Harnessing Technology to Raise Awareness of Diversity and Inclusion with George Garcia

Episode summary

In the latest episode of the Government Enabled podcast, our host William Cahillane meets George Garcia, a Federal HR Subject Matter Expert at EconSys. George’s rich background in human resources, governmental project execution, and teaching has aroused his interest in the three essential topics of today – diversity, inclusion, and technology.

George is a big believer. He believes in respect and synergy, considering them the two vital concepts for understanding different people and joining forces toward a unique goal. He also believes that learning can foster people to widen their horizons and better understand the culture and people around us.

In addition to speaking about equal employment opportunities, George focuses on the Federal Government using data and technology to raise diversity and inclusion awareness. He also dives into tools and projects that help identify problems and solve them. But that’s not all. Tune into the ninth episode of Government Enabled to hear more about the critical issues of today.

Guest at-a-glance

Key insights

  • One of the most significant challenges is that the Government has too much data. When it comes to the Government using data to analyze their workforce, the biggest challenge is too much data. “There’s a multitude of data that’s available, and it’s difficult to have the time to add that data and make sense out of it. How to take that data that you have, change it into priorities, be able to cascade that down to performance goals is part of your performance management process. They should always be focused on those priorities and then use that to motivate the workforce.”
  • We need to increase diversity awareness in organizations, both in the private sector and in the federal sector. According to George, raising people’s understanding of diversity and inclusion is a must. “I think respect is a big thing that is becoming a challenge in our current culture, as well as managing people who are just different than you.”
  • I believe synergy is a vital part of education and awareness. George believes in something called synergy, defining it as “nothing else than coming up with a team or a group of experts who can work on a project. By combining their experiences and knowledge, the result is usually ten times better than just one person or two people trying to come up with a solution to the issue.”

Episode Highlights

Introducing George Garcia – From Civilian to Military, HR, University Professor, and a Part of the Equal Opportunity Program

“I started in the area of human resources, training and development, and equal opportunity all-around 33 years ago. I was initially exposed to the area of equal opportunity and human resources while I was working in the army as an officer. And I was selected to be part of the adjunct faculty staff for the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.

I’ve been working in the area of human resources for several organizations and in several industries. My 32 years of experience are a combination of the military, the army, and the Federal Government, where I was a chief human capital officer for an agency.
I focused on the areas of human resources from a federal perspective, on an equal opportunity, and diversity and inclusion to support the organizations. I’ve also been a faculty professor for the University of Maryland.”

It Is Challenging for the Government to Deal with Too Much Data

“I think the Federal Government could do much better in terms of using technology that’s available, mostly in the private sector, to be able to analyze the data quicker and synchronize it with the organization across the board and come up with a standardized way of reporting it.

I think there’s too much data. And to some extent, it is difficult or a challenge to capture all of that and come up with a strategic plan for the organization. Then you can make some decisions in terms of what’s important and what’s not so important because, as you know, priorities always change on a daily basis or a weekly basis.”

People Make Assumptions and Then Make Mistakes

“I believe that people don’t know that they don’t know. Based on what they think they know, they make decisions, make assumptions, and then make a mistake. Sometimes the decisions that are made are not the right ones because people don’t know.
It’s funny, but I believe in that. You always have to be learning and getting the facts and understanding what’s happening, and being able to adjust what’s happening based on those priorities. And right now, I think diversity awareness and respect for folks who are different is a priority across the board.”

Using Technology to Identify Issues and Solve Them Efficiently

“Something I respect about economic systems is that they use technology to help customers. They have several tools, which fit perfectly in many organizations. They have a lot of different tools for position management in terms of staffing, recruiting, retirement, separations, workforce reporting. What’s the right data and how to use those tools to report them.”

We Use Different Strategies to Analyze Data and Identify Triggers and Barriers

“We’re looking at the workplace culture, at the different perspectives from key stakeholders. We’re looking at the history of diversity inclusion and equity across the board policies, procedures, priority subjects, and strategies. […] That’s the first thing you do. Once you have all that data and analyze it, we’ll be better positioned to identify what they call triggers and barriers. That is more inclusive in the areas of diversity and inclusiveness, if you will, across the board.”