Biden signs executive order to boost diversity in federal government

Agencies will be required to collect enhanced demographic data about federal employees and work to advance pay equity.
White House, Office of Management and Budget, West Wing, Press Briefing
(Getty Images)

President Biden signed an executive order Friday that mandates the adoption of wide-ranging measures to increase diversity, equity and inclusion among the federal workforce.

Under the order, agencies will be required to collect enhanced demographic data about federal employees and work to advance pay equity among public servants. Following the EO, departments will no longer be able to ask for details of – and base future compensation – upon a candidate’s prior salary history.

The Office of Personnel Management and the Office of Management and Budget will be charged with overseeing the implementation of the new directive.

It focuses strongly on advancing opportunity for communities that have previously faced employment discrimination, including people of color, women, first-generation professionals and immigrants, individuals with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals.


The White House said also the new order is intended to improve federal employment opportunities for Americans who live in rural areas, older Americans facing age discrimination, parents and caregivers, people of faith who require religious accommodations at work, individuals who were formerly incarcerated, and veterans and military spouses.

The legislation mandates that all agencies assess the current state of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within their workforces and that they develop plans to eliminate any barriers to success faced by underserved employees. It directs agencies to seek opportunities to establish or elevate chief diversity officers within their organizations.

Agencies will be required to undertake an in-depth assessment of barriers to working for a federal government faced by individuals with disabilities and to work to build a more diverse talent pipeline into the federal government, including through partnerships with universities and other institutions that historically have served minority communities.

John Hewitt Jones

Written by John Hewitt Jones

John is the managing editor of FedScoop, and was previously a reporter at Institutional Investor in New York City. He has a master’s degree in social policy from the London School of Economics and his writing has appeared in The Scotsman and The Sunday Times of London newspapers.

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