"How could a diverse workforce not further DIA's mission?" Janice Glover-Jones rhetorically asked during the August 11 Coffee & Conversation morning program. The Chief Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Officer at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Ms. Glover-Jones spoke to the importance of challenging biases and systemic inequalities in the workplace and emphasized how important diversity and inclusion are to mission success.
The word "diversity" is often misleading as it presupposes that everyone has a voice. Instead, Ms. Glover-Jones urges we should aim to achieve "inclusive diversity" to create an environment in which all differences and similarities are not only recognized, but valued. Promoting inclusive diversity within the workplace makes room for the development of new ideas and novel solutions to support mission success.
Janice Glover-Jones told Suzanne Wilson Heckenberg, INSA President and the program's moderator, that she has been using data to identify hiring and promotional trends within her agency that can be improved upon. She has found that this deep dive into an analysis of organizational barriers enables the DIA to address the root causes of inequities rather than just retroactively responding to their consequences.
Ms. Glover-Jones is also making an effort to increase recruitment efforts with HBCUs and predominantly Hispanic colleges. While minorities must advocate for themselves and seek mentors on their own, she pointed out that it is also the responsibility of everyone else to become active allies willing to have difficult conversations on behalf of minorities. Inclusive diversity is everyone's job and if the Intelligence Community can make it the "default" moving forward, it will be beneficial to not only its workforce but the safety of our Nation as a whole.