Getting AND Keeping a Diverse Workforce

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Diversity, Quantity, Quality = The Total Recruiting Effort
Diversity, Quantity, Quality = The Total Recruiting Effort

Between 1999 and 2008, the number of women in the Coast Guard climbed from about 12% to 17% and minority representation increased from about 12.5% to 17%. Sure, it’s good that we have an upward trend but the numbers are just one aspect of a three pronged approach to recruiting and retaining our service members. We consider quality, quantity and diversity to be the essence of a strong workforce.

So, what are some of the things we do to GET and KEEP a diverse Coast Guard family?

To get…

  • Coast Guard Academy Scholars program . This is a one year academic preparation program for students desiring an appointment to the Coast Guard Academy. The program is a great opportunity for Academy prospects and helps to increase their success in the Academy. The program is currently at 60 students with an expected increase to 70 next year.
  • College Student Pre-Commissioning Initiative Scholarship (CSPI) program . CSPI is not only a scholarship program that ensures a greater visibility at minority serving institutions, but it also has a record of attracting successful minority officer candidates. Of the current 42 candidates in the program, 48 percent are minority and 38 percent are female.
  • Outreach with colleges/universities. Coast Guard leadership has worked to develop and maintain solid relationships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic serving institutions, and tribal council schools to make certain that underrepresented students have awareness of and access to the Coast Guard’s educational and employment opportunities.

To keep…

One other way we improve our processes is through the information gathered when members leave the service. As part of our ongoing internal initiatives to assess our workforce satisfaction, the Coast Guard is conducting exit interview on-line focus groups with members who have 10 years or less of service and are choosing to leave. Interviews will also be conducted with members who have continued to serve and the information gathered from both groups will be compared and contrasted.

The programs listed here only touch the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the endless opportunities and resources available to the members of the Coast Guard. I could go on and on, boring you with the details about mutual assistance, tuition assistance, the Montgomery GI Bill, the Post-911 GI Bill, direct commission programs, the Thrift Savings Plan, the vast number of leadership and development courses offered, and so on. But, I will let you “link on” if you want more information.

This post may sound a bit mushy and personal, but it is personal to me. Both my career and my life have been shaped by many of these programs. I encourage all members and employees to seek out the opportunities that are right for them.

CBraesch

2 comments on “Getting AND Keeping a Diverse Workforce”

  1. After a few calculations, the raw numbers looked like this:

    ASIAN COMMISSIONED OFFICERS/ENLISTED PERSONNEL = .1%/.56% of the CG
    PAC/ISLANDER COMMISSIONED OFFICERS/ENLISTED PERSONNEL = .01%/.5% of the CG
    BLACK COMMISSIONED OFFICERS/ENLISTED PERSONNEL = .7%/4.86% of the CG
    AMERICAN INDIAN COMMISSIONED OFFICERS/ENLISTED PERSONNEL = .2%/2.2% of the CG
    HISPANIC COMMISSIONED OFFICERS/ENLISTED PERSONNEL = .95%/9.27% of the CG
    WHITE COMMISSIONED OFFICERS/ENLISTED PERSONNEL = 12%/61% of the CG

    OFFICER/U.S. POPULATION PERCENTILE RATIO:
    (Coast Guard demographic/U.S. Census Demographic per ethnicity)

    Asian: 1/44
    Pacific Islander 1/14
    Black: 1/19
    American Indian: 1/34
    Latino: 1/15
    White: 1/5

    Nearly one in five officers is female. Over one in ten Coast Guard personnel is female. One in 143 members of the Coast Guard is a black officer and CGA classes with nine black cadets will never solve that problem. The numbers paint a perception of value to an organization. It affects the self-worth of some of the proud members of the service and it hinders the odds of a people of different ethnicities meeting and genuinely understanding someone unlike themselves.

  2. According to the May 2009 Coast Guard Monthly Active Duty Diversity Report, these are the diversity statistics for the Active Duty workforce (total number of members = 43,222).

    Race Statistics

    ASIAN PERSONNEL = .8% of active duty members
    PAC/ISLANDER PERSONNEL = .5% of active duty members
    BLACK PERSONNEL = 5.6% of active duty members
    AMERICAN INDIAN PERSONNEL = 2.5% of active duty members
    MULTIPLE RACE PERSONNEL = 8.3% of active duty members
    UNKNOWN or DECLINED = 5.0% of active duty members
    WHITE PERSONNEL = 77.3% of active duty members

    Ethnicity Statistics

    HISPANIC/LATINO PERSONNEL = 10.6% of active duty members
    UNKNOWN or DECLINED TO RESPOND = 10.4%
    NOT HISPANIC / LATINO = 79%

    Gender Statistics

    FEMALE PERSONNEL = 12.6% of active duty members
    MALE PERSONNEL = 87.4% of active duty members

    CBraesch

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