The Foreign Service Journal, January-February 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2021 27 (2) Require language in employee evaluation reports (EERs) to emphasize commitment to diversity, with concrete examples required. (3) Direct raters and reviewers to use gender-neutral lan- guage in EERs. (4) Hold ambassadors, deputy chiefs of mission and principal officers accountable in their EERs for supporting and imple- menting diversity and inclusion at post. Rating and review- ing officials of Civil Service employees should be held equally accountable. (5) In the case of noncareer ambassadors who elect not to have an EER, letters to the White House Personnel Office be sent on those who fail in this regard. (6) Ensure that members of underrepresented groups serve on every selection panel. RETENTION. Consistent, high-level support for targeted men- torship of officers from underrepresented communities coupled with promotion-related incentives can help officers of color advance and feel their contributions are valued and growing. We recommend that the State Department: (1) Pay more attention to retention. Increased payments that reduce or eliminate student loans might help retain more diverse candidates. To be eligible, the employee should commit to serve for at least five years. (2) Support external training programs, such as the Interna- tional Careers Advancement Program that helps prepare mid- level foreign affairs practitioners to advance to more senior levels. (3) Make exit interviews mandatory—and retroactive, to include those who did not have an exit survey on separation— and collect data to make changes in the system that would keep people in the Service. Data should include patterns of assignments; challenges for underrepresented members of the Foreign and Civil Service in finding mentors, employment opportunities and treatment of spouses; and the impact of and procedures for (cone) track designation. n