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Department of State: Promoting D&I Worldwide
As the lead U.S. foreign affairs agency, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) represents the country at more than 270 diplomatic locations around the world, including embassies, consulates and missions to international organizations. The Department leads America’s foreign policy via diplomacy, advocacy, and assistance by advancing the interests of the American people, their safety and economic prosperity. On behalf of the American people, DOS promotes and demonstrates democratic values and advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world.
The Department is also responsible for promoting peace and stability in areas of vital interest to America, and helping developing nations establish stable economic environments. It’s a source of support for American businesses abroad, working to achieve fair business practices in commerce, trade, manufacturing, and other interests while also identifying viable opportunities for American businesses.
The Department of State also provides information and services for U.S. citizens traveling abroad, including passport issuance, and it issues visas to foreigners who wish to visit the U.S.
“Department of State employees, with their skills, character and commitment to public service, are the backbone of America’s diplomacy. They represent the American people, advocate U.S. interests to the rest of the world, and are America’s first line of defense in a complex and often dangerous world,” notes DOS on its website.
As such, DOS relies on all employees, regardless of rank and title, to represent its mission and embrace a set of principles that encourages the highest degree of morale and productivity, and to set an expectation of leading by example.
In order to represent the U.S. to the world, the Washington, DC-headquartered State Department must have a workforce that reflects the rich composition of its citizenry. “The skills, knowledge, perspectives, ideas, and experiences of all of its employees contribute to the vitality and success of the global mission,” says DOS.
“Our commitment to inclusion must be evident in the face we present to the world and in the decision-making processes that represent our diplomatic goals. The keys to leading a diverse workforce successfully are commitment and persistence. Delivering strong and effective action requires every employee’s commitment to equal employment opportunity principles.”
It also encourages individualism in its workforce, and offers several employee organizations to help strengthen and support its diversity. To that end, it has numerous affinity groups for women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, veterans, and other members of minority groups and diverse cultures.
At the State Department’s core are its people, and it’s committed to having a workforce that reflects the diverse people that it represents. Not only because embracing diversity enhances the development of human capital resources that increase proficiency levels, promotes a workplace culture that values the efforts of all members, and enhances the professional experience of its valued public servants, but because it also represents the U.S. to the world.
The Department is responsible for selecting and hiring employees who accomplish America’s mission of diplomacy at home and around the world, including foreign service officers (generalists), foreign service specialists and civil service professionals. For those pursuing university degrees and professionals who are interested in an executive development program in public service, the Department offers a number of programs, including internships and fellowships.
Thus, for DOS, diversity and inclusion (D&I),is key in its diplomatic ambassador role across the globe. To that end, DOS is committed to equal employment opportunity (EEO) and ensuring its work environment is free from prohibited discrimination in all phases of employment. This includes improving and enhancing its mentorship programs, expanding outreach to managers who make hiring decisions, and encouraging collaboration with external partners.
In addition, “our employees maintain an attitude of public service both at work and at home; the U.S. Department of State’s core values are based on the intent to strengthen both international and domestic communities. We offer Department-sponsored programs, resources and assistance to employees who want to find volunteer service or pro bono opportunities within the Department or their own communities,” DOS further notes on its website.
Visit careers.state.gov to learn more about Foreign and Civil Service careers, the Consular Fellows Program, and internship opportunities. Connect with DOSCareers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram.
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