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President signs sweeping federal workforce executive order

Posted On: Jun. 28, 2021 3:02 PM CST

President Joe Biden

President Joe Biden signed an executive order Friday intended to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in the federal workforce.

“Even with decades of progress building a federal workforce that looks like America, the enduring legacies of employment discrimination, systemic racism, and gender inequality are still felt today,” the order states.

“Too many underserved communities remain under-represented in the federal workforce, especially in positions of leadership.”

The executive order:

  • Establishes a government initiative to advance diversity, equity inclusion and accessibility in all parts of the federal workforce.
  • Charges all agencies with assessing the current state of these factors and with developing strategic plans to eliminate any barriers faced by underserved employees.
  • Expands diversity and related training throughout the federal workforce.
  • Addresses workplace harassment, including sexual harassment.
  • Reduces the federal government’s reliance on unpaid internships, which, the order says, creates barriers for low-income students and first-generation professionals.
  • Advances pay equity to ensure all public servants are fairly compensated.
  • Advances equity for individuals with disabilities and for LGBTQ+ public workers.
  • Builds a more diverse pipeline into public services through new recruitment partnerships.
  • Expands federal employment opportunities for formerly incarcerated individuals.
  • Advances equity in professional development.
  • Improves the collection of demographic data on the federal workforce.