Today, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP ) launched their partnership program to ensure workplace equity – the Hiring Initiative to Reimagine Equity (HIRE).
According to the official fact sheet, “HIRE is a multi-year collaborative effort chaired by EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows and OFCCP Director Jenny R. Yang, which will engage a broad array of stakeholders to expand access to good jobs for workers from underrepresented communities and help address key hiring and recruiting challenges.”
Regarding the mission of HIRE, OFCCP says, HIRE will expand access to good jobs for workers from underrepresented communities and help address key hiring and recruiting challenges.
Host convenings to examine organizational policy and practices to reimagine equity and expand opportunities in hiring.
Identify strategies to remove unnecessary barriers to hiring, and to promote effective, job-related hiring and recruitment practices to cultivate a diverse pool of qualified workers.
Promote equity in the use of tech-based hiring systems.
Develop resources to promote the adoption of innovative and evidence-based recruiting and hiring practices that advance equity.
The HIRE initiative comes at an important time – seeing as the onset of COVID-19 exacerbated employment inequity in the U.S. workforce, specifically exposing workforce management practices that negatively impact employees. People of marginalized groups have suffered more and new data issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) confirms this. White Americans currently hold an unemployment rate of 3.2%, compared to 7.1% for Blacks, 4.9% for Hispanics, and 3.8% for Asians. Unemployment rates are also more prominent when accounting for gender.
This isn’t the first time the EEOC and OFCCP agencies have announced working together to tackle workplace discrimination. Late last year the OFCCP announced it would be leveraging EEO-1 Component 2 pay data information to enforce pay equity. Both Burrows and Yang have echoed each other in sharing the agency’s focus on pay equity and eradicating workplace discrimination. Now, in 2022 the agencies have joined forces and taken their efforts to the next level by broadening their focus to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEI&A) opportunities in the workplace.
It’s clear that the agencies’ renewed focus is stemming under the umbrella of the Biden administration, which has made continuous strides to promote DEI&A in the workplace. Most recently was the announcement of the first-ever national strategy for achieving gender and racial workplace equity.
All this is to say that business is changing and employers are being held accountable for archaic, discriminatory practices. Don’t wait for mandated requirements to begin improving your DEI&A initiatives, regardless of how the EEOC and OFCCP enforce HIRE.
To learn more about developing a comprehensive DEI&A program, download the research report we recently sponsored, Creating a Culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, conducted by Harvard Business Review.
With pressure mounting for organizations to prove they foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforces, employers must commit to prioritizing workplace equity. Our research report, Creating a Culture of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, details how organizations can ensure their successful with their efforts. Download it now to learn more.