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Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA)

2022-2026 DEIA Strategic Plan

pdf of 2022-2026 DEIA Strategic Plan

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A Message from the Achivist

I am pleased to present the National Archives and Records Administration’s (NARA) 2022–2026 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan. This
plan will guide our eforts to make meaningful and long-lasting change in pursuit of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility for our employees and our customers.

I recognize and embrace the power of the diversity that our employees bring to NARA. I intend to expand our efforts to foster a workplace where each employee is valued and everyone is encouraged to maximize their potential and their commitment to serve the American people.

Our commitment to equity and diversity is deep. As the nation struggled with the events of the summer of 2020, I chartered a Task Force on Racism at NARA to address racial inequality in both our customer-facing operations and within our workplaces in pursuit of an equitable and inclusive environment for all employees and customers. The Task Force examined the employee experience, including challenges related to recruitment, advancement, retention, assignment of work, and access to opportunities. The group also examined the agency’s diversity and inclusion experience to determine how NARA staff interact with each other and our customers, as well as a review of current and historical race-based harassment and discrimination allegations.

We have already begun implementing many of the Task Force recommendations and have taken action in several key areas to advance DEIA at NARA, including:

  • Establishing our NARA DEIA Team to manage the effective integration of the full range of our efforts.
  • Embedding the principles of DEIA in our agency decision-making, beginning with our NARA 2022–2026 Strategic Plan.
  • Establishing the new leadership positions of Chief Diversity Officer and Chief Equity Officer and expanding the membership of our Executive and Management Leadership Teams to include those positions as well as our EEO Director.
  • Including significant funding in our FY 2022 congressional budget request that will support DEIA advancement efforts.

To meet the challenges of the 21st century, we must continuously strive for a workforce that reflects the diversity of America and promotes an environment that values individual respect, dignity, and professional growth. Our ability to attract, develop, and retain a quality diverse workforce is the key to NARA’s success.

 

DAVID S. FERRIERO
Archivist of the United States

Executive Summary

The Archivist chartered a Task Force on Racism after civil unrest erupted across the nation in 2020. The Task Force’s Report to the Archivist, April 20, 2021, noted the killing of George Floyd, a Black man who suffered and died after a White police officer knelt on his neck for nearly 10 minutes. Moreover, the Report pointed out how this tragic and unjust incident and other acts of police brutality against Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) served as a backdrop for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), like many others in the archival community, to discuss systems of racial inequality in our customer-facing operations and within our workplaces.


In 2021, the White House released a government-wide Strategic Plan to advance Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility for the federal workforce. NARA used this plan along with NARA’s Proposed 2022–2026 Strategic Plan to develop this agency-specific DEIA Strategic Plan. This government-wide Strategic Plan follows President Biden’s Executive Order 13985: Executive Order (EO) On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government establishing a whole-of-government initiative to address racial equity, support underserved communities, and redress systemic racism in federal policies, laws, and programs. As part of this initiative, President Biden also issued Executive Order 14035: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce, which directed the establishment of a systematic approach to embed DEIA in agency talent practices, workforce engagements, and organizational structures. 

A history of discrimination based on race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, national origin, religion, and disability status has plagued our nation for centuries and has found its way into our federal and civilian institutions, systemically. While there have been many laws passed to rectify this reality, the historic structures and systems in place that created strategic disadvantages for underserved communities are real. With this in mind, there is a need to take an intentional approach to advance DEIA in the government that implements equitable and inclusive solutions. 

Based on this direction, NARA’s DEIA strategy will include gathering facts, analyzing data, and building evidence to support new policies and practices across the agency to advance equal opportunities, civil rights, and equity for all employees while addressing the recommendations from the Archivist’s Task Force on Racism and the Government-wide DEIA Strategic Plan to Advance DEIA in the Federal Workforce. This will integrate and advance DEIA policies and practices across all aspects of employment at NARA. Our DEIA strategy will improve the employee experience by fostering a sense of belonging, advancing equity, and cultivating inclusion regardless of social group identity such as race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, and disability.

Mission, Vision, and Value Statement

NARA’s DEIA efforts are guided by the following vision, mission, and agency values that emphasize workforce diversity, workplace inclusiveness, and accountability.


Mission Statement

We drive openness, cultivate public participation, and strengthen our nation’s democracy through equitable public access to high-value government records.

Our mission is to provide equitable public access to federal government records in our custody and control. Equitable access to government records strengthens democracy by allowing all Americans of all backgrounds to claim their rights of citizenship, hold their government accountable, and understand their history so they can fully participate in their government.

