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District Officer: D-DAC. Gress
Auxiliary National Department:

Coast Guard Diversity Policy Statement
Our people are the core of our capability and are the main focus of my attention. Our ability to attract, develop, retain, and deploy a quality, diverse workforce is the key to the Coast Guard’s success - it must be a top priority for everyone. We must draw on the strength of our differences and similarities to:

Create a positive environment, through consistent leadership, where all members of the Coast Guard can achieve their potential and make their greatest contribution to accomplishing the mission.

Continuously strive for a workforce that reflects America, and promote an environment that places high value on individual dignity, respect, and professional growth.

Diversity in the workforce contributes measurably to creative thinking and innovation so critical to excellence. Each of us must ensure that our actions conform to the spirit and intent of this policy, based on our core values of Honor, Respect and Devotion to Duty. /s/ Thomas H. Collins Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard

Diversity Definitions:

Diversity is the uniqueness of all individuals which encompasses different personal attributes, values, and organizational roles.

Diversity Management is the process of creating and maintaining a positive environment where the differences of all personnel are recognized, understood, and valued, so that all can reach their full potential and maximize their contributions to the Coast Guard.

Many people think managing diversity is the same thing as affirmative action. In fact, they are completely different.

Affirmative Action attempts to atone for past discrimination against certain groups of people. Because it tries to even the playing field for these groups, it does not apply to all people equally.

Valuing Differences, or Diversity, is the uniqueness of all individuals (different personal attributes, values, and organizational roles.)

Diversity Management is the process of creating and maintaining a positive environment where the differences of all personnel are recognized, understood, and valued, so that all can achieve their full potential. It fully includes the entire work force.

This chart further compares affirmative action, valuing differences, and managing diversity.

Affirmative Action Valuing Differences Managing Diversity
Quantitative. Emphasis is on achieving equality of opportunity in the work environment by changing organizational demographics. Progress is monitored by statistical reports and analyses. Qualitative. Emphasis is on appreciating differences and creating an environment in which everyone feels valued and accepted. Progress is monitored by organization surveys focused on attitudes and perceptions. Behavioral. Emphasis is on building specific skills and creating policies that get the best from every employee. Efforts are monitored by progress toward achieving goals and objectives.
Legally driven. Written plans and statistical goals for specific groups are used. EEO laws and consent decrees mandate reports. Ethically driven. Moral and ethical imperatives drive this culture change. Strategically driven. Behaviors and policies are seen as contributing to organizational goals and objectives, such as profit and productivity, and are tied to rewards and results.
Remedial. Specific target groups benefit as past wrongs are remedied. Previously excluded groups have an advantage. Idealistic. Everyone benefits because each person feels valued and accepted in an inclusive environment. Pragmatic. The organization benefits: morale, profits and productivity increase.
Assimilation model. Model assumes that groups are brought to existing organizational norms. Diversity model. Model assumes that groups will retain their own characteristics and shape the organization as well as be shaped by it, creating a common set of values. Synergy model. Model assumes that diverse groups will create new ways to work together effectively.
Opens doors. Efforts affect hiring and promotion decisions in the organization. Opens attitudes, minds, and the culture. Efforts affect employees' attitudes. Opens the system. Efforts affect managerial practices and policies.
Resistance. Resistance is due to perceived limits to autonomy in decision-making and fears of reverse discrimination. Resistance. Resistance is due to a fear of change, discomfort with differences, and a desire to return to the "good old days." Resistance. Resistance is due to denial of demographic realities, the need for alternative approaches, and the benefits of change. It also arises from the difficulty of learning new skills, altering existing systems, and finding the time to work toward synergistic solutions.
Source: Training & Development, April 1993. Adapted from "Managing Diversity: A Complete Desk Reference and Planning Guide," by Lee Gardenswartz and Anita Rowe, Business One Irwin, 1993.

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