AskEARN | Major Components of the Government-wide Strategic Plan to Advance DEIA in the Federal Workplace Skip to main content

Welcome to AskEARN’s new website. As we transition to our new site, you can still visit EARN’s previous site.

Major Components of the Government-wide Strategic Plan to Advance DEIA in the Federal Workplace

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal Workforce Info Center

In November 2021, the White House released the Government-wide Strategic Plan to Advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workplace (PDF). Select one of the sections below for more information.

Section 1 includes vision and mission statements. The vision is the Federal Government will advance and embed DEIA throughout the workforce. The mission is that across the Federal Government, agencies will work collaboratively to drive innovation and organizational outcomes, draw from the full diversity of the nation, and position the Federal Government to service as model employer that values and promotes equity for all Americans.

Section 2 identifies five foundational principles:
  • Use data and evidence-based decision-making
  • Focus on continuous improvement
  • Adopt a collaborative whole-of-agency mandate with partnership engagement
  • Prioritize accountability and sustainability
  • Understand the perspectives of the workforce and the customers

Section 3 highlights the EO’s priorities (Section 5-13 of the EO).

Section 4 describes a DEIA roadmap for agency action designed to improve policies and practices that advance DEIA across the employee experience, including hiring, promotion, requests for accommodation and long-term retention. Examples include:
  • Investing in an infrastructure that provides timely and effective accommodations for individuals with disabilities
  • Embedding accessibility as a core design component of physical and digital spaces
  • Training supervisors and management officials on the requirements and processes for providing reasonable accommodations and increasing accessibility
  • Providing training and guidance on processes to make physical and virtual environments, including common and individual environments, equitable spaces
  • Training users and operators of virtual environments on conducting accessible meetings, creating accessible documents, and addressing potential physical and attitudinal barriers to equitable opportunities
  • Regularly assessing information technology and facilities against benchmarks and industry standards to support equitable access and to remove potential barriers
  • Ensuring that all technology, whether developed in-house or externally, is compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, before deployment
  • Assessing the average time for resolution of accommodation requests for individuals with disabilities and implementing practices to improve efficiencies
  • Evaluating the need to establish a centralized fund to improve accessibility and provide accommodations

Section 5 identifies a maturity model that can be used as a tool to advance DEIA. The Maturity Model is a tool agencies can use to assess the effectiveness of DEIA efforts in their workforce policies and culture.

Section 6 explains that the Federal Government should serve as a model employer in preventing and addressing workplace harassment (including sexual harassment), fostering a safe environment and preventing retaliation. It includes information and recommendations for preventing and responding to workplace harassment experienced by federal employees, including those from underserved communities.

Section 7 provides guidance on next steps for implementation of the EO, including development of a self-assessment by each agency to gauge the current state of DEIA across its workforce. The self-assessment should include analysis of data to determine whether employees, including those from underserved communities, may face barriers in accessing employment opportunities.

Appendix I restates the definitions of the terms diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility. It also includes an explanation of what is meant by the term “underserved communities” in relation to the EO.

Appendix II includes a graphic explanation of the Maturity Model. It also explanations the three levels used in the model: Foundational Capacity, Advancing Outcomes and Leading and Sustaining, and provides examples of each.