DEIA Vision Statement

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) is an integral part of NARA’s mission, vision, values, strategy, policies, and practices.

We achieve our mission by cultivating a safe, respectful, and inclusive environment for our workforce. NARA embraces diversity of talents, ideas, experiences, and identities to encourage collaboration, inspire innovation, and empower employees. Our commitment to DEIA positions NARA to serve as a model employer that values and promotes equity for all Americans.

NARA Values

NARA values reflect shared aspirations that support and encourage the agency’s long-standing commitment to public service, openness and transparency, and the government records that NARA holds in trust.

Collaborate: Create an open, inclusive work environment that is built on respect, communication, integrity, and collaborative team work.

Innovate: Encourage creativity and invest in innovation to build our future.

Learn: Pursue excellence through continuous learning and become smarter all the time about what we know and what we do in service to others.

Act with Integrity: Build trust by acting with honesty, fairness, and transparency.

Advance Diversity: Model diversity, inclusion, equity, and accessibility throughout the agency and expand participation by staff and customers of all backgrounds in NARA programs and decision-making.

Transformational Outcomes

NARA’s transformational outcomes describe the organizational culture that NARA must build to meet the challenges of the future, improve organizational performance, and better serve the American people.

One NARA: We will work as one NARA, not just as component parts.

Out in Front: We will embrace the primacy of electronic information in all facets of our work and position NARA to lead accordingly.

Agency of Leaders: We will foster a culture of leadership, not just as a position but as the way we all conduct our work.

Great Place to Work: We will transform NARA into a great place to work through trust and empowerment of all of our people, the agency’s most vital resource.

Customer-Focused Organization: We will create structures and processes to allow our staff to more effectively meet the needs of our customers.

An Open NARA: We will open our organizational boundaries to learn from others.

A Diverse and Inclusive NARA: We will embrace diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility so that our workforce and our customers of all backgrounds are valued and supported.

DEIA Strategic Goals and Objectives

NARA-wide FY 2022–2026 Strategic Plan goals and objectives align with the FY 2022–2026 DEIA Strategic Plan to support the same outcome—ensuring continued access to the essential documentation of the rights of American citizens and the actions of their government. This alignment will equip the workforce with the tools, mindsets, and practices that will embed DEIA into the way work is completed.


NARA-wide strategic goals identify the four key areas in which NARA must excel to efficiently and effectively deliver its mission in a modern environment.

  • Goal 1: Make Access Happen
  • Goal 2: Connect with Customers
  • Goal 3: Maximize NARA’s Value to the Nation
  • Goal 4: Build Our Future Through Our People

Strategic Goals 1–3 support EO 13985 and are designed to position NARA to advance equity within the community. Strategic Goal 4, Build Our Future Through Our People, supports EO 14035 and this DEIA strategic plan.

Strategic Goal 4: Build Our Future Through Our People

Through Strategic Goal 4: Build Our Future Through Our People, we demonstrate commitment to provide all NARA employees with the learning and leadership opportunities necessary to support their career development, enable their successful transition to a digital environment, and thrive in an inclusive, supportive, and diverse work environment. We are dedicated to building a workplace culture based on the principles of DEIA so that all employees are empowered, engaged, and prepared to become the next generation of leaders. We are building relationships with underserved communities, educational institutions, and professional organizations to develop new recruitment pipelines to attract and retain a diverse workforce with the skills necessary to fulfill our mission.

DEIA Framework

NARA’s DEIA framework presents three themes: (1) Commitment, (2) Organization, and (3) Workforce. These were formulated from the recommendations of the Task Force on Racism and best practices from the government-wide DEIA Strategic Plan. Aligned with the NARA-wide Strategic Plan and DEIA Strategic Plan, this framework will provide clarity of purpose and impact while positioning this DEIA strategic plan to promote a diverse workforce that is inclusive in its interactions, equitable in its practices, and accessible to all current and future employees. Table 1 shows how NARA Strategic Plan Goal 4 and objectives align to these themes.


Table 1. Alignment of NARA FY 2022–2026 Strategic Plan and NARA’s DEIA Framework Themes

NARA DEIA Framework ThemesNARA Strategic Plan Goal 4 and Objectives

Commitment: Advance DEIA by fostering a culture that drives ownership and empowerment to make data-driven decisions and promote transparency

 

By FY 2026, NARA will increase the frequency of effective coaching that employees receive by 50 percent
to improve performance, retention, and relationships across the organization.


