On June 10, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released its first public report on Intelligence Community workforce demographics, the latest in a series of steps shedding light on the IC’s struggle to recruit talented officers who mirror the diverse country they serve.
The report, the Annual Demographic Report: Hiring and Retention of Minorities, Women, and Persons with Disabilities in the United States Intelligence Community Fiscal Year 2015, provides an in-depth examination of IC diversity as of September 30, 2015. The report is required by Congress and has been provided to oversight bodies annually since 2005 but never publicly released.
While the percentage of minorities in the IC increased from nearly 21% in FY 2011 to approximately 25% in FY 2015, the minority makeup of the IC workforce falls short in comparison to the rest of the federal workforce, which is 35%. In addition, only 12% of the IC workforce at the senior pay levels are minorities. “While we have made progress, the data indicates greater work needs to be done to create a more diverse workforce,” said Rita Sampson, chief of the ODNI’s Equal Employment Opportunity & Diversity office, which coordinates inclusion efforts across the IC.
Releasing these figures to the public is an important step but by itself will not improve minority representation in the IC. Despite significant efforts, the IC has not substantially increased the number of minority employees over time. Over the next few weeks, DNI Clapper will be briefed on the recommendations from a recent EEOD Leadership Summit where he challenged participants to bring him actionable ideas within 90 days to overcome diversity obstacles, charging them to “think big.”
“It is through leveraging diverse perspectives that we draw strength, increase engagement, unleash creativity and solve difficult challenges inherent to the IC’s mission,” DNI Clapper said.