Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plays crucial role in the FBI’s mission
Diversity, equity and inclusion within the Federal Bureau of Investigation plays a crucial role in the agency’s mission to protect the American people and uph...
February 23, 202312:03 pm
4 min read
Diversity, equity and inclusion within the Federal Bureau of Investigation plays a crucial role in the agency’s mission to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution.
A diverse workforce – with individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives – not only helps to promote equality and inclusiveness, but it leads to better problem-solving, creativity, and innovation.
“This is not new to the FBI,” said Helena Moore, a supervisory special agent with the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “We’ve been really involved in increasing the diversity in our workforce for quite a bit of time.”
It is personal for Moore, who has been with the FBI for a little over 15 years.
When Moore first joined the agency, she was in an entry-level position and met a special agent in charge who was a Black woman.
“I too am a black woman,” Moore said. “It means something when you see somebody who looks like you who’s working in your organization, particularly if they are performing at a high level or performing in a position that you didn’t really know could be attainable for you.”
How diversity helps with investigations
Having a diverse group of employees in the FBI allows for a broader range of perspectives and ideas.
The FBI deals with complex and dynamic issues – such as terrorism, organized crime and cyber threats – that require innovative approaches to solve.
A diverse workforce can bring different perspectives and experiences to the table, helping the agency to “connect and maintain the trust” of people in communities nationwide and around the world, Moore said.
For example, an FBI agent from a different cultural background may have a different understanding of the motivations behind a particular crime, and that could lead to new insights.
“It’s a priority for us to look like the communities we serve,” said Moore. “It matters to community members when you’re showing up and they see somebody who they can potentially feel like they can relate to.”
Making a difference globally
When the FBI puts an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion, it can actually influence law enforcement agencies in other nations where female officers are not necessarily provided the same opportunities when compared to their male counterparts.
“We are seen as a premier law enforcement organization,” Moore explained. “When people see somebody like a Black woman in a country that traditionally does not let women reach high levels, they understand that it’s important to us and it helps countries see that it’s something that could be important to them as well.”
A diverse workplace can provide a platform for employees to learn from one another, build relationships, and understand each other’s experiences and perspectives.
When different individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences come together, they can share unique perspectives and approaches to solving problems, resulting in a more informed and thorough examination of issues.
It can help to create a more supportive and collaborative work environment, where employees feel valued and respected, and where they can bring their best selves to work.
Recruiting with diversity in mind
The FBI’s recruitment efforts often center around diversity, equity and inclusion.
Some of that involved helping students understand that the FBI needs candidates from many fields of study.
It doesn’t matter if someone majored in accounting or biology or journalism – the FBI can use those skills.
The road trip was part of the “Beacon Project,” which was created to strengthen ties between the FBI and HBCUs.
“We know that diverse communities oftentimes may not consider the FBI as a place to work,” said
Scott McMillion, the FBI’s chief diversity officer. “When I think about our commitment to the Beacon Project, it’s really to ensure that we highlight and provide information about FBI career opportunities in the hope that students would consider us as an employer of choice.”
According to Moore, there are often recruitment events held at the University of the District of Columbia and Howard University, which are the two HBCUs in the nation’s capital.
“We do that in partnership with the Beacon Project and it’s just a success story here in Washington,” Moore said. “I feel very passionate about our outreach efforts because we are making a dent on some of the myths that may be out there regarding different races and genders in law enforcement.”