Strategies:

  • NARA will conduct an assessment to obtain a baseline to measure the frequency and effectiveness of coaching.
  • NARA will improve the frequency of effective coaching, according to employees.
  • NARA will provide coaching training and support for team leads and supervisors.
  • NARA will provide coaching training and support for non-supervisory staff.

By FY 2026, NARA will foster a culture that encourages civil interaction, equity, and inclusion that allows employees to feel connected to the agency’s mission and contribute to their full potential.

Strategies:

  • NARA will promote DEIA education and training to strengthen and foster an inclusive workforce.
  • NARA will demonstrate leadership commitment through developing a DEIA recognition program that will reinforce a culture of equity and inclusion.
Organization: Enhance organization infrastructure, data and evidence building, and partnerships to create inclusive policies and practices

By FY 2026, NARA will foster a culture that encourages civil interaction, equity, and inclusion that allows
employees to feel connected to the agency’s mission and contribute to their full potential.


Strategies:

  • NARA will promote greater employee involvement in agency decision-making, a culture of inclusion and professionalism, and will support cross-cultural training and collaboration.
Workforce: Create and integrate DEIA talent practices throughout the employee lifecycle process

By FY 2026, NARA will increase the diversity of employees in mission critical occupations for GS-12 and above positions to mirror the Civilian Labor Force (CLF).


Strategies:

  • NARA will expand its use of hiring fexibilities, including the Pathways program, to increase the diversity of candidate pools.
  • NARA will provide training and support to hiring managers to increase the diversity of the NARA workforce.

By FY 2026, NARA will increase the number of employees who agree that the agency provides career advancement opportunities by 50 percent.

Strategies:

  • NARA will establish an equitable method and process to develop critical positions and leadership pipelines that will ensure continuity of operations.

The following DEIA priorities and outcomes outline our roadmap for how we will advance DEIA. Each priority is tied to a specific DEIA category: diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Note: Strategies marked with an asterisk indicate priorities that NARA will focus on in calendar year 2022.

NARA developed these priorities using the following evidence-based resources:

  • The White House–issued Executive Order 14035, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility in the Federal Workforce and the OPM-designed Government-wide Strategic Plan to Advance DEIA in the Federal Workforce
  • The Archivist's Task Force on Racism findings and recommendations
  • U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Management Directive-715 findings
  • NARA’s 2012 Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Plan
  • Best practices from other federal agencies

NARA’s Management Team consists of senior leaders who will serve as the DEIA Council to champion and advance DEIA efforts. The Office of Human Capital and Office of Equal Employment, in partnership with the DEIA Team and the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) Council 260, will facilitate the implementation of the DEIA priorities through workforce empowerment.

DEIA Priorities and Outcomes

Commitment: Advancing DEIA by fostering a culture that drives ownership and empowerment to make decisions and promote transparency and awareness.


Driving the agency’s commitment to DEIA is about an intentional focus on allocating resources that will champion DEIA initiatives, building awareness of inclusive leadership practices and methodologies, and equipping leaders to be the anchors of DEIA who will empower the workforce. Through allocating resources and individualized inclusive coaching, leaders will be able to mitigate biases of self and others while creating safe spaces for employees to bring their whole self to work. This leads to employees experiencing a sense of belonging and empowerment, which will positively impact their performance.

Table 2. Alignment of NARA FY 2022–2026 Strategic Objectives and NARA’s DEIA Commitment Priorities.

STRATEGY 1.1 NARA will increase the frequency of effective coaching that employees receive by 50 percent to improve performance,

retention, and relationships across the organization.

DEIA Priorities Outcomes

DEIA Roadmap Alignment

a. Conduct an assessment to obtain a baseline to measure the frequency and effectiveness of coaching. Employees have a sense of belonging and believe the agency has inclusive and equitable leaders as reflected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/ pulse check. Inclusion
b. Provide inclusive coaching opportunities to the workforce as a learning continuum that fosters long-term behavioral change to address unconscious bias, enhance conscious choices, and increase courageous actions. Employees have a sense of belonging and believe the agency has inclusive and equitable leaders as reflected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/ pulse check. Inclusion
c. Develop group coaching to provide a space safe for employees to share challenging experiences, providing coaching tips, feedback, and inspire actions and learning. Employees have a sense of belonging and believe the agency has inclusive and equitable leaders as reflected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/ pulse check. Inclusion
d. Develop methodologies to measure frequency and effectiveness of coaching and will incorporate continuous evaluation of program performance and staff feedback to make improvements in the coaching program. Employees have a sense of belonging and believe the agency has inclusive and equitable leaders as reflected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/ pulse check. Inclusion
STRATEGY 1.2 NARA will demonstrate leadership commitment through developing a DEIA recognition program that will reinforce a culture of equity and inclusion.
DEIA Priorities Outcomes DEIA Roadmap Alignment
a. Build DEIA structure and strengthen the agency’s ability to lead DEIA effort through increasing leadership commitment, establishing a DEIA Council, creating a Chief Diversity Officer position, and providing additional resources to embed DEIA within the workforce. Employees believe leadership established and maintains a diverse and inclusive culture that is connected to the agency’s mission as refected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/pulse check.

Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility

b. Develop NARA’s DEIA Policy Statement and develop a framework that will reinforce a culture of equity and inclusion. Employees believe leadership established and maintains a diverse and inclusive culture that is connected to the agency’s mission as refected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/pulse check. Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility
c. Develop a DEIA dashboard and scorecard to monitor and evaluate progress and ensure transparency and accountability. Employees believe leadership established and maintains a diverse and inclusive culture that is connected to the agency’s mission as refected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/pulse check. Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility
d. Create a DEIA award and recognition program that rewards and reinforces positive behavior to drive employee engagement. Employees believe leadership established and maintains a diverse and inclusive culture that is connected to the agency’s mission as refected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/pulse check. Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility
STRATEGY 1.3 NARA will promote Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) education and training to strengthen and foster an inclusive workforce.
DEIA Priorities Outcomes DEIA Roadmap Alignment
a. Empower the workforce to integrate concepts/principles into their daily work and interactions and grow their DEIA competency, including training opportunities to become certifed DEIA Leaders. Employees believe they are equipped with competencies, tools, and
resources to promote and embrace an inclusive workplace as reflected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/pulse check.
Inclusion
b. Develop DEIA behavior-based training and embed DEIA concepts into the agency’s current training content that sets expectations, drives a common understanding agency-wide, and fosters inclusion. Employees believe they are equipped with competencies, tools, and
resources to promote and embrace an inclusive workplace as reflected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/pulse check.
Inclusion

Organization

Enhancing the organization infrastructure, safety protocols, and partnerships that create inclusive spaces and policies.

Enhancing the organization’s infrastructure to ensure equitable practices and policies will create opportunities and cultivate an inclusive employee experience regardless of social group identity such as race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, and disability. NARA’s organizational infrastructure include buildings, technology, safety protocol, accommodations, policies and procedures, and workforce engagement options. By creating inclusive spaces and policies that are built into the structure of the agency, NARA increases its opportunities to recruit and retain a workforce that is diverse and inclusive.

Table 3. Alignment of NARA FY 2022–2026 Strategic Objectives and NARA’s DEIA Organization Priorities.

STRATEGY 2.1 NARA will promote greater employee involvement in agency decision-making, a culture of inclusion and professionalism,

and will support cross-cultural training and collaboration.

DEIA Priorities Outcomes DEIA Roadmap Alignment
a. Identify specific short- and long-term outcomes for each program: work-life wellness, anti-harassment, agency infrastructure, and Employee Affinity Groups (EAG). Employees believe they are equipped with competencies, tools, and resources to promote and embrace an inclusive workplace as reflected in EVS scores and/or targeted survey/pulse check.

Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility

b. Develop performance metrics and targets to assess and enhance workplace well-being (e.g., workplace violence and domestic violence) policies, reporting procedures, and awareness campaigns that protects employees and promotes civil interactions. Increased employee psychological safety and sense of belonging. Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility
c. Develop performance metrics and targets to assess and enhance workplace harassment
policies and reporting procedures that create a culture that does not tolerate workplace harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.
Increased employee psychological safety and sense of belonging and increased resolution of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation cases while improving response times policy complaints. Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility
d. Develop performance metrics and targets to assess agency infrastructures (e.g., building,
technology, policies, reasonable accommodations) to identify opportunities and build a long-term strategy that includes accessible and inclusive facilities across the agency.
Improved response times for providing reasonable accommodations while
regularly assessing and removing IT, attitudinal, and physical barriers.

Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility

e. Develop performance metrics and targets to assess and enhance EAGs to drive workforce engagement and partnership to advance DEIA, exhibit industry best practices, and cultivate a culture of belonging for all employees. Increased EAG participation and workforce ownership in DEIA efforts to drive the agency mission as reflected in targeted survey/pulse check. Diversity
Inclusion

"Enhancing the organization’s infrastructure to ensure equitable practices and policies will create opportunities and cultivate an inclusive employee experience regardless of social group identity such as race, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, religion, and disability."

Workforce

Creating and integrating DEIA talent practices throughout the employment lifecycle process.

By integrating DEIA talent practices into the employee lifecycle, NARA will be able to equitably recruit, hire, develop, advance, and retain our nation’s top talent, which will drive the agency’s overall mission. This will increase the diversity of our candidate pool, provide development opportunities to underrepresented communities in our workforce, and foster a true sense of belonging—allowing all members of the workforce to feel heard and valued.

Table 4. Alignment of NARA FY 2022–2026 Strategic Objectives and NARA’s DEIA Workforce Priorities.

STRATEGY 3.1 NARA will expand its use of hiring fexibilities, including the Pathways program, to increase the diversity of candidate pools.
DEIA Priorities Outcomes DEIA Roadmap Alignment
a. Assess usage of hiring fexibilities to maximize greatest fexibility and drive a diverse candidate pool, including a centralized internship program. Increased diverse candidates through hiring fexibilities. Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility
b. Assess and enhance NARA’s external digital career platforms, outreach strategies, and job position placement to ensure user-friendly accessibility to a more diverse audience of all talent. Increased diverse candidates through hiring fexibilities. Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility
c. Assess external talent pool by exploring affinity-based institutions and programs and establish partnership with those that align with NARA’s mission and vision. Established multiple partnerships with affinity-based institutions to drive a diverse talent pool. Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility
STRATEGY 3.2 NARA will provide training and support to hiring managers to increase the diversity of the NARA workforce.
DEIA Priorities Outcomes DEIA Roadmap Alignment
a. Assess management knowledge gaps and create equitable interview and hiring practices/training to mitigate for bias and ensure all candidates, including internal candidates, receive equitable opportunities. Increased workforce representation at higher levels.

Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility

STRATEGY 3.3 NARA will establish an equitable method and process to develop critical positions and leadership pipelines that will ensure continuity of operations.
DEIA Priorities Outcomes

DEIA Roadmap Alignment

a. Assess talent development needs and provide employees with a roadmap that allows them to plan their careers, as well as training and experiential learning to develop skills needed for career progression, including crosstraining opportunities. Increased equitable career progression and training and development opportunities.

Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility

b. Assess the leadership training for non-supervisors in order to expand opportunities that allow motivated employees to prepare for future responsibilities and self-identify for inclusion in leadership pipelines for succession planning. Increased equitable career progression and training and development opportunities.

Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility

c. Assess the performance management practices to ensure employee performance ratings are consistent, fair, and equitably distributed while mitigating bias. Increased equitable performance evaluation practices to enhance career opportunities.

Diversity
Equity
Inclusion
Accessibility

Strategies to Measure Success

NARA must conduct foundational fact-finding to explore relationships between civility, DEIA principles, and a productive workplace.


NARA will need to conduct research based on multiple datasets not previously considered together in order to gain insights into NARA’s workforce. In particular, NARA must consider the roles that geographic location and job series play in the diversity of employees and job applicants. NARA will use survey data from the Employee Viewpoint Survey and may conduct additional staff surveys to assess progress and status on DEIA and workplace culture initiatives.

 

NARA plans to conduct a program review of agency recruitment activities to ensure recruitment resources are aligned to most effectively support NARA DEIA goals. NARA will conduct process and employee journey mapping to better understand the employee experience in human capital processes. NARA will conduct community engagement to build connections that will provide for more diverse recruitment strategies.

 

Anticipated challenges: NARA will need robust change management strategies to help implement lasting change. NARA must focus management attention on DEIA to successfully coordinate implementation with parallel initiatives to reform federal hiring practices, implement hybrid workplaces, and promote equity in agency programs.

 

“Getting better everyday. Watch as the small changes over time grow and lead to big results."

Appendix A: Nara Organization

NARA’s organizational structure focuses agency resources and management attention on delivering coordinated and effective services to key stakeholders and customers. NARA’s customer-focused organizations allow the agency to better engage its stakeholders, encourage their collaboration and participation, and respond to their needs expediently and efficiently. This structure eliminates duplication of processes and resources, creates a more flexible and agile organization, and promotes shared accountability for the performance of the agency as a whole.


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