The Foreign Service Journal, April 2022

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | APRIL 2022 39 In our discussions, it became clear that the only way to shift this paradigm and the value placed on this work was to create a dedicated core precept (the criteria by which State FS employees are evaluated for promotion) focused on advancing DEIA within the institution. Some advocated simply increasing the DEIA lan- guage in the existing precepts, and we considered that approach. When we reviewed the previous precepts, however, we realized they already included quite a lot of language on DEIA. That approach had been tried before but had not yielded the desired effect. And spreading more DEIA language across the other pre- cepts, like communication or leadership skills, left the door open for colleagues who did not want to play a role in advancing DEIA to simply focus on other ways to meet those precepts. A dedicated core precept on DEIA is a game changer for our institution because it requires every employee to roll up their sleeves and play a direct role in advancing DEIA. It ties the broad emphasis that our top-level leadership has placed on DEIA to concrete action and deliverables at senior-, mid- and entry-level ranks. It ensures DEIA work is no longer peripheral, voluntary or relegated to those with the least influence in the institution, as this work will now be required for all and will be compensated— both with promotions and awards like Senior Performance Pay (the criteria for which is determined by the precepts). Most importantly, it places DEIA work at the center of our institution, where it belongs. With time, we believe this move will prove one of our orga- nization’s most pivotal in shifting department culture. How so? As employees strive to meet this precept, they will have to do the required introspection outlined in the Secretary’s words above, re-evaluating what role they play in ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to advance through the department’s ranks and to contribute meaningfully to its work. This directly affects the strength of our performance as an institution. After all, it does no good to bring diverse faces into the organization if we then marginalize (rather than capitalize on) their different ways of connecting with foreign audiences and varied thinking about our policy challenges and possible solutions. n