This summer, I have had the privilege to work with Konektid International, a consulting firm trying to simplify the process for smaller companies who want to break into the USAID space. Working with US AID information has been very enlightening, and it is interesting to see where our tax money is going. Recently, though, a report was released by NBC news that USAID, as an agency, lags in promoting minority staffers. This was surprising to me, as you would assume an agency that works to promote the interests of the less fortunate in other countries would be aware of their staff in the United States.
The report cites that the proportion of African American staff of USAID declined from 26 to 21 percent from 2002 to 2018. This, although troublesome, was not the most shocking piece of evidence. The report furthered that “racial or ethnic minorities in the Civil Service were 31 to 41 percent less likely to be promoted than whites with similar jobs or years of service.” Taking factors like experience, skills, and tenure into account, minorities in the Civil Service are drastically less likely than white employees to be promoted.
The evidence presented by the report is clear. USAID, while doing great service abroad and helping countless people and countries, is unable to look inside of their own organization and make necessary changes to create a space where everyone has equal opportunities and are treated the same. I hope that because of this report, USAID can finally examine their hiring and staffing techniques, and make changes to avoid this type of inequality in the future.