitated several championing diversity workshops and the excitement of the participants has been infectious. One of the benefits of our efforts has been the honor of receiving the Intelligence Community Equal Employment Opportunity Small Organization Component Program Award, which was presented to ONI by Ms. Stephanie O’Sullivan, Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, Office of the Director of National Intelligence on February 20, 2014, because of the establishment of ONI’s first Diversity & Inclusion Council.
Diversity and inclusionary practices are inseparable: we all need to incorporate these practices into our daily routines. Join me in making our organization an employer of choice for everyone!