Chapter 3 Our Workforce
Diversity is key to Postal Service success and impacts every aspect of the organization — its employees, its customers, and its performance. Postal Service diversity reflects the diversity of the nation. It comprises not only race, color, national origin, and gender, but other attributes as well, including social background, education, life experience and perspective.
The Postal Service is one of the leading employers of minorities and women. Minorities comprised 38 percent of the postal workforce, and women comprised nearly 40 percent. Twenty-one percent of employees are African-Americans; 8 percent are Hispanic; 8 percent are Asian-Americans; and 0.06 percent are American Indian/Alaska Natives. Women represented 49 percent and minorities nearly 30 percent of EAS-level employees, which includes mid-level managers and supervisors. Minorities comprised 26 percent of the Postal Service’s 748 executives; women comprised nearly 29 percent.
INCLUSIVENESS IN THE WORKPLACE
To meet strategic business objectives, the Postal Service must leverage the creativity of all employees and continue to foster an inclusive work environment. This approach will enable the Postal Service to achieve full stature as a model employer, as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Management Directive 715. The Postal Service is focusing on three strategies to build inclusiveness: 1) enhancing recruitment and retention of diverse talent; 2) leveraging the talents and skills of a diverse workforce to address the needs of a growing diverse customer base; and 3) reinforcing leadership’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Continued emphasis on these three strategies will reinforce the commitment to meeting the demands of a diverse marketplace and enhance the Postal Service’s distinction as an employer of choice.
INCLUSIVENESS IN THE MARKETPLACE
Employee understanding and appreciation of customer needs strengthens their ability to market postal services to the nation’s diverse communities. Leveraging diversity is a critical component in making the Postal Service the best value in the market and a service-provider of choice. To help communicate with non-English-speaking customers, the Postal Service developed aids in nine languages (Spanish, French, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, Portuguese, Hindi, and Arabic). These aids help postal employees better match postal services to the needs of a multicultural customer base. In-language Holiday fact sheets focused on shipping and the range of postal retail services. The Postal Service also has an online multicultural outreach toolkit available in the same nine languages.
Postal outreach efforts support strategies to stay connected with all customers and to better assess their needs. Hispanic Program specialists throughout the country attended a planning and training meeting to engage them in efforts to foster an inclusive workplace and marketplace. The specialists received information on recruitment strategies and on specific postal products and services. The meeting included the first Spanish-language media training session designed to enhance Postal Service communications to Hispanic communities, and in particular, through Spanish-language media.
In February, a cross-functional postal team involving National Diversity Initiatives, Marketing, Public Affairs and Communications, Supplier Diversity, and field Advertising successfully piloted It Takes 5! The initiative promoted five postal products and services, in five geographically-diverse cities, in five or more languages. It Takes 5! provided new opportunities to better align marketing efforts with customer needs and helped the Postal Service increase its presence within multicultural, and deaf communities.
The Postal Service also participated in national and local community special events commemorating month-long celebrations for Black History, Women’s History, Deaf Awareness, Asian-Pacific Heritage, Hispanic Heritage, and American Indian Heritage. These events promoted diversity awareness and the wide variety of postal services.
RECOGNIZING LEADERSHIP COMMITMENT
The Postal Service’s commitment to an inclusive business culture was recognized by several publications in 2007. Hispanic Business magazine named the Postal Service one of the best companies for Hispanics. It was the only federal agency in the magazine’s Diversity Elite 60 list, as measured in 30 categories, including commitment to Hispanic hiring, promotion, marketing, philanthropy, and supplier diversity. Hispanic Business noted that the Postal Service is not only delivering the nation’s mail, “but also a commitment to diversity within the huge organization, with suppliers and throughout the communities it serves.”
The Careers & the disABLED magazine named the Postal Service Public Sector Employer of the Year, cited postal efforts to provide all employees with equal opportunity to compete in every aspect of employment. Taking advantage of the best available assistive technology, the Postal Service offers Video Remote Interpreting and Video Relay Service — two forms of sign language interpreting systems — to more than 800 deaf and hard-of-hearing postal employees.
The Postal Service has also been listed as one of Computerworld magazine’s 100 Best Places to Work in IT for the past four years. All of these honors are a positive reflection on the Postal Service’s continuing efforts to become a model employer.
NATIONAL AWARDS PROGRAM FOR DIVERSITY ACHIEVEMENT
The Postal Service held the 11th National Awards Program for Diversity Achievement to recognize employees for commitment to inclusiveness and to celebrate diversity accomplishments. Peers and managers submitted 928 nominations for employees who promoted inclusion in their work and personal lives. The program recognized 22 employees this year, bringing to 372 the number of employees recognized since 1996.