5. DiversityThe Postal service continued to educate through
The Postal Service is facing internal and external business obstacles that provide both challenges and opportunity for improved financial performance. The business of the Postal Service is built upon a diverse customer base. It is good business for our workforce and supplier base to reflect this same diversity. Internally, we must continue to work toward the most inclusive workplace possible, one that builds upon our diverse talents and does not tolerate discrimination and sexual harassment. The related external issues are retention of talented employees, meeting legal and regulatory equal employment opportunity mandates, enhancing our corporate image as a responsible corporate citizen of the diverse communities we serve, and promoting business and community partnerships.
To meet these challenges, Diversity Development is focused on four corporate strategies: fostering broader participation in our employee development programs, strengthening management accountability, enhancing messaging about the value and benefits of diversity, and broadening our community outreach efforts. These will ensure that the Postal Service remains a great place to work, a place where everyone's participation is welcomed and no one is subjected to discrimination or sexual harassment. It will also be a place where employees have access to programs that help them advance as far as their talents and desires will take them.
Diversity Development’s initiatives include special emphasis programs that encourage employees to appreciate each other’s differences and exclude no one from organizational advancement because of those differences. We are working to ensure that both personnel selection and development participation are inclusive. We are taking steps to maximize the return on our investment in organization partnership in multicultural communities. Diversity Development is actively involved with ensuring that the succession planning process is inclusive. We will continue efforts to help build a diverse supplier base by welcoming participation of small, minority, and women-owned businesses. Realizing that suppliers also are our customers, our key objectives are to generate revenue from these sources and to increase customer service and satisfaction.
b. National Diversity Recognition Program
The Postal Service National Awards Program for Diversity Achievement recognizes individuals and teams that demonstrate exemplary efforts to encourage and promote diversity within the organization.
In 2001, there were more than 2,800 nominations. Categories for award consideration were Individual, Team, Leadership, and the Dot Sharpe Lifetime Achievement Award. And the vice president's category recognizes employees, both individually and collectively, who helped to advance the vision of diversity within the Postal Service.
Recognizing and valuing diversity continues to be a business requirement and is the key to attaining strategic organizational goals. Recognizing postal employees for their diversity efforts will help ensure that the Postal Service remains an inclusive and diverse organization.
c. Employment of Individuals with Disabilities
The Postal Service uses regular competitive procedures in selecting individuals with disabilities for employment. Individuals with severe disabilities receive noncompetitive employment consideration through referrals from individual state departments of vocational rehabilitation or the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2001, the Postal Service's career workforce included 47,937 employees with reported disabilities and 7,329 employees with targeted disabilities.
The Postal Service was recognized by
Careers and the Disabled magazine for an
outstanding employee award. The award acknowledged the Postal Service as a great place to work for people who are disabled.
Each year, the Postal Service submits an Affirmative Employment Plan and an Accomplishment Report for Individuals with Disabilities to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Affirmative Employment Plan is disseminated to Postal Service field installations. Each installation head is responsible for its implementation.
d. Veterans’ Employment
The Postal Service is one of the largest employers of veterans and disabled veterans in the nation. At the end of 2001, the Postal Service employed approximately 235,985 veterans, including 77,521 who are disabled because of injuries received in the uniformed services. Of that number, 19,183 have disabilities of 30 percent or more. The Postal Service prepares an annual Accomplishment Report and Plan Certification for disabled veterans for submission to the Office of Personnel Management.
e. Affirmative Employment Programs
The Affirmative Employment Program (AEP) unit provides national guidance on the affirmative action and employment program of the Postal Service. During 2001, the following initiatives were taken to improve the inclusiveness and retention
of the postal workforce:
- Streamlined the Affirmative Employment Annual Accomplishment Report process. With the concurrence of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the number of required reports for the AEP reporting process was reduced from 372 to 98. To facilitate barrier analysis, the AEP unit developed enhanced statistical data graphic displays to supplement the workforce demographics required by the EEOC for AEP report submission. These reports contain a summary of the steps taken to address barriers and graphics to display progress.
- Completed and submitted AEP Annual Accomplishment Reports. These reports addressed the prevention of sexual harassment, discrimination complaints, recruitment and hiring, employee development, promotions, separations, retention, program evaluation, and employee group representation.
- Published and distributed the Affirmative Employment Plans and Accomplishment Report for individuals with disabilities to postal management and the EEOC.
- Published and distributed the Affirmative Employment Plan and Accomplishment Report for disabled veterans to postal management and the Office of Personnel Management.
- Enhanced and revised the Affirmative Employment Quarterly Tracking Report used to monitor affirmative employment activities nationwide.
- Published and updated the Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Employment policy statement of the Postmaster General.
A new on-site AEP evaluation process was implemented as an internal auditing procedure to measure, assess, and verify progress toward achieving a discrimination-free workplace. An
on-site evaluation team reviewed diversity achievements in performance clusters with the greatest challenges. The completed reports included best practices and recommendations.
The Diversity Reporting System (DVRS) provides detailed statistical reports on the postal workforce. These reports include workforce profiles by grade level groupings, hiring, promotions, separations, development activities, and trends. Statistical information from DVRS is provided on request to the General Accounting Office, the EEOC, Congress, and other external and internal customers.
The Postal Service also administers the National Hispanic Program, the Women’s Program, and the Special Emphasis Program. These programs focus attention on the special needs, obstacles, and concerns of all groups where they are underrepresented in postal employment. Major accomplishments for these programs are described below.
1. National Hispanic Program
The National Hispanic Program (NHP) Executive/Managerial Development Process, through its field network, continued to address the organization, its goals, and underrepresentation of Hispanics in the Postal Service.
The NHP also sponsored or attended recruitment and community outreach activities. Hispanic Program specialists continue to participate in recruitment drives, testing preparedness seminars, Form 991 preparation, and Advanced Leadership Program recruitment.
In its efforts to respond to the corporate goals, the NHP sponsored numerous national events involving the National Council of La Raza, the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hispanic Data (the electronic job-posting website), the Hispanic National Bar Association, the National Organization for Mexican American Rights, the National Hispanic Leadership Institute, the Transporte Integrado y Masivo Hispanic Yearbook, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the Hispanic Business Expo of Central Florida. These outreach activities have helped to establish the Postal Service as a benchmark among our nation's businesses in addressing the needs of the Hispanic community.
2. Women’s Program
The Postal Service continued its commitment to improve the status of women in the workforce. Through structured programs and positive actions, these efforts helped to identify and remove barriers and include women at every level in the organization. Major accomplishments designed to address the underrepresentation of women in the Postal Service include:
- Revised and published the Women’s Program policy statement.
- Sponsored the Family Financial Planning Expo, to assist men and women in their personal financial planning.
- Updated the Women’s Program website with information on recruitment and career development and to hyperlinks to national women’s organizations.
More women are being prepared for management positions. During FY 2001, 40.1 percent of graduates of the Associate Supervisor Program were women, as were 44.6 percent of Advanced Leadership Program graduates.
The National Women’s Program will continue its awareness campaign using postal media and the websites of women’s organizations. The program assists women with career development and facilitates networking and support. It provides sponsorship to the Advanced Leadership Program and executive education programs at various universities.
The Women’s Program will continue to analyze studies that focus on work and family life and address issues such as recruitment, retention, mentoring, and succession planning.
3. Special Emphasis Program
The Special Emphasis Program focused on recruitment, retention, and promotional opportunities for African Americans, American Indians and Alaskan Natives, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, people with Disabilities, veterans, and white males. White females and Hispanics are addressed by the Women’s Program and the National Hispanic Program, respectively. Some of the major accomplishments of the Special Emphasis Program were:
- In conjunction with Executive Order 13126, the Special Emphasis Program developed a multi-year plan to address the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as a result of the Interim Report to the President and the Nation, released on January 17.
- Diversity Development was featured in Fortune magazine for its national minority supplier diversity initiatives and best practices.
- Collaborated with the National Congress of American Indians Youth Council to promote the availability of postal products, services, supplier, and career opportunities.
- Revised Publication 354, African Americans on Stamps.
- Program partnered with external national special emphasis organizations to establish a common goal to identify multicultural opportunities for increasing access to postal products, services, supplies, and career opportunities.
- The Postal Service received one of only two agency awards and recognition from the Federal Asian Pacific American Council for its commitment to the Asian Community.
f. National Sexual Harassment Prevention
Between fiscal years 1999 and 2001 diversity Development made a substantial commitment in the area of comprehensive sexual harassment awareness and prevention training. Craft and EAS employees received one and two hours of training, respectively.
During fiscal year 2001 the Postal Service conducted service talks and offered sexual harassment facilitator training in several locations. These facilitators assist by delivering training at the local level.
In addition, the Office of the General Counsel continued to offer interactive web training for supervisors and managers on preventing sexual harassment activity.
Postal attorneys, Diversity Development staff, and specially trained facilitators provided briefings, upon request, for groups of employees.
communicating its zero-tolerance policy.
- In February, the postal Service revised pertinent sections the Employee and Labor Relations Manual, specifically section 670, which addresses sexual harassment.
- In April, the chief operation officer released a letter reaffirming the commitment of postal leadership on the zero tolerance policy and posters were distributed to 34,000 facilities nationwide, which provided employees with additional information.
- Senior postal leadership further reiterated this commitment and featured “Tough message: Sexual Harassment Could Get You Fired” in an employee communication.
- The National Association of Supervisors printed an article entitled “Supervisors Must Prevent sexual Harassment in USPS” in the postal Supervisor. Last, the Postal service revised Publication 552, and Manager’s Guide to Understanding Sexual Harassment and Publication 553, employee’s guide to Understanding Sexual harassment.