Diversity Woman Magazine

FALL 2012

Leadership and Executive Development for women of all races, cultures and backgrounds

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Page 38 of 79

We Mean Business Men at Work > Clarence A. Johnson Diversity and Defense By Jackie Krentzman W hen it comes to racial and ethnic makeup in the workplace, one of the most diverse orga- nizations in the United States over the last 75 years has been the military. Beginning in World War II, the racial composition of the military began to more closely resemble that of the popula- tion as a whole. Te number of African- Americans totaled an estimated 922,000 enlisted men and more than 8,000 offi- cers, according to the Department of De- fense (DOD). Ten, in 1948, President Harry Tru- man signed two executive orders that increased diversity in the military, one specifically aimed at integrating the mili- tary services, the other the federal civil- ian workforce. Women also served in World War II, some 350,000, most as medical person- nel or support staff. And in 1948, Truman signed another executive order allowing women to serve as permanent, regular www.diversitywoman.com members of the armed forces. West Point admitted its first woman to the officer training program in 1976. But the turning point for women in the military was the 1991 Persian Gulf War: more than 40,000 female troops served, some in combat. Today, the Department of Defense, which administers all of the armed ser- vice units, is firmly committed to diver- sity among its ranks, both military and civilian. Diversity Woman spoke with Clarence A. Johnson, director of the department's Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity. DW: What was the impetus behind establishing the Office of Diversity Man- agement and Equal Opportunity in the Department of Defense? Clarence Johnson: Te office was cre- ated in 1994 and originally named the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secre- tary of Defense for Equal Opportunity. In 2006, its name was changed to the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity. It was estabished because the U.S. military sought to achieve a di- verse force. Our office has four primary tasks: to sustain engagement with affin- ity groups and key influencers; to update and align component and agency actions; to convey compelling, coherent, and con- sistent messages; and to build an account- ability construct with metrics that matter. Fall 2012 DIVERSITY WOMAN 37 THINKSTOCKPHOTOS

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