Skip to comments.One of the Contributing Factors to the Shuttle's Demise? Read About NASA's DIVERSITY DIRECTORATE
Posted on 02/05/2003 6:00:32 AM PST by A Vast RightWing Conspirator
The Flight Projects Directorate has, within its total mission, responsibility for planning, organizing, controlling, and directing the management and systems engineering of GSFC flight projects and associated ground systems. These responsibilities include: concept development and definition; design; fabrication; integration and test; launch; and orbital operations. Flight projects range in complexity from Explorer missions to major free-flying space and Earth science observatories and include the Tracking and Data Relay Satellite; servicing and maintenance of in-orbit satellites; the provision of launch services for small and medium class launch vehicles; and international projects.
There are approximately 400 Flight Projects Directorate employees at this time.
DEFINITION OF MULTI-CULTURALISM
NASAs Strategic Plan states "the face of NASA must reflect the face of America. Therefore, it is vital that all human resources plans and programs be achieved with a view toward expanding the cultural diversity of our workforce." Recognizing this NASA initiative, the Center established the GSFC Multi-Cultural Advisory Team (MCAT) which has defined multi-culturalism as: "A philosophy in which the organization maximizes its productivity by creating an atmosphere that values all types of people and makes full use of each persons strengths and abilities in order to achieve organizational objectives."
The Flight Projects Directorates cultural diversity goals are: 1) to recognize and appreciate differences of cultural groups that exist and establish methods of communication and the ability to work together in a free and open environment; 2) to ensure that barriers that inhibit increasing the cultural diversity of its workforce are removed; and 3) to achieve a high degree of acceptance, understanding, and sensitivity to the various cultural characteristics of Directorate employees. In order to achieve these goals, Directorate Management will assure that an environment exists which is conducive to a high level of productivity through effective teams within each Directorates organization.
Management Accountability/Performance Appraisals
All managers and supervisors within the Directorate will be made aware of Directorate goals to increase the cultural diversity of our workforce and to assure a harmonious environmentone in which all employees may reach their full potential. The managers will be advised of the goals and will be reminded of the Directorates plans for achieving maximum productivity through employing a culturally diverse workforce as part of their performance reviews. Management shall encourage and support employees participation in multi-cultural activities, such as the Directors Advisory Committees. Responsibility for accomplishment of these goals falls within the Human Resources Management portion of all supervisory performance plans. Project Managers will be held accountable for meeting Directorate/Center cultural diversity goals.
Supervisors and managers who demonstrate superior performance in human resources matters will be recognized. All Flight Projects Directorate managers will be encouraged to become involved with multi-cultural activities. Managers and supervisors will be encouraged to serve as informal sponsors/mentors to enable employees to better understand Directorate organizational structures and management styles.
The Directorate will encourage strong mentoring principles, emulating programs such as the Project Management Development Emprise (PMDE).
Management will establish a Directorate Multi-Cultural Advisory Team. Among other things, the team will be invited to suggest awards for minorities or females they fell have make significant contributions to either the Directorates missions or to the Center or Directorate cultural diversity goals. This team will be under the management of the Deputy Director of Flight Projects for Planning and Business Management.
Management will review award nominations (cash and honor) to assure a fair distribution of funds and consideration of all its employees. Directorate Management will investigate the establishment of an honor and/or cash award for successful sponsorship of a Directorate multi-cultural activity.
Management will assure that facility modifications and special equipment will be made available to disabled employees, as required.
Directorate Management will work with the GSFC Equal Opportunity Program Office and the MCAT on issues concerning cultural diversity.
Directorate Management will periodically meet with culturally diverse advisory groups to understand their concerns and to develop methods to remove any existing barriers to creating an effective multi-cultural workforce.
Employees are responsible for bringing uncomfortable situations to the attention of their management. Employees will be encouraged to seek out counseling and/or resolution of these problems at any level of supervision within the Directorate.
The Directorate will continue its policy of open communications between management and employees in a variety of ways including:
RECRUITMENT STRATEGY AND INTERNAL SELECTION PROCESS
There are currently four serious impediments to the staffing process:
In spite of these barriers, the Directorate will be proactive in creating a multi-cultural environment within its limited hiring capabilities and will abide by Center multi-cultural and affirmative action goals.
Efforts will be made to encourage qualified, diverse candidates to apply to the PMDE Program at each advertising opportunity.
Hires are, and will be made, and the process reviewed to ensure equal treatment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or age.
Directorate managers will participate in student programs such as the Co-op Program and the newly established Gateway Program (which replaces the STEP Program) as a source of hiring resource analysts and general business specialists, and in the COE Program as a feeder program for clericals. Although the Directorate does not recruit entry-level engineering students, it will continue to take advantage of the excellent Engineering Directorate minority recruiting program as the experienced engineers move into project management positions with the Flight Projects Directorate.
Directorate Management will recommend a diverse group of qualified employees for high-visibility efforts such as Source Evaluation Boards (SEB). Participation in SEB activities will enable employee exposure to an essential part of program management.
Each project manager will, at a minimum, invite/encourage their employees to develop and discuss Individual Development Plans (IDPs). Management will strive to include cultural diversity/team building training programs into the IDPs.
Growth potential is established at the time of position acceptance. Each growth position outside the scope of an employees current job must be completed through the formal Personnel process. In the technical area, most positions in the Flight Projects Directorate begin at the Grade 13 level. These are considered senior or managerial positions. Directorate Management will strive to identify qualified and culturally diverse employees for these positions.
Since 1990, the PMDE Program has provided opportunities to select talented individuals to participate in a management training program. The PMDE Program is open to all qualified Center employees. A high percentage of those individuals selected for PMDE thus far have been minorities and women.
- Funds are controlled by Directorate Management.
- Criteria for amount of the awards is performance rating and grade.
- Historically, all Code 400 employees rated High Successful and above received
- Special Act Awards are submitted by project managers and approved by
The Flight Projects Directorate will conduct its missions by creating productive teams of diverse employees. It will strive to enhance each employees capabilities through formal and informal training and encourage managers and employees to utilize a mentoring philosophy. Directorate management will meet with advisory teams, as well as individual employees, in order to incorporate individual needs and organizational goals. Directorate Management will establish methods of communication and the ability to collaborate in a free and open environment and will ensure that barriers that inhibit increasing cultural diversity of the workforce are removed.
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Excellent strategy. No wonder they missed Mars a couple of years ago.
Definition of Diversity "Diversity" includes a number of important human characteristics that affect an individual's values and opportunities and perceptions of self and others at work. These primary characteristics include, but are not limited to age, ethnicity, gender, ability, race, and sexual orientation. They also include secondary characteristics such as: geographic location, military experience, work experience, income, religion, first language, organizational role and level, communication style, family status, work style, and education. from Marilyn Loden "Implementing Diversity"
I have yet to see "maximum productivity" as a result of employing a "culturally diverse workforce". If anything, quite the opposite is achieved. The non-minority "workforce" becomes bitter and non-productive. Discrimination of the non-minority population does not produce diversity. Diversity can not be forced. That's like manipulating the composition of water and expecting to get water.
Careful. You may be getting uncomfortably close to Plessy v Ferguson.
Really? Things are looking up!
I get visions of some poor guy sitting in a smokey, dark room with a single light-bulb hanging down over the table, while a guy in a cheap suit stands back in the corner....